Honey is my friend. So even though the Pecan Honey Sticky Buns for this week’s TWD recipe (as chosen by Madam Chow’s Kitchen) included one of my least favorite foods on earth (nuts), I was going full-steam ahead with this one. The nuts could be left out. The honey could not be passed up.
Confession: Not only did I eat these for dinner tonight…Not only did I eat three of these for dinner tonight…But I giggled the whole time I was eating them. Kyle was helping out a friend with a few things and I took advantage. Will my WW Points forgive me? Yes. Definitely. But Kyle (and his South Beach Diet) might not…so we’re going to keep it quiet.
After already having the brioche dough made from the Brioche Raisin Snails, this recipe came together like a piece of err…cake. I only made 3 buns so as to not tempt myself tomorrow and froze the remainder (pre-bake). Thus, I cut down the glaze recipe by 3/4 and that left the perfect amount. I bake these up in a ceramic soufflé dish for 27 minutes and they turned out just divine. I do admit that I was quite nervous because they didn’t quite double in size while rising but I figured that since I attempted to get the dough to rise on the most humid day of the year here thus far, that might be slightly difficult. Letting them rise in the oven and turning it on (then off after a couple of minutes) to a low heat twice within the 1hr 45min proved beneficial though.
So you might ask if I subbed anything for the pecans…Why yes, yes I did. I added a good-size handful of my handy-dandy Heath Toffee Bits to the glaze before adding the buns. And OMG was that the right move. Some of the bits melted in with the honey glaze and I was left with a honey toffee glaze that was just Out.Of.This.World.Good. After feeling like I’m drowning at work and dealing with some personal issues, I deserved this type of treat. It certainly came at the right time.
Last week’s TWD recipe: Traditional Madeleines as chosen by me!
Next week’s TWD recipe: French Chocolate Brownies as chosen by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook
Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
source: Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home To Yours
Makes 15 buns
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)
For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Buns:
- 1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)
- Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).
To make the glaze:
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.
To make the filling:
- Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.
To shape the buns:
- On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you’d like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly)
- With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.
- Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.
Getting ready to bake:
- When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.
- The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful – the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.
What You’ll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (This recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):
- 2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
- 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm