Mini Morning Buns

Our summer vacation last year took us to San Francisco with about 8 of our other friends. We had an amazing time seeing all the most iconic parts of the area. We went to Alcatraz, visited the Golden Gate Bridge, a part of the Redwood Forest, and lots of places to eat! Eating is what we tend to do best on vacation, but thank goodness we walk so much to make up for it! One of our stops for brunch one day was to a very popular bakery called Tartine. We stood in line for 30 minutes to get our food. While their cases spanned the entire restaurant, I singled out one thing: The Morning Bun. It turns out that it is one of Tartine’s more popular pastries, and no one has to wonder why. Think of a Cinnamon roll, but better. Made out of croissant dough, filled with cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest, then baked and tossed in sugar again for good measure. Oh my goodness. I only had the one (though it was the size of my head), but ever since I had it, I’ve been thinking that I wanted to try those morning buns again.

Because most of my baking endeavors tend to get served to rather large groups of people (most of the time, co-workers, this time, Church small group), I usually decide to bake in mini form. I am so glad I did in this case. Making the Mini Morning Buns smaller somehow made them taste more wonderful.

Now I am going to admit something to you before you scroll past the strip and look at the recipe… I did not make my own croissant dough! I’m sorry! It takes almost a full day to prep that dough and while I didn’t have the time, I had the overwhelming craving for Morning Buns, whatever the cost. So this recipe includes *sigh* store bought croissant dough. But you know what? Chances are, you are just as busy as I am and have no time for 8 hours of dough-making. What a task! Take comfort in knowing that even if you use store bought dough, like I did, your mornings will┬ádefinitely┬ábe a little brighter when you nibble on a warm Morning Bun, because they are darn tasty.

Mini Morning Bun Recipe

(Full recipe found in the Tartine Cookbook)

2 lbs of croissant dough (I used three cans of “Big and Buttery Flake” Pilsbury”)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 stick of butter, melted
An extra cup and a half of sugar to set aside for muffin cups and coating

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and, in a bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and salt.

2. Brush the bottom and sides of the cups of a 24-mini-muffin pan. Sprinkle sugar into each cup and shake around to evenly coat the cups.

3. Roll out croissant dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle, with the longer side facing you. Brush melted butter onto the dough and sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the whole rectangle.

4. Roll rectangle into a cylinder and cut into 1-inch thick disks. Place each disk into the muffin tin, with the swirl facing up.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let rolls rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or foil to catch any drips while baking.

6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes . When done, the tops should be golden and the sugar melted. Turn out the buns onto a cookie sheet immediately to set and cool. Rinse out your pan right away. That melted sugar is a pain to get off after it has cooled. Let the buns set for 5 to 10 minutes, then toss in a bowl with some sugar to coat.

I would seriously recommend eating these within 12 hours of baking. If you’re making them for a crowd, that shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have leftovers, heating them up in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes works real well.