Armed with Ina's recipe, I headed into the kitchen, cleared my 24" x 24" baking space, took out the butter from the fridge and measured brown sugar and cinnamon. When the butter was already at room temperature, I placed it in the mixing bowl along with 1/3 cup brown sugar and let the mixer do its thing while I grabbed the puff pastry from the freezer.
I carefully pried two pastry sheets from the stack then let them rest on the counter while I scooped the butter-sugar mixture onto the muffin pan. I omitted the pecans because of two reasons. First reason: my dad doesn't like nuts. Second reason: I didn't have any pecans on hand anyway. Also, I still had about 1/3 cup of the butter-sugar mixture left so I decided to do away with the extra two tablespoons of butter. Waste not, want not.
Ina's recipe says to "Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter." I stared at my two sheets of pastry. There was nothing to unfold! As in nothing. They were two thin 12"x12" squares. After a minute or two of being perplexed, I decided to go ahead with the recipe even if it meant having to do some downsizing by cutting the pastry half an inch smaller than what was called for in the recipe.
After brushing the pastry with butter and giving it a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar, I rolled it into a log and placed it seam side down. I proceeded to do the same with the other sheet of pastry but I made a boo boo and forgot to remove the thin sheet of paper under the pastry . I had to unroll the pastry and repeat the procedure. I ended up with a very messy baking space!
I baked the buns for exactly thirty minutes and I watched as the pastry puffed up and the butter and sugar bubbled and spilled over the sides of the muffin pan. Now I know why the muffin pan must be place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
After thirty minutes of baking, I took them out of the oven and let them cool for five minutes Then I transferred them onto a lined tray and topped them with the sticky goo.
My dad loved them. He ate four sticky buns which is a no-no because he's a diabetic. Ditto my mom and I. Still, I'll be making small batches of these gooey yummy pastry for our cheat days.
As always, thanks to Tanya for the photos. I can't take a decent photo even if my life depended on it.
Easy Sticky Buns
(recipe courtesy of Ina Garten, BB)
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 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.