Lloyd Lerew had his sticky bun recipe ready before he knew there was a sticky bun contest to win.
Lerew attended the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January, and after seeing entries in the sticky bun contest there, he went home and started typing up his own version.
"When I saw there was going to be a sticky bun contest this year, I said, 'I know what I can do for that.'"
Lerew, of Dillsburg, took the blue ribbon in the Rutter's Old Fashioned Sticky Bun contests with his Macadamia Nut & Toasted Coconut Sticky Buns. The contest, sponsored by Rutter's Farm Stores, was the first Culinary Corner competition of the 2013 York Fair.
This wasn't Lerew's first foray into the York Fair's Culinary Corner. He's been entering his creations for nearly 10 years, and has earned himself a rainbow of ribbons.
"I don't have a lot of blue ribbons, but I have plenty reds and yellows," he said.
Lerew has entered 14 total contests at this year's fair.
Lerew said his sticky bun creation took some trial and error, but eventually he got it right.
"I'm the only one at home that eats my failures," he joked. "But, practice makes perfect."
The judges agreed. Judy Rutter, representing Rutter's Farm Stores, along with Connie Wood and Tanya Young, had 10 sticky buns to try, but Lerew's stuck out among the crowd.
"It was a difficult choice between the top entries," Rutter said. "But, with the creativity of the macadamia nut and coconut, we all agreed that was the winner."
Rutter said that overall, she was pleased with the entries, but recognizes that some items just don't suit the tastes of all.
"Sometime it involves a matter of personal taste," she said.
Laura Ardner of York took second place with her Caramel Apple Sticky Buns, and Linda Schellenberger of York took third place with her 'Melt in Your Mouth' Sticky Buns.
Macademia Nut &Toasted Coco nut Sticky Buns
Makes 15 buns
Serving size 1 bun
4 cups all purpose flour
1 package Fleischmann's dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, warmed
2 teaspoon coconut extract
6 tablespoon table syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup macadamia nuts and toasted coconut mix (see recipe)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup table syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup macadamia nut and toasted coconut mixture
For the dough, combine the flour, yeast, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer.
Add the shortening, eggs, milk, coconut extract and syrup. Mix with a dough hook until it comes together, then continue kneading at low speed for about 5 minutes.
Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and form a tight ball.
Return dough to a well-greased bowl, cover, and let rise to double -- about 11/2 hours.
While the dough rises, toast 3/4 cup macadamia nuts and 3/4 cup of coconut on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees oven for about 12 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.
Chop and mix the coconut as desired.
For the filling, combine the sugars, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of the nut mixture. Set aside.
When the dough has nearly completed the first rise, grease a 9x13 pan and line the bottom with parchment.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter for the goo. Stir in the corn syrup, table syrup until very hot. Stir in the cream until uniform and remove from heat. Cool slightly before adding the coconut and vanilla extracts.
Pour into bottom of prepared pan and evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of the macadamia/coconut mixture over the goo.
Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 15x18 with the 15-inch side facing you.
Brush the dough with 4 tablespoons of melted butter; then evenly sprinkle on the filling mix.
Tightly roll, beginning with the 15-inch end nearest you. Pinch the dough together tightly to seal. If the ends are ugly, cut them off and dispose.
Cut the remaining roll into 15 uniform buns using a very sharp knife or a loop of dental floss.
Carefully place the goo mixture on top in an evenly spaced 3x5 pattern.
Cover buns with plastic wrap and let rise for 20-30 minutes or until the edges of rolls are touching.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Cool on rack for 15 minutes before turning out onto serving platter.