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Sticky Pecan Buns

Norene Gilletz

Food Editor's Note: These pecan buns are beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. They go very quickly at our Thanksgiving table, served with a salad as the first course, but are equally welcomed at breakfast, brunch, or teatime. My mother always takes two when they are served at dinner, one to eat with her meal and the second to save for dessert. Make a double batch of these sweet and nutty treats ahead of time and freeze them in plastic bags. Then just remove them as desired and defrost. They taste best slightly warmed, in either the oven or the microwave.
 
Ingredients

Buns:
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 package yeast
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar, mixed with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans (if desired)

Topping:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup pecans

Instructions
 
Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup. Sprinkle yeast over and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve.
 
Place flour, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar in a food processor. Pour dissolved yeast mixture over and process for 12 to 15 seconds. While machine is running, add oil and eggs through the feed tube and process until blended, about 10 seconds. Add lukewarm water and process until dough forms a ball on the blades. Let machine knead dough about 30 to 40 seconds from the time the ball stage is reached. Turn out onto a lightly floured board; knead for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Round up in a large greased bowl and cover with foil.
 
Either let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk (about 2 hours) or place in refrigerator and let rise overnight. Dough will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
 
Punch down dough and roll into 1 large or 2 small rectangles. Spread with the softened butter or margarine. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture and, if desired, the chopped nuts. Roll lightly with rolling pin to press sugar mixture slightly into dough. Roll up like a jellyroll. Cut in 1-inch slices. (Yields about 18 slices.)
 
Thoroughly grease muffin tins to hold the prepared slices. To make topping, melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and water; mix well. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tins. Chop pecans coarsely with several quick on/off turns. Sprinkle over sugar mixture in tins. Arrange dough slices in muffin pans.
 
Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Immediately turn baking pans upside down on a try and let stand for about 1 minute so that sugar mixture will run over buns. [Food editor's note: If any nuts fall off the buns, stick them immediately back on -- the warm glaze will act like a glue. Cool the buns slightly and serve, or cool completely and store in an airtight container.]
 
Reprinted with permission from Pleasures of Your Food Processor by Norene Gilletz. Check out her newest kosher cookbook, MealLeaniYumm! (All That's Missing is the Fat) at http://www.gourmania.com. Call 1-888-811-9866 for pricing, availability, or fundraising information. Her cookbooks are also available at Kolbo in Brookline.

Sticky Pecan Buns
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