Easy Sticky Buns




I rarely wake ready to cook.  Flicking the switch on the Keurig is usually the extent of my ambition.

Sometimes, though, I do.  Sometimes, I want to bake something gooey.  The problem with most gooey breakfast concoctions is that they require forward thinking.  They require planning and preparation.  Usually they require rising and/or refrigeration.  Ina Garten, in all her Barefoot Contessa glory, has presented us with a solution to this problem and it comes in the form of puff pastry.  This recipe is based on one she featured on her program in 2008.

It's easy, takes very little time, and good.  Very, very good, actually...

What's In It:

Let's Make the Rolls!
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (Not Margarine!) 
1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed 
1/2 c. roughly chopped pecans
1 pkg. (17.3 oz/2 sheets) puff pastry or phyllo dough, defrosted

Let's Make the Filling!
2 tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. raisins (optional)

How To Make It:

Toast pecans for 5 minutes at 400 degrees or by using the "Toast" setting on your toaster oven.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place a 12-cup muffin tin on top.  (This is an important step as it will prevent sugar from burning.)
Combine 1 1/2 sticks of butter with 1/3 c. brown sugar using electric mixer.  Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups.  Distribute pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups by sprinkling them on top of the butter/sugar mixture.
Divide 2/3 c. brown sugar and 3 tsp. ground cinnamon between 2 small bowls.  (Each bowl will contain 1/3 c. brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon.)
Lightly flour a wooden or stone surface.  (I use a wooden cutting board.)  Unfold 1 roll of pastry so that the shortest side is closest to you.  Brush with 1/2 the melted butter.  Leaving a 1-inch border, sprinkle each sheet with the contents of one bowl of sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Add 1/2 c. raisins, if desired.
Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with seam side down.  Trim ends about 1/2 inch and discard.  Slice in half.  Slice each half, evenly, two more times creating 6 equal pieces.  Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups.  Repeat with second roll of pastry making a total of 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes.  Buns should be golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch.  Allow to cool for no more than 5 minutes before inverting buns onto a platter.  Scoop remaining filling and nuts out onto the buns using a spoon.  (I had to urge the buns out as well, but it was worth it!)
Serve warm.


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