Well I should have posted this last week, but I only just woke up from the butter coma this morning :P First the Hungarian Shortbread and the pound of butter involved in that, now this recipe which called for almost a pound and a half of butter. For the love of all that's artery clogging... it has been a seriously caloric couple of weeks...
Whinging about the butter aside, I think this may have been one of the most well-received recipes I've done to date for the Baking with Julia challenge. I read through the recipe (found here and here) so I knew it would be time consuming and planned accordingly (yay me!). I started it Friday evening, continued on Saturday and finished it up Sunday morning so I could bring the buns as my contribution to the Mother's Day potluck lunch we had planned. I made two rectangular pans of 6 buns each (see above) and a little mini-pan for my mom to take home with two buns.
I was a little concerned about how my KitchenAid would handle this recipe... I don't have a fancy schmancy one (like this 1.3 horsepower one that B insists I should get ;), it's just a Classic (read: basic) one that hasn't really done any dough kneading so far, I've always done it by hand. But, I gave it a shot and while it did get fairly warm as the recipe warned it would, it handled the dough perfectly. The end result was a beautifully elastic, weirdly fluid dough that I had a hard time keeping my hands off of.
It rose perfectly and it rolled well enough, though I have to say, I despise rolling things. Whether it's cookie dough, pie dough or yeast dough, I just hate rolling. I always have to wrestle with it, the counter tops we have are old and far from ideal surfaces, and it just makes me grumpy. And this was no exception. But it got it rolled and filled (I even threw in the last of the leftover rugelach filling that had been hanging out in the back of the fridge!) and chilled, coated the pans with more butter and assembled everything so they could rise on the way and then bake while we ate lunch.
While the dough was perfect exactly as the recipe instructed, I think I could have cut WAY back on the amount of butter used to coat the pans. Rather than a stick sauce I ended up with more of a puddle of butter when the buns were plated. Also, they browned very fast on top but were still raw in the middle so I had to cover with foil and keep adding more time until they were acceptably cooked and we couldn't wait any longer to try them ;) No one complained, mind you, but I wasn't 100% happy with how they baked.
That said though, this recipe was the definition of sinful. Soft, chewy dough swimming in butter and sugar, fragrant with cinnamon and pecans. Here is a close-up to give you a better idea (please don't lick your screen):
Good lord was it good... the buns disappeared almost as soon as they hit the table and I have already had requests to make them again (and on a regular basis). I don't think I'll make them again with as much butter as the first time, but I'd like to try freezing them and see how they come out... this could be a nice recipe to splurge on leading up to the holidays to keep in the freezer, then take out to bake Christmas morning. :)
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go do 5 million sit-ups...