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With highs in the single digits it was time to make some winter comfort food. All it took was a package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and a few pantry staples to create this sweet, gooey goodness- Orange Glazed Sticky Buns. It is with no shame that I say my husband and I polished off the entire plate. For those of you with self-control, this should easily serve 4 people, or 8 if you plan on everyone having just one (but to ask people to limit themselves to just one would be rude).
Combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan right away. You'll want to get that butter and sugar melted and up to a simmer so it can reduce while you put together the rolls. It takes about 15 minutes to reduce by half and thicken up slightly. Make sure to stir frequently and that it doesn't come to a rolling boil - you don't want it to burn!
Unroll the crescent roll dough and pinch the seams together. They may come undone a bit as you roll it all up but it's no big deal. Pinch it back together again and keep on rolling - some gaps are okay.
Sprinkle a generous amount of the cinnamon-sugar mixture onto the dough. Pat on a thick, even layer, leaving about an inch on the bottom edge. Make sure to get to all of the other edges.
You likely won't need all of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and that is a-okay. Save it and use it on buttered toast for a quick cinnamon toast breakfast later in the week.
Oh hey orange glaze... Don't forget to keep stirring and monitor the heat to prevent burning. You can get it bubbling a little more than what's shown in the picture above, but don't over do it- your nose will tell you if it's starting to burn. If it's starting to go that direction, turn off the heat and let cool a few minutes. Make sure you taste it from time to time if you don't trust your nose, but remember this is melted sugar so it's going to be HOT!! Get a spoon coated with it and let it cool a second before tasting.
Roll the dough from top to bottom and press seam at end together. Cut in half, then cut each half in half (to make quarters), and then each quarter in half (to make eighths) - use this to teach your kids math. :)
Once your glaze has had a chance to reduce by about half, turn off the heat and let cool for about 3-5 minutes. Give it another stir and then pour enough in the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) to make about an eighth to quarter inch layer. You shouldn't need all of the glaze for this. Save the glaze to spoon over the buns.
Add a few big handfuls of chopped pecans to the orange-glaze in the bottom of the pan (I ended up adding more than what is shown in the image above). Then place the rolls in the pan - six in a circle around the outside and two in the middle. Make sure to leave room between the rolls and the edge of the pan and each other - they are going to expand!
Once you've got the rolls placed, take some of the leftover glaze and spoon over the top. Again, you don't need to use all of the glaze, you don't want to drench them - just give them a little extra flavor and moisture. I also pressed down the two end pieces that had a little pointy action going on so those tips didn't get burned.
After baking at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes your buns should look like this! Nice and fluffy and golden brown- yum. They don't look so sticky right now but don't you worry that's all about to change when you invert the pan onto your serving plate (or in my case, a foil lined pizza pan - you know I'm all about easy clean-up).
Alright, now comes some risky business. Take your serving plate (make sure it is larger than the pan of sticky-buns) and flip upside down on top of the pan. Using hot mitts (you need to do this pretty soon after it comes out of the oven), make sure you get a good grasp on both the serving plate and the pan underneath it. Flip over and pull the pan off the top to leave you the sticky, gooey, sugary, deliciousness that you see above.
For the Glaze
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T granulated sugar
1/2 c. orange juice
For the Rolls
3 T brown sugar
2 T granulated sugar
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
8 oz package of crescent rolls
3/4 - 1 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small sauce pan, bring all of the ingredients for the glaze up to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir frequently and adjust heat as necessary to keep from a rolling boil and burning. Once reduced, turn off heat and let cool for 3-5 minutes.
While the glaze is reducing, combine the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Unroll the crescent rolls onto a cutting board and pinch together seams. Spread a thick even coat over the dough leaving about an inch at the bottom (see more detailed instructions on this in the picture walk-through above). You do not need to use all of the sugar mixture.
Roll the dough from top to bottom and press seam together at the end. Cut into eight equal pieces.
Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour enough of the orange-glaze into the bottom of the pan to create an eighth to quarter inch layer (save remaining glaze to spoon over the rolls). Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly across glaze in the bottom of the pan. Place six of the rolls in a ring around the pan and two in the middle. Be sure to leave space between the rolls and the edge of the pan and between each other as they are going to expand. Spoon some more of the glaze on top of the rolls. Again, you do not need to use all of the glaze. You don't want to drench the rolls just spoon a bit over to add some extra flavor and moisture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Place your serving plate over the top of the pan and invert the rolls onto the serving plate. When you pull the pan off the top you'll be left with the sticky, sugary deliciousness that you see above. Enjoy!