Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Easy Sticky Buns

I was kind of excited when I saw that there were two breakfast recipes to do this month.  The banana pancakes sounded (and were) great.  I was a little less enthusiastic about the Easy Sticky Buns.  I say this for two reasons:
  1. I have always wanted to make some good sticky rolls but a big issue with them is it is hard to make them for two people.  I could cut this recipe in half if I wanted but I was pretty sure my wife would not like these with the nuts and raisins and I new I didn't need to eat six myself.
  2. The second issue I had was the word "Easy".  Usually something with the word easy in it calls for cans of Cream of Mushroom soup or something similar.  Not every recipe with Cream of Mushroom soup is bad and I have been known to make a few - but I do enjoy cooking and I don't seek out things that are "easy".  
Both of my fears were unfounded.  My wife was having a breakfast at Church where she was going to bring some Blueberry muffins made from a mix - I couldn't let that happen - could I?  A dozen was what she wanted so it worked out perfect ( I actually gave her 11 and ate one myself).  As for my issues with the word easy - Ina Garten hasn't let me down yet so I went for it.

The recipe was easy.  It used puff pastry for the dough so no yeast dough to knead and let rise.  You just sprinkle some ingredients on and roll it up and slice into the rolls.  You stick the rolled up dough into a muffin pan along with some butter, brown sugar, and nuts.  It is that easy.  The butter and brown sugar form a caramel while it bakes.  When you are done you flip them over so the caramel sauce and nuts are on top of the roll.  

I have to admit that even though they were easy they were tasty.  My wife didn't try one because of the nuts but it would be easy to leave them off some of the rolls if I needed too.  She did say they were a big hit at here church breakfast and they were finished off.  I would also say if there is anytime where easy is a good thing it is for a breakfast item.  You don't want to be waiting two hours for something to rise before anyone gets to eat.

My only hint is to work quickly taking them out of the pan.  I might even try to do it before the five minutes is up.  When they start to cool the caramel and nuts start to stick in the pan and you want every last drop.  Cleanup might seem like it will be a pain but everything cleans up pretty easy with a little soak in hot water.  Just make sure to put the muffin pan on parchment paper and a sheet pan so it doesn't get all over the oven - that would be a mess.

One other thing I noticed is that my package of puff pastry had you thaw at room temp for an hour or so.  This doesn't really work great first thing in the morning.  I checked their web site and there they mention that it is actually preferred to thaw overnight in the refrigerator so that is what I did.

Thanks to Melissa at Made by Melissa for this recipe.  I like her menu Mondays feature where she gives her menus for the whole week.  I think I am going to have to start following Melissa.

Easy Sticky Buns
Makes 12 sticky buns

  • 12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
  • 1 package (17.3 ounces/ 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted 
For the filling
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture. 
  3. Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, and ½ cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about ½ inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1½ inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns. 
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

So this month we get a breakfast choice - actually two which you will see in the next post.  Lara is a little concerned since she saw sour cream in the title but she does like breakfast.  We were in Florida for vacation for the last two weeks (80 degrees - nice) but now I am back in MN (-15 brrrr) and ready to start cooking again.

My parents came over to visit - now that they have a grandbaby here they visit more ofter and I decided I could fix the pancakes for them to try.  I asked if anyone objected to breakfast for supper and they decided they would give them a try.

Somehow I had all the ingredients except for the sour cream - I remember going to get the sour cream so I am not sure what happened there.  Anyway I had a little over half of what I needed and I used some 1/2 & 1/2 and lemon juice as a substitute.

The batter came out pretty thick for me - I added a little extra milk but it was still pretty thick.  The pancakes were very easy to make and they came out very good.  I think both the sour cream and banana flavor was mild but it was just right for me.  The lemon zest was a nice touch - my Dad even picked up on the citrus taste right away.  Everyone liked them - even Lara.  I'll get her to see that she can eat sour cream.

Thanks to Karen of Something Sweet by Karen for this months recipe.  

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
Makes 12 Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
  • Pure maple syrup
  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.