Dear driver who nearly ran me over while I was walking across the designated crosswalk the other day,
Dear person who doesn’t agree with my opinions and thinks I’m a loony for thinking the way I do,
Dear construction workers who are tearing up the streets and sidewalks, literally, in front of our office building, causing my computer to rumble incessantly every day,
Happy Easter. Jesus is risen! I have no hard feelings towards you. I understand that you are human, as am I, and are just in a serious hurry/extremely passionate/doing your job. Maybe you were just having a bad day, I don’t know. Whatever the case, I’m not letting it get to me.
Also, I’ve baked these yummy sticky buns for you.
There are few things in life that make it very difficult for me to love everyone. One of them is road rage. Another is construction, and the consequences therein. The third is judgmental people, but I can’t say I’m totally out of that category myself, so I try very hard to work on that one. But I’m not perfect. Neither are you. But we do our best to be kind to each other, because that’s what we’re here for, anyway.
But enough about that. Let’s talk about these OMG-delicious sticky buns. I don’t know what got me thinking about sticky buns the other day, suffice it to say that once the thought did cross my mind, nothing could deter it. All I could think about was the next time I could get to work on making these sticky buns. Then I started thinking about oranges. Then, pecans. Then I was in all sorts of trouble.
Luckily, my family came to visit this weekend to celebrate Easter with us, so I knew I wouldn’t be elbow-deep in sticky, orange-pecany glaze for nothing. I decided to make the buns for breakfast, and I knew my family would be appreciative of my efforts after having them drive all the way out to the cornfields. Little did they know that I would have made these with or without them here — but with them, I was in good company and therefore distracted from eating 10 buns in one sitting.
I like this recipe for sticky buns because you let the buns rise in the refrigerator overnight, which means you don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. so that breakfast can be ready by 10 a.m. All you do is prepare them the night before, stick them in the fridge, sleep, wake up, preheat the oven, bake them and voila — cinnamon sticky buns oozing with tasty, sticky, gooey, sweet and nutty orange-pecan glaze. They’re irresistible, and taste even better when you make them for someone you love — or are trying to love.
Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Yields: 15 sticky buns
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tbsp for greasing
3 large egg yolks
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter
zest from half an orange
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup pecan halves
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Whisk to combine and let sit 5 minutes, or until yeast mixture is foamy. Add to it milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed with paddle attachment until just combined. Switch paddle attachment with dough hook and increase speed slightly, add the remaining 1 cup flour in increments. Once all flour has been added, increase speed to medium and knead about 5 minutes, or until dough is slightly sticky, smooth and elastic (add a little bit more flour if it’s really tacky until it’s at the right consistency). Remove dough from bowl and place in a large lightly greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours.
Once dough has risen, punch down and place on a lightly floured countertop and let rise 20 minutes.
In the meantime, make the filling — combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt butter and keep separate.
Roll out dough into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with orange zest. Starting from the long side, roll up dough into a tight cylinder. Place seam side-down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 equal slices.
Make the topping — in a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, orange juice and orange zest over low heat. Stir until butter and sugar are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and sprinkle pecan halves on top.
Place dough slices flat side-down on top of prepared topping, crowding them so they touch. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight to rise. In the morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees F — remove buns from the refrigerator and let stand on countertop while oven preheats. Bake buns until golden brown, about 30 minutes; immediately invert pan onto a baking sheet or serving tray. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.