The thing about waking up in the morning once to the smell of lemon and rosemary and deliciously sweet dough baking in your oven.
Is that it’s habit forming.
All of a sudden, you can’t sleep because you know that you’re going to arise to boring old stale air.
You can’t dream, because you’re just completely preoccupied with the thought of all that stale air infiltrating your lungs and pervading your mind and blowing away the memory of the lemon-rosemary-heaven scent.
And you can’t wake up because what is there to live for, really, if these sticky buns aren’t going to be waiting for you on your counter in all their lemony-sweet glory?
Dilemmas. We’re wading in ’em.
But not to fear! I’ve thought long and hard about this. And we have options.
Not very good or sensible options. But options nonetheless.
(a) We could buy out our grocery store’s supply of Meyer lemons and then use half of them to bake sticky buns every other day and the other half to squeeze juice around our apartment on the other days so that we can fake out our smell receptors and still be able to wear our skinny jeans. Plus we’ll appease our aching hearts because they’ll know that, even if we can’t have a sticky bun today, our next one is just a mere 24 hours away. Expensive. But doable.
(b) Get all of our friends and family addicted to Meyer lemon rosemary sticky buns. (Easy.) Then convince them to join MLRSBEA with us.
MLRSBEA = Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Bun Eaters Anonymous
(c) Replace our Meyer lemon rosemary sticky bun habit with a drug addiction. Preferably not marijuana because I don’t think that’s going to help with the skinny jean problem. And may lead us to make even more sticky buns.
(d) Allow aliens to infiltrate our minds and brainwash us into thinking we actually don’t like the smell of Meyer lemon rosemary heaven emanating from our ovens. Then lead a sad and lonely Meyer lemon rosemary-less existence for the rest of our lives. (Not optimal.)
So these are our options.
I leave it to you to figure out which of these you’re going to pursue once you make these and realize your life will never be the same again and you find yourself quitting your job, abandoning your children at daycare, leaving your husband just so that you don’t have to share a single sticky bun with him, and doing all sorts of crazy things just to get your fix.
As for me. I’m just going to keep baking sticky buns.
Meyer lemon season just started, after all. And I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on ’em just yet.
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns
Makes 12-16, adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
For the Dough
- 1 tbsp active yeast or 1 packet
- 3/4 cup warm milk, divided
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 3 1/2-4 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 meyer lemons, zested
- 2 eggs, room temperature
For the Filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- zest of 2 meyer lemons
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- Juice of one meyer lemon
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes. If it foams, then you’re good to go. If not, the yeast is probably dead and your dough will not likely rise. Mix the yeast/milk mixture, the remaining milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, lemon zest, and one cup of the flour and mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, you could turn the soft dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.)
- Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot. Let the dough rise until nearly doubled, about an hour.
- To make the filling, mix the sugar with the nutmeg, then work in the lemon zest and rosemary with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand. Stir in two tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle that is approximately 10×15 inches. Spread the dough evenly with the softened butter, then spread the lemon-sugar filling mixture over top. Starting with a long end facing you, roll the dough up tightly. Pinch the dough at the end to seal the seam. Cut the dough into 12 or 16 even rolls (I like to halve the roll, then halve each piece and finally, cut each piece into thirds or foruths), and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.
- Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the center of a roll reads 190 F.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Whip the cream cheese (using a mixer or even by hand with a whisk) until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and blend until well combined. Mix in the powdered sugar until the glaze is smooth and creamy.
- When the rolls finish baking, smear them with the cream cheese glaze. Serve warm.