Friday, December 26, 2014

Pecan Rolls: A Christmas Tradition

When we were kids my brother and I used to spend all Christmas eve cleaning out the bottom of the linen closet in the hallway and preparing our hideout to wait for Santa. We always fell asleep before either of us made it to the fort. Whoever woke up first would wake up the other and we would both go jump in our parents bed to wake them up. While we were opening presents my mom would put the pecan rolls she made the night before in the oven.


This is how all our Christmases were until one year. We were done opening presents and all went into the kitchen for breakfast. “What do you want to eat?” my mom asked us. I’m pretty sure we all stared at her like she was joking… “Where are the pecan rolls???”. She hadn’t made them, and it felt like our Christmas was missing something.That’s how you know it’s a tradition. Smile So, now every year we make sure those rolls are on the table.

With No Plain Jane's Kitchen’s permission, I give you our family’s recipe for Pecan Sticky Rolls.


  • 1 pint milk (whole milk preferred)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce package (I used 3 teaspoons instant yeast)
  • 4 ½ cups of flour (keep the ½ cup separate)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups Pecans
You’ll need to grease or spray with oil, 2 8” or 9” cake pans.

For the dough:
In a small sauce pan, heat the milk with the sugar until the sugar melts and is incorporated into the milk. Remove the pan from the heat and add the oil and stir to mix. When the mixture is just warm to the touch, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture set a few minutes, then whisk the egg into the mixture.
Spray or wipe a large bowl with oil. Put the milk mixture into the bowl and add 4 cups of flour and stir together until combined. Cover the mixture with a clean, moist towel and set in a warm location for an hour to rise.
After the mixture rises, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix the dough to combine all of the ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour.


For the filling:
Mix all of the filling ingredients together, by hand or with a pastry blender, so it resembles coarse crumbs. Divide the mixture in half.


To make the rolls:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide dough in half. Working with each half separately, on a lightly floured board, roll the dough out to a 18” by 12” rectangle. Sprinkle half the filling mixture on top of the rolled out dough. Press the mixture into the dough.
Roll the dough into a long log starting on the long side, the 18” side. Set the log aside while you work on the second piece of dough. When you are done, you should have 2 dough logs.


For the topping:
Divide the pecans between the two cake pans.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir until melted. Then add the molasses and stir to incorporate.
Pour the mixture over the pecans.


Final assembly:
If you are going to bake the rolls right away, preheat oven to 375 f.

Cut the dough logs into 3” slices. You should have 5-6 slices per log. Carefully pick up each slice and place on top of the pecan topping mixture. Each pan should have 5-6 slices. Leave space between each slice so the dough can rise.
(At this point, you can wrap the pans with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerate or freeze. If you refrigerate the pans, bring them out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before baking. For frozen pans, take the pans out of the freezer and place in refrigerator overnight to thaw. Proceed with baking step.)
Let the pans set on the counter for 10-15 minutes to allow the rolls to rise.


Cover each pan, loosely, with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Place pans in oven and turn temperature down to 325 f. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil, turn up the temperature to 375 F, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. The dough should be brown on top.
Remove pans from oven, and place a plate over each pan. Immediately flip the plate to remove the rolls (be very careful doing this because the topping is very hot). Scrape any remaining topping from the pan onto the rolls. It is important to remove the rolls from the pan when they are hot. Serve and enjoy!