I love cinnamon rolls, but they are so time consuming to make. I found this recipe in the “Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics” cookbook, and thought I would share.
If you’ve never tried working with puff pastry, it is really great.
I wondered a long time ago what exactly is puff pastry? This is what I found out in a nut shell. However, you don’t have to go through all of this work to make your own puff pastry – they sell it in the freezer section at the grocery store.
Puff pastry is like a piecrust that rises high with no leavening. There are only four ingredients that make up puff pastry…butter, flour, salt and water. It is how the ingredients work together when heated that makes the pastry puff.
The dough begins like piecrust with cold butter mixed into the flour to a cornmeal consistency. The true labor begins once it comes together. The dough is rolled around a thick slab of butter. Through a process of folding, turning, and rolling, the butter is dispersed throughout the dough, creating hundreds of very thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.
The butter layer is what causes the rise. When the pastry is heated, the butter melts and boils, creating steam, which lifts the successive layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat is cooking the flour, hardening it around those minute-air pockets, creating the puff.
This would be a perfect addition to any Saturday morning menu.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12 cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Combine the 12 tabelspoons. of butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoons. 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 your working 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 the 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons. of the cinnamon and the 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 sean side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in six equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up in six of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet to make a total of 12 buns.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for five minutes. Invert the buns onto the parchment paper and ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon and serve warm.
(Editor’s Note: Kathy Bullerman is a personal chef available in The Northwest. To contact Bullerman, email her at: email@example.com. She is also on Facebook at Kuisine by Kathy.)