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    Strawberry Brioche Tarts

    A hybrid between enriched bread and delicate pastry, brioche is the best of both worlds. The addition of eggs, butter, and milk to a sweetened dough is the secret to a luxurious crumb, making brioche the picture-perfect base for fillings and toppings. For our Strawberry Brioche Tarts, we highlight the season’s freshest fruit. These light-as-air […] LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines

    Madeleines are buttery French tea cakes with a distinctive scallop shell shape. This version is a riff on the classic sponge, but with bright orange flavor. A dip in chocolate glaze makes them an indulgent tea time treat.

    I haven’t posted madeleines to this weblog in years, but I make them every so often for an afternoon pick-me-up. I decided to remedy the situation a couple of days ago when my new shell pan arrived. I have the classic madeleine pan with a more elongated shell shape, but the new pan holds a little more batter per cavity. And I’m all for a more robust madeleine!

    I’ve used the same recipe for these cakes for more than 10 years. It’s adapted from Epicurious and is likely the most unfussy version of madeleines you’ll find. As written, it is classic with zesty lemon flavor, but it’s also a fine blank canvas for other zests and flavorings.

    Many madeleine recipes require resting the batter or chilling the pans before baking, all in an effort to achieve a crisp exterior and the signature bump that develops during baking. This recipe skips those steps and, in my experience, the cakes always turn out perfect. I noticed in my new pan with deeper cavities, the bump was a little more pronounced. This turned out to be a good thing, because the cakes can be held by their bumps for easy dipping.

    This adaptation was inspired by an extra-large orange in my refrigerator. It had the most beautiful fragrant peel, and it deserved to be used in something special. Chocolate and orange flavors together are a favorite of mine, so they were destined for dip in semisweet glaze.

    Speaking of chocolate, I’m not sure if I’ve shared this here previously, but I prefer to melt chocolate in the microwave, as do many modern chocolatiers. With the right timing, it’s less likely to overcook or seize from the steam created in a double boiler. The key to the microwave method is to use a Pyrex bowl to hold fine chopped chocolate and heat in 30 second intervals. Between heating intervals, stir well using the residual heat from the bowl to melt the chocolate. Using this method in this recipe creates a very smooth, nearly flawless glaze.

    What a treat! These just beg to be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a good book. We’ve had grey skies here this week, and these buttery little cakes have been a bright spot in such chilly conditions. 

    If you’re in need of a madeleine pan, you’ll find links to the ones I own below. These are affiliate links. I’ve included instructions for both pan sizes.

    Chefmade 12-Cavity Non-Stick Spherical Shell Madeline Bakeware
    Chicago Metallic Professional 12-Cup Non-Stick Madeleine Pan

    [click to print]
    Chocolate-Dipped Orange Madeleines
    Yields 15-20 cakesA madeleine pan is required for this recipe, which can be found online for purchase and in cookware stores (see blog post for sources). Shallow shell pans will yield more cakes, and require less bake time. Pans with deeper cavities will yield less cakes and require longer bake time.Cakes
    2 large eggs
    2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
    1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt
    1 cup (123g) all-purpose flour
    10 tablespoons (141g) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly but still warmGlaze
    1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (or bar chocolate, chopped)
    2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil such as vegetable oilPreheat oven to 350°F.Coat a madeleine pan with flour-based baking spray (or butter and flour well, which is in keeping with tradition). In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, orange peel and salt. Add flour; mix until just combined. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.For large, deep cavity shells (such as the one pictured) spoon batter into the cavities 2/3 full. If using a shallow shell pan, spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake large shells for 20-25 minutes, or until browned around the edges and a bump develops on top. Bake shallow shells about 16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, washing the pan and greasing it before baking each batch. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.For the glaze, place the chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe bowl (Pyrex recommended). Heat in 30 second intervals at 100% power. Stir well between heating intervals using the residual heat from the bowl to melt the chocolate. When a smooth, thin consistency is achieved, the glaze is ready to be used.Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Holding the madeleines by their bumps, dip the faces of the madeleines into the chocolate and transfer to the prepared pan. When all of the cakes are dipped, transfer them to the refrigerator to chill until the glaze is well set. It will lose its shine and take on a matte appearance (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Keep cakes stored airtight, or in a dish covered with plastic wrap.
    link Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines By Heather Baird Published: Friday, February 05, 2021Friday, February 05, 2021Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Dark Chocolate Sumac Brownies

    Ground sumac is the surprising magic ingredient in these rich chocolate brownies. It adds tang and enhances dark cocoa notes with new depth of flavor.  

