Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sticky Bun MESS!


First of all let me say that since I started this blog every recipe I've tried to make has been a mess! I take pictures as I'm making something, so excited to write about my new invention & then...yuck!

One of the shows I love on the Food Network is Throwdown with Bobby Flay. He basically challenges people that are well know for making a particular item really well. I was watching his sticky bun episode a couple of weeks ago & my mouth was watering as I watched his challenger make her sticky buns. Here's the website with her recipe & a picture of the buns.,1977,FOOD_9936_37125,00.html
& here is the website for her bakery in Boston:

So with everything you have to do for these sticky buns it was going to take me about 10 HOURS to make them, but they looked so good on the show I decided to try. I got all the ingredients needed after park play day today & when Madeline went down for her nap I was ready to start. I put all the ingredients for the dough (except the butter per the directions) into my mixer & let it fly. The directions said to mix for 10 mins. Well after about 1 minute of mixing the dough started flying out of the top of my Bosch in golf ball size chunks! For the next 4 minutes I kept running around & putting the flying dough back into the mixer (you can imagine the sight). After 5 mins I said forget it I'm adding the butter, maybe that will help. Big mistake! I should have cut my losses then. I added the softened butter & turned the mixer back on. Well all the butter did was create a nice slick environment for the stiff dough to fly around the bowl in! Seconds later the butter started pouring out of the Bosch between the bowl & the lid. I was scraping the butter back into the bowl with my hands fast as it was flowing out (again, you can imagine the picture). I thought maybe it just needs a minute or so. Wrong again! The fiasco never ended. I tried to knead the butter into the dough myself...mess mess mess! I decided to cut my losses & had to throw it all away. So sad. I have a theory about recipes from restaurants. I think the restaurant leaves out a few things, or makes the steps more difficult than they need to be so you have to go eat the food in the restaurant & can't easily make it at home. Not that I'm blaming them, it's their prize recipe. I've had a lot of restaurant recipes turn out, but they were much more simple than this one. I should have known when I looked at the recipe & saw that she has some measurements in cups & some in ounces & other things. I think it's to throw you off a little.

NEVER FEAR! This small hiccup didn't get me down. I decided to go to a tried & true recipe, my cousin Stefani's white bread recipe that also I use for cinnamon rolls. I decided I would make those & just bake them in the goo Joanne Chang bakes her sticky buns in. They turned out great. I think next time I will only use a quarter of the water she puts in her goo (I've adjusted the recipe below to reflect that), because it was a little watery, but once they were baked & cooled they tasted like pecan cinnamon rolls wrapped in a light toffee blanket. Yum! I had some dough that didn't fit into the pans with the goo, so I made my regular cinnamon roll frosting to go on top & they were great too.

If you want to try Joanne Chang's full recipe for the sticky buns, you can click on the Food Network Link above. You might have better luck that me, especially if you've made Brioche before.

If you want a great roll recipe here is my cousins recipe & then after I've added how I made them into the stick buns & after that I put my cinnamon roll topping if you'd rather just try cinnamon rolls.

Right before going into the oven...

Right after coming out of the oven...

