Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pecan Cinnamon Raisin Sticky Buns

I must admit I can be a total nerd and completely awkward.  I am not always great in social situations, but I have definitely grown over the past few years.  When I first starting working, everyone kept telling me "you change a lot in your 20's." I never really wanted to believe them, but its so true.  Over the past few years...

....I have grown to be more comfortable in my own skin; trust some people completely, but take what others say with a grain of salt; not take the little everyday things for granted as much, because they can have the most impact sometimes;
...that some days we all need to try a little harder to smile and really can make you feel better;
...that sometimes impromptu dance parties are just what you need (especially with your closest friends);

Maybe that looks something like this..

...that the best way to really clear my head is by going for a run and zoning out to really loud music
...or baking;
...and that I am truly a morning person.  Like even when I try to sleep in, I can't.

This weekend, I was early riser, waking up before my mom, so I decided that cinnamon buns for breakfast were totally needed!  Plus, I have been wanting to try this recipe for weeks.  I didn't have apples so I substituted them for raisins.  These buns come together easy, but do take some time.  The texture is a bit more like a coffee cake since they aren't yeast rolls, but the cinnamon pecan flavor is awesome.  They are a great breakfast treat, and the leftovers reheat wonderfully.  So, if you have someone special to make breakfast for I totally think you should surprise them with these!  Enjoy!

My mom was in town last weekend, so Friday night we took a drive around the city before dinner to check out the Christmas trees.

Then we had dinner at Founding Farmers, where I just had to snap a picture of my coffee and the reflection in the French press.

Toast the pecans and then chop.

Butter into the dry ingredients.

A little whisking with the addition of the other wet ingredients.

Raisins nice and plumped with all of the nuts chopped.

A bit of rolling then...

...time for the good stuff.

Roll and cut; then into the pan.

Time for the oven.

Pecan Cinnamon Raisin Sticky Buns: (recipe adapted from
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.

2.  Place the raisins in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water.  Microwave for 30 seconds and then set raisins aside. (This will cause the raisins to plump.)

2.  In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer or a whisk, blend the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt at low speed.  Then add 5 tablespoons butter and mix until crumbly (you can also use your hands for this part if you are lazy like me and don't want to take the time to get your mixer out.).

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together  the eggs with 1/2 cup milk.  Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until combined.

4.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 9-inch rectangle. 

5.  In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and cinnamon with the pecans and raisins. 

6.  Cut up 2 tablespoons of butter and dot the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll up the dough, jelly roll-style, and cut crosswise into 9 slices; place the slices cut side down in the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

7.  While the buns are baking, in a saucepan, bring the remaining 5 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the honey to a boil, stirring. Whisk until reduced, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly. Drizzle the sauce over the warm buns. Enjoy!

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