In honor of Cullen Bunn's success, the Outhouse presents a special pastry recipe inspired by the genetically engineered super-writer.
The Outhouse has long sung the praises of genetically engineered super-writer and friend of the site Cullen Bunn, and not just because he's one of the few comics pros who doesn't actively avoid us. Bunn's Sixth Gun from Oni Press is one of the best comic books on the stands today, and his meteoric rise to the top of Marvel on titles like Venom, Wolverine, Fear Itself: The Fearless (soon to be followed up with Fearless Defenders), and Captain America and... has resulted in some great comics from the House of Ideas with a distinct, supernatural and horror-tinged flavor that is a breath of fresh air in the mainstream superhero landscape. And also, as previously mentioned, he's one of the few comics pros who doesn't actively avoid us.
Marvel sent out a press release Friday announcing that Bunn's Deadpool Killustrated #1 has sold out and gone back to press for a second printing. Killustrated is the much anticipated follow-up to Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, in which the Merc with a Mouth moves beyond his fourth-wall breaking murder of comic book characters to bring that rampage to the world of classic fiction. The Outhouse is so excited by Bunn's success that we've decided to honor him in the only way we know how - with food.
Oh yeah, and Deadpool Killustrated will be going back to press for a second printing. There will be variants!
I turned to my wife, an expert baker, to come up with a recipe. Amy Terror, besides being the love of life, runs a blog and webcomic at theterriblethrees.blogspot.com
We set out to create a dish inspired by Bunn, and, because we are very silly, we decided it needed to be a pastry playing off of Bunn's name. We thought of creating the Cinnamon Bunn, or the Sticky Bunn, the Sixth Bun, or maybe even the Cullen Bunn Bun, but we eventually decided on keeping it simple with The Cullen Bun. Using a sticky bun as a base, we looked to make the recipe unique and more Bunn-like.
With that in mind, we decided to go with a sarsaparilla theme. We considered making a whiskey themed pastry at first, but looking at a picture of Cullen Bunn, we decided that, if he walked into an old West saloon, he'd be the guy ordering a sarsaparilla while the other cowboys snigger under their breath. Sarsaparilla is a predecessor of modern root beer, popular in the old West where The Sixth Gun is set, and, since we're not old West cowboys and don't know where to buy something like that, we just used a can of root beer instead.
We made half of the Cullen Buns with pecans, and half without, because I don't eat nuts, bro.
You can make this yourself at home, but you should be somewhat experienced with making dough and baking. Otherwise, ask your mommy for help or something. To be honest, we cooked them a few minutes too long and they were more browned than the should have been, so make sure to pay close attention to the cooking time to ensure you end up with moist, delicious, sticky bunns.
Anyway, here's the recipe for the Cullen Bun, a sarsaparilla themed sticky bun with cinnamon, molasses, sarsaparilla caramel, and brown sugar filling, sarsaparilla cream cheese icing, and sarsaparilla caramel drizzled on top. Oh, and to add a little bit more of that authentic old West feel, we replaced the flour with buttermilk flapjack mix. Yum!
The Cullen Bun (Recipe by Amy Terror)
1/2 cup Sarsparilla
3/4 cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 8-ounce package of Whipped Cream Cheese (plain)
4 Tbsp. White Sugar
1 Tbsp. Dark Brown Molasses
Start by making the icing:
Pour the sarsparilla into large bowl and then pour in and dissolve the sugars and the molasses. Add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat for 3-4 minutes with a hand mixer until all the ingredients are well blended (there might be some lumps from the cream cheese). Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the freezer for half an hour, then move to the refrigerator until ready to use.
1 cup of Sarsparilla
Pour 1 cup of sarsparilla into a non stick pan and heat on HIGH for approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will darken several shades, the fluids will boil out and it is done when it has reduced to 1/4 of it's original liquid and coats the spoon. Pour the caramelized sarsparilla into a small bowl. It will thicken as it cools.
1 Package (2 1/2 tsp.) Active Yeast
3 Tbsp. White Sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup Milk
2 tbsp. Butter
3 cups Buttermilk Pancake mix
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
First, activate the yeast. Take 1/2 cup warm Water and dilute 1 tbsp of White Sugar into the water. Mix 2 1/2 tsp Active Yeast into the water and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture bubbles and increases in size.
In a small pot, heat 1/2 cup Milk, 2 Tbsp Butter and 2 Tbsp. White Sugar on medium heat until butter is melted and milk is warmed. Set aside.
Beat 1 Egg in a small bowl and set aside.
In another large bowl, combine 3 cups Buttermilk Pancake Mix, the Yeast Mixture, the Milk Mixture and the egg until the mixture becomes doughy.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Flour onto some waxed paper and pour the doughy mixture onto the flour and knead, incorporating the additional flour into the dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Grease a medium size bowl and place the ball of dough inside. Cover the top with wax paper and a dark towel and let rise until it doubles in size (approximately two hours)
When you are ready to use the dough, take off the towel and wax paper and punch down the dough. Let rest an additional 10 minutes.
2 Tbsp melted Butter
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Dark Brown Molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Sarsaparilla Caramel (See above recipe)
1/2 cup chopped Pecans*
To make the filling, in a medium sized bowl, combine the Butter, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Cinnamon and Sarsaparilla Caramel and mix until smooth. *Fold in the chopped pecans. You can also opt to make them half pecan and half plain. If you choose to do this, split the mixture into two separate bowls and reserve 1/2 of the chopped Pecans for garnish.
MAKING THE CULLEN BUNS:
Grease a 9x12 baking tray and roll the dough out onto the tray into a rectangular shape. Spread the filling on top of the dough, pressing slightly so that it does not fall off when you roll up the dough. (Note: If you are making them half plain, half Pecans, divide your dough in half visually lengthwise and spread the Pecan mixture on the top half, the Plain on the bottom half).
Starting from one end of the tray roll the dough into a shape that resembles a jelly roll until you reach the other end of the baking tray. When you have the roll, use a sharp knife and cut the roll into 10 equal slices, making 10 bunns. Spread them out on the tray and cover with the wax paper and dark kitchen towel for another 40 minutes until the bunns have doubled in size.
When they are ready, bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Ice your Cullen Buns with the Sarsaparilla Frosting and Garnish with reserved chopped Pecans and Sarsaparilla Caramel. ENJOY!
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