Finished product!!
Kerstin's Try, Try & Try Again Sticky Buns! ;)
Stefani's White Bread
1 1/2 c boiling water over
1 cube butter
After melted:
Add 1 c sugar
1/4 c yeast - yes you read it right! (I make sure the water has cooled down to a temp that won't kill the yeast before I add it.
1 t salt
5 oz can evaporated milk
4 c flour (start with 4 cups & adjust to a nice not too sticky not too dry bread dough)
Mix or knead together. Let double & punch down. Make into as many loaves, rolls or bread bowls as you want. Let rise again & bake at 350 until golden brown. Continue on if you want to make the sticky buns or cinnamon rolls...
For sticky buns & cinnamon rolls:
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
pecans (optional)
raisins (optional)
2 medium size roasting pans (I got the disposable ones in the grocery store. You can use Pyrex, but you will probably need 4 of them for this recipe.)
Once the dough has risen & you've punched it down, take 1/2 the dough and roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Rub 1/2 stick melted butter all over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle 3/4 c packed brown sugar over the butter. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the cinnamon (I used pecan's for the sticky buns. I usually don't use anything but the sugar & cinnamon & butter on cinnamon rolls. Sometimes raisins because Matt likes them.) Roll up the dough & cut it in about 1 1/2 - 2 inch sections. Place the sticky buns into your baking dish on top of the goo (recipe below) and bake for about 20 minutes or until a medium dark golden brown (you want to let it get a little darker than normal to make sure the other end in the goo gets fully cooked). Let the pan rest for about 10 minutes before inverting the pan to get the buns out onto waxed paper (my goo was a little too runny, so I flipped each bun out individually & then poured a little of the goo still in the pan onto each roll. Once they're completely cooled you can flip them back over onto your serving pan. They look prettier that way.
If you're doing straight cinnamon rolls then just put the rolled & sliced dough onto a sprayed cookie sheet or whatever pan you're using & bake them for about 15 mins, or until light golden brown. Take them off the pan immediately & cover with as much frosting as you like (recipe follows)
Sticky Bun Goo (I adjusted the original recipe to something that will be more firm. You can go back to the original recipe on the Food Network site if you want to try that):
2 sticks butter
2 lbs brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 c honey
1/4 c water
Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat in a saucepan. Once melted together & halfway cooled add the other ingredients until well mixed. Pour half into each of the roasting pans (or into fourths depending on what size pans you're using).
Cinnamon Roll Frosting:
1 stick butter melted
1 t cinnamon
1 bag powdered sugar
1/2 c warm milk +
Wisk the cinnamon and powdered sugar into the melted butter. Add milk & wisk. Add more milk if needed until you get to a nice medium thick consistency that will adhere well to the cinnamon roll. Spoon over the hot cinnamon rolls right out of the oven.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Super Brownies, Curry & Rolls!

Last night we had the Wadsworth's & Shaman over for dinner/moving help. I decided to try 3 new recipes! Madness! For dinner I knew I wanted to make this delicious non spicy simple curry my cousin Niki made for us when we recently visited them in Utah. I also wanted to make some Poni PoPo rolls that my cousins the Sadowski's are famous for making. They're Rhodes rolls that rise & are baked in a mixture of coconut milk & sugar. They're addicting! I couldn't decide what to make for dessert. I was talking to my mom a few days ago & she mentioned that at the last family dinner they went to in Arizona my cousin made these brownies that got rave reviews. I aspire to be able to cook as good as my mom some day, so any recipe she says is good, I'm for sure going to try! Everything turned out delicious! The rolls & curry were as good as I remembered them to be & the brownies were perfectly moist, dense & chewy. The recipes & pictures are below. I forgot to take a picture of the rolls, so I will do that next time I make them & post pics then.

Super Natural Super Moist Brownies

16 tablespoons butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Put the butter and chocolate in a double boiler and heat on med high until melted together. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs. Add salt, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate and butter mixture. Fold in flour and nuts.Pour batter into a 9″x13″ pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread batter evenly in pan.Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The top will form a shiny crust and the batter will be moderately firm. I like to turn the oven off for the last 5 mins of baking & keep the brownies in there. I find it keeps the moisture in & makes them a little more dense & chewy.

Curried Coconut Chicken
2 lb chicken breasts, cubed
1 ½ T Vegetable oil
2 T curry powder
½ onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 red or green bell peppers, cubed (I julienned mine)
8 oz tomato sauce
14 oz coconut milk (I put 28 oz to make more saucy, Niki & Kim both suggested this)
14 oz diced tomatoes (I put 28 oz as Niki & Kim also suggested)
3 T sugar
Season chicken with S & P. Heat oil and curry powder in large skillet over med/high heat for 2 min. Stir in onions and garlic (* and bell peppers, if added). Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 min, until chicken is no longer pink. Mix in tomato sauce, coconut milk, stewed (or diced) tomatoes, sugar and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally approximately 30-40 min. Serves: 6

Poni PoPo
15 frozen rolls (Rhodes work great)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
Spray an 9 x 13 Pyrex/casserole dish with cooking spray. Mix coconut milk and sugar together. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the casserole dish. Put the rolls in the pan on top of the milk mixture and let rise for 3 hours. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and done.