Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pecan and Cinnamon Rolls

I am something of a pecan fanatic.  I love them with a fervor not given to other nuts.  I do like other nuts, but I adore pecans.  They make me gush with foodie love, especially when inserted into an ooey-gooey caramely breakfast roll.  I could plunge head first into this plate of pecan rolls and eat them all up - oh wait, that actually happened.  Oops.  Don't tell anyone, ok? 

These rolls made an appearance in our kitchen after I picked up my darling Tassajara Bread Book to find something fun to make for breakfast last weekend.  Just before I started scattering nuts to and fro on the dough, I remembered that Anna can't eat nuts yet.  So, I made a quick decision and divided the dough in half (okay to be fair, maybe it was more of a 25/75 split) and made the other part into cinnamon rolls.  Phew, good save Momma!  I never would have forgiven myself for stuffing my face with pecan rolls while Anna watched empty handed.

These buns also gave me a really cheesy way to share some really exciting news with you all.  I promised you last week that I was going to fill you in on why my blog has been mostly silent for the past month.  So, here goes...I've got a bun in the oven...figuratively and literally!  Damn I'm funny.  I think the morning sickness has completely subsided now (obviously, or I probably wouldn't have been able to even look at these buns) and I am back in kitchen action!  Hooray! 

Our newest addition is due on November 18th and we are thrilled beyond belief that Anna is going to be a big sister.  And such a great big sister she will be.  She's become mildly obsessed with babies lately, which may be a coincidence, or else the fact that we talk about babies mildly obsessively lately. 

Our family is growing, and this Momma is gushing with love and excitement.  It will be a big change, but can it really be a bigger change than going from zero to one?  Umm...don't answer that. Let me live in ignorant bliss for just a few more months, ok?

So, back to the rolls.  Unless you are a very early riser, I'd recommend making these rolls in their entirety the night before and giving them their final rise in the refrigerator overnight.  This recipe calls for three rises, which calls for lots of time, which I don't have in the morning (unless we eat breakfast at 1pm).  I took them out of the refrigerator about a 45 minutes prior to baking to bring them to room temperature.  This whole process worked out beautifully, and my family was rewarded with a stunningly delicious breakfast and full happy tummies. 

Pecan and/or Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Tassajara Bread Book

Makes approx 10 rolls

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup dry milk powder
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

for both cinnamon and pecan rolls:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon

additional ingredients for pecan rolls:
1 cup pecans, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Glaze for Cinnamon Rolls:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream

To make the dough: dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.  Stir in dry milk and egg to combine.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour, forming a thick batter and then stir for about 30 seconds.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Fold in the butter or oil and salt.  Add one cup flour and mix using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or a stir with stiff wooden spoon, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Knead in a stand mixer or with your hands, adding additional flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Allow to rise for 40 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375F.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 10" x 15" rectangle.  Brush the melted butter on the dough, covering the entire surface.  Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly across the dough.  If making pecan rolls, distribute 1/2 cup chopped pecans across the dough. 

Starting at the long edge closest to you, roll the dough away from you into a tight log.  Cut the dough log crosswise into 3/4" thick rounds.

For Cinnamon Rolls:
Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet about 2" apart.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the powdered sugar glaze by stirring powdered sugar and milk together.  While the rolls are still warm, brush with the powdered sugar glaze.  Serve warm.

For Pecan Rolls:
Using two 8" square cake pans, dot the bottom of each pan with 3 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup pecans over the butter and sugar.  Place the rolls in the pans, so they are snug against each other (this will the allow the rolls to rise up rather than out).  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Turn the rolls upside down onto a serving platter, making sure to spoon any remaining caramel topping from the bottom of the pan onto the rolls.  Put the platter on the table and pull them apart, throw one (or two!) on your plate and then...

Eat it!!!


  1. I knew it!!!! I absolutely knew it! I don't know how, but I knew it!

    Also, I'm going to celebrate in your name with THESE buns! Because what better way to celebrate a "bun in the oven" than with buns in the oven?


  2. Congratulations Maggie! How fun for you and for the family!!

  3. Omg omg congrats congrats congrats my friend :D
    I am going to celebrate your beautiful new bun by making these gorgeous gooey pecan buns :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Ooey gooey lovely and chewy! :D And CONGRATS! on the new addition (to come)! :D

  5. I am going to be an auntie again, what a blessing!! Hugs and kisses. Glad to hear your feeling better!

  6. Congratulations!!! How exciting for your family. My brothers wife is due November 5th so we are all talking babies obsessively these days. :) Pecan rolls look yummy! Good save on the nuts.

