Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Christmas Morning Sticky Buns

Servings: Makes 9 buns
What a lovely way to wake up Christmas morning, with the wonderful scent of fresh-baked sticky buns coming from the kitchen, just baked and right out of the oven. Enjoy these mincemeat filled buns with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or so tasty with a cup of hot cocoa. A real treat, and a very comforting start to this special day.

1 large navel orange
1 (9-oz) package condensed mincemeat, crumbled
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 lb frozen white bread dough, thawed overnight in refrigerator according to package instructions

Grate enough orange zest to measure 1 teaspoon , then squeeze juice from orange. Stir together zest, juice, and mincemeat in a bowl and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour.

Spread 2 tablespoons butter generously over bottom and lightly onto sides of a 9-inch square baking pan and sprinkle bottom with 1/3 cup brown sugar.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons butter over top of dough, then sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and crumble mincemeat evenly over sugar. Beginning from 1 long side, roll up dough into a log (like a jelly roll) and pinch seam to seal, then cut log crosswise into 9 equal slices. Arrange slices, a cut side down and about 1 1/2 inches apart, in baking pan. Cover pan with a sheet of wax paper and then a kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm draft-free place until they fill pan, about 1 1/4 hours.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Remove kitchen towel and wax paper from baking pan and bake buns 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and continue to bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Cool slightly in pan on a rack, about 5 minutes. Wearing oven mitts, invert a platter over pan and, keeping platter and pan firmly pressed together, invert buns onto platter. Carefully lift pan off buns. Cool buns to warm.

Buns can be baked 8 hours ahead. Cool completely in pan, then cover pan with foil. Reheat in same pan (keep covered) in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until warm, about 10 minutes.

Makes 9 buns.

Date: November 24, 2003