Monday, April 3, 2017

San Antonio Book Festival Preview...Featuring Praline-Pecan Rolls from the Breakfast in Texas Cookbook #SABookFest

The 5th annual San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is this Saturday, April 8th, from 9:00 am-5:00 pm at the Southwest School of Art and the Central Library. This year’s festival lineup includes 100 authors for a day filled with interesting conversations, cooking demonstrations, and lots of other fun activities. SABF celebrates both national and local authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. SABF’s founding partners are the Central Library, the Southwest School of Art, and the Texas Book Festival. For San Antonio-area foodies, the SABF will feature a cooking tent sponsored by Central Market, where cookbook authors will showcase some of their delicious recipes and answer questions from the audience. Just check out this mouthwatering schedule!

Central Market Cooking Tent (Southwest School of Art, Ursuline Campus parking lot)
  • 10:00am: Breakfast in Texas with Terry Thompson-Anderson demonstrating recipes from her new cookbook
  • 11:30am - 12:30pm: The Tacos of Texas with Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece
  • 1:00pm - 2:00pm: Better Baking with Genevieve Ko
  • 2:30pm - 3:30pm: Eat Mexico with Lesley Téllez
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm: One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals with Molly Gilbert 
I received an advance copy of Breakfast in Texas, and I absolutely love it! This fantastic cookbook contains breakfast recipes from all over Texas featuring the big flavors I love – and tons of drool-worthy photographs. Terry Thompson-Anderson is the author of nine previous cookbooks, including Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State -- which was a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Book Award for American Cooking. There were so recipes I wanted to try, but I decided to step outside my comfort zone for this feature. I don’t bake from scratch very often, so I decided to treat my parents and brother to some Praline-Pecan Rolls from Breakfast in Texas while visiting my parents this weekend. My Mom is a great baker, so I was sure she’d be able to give me pointers and assistance along the way if necessary – which it was. These easy-to-make no-yeast rolls feature a biscuit-like dough, plenty of Texas pecans and cinnamon…and a splash of liqueur in the perfectly smooth glaze. Trust me…if I can make these rolls, you can too!

Praline-Pecan Rolls
from Breakfast in Texas
These rich and gooey rolls are evocative of the hearty pastries made by the early German and Czech bakers who came to Texas beginning in the 1840s. Although it is highly unlikely that they had access to liqueurs for making tasty glazes, I’m certain they would’ve appreciated the flavor addition!
Ingredients (makes 12 rolls):
Cream Pastry:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 pecan halves
Praline Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Praline liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter 12 muffin cups; set aside. To make the pastry dough, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in enough of the cream to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead gently about 15 times until dough comes together into a cohesive mass.  
Step 2: Roll the dough out to an 18x 12-inch rectangle. Spread the dough with the butter. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon. Reserve 1/4 cup for topping. Scatter the remaining filling evenly over the buttered dough. Beginning on the long side nearest you, roll up tightly, like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal. Place dough roll seam side down and cut into 24 slices, each about 3/4-inch wide.
Step 3: Stand 2 slices, side by side, and on the edge, in each muffin cup. Gently spread the slices apart to that they form a “V” space in the center. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the reserved brown sugar mixture in the center of each roll. Top each with a pecan half, pressing it lightly into the roll. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
Step 4: Prepare the praline glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, Praline liqueur, and enough cream to make a smooth, creamy glaze of drizzling consistency. Remove the cooked rolls from muffin cups to a wire rack placed over a sheet of parchment paper. Drizzle with the praline glaze and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
These cinnamon-pecan sticky buns are a total winner! The biscuit-like dough cooks up golden brown, with a generous amount of brown sugar and pecans in every bite. And that liqueur-enhanced glaze? Heavenly! I gave the baked rolls one round of glaze right out of the oven, and I went back for a second pass once they had cooled for 10 minutes. The glaze features the perfect amount of liqueur to enhance, without overwhelming, the other flavors in the rolls. The glaze is what really takes these rolls over the top. I'm thinking these easy no-rise breakfast pastries would make a fabulous addition to your upcoming Easter Sunday brunch.
I hope my local readers can make it out to SABF this weekend to meet Ms. Thompson-Anderson and enjoy a fun day of literary entertainment and cooking demonstrations! Also included in the festivities are family activities like children’s theater performances, a technology area, interactive play stations, art stations, and some of San Antonio's best food trucks. SABF offers learning experiences for readers of all ages and interests; the full schedule of SABF activities is available online.

Disclosure: I received a preview copy of Breakfast in Texas to facilitate coverage of SABF. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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