Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me, Plus Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

Apparently, this is what 34 years looks like. On me, anyway. Not too bad, I guess. I hate photos of myself, so I'm trying to push myself to take more self-portraits. I'm not happy with my hair right now so it's all pinned up until it gets a little longer. Thought I would take a photo for posterity.

In other news, my birthday baking adventures have been a complete failure. My tarte tatin was not only too sweet, but stained our teeth. In the trash it went.

Yesterday I spent all day on my second project, making yeast-raised cinnamon sticky buns, only to find out, after 5 hours, that my yeast was dead. It didn't rise much during the first rise, and then didn't do anything during the second rise -- little sad flaccid rolls of pale dough, sitting hopefully in the pan, trying their best to rise. They couldn't, er, rise to the occasion, so they, too, ended up in the trash.

So then I was frustrated. Terri suggested I make the 'quick' version of the rolls to try and salvage any birthday baking. So I made these, which did turn out well. Not as good as the yeasted buns, and not what I was hoping for in terms of special birthday treats, but still.

They worked in a pinch.

Anyway, apparently birthday baking works best if someone else is doing the baking. Terri is going to make me Lara's famous Black Magic cake, with sour-cream-chocolate frosting. I can't wait. We got some fancy pasta and sauce from a foo-foo grocery in Oakland, and I got a lovely fruit bouquet from Terri's sisters, so I am very, very happy and well-fed. :)

However, if you'd like to give the quick buns a try, they're really quite yummy and perfect for Sunday mornings if you get up a little early and happen to have buttermilk in the house. If not, you can use regular milk with a little lemon juice or vinegar in it to thicken it up. This recipe uses a nice baking-powder biscuit base for the rolls. Quick and easy. And, they worked even in the face of extreme Birthday Baking Bad Luck.

Quick Cinnamon Sticky Buns

1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted, for pan

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted

Biscuit/Roll Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

Caramel Glaze
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup , light or dark
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pinch table salt

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan.
2. To make cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine sugars, spices, and salt in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand; set filling mixture aside.
3. For the glaze: Combine all ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan; using rubber spatula, spread mixture to cover surface of pan Set pan aside.
4. To make biscuit dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in measuring cup or small bowl. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed (dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.
5. Pat dough with hands into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with sugar filling, roll, cut into 8 equal slices, and arrange buns in prepared cake pan. Brush with extra melted melted butter if you have some. Bake until edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before placing a plate over the pan, then quickly flipping to get the buns out.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!!!

Have a sweet, sticky day with your sweetie!!



PS: I had good intentions of putting a card in the mail... it's the thought that counts, right....

stefanie said...

Happy belated birthday! I think your birthday portrait is lovely. You are always supposed to have someone else do all the cooking and baking on your birthday. Your second batch of sticky buns sure look tasty.