Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ina's Holiday Sticky Buns

  My fabulous, gorgeous, talented, youthful, vibrant, funny, caring and all-around wonderful sister, Cathy, was nice enough to invite me for Christmas breakfast. Of course, I wanted to make something to bring to the table, but couldn't think of anything. Then I saw Ina Garten making these little gems, and I immediately knew they'd be PERFECT! They're special enough for holiday, but simple enough for any day of the year. And they're SO tasty! Try e'm!
 Btw, when I told Cathy that I was bringing a little baked something, she said "You didn't need to do that!" And to that I replied, "Well, actually, yes, I did. Thanx." I don't think she'll ever know how much her invitation meant to me. Thanx, Sister. And Merry Christmas :)

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 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup white raisins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees f. 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 12
tablespoons of 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 1 tablespoon of the melted
butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup
of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, 1/4 cup of the cranberries and 1/4
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, about 1
1/2 inches each. 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.

If you're not a fan of pecans, just swap them out for any other nuts that you like, or simply omit them altogether. The same thing goes for the raisins and cranberries. If you're not a fan, just leave 'em out!

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