The Latest 411 on Grilled Stickies

By Laura Zaks

There isn’t anything quite as extraordinary as a delicious dessert after dinner — especially if that dessert is a warm, mouth-watering grilled sticky, a beloved staple of Happy Valley.

The Grilled Stickies first found their home in Ye Olde College Diner many moons ago, yet the fixture on College Avenue shut down just last year. Now the old space on College Ave is gearing up to transition into the 9th Hello Bistro restaurant, owned by Homestead, Pennsylvania-based Ear'n Park Hospitality Group.

The sticky business lived on, however, as a new bakery facility opened in Boalsburg, producing myriads of grilled sticky buns daily for buyers and vendors to continue these delicious delights.

The Corner Room, McLanahan’s and the Penn State Creamery all now serve grilled stickies, fresh and tasty, for Penn State students, alumni and visitors alike.

Joe Shulman, CEO of Hotel State College & Company, was excited to add a nostalgic brand to the historic line-up at the Corner Room.

The quality and tradition associated with the Diner’s Grilled Sticky pairs perfectly with our quest to continue to offer tried and true brands to our students, alumni and the State College community,” Shulman said in an interview last year. “Shiny and new establishments are popping up all over Centre County, but we are steadfastly committed to carrying on the traditions of quality and service originally inspired by some of the best hospitality pioneers in State College.”

The Corner Room will sell the sticky buns for in-house consumption along with retail packages to go. These packages are also what McLanahan’s and the Creamery offer, but the latter put a special twist on the classic last year.

Last April, the Creamery breathed new life into grilled stickies, using some Nittany magic to turn them into an ice cream flavor: “Grilled Stickies.” Their website promoted the flavor as one that would take its tasters “back to their college days and nights."

The ice cream is ultimately cinnamon bun flavored, rife with sticky bun dough chunks and a swirl of cinnamon streusel.

The New York Times describes grilled stickies as “an elongated cinnamon roll that, after baking, is reheated on a greased grill and served piping hot, sometimes with ice cream on top,” — looks like the Creamery took that ice cream and meshed it with the grilled sticky itself.

I just love grilled stickies; it doesn’t matter what kind of day I am having, they are always there to make me feel better,”Anna Shamory, a junior studying anthropology at Penn State, said. “Everyone was so sad when the Ye Olde College Diner closed, but I like that the stickies are still living on.”

And students aren’t the only ones who enjoy these grilled sticky buns. Alumni still remember the rich taste and texture of a tasty dessert that pairs well, as Shamory said, with any “kind of day.”

Leroy Williams, an alumnus of Penn State, said the stickies are one of his fondest memories.

I would always warm them up, grab a cold glass of milk and just dig in,” Williams said. “You can’t go wrong with a grilled sticky on your plate.”



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