Strawberry Rosemary-Cashew Sticky Buns

Homemade strawberry jam, rosemary-cashew brittle and black pepper struesel allow these rolls to perfectly balance sweet and savory flavors, and don't worry, it may seem like there's a lot of components but they're easy-to-make.
Photo by Noah Fecks / Illustration by Victoria Skovran / Food Styling by Barrett Washburne

Courtesy Helen Jo, pastry chef, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Lingering just a little too long in the sun to eat strawberries is a spring pastime, but these sweet rolls take that to the next level. Rosemary-cashew brittle and black pepper streusel keep the treats from being cloying. Just as importantly, they make these seem impressive and cheffy. Don’t worry, those components are easy to make (but crucial to end your picnic on the right note).

Picnic Recipes for an Above Average Basket
Ingredients for Sticky Buns
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup strawberry jam (see below)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • Rosemary-Cashew Brittle (see below)
  • Black Pepper Streusel (see below)
Directions for Sticky Buns

Sift flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt into medium bowl. In another medium bowl, mix together cream and egg yolk. Use plastic spatula to fold flour mixture into cream mixture until crumbly dough forms.

Transfer dough to clean surface, and knead until solid and no longer sticky. Cut dough in half, and sandwich each between pieces of parchment paper. Using rolling pin, mold dough pieces into 12-inch squares, about ⁄8-inch thick. Chill dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Peel off top parchment from first chilled dough sheet, and lightly brush with melted butter. Spread 3 tablespoons jam across dough. Sprinkle ½ cup brown sugar on top, then sprinkle ½ cup of rosemary-cashew brittle and ⁄8 teaspoon salt. Carefully slide parchment paper onto sheet pan, and place in freezer. Repeat with second dough sheet.

Slide parchment paper with first dough sheet onto work surface. Carefully roll dough toward you as tight as possible. Place roll back in freezer, and repeat with second sheet. Keep in freezer 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 400˚F. Lightly coat silicone jumbo-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, and place on baking sheet.

Slice dough rolls ¾-inch thick. Stack 3 slices face up into each mold, so spirals are visible. Sprinkle black pepper streusel over top, and bake 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, and decrease temperature to 375˚F. Bake another 5–7 minutes, until rolls bubble with strawberry jam and caramelize on top.

Let sticky buns rest for 5 minutes. Carefully use mini offset spatula or pairing knife to release sides, and ease them out. Makes 6–8 buns.

Ingredients for Strawberry Jam
  • 1 quart strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup to 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pectin
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
Directions Strawberry Jam

Combine strawberries, ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water om medium saucepan. Cook on a low heat and stir frequently using a plastic spatula (to avoid burning on the bottom of the saucepan) until strawberries have broken down and resemble purée. At this point, adjust sweetness with more sugar if needed. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with pectin and stir into strawberries. Continue cooking until strawberry mixture is thick enough to coat spatula well (it should slowly drip down when the spatula is held up). Finally stir in apple cider vinegar and salt, cook for a few minutes, then chill.

Ingredients for Rosemary-Cashew Brittle
  • 1 cup chopped toasted cashews
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fine-chopped rosemary
Directions for Rosemary-Cashew Brittle

Heat oven to 350˚F. Spread chopped cashews on silicone-lined baking sheet. Toast until tan in color. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, warm butter, sugar and corn syrup with 1 tablespoon water over medium heat. Stir until sugar and butter melt, and mixture turns to light amber color. Whisk in baking soda, immediately followed by salt and chopped rosemary. (Note: Baking soda will cause mixture to bubble and rise.) Carefully and quickly, pour hot mixture on top of toasted cashews. Let cool to solidify. Break into small pieces with rolling pin or hands. Using food processor, pulse until pieces are roughly ⅛ inch.

Ingredients for Black Pepper Streusel
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
Directions for Black Pepper Streusel

In small bowl, mix sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Crumble butter in with fingers until mixture appears pebbly. Chill.

Pair It

Ca’ d’Gal 2016 Lumine (Moscato d’Asti). Andrew Fortgang, co-owner/wine director of Le Pigeon, has one thing in mind when pairing this dessert: fun. “And what is more fun than a sparkling dessert wine?” he says. “Moscato d’Asti is usually a fun wine, but not a serious wine—something that a producer also makes, in addition to reds. Not here. This estate has been making just Moscato d’Asti for four generations.”

Published on April 28, 2018
About the Author
Layla Schlack
Senior Editor

Schlack has written and edited stories about cooking, dining, spirits, entertaining and travel, as well as developed recipes, in various editorial roles at Fine Cooking and Hemispheres. Her writing has won a NATJA award. When she’s not editing Wine Enthusiast’s food, spirits and entertaining stories, she can usually be found clanging around her Connecticut kitchen, beverage in hand, trying to re-create some tasty meal she’s had over the course of her travels. Email: lschlack@wineenthusiast.net



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