Ina’s Easy Sticky Buns

Sorry for the delay in postings. I’ve been “cookbooking” and recipe testing. I am hesitate to share other people’s recipes on my blog, but I am a huge fan of the “Barefoot Contessa” and have shared two of her recipes before, so I will continue to share with this…

Today’s recipe is an “inspired” one. I absolutely love Ina Garten (the “Barefoot Contessa”) and everything she makes is delicious. I have made sticky buns before (and been pretty pleased with the results) but never more pleased than when I stumbled across the recipe I will be sharing today.

Homemade sticky buns usually start off with making the pastry (or the “base”) for the sticky bun. Ina’s recipe starts off simply by using puff pastry! I am a huge puff pastry fan…and you will be to after trying this recipe! 😉

The recipe is simple and delicious (and makes the house smell wonderful). The only thing you really need to remember with this recipe is to make sure the puff pastry is thawed (it comes frozen). I usually thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight. If I forget – a couple hours on the counter works just fine…

NOTE: The recipe calls for pecans – you can make them with or without. I’ve made them several times without the pecans and they are still just as delicious!

Sticky Buns Blog

Ina’s Easy Sticky Buns

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 package (17.3-ounces/ 2-sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

(For the filling)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins

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

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.

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-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 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 1/2-inch and discard. 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.

Bake for 30 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, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely.

Enjoy!

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Cookbooking

I’m cookbooking! Is that a word?! Ha! 😉 Seriously though – I’m writing a cookbook! I couldn’t be any more excited about this new project and where it might lead…

Everyone has been asking me for months why I’ve been “recipe testing” and “taste testing” and trying this and trying that…well now you know the answer!

Not many people know about this – but a few of you do…(to those who kept the secret – thank you 😉 )

There is still a LOT of work to be done – but I’m well on my way!

Right now it’s shaping up to be more of a BAKING book than a “COOK” book, but there’s still some non-dessert recipes I’m wanting to share! Sweet AND savory perhaps!? Can’t wait to see what happens!!! The sky is the limit…

I will post my progress right here, on “Blaise The Baker”!

Back to work,

Blaise

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies

There are two types of people in this world. Those who like cake-like brownies, and those who like fudgy brownies. I am a part of both circles, but if I HAD to choose – I would have to pick a fudgy brownie hands down.

I have experimented with different brownie recipes for years and compared them to every boxed mix available. Scratch made brownies are so much better than the boxed mix – and REALLY simple to make!

The only boxed variety that would get my “stamp of approval” would be Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownie Mix” – which is, sadly, no longer available.

I encourage people to make brownies from scratch – and not take it seriously! Stir in your favorite candy, or frost your brownies with chocolate syrup and chopped nuts! Have fun with it and explore all options!

Here is one of my “go to” recipes for brownies – this version having chopped peanut butter cups added. This version also has a little coffee added to the mix. I find that anytime you are using chocolate, adding a little coffee really enhances the flavor of the chocolate! You can’t necessarily taste the coffee – but it’s there…

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies Blog

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies

1 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
8 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
About 10 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup candies, chopped

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Butter an 8-inch baking pan or glass dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. Leave a little parchment paper “hanging” over the sides, so you can “lift” the brownies from the pan when they have finished baking.

Place butter and chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for about 30 seconds. Stir. Keep doing this until the chocolate and butter are melted and can be stirred easily together. It should take about 2 minutes total – maybe a little less (or more) depending on the strength of your microwave.

(I sometimes put the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and place it over simmering water to melt…I have found that microwaving does the same thing without the hassle…)

Once the chocolate is melted, bring it down to room temperature before continuing.

Once the chocolate is cooled a bit, stir in the sugar until combined.

Stir in the eggs one at a time until smooth. (I sometimes use a whisk for this process.)

Stir in vanilla and instant coffee granules.

After it’s well mixed, GENTLY fold in flour and salt. DO NOT over mix this! I sometimes even leave little streaks of flour running throughout the brownie. It’s important NOT to over mix! 😉

Pour into the greased and parchment lined pan.

Smooth the top and sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups.

Place in the preheated oven for 42 minutes exactly. DO NOT OVER BAKE! You want them to be a little underdone and fudgy. They will continue to bake a little as they are cooling.

Once cool – pull up on the parchment paper that was “hanging” from the sides. Be gentle. If brownies stick a little, run a knife around the edges to help loosen.

Cut into pieces.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Today I tested lemon cupcakes – and found the most amazing frosting! I’m still working on and tinkering the cake part of the recipe, but I think the frosting is a keeper!

For the cupcakes, I adapted my “Glazed Lemon Snack Cake” recipe which can be found here…
https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/glazed-lemon-snack-cake/
I changed a few things and added cake flour, etc. so don’t just make the snack cake and pour into cupcake tins! 😉

The frosting is as follows…

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Blog

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick of unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Start off by bringing the butter and cream cheese to room temperature! This is a very important step. If you don’t bring the butter to room temperature, you might have bits of butter throughout the frosting, and the cream cheese will have “graininess” – you do not want this…

Once the ingredients are at room temperature, combine the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Blend together with hand mixer for about 4 minutes.

Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend together.

Add the fresh lemon juice.

Blend with hand mixer and beat for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

This makes enough frosting to generously frost 12 cupcakes.

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