Monday, January 21, 2013

Pecan Rolls


You know those basketball size pouf-y pecan rolls dripping with syrup so viscous and sweet that you need both a moist wipe and an insulin injection to continue your morning? These old-fashioned pecan rolls are NOT those.

Instead, these simple and small-ish rolls -- they're made in cupcake tins -- are not overly sweet and the pecan-syrup topping does not overwhelm.  A good thing indeed, as you can have your roll and eat it too (and still have more WW points for the day).

What I really like about this c. 1935 recipe (noted in a handwritten cooking school composition book) is that the rolls are made from a master "raised sweet roll" recipe.  I love these culinary building blocks. If you master just a few essential recipes (as our foremothers did), you have the tools to create a variety of baked goods by adding some cinnamon here, some nuts there, etc.  My grandmother did this.  With her basic bread dough, she would make challah, hardtack (a flattened bread, not really hard but that's what we called it), onion rolls and more.

So, pecan rolls anyone?  The dough is very forgiving and very easy to put together. You can make it ahead, and keep in the fridge until you're ready.

First, Scald the milk and add the butter.


Add the foamy yeast into the butter-milk mixture.


The dough is very easy to work with.


The recipe instructs one to rolls the dough and cut into rounds to form balls.  If I were to make this again, I would skip this step and simply pinch off small pieces of the dough.


Place the pecan-sugar mixture in the cupcake tins.  I used regular size and mini cupcake tins.


Place the dough on top.



You can prepare everything the night before, leave in the refrigerator or on your counter (if it's not too warm in your kitchen) and move to a warm place to let rise in the morning before baking.  I also doubled the recipe, figuring that the more pecan rolls the better.






3 comments:

  1. They sure look good! When I first saw them, I was afraid they WERE the overly sweet kind. But your assurances have persuaded me to make them, and soon!

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  2. My grandmother passed these on to my from when they lived in Colorado when grandfather was stationed at Norad. She knew her southern biscuits would not rise, so she had to use yeast. We make these for our family dinners in a round cake pan. We do cheat a bit these days and use ready made frozen yeast rolls, but the recipe is basically the same. We melt the butter over low, mix in brown sugar, then pour into the bottom of the cake pan, top with pecans from the yard someone cracked while we are getting the rest ready, and top with the rolls then bake. Yummy! You can do it in the muffin tin, but in the south, we serve most all of our food family style and not dished out into individual portions. I guess individual portions work well for small families where doing loads of extra dishes works, but in the rural south our families are still big and even larger when we all get together. I have yet to meet someone that loves doing dishes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My grandmother passed these on to my from when they lived in Colorado when grandfather was stationed at Norad. She knew her southern biscuits would not rise, so she had to use yeast. We make these for our family dinners in a round cake pan. We do cheat a bit these days and use ready made frozen yeast rolls, but the recipe is basically the same. We melt the butter over low, mix in brown sugar, then pour into the bottom of the cake pan, top with pecans from the yard someone cracked while we are getting the rest ready, and top with the rolls then bake. Yummy! You can do it in the muffin tin, but in the south, we serve most all of our food family style and not dished out into individual portions. I guess individual portions work well for small families where doing loads of extra dishes works, but in the rural south our families are still big and even larger when we all get together. I have yet to meet someone that loves doing dishes.

    ReplyDelete