When you’re craving sticky buns, and you have the time to let your yeast dough rise overnight in the refrigerator, you make Dorie Greenspan’s Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. Golden brioche dough that’s been baptized in honey. Christened with pecans. They are so worthy of a two-syllable damn.
But when you’re craving sticky buns RIGHT NOW, and you’re not looking for a religious experience, Ina Garten’s Easy Sticky Buns will do. Her recipe skips the whole dough-making process and uses defrosted puff pastry. You grab a muffin tin, and put a tablespoon of her butter-brown sugar mixture in each cup. Then you fill the puff pastry with brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins, roll it up, slice it, and place each piece in a muffin cup, spiral side up.
They will look weird. You’ll think you’re doing it wrong. But you’re not. Resist the urge to smash the dough down into the muffin cup.
If you follow the courage of your convictions, after 30 minutes in the oven, your pastry will have puffed, the butter-brown sugar mixture will have liquefied, and when you invert the pan – BOOM! – quickie sticky buns. Keep a box of puff pastry in your freezer, and you’ll be ready to make these babies at the first sign of a Snow Day, Sick Day or Saturday. Just like Ina does for Jeffrey.
Easy Sticky Buns
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics”
•12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
•1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
•1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
•1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
•2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
•2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
•3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
•1 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
- Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.
- Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.