  7. That's so exciting! Congratulations! :) And these buns look soooooo goooood!! Ooey gooey cinnamony soft warm fluffy, the list goes on and on! I would inhale these in an instant, no doubt about it! And good thing you remembered to leave out the nuts, 25/75 sounds about right to me :)

  8. Buns and a bun in the oven--what wonderful, wonderful news!! I did suspect that might be your secret and couldn't be happier for you! And, don't worry--it is a little bit easier the second time around (at least, it was for me). I think the fact that newborns sleep most of the day is a built-in device to give the rest of the family time to make the adjustment to their new member. Oh, and these cinnamon buns look heavenly--I'll have to try these!! All the best, Maggie.

  9. These look absolutely yummy. And congrats on the new little one one the way. Way to sneak it into your blog. Don't forget we still would love to babysit sometime.

  10. Congratulations! One of the biggest blessings we ever receive! Glad to hear your ok! These cinnamon rolls look divine!

  11. BAHAHAAAA!! I KNEW IT! Yayyy! Congratulations, this is so exciting :D

  12. Congratulations! That is absolutely fantastic!!! If your newest addition looks anything like your first born daughter, then they are going to be adorable! Oh, and about the cinnamon rolls, I am drooling. Thanks a lot!

  13. Congratulations!! So happy for you and your family!

  14. Congratulations! This is great news, I have always thought that children ought to have at least one sibling! Your first is a cutie and I am sure the second will be as well.
    Also, the cinnamon rolls look like a great breakfast and good save making some so Anna can enjoy them as well! Enjoy the weekend as well as making plans for the soon to be new addition to the family!

  15. big congrats!! you're a braver woman than i; i'd love to have another one, but i get nervous about how i'd handle a little one PLUS a littler one. :) thank you for sharing this recipe; i adore pecans about as much as you do, and this looks gorgeous.

  16. Congratulations! I think that's a fine way to herald in the holiday season! The cinnamon rolls look great!!

  17. OMG! Congrats!!!!! How exciting. ps.. these rolls look amazing.

  18. Congratulations! I had a feeling when I saw the blog post title. Many happy, healthy pregnancy wishes. And you are totally allowed to eat a whole batch of these rolls because you're pregnant. The baby needs them. :)

  19. OMG Congrats!!! So exciting!! My little one is due Oct 1!!! They can be baby blogging buddies :) Hope you're feeling well. Glad to hear the morning sickness has subsided, ugh that was the worst!!!
    These pecan and cinnamon rolls look incredible. I too love pecans!!!

  20. Congratulations!! That's such wonderful news :D

  21. Congrats! This is so exciting! Plus, that recipe sounds amazing!!!!

  22. Woo! Congratulations! That's great news!

  23. Congratulations!!
    Also, these look AMAZING! I am also a pecan fanatic ;)

  24. Wow what a great idea!! Looks and sounds delicious!

  25. Congratulations!! and omg those rolls look amazing!

  26. A lovely announcement...and I can't want to snuggle that little bun of yours!

  27. yay congrats on the buns in the oven :)

  28. I adore pecans but I try not to think about it too much because they are too pricey to enjoy as often as I would want to!
    But these pecan cinnamon rolls looks AMAZING, girl!

    1. p.s. YAY! I totally hoped that was your news. Congrats on these rolls AND your bun! (that sounds odd...)

  29. Congratulations, Maggie! How exciting!! Wishing you a great pregnancy!

  30. Congratulations! This is very exciting news. Super cute with the bun idea :)

  31. Congratulation, Maggie! I like your baking buns in your oven write-up! So cute!

  32. Congratulations! I'm so glad you're feeling better!

  33. Maggie, congratulations! That's wonderful news. And congratulations on these rolls, too--they look spectacular.

  34. I am feeling the love!! Thank you so much everyone for your sweet comments and congratulations. You all are amazing.

  35. A big, huge CONGRATS to you and your family!!!! I had a feeling that was the news! I was a little freaked out when we found out we were having a second. Although sometimes it can be tricky, my kids always have a playmate. And these rolls look finger-lickin' good! BIG HUGS from the Middle East!!!

  36. CONGRATS!!! Maggie I am so happy for you! I am out of the loop for a few months having my newest addition and now you are being blessed with one too! Having two is great, they will be great friends and you will have more hands to help you in the kitchen. Just remember to take turns letting them lick the spoon or you could have a fist fight on your hands!!

  37. Maggie! Congrats to you and your family! Thanks for commenting on the baby food post. It was a good reminder to check on you! These buns look delicious - it is always easier to prep things like this the might before, huh?

  38. Congratulations!!! And these Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect celebration :)

  39. Congratulations!

    I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. See it here:

  40. My first visit here thanks to choc chip uru and I am so glad I did. I love pecan rolls! Your pictures are very enticing!

  41. Yay! Congratulations, Maggie! This is fabulous! :) You can tell that Anna will be a great big sister! These buns look delish! Hugs! xoxo

  42. Hi Maggie, congratulations. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  43. Congratulation!!!! wishing you all the best and blessings.


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