Always a bridesmaid….

Some people get off on being a bridesmaid. I am not one of those people. I don’t even really like going to weddings. Mine was perfectly lovely to go to, but I understand if people wanted to skip. I tried to make mine as least painful as possible. One way I did that was by making our dog be the bridal party. And that was it. I was not dragging my friends down into the humiliation that is the bridesmaid dress.

Oh now before you go and say that there are some lovely bridesmaid dresses out there. No there is not. I have only liked one of mine and that was because the bride told us to go buy any dress we wanted in burgundy. So I bought a dress I could truly use again.  I think there are some decent ones out there but the problem is that you are trying to conform 2-22 of your closest friends to all look good in the same dress. Soooo not going to happen.

And they cost a bunch of money.  A bunch. So because I have had to fork out ridiculous amounts of money I insist on using them again. Though not how you probably think. I don’t live a glamorous life and so there aren’t a lot of balls for me to be attending and quite honestly I would wear any of the dresses I have been a bridesmaid in if I did.

No, I wear mine to do housework in. Yes,  my husband has on more than one occasion come home to me vacuuming in a full length, off the shoulder, navy velvet  bridesmaid gown (pictured below…worn for another occasion…Sloppy Joe Night). That way I am not ruining something I will wear again, like say a perfectly good t-shirt. Oh sure, it’s not that functional but I can assure that dress has  a lot o f miles on it now, and has more than paid for itself instead of waiting time in the back of the closet or torturing someone at Goodwill for a dollar.

Have you had some hideous bridesmaid dresses in your past? Do you still own it? If so, seriously, bust it out for laundry day. :D

Or perhaps you can bake in it? If so, consider making sticky buns with a twist. A banana fosters twist that is. Since sticky buns already have the lovely brown sugar glaze goodness, it makes perfect sense for them to have a little banana thrown in with them. The dough is a little extra sticky because of the moisture of the bananas, just go with it. :)

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(Ignore the fact like I could stab someone with my fingernails :P )
Banana Fosters Sticky Buns

Banana Brioche

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. dried yeast
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed up
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into dime sized pieces

Filling:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature

Sticky Bun Glaze:

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup pecans

Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan(a Pyrex is perfect for this).

To Make the Glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place warm water and 2 tsp. of the sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Sprinkle yeast on top and mix with a whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes while yeast blooms.

Add remaining sugar,eggs, vanilla extract, milk, flour, bananas, and salt.
Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed for 3 minutes to start bringing dough together. Switch to medium speed and slowly drop pieces of butter into dough. Mix for 10-12 minutes. Dough will be wet and sticky and will have good elasticity when stretched.

Pull dough from bowl and onto a floured surface. Using extra flour on your hands, form dough into a ball. Place dough in an oiled, medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Proof in a warm room, 70-75F, for about 2 1/2 hours. Dough will almost double in size. Chill for 1 hour.

To shape the Buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1 inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can.
With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the rolls if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch-thick buns. Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.
Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and,in all likelihood, touching each other.

Getting Ready to Bake: When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.
Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden: the glaze will be bubbling way merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.
The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or butter foil. Be careful-the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

Adpated from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Comments

  1. Those sticky buns look to die for! *drool*

    Great shot of you and fingernails!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Haha, I love this! I have only been a bridesmaid once, and while the dress was relatively flattering, it was definitely not the sort you could ever wear again! I love how brides always say that…”Well, I’ve picked this one so that you will be able to wear it to other things!” Yeah, right! Believe me, nothing from David’s Bridal is appropriate outside a bridal party. ;) I love your idea for cleaning and baking in them…totally hilarious! I will have to give it a shot!

    Also-that dessert looks fabulous! Yum!

  3. My friend was recently in a wedding and the bride contributed $50 towards the bridesmaid dress but my friend still had to pay $300!! Plus, $80 in alterations, because a $350 dress better look DAMN good on you. And the wedding & showers were in a different state, so there were travel fees too. Talk about a lot of $$$!!

    The bridesmaid dresses for my wedding I purchased from JC Penney’s, originally $90+ and after clearance, coupons, and a prayer came out to $12.95!!! The girls likely won’t wear them again, but for $13 I don’t think they mind!

  4. You are my new hero for doing housework in your bridesmaid’s dresses. One of mine already has chocolate stains from an unfortunate chocolate fountain related incident, so perhaps it should become my baking dress.

