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We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for this: Chocolate + Coffee + Sticky Buns. Today is National Coffee Day, which I was all set to celebrate by having my regular ole 6 oz, nothing fancy here, hot drip coffee with a spot of sugar and cream. For once, I actually knew about the impending day of celebration for the world’s most awesome drug but I was content with just sitting smugly with my little hot and dark mug of magnificence. However, yesterday I was innocently perusing my iPad subscription of Donna Hay’s magazine, (more on this later*) when I came across this combo and I couldn’t shake it this morning so…… I gave in. Today’s most perfect weather combo of cloudy with spitting rain and much cooler temps didn’t do much to convince me not to turn on the oven.

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Soft and silky dough

Sticky Dark Chocolate and Coffee Buns

For the dough:

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2/3 c lukewarm milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 c all purpose flour

1/4 c granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 stick plus 1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

For coffee glaze:

1/3 c maple syrup

1/3 c brown sugar

2/3 c unsalted butter

1 Tbs instant coffee, dissolved in 1 Tbs boiling water

For Dark chocolate filling:

little less than 1/2 c dark chocolate chips

2 Tbs cream or 1/2&1/2

Make Dough

1) Combine yeast, milk and vanilla extract and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes or until it starts proofing.

2) Put flour, sugar, salt, egg, butter and yeast mixture into an electric mixer with a dough hook. Beat until just combined on low speed. Increase speed to high and beat until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, 5-8 minutes. You may have to add more flour for the dough to come together.

3) Put dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until the dough doubles in size (approx 1 hour).

Meanwhile make the coffee glaze:

4) Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, butter and coffee mixture in a saucepan over low heat. Keep over low heat until all the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

5) Then increase the heat to medium, bring to a boil and cook 3-4 minutes or until smooth and glossy. Pour into a lightly oiled 9 inch diameter pan.

Make the dark chocolate filling:

6) Heat the chocolate and the cream over low heat until completely melted. Alternative: combine the two and heat in microwave. I usually start with 20 second increments, take it out and stir and add more time until mostly but not completely melted. As is always the case with microwaves, err on the side of caution=> less is more.

7) Let cool slightly.

Now back to the dough for assembly and last rise:

8) Roll out the dough to make a 25 x 10 inch rectangle. I find rolling dough out on a floured, clean and dry tea towel is the easiest method for working with potentially sticky situations.

9) Spread the dough with the chocolate mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Roll the dough tightly starting with one of the longer sides.

10) Trim the edges and cut into 12 pieces. Place the slices, Scroll-side up, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an additional 40-60 minutes, until doubled in size.

11) Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 20 minutes. Then loosely cover the pan with foil and bake another 15-20 minutes until golden.

12) Let cool for 2-3 minutes then flip onto your serving plate.

13a) Hoard all the sweet treats and nosh on them every morning this week creating a serious sugar addiction.

OR

13b) Call your friends and share your snacks while being referred to as a hero. Maybe they’ll bring over something boozy to add to your coffee.

Cavity and jogs around the block inducing

Cavity and jogs around the block inducing

* Notes about Donna Hay: You should know her. She is amazing. Her books are amazing and her magazine has always been eye-popping beautiful, BUT the digital (for me the iPad) version is every bit as wonderful as the print copy (but cheaper) it includes videos and won’t take up all that real estate on your bookshelves.

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