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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet time with the family

That's a pic of some of the sticky buns I made for my family this morning as a surprise. They're absolutely RIDICULOUSLY easy to make. No one ever believes me though. Try them and impress your family and friends (recipe posted at the bottom of the post). They'll think you're a baking god/goddess and you can bask in their sugar-induced glow!

I've been having fun with my family (while working electronically with my collaborators on a grant application! Sweet multitasking!). Sunday when Ev and I got in we went grocery shopping with my dad and Nai Nai (grandma on my dad's side).

dang, look at those bags under my eyes. I was tired from travel and from going to the five different grocery stores my Nai Nai and dad wanted to go to. Seriously. Five. Because there were specific brands and prices that were better at each. At least my Nai looks cute here!

One of the grocery stores was this Mexi grocery that I LOVE. They carry my favorite tortillas (La Finca - made in Oakland!) and they make the most delicious fresh pan dulce. Seattle Mexi bakeries I've been to don't seem to have enough foot traffic to bake fresh everyday. So a lot of the Mexi breads I've tried up there have been disappointing. Not the case here in the Bay Area. So I got my fill. Check out that platter of goodies!

droooooool. There were too many tasty looking things. I couldn't take them all home. I woulda made myself sick.

You see my dilemma, right? ;)

okay, no Mexi baked goodies for you, but you can make the sticky buns from the top of the post. :)

Easy Sticky Chocolate Pecan Buns
adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipe

•8 Tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
•1/3 C light brown sugar, lightly packed
•1/2 C pecans, chopped in very large pieces
•1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

For the filling:
•2 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
•2/3 C light brown sugar, lightly packed
•3 tsp ground cinnamon
•1 C chocolate chips or raisins or something tasty


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a silpat-lined sheet pan.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 8 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 1 sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with the melted butter. Leaving a 1/2-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. 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.

4. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 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.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Be careful - they're hot! Allow to cool for 5 minutes ONLY (or less! seriously, once these suckers cool you will not be able to pry them from the tins without breaking the buns. The sugar will act like a glue!), invert the buns onto the silicone-lined sheet pan (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely.

btw, check out this pic of our house in Seattle!

My parents have been complaining that it's been in the 30s-50s here in the Bay Area, but it was 14F in Seattle this morning! It snowed while we were gone!

Other photos to post, but I gotta go do some fam stuff and then get back to grant writing! :D


Cindi said... missed the whole snow drama here!!! So lucky! I bet you heard about the horror stories of the traffic this past Monday night. It was horrible! Your Nai Nai look sooo adorable!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Peggy said...

you are in the Bay? That's where I live! Love the sweet pics. Have a fab time with your family. I am freezing too and my sister from Iowa says don't complain it's 5 degrees there!

Sammie said...

Have a wonderful thanksgiving with your fam-bam Lori! We need to meet up one day :)

vintageglam1234 said...

Thank you for sharing the recipe Lori! at first i thought they were something you bought as they look really really really good for home made :-) i must try the recipe one day!
Looks like you had a great day with Nai Nai - she is so cute! I could just eat the whole bakery!
aahhhh what a beautiful house you have! if i ever make it to seattle one day, i will be on the lookout for your house :-)

vintageglam1234 said...

oops - sorry didn't mean to sound stalker-ish :-) i was just kidding about the last bit. If i ever go to seattle, i would love the opportunity to meet :-)

Matt said...

I'm so glad I read this post AFTER all the Thanksgiving festivities, because all the food still looks pretty awesome!! I hope you and your loved ones are having a wonderful day!! :)

gingerSnap said...


Laura said...


I'm on Thanksgiving Food overload. How can you show more food to all your over stuffed Readers?

Wow! Is that your Dad? He's handsome Lori. And very Tall. Double, Triple Wow! And your little tiny Nai Nai. You look like a happy Family making your shopping rounds.

The recipe is to complicated for me. Wait till you see my three ingredient cobbler next week. That I can handle. I can't stand to cook. When I was young like you I loved it. What the heck happened to me? Oops! I got old and lazy!

Your hillside yard looks like a Winter Wonder Land.

shelia said...

how cute is your nai nai? i'm from the bay area--SF, but live in LA now. i miss the food in SF, for sure! happy family time!

Lori said...

@Cindi I actually hadn't heard about the traffic until you mentioned it, but I remember the traffic difficulties the last time we had crazy snow storms!

@Peggy yup! Bay Area girl through and through. Grew up in the east bay then went to college on the peninsula. :)

@Sammie I agree! We should have a Seattle fashion blogger party!

@vintageglammz lol, don't worry, I didn't take it as a stalker comment lol. I'd love to meet up if you're ever in Seattle!

@Laura lol, that's my hubby Evan. I thought I had posted a pic with my dad, but apparently I did not :) He is very tall - 6'4"-6'5" And my Nai is quite tiny, although I think my grandma on the other side may be even tinier!

@shelia IKR? I love bay area foodz, but you have amazing food in the LA area too! Do you listen at all to KCRW? I love their Good Food program with Evan Kleinman. I always have a list of restaurants I want to try down in LA.

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