Sticky Buns

Sticky buns are one of my favorite breakfast pastries. What’s not to love? Ooey gooey brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a delectable bun form. This recipe is like baby babka bun’s floozy cousin – easy, sticky, and fun. Frozen puff pastry sheets make this recipe a cinch to throw together – perfect for a brunch or an impromptu weekend visit with friends. Next up on the bun bucket list: cinnamon buns. It’s going to be a fun winter.

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Sticky Buns

Recipe from Ina Garten. Yields 12 buns

12 tbs butter, at room temperaturephoto 4

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

For the filling:

2 tbs melted butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1 cup raisons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick baking spray. In a mixer, combine 12 tablespoons butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place a tablespoon of the butter/sugar mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Sprinkle pecans evenly on top of the butter/sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a cutting board and unfold puff pastry dough with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle on 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup raisons. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the pastry up, finishing the roll seam side down. Cut the log into sixths. Place each piece, spiral side up, into each muffin cup. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Bake for 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then flip over onto a cooling rack. Spoon leftover filling and pecans onto buns with a spoon.

Naomi’s Brownies (Warning: Content May Offend Boxed Brownie Lovers)

I ate a lot of brownies in college. No, not those kind of brownies.  Please, I was not that cool. I’m talking instead about the Duncan Hines ones. The go-to dessert of the cash-strapped college student. Slap on some frosting and bring em’ to Shabbat dinner brownies. Sure, they get the job done. They’re sweet, chewy, and vaguely chocolatey, but true brownies are not supposed to taste like that. Boxed brownies never really did it for me because in my family we never used the box, we made Naomi’s Brownies. An age old family recipe dating back to my Aunt Jean and later published in an elementary school cookbook by my cousin, Naomi. If you’ve never had a homemade brownie, get ready for your life to change. Prepare yourself to be transported to a mind-altering state (still not those kind of brownies) of chocolatey bliss.

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Naomi’s Brownies

3 ounces of Hershey’s unsweetened baking chocolate

1 stick of butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to to 350. Grease and flour an 8×8 pan. Melt butter or margarine and chocolate in a small saucepan until silky smooth and let cool. Beat eggs and sugar and whisk into the chocolate mixture. Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix everything together. Stir in pecans and pour into your pan and bake for 25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and watch people fall in love with a real brownie.

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The best study snack, second only to Red Bull and Adderall.

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