I am a bad Barefoot Blogger – bad! I neglected my duties for the past two installments, partly because it was the holidays and partly because the selected recipes didn’t totally appeal to me. However, when Melissa chose these “Easy Sticky Buns”, I was motivated and reenergized! For one thing, my mom recently purchased the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook and I have been itching to steal it for a week now. The recipes are very straightforward and simple, but with Ina’s classic flavor profiles and subtle elegance. Second, I am always looking for new, fun additions to my Sunday Breakfast repertoire.
These came out wonderfully – gooey and rich in the center, and crunchy and caramelized on the outside. I left out the raisins, because RJ doesn’t like them, but I think you could really mix and match with the filling – some dried currants, chopped walnuts, or maple sugar could all add to this recipe. I wonder, too, if a (somewhat) savory version might be possible – with cooked bacon and sage in the center, and some maple sugar and mustard on the top…
Easy Sticky Buns, from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed [I used dark brown sugar, hence the almost black syrup on the top of my buns!]
1/2 c. pecans, chopped in very large pieces (optional)
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. raisins (optional)
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 12 tablespoons 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 of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll 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.