My American grandmother introduced me to Jackass!
She came into the room and whispered hysterically: ” Beth you’ve gotta come see this!”
So, I dropped whatever I was doing and followed her anxiously, wondering what she was going on about?
I saw two men with bleach white bums running wildly across the screen, yelling out obscenities while my grandmother was on the floor in tears!
I was petrified.
Well, I tell a lie. I was amused…Well amused! I was on the floor with her, laughing hysterically with some mild form of shock. My grandmother watches this stuff?!
What did I expect from a lady with a titanic sense of humor? She’s always cracking a joke, making fun of something, somebody-including herself. Grams doesn’t take herself seriously, a trait I extremely admire. You can always hear her laughing, giggling at the world no matter what it throws her way.
Although my grandmother is Pennsylvania Dutch and this recipe is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, it is not exactly hers. The following recipe went into my grandma’s repertoire, in the 1960’s! My grandparents lived in Richardson, Texas at the time and were next door neighbors to a chef named Gladis Gensen. Gladis was compiling a recipe clipping book for the area and this recipe was in it. It is not sure if Gladis developed the recipe or if the recipe was contributed to the book by someone else, but grandpa thinks it was Gladis’ own recipe.
So, there you have it! Although Gladis may have written the recipe, my grandmother lovingly gave me a killer obsession for these highly addictive, skeleton demolishing, mouthwatering buns of glory! And for that, if that alone, she deserves to have this post named after her!
(Grandma Phyllis, mom Cindy, me in the top right, Addie, and Joslin-my sisters)
My grandmother originally began gifting these the week after thanksgiving but so many people started asking for them before so she & my mother now start gifting them on November first. Grandma used to even gift batches to the U.S Postal Service because she wanted to show her thanks in delivering her mail. How cool is she?!
The key trick in this recipe is to flip the cinnamon rolls onto foil once baked and still hot. This brings all that gooey, caramel, crunchy, nutty goodness to the forefront. The original recipe does not call for the brandied syrup glaze. It is my addition as I was adamant to include brandy in there somewhere. I really think the glaze is a superb addition, if I may say so myself!
Grandma’s Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Rolls With A Brandy Glaze
makes: 18 rolls
Prep time w/ waiting: about 2.5-3 hrs
Baking time: 35 minutes
The Cast Of Characters
225g butter at room temperature
140g granulated sugar
3 teaspoons salt
4 packets of yeast-28g
250ml water, lukewarm or at 120c
1 tablespoon cinnamon
100g butter, melted and cooled
100g pecans, pounded or roughly chopped
Brandied Syrup Glaze
300g butter, melted
265g light brown sugar
60ml corn syrup- or any sugar syrup if you can’t find
150g pecans- coarsely chopped
1 large mixing bowl, 1 medium mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl
A kitchen scale, measuring cups & spoons
A basting brush
Baking tin-12inx8in or 13inx9in
Dough– In a very large bowl (Bowl 1) add the butter, sugar, salt and milk. Whip together with the mixer.
In a small bowl, mix together the warm water and the yeast.
Add the yeast to bowl 1.
Make sure you weigh up the flour ahead of time and place in a separate bowl, so you don’t have to remember where you’re at.
Begin by adding the sifted flour to bowl 1, about half a cup at a time
Continuously mixing till the dough forms (you may have switch out the mixer with your hands towards the end.) The dough should be sticky and moist.
Cover and let it sit in a warm, unventilated space, like the oven, for about 1 hour, till risen.
Pound the pecans in a mortar till you reach desired coarseness. I went for semi-fine.
For the filling-In a medium bowl add the sugar and the cinnamon and mix. Set aside.
By now the dough has risen. Remove and place on a well floured counter. Slice it in half.
Keep one on the counter and cover the other half of the dough wrapped plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 8inx14in. Lather generously with half of the melted butter,
half the cinnamon-sugar and half the pecans.
Roll it into a log. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you prep the second log in the same way.
In the mean time, prep the brandied syrup glaze. In a sauce pan, melt the butter, add the brown sugar.
The corn syrup and the brandy.
Stir until well combined.
Roughly chop the pecans.
Take your baking dish and generously lather the bottom with the syrup glaze, then sprinkle with the pecans.
Take your log out of the fridge and slice it into 9 rolls, about 1.5 inches thick.
Layer them in the baking tin, making sure to keep some space between them as they will spread during cooking. I like to leave the two ends and bake them in a separate tin. Now, let them sit covered for another 45 minutes, so they rise. You can also freeze them at this point for later use, they keep for about 2 or more months.When you are ready to use, remove them and let them thaw a couple of hours or overnight.
Just before popping them into the oven, brush them generously with butter & the brandy glaze.
Bake in a pre-heated oven: 325F/160C/3G for about 35 minutes.
Once done, remove and quickly flip over onto a foil or a serving dish.
Drizzle with the warm brandied syrup glaze and enjoy with a warm cuppa tea or coffee on a chilly winter morning!