My sweet dreams were dashed in the middle of the night. I woke up around 2 o’clock in the morning by a strange sound that came from the kitchen. Not knowing what it was I slowly made my way through the hall. I noticed a small light on by the pantry. Gently, quietly, using my mouse-like abilities to be as sneaky as possible, I realized I was too late. There, on the plate, pecans and caramel were strewn onto the white, innocent dish. Oh the agony! The last pecan sticky bun was stolen! I don’t blame the culprit though. The sweet, soft dough wrapped around nutty, buttery pecans is terribly irresistible. But here I stand, staring at the empty plate with just a memory of what was missing. Then, in exaltation, I arose from my misery and ran to the cookie jar. There, lying in the tall, porcelain vessel was the truly last pecan sticky bun! Vengeance was mine! I slept like a baby for the rest of the night with an empty plate of sugarcoated pecans, a glass of milk at my bedside, and a wide smile on my face.
*Note: This photo won the Cook the Cover April 2012 Bon Appétit Contest! Here is the link for the slideshow of all the winners posted on both the facebook page and their website…
Recipe: Adapted from Bon Appetit April 2012
1/3 cup of whole milk
5 tablespoons of sugar, divided
1 ¾ teaspoon of active dry yeast
2 large eggs
2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus 1 tablespoon of melted butter
Heat milk in a heatproof measuring cup for a few minutes until a thermometer reaches 110o. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast into the warm milk. Whisk to blend. Let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. Whisk in eggs.
Combine remaining sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture and butter one piece at a time until fully incorporated. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute and on medium-high for 5 minutes.
Brush a medium sized bowl with melted butter and place dough into bowl. Brush the remaining butter over the top of the dough. Chill for 2 hours.
Let dough rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.
1 ¾ cup of pecans, chopped
1 stick of butter
¾ cup of brown sugar
¾ cup of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of honey
¼ teaspoon of salt
Spread pecans on a dry pan on low heat. Toast just until fragrant. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cream, honey and salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for just a few minutes. Pour 1 cup of the glaze into a square 9x9x2 pan. Swirl to coat all 4 sides. Place ½ cup of pecans over the glaze in the pan. Set aside.
1 stick of butter, room temperature
½ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Dough, see recipe above
All-purpose bench flour
Beat together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until creamy and blended. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a floured surface. Roll the dough until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, leaving an inch on all sides. Sprinkle ¾ cup of pecans over the butter mixture. Roll up the dough from the side closest to you. Pinch the ends together once rolled completely. Cut into 8 even slices. Place the dough cut side down onto the prepared dish. Whisk the egg with a little water together to create an egg wash. Brush the top of the dough with the wash. Place into a 350o oven for 20 minutes, turn the pan and bake for another 20 minutes. Spoon remaining glaze over the buns with the rest of the pecans.