Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Salad and Sweets Party, featuring sticky buns

It is the night before the first-ever Salad and Sweets party. These pans are ready to receive their payload. At the moment, they seem silently content with their sugars and butter, and one of them twinkles with chopped walnuts and cherry-flavored cranberries. What else will they hold ... ? Only time will tell.
sticky buns

The next day: the salad spread, with homemade white wine and lemon vinaigrettes.
SAS I

I turned the rest of the "dog-bone" Sokolov loaf into croutons.
SAS I: croutons

Very simple red potato salad.
SAS I: potato salad

One of my favorites--curried couscous salad, with whole wheat couscous.
SAS I: curried couscous

But let's look back to earlier that morning. What's this? Buns! The buns are risen, Hallelujah! After being shaped and set into the pans the night before, they were nestled into the fridge for holding. Early the next morning, they were taken out of the fridge so they could warm and proof, doubling in size in just a matter of hours!
sticky buns

The sticky buns! Now, with softer, more edible caramel!
sticky buns

Here are the buns with the walnuts and cherry-flavored cranberries.
sticky buns

And here are the plain buns. I like their flowery pattern. I ate the chunk that was missing off the edge, then sent the rest home with my guests, holding a half of each kind for my brother, who was to arrive later in the day. I didn't want to have anymore, seeing as how I'd eaten two of the tester buns the morning and night before.
sticky buns

I call this a graceful recovery after all the sticky buns--a very yummy dinner.
salad greens

2 comments:

Tom Trush said...

You've got to be kidding me, Julie! How can anyone read (or even look at) your blog without taking a trip to the refrigerator for a snack break? It's physically impossible! You have some great descriptions, instructions and pictures. Excellent blog!

By the way, do you have any idea how to make the pumpkin scones from Starbucks? I've been searching for that recipe.

Tom

Julie said...

Thanks, Tom! Luckily, I blog about the food after I've already eaten it, so I'm not so tempted. =D

I've never had Starbucks' pumpkin scones, but I found somebody's best guess online from here:

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter

PLAIN GLAZE:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

SPICED ICING:

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl.

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg.

4. Cut butter into cubes then add it to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry knife or a fork to combine butter with dry ingredients. Continue mixing until no
chucks of butter are visible. You can also use a food processor: Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is the texture of cornmeal or coarse sand.

5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick
rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza wheel to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal
portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.

6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. Scones should begin to turn light brown.

7. While scones cool, prepare plain glaze by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Mix until smooth.

8. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.

9. As that white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by combining ingredients in another medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.


Makes 6 scones.


***

It's a pretty standard scone recipe, though most use either cream (half-and-half) or butter, instead of both. Some use shortening for stability, cost, and ease of use--bleh! Once you combine your wet and dry ingredients, shape your scones quickly and get them right into the oven. Try not to overwork your butter, or your scones won't be as tender and flaky as they should be. Good luck, and let me know how they turn out!