Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday Morning Sticky Buns

I absolutely love reading. I will read pretty much any genre (with the exception of science fiction, which never interested me), and it's one of the reasons I chose English as one of my majors in college. A few years ago, I discovered Jodi Picoult, and I instantly fell in love with her books, her writing style, her characters; honestly, pretty much everything about her. One of my favorite JP books is Handle With Care. Without giving too much away, it's about a family who lives in New Hampshire, and a close personal friend of the mother's. The mother is a stays at home with her two daughters, but she used to be a pastry chef. Her youngest daughter has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), and the mother decides to file a wrongful birth lawsuit against her OBGYN, who in this case is her best friend. One of the things I loved the most about this book was the addition of pastry recipes at the beginning of select chapters. I've been wanting to try one of the recipes for a while now, but let's face it-with an 11 month old, I don't have too many opportunities to make chocolate raspberry souffle. However, this recipe for the Sunday Morning Sticky Buns seemed easy enough (it was, although it took a few hours).

Something else I really liked about this book....I honestly don't know how I feel about it. I'm not sure I've ever disliked a character so strongly (other than the obviously evil ones), but I'm torn between disgust and sympathy. Which, I'm sure, is probably what the author was aiming for. Have any of my readers read Handle With Care before? If so, what did you think of it? I would be curious to hear your opinions.
Adapted from Handle With Care

Ingredients:

Dough:
  • 3 ¾ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 c heated milk
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1 egg 
 Caramel:
  • ¾ c dark brown sugar
  • ½ c unsalted butter
  • ¼ c light corn syrup
  • ¾ c pecan halves
  • 2 T butter, softened 
 Filling:
  • ½ c pecans, chopped
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon 
Directions:

1. To make the dough, mix together 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
2. Add the heated milk, the egg, and 1/3 cup butter, and beat at low speed for a minute, pausing frequently to scrape the bowl. Add flour if necessary, to make the dough easier to shape.
 3. On lightly floured surface, turn dough out and knead five minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. When finished, put into greased bowl and turn over once, so greased side faces up. Cover and let proof until double in size, about 1½ hours.
4.  Stirring constantly, heat 3/4 cup brown sugar and ½ cup butter to boiling.
5. Remove from heat and add corn syrup.
6. Pour the mixture into a 13x9x2 inch ungreased pan. Sprinkle with pecan halves.
7. For the filling, mix together the chopped pecans, the 2 T of sugar and 2 T of brown sugar, and the cinnamon, set aside.
8. Take your fist and punch down the dough. Then, on a lightly floured surface, flatten it into a rectangle, about 15x10 inches.
9. Spread with 2 T of butter and then dust evenly with the chopped pecan mixture.
 10. Beginning at the 10 inch side of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the edge to seal. Roll it, stretch it, mold it until it is even, a cylinder.
11. Cut the roll into eight quarter-inch slices, and place in pan, not quite touching. Wrap pan tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 12 hours, overnight.
12.  Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately invert on a platter and serve warm.

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