Don’t be a Scrooge on dessert toppings

By: 
DWIGHT HARRIMAN
Guest Columnist

Most of the world’s problems this time of year can be traced to not enough sticky on sticky buns.

With the holidays here and baking kicking into high gear, it’s time to get the word out to kitchen mavens everywhere to once and for all stop being miserly when it comes to sauces, frostings, drizzlings and any other kind of toppings on foods that gladden the heart of man on these cold, dark winter days.

What people really want in toppings is way too much, not way too little. Learn this truth, cooks, and you will have friends forever and bakery-based businesses will see profits go through the roof.

Let us examine this issue by means of the sticky bun, otherwise called cinnamon or sweet rolls, which is what they should really be called because “sticky buns” is kind of a dumb name. But whatever. 

There are all kinds of sticky buns, but let’s use those dinner-plate-size behemoths behind glass at a cafe counter for our example. They look tantalizing, succulent, sinfully huge and otherworldly, with that milky topping dripping off the side calling to us.

But what happens when you buy it and actually stick it in your mouth? All breading and not enough topping. Hey, you can buy bread anytime you want and just sit down and eat it straight. But when you buy a big sweet roll, what you want, what the soul cries out for, is the topping, the topping, the topping. It should exist in embarrassing abundance, filling every loop, every nook and every cranny of that roll, drowning it in ridiculous excess. That’s what makes it good. That’s what most people want. But invariably, bakers go thin-skinned and give you a dough ball.

They will reap what they sow, is all I can say.

Move now to toppings for another popular holiday food, pies. You get invited to a get-together, and observe with excitement there are an abundance of pecan, pumpkin and fruit pies on the kitchen table. But your excitement wanes when the host drops a Scrooge-size spoonful of ice cream or whipped cream on your piece. 

What could have been a ecstatic experience becomes drudgery as you plow through a piece of say, apple pie, with a mere shred of topping to carry you through to the back crust. This is not right. A piece of pie should be drowning, no, floundering under mounds of whipped cream or ice cream.

And on it goes, carrot cakes with thin layers of frosting — the whole attraction of a carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting, after all — or cheese cakes drizzled with raspberry or chocolate toppings when they should be deluged with it, or even dinner dishes like bean casseroles with paltry amounts of cheese toppings when they should be suffocating in it.

It’s the holidays, for crying out loud. Give us some holiday cheer. Load up those sauces and toppings until we can’t take it any more.
(Dwight Harriman is the news editor for the Livingston Enterprise.)

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