    And this recipe is definitely getting pulled out the next time I have some bananas turning brown on my kitchen counter. Sticky Buns beat Banana Bread, hands down, no contest.

  5. Haha! That dress idea is so great, I love it!

    I donated my two (nice but still not really re-wearable for dinners out or whatever) bridesmaid’s dresses to Buffalo Exchange, they take prom type dresses and give them to underprivileged teens!

    http://www.buffaloexchange.com/bulletins_det.php?Bulletin_ID=1122

  6. not relevant to the recipe, but I enjoyed watching “27 Dresses.” I like what she did with them at the end.

    My one bridesmaid dress not a horror – AND I have worn it to several formals since! The bride said “Jewel tones & I’d love to see velvet”. Both female attendants showed up in dark green.

  7. That is hilarious. I don’t know, maybe I’ll play dress up with my girls while we do chores. Because, honestly, who am I trying to kid thinking that I may be able to use them again in a play. (Although, outside of a bridal party, a theatrical costume is about the only other place a David’s bridal concoction truly belongs) Thanks for the charming perspective.

  8. I’ve never been a bridesmaid but I do have a few formal dresses that I plan on never wearing again. This is the perfect use for them! maybe it will force me to actually do housework…

    I love the sound of these sticky buns! you are a genius.

  9. These sticky buns look amazing. As soon as the weather is below 100 I will be trying this recipe.

    My last bridesmaid dress, which was very similar to the one in your picture, was used for dusting. I cut it into a rags and used it dust furniture.

  10. That is hysterical! I have been in 3 weddings and have another in a few weeks. I’ve yet to wear any of the dresses again, even though people always say you will. I think you’d enjoy my Bridesmaid-zilla post :) http://jojobean26.blogspot.com/2009/10/bridesmaid-zilla.html

  11. those sticky buns look sinfully delicious!! my girls would devour them!

  12. Hilarious! I have only been a bridesmaid once, and I would be delighted if I never have to do it again. The bride is a really great friend, so I sucked it up without complaint, but if I’m being honest, pink silk taffeta is not really my bag. Geez, I don’t even think I could get it on again for sloppy joe night… So I gave it to a friend’s high school daughter who is into sewing hoping she can Molly Ringwald the hell out of it :)

  13. Ugh! I have to be maid-of-honor. $168 for an “inexpensive” dress, and I’m going to have to have at least $50 worth of alterations done on it. :P Not excited.

  14. Love it! Great idea!

  15. One of the best bridesmaids dresses ever was for my best friends wedding. She had us get little black cocktail dresses. I wore mine over and over until, well, it didn’t fit any more!

    The only other time I’ve worn a bridesmaid dress after the wedding was at one of those mystery parties. It was this not so flattering full length green thing. Another of the bridesmaids had been invited to said mystery party and we BOTH showed up in the same bridesmaid dress! We both tossed the dress after that night.

  16. Yummy!

    I do the same thing with my “occasion” dresses. I hate to see them looking all sad and lonely in the closet. They need love, too!

  17. I LOVE that idea! I think I’ll cook dinner tonight in a periwinkle taffeta number I’ve had in the back of my closet for four years.

  18. Had some pretty yucky bridesmaid dresses over the years. The worst was one that they gave me material for but not enough to make something very nice…definietly never wore or kept that one!! I have kept the others and wear them for tea parties with my little girl. I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses in red. It was really cool. They all had such unique tastes and they looked fabulous because they picked them!! Love your sticky bun recipe. I’ll break out the navy floor length, shoulder-padded number for that recipe!!! Have a spiffy day!!

  19. LOL!! I don’t like being a bridesmaid or going to weddings either. However, I do like the sound of these buns even though I’m not fond of bananas and nuts.

  20. It makes me so sad to hear about so many people abusing old dresses while there are plenty of charities out there that would take them. Someone mentioned earlier a charity that gives dresses to underprivileged girls so they can afford to go to their proms – that’s exactly where I donated my unwanted bridesmaid dresses, and my own prom dress! It may not suit your taste or body type, but someone out there would be thrilled to have it!

  21. I wouldn’t call what people are doing to it abusing it. What others choose to do with their things and life should not be judged.
    I have more than given my share of dresses/clothing to charity (including every prom dress I had…and more importantly my time.

  22. What a cute shot of you in your little off the shoulder number :)

    These sticky buns are killing me! If you think they will make it please feel free to ship some to New York :)

  23. Oh my… the second I opened the page I was hungry. these look and sound so incredibly gooey and luscious!

  24. This seriously cracked me up! I have this one that’s baby pink with a huge bubble skirt. If I wasn’t lucky enough to lose weight since then, I would totally wear it to bake in. I have one that I love, from my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding, because it was just a blue dress from J.Crew.

