One of the food highlights from the inn for me has to be discovering this sticky bun recipe. Before finding my own way, I would buy a sticky bun from Millbrook Bakery at the farmers market each Saturday. I was hooked, I was dependent, so much so that for my birthday in August, I had Jill (the person wearing the bakers hat at Millbrook) bring me enough for all the guests and the staff and the birthday girl. Then I discovered the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. A key ingredient? Frozen puff pastry! Now, with a quick trip to your grocery store, you, too, can dazzle your guests—or just your family—with gooey, heavenly sticky buns. Two guests even created a Facebook photo essay about their experience. Go to our Facebook page to see the sticky bun recipe and experience illustrated!
Pecan Sticky Buns from the Blue Hill Inn
Makes 12 larger or 14 slightly smaller buns
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans (or 24-28 halves)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped fine (or, if you really like raisins, use raisins, or both)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper. Place standard muffin tin(s) on the paper-lined sheet.
With an electric mixer or food processor, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Divide into muffin tins (approximately one tablespoon in each). Distribute pecans on top of the sugar-butter mixture (place pecan halves upside down so when the sticky buns are right side up the pecans will look lovely).
Mix together the remaining brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, and set aside.
Place the puff pastry, with the longer side toward you, on a floured surface (or keep the nonstick paper on). Brush the whole top of the sheet with half the melted butter. By paying attention to the edge closest to you, you will ensure the center of the sticky bun is especially heavenly. Distribute half the filling over the entire surface—don’t forget that edge closest to you! Starting with that edge, roll the pastry up snugly like a jellyroll around the filling, ending with the seam side down. Slice the roll into 6 or 7 equal portions. Place each piece, with the flattest spiral side up, into one of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. The butter may bubble over the sides of the muffin tin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes only, then invert the buns on to the parchment paper that you placed under the muffin tin. I do this with a spoon in one hand to ease out any filling that may want to stay behind.
Serve. Prepare for oohs and ahhs!
Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe