I have been betrayed by summer.
I think we used to love each other, even if it was for just a brief moment. The memories are still there like little paintings to prove it. As we grew, we made choices that caused the paintings to bleed, to trickle down as hot condensation fogged up their frames. We met again as adults and she told me that we would forget our differences, that we would weave new memories and paint new feelings for each other. That this friendship, this unbreakable history and mutual love would never leave - could never leave - because we needed each other.
She pulled me in with promises of a friendship rekindled, of quality time spent and of feelings repaired. We would have cool breezes and light rain showers, the sweetest fruit and the pretties sunsets. She told me we would never notice a day gone by, because we would have so much time. Time to make up on years lost, time to talk and laugh and cook and write and adventure. She promised to paint a new picture, and to never regret the paintings that started it all.
Well, the bitch lied.
I was left in a drought, with no time to even consider how I felt. The days were fast and ferociously hot. The nights were spent draped in a thick and muggy blanket, gasping for air and trying desperately to understand where everything went wrong. The moisture clung to my lungs, but a drop never fell from the sky. The fruit was wilted and shriveled before I had a chance to pick it. My fingers wouldn't write any words because all that came out was “you fell for it again, you dummy.” I thought somehow that as grown ups, as adults, summer and I could figure it out. Find out how to do this friendship thing and be good at it for once.
Autumn is here now, and I have shed that blanket of heavy hurt and anger. My mind is clear again, and I can finally breathe. Summer didn't even look back, she just kept on going south, but that is probably for the best. I don't think the two of us can hang on to those feelings any longer. I suppose, as you come in to new seasons of your life, you have to look back at the ones you have left behind with love, but also know that those paintings are going to fade with time. The colors aren't the same as they once were, and the images don't have as much importance. I know I will always love summer, but I also know I can't keep setting myself up for hurt feelings. It's time to move on, and I thank God that Autumn has arrived. He is basically my hero.
(Sorry this is a wicked weird post, I just felt like I needed to get that out. It helped me express why I felt the summer faded so fast, why I haven't been on this space since JULY(!) and some other personal feelings on this season...I did, in actuality, have a fantastic summer spent with family and friends, traveling and working. I hope you were able to follow along with this weird rant, it was a bit strange...)
In honor of my favorite season, I have made you all some of Beth's brown butter cinnamon buns. She made them for the Christmas season and added eggnog (um, yes please), but my version is a tailored for fall. I added chopped apple, as well as a few of my favorite spices to really get that cozy feeling in your mouth. I also drizzled Get Your Hot Cakes Rye Whiskey Caramel Sauce on mine, but if you're in the mood to make some caramel sauce, this recipe is a perfect one that is super easy for an afternoon of autumn baking. These buns are so fluffy and are perfect with a hot cup of tea. They almost have a coffee cake consistency, with that bit of a chewy bite you get with a cinnamon bun. Perfect, in my opinion.
I left a lot of Beths notes from the original recipe because I found them really helpful when making these. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?!
Inspired by, and only slightly adapted from Local Milk
• for the dough •
• 4 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup for rolling out
• 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, warm
• 1 packet (1/4 oz, 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
• 1/4 cup creme fraiche
• 2 eggs, room temperature
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp smoked salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, browned, and warm
• for the filling •
• 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
• 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
• 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Warm the heavy cream in a small pot, but do not let boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the yeast. Allow to proof for five to ten minutes. It should be bubbly.
While the yeast proofs melt & brown the butter. In a skillet melt one stick of butter over medium heat, swirling the pan often. The butter will bubble, foam, and then brown. This should take about 5-10 minutes. As soon as the butter is golden & smells toasty, pour it into a heat proof bowl. I pop this in the fridge for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, to take the heat off before adding it to my dough. It should be warm when you add it but not hot.
In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast & cream mixture, the eggs, creme fraiche, sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, brown butter, and salt. Stir to combine well.
Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, one cup at a time. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to proof until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, sprinkle the additional 1/4 cup of flour onto a clean work surface. Turn the dough out and gently knead just enough of the flour in to get a workable dough. Roll it out into a rectangle about 9" x 12" with the narrow end facing away from you.
In a bowl combine the dark brown sugar, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon
Smear the butter all over the surface of your rectangle, leaving about a 1" boarder. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the butter, then sprinkle the apple over that. Gently & mindfully roll the dough from right to left (or left to right...), and use your hands to shape it into a nice log. This is a soft dough.
Using your finger pinch the dough to seal it well. Squish the dough into a nice log before proceeding.
Using dental floss or fishing wire (I am serious here, don't use a knife...) cut the log into ten 1" or so rolls. Place them in two pie plates or into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Reshape rolls as needed after cutting as you place them.
Cover loosely with plastic or a lightly floured kitchen towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes - 1 hour. At this point you can also cover them and place them in the fridge over night, up to about 16 hours. Bring them to room temperature before proceeding if you do.
Halfway through the second rise, heat your oven to 350° f. When they are done rising, place them in the oven on the center rack and bake 20-25 minutes until golden (but not too dark!) and cooked through. Mine took about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with caramel.
listening to: Promises by Eric Clapton