    If you had asked me two weeks ago what to do with ground sumac, I would have rattled off a list of savory recipes and handed you my favorite kofta kabob recipe. It held no place in my mind as an ingredient for sweet things, but I’m not sure why. One sniff of the crimson powder reveals notes of tart raspberry, red florals, something lemony; a host of opportunity for the sweet kitchen.

    While I’m still exploring the possibilities of ground sumac in sweets, there’s one place where it clearly belongs. Paired with dark chocolate, it punches up the flavor and brings forward hidden subtleties. You won’t be able to identify the spice on its own in these brownies, but you’ll know it’s there by the intensity of the chocolate flavor. 

    If you’re not familiar with sumac, it’ s a wild flowering plant that grows in the Mediterranean and yields red berries. The fruit is dried and ground which releases its tangy fragrance and flavor. It is widely used in Middle Eastern recipes, and most often in savory fare. If you reside in the US as I do, you’ll find it in the Middle Eastern spices section at the grocery store, and it is widely available for order online. 

    The brownie recipe I’m using originates from Ovenly, the salty-sweet themed cookbook from the eponymous bakery in New York. (see here). It’s hard to improve upon a recipe such as this, and the end result is pretty spectacular on its own, but the magic ingredient of ground sumac really ups the ante. 

    To further intensify and punctuate the flavors, a sprinkling of thin Maldon salt is scattered on top of the brownie batter. Most of the brittle flakes melt as the brownie sheet bakes, but you’ll know its there when you take a bite. If you own my second cookbook (Sea Salt Sweet) then you know I’m a huge fan of Maldon salt, as I’ve written a primer on the best salts to use in desserts. I’d urge you to pick up a small tin of this salt if you don’t already have it in your pantry. 

    Just like coffee brings out the flavors or chocolate, sumac plays the same role but in a different way. There’s a new tartness, subtle red cherry notes, a lingering fruity floral… something. The things I can’t articulate are best described by tasting the goods. I hope you’ll give these a try!

    If you’ve experimented with ground sumac in your baking, I’d love to hear about your results!

    [click to print]
    Dark Chocolate Sumac Brownies
    Yields 12-16 brownies
    Adapted from Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
    1 cup (100 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 cup (25 grams) dark unsweet cocoa powder
    1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
    2 teaspoons ground sumac
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    4 large eggs, room temperature
    3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    3/4 cup (170 grams) packed brown sugar flaky sea salt, such Maldon, for garnishPreheat the oven to 350F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with flour-based cooking spray (recommend Baker’s Joy). Alternatively, line the pan with foil that overhangs two sides and grease the foil.On the stovetop, melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Set aside to cool until barely warm but still liquid.In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa powder, dark cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, ground sumac, and salt.In a large glass measure with a pour spout, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir half of the egg mixture into the cocoa powder mixture. Stir in the melted butter. Finally, stir in the remaining egg mixture until just smooth. Do not over-mix.Pour the batter into prepared baking pan, and level evenly in the pan using an offset spatula. Sprinkle Maldon salt over the top of the batter before baking. Don’t be shy here, Maldon salt is very thin and less salty than table salt. Sprinkle liberally to make sure the top is well-speckled with the salt.Bake brownies about 20 minutes, or just until center is set (check at 20 minutes; bake for 5 more minutes if needed). Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.For neatest slices, refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting, if desired. Brownies will stay fresh up to five days if stored in an airtight container, or frozen for up to two months well wrapped and double bagged in freezer bags.
    link Dark Chocolate Sumac Brownies By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2021Wednesday, January 20, 2021Dark Chocolate Sumac Brownies LEGGI TUTTO

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    Honey Buns Bread Pudding Recipe from the Holy Sweet Cookbook

    Food blogger extraordinaire Peabody Johanson shares her love of dessert with her new cookbook Holy Sweet! 60 Indulgent Recipes for Bigger, Better Desserts which includes this ultra-decadent Honey Buns Bread Pudding.

