Cherry season is a GOOD season, nothing beats fresh, juicy summer cherries. I love snacking on them and I also love using them to make this Cherry Arugula Farro Salad. The flavors are FANTASTIC! I love this salad because it is packed with goodies. The …
The next time that you’re in the mood for a very chocolatey cookie, look no further than this recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies. These cookies have a intensely chocolate base that is studded generously with chunks of chocolate and toasted pecans. The result is a rich cookie that delivers a …
The next time that you’re in the mood for a very chocolatey cookie, look no further than this recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies. These cookies have a intensely chocolate base that is studded generously with chunks of chocolate and toasted pecans. The result is a rich cookie that delivers a double dose of chocolate in every bite, plus a nutty crunch that is the perfect contrast to the tender cookie.
The dough for these cookies is made with quite a lot of cocoa powder, which gives them an intense and bittersweet flavor. While it might seem like there is a lot of sugar in the dough, keep in mind that all that cocoa powder is unsweetened, so you need a fair amount of sugar to balance it out. The finished cookies will not be too sweet – in fact, you’ll still have a wonderfully intense cocoa flavor.
The dough is quite thick, so you’ll need a little muscle to stir in the mix-ins, though the cookies spread quite a bit when they bake. This recipe makes a fairly large batch of cookies, which is great when you need cookies for a party or an event. They keep well when stored in an airtight container and can even be frozen for later snacking. That being said, you can halve the recipe if you need a smaller batch.
For the best results, I recommend chilling the dough overnight (or for 24 hours) before baking it. That resting time really helps ensure that the cookies bake uniformly and, while they will still spread nicely, they will spread slightly less than freshly mixed dough. A few unofficial taste tests also suggested that the cookies taste more chocolatey when the dough is rested, but I would have to draft a few more tasters before I can state that as a fact. The cookies are very tender, with a soft chewiness that is very satisfying.
I finished these cookies by sprinkling them with a pinch of coarse salt before going into the oven, which brings out the rich chocolate in the dough when the cookies are finished. You can get the same effect by using salted pecans, instead of plain, as your mix-in. If you don’t have pecans, walnuts work extremely well in these cookies, too.
Double Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chunks
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
coarse salt, for topping
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, followed by milk and vanilla extract. Gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, stopping when no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chocolate chunks and pecans.
Cover bowl and refrigerate dough for 12-24 hours.*
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a bit of coarse salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges
Cool for 4-5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen
*Note: You can bake this dough right away, but the cookies may spread slightly more. They will still be tasty and the baking time will be about the same.
Chess pie is an easy to make custard pie that is a Southern classic and a favorite in my home. Not only is the pie delicious, but it happens to be exceptionally easy to make. For me, that means I can whip one up on relatively short notice and easily play around with …
Chess pie is an easy to make custard pie that is a Southern classic and a favorite in my home. Not only is the pie delicious, but it happens to be exceptionally easy to make. For me, that means I can whip one up on relatively short notice and easily play around with different flavors in my pies. This particular pie is an Orange Pecan Chess Pie, a variation on both a chess pie and a pecan pie that I think is a wonderful holiday dessert.
The filling of this pie is made with sugar, eggs, cornmeal and milk, with both vanilla extract and fresh orange zest added in for flavor. The cornmeal may seem like an unexpected ingredient in a pie filling, but it helps to thicken up the custard and gives the filling a little bit of extra body. The orange zest is the star of the custard because the fresh zest – and you’ll only need the zest from 1 whole orange – brings a bright, citrus flavor to the pie and really pairs exceptionally well with the pecans. Orange extract is not a good substitute here, so be sure to use a fresh orange!
The pecans are stirred into the filling after the other ingredients have been mixed together. I use roasted and salted pecans, which contrast well with the sweet filling and bring a fantastic crunch to the topping of the pie as it caramelizes in the oven. Whole pecans will give your pie the best finished look, however you can use coarsely chopped pecans instead if that is what you have on hand.
The amount of nuts in this pie is very generous and, while they mostly float to the surface while the pie is in the oven, you’ll find the odd nut gets trapped in the filling for a surprise crunch when you are serving. Not a bad surprise if you like a nutty dessert!
