Len grew up going to “Smitty’s Bakery” and they made these giant treats that he loved. His sister had found the recipe on a Facebook sharing site and told him about it. Len asked if I would be willing to try and recreate the recipe to see if it was like what he remembered from his youth. How could I say no? Baking challenges are always exciting!
I have to say…. these GINORMOUS butterhorns are completely different from our recipe but they are amazing! Soft and fluffy and don’t even get me started on that magic frosting. It makes the whole treat what it is. You really, really, really need to try them!
Butterhorns (Smitty’s Bakery Recreation)
1/4 cup hot tap water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup scalded milk, cooled to warm
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup shortening, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
3 – 5 cups flour
2 Tbsp water
4 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 2/3 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup shortening, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Prepare dough – mix hot water and yeast in a small bowl and let bloom for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, stir together milk, margarine, shortening, sugar, salt, and eggs. Stir in the bloomed yeast. Gradually add in flour until solid dough forms. Place on floured work surface and knead 2 – 3 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, place somewhere warm to rise.
After 1 to 1 1/2 hours dough should be doubled in size.
Place dough on work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope (about 1 inch thick).
Spiral each log into a circle. (So it looks like a snail shell.) Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise somewhere warm again for another hour. (Until doubled in size)
Preheat oven to 350. Bake butterhorns for 12 – 15 minutes, until light golden brown.
Set on wire rack to cool.
Prepare icing – Beat the egg and icing sugar until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside. Measure out the shortening and vanilla and have it ready to go.
Boil the water and the sugar in a small saucepan for exactly 2 minutes. Do not stir it.
After 2 minutes, remove the boiling syrup from the heat and slowly drizzle it into the egg and icing sugar mixture while you are beating on low with beaters. Continue to beat until all the syrup has been added. Do not scrape the sides of the syrup pan – they will make your icing grainy. Beat in the shortening and vanilla until smooth.
Spread frosting generously onto the buns and then sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
Let sit for a few minutes so icing can set a bit. Don’t skimp on the frosting and walnuts!
You can spread the icing on the buns if they are a little bit warm, but it will melt off if the buns are too hot.
These are ginormous, by the way. Like…. spread your hand out as wide as you can. From the top of your thumb to the top of your baby finger – that’s how big these are. You could make them smaller but then they wouldn’t be Smitty’s Bakery Butterhorns…. Making them smaller will also change the texture when they bake. Bigger = fluffier so keep that in mind.
Look how light and airy these are…
Slathering a little butter on there can’t hurt either… our mother can’t have a bun without butter. I find the icing and walnuts to be plenty but… if you want to add a little butter…. I won’t judge!
Have you ever seen anything so purdy?
Let us know if you give these a try! FYI – I am usually a “use butter in all the things” type of baker but don’t do it in this recipe. You need to use margarine and shortening. Butter will noticeably change the taste. Not that it’s a bad thing… it just means they won’t be the authentic Smitty’s recipe.