  25. Oh wow yum!!! I love it when sticky buns are so gooey and moist…

    I’ve never been a bridesmaid, but I can’t WAIT to get my first dress. :D God, I hope it has rhinestones, satin and lace all together.

  26. I agree, bridesmaid dresses suck. I hate the fact that they cost so much money, and really are too fancy even for wearing to a nice dinner.
    What sucks even more is that bridesmaids are supposed to be the people the bride is closest to, but choosing her enemies would be more appropriate.
    Love the sticky buns, they look gorgeous. I’m always so blown away by your pictures!

  27. Haha. I sloped so (among other things) I made sure that I wouldn’t put my girlfriends through the humuliation of a bridesmaid dress. I was in my cousin’s wedding some time ago and was made to wear the ugliest satin dress in hunter green. The damn thing started to turn different colors after a few weeks. Hopefully it found a second home in a landfill somewhere far far away.

  28. I never got to wear anything as swank as that during my time as a bridesmaid. In fact, I got not one, but TWO BROWN bridesmaid dresses.

    When I got married I bought my sister’s bridesmaid dress. Since I only had to find one, I went to the bridal shop and bought the lone leftover for $17. It’s now in my kids’ dress up bin.

    Sticky buns? Yes, please.

  29. I like going to weddings for the food, am I a bad person? :)
    I always love it when you publish photos of yourself here. You’re so lovely!
    I am making these buns – your recipes always work perfectly, Pea.

  30. Oh my gosh…Hilarious!!! And those sticky buns look perfectly gooey and delicious.

  31. Ariana from Chicago says:

    Saw the sticky buns pic on facebook and was like oh mah goodnisss!! So I’m getting the recipe now. By the way, in the recipe you say to let the dough rise for 2.5 hrs, then you mention rolling the “chilled” dough. Was there a missed step? Even though you don’t like the dress, btw, I think the style looks great on you.

  32. Thank you for making me laugh after my perfectly craptastic day at work.
    I have a lovely peach silk with a butt bow… any takers?

  33. I was just in a wedding and while I love my friend dearly and was SO happy to be part of her beautiful day… I’ve decided I much prefer simply going to weddings and having fun. I didn’t love the dress at all, but it actually came out OK in photos. Ugh.

    These sticky buns look fantabulous!

  34. I am so with you. When my husband and I got married, we both agreed NO BRIDAL PARTY. That way, our friends could just get drunk and eat lots of shrimp cocktail.

    Sure, some people would give you a funny look when they asked who were your bridesmaids, but whatever. I care about my friends too much to force some apple green (yes, that was our main color) satin abortion of a dress on them.

  35. this is hilarious! I’ve not thought to wear my old bridesmaid dresses for housework – but I may do this!

    one dress I had to wear did have a second function – I wore it for a Halloween costume – it was a perfect Glinda the Good Witch dress – puffy pink sleeves and all. :)

    these sticky buns look great – bananas foster is one of my favorites…

  36. My first wedding, I gave my bridesmaids a choice of color and (purple or red) and then told them to buy a dress that they liked. My second wedding I didn’t have any bridesmaids. I have only been a bridesmaid once and the dress wasn’t too bad but it was expensive and it looks like, well, a bridesmaid dress. A friend of mine keeps hers and wears them out drinking with friends.

  37. That makes such much better sense than just my underwear …

  38. Wow this does look super sticky!! But i bet its worth it hehe :)

  39. I’m not really sure what to say to this but, “You rock, Peabody.” Awesome.

  40. Oh yeah – that is definitely the girl I remember from high school.

    I agree in not wanting to ruin a perfectly good t-shirt.

  41. Thanks Brett…good to know I haven’t changed…yikes. :) I had hoped to mature a little.

  42. Hehehe that picture had me laughing out so loud!! Great way to use your dresses up. I have a lot of wedding type clothes too, have no idea what to do with them [here in India, everyone dresses up in heavy salwar suits, and it's not something I wear anywhere else] :P

  43. Now that is just plain awesome. I adore that you’ve taken to wearing them for other things instead of forking over the cash and then shoving them in the back of the closet, never to be seen again. :D

  44. Almost time to put these buns in the oven! Doing their last rise. Can’t wait!

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