    I’m so excited to share this brand new cookbook with you today, authored by my pal Peabody, veteran blogger of Sweet ReciPEAs (and by veteran I mean a 15 year tenure of blogging!). I’ve always admired the recipes on her blog and felt a kinship for her love of nostalgic treats. She uses them to inspire other, bigger, better desserts, just like the book cover says!

    When I saw the Honey Buns Bread Pudding recipe on page 22, well. Pure nostalgia. Aptly from the “Inner Child” chapter in the book, it brought back a host of childhood memories, all of them warm and happy.

    Honey Bun pastries are pretty darn good on their own (Duchess brand is yeasty and perfect) but Honey Buns Bread Pudding? I was intrigued. 
    Preparing the recipe was easy with Peabody’s instructions, and I’m happy to say that this bread pudding delivered on all fronts. The baked pudding was custardy and fluffy, and a scratch-made honey caramel sauce drizzled on top really made this an ooey-gooey home run!

    I’ve been enjoying this cookbook so much, and I think it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your favorite dessert-lover. Or, if you’re considering this for your own shelf, there’s a chapter on holiday baking, which would really be useful right now! 

    This recipe is easy to love, and so is Holy Sweet! With chapters like Inner Child, Candy Crush, and Cereal Killer (think Fruity Pebbles Crumb Cake), how could you not? You can find it right now at book stores and on Amazon. You can also read a little more about what’s inside the book on Peabody’s blog, right here. 


    Honey Buns Bread Pudding
    [Click for Printable Version]
    Yields about 8 servings
    Recipe from Holy Sweet! 60 Indulgent Recipes for Bigger, Better Desserts
    by Peabody Johanson
    (Page Street Publishing, 2020)

    2 large eggs
    1 egg yolk
    1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream
    1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    10 Honey Buns, cut into large cubes

    2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
    2 tablespoons (30ml) water
    1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
    2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray an 8×8 inch pan with nonstick baking spray. 

    To make the bread pudding: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until they’re fully combined. Spread half of the Honey Buns cubes over the bottom of the pan. Pour in half the custard mixture and press the bread down to soak up the custard. Spread the remaining Honey Buns cubes on top of the bottom layer. Pour on the remaining custard and press the bead pieces down. 

    Heather’s note: I wanted my bread pudding to look exactly like Peabody’s in the book, so I kept one Honey Bun whole and nestled it in the center of the pan before baking.

    Cover the pan with the foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until none of the custard mixture is still liquid. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool while you prepare the caramel sauce. 

    To make the honey caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, water, and sugar. Heat over medium heat, swirling the pa, until the sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Then bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it is a deep golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter, salt, and vanilla. The mixture will spatter, so be careful

    Let the sauce cool to thicken. The honey caramel sauce can be served either warm or at room temperature. You can refrigerate it in an airtight container up to 2 weeks; gently reheat it before serving.

    Note: You can serve this bread pudding with ice cream to make it extra special. 

    link Honey Buns Bread Pudding Recipe from the Holy Sweet Cookbook By Heather Baird Published: Sunday, December 06, 2020Sunday, December 06, 2020Honey Buns Bread Pudding Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Poached Pear Vol au Vents

    This elegant, seasonal dessert will be the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving Day feast. Flaky puff pastry cases hold pockets of white wine-caramel pastry cream, and a fork tender poached pear rests on top of each puff. 

    I’m always an advocate for individual desserts, mostly because I enjoy having a mini cake or pie all to myself. Something about it feels special, like a bit more thought and effort went into composing the end result on my plate. These pear puffs may look like they took a lot of effort, but they didn’t!

    Believe it or not, this recipe came to me in a dream. This happens occasionally. I will bake all night in my sleep and wake up (tired) with a new recipe that I need to get out of my brain and into real life. This one has three parts, but each is a simple fix. All the components can be made ahead and assembled  before serving. 

    If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you may know how much I love poaching pears, not to mention wrapping them in puff pastry (see this recipe from waaaay back!).  I mean, what’s better than warming yourself by a simmering pot of spices on a chilly autumn day? I’ll tell you what – having a delicious dessert at the end!

    One thing I’ve learned is that most any kind of wine added to the poaching liquid will greatly change the character of the fruit. It’s not really boozy because most of the alcohol is simmered out as the pears poach; but it’s the subtleties of the wine that shine through after the fruit is rested and cooled. You can use just about any white wine, but a simple, inexpensive bottle of Italian white wine that tips to the sweet side (spumante) is more than adequate.