The pie is creamy, crunchy, sweet and nutty. You can taste the orange, vanilla and pecans in every bite and it is so good that you may never want to go back to a traditional pecan pie! This pie is best served slightly chilled and it can be made a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. Use a serrated knife to cut through the pieÂ before serving to get neat slices.
Orange Pecan Chess Pie
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup milk (any kind)
1 1/2 cups whole or coarsely chopped toasted pecans (pref. toasted and salted)
prebaked 9-inch pie crust
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, egg yolk, cornmeal, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest. Whisk in the melted butter, followed by the milk, until ingredients are well-combined. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into prebaked 9-inch pie crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pie is set and jiggles only very slightly when the pan is tapped. Allow pie to cool to room temperature. Pie can be served at room temperature or refrigerated before serving.
Apple baking season doesn’t usually come into its prime until the beginning of fall, but I just couldn’t wait to get started this year. This Apple Pecan Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel is a delicious coffee cake that will be a huge hit at any brunch, whether you’re serving it …
Apple baking season doesn’t usually come into its prime until the beginning of fall, but I just couldn’t wait to get started this year. This Apple Pecan Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel is a delicious coffee cake that will be a huge hit at any brunch, whether you’re serving it up in the spring or autumn. The tender cake is packed with plenty of juicy apple chunks and crisp toasted pecans – and the whole thing is finished with a buttery cinnamon streusel!
The cake batter is fairly thick, which allows it to hold onto the apples and nuts so that you get a good distribution in every slice of the cake. It is made with greek yogurt (sour cream could be substituted, if you don’t have the yogurt) that tenderizes the batter and gives it a very subtle tang. I added vanilla to the batter, which highlights the apples well without weighing the cake down with an overload of spice. There is plenty of cinnamon in the topping, after all!
I used fuji apples, which I often bake with, for this recipe. While they work well in some pies, I don’t recommend using very tart apples, such as granny smiths, in this recipe because the cake itself is not overly sweet and the tart apples are a bit too sharp. Cut the apples into dice that are no larger than 1/2-inch to ensure that they cook all the way through while the cake is baking. The apples do not have to be peeled because they are cut into such small chunks, which makes prepping the fruit quick and easy. I used 1 1/2 large apples, but you might need slightly more or less depending on the size of your fruit.
The cake is delicious when it is still a tiny bit warm from the oven, with a soft crumb that is packed with flavor. The streusel has a good cinnamon flavor and is crunchy enough to be a nice contrast for the tender cake. You may not be able to finish the cake in one sitting, but fortunately it keeps quite well when stored an in airtight container so you can go back for seconds later.
Apple & Pecan Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup greek-style yogurt
1 1/2 cups diced apple (approx 1 1/2 medium apples)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in eggs, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the yogurt. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, followed by the apples and pecans. Mix until no streaks of flour remain visible.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
For the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in melted butter with a fork until a crumbly mixture comes together.
Squeeze clumps of the streusel mixture in your fist to create large clumps when sprinkling streusel over the cake batter in the pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake (watch out for apple pieces!).
Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.
This hand-held version of my go-to banana bread is moist, flavorful, and chock-full of crunchy pecans and mini chocolate chips (trust me, banana bread is all the better with chocolate). These banana bread muffins make for the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack, when you need something to sustain you to the next meal. Personally, I’d […]
This hand-held version of my go-to banana bread is moist, flavorful, and chock-full of crunchy pecans and mini chocolate chips (trust me, banana bread is all the better with chocolate).
These banana bread muffins make for the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack, when you need something to sustain you to the next meal. Personally, I’d rather have a banana bread muffin than a granola bar any day.
Bananas never go bad in our house, even the squishiest, brown-skinned fruit always finds its way into a quick bread of some sort. And yet, have you ever noticed that quick breads are never actually quick to bake? A full loaf can take upwards of an hour to bake!
But these quick and easy banana bread muffins are actually worthy of being called quick bread: their compact size means you can go from mash to mouth-full in less than 30 minutes (ok, maybe 40… you should probably let them cool a little bit before you dig in). Still, compared to the nearly hour-long bake time of most loaf recipes, it’s a significant time saver.
