I have a confession to make on Alex's behalf, his obsession with Cinnabon cinnamon buns, and even Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for that matter. It drives me crazy. There are a few pre-made items that I'll make an exception for, like frozen puff pastry and Cape Cod kettle chips, but otherwise I have a strong preference for making everything myself. This is where my determination to create a cinnamon bun better than Cinnabon's began.
I didn't have any puff pastry on hand when this mission began, but it would be a perfectly acceptable substitute for what I ended up using, pre-made pizza dough. I rolled out the dough into a big rectangle, then sprinkled it with brown sugar and cinnamon and rolled it up. Then I cut the roll into 8 slices and tucked each of them into a muffin tin, which I filled with a pecan-cinnamon butter mixture. This created a gooey, delicious exterior (better than Alex's coveted Cinnabon bun!)
Pecan Sticky Buns
Yield: 8 Perfect Buns
1 premade pizza dough (Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
4 tbsp butter (room temperature)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by rolling out the pizza dough into a rectangle (about 10" x 14") use a little bit of flour if its sticky. Then sprinkle the dough evenly with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Now, roll the dough up the long way, the side should look like a pinwheel. Slice the roll into 8 pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the last 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, and 4 tbsp of butter. Mix them together with a fork until they're well combined. Evenly distribute this mixture into the bottom of 8 of the sections of a muffin pan. Now put the 8 sliced pieces of the roll on top of the pecan mixture. Place the muffin pan into the oven for 20 minutes. When it's done, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before inverting it onto a plate. Enjoy!