Friday, December 15, 2017
Cooking

Holiday desserts: Rise and shine with this recipe for Caramel Pecan Rolls

Andy Schlauch grew up in rural Ohio, in a town "with about 10 last names," he says. Baking was a huge hobby for the women in his family, especially his mom, who baked something every Sunday.

"When I was a little kid, sometimes when I was sick from school, my mom would take me to my grandparents' house, and so I'd be hanging out with my grandma, who would always make me a baked good," he says.

Andy says his mom taught him the basics. But then, as he got older and into his 20s, he wanted to start learning the stuff his grandma was known for.

One of those things is these Caramel Pecan Rolls, one of his mother's favorites.

Schlauch, 36, says his grandma, Carol Harrington, who was a manager at a bank but had a wedding cake business on the side, taught him how to make her angel food cake and other flavored cakes he now makes every year around the holidays.

Last Christmas, he learned how to make the rolls.

"My grandma brought her cookbooks to Ohio and went through the process. I was intimidated by the yeast, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be," Schlauch says.

This Caramel Pecan Rolls recipe starts with a base of plain yeast dinner rolls. Andy's family would make one batch for the meal, then another batch for the gooey dessert. You make the dough the same in both recipes, but in the sweet recipe, the dough is topped with cinnamon, sugar and looped into individual rolls, kind of like a classic cinnamon roll.

"My favorite thing was dinner rolls at Christmas. They would be the last thing my grandma would prep for dinner," Schlauch says. "She would always pull them out of the oven while we were there, so by the time we sat down to dinner they were all still warm. They are a yeast-risen dough, so they have that sweet yeast taste."

Schlauch, who is director of the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, now bakes often for his co-workers. For him, the precision of the process is cathartic and helps takes his mind off everything else. He'll likely bake something for everyone this year, and the rolls especially are usually made with the sharing spirit in mind. In a couple of weeks he'll go back to Ohio for Christmas, where he'll make the dessert for his mom, his brother and his brother's family, who haven't had it in a long time.

"I always make them for somebody," he says.

     
Comments
Five trendy gift ideas for the cook in your life

Five trendy gift ideas for the cook in your life

Giving the gift of cooking isnít really something you can mess up. Whether gifting a gadget or paying for a class, you can encourage a budding culinary enthusiast or give a seasoned veteran a new toy to play with. Here are five ideas for holiday gi...
Published: 12/13/17
Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent Florida Pure Sea Salt Harvested from Tampa Bay’s waters, these handcrafted salts come in flavors like maple bacon, Sriracha, lemongrass, habanero or black truffle. They retail for $15 a jar online, at flor...
Published: 12/13/17
Six kitchen gadgets that are completely useless

Six kitchen gadgets that are completely useless

If youíre buying me a gift this year, donít get me an Instant Pot. Iím serious. I donít subscribe to the "you can never be too thin or too rich" school of thought, but the "you can never have too much kitchen cabinet space" is dead right in my book. ...
Published: 12/13/17
From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes, you just want a hot, crispy potato.I didnít get home from work the other night craving a full dinner; I arrived at my house with cartoon visions of potatoes in my head, and knew I had to make it happen.I wasnít looking for a fast food fren...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Party like itís Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

Party like itís Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

As a kid, I always looked for doors into other worlds. I blame Narnia. In C.S. Lewisí classic novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four British children step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a world filled with talking animals and plenty ...
Published: 12/12/17
Cooking challenge: Making homemade edible Christmas gifts

Cooking challenge: Making homemade edible Christmas gifts

Should I infuse this vodka with bacon?Thatís not a question I expected to ask myself on a Sunday morning, but here we are. This Christmas, Iím giving homemade gifts: infused liquor and chocolate fudge. But I didnít realize it would be so hard to find...
Published: 12/12/17
Lightened Shepherdís Pie comforting, quick

Lightened Shepherdís Pie comforting, quick

When the weather gets cooler, we want to tuck into comfort food in our home. Doing a recipe makeover on a tasty-but-less-than-healthy dish is one of my favorite challenges. Today, Iím taking on a wintertime classic with my Lightened Shepherdís Pie. T...
Published: 12/08/17
Green Salad With Pumpkin Vinaigrette celebrates holiday season

Green Salad With Pumpkin Vinaigrette celebrates holiday season

By MELISSA DíARABIANSummer may officially be the season of green salads, but wintertime versions have advantages that make them worth exploring. The cooler weather seasonable greens are hearty and darker green, which makes them nutrient-rich. And, th...
Published: 12/08/17
My holiday tradition: Making a whole bunch of beef Wellington

My holiday tradition: Making a whole bunch of beef Wellington

For the past 20 years, my family has looked forward to a boat parade party hosted by some of our dearest friends. The hostess provides cocktails, appetizers, dinner, desserts and a trombone choir to perform from a balcony overlooking her pool. My fav...
Published: 12/06/17
Tampa Bay Times readers share their treasured holiday food traditions

Tampa Bay Times readers share their treasured holiday food traditions

When we opened this yearís call for reader submissions to any treasured holiday food tradition, I had no idea what to expect. That was kind of the point. I wanted to see what such a wide gamut would inspire. And you delivered. The stories that reader...
Published: 12/06/17