If you ask me, banana bread may as well be one of the major food groups (along with french fries, tacos, matcha, and chocolate.) I mean, it totally counts as a daily serving of fruit, right? (Yes. It does.)
These tender, flavorful muffins stay moist for days (we had 1 muffin left 6 days later and it was still as moist as the day it was baked). It must be banana magic or something because normal muffins never keep this well.
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Psst, did you hear we’re coming out with a cookbook? We’re coming out with a cookbook!
It should come as little surprise that the path toward better butter pecan ice cream doesn’t start with cream or milk or eggs or sugar or any number of other ingredients. It starts with butter and pecans—and how you use them. Not with a shrug but with feeling.
These oh-so-gooey and gloriously boozy sticky buns include all the delightful flavors of hot buttered rum baked up in a yeasty spiral of holiday cheer. Swirls of buttery soft dough, spiced sugar filling, and a gooey spiced and rum-spiked caramel glaze makes these hot buttered rum-inspired sticky buns perfect for your holiday brunch! This post […]
These oh-so-gooey and gloriously boozy sticky buns include all the delightful flavors of hot buttered rum baked up in a yeasty spiral of holiday cheer.
Swirls of buttery soft dough, spiced sugar filling, and a gooey spiced and rum-spiked caramel glaze makes these hot buttered rum-inspired sticky buns perfect for your holiday brunch!
This post is sponsored by The Spice Hunter, our favorite source for non-GMO herbs and spices sourced from ideal growing regions around the world.
With a filling of brown sugar and festive spices, and a sweet and sticky caramel topping spiked with dark rum, not to mention ample chopped pecans for crunch and contrast, these hot buttered rum-inspired sticky buns are a feast for the senses.
You all know how I feel about boozy baking, and these gloriously gooey, sensually spiced, and ravishingly rum-soaked sticky buns are proof that adding booze to baked goods is always a good idea. It’s the kind of recipe you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again.
Hello new Christmas-morning tradition!
The flavor inspiration for these sticky buns comes from hot buttered rum, a popular fall and winter drink dating back to colonial times, when rum was believed to be a miraculous cure-all and ‘strengthener of the body’. In fact, a hot rum-based drink like this was probably enjoyed medicinally more often than recreationally.
A hot buttered rum is traditionally made by mixing hot water with rum, sugar, spices, and a pat of butter for added richness and a luxurious mouth feel.
It’s similar to a hot toddy, both sweetened and sometimes spiced drinks served hot, but a hot buttered rum contains the notable addition of butter and, obviously, uses rum instead of whiskey.
Hot buttered rum recipes vary greatly in the mix and proportion of spices, but most include a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and cloves.
For this recipe, rather than raid the spice rack for a pinch of this and a pinch of that, we used a packet of Hot Buttered Rum drink mix from The Spice Hunter. One packet is split between the spiced sugar filling, while the rest is added to the gooey caramel topping along with a generous glug or two of dark rum.
The spice mix is already perfectly balanced, and also makes the filling part super easy (just mix with a bit of brown sugar and sprinkle away). No pinches (or measuring spoons) required!
We baked a batch of these sticky buns last weekend, assuming that a somewhat complicated recipe like this would necessitate at least a second go-round to get it right (although surprisingly, other than a mishap involving a plate that was slightly too small and hot caramel everywhere, that first batch was pretty darn perfect which almost never happens). Knowing we were going to be making another batch the following weekend anyway, we made quick work of packing the still-warm buns in recycled takeout containers and delivering them to our neighbors, saving just two for ourselves.
The following day Taylor warmed one up for an afternoon snack, quickly realizing that a reheated sticky bun is indeed a fabulous afternoon stack, and immediately started lamenting the fact that we had given the rest away.
Needless to say when we made the final batch to photograph, we kept most of them for ourselves.
What’s the difference between a sticky bun and a cinnamon roll anyway?
Well, they both start out with a soft and yeasty dough, rolled into a tight spiral with a cinnamon-sugar filling.
The main difference is sticky buns are baked on a bed of hot, gooey caramel and chopped pecans, and then inverted immediately after baking, not unlike an upside down cake. The bottom becomes the top, the gooey caramel oozing down the sides of the buns and your fingers.
