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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

"Ah Well" as Vonneguttian refrain (edit, for we posted too soon)

Wheee! Got paid by the zeppelin anthology today. Now, that's what I call prompt.

I tried a different (quick) cinnamon roll recipe today. These ones came out icky: too sweet, and the texture is more like wonder bread than pastry. I should know better: quick breads are never as good as yeasted ones. Also, I thought 425 degrees seemed a little high, and I was right--they're crunchy on the outside and a bit raw on the inside.

Ah well. Now I know.

And now I have to write. And try to convince myself that no matter how funny I find it to have my protag wandering around the Montreal in a t-shirt that reads Property ECS NORWAY, Not to be Taken Away, it's probably too self-indulgent to get past my editor.

Ah well. It's my book, and I'll cookie who I want to.


Here you go.

Fair warning, though--I disliked them enough that they're likely to be considered dog cookies.


(from The Quick Recipe, a cookbook from Cook's Illustrated

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus enough to dust the work
surface during kneading)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. For the buns: preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Grease a 9-inch baking
pan (preferably nonstick, but otherwise will do).

2. Combine the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves
and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted
butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder,
baking soda, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk
together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add the liquid to
the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is
absorbed (the dough will look shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough
to a lightly floured work surface and knead just until smooth and no longer
shaggy, about 30 seconds.

4. Pat the dough into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 2
tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar
filling, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Press the filling
firmly into the dough. Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen the
dough from the work surface. Starting at a long side, roll the dough,
pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the
log seam side down and cut it evenly into 8 pieces. With your hand,
slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal the open edges and keep the
filling in place. Put one roll in the center of the prepared pan and set
the remaining rolls around the perimeter of the pan. Brush the rolls with
the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

5. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Use an offset
metal spatula to loosen the buns from the pan. Wearing oven mitts, place a
large plate over the pan and invert the buns onto the plate. Place another
plate on the now exposed bottom of the buns and invert once again. Sprinkle
any disarranged brown sugar filling over the buns. Set aside.

6. For the glaze: While the buns are cooling, whisk the cream cheese and
buttermilk in a large bowl until thick and smooth (the mixture will look
like cottage cheese at first). Sift the confectioners' sugar over the
mixture and whisk until a smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon the
glaze evenly over the buns. Serve warm.
Hmm, the only Norway I can think of is from Cherryh's books.

There's a reason my first character in Earth & Beyond was named Signy.
That's the ECS Norway we mean. *g*
And now I have "Signy Mallory" running through my head. The Heather Alexander version, to be specific.