November 23, 2013

Pecan Sticky Buns

Pecan Sticky Buns
Pecan Sticky Buns




Growing up we had a huge holly bush in our front yard. When I say huge it was well over 50 years old and had never been trimmed. Every year at Christmas our neighbors would come over and ask if they could have holly for the holidays. My mother loved sharing the holly and it was a nice way to catch up with neighbors. For me the holly was one of the sure signs that Christmas was coming. We would cut a huge basket full of branches and decorate the table in our living room. My mother would add tall candles and candle holders and on Christmas Eve it was beautiful.

Christmas Eve was always the bigger holiday in our house. While I loved opening presents Christmas morning, Christmas Eve was special. My mother would host a party every year and our entire family would come over. We had a tiny 2 bedroom cottage house and it would be busting at the seams. My mother would cook for days and the house smelled wonderful and looked beautiful with candles and lights everywhere. There would be small plates of pickles, olives, smoked oysters and crackers. 7 layer bars, brownies, cookies, veggies, and cheese trays would be all over the house. It was an evening to enjoy the season and most of all family. There are many things that I miss about my mother, but I think the biggest part for both my father and I are those Christmas Eve parties. Neither of us have felt the same about Christmas Eve since she passed. Christmas is still wonderful, but Christmas Eve will always be my mothers.

I often times try multiple recipes for the same dish. There are so many small changes that can be made to a dish that drastically change the outcome. A few weeks back I tried a new recipe for Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns. They were great, but my husband wanted me to try a recipe that was more brown sugar based. This week I tried a new recipe for Pecan Sticky Buns from the Number 160 issue of Saveur magazine.
Lake Vesuvius
Lake Vesuvius

This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 2 hours 30 minutes (plus fridge time) and makes 12 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First I mixed the dough by hand. While I have a great kitchen aid mixer, oftentimes I prefer to make my dough by hand. The original recipe was heavy on butter. While I love butter as much as the next person since my kids were eating the majority of this recipe I reduced some of the butter. I cut the butter down by more than half to a total of 1 1/2 sticks. 3 1/2 sticks for 12 buns was just a little too butter heavy for my tastes. The reduction in butter worked out well and the dough still rose beautifully. Plus my kids and husband didn't notice the fat reduction so a win-win all around.
Lake Vesuvius Spillway
Lake Vesuvius Spillway

My husband preferred this recipe to the last one I tried. The combination of 3 types of sugar made for a great molasses taste on top and sweet swirled bun in the center. Cutting down on the butter was a nice way to make the recipe more family friendly. If you are taking this to a party I would keep the recipe with the full amount of butter, but for home baking the modification worked out well.

For the recipe go to Pecan Sticky Buns.
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