Arsip Tag: sticky
On the very long list of things that I am convinced that other people do effortlessly while I typical flail and fail in the face of — dancing, running, walking from one room to another without forgetting what they were looking for — making dinner on a regular basis with a minimum of brow sweat and complaining is near the top.
It likely doesn’t help that I often spend my cooking hours chasing some very specific idea (a star! a pretzel-y pretzel!) of what I want to cook next, and that this item may or may not amount to dinner, leading to countless days when I realize at 5 p.m. that I have an incoming hangry preschooler and very little plan for what to feed us. A domestic goddess, I hope you never mistake me for.
On the worst of these days, we order sushi or pizza. On the best of these days, I find something that both saves the day and is actually declared a winner by all involved parties and I can’t wait to tell you about it, such as Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe or Sizzling Chicken Fajitas. [See more in the long overdue new category, Weeknight Favorites.]
Last month, the late Gourmet Magazine came to my rescue, and not for the first time. Why did nobody tell me that roasted (or grilled, if you’ve got one) chicken wings were the ultimate weekday night dinner savior? You cannot mess them up. They’re done in just over 30 minutes in the oven, but even if you, say, left them in 20 minutes longer, they’re just fine, which I know from experience. They take on the flavor of whatever you pour over them without requiring a multi-hour or overnight marinade because seriously, who plans that far ahead for a 30 minute meal? (See above: probably people who aren’t me.) And it turns out, if you’ve got the kind of 4.75 year-old that isn’t usually inclined to embrace new foods, they may actually go berserk for what they think are baby drumsticks. They might eat a frightening amount. You might have to bite your tongue when this happens, because you know by now it might never happen again. And then you can make them again next week, when you forget to plan for dinner again.
Weeknight Favorites: A new and long-overdue category. What’s it missing?
One year ago: Slow and Low Dry Rub Oven Chicken
Two years ago: Flag Cake and Blackberry Gin Fizz
Three years ago: Flatbreads with Honey, Thyme and Sea Salt
Four years ago: Mediterranean Pepper Salad, Cherry Brown Butter Bars and Watermelonade
Five years ago: Porch Swing
Six years ago: Chopped Watermelon, Vegetable and Feta Salad
Seven years ago: Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad
Sticky Sesame Wings
Adapted, barely, from Gourmet Magazine
You can definitely mess with the proportions here; we’ve also enjoyed it with slightly more hoisin and half the honey. I think a little grated fresh ginger could be good in here, as well as a dash or two of Sriracha. We had this with rice (I’m currently enamored with this and this) and roasted asparagus. If I hadn’t waited until the last minute, I may have made this Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint or the Sugar Snap Slaw with Sesame-Miso Dressing from TSKC.
If you can’t find “wingettes” (often sold as “party wings”), use regular chicken wings but cut off tips from chicken wings with kitchen shears or a large heavy knife (you can use them for stock), then halve wings at the joint.
Yield: 4 main-course servings
3 pounds chicken wingettes or chicken wings (see note up top)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons mild honey (I often halved this)
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne or dash of Sriracha
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 scallion, finely chopped
Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and lightly oil it.
Stir wings together with garlic, salt, soy, hoisin, honey, sesame oil and cayenne or Sriracha until coated. Spread wings and any sauce that fell to the bottom of the bowl out on the prepared baking pan in one layer. Roast, turning over once, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer wingettes to a large serving bowl* and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.
* If you end up with a puddle of sauce in the bottom of your baking pan (I did the one time they were more tightly packed in a dish), after removing the wings, you can pour the extra sauce into a saucepan and reduced it until thick, then stir it over the roasted wings before adding the sesame seeds and scallion.
Prior to last month, I had spent exactly zero minutes of my life thinking about date cake, craving date cake or noting the absence of date cake in my life and/or site archives. Clearly, this was a misstep on my part, but I’d always assumed they were exceedingly sticky sweet, and also, well warm. I should just stop right here rather than confessing the latest entry in How Weird Are Deb’s Food Tastes?, I know I should, but that’s never stopped me before so here goes: I’m not very into warm, quivery desserts. Like soufflés. And oozy chocolate cakes. I basically don’t understand how I survived the 90s either. I understand if this means you cannot speak to me anymore.
But all of this changed at a party, when, to be honest, it was getting late and I was tired from being roused awake before 6 that morning by a unnamed Kindergartener and mentally calculating how long it would take to get home in a cab vs. two subway lines and I was not craving dessert or cake in the least but I had a bite and all of this mental noise stopped, which is to say it was nothing short of a miracle, even if it hadn’t been spectacular. But it was that, too.
This cake is so good and while it’s definitely sweet, it’s not exceedingly so. And one bite of the butterscotch sauce ladled over the humble square of cake forced me to reconsider everything I once thought I disliked about warm desserts. I love it when that happens.
This recipe hails from the first cookbook from Sunday Suppers, a cooking series and event space in Williamsburg, with stunning picture windows looking out over the bridge. Karen Mordechai, the founder and author, was inspired by the famed date cake at Moto, a restaurant under an elevated subway line nearby. A little Googling evidenced that it has something of a cult following, and if this version is as close to the original as promised, I’m not remotely surprised.
