I made these this morning. This afternoon we watched a movie and I buttered a big tray of them to have for afternoon tea. My boys said they were the best buns ever. My husband chimed in and said he always thought I had the best buns ever... that's why I love him.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Spice Hot Cross Buns with Candied Orange and Cinnamon Butter
For the Butter:
60g caster sugar
3 teaspoons water
60ml orange juice
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Buns:
2 tablespoons dried yeast (2 1/2 sachets)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 1/2 cups "00" flour (or plain four)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup dark chocolate chips
For the Crosses:
50g "00" flour (or plain flour)
10g cocoa powder
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons boiling water
Make the Butter:
Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has melted. You can stir it up to this point. Increase the heat and STOP STIRRING and bring it to the boil. Boil for bout 3 - 4 minutes, until it turns a light golden colour. You are permitted to swirl the pan, but no stirring. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice and zest. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for another 2 -3 minutes until the rind is soft. Cool the syrup, then chill in the refrigerator.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and cinnamon for about 3 - 4 minutes, until fluffy. Fold the cold orange syrup into the butter mixture. Set aside.
Make the Buns:
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
Put the yeast, sugar and milk into a bowl stir and set aside for 10 minutes to become foamy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, sift the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, butter, egg, pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes.
Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Divide the dough into 16 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place close together on the prepared baking tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes to get slightly puffy.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Make the Crosses:
Put the flour, cocoa powder and water into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon it into a piping bag and snip a small hole in the tip.
Pipe crosses onto the puffy hot cross buns.
Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Make the Glaze:
While the buns are baking, mix the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Brush the hot glaze over the hot buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
Split warm buns and spread with lashings of Candied Orange and Cinnamon Butter.