These sticky buns are made using a dough very similar to my favorite cinnamon roll dough recipe, which I used previously for these Matcha Black Sesame Cinnamon Rolls.
The dough begins with what’s called a tangzhong, an asian technique for soft and tender yeast breads. Pre-cooking a little bit of flour and liquid like this allows the dough to better absorb more liquid, resulting in a softer, more tender final product.
The dough is easily made in about 45 minutes, including a 20 minute rest and 10 minutes of kneading in a mixer to form a soft and silky smooth dough. While you can let the dough rise and then roll it out, I prefer to refrigerate the dough overnight and assemble the following day. Refrigerating the dough makes it a bit stiffer and easier to work with.
When cutting your rolls, use a piece of unflavored dental floss or sturdy thread to slice the dough as if it were clay. This results in far cleaner cuts than even the sharpest serrated knife, and no squishing either.
Once rolled and cut, the buns are arranged in the baking pan on a bed of gooey, rum-spiked caramel and chopped pecans. Much like an upside down cake, this gooey bottom layer will ultimately become the tops of the buns.
While I prefer to let the dough rise overnight and assemble the morning of, if you started your dough earlier the previous day, you can also roll and assemble the buns in the pan the night before. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning they should be noticeably puffy as pictured above. Let them sit at room temperature as you preheat the oven and then bake. If you’re aiming for a breakfast of sticky buns as opposed to a brunch, this might be a more feasible schedule.
After baking, the buns are immediately inverted onto a platter, the caramel base becoming the gooey top of the bun.
You want to do this while the buns are still hot, which means that the caramel is still dangerously hot, so please be careful when inverting your buns. I like to use a set of silicone-gripped grill gloves, which allow me to grip onto the pan much easier than a normal oven mit.
You can use a large rimmed plate, baking sheet, or a cutting board with a groove in it (the groove will catch any overflow). Invert the platter on top of the baking pan, put a hand firmly on top of the platter and on the bottom of the pan, and quickly flip the whole arrangement upside down. Then gently lift up the pan, the buns should release easily (if the caramel cools too much it could get sticky).
This recipe is for a small batch, yielding 9 buns that’ll perfectly fit in a 9-inch square baking pan. You can use a 9 or 10-inch round baking pan, although you may only have space for 8 buns in that case (you could always bake the straggler in its own ramekin with a spoonful or two of caramel sauce in the bottom if you like!)
This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan as well.
Any leftover buns should be covered and refrigerated. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave or pop it in a warm oven for a few minutes until warmed through, and enjoy!
Hot Buttered Rum Sticky Buns
Your favorite warm holiday cocktail is transformed into deliciously gooey sticky buns spiked with rum and fragrant holiday spices.
- 3 tablespoons (42mL) filtered water
- 3 tablespoons (42mL) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (½ stick, 56g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup (120mL) whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups (281g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (8g) dry whole milk powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons (6g) instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon (25g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup (147g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 packet (31g) The Spice Hunter Hot Buttered Rum drink mix
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (40g) golden syrup, light corn syrup, or honey
- 3 tablespoons (42mL) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract
- 3/4 cup (85g) chopped pecans
- 1/2 packet (31g) The Spice Hunter Hot Buttered Rum drink mix
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Start by preparing your flour paste or tangzhong: combine water, milk and flour in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk gently until no clumps remain. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens to the consistency of thick paste, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add cubes of butter to still-warm saucepan with flour paste and gently whisk until melted and smooth, then whisk in milk. Add in the egg yolks and whisk until fully incorporated. At this point the mixture should feel lukewarm to the touch.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the flour, powdered milk, and yeast to combine. Pour in the lukewarm flour paste, and mix on low speed until mixture forms a shaggy dough, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes (this rest gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead later).
- Remove plastic wrap and add the sugar and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, but still somewhat sticky, about 10 minutes. Add more flour only if absolutely necessary (a softer initial dough will result in a softer final product).
- Shape the dough into a ball (lightly oil your hands if necessary) and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, if you want to bake your rolls the next day, tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator to rise slowly overnight (my preference, as cold dough is so much easier to work roll out and shape).
