Monday, May 14, 2012

Pecan Sticky Buns

I DID IT!  I was pretty sure I was not going to do this recipe.  I had slotted some time this past weekend to make these buns but after a long week of working, putting kiddos to bed, waking up with a teething baby, fighting a cold... it was looking doubtful.  There were signs upon signs telling me not to put one more thing on my plate (even if it was a giant plate of gooey, yummy sticky pecan buns).  Despite this, I picked up my friend's stand mixer on Friday night, still playing along with the calendar on my iPhone that stated "Pecan rolls" on Saturday.  And then I woke up Saturday, and said to myself, "Wait... I don't need to do this.  This baking group is just for fun and if I made these rolls right now it would not be fun, at all.  And if I really want a pecan bun I can go buy one down the street."   I even entertained the thought of dropping out of the baking group altogether.  I have enough things to do that aren't by choice right now, so the few things I do chose to do need to be fulfilling and rewarding and relaxing and not stressful.  That's a tall order.

So Saturday came and went and I didn't even think about the recipe.  Not even once.

The proofed sponge.
Sunday was a different story.  It must have been the 4-5 hour stretch of sleep I got the night before.  I had more energy.  And somewhere in the midst of naps and diapers and gardening I made the brioche sponge and then the brioche dough.  And it was fun.  It was like no other dough I have made and using the stand mixer was revolutionary for me.

The dough chilled overnight and Monday is a day off of work for me, so I was around the house enough to piece together the rest of the recipe throughout the day.  I wound up eating my Pecan Sticky Bun at 9pm on Monday night with a glass of milk (I debated whether or not to pair it with a glass of wine).  Not quite like I had envisioned in the morning with a cup of coffee but it was glorious.  And it was fun.  And it was way better than anything I could have bought.

Ready to bake.
My baking notes:
- I pretty much followed the recipe without variation.
- I used all the butter.  And I laminated the dough.   I would do the same next time.
- I upped the cinnamon to 1/2 tsp and I am glad I did.
- The mixer I borrowed was a Kitchen Aid Professional Series mixer and it didn't even break a sweat.
- I have 1/2 the recipe in my freezer- maybe this one will be made for breakfast!
- On one roll, I didn't trim the end and the bun came out all whompus so I would definitely trim all ends.

Look at all that butter!

For the complete recipe see our hosts:
Nicole of Cookies on Friday
Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread

I'm about to eat another one of these buggers.  I am a sucker for shortbread.  Any version really.  I think it's all the butter.   My husband tells me they are even better today (day #3).  So, I won't regret eating another one.   After all I need to see if that is really the case, scientifically speaking.

I followed this recipe without variation.  I even made the vanilla- rhubarb jam as it was described.  The jam turned out quite runny, so I turned it back on the heat for a bit longer to reduce it a bit, but then I think I had too little jam.  As a result the sweet shortbread far outweighs the tart rhubarb jam, but when I do get a bite that balances the two, the desert is quite perfect.  It's just that, this doesn't happen enough in this go-around.  Next time, more rhubarb jam.

And I think there will be another time for this recipe.  It was simple but the result was decadent enough to bely it's simplicity.  I envision this one around the holidays with cranberry preserves...

For the full recipe see our hosts for this week:

Lynette of 1smallkitchen
Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler…

of the Tuesdays with Dorie/ Baking with Julia baking community