There is something about starting a Saturday or Sunday with a great cup of coffee and a sweet treat. Now I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth (I would always go for a piece of pizza vs. a piece of cake) but everyone else in the family does. What I am a fan of is pulling a weekend breakfast together quickly so I can actually sit and enjoy it with everyone. Making traditional cinnamon buns with a yeast dough, could take hours before they make it to the table, which basically means I have to get up hours earlier than everyone else rolls out of bed. There has to be a better way.
One of the products I always have on hand is puff pastry and for good reason. There are so many ways to use it from turnovers, pot pies, cheese sticks, appetizers, streusel and on and on. I prefer Pepperidge Farm and each box has two sheets of frozen puff pastry which defrosts in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter in less than an hour. These cinnamon buns came together in about 15 minutes and were in the oven for 30, a doable amount of time for me on the weekend. By the time these are almost done and the house smells like a bakery, everyone starts to stir looking for breakfast. I prefer straight forward cinnamon buns (and my kids do, too) but my husband loves pecan rolls so I put some pecans in some of the muffin cups and I have to admit, they were delish.
Keep in mind these are best eaten right out of the oven. They will be super-hot but if they sit for more than a few minutes, the sugar will solidify. These are great as is but if you’re an icing fan, you can whip some up in less than a minute.
1 pkg Puff pastry (two sheets), defrosted in the refrigerator overnight (I love Pepperidge Farm)
6 tbs Butter (I use salted butter)
1¼ c Brown sugar
¼ c Pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 tbs Cinnamon
Pre-heat your oven to 375.
Cut four tablespoons of the butter into 12 pats and place one in each of the 12 cups of a regular sized muffin pan. (I use a silicone muffin pan – click here for the link. ) Add one tablespoon of brown sugar and if you want pecan buns, then add one teaspoon of pecans. Set aside. Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter.
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a sheet of parchment paper. With a rolling pin and without pressure, roll the sheet to smooth out the seams. Brush the entire sheet (covering all edges) with melted butter, top with one tablespoon cinnamon and finally, ¼ cup brown sugar.
Carefully roll the sheet by tucking the edge closest to you and rolling with two hands to keep it tight.
Pinch the edges to close. Cut the roll in half and then cut each half into three pieces. Place each piece in the muffin tin, pressing down gently. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet (to help make sure it remains flat in the oven) and then bake for 35 – 35 minutes or until the tops are brown and the filling is bubbling.
Once you remove the muffin pan from the oven, place a large platter on top and carefully invert to release each cinnamon bun. If there is filling remaining in the tin, remove it quickly before the sugar solidifies. Serve immediately but be careful as they will be hot.
(Note: If you like icing on your cinnamon/pecan buns, combine ¼ c powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon milk and adjust with more milk or sugar till you get the consistency you want.)