Pecan sticky buns made in a muffin pan to serve two.
Things are awkward around here. It’s the holidays. You want large desserts that feed your extended family. I just don’t do that sort of thing.
The other day, I made a full-size batch of chocolate chip cookies instead of my usual small batch chocolate chip cookies. I feel like I spent the entire afternoon shoving cookie tray after cookie tray in and out of the oven. My entire day was gone. To say I was flustered is an understatement.
One of my biggest personality tics is wasting my own time. I didn’t even want a cookie after all that trouble. I packed up all 5 dozen and gave them away. Get away from me, Judas!
I will forever be a small-batch baker.
Anyway, what I can do for you this holiday season is breakfasts to gobble before you head to a relative’s house for the big meal. I can also make you two cocktails to get you through all the family time in the coming weeks. And, well, if you’re not spending time with family, I can get you through that, too. With sugar.
Check my recipe index and make your favorite dessert and eat both servings. Don’t feel guilty for one hot minute. You deserve it.
It’s the season of eating, and if you want a giant breakfast before a holiday meal, you go for it. Stretch that stomach! I made these pecan sticky buns for you. The recipe makes 4 because when I made just 2, I ate both. You might do the same. Sometimes my husband sees food on my instagram that he never gets to eat. So, I made 4 instead.
I made these 4 sticky buns in a jumbo muffin pan, but you can crowd them into any small pan. Try an 8″ round cheesecake pan—they’ll work just fine. I based the dough recipe off my Potato Cinnamon Rolls for Two. And I love them dearly.
This is a great jumbo muffin pan if you’re looking for one! A jumbo muffin pan was one of the weird items my husband brought with him from his bachelor pad before we got married, and I like to think he had these pecan sticky buns in mind.
Pecan Sticky Buns
Prep Time1 hour55 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time2 hours15 minutes
For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water, 110-degrees Farenheit
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar + a pinch for the yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for the bowl
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
For the filling:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
First, make the dough: combine the warm water with the yeast in a glass measuring cup. Add a pinch of sugar and stir to combine. Let it rest on the counter in a draft-free, warm place until it's foamy, about 5-7 minutes. If it doesn't foam, the yeast is dead; start over.
Next, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and set aside to cool slightly.
When the yeast is foamy, stir in the melted butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Pour all of the wet ingredients over the flour in a medium bowl. Stir until a soft, shaggy dough forms.
Pick up the dough with one hand, and then use the remaining extra butter to grease the bowl. Add the dough back to the bowl. Flip to coat both sides in butter.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, or until it doubles. If your kitchen is cold, turn the oven to 200-degrees Farenheit for 5 minutes, then turn it off before placing the dough inside.
Next, make the filling. Hint: while the dough rises, let the butter for the filling soften to room temperature.
After the dough has doubled in bulk, flour a surface and roll it out to a 10-inch by 6-inch rectangle.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and salt. Do not skip the salt; the buns taste flat without it. Add 1 tablespoon of the pecan mixture to the bottom of 4 jumbo muffin cups. Or, alternatively, sprinkle 1/4 cup of this mixture in the bottom of a small baking dish.
Slice 2 tablespoons of the butter evenly and place it over the pecan filling in the pan.
Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over the dough evenly.
Sprinkle the rest of the pecan mixture over the dough. Roll the dough up into a tight log, and slice into 4 equal pieces. Place each bun in each muffin cup.
Let the dough rise in the pan in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Bake the buns for 20 minutes.
Let the buns cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning the pan upside down. Let the caramel drizzle over each bun and serve immediately.
Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.