After making my own mincemeat recently I found myself with rather a lot of it! There are only so many mince pies a girl can eat (though that number may be quite high), so I tried to think of some other ways to use some of it up. The best way I came up with was these mincemeat and marzipan cinnamon buns, which also helpfully used up the marzipan leftover from covering my Christmas cake.
These buns are not only a good way of using up leftovers, but they make a wonderful festive breakfast or snack and are pretty easy to make. You can do all the work on one day, or you can break it up a bit and make the dough the day before you want to bake them and let it rise in the fridge overnight, which is my preferred way of doing it. I baked mine in a muffin tin, but you could also use a roasting tray. The dough is soft and slightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla; and the filling is a simple matter of spreading over some mincemeat, sprinkling with cinnamon and scattering with cubes of marzipan. They are topped with a drizzle of orange glaze which instantly makes them 1000% prettier and adds a hint of orange flavour.
I was sent some brilliant products by Joseph Josesph to try out, firstly a non-slip silicone pastry mat – this is a mat that you place on your worktop and use to roll out pastry, dough or icing on. It saves your worktop from getting covered in dough and it has measurements on it, both round and square and in inches and centimetres, so that you don’t have to guess the size or dig out a ruler when you are rolling things out. This is so incredibly handy as I’m forever having to rummage around for a ruler with floury hands in the middle of rolling out pastry! It also rolls up for easy storage and has a lockable strap so that it doesn’t un-roll itself.
Secondly, an adjustable rolling pin – a wooden rolling pin (again with handy measurements on it) with removable rings on either end. The rings are different thicknesses (between 10 and 2mm) and raise the rolling pin surface by that amount so that you can easily roll out dough or pastry to a specific, even thickness. It can be quite difficult to judge the thickness of pastry when you are rolling it out, even more difficult to get it an even thickness all the way through; this rolling pin makes it easy to do so.
Thirdly, a two in one dough cutter and bowl scraper. The bowl scraper is flexible silicone which allows you to get every last drop of batter out of a bowl so there’s no wastage. The dough cutter is solid metal and cuts through dough with ease; it also has measurements etched onto the blade edge so that you can divide up your dough evenly. It is also really useful for scraping off any difficult bits of dough stuck to the worksurface. The two pieces are magnetic and stick together neatly for easy storage.
Mincemeat & Marzipan Cinnamon Buns
- 270 ml (1 + 1/8 cup) full fat milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 50 g (3tbsp) butter cubed
- 500 g (4 cups + 2tbsp) strong white bread flour
- 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 10 g (3 tsp) fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 450 g (16oz) mincemeat
- 300 g (10.5oz) marzipan
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 100 g (1 cup) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- 2 tsp orange juice
Place the milk, vanilla extract and butter in a small pan and heat, stirring, until the butter has melted and the mixture is just boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until lukewarm (scalding the milk makes the bread softer).
Place the flour in a large bowl, add the sugar and salt to one side and the yeast to the other, make a well in the middle and add the egg and the lukewarm milk. Stir until it forms a dough then turn out onto an un-floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place into a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or two until doubled in size, or in the fridge overnight.
Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin, or if you want to save yourself a difficult washing up job, line it with large muffin liners. Knock back the risen dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 5mm thick.
Chop the marzipan into small cubes (about 1cm). Spread the mincemeat evenly over the dough and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Scatter over the marzipan then roll the dough up tightly from one of the long edges into a log.
Slice off the scraggy end bits then chop the log into 12 even slices. place the slices cut side down in the prepared muffin tin. loosely cover with greased clingfilm and set aside to rise for about 30-45 minutes until puffy.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Bake the buns for about 30 minutes until golden and the internal temperature reaches at least 94C. If the tops start to colour too much before the buns are ready, loosely cover with tin foil partway through baking to prevent them from burning.
Leave the buns to cool in the tin until lukewarm then carefully lift them out and place on a wire rack. Place the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually stir in enough orange juice to form a runny glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the buns and serve. Store in an airtight container.
I was sent some free products but I was not paid to write this post and all opinions remain my own.