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Bite one of five in our festive brunch recipe series by Julie Van Rosendaal.
Tiny cinnamon buns have all the appeal of the full-sized version, with less commitment—and are easy to eat in just a few bites. If you want to prep them ahead of time, refrigerate the dough overnight to slow the rise, then roll, shape and bake in the morning.
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup corn or maple syrup
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
24 pecan halves (optional)
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp eggnog
Put warm water in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and sprinkle with yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Add the rest of the sugar along with flour, butter, egg, cardamom and salt, and stir by hand or with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer until you have a soft dough. Knead for about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, but still tacky. Place dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for an hour or two.
Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, butter, syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until well-blended and smooth. Divide between 24 mini muffin tins that have been buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray. If you like, put a pecan half in the bottom of each.
Roll dough out (you shouldn’t need to flour the countertop—it will cling a bit better without) into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, smoothing it over the surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Starting on a long side, roll the dough up into a log, then gently roll and pull to lengthen it to about 20 inches. Using a sharp serrated knife or dental floss, cut the log crosswise in half, and then quarters, and each quarter into three—this is easier than eyeballing even pieces.
Place rolls cut-side-up in the muffin tins, and let sit while you preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden. Invert onto a platter immediately, while the sauce is still soft. To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar and eggnog, and drizzle over buns with a fork. Serve warm.
Originally posted on December 2019.
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