Sugar Buns

About 20 years ago I jumped from a moving train. It was just pulling out of the station, and going quite slowly, or so I thought. Five minutes earlier I had made the terrible realization that I had boarded the wrong train, and I panicked.  I ran to the open doorway, and quickly stepped off of the ledge. I was wrong about the train’s speed. It was going faster than I anticipated, and I fell hard. Then I proceeded to roll down the pavement, passing other commuters waiting to board their own trains. No one came to my rescue. They all just watched me roll on by like tumbleweed in the desert. When I finally came to a stop I got myself up, and headed for the bathroom, as if that were my plan all along. I tried to hide the pain I felt in my right hip by appearing to walk normally. I then boarded the correct train, and pretended to read my book all the way home.

I’ve told this story to a lot of people since then. I love telling this story. I love that I can say, “I jumped from a moving train once!”. I love that I rolled past people’s feet. I even love that no one helped me. It’s funnier that way.  

And that’s my New Year’s resolution. To live a little more outside of my comfort zone. I don’t intend to put myself in danger, and I don’t suggest you do either, but I do want to do the things I don’t normally do. After all, that’s where you’ll find the good stories. Let’s make sugar buns. 

Sugar buns are similar to sticky buns, but instead of the a thick coating of maple syrup or honey, they are sprinkled with Demerara sugar. Normally sugar buns are made with an enriched yeast dough, like brioche, but I made these using puff pastry. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit’s recipe. These buttery, and flaky sugar buns are perfectly sweet with hints of Autumn spices.

First, roll out your puff pastry to a rough rectangle. Next, spread a delicious concoction of melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over top.

Roll up the dough.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces on a slight diagonal, and place each in a greased muffin pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Once out of the oven and while still warm, brush the buns with a mixture of melted butter, honey, and a little salt.

Turn these lovely little sugar buns upside down onto your serving plate, and sprinkle the tops with Demerara sugar.

Sugar Buns
Yields 12
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  1. 1 LB. Puff Pastry
  2. 6 TBS Butter, divided
  3. ½ cup plus 3 TBS (75 g) Brown Sugar
  4. ½ TBS Ground Cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  6. ¼ cup Honey, divided
  7. 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  8. Demerara Sugar
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stir together 4 tablespoons of the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 cup of the honey until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a rough 13” x 8” rectangle. Spread the cinnamon/butter filling evenly over top. With the longer end of the pastry dough facing you, gently roll up the puff pastry into a cylinder shape. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a regular-sized muffin pan.
  4. Cut the chilled pastry into 1-inch pieces, and place each piece in the muffin pan.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/8 cup of honey, and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt until melted.
  7. While the sugar buns are still warm brush the tops with the honey/butter mixture. Carefully remove each bun from the muffin pan. Turn them upside down on your serving plate. Sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Serve while still warm.
Special equipment needed
  1. Rolling pin
  2. Pastry brush
  3. Saucepan
  4. Muffin pan
  5. Plastic wrap
  6. Off set spatula
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