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, salt, and spice mix and stir until smooth and paste-like (it may appear slightly separated, that’s ok).
- Remove from heat. Whisk in syrup and heavy cream until smooth, followed by rum. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm (topping can also be made the day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and return to room temperature before using).
- Lightly butter a 9-inch square cake pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and remaining half packet of spice drink mix and set aside.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat into a rectangle, then roll out evenly into a rectangle approximately 10 inches tall by 13 ½ inches wide. You want this piece to have an even overall thickness, with as square edges as possible.
- Soften butter until it is nearly melted; it should be the consistency of warm peanut butter. Using a pastry brush, spread a thick layer of butter evenly over the entire piece of dough.
- Sprinkle an even layer of filling over butter, leaving a 1-inch space empty along the top long edge. Pat down filling to adhere it. You can also gently run a rolling pin over the surface to compress the filling into the dough, making it easier to roll up.
- Working with the long edge nearest you, start to roll up the dough fairly tightly, taking care not to stretch out the ends too much. Pinch along the edge of the dough to seal the seam, then roll the seam so it is face down.
- Using a ruler, measure out where you will cut your rolls, using a small knife to mark the cuts. I cut my log into 9 rolls each 1 ½ inches wide.
- To cut the rolls, you can use a sharp serrated knife (try to cut cleanly through in one movement front to back, rather than sawing it back and forth). You can also wrap a piece of unflavored dental floss or sturdy thread around the dough, which will create perfect, clean cuts.
- Pour cooled topping mixture into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
- Place rolls into pan, leaving an even amount of space between rolls and between the edges of the pan. Lightly cover and set pan in a warm spot (I like to use my oven with the light on) until rolls are noticeably puffed and just touching one another, about 30 to 60 minutes.
- While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once rolls are nearly doubled in size, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden brown and filling is bubbly (to be precise, the center of the center roll should read about 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If your rolls are browning too quickly, you can tent them with foil and return to the oven to continue baking.
- Remove rolls from oven, and immediately (and carefully!) invert onto a rimmed platter or baking sheet, or a cutting board with a groove to catch the excess caramel. Be very careful doing this as the caramel is extremely hot; I find using some silicone-grip oven mits to be very helpful.
- Let rolls cool slightly before serving. Rolls also reheat beautifully; keep covered in the refrigerator then rewarm for a few minutes in the oven or a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
This recipe was created as part of a paid collaboration with Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Instagram but I’m posting it here too for ease of access! We all love a babka don’t we? So much more impressive looking than cinnamon rolls AND it’s sliceable (which means you can whack a slice under the grill until toasty and then cover it in butter). Whilst chocolate babka will always be my favourite kind I of course have an affinity to a cinnamony babka. It’s like a fancy cinnamon-swirl loaf! Perfect for turning into French toast when it gets a little bit stale and not too sweet overall. I added pecans to the filling since I always seem to find that they work well with cinnamon and brown sugar. This one is a no-knead boy which means that yes, you do need to make the dough the day before (I leave it for at least 10 hours in the fridge), but it also means that it makes the process seem more manageable since it’s broken up by that waiting period. The dough is one I adapted very slightly from the incredibly clever book by Zoe Francois, Holiday & Celebration Breads in 5 Minutes […]
This recipe was created as part of a paid collaboration with Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Instagram but I’m posting it here too for ease of access!
We all love a babka don’t we? So much more impressive looking than cinnamon rolls AND it’s sliceable (which means you can whack a slice under the grill until toasty and then cover it in butter). Whilst chocolate babka will always be my favourite kind I of course have an affinity to a cinnamony babka. It’s like a fancy cinnamon-swirl loaf! Perfect for turning into French toast when it gets a little bit stale and not too sweet overall. I added pecans to the filling since I always seem to find that they work well with cinnamon and brown sugar.
This one is a no-knead boy which means that yes, you do need to make the dough the day before (I leave it for at least 10 hours in the fridge), but it also means that it makes the process seem more manageable since it’s broken up by that waiting period. The dough is one I adapted very slightly from the incredibly clever book by Zoe Francois, Holiday & Celebration Breads in 5 Minutes a Day.
