{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Pecan Sticky Buns (Whew)

Whew!  I have to say I feel like I just ran a marathon after making these Pecan Sticky Buns.  It’s a good thing though, that these take so much time and effort to make because if it were easier I might be tempted to make them more often and that would not be good for my thighs.

The recipe for these buns (which was contributed by Nancy Silverton – love her) begins with making a brioche dough, which in itself is a fairly complicated and time consuming process with lots of rising and chilling and rolling.  Then once the dough is made, it is made into buns with a lot more rolling and chilling and rising.  And a lot of butter.

Even though there were a ton of steps in the recipe, they were all very easy to follow and really caused me no problems.  And the end result was the best sticky bun I have ever put in my mouth, with super flaky layers of dough and a nutty caramel topping.  Definitely worth the extra effort.

If you are tempted to try your hand at making this recipe you can visit this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia hostesses, Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday.

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Rugelach

The end is near, VERY near.  The end of winter, I mean.  I’ve already sworn off heavy sweaters  no matter what.  I’m getting ready to buy some colorful flowers for my porch.  Daylight savings is about to begin.  THIS IS IT!

As for my kitchen, this cookie will probably be the last of the winter warm-spiced sweets that will be coming out of it before the light citrus and floral flavors take over.  Rugelach, with a cinnamon-sugar, nut and dried fruit filling, is the recipe for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia.

The recipe was contributed by Lauren Groveman and is slightly different from Rugelach that I have tried in the past whereby it is rolled up lengthwise and sliced and then drenched in cinnamon-sugar-nut crumbs before baking.  The dough is traditional, made with cream cheese and butter which is easy to work with and bakes up fluffy and tender and is really hard to mess up.

I used a natural apricot preserve for my filling, along with pecans and walnuts and a dried fruit mix from King Arthur Flour that includes apricots, raisins, pineapple cubes, dates, and cranberries.  I didn’t need to plump the fruit at all and the mix of flavors with the sugar and cinnamon was delicious.  I think the idea of rolling these in the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture was brilliant.  It gave these cookies that little something extra that causes them to be slightly addictive.

This is not a ‘throw it all together and bake’ recipe, however.  It is fairly complicated and involves a lot of chilling.  I spread it out over three days – making the dough on day one, filling and rolling on day two, and coating and baking on day three.  You could do it in one if you started early enough, but it really needs at least two.  And I would suggest if you want to store some to bake later, freeze the logs after rolling them up but before coating them, just make sure to put aside half of the coating mixture in a bag to freeze with them.

Thanks to the Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia hostesses for this week, Jessica of My Baking Heart, and Margaret of The Urban Hiker.  You can find this fabulous recipe on their sites or in the lovely book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

 

I Miss You Fish Man Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

pecan crusted tilapia

In the town where we lived previously, I used to get my fish from a man who would travel on Thursday from Greensboro to Topsail Island and pick up loads of fish and shrimp and bring them back to sell on Friday and Saturday.  I discovered him one day set up across from the Farmer’s Market and bought some shrimp that turned out to be the best shrimp I had ever eaten.  After that I was hooked (pun intended).

I started getting all my seafood from “the fish man”, as my children called him, and would pick it up on Fridays after school (which caused no small amount of moaning and groaning in the back seat).  It was all fresh, never frozen, and top quality.  I found out that I could cook fish at home that tasted better than even what I ate at most restaurants.  Spoiled is what I would call it.

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World Tour Day Six Cranberry Pecan Scones

cranberry scones

World Tour Day Six:  Great Britain.

The first time I had scones with real clotted cream and jam was in London at the hotel where we were staying.  I was very excited to sit for a proper afternoon tea and enjoy the formality of the tradition.  Even though I had eaten a nice lunch not long before, I was determined to have a pot of tea and scones while I was there, hungry or not!

I like a little tradition and I like a little formality now and then, too.  I have to say, I get a little frustrated with how casual and informal things have become.  I swear I was sitting beside a woman at the movies last night who was wearing her pajamas and bedroom slippers!  It just makes me a little uncomfortable.  I mean, if you want to watch a movie in your pj’s, get something from the movie store and stay home!  I’m really not interested in what you wear to bed.

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Furniture City Olive Dip

Olive Dip

Most days I would rather just have a plate full of different appetizers than a main dish.  What I like most about going to parties is getting to do just that, and being able to see what kinds of new things are available.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone brings something like Captain’s Wafers wrapped in bacon and Parmesan cheese, or cream cheese covered with caramel and toffee bits, or chocolate chip cheese ball. Continue reading