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Joanne Chang's Sticky Sticky Buns

Makes 8 buns

Flour’s addictive sticky buns have been famous in Boston for many years, but they got national attention in the spring of 2007, when they starred in an episode of the Food Network show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I went head-to-head with Chef Flay in a sticky bun bakeoff—in front of TV cameras and a live audience of about 100 customers at Flour. After we both finished baking our buns, for an agonizing hour customers were quizzed about which buns they preferred, mine or Chef Flay’s, while the judges privately did their judging. We won! Many people wonder if the judging on television shows is fixed; the visible sweat on my brow during the judging should assure them that it is most definitely not. These sticky buns are quite simply the stickiest, richest, gooiest, most decadent buns you’ll ever have. We start them with a brioche dough base and then fill them with sugar, pecans, and cinnamon and top them with copious amounts of a sticky caramel concoction called, naturally, goo. When you eat them, be sure to have plenty of napkins nearby. These are best enjoyed warm from the oven; you can also re-heat them up to 1 day later in a 300-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes to get the full ooey gooey effect.