09 January 2015

Salted Caramel Sticky Buns

A funny thing happened to me on the way to a friend's.

After two years in Turkey I've experienced a number of odd incidents but I think this one takes the cake (or sticky bun if you prefer). I was headed to a friend's place in Şişli which requires a trip on the metro. As I was headed toward the exit I noticed a group of three or four men, also headed toward the exit turnstiles, veer away from the exit to where a security guard was standing. Thinking nothing of it, I passed through a turnstile and veered left to the exit I needed. Then the world exploded! The men I'd noticed earlier attacked a security guard. Several more guards rushed in as the brawling group moved quickly across the station (in the same direction I needed to go). And then the gun came out.

The guard pulled his gun and started waving it around. That is when the majority of bystanders who moments ago were merely curious as to what was going on, myself included, hit the walls. I stood with a group of people near a bank of ATMs, hoping that the machines would take any bullets instead of me. All I could think was, "Fantastic. The absolute last thing I need is to get shot in fracking Turkey." And to my absolute bewilderment, while 85% of people in the station were doing their best to stay clear of whatever the heck was going down, the other 15% apparently had no sense and/or self preservation instincts because they continued to mosey on past the gun waving group of fighting idiots.

It's moments like this when I really wish my Turkish were better. I am really curious as to what made these guys decide to attack an armed man. Eventually the other guards separated the fighters and wrestled the idiots out of the station; unfortunately out the same exit I needed though. I stayed put by the ATMs until dude (who was still waving around his gun while yelling at the departing idiots) also left the station. I've never been so glad to be of drinking age and helped my friend sample the vats of punch she'd made (vodka, satsuma (clementine? whatever) juice, and thyme gets two thumbs up).

All that and I was still the first person to arrive! While waiting for the situation to clear I was at least happy that, were it my time, I would have died after enjoying the successful labors of my first ever attempt at making sticky buns. While I usually eschew short cuts like mixes or pre-made doughs, my inability to find many/afford certain ingredients and implements has made me get over myself a little. When I found a recipe for sticky buns using defrosted phyllo dough I was more than happy to try it.

Dude. Phyllo dough, puff pastry, something in the family...whatever it was I bought created some sort of salted caramel sticky bun baklava chimera. A beautiful, nutty, gooey, sticky, chimera. Life as I know it will never again be the same.

Salted Caramel: (here)

Sticky Buns:
  • 1/2 butter
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • pecans, walnuts, etc as desired
  • cinnamon
  • frozen puff pastry or phyllo dough (thawed)
  1. Pre heat oven to 350F and grease a 9x9 baking dish.
  2. Melt the butter and whisk in the brown sugar. Pour into dish and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste and pre made salted caramel on the dough. Roll into some sort of approximation of what a sticky bun should look like. Be careful that you don't handle the dough too much as it will quickly lose its integrity.
  4. Place buns in the dish in the butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the uncovered part of the buns are a nice golden brown.
  6. When they come out of the oven, spoon some of the caramel mixture over the top buns a couple times. After they've cooled slightly (don't let them cool too much because the caramel might harden in the pan) turn over on to a plate and scrape remaining caramel over the buns.

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