We had a blast sharing healthy holiday dessert recipes from our new mobile app, Meal Makeovers and catching up with our friend. We were also there on another important cooking mission: to give cinnamon rolls—a Pioneer Woman original made with a heart-stopping 2 cups of butter, 3 cups of sugar and a bag of powdered sugar—a mega extreme makeover. Joining us was mini Manic Mommie, Sophie, who turned out to be quite the silly, sassy, and talented baker!
Every Christmas, Kristin’s mom makes the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls. While Kristin told us she loves every gooey, sticky bite, the rolls are decadent to a fault. We have nothing against Ree Drummond, and she certainly doesn’t know us from a hole in the wall, but we felt a throw down was in order!
Our goal with our sticky bun makeover was to come up with something easy enough to make on lazy weekends and light and flavorful enough to eat without guilt. The results were divine. Kristin, Sophie, and Kristin’s husband, Steve LOVED them, and as we shared on the podcast, “our better-for-you Peachy Pecan Cinnamon Buns won’t make your buns big!”
We’re still playing with the recipe a bit and would love to get YOUR feedback, so we challenge you to make our better buns and post your comments here on the blog. Are you game?
To make our cinnamon buns, begin by rolling out a 16-ounce pizza dough. That’s the shortcut part …
Brush the dough with 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter (Kristin was game for 2 tablespoons) and a mixture of 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
Roll up the dough into a tight “log,” and then slice into 1-inch pieces. Yes, that is a ruler you see in the shot
Arrange the rolls on two buttered 9-inch cake pans, and brush the tops with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. (Next time we make these, we plan to use a large rimmed baking sheet instead.)
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Flip each cinnamon bun and bake 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk. Devour!
Peachy Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Makes 18 Servings
There’s plenty of flexibility with this recipe. You can try whole wheat pizza dough instead of white, swap out pecans for walnuts, add some dried cranberries, or use less powdered sugar if you want just a drizzle of frosting on top versus, well, a generous drizzle. Each of our buns has 140 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat and 3 teaspoons sugar. The Pioneer Woman’s version: 410 calories, 8 grams saturated fat, and 10 teaspoons sugar.
- One 16-ounce pizza dough, room temperature
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
- 1/2 cup peach preserves
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a large baking sheet and set aside.
2. Sprinkle flour on a clean kitchen countertop and roll out the pizza dough into a 17 x 9-inch rectangle. A rolling pin comes in handy here!
3. Brush 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the entire surface of the dough followed by the peach preserves. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pizza dough, making sure to cover all ends. Roll up tightly into a long “log.”
4. Use a sharp knife to cut the “log” into 1-inch rounds. You don’t have to let the dough rise. Arrange the buns on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a 1-inch space between each one, and brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Bake 20 minutes, until the bottoms brown. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to flip each roll. (We do this so the bottoms don’t burn.) Place back in the oven, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown.
5. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle the frosting over the hot buns, cool slightly, and serve. (If you have extra frosting, serve it on the side.) Transfer leftovers to an airtight container.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 bun): 140 calories, 4.5g fat (1g saturated), 210mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 12g sugar, 1g fiber, 2g protein
Pioneer Woman’s Nutrition Information per Serving (1 bun): 410 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated), 380mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate, 39g sugar, 1g fiber, 4g protein
Our sous chef, Sophie, wishes everyone a happy holiday season … And remember to make our cinnamon buns and send us your feedback and suggestions!
And yes. We all made a complete mess of Kristin’s kitchen
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