Smitten Kitchen on Pinterest: Did you know that you can follow the Smitten Kitchen on Pinterest too? Plus, I’ve been working in the last couple weeks to get the page ready for holiday cooking with new boards with Everything Pumpkin (it’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year!), Thanksgiving: Savory (gobble, gobble), Thanksgiving: Sweet (mm, pie), Homemade Food Gifts, plus All The Cookies in the archives, because I promise, there’s nothing wrong with you that two cookies can’t fix. Hope that helps get your kitchen engines started.
One year ago: Perfect, Uncluttered Chicken Stock
Two years ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts
Three years ago: Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings
Four years ago: Spaghetti with Chickpeas
Five years ago: Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Six years ago: Pepita Brittle
Seven years ago: Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
Eight years ago: Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars
1.5 Years Ago: Essential Raised Waffles
2.5 Years Ago: Warm, Crisp and A Little Melty Salad Crouton
3.5 Years Ago: Creme Brulee French Toasts
Warm Date Cake with Toffee Sauce [Sticky Toffee Pudding]
Adapted from the Sunday Suppers Cookbook, where it was inspired by the version at Café Moto in Brooklyn
This cake would be as welcome on a holiday dinner table, which is what I most associate it with, yet is simple enough to be an ideal consolation prize for another dark, rainy fall day. I only made a couple changes such as adding a little salt to the cake itself, and a little sea salt to the top of the sauce, which nicely contrasts the sweetness. The original recipe calls for a 10×10-inch pan, which I have rarely seen and do not own. I used a 9×13-inch instead, and needed much, much less baking time (yay). It makes for a slightly thinner cake, but also more servings. You could easily serve 12 to 20 people with this. You could also halve everything and bake it in an 8×8-inch square pan.
3/4 pound (12 ounces, 340 grams or about 2 1/4 cups) dried dates
2 1/4 cups (530 ml) boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 2/3 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (235 ml) heavy or whipping cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (215 grams) brown sugar (light is called for, but I’d like to use dark next time)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Unsweetened whipped cream (optional, but please don’t skip it)
A few flakes of sea salt
Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Make the cake: Pit and roughly chop dates and place them in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over them and stir in the baking soda. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. As an extra precaution, if you’re nervous about sticking (although this cake should not), you can line the bottom with a fitted rectangle of parchment paper.
Blend date-water mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars. Whisk in eggs, then salt. Stir in the flour, then date puree. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
To serve it rustic-style, as we did, let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack. If you’d like to transfer it later to a serving plate, let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then flip it out onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper if you used it.
Make the sauce: Combine butter, cream, sugar and vanilla in a larger saucepan than you think you’ll need (I vote for 2 1/2 to 3 quarts) over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.
To serve: Cut the cake into squares (still warm is just fine). Drizzle each slice with toffee sauce, a pinch of sea salt, and top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. If your mint plant has survived the fall better than mine has, a leaf or two would be lovely here, too.
Long after our son turned one, two, and then three; a good while after my first cookbook was published, which I liked to refer to as my “second” baby, much to the disappointment of grandparents, who were hoping for the kind they could snuggle with; a sizable amount of time after we’d more or less accepted that we’d be a family of three and three only, and thus made a few decisions that might make a fourth human seem a tiny bit poorly planned […adored new apartment with no space for a fourth resident, a second cookbook and expanding midsection racing towards competing deadlines, details] and a couple months after our son started kindergarten and I was a little gloomy because I guess this meant the baby days were really behind us, the craziest thing happened.
In five months, give or take, I’m going to have to give up these stretchy waistband pants and accidental afternoon naps for good, or so I hear, but not without a fight. But before then, oh boy, I think we’ve got a rather fun spring/summer ahead, and nobody, not a single human on earth is more excited than the future big brother, who has already declared his agenda of teaching the baby the ABCs, to read, to play soccer and to always let it have cookies before dinner, even if it doesn’t eat its vegetables.
As any parent of more than one small human probably could have warned me, past experience is absolutely no predictor of future ones and, lo, this pregnancy so far has been nothing like the first. You see, the first time, I liked food the whole time. Sure, I had some weird obsessive cravings — all the grapes! all the broccoli slaw! a lot of the peanut butter! — but there wasn’t a whole lot that would cause me to pale and panic that I might not make it out of the room before something terrible happened, as I discovered would be the new normal at a birthday party I took my son to at the start of my 5th week, when steaming boxes of soft pizza arrived inside the warm, windowless room. Pizza? What kind of monster enjoys eating pizza?
It didn’t get much better from there. Cooked vegetables? No. Things with spice? Absolutely not. Meat? Get it away from me. 95% of the things I cooked from October to January, five minutes after I cooked them? It’s better we don’t talk about it. It’s been dark times for this so-called food writer, someone who previously took for granted how easy it is to talk about food when you’re genuinely excited about it. And while I’d say that now, well into the 4th month, things are better — I ate braised beef with garlic this week, whoa — I hope you’ll forgive me if I exclusively devote this space for a while to the new acceptable categories of food: Things You Can Put Butter On, Things That Taste Like Bread, Things That Taste Like Peanut Butter and Oh My God, Is That Chocolate Cake? Give It To Me Right Now.
