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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Orange Pecan Cinnamon Buns Recipe

Fresh popped popcorn, barbecue, cinnamon buns. You know what I'm getting at, right? Some foods smell so good you just have to have them. Scientists tell us that our sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger, though I think in this case it just triggers the memory of how good these things taste.

I have never made cinnamon buns before because making a dough with yeast seemed like too much bother. But in the January 2005 issue of Bon Appetit magazine there was a recipe for cinnamon buns using buttermilk, baking soda and baking powder for leavening. Perfect!

I love the R.S.V.P. section of Bon Appetit. It's where readers request their favorite recipes, it's my turn-to-first section. Too often the pound of butter, the pint of cream or the 8 egg yolks are why the cookies, chowder or cake tasted so good in the first place. But not this recipe. As usual I have significantly changed it to make it "better". Here is my version:

Orange Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Makes 4 large buns


1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon melted unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
5 Tablespoon melted butter (reserve 2 Tablespoon separate)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
1 Tablespoon orange juice


Combine all the ingredients

Whisk sugar and liquids thoroughly to combine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix in the buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. Mix the dough and knead on a floured surface, adding more flour if necessary if the dough is too sticky.

Roll out to about 8x5. Brush dough with one tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with the filling leaving a 1-inch border on one long side. Press the filling firmly into the dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style starting with the end opposite the plain border. Seal pinching with the plain border edge. Cut into four or five big slices. Place each piece in the buttered pan, spacing slightly apart from each other. Brush tops with remaining butter. Bake 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, then drizzle with icing. For heaven's sake don't wait for them to cool completely! Eat them warm.