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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Super Quick Sticky Buns

There's nothing better than fresh sticky buns or cinnamon rolls. The scent of cinnamon, sugar and butter wafting through the house is perhaps one of the nicest ways to start the day!

Making fresh sticky buns can be a pain. Making dough, waiting for it to rise, cooking fillings - it all is just so much work. But there is a better way! Ina Garten presents a superb shortcut recipe in her book Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. Ina's recipe uses frozen puff pastry for the dough and a simple mixture of butter and brown sugar for everything else. It only takes about half an hour in the oven and maybe ten minutes to prepare and the taste is magnificent!

Ina's original recipe uses 12 small muffin cups, however I decided to halve her recipe and use my 6 large cups. I also opted to leave out the raisins, since I'm not a raisin fan and I substituted walnuts for the pecans she uses. I really loved this recipe and it was so simple to do with incredible flavor and presentation! I'll be using this shortcut instead of my much more involved cinnamon bun recipe that I did several weeks ago.

So, here we go with some super quick sticky buns...

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped in large pieces
1/2 package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), defrosted
1 tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°. Place a 6 cup muffin tin on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Combine 1 cup butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar using an electric mixer. Drop by rounded teaspoons into each of the muffin cups. Sprinkle pecans or walnuts evenly on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a surface and unfold the puff pastry sheet from left to right. Brush the entire sheet with the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the pastry, sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar, the ground cinnamon and raisins (if desired). Starting with closest edge, roll the pastry up like a jelly roll finishing with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in half then each half in thirds (about 1 1/2 inch wide). Place each piece spiral side up in the muffin cups on top of the sugar/butter mixture and nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes or until buns are golden and dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then quickly invert the buns onto the parchment paper. Ease any filling left in the cups onto the buns with a spoon. Allow to cool and serve.

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