Thus today, without apology, classic sticky buns, which are as much of a play on that bun/oven bit as they are a joke on me, who frequently wails to my husband, usually after touching a grimy, gummed-up booster seat/lunchbox sleeve/iPhone recently borrowed and returned, “I hate sticky things!” To which he says “And yet you had a kid anyway.” Apparently, I have not learned my lesson. I mean, thank goodness.
One year ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Two years ago: Italian Stuffed Cabbage
Three years ago: Lasagne Bolognese
Four years ago: White and Dark Hearted Brownies
Five years ago: Ginger Fried Rice and Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Cream
Six years ago: Alex’s Mom’s Stuffed Cabbage and Toasted Coconut Shortbread
Seven years ago: Seven-Yolk Pasta Dough and Best Chocolate Pudding
Eight years ago: Sour Cream Bran Muffins and Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
1.5 Years Ago: Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
2.5 Years Ago: My Favorite Brownies
3.5 Years Ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
Pecan Sticky Buns
Dough adapted from Alton Brown; goo from Bon Appetit, the rest from trial and error
Now that we’ve gotten the news out of the way, let’s talk about why these are the best sticky buns I have ever made, eaten or dreamed about. Maybe predictably by now, most sticky buns haven’t held my interest for long because they were so assaulting in their sweetness, I feared my teeth would exit my gums in protest. What I always wanted, and what I’m striving for here, is more of a contrast. We’re going to be abstemious everywhere — holding back on the sugar in the dough itself, the cinnamon-sugar filling and pretty much everything that isn’t kale slaw the day we make these — so that we can be completely unapologetically obscenely decadent with the amount of pecan goo we drench the final buns in. This caramel is everything I am always hoping I’ll find at the end of a sticky bun: dark with brown sugar and honey, stretched and enriched with cream and butter and balanced with just enough salt and deeply toasted pecans that there will be no other recipe for me, ever. This is where the sticky bun studies stop.
Note: I used this same dough recipe in the Cranberry Orange Breakfast Buns, but here, I tested it with both kinds of readily available yeast; both work wonderfully, with a few adjustments, noted within the recipe. In short: active dry yeast needs to be proofed for 5 minutes before you begin, but it completes the first rise in half the time. These can be made in one day/afternoon or you can overnight them for the last rise.
Yield: 12 buns. This recipe could be halved and baked in a 9-inch round or 8×8-inch baking pan.
1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or active dry yeast
3/4 cup (175 ml) milk
1 tablespoon (10 grams) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
3 3/4 cups (470 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
Oil or butter to coat bowl
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (145 grams) dark brown sugar
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (110 grams) honey
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 grams) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups toasted and cooled, chopped pecans (divided)
Make the dough: If using active dry yeast, it first needs to be proofed: warm milk to lukewarm, about 110 to 116 degrees F. Place in bottom of large mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. It will look a dissolved and slightly foamy.
If using instant yeast, simply stir it into cold milk along with sugar.
Continue with either type of yeast, whisk in butter, yolks and whole egg. Add half the flour and combine with the dough hook of a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, if mixing by hand. Add salt, then second half of flour and continue to mix until a craggy dough forms. If using a stand mixer, knead for 5 to 7 minutes on low until a stretchy, elastic dough forms. If kneading by hand, do so for 5 to 10 minutes on a floured counter. Lightly oil or butter your large bowl (for the stand mixer, I scoop the dough out long enough to oil it, then use the bowl again) and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for active dry yeast or 2 to 2 1/2 hours with instant yeast.
About 45 minutes before the dough has doubled, prepare your caramel base: Melt butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, cream, honey and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until caramel is golden brown and glossy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a the bottom and up the sides of a deep 9×13-inch baking dish and let the dish cool down in the fridge while you assemble your rolls.
Roll out and fill buns: In a small bowl, stir sugars, cinnamon and salt together. Remove slightly cooled caramel base from fridge and sprinkle it with 1 cup pecans.
Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide (the side nearest to you) and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner, but try to keep the width at 18″.) Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the filling and then 1/2 cup pecans. Roll the dough into a tight 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out over pecan-caramel base.
Proof buns: Cover with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature for another 1 to 2 hours, until they press tightly together in the pan and look puffed again. Or, you can refrigerate the buns overnight, and up to 16 hours. If chilling overnight, remove from fridge 1 hour before you’d like them to bake. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Bake buns: Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 185 degrees F), approximately 30 to 40 minutes. If they brown too quickly on top before the centers are baked, cover dish with foil for remaining baking time.
Let rest in pan on cooling rack for 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully and quickly invert onto a large serving tray, nudging any caramel left behind in the pan or puddled in the center of the buns back evenly over the tops and sides. Eat warm. Store any leftovers in the fridge, rewarming slightly.