Soaking the baked loaf with a syrup made of diluted golden syrup is also key – the loaf really isn’t that sweet so the syrup does help to boost that but ALSO keeps the loaf moist and soft so don’t skip it!!
- 100g lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup
- 1 tsp easy-bake yeast
- 1 medium egg
- 45g vegetable oil
- 250g white bread flour
- ½ tsp fine table salt
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 60g muscovado sugar
- 30g Lyle’s golden syrup
- 5g ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 75g pecans, roughly chopped
- 50g Lyle’s golden syrup
- 50g water
For the dough:
- Place the water, golden syrup, yeast, egg and oil in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and stir together until the dough comes together and there are no floury patches remaining (it may be easier near the end of mixing to use your hands to knead it lightly in the bowl).
- Drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil on the dough and flip it over a couple of times so the dough is coated in oil. Cover the bowl (I like to use a small, clean bin bag, secured at the side with a food clip) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume – around 2 hours.
- Once risen, chill the dough overnight. This will do the ‘kneading’ for us and also makes the dough easier to handle when it’s time to shape.
For the filling:
- The next day, combine all of the filling ingredients except the pecans in a small bowl. Set aside.
Shape the babka:
- Lightly flour a work surface and tip the chilled dough out onto it. Dust with some more flour on top and roll out into a 25 x 30cm rectangle. Spread all of the filling over the surface of the dough and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
- Starting at the long edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log. Pop onto a tray or plate and freeze for 15 minutes – this will keep things neat and easy for the next step.
- Remove the dough log from the freezer and cut down the length of the log so you end up with two long strips. Place the cut sides facing up and twist the lengths over each other a few times, pinching the ends to seal.
- Carefully transfer the shaped dough to a lined 2lb loaf pan, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until almost doubled in volume.
- Around 10 minutes before your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 180C fan. Uncover the babka and bake for 25-35 minutes. It’ll be done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with no dough attached.
For the syrup:
- As the babka is baking, warm the golden syrup and water in a small pot just until it starts to gently bubble.
- Pour the warm syrup over the hot babka and leave it to soak in and cool before slicing and serving.
- Dough recipe adapted very slightly from Holiday & Celebration Bread In 5 Minutes a Day by Zoe Francois & Jeff Hertzberg
Magic Bars (aka 7-Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars) are the ultimate bar treat. I have been making these famous bars ever since I started baking, years and years ago. They are a classic dessert that everyone loves. So what are Magic Bars? The name really…
Magic Bars (aka 7-Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars) are the ultimate bar treat. I have been making these famous bars ever since I started baking, years and years ago. They are a classic dessert that everyone loves. So what are Magic Bars? The name really says it all. Magic bars are a rich, delicious…
Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that …
Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that calls for comfort food more than the fall and winter holiday seasons, and that means that this Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding is a perfect option for dessert during that time of year.
The bread pudding is made with pumpkin puree and a generous amount of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger that is typically included in pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. You have undoubtedly had it in a pumpkin spice latte, even if you weren’t familiar with the individual spices that went into the mix in the first place! The spices add a delicious warmth to the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, which is further enhanced in this dessert with brown sugar and vanilla.
Bread puddings are usually soft and custardy, without much texture of their own. In this recipe, I add in a generous amount of toasted pecans. The flavor of the pecans works beautifully with the pumpkin spice elements, as well as adding a nice crunch to each serving of bread pudding. Toasted pecans will give you the best results in this recipe, as they will hold up to the custard without loosing their texture. Feel free to use pecans that are both roasted and salted if you like a little extra salty-sweetness in your desserts (I do!). I like to toss a few extra on top for garnish, to hint at the flavors that are inside the bread pudding.
This recipe makes a generous batch of bread pudding and you might not have a large enough gathering to serve it all at once. Fortunately, bread pudding keeps very well and the leftovers are just as delicious as the freshly baked dessert. If you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge. You can serve them cold or reheat individual portions in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (pref. whole)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1-15 oz can)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
9-10 cups cubed bread (pref. white bread or brioche)
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
topping: 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, for topping
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
Place cubed bread in a large bowl, and pour pumpkin mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the custard mixture.
Pour bread custard mixture into prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pudding springs back when lightly pressed and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.