    Puff pastry shells are so easy to make using ready-made frozen pastry and cookie cutters. A few brands make the shells already cut out and ready to bake – but for this project those are too small. Making these larger cases is easy, and if you don’t have the right size cookie cutters, you could use a small bowl’s rim and a paring knife to trim around it, and a juice bottle lid (or similar item) to cut the centers.

    After the shells are baked and the middles removed, they are filled with delicious white wine-caramel pastry cream. I altered the recipe from these champagne cupcakes I made ages ago. This recipe has always served me well (it’s almost committed to memory!) and this time I added dulce de leche just before I finished it with a little butter. Heaven!

    Serve them with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and a single mint leaf at each pear stem.

    Overall, the three components balance each other so well. There’s the lovely unsweet flaky pastry, the creamy sweet filling, and just a touch of tartness from the pear. Serve with a dessert fork and a fruit knife for easy dining. 

    Each element can be made ahead. Bake the pastry cases and keep them in an airtight container. Make the pastry cream and store in the refrigerator, and poach the pears, which can be kept in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to four days!
    Poached Pear Vol au Vents
    Yields 6 servingsWhite wine-caramel pastry cream
    2 tablespoons cornstarch1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, divided
    1/2 cup (120 ml) sparkling white wine (recommend spumante)
    5 tablespoons (65g) granulated sugar
    1 whole egg
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup (3 oz.) dulce de leche
    2 tablespoons unsalted butterWhisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a medium bowl. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar, and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook. Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens considerably. Remove from heat and add the dulce de leche; stir until melted and smooth. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Let cool and cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin developing on top.Poached Pears
    6 small firm but ripe pears
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 cup (200g) sugar
    1 bottle (750 ml) white wine (or remaining spumante from pastry cream)
    2 cups (480 ml) water
    2 cinnamon sticks
    Zest of 1 lemonPeel the pears using a small paring knife, keeping the stems intact. Brush the pears with lemon juice so they don’t brown.In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, wine, water, cinnamon sticks, and lemon zest. Place over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved; increase heat and bring to a boil.Add the pears to the liquid and simmer until fork-tender, usually about 20 minutes, but more time will be required for very firm pears. Remove pears to a wire rack or a plate to cool.Puff pastry cases
    3 sheets (1 1/2 boxes) puff pastry, thawed
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon waterOn a work surface, lightly roll a puff pastry sheet with a rolling pin until the creases in the dough are flattened. Cut five 3.5-inch circles out of the dough using a cookie cutter. Repeat the process with a second puff pastry sheet. From the last sheet of puff pastry, cut two circles. You should now have twelve 3.5-inch puff pastry circles.Transfer six circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter (or bottle cap) cut a circle into the centers of the remaining 6 puff pastry circles, but do not remove the cut out centers.Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl. Brush the pastry circles on the parchment-lined baking sheet with the egg wash and top each with the circles with the cut centers. Chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.Preheat the oven to 400°F.Bake the pastries for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden and well-puffed. Please note that some of the pastry cases may puff out of shape accordion-style. If this happens, set them upright and lightly press the case back into shape while the pastry is still hot. Gently dig out/lift out their round centers using a fork (you can serve this piece of pastry on the side, or just eat it!). Let cool completely before filling.
    6 mint leaves
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamonJust before serving, place the puff pastry shells on a serving tray. Fill each pastry with the pastry cream to the top; rest a single poached pear on top of each pastry over the cream. Using a small paring knife, make a slit to one side of the top stem and insert a mint leaf in the opening. Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon over each pear and serve immediately.
    Make ahead: The puff pastry cases can be made a day ahead and kept in an air-tight container. The pastry cream can be made 2-3 days ahead, and stored in the refrigerator. The pears can be poached and cooled, then transferred to the refrigerator and stored in their syrup for up to 4 days. Bring pastry cream and pears to room temperature before assembling. Assemble just before serving.
    link Poached Pear Vol au Vents By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2020Wednesday, October 28, 2020Poached Pear Vol au Vents Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Giant Sticky Bun

    More is more with this supersized breakfast pastry! Layers of cinnamon-sugared dough are swirled into a giant sweet bun and baked over a pool of bubbling brown sugar syrup and pecans.In 2014 I decided to transform my mother’s cinnamon rolls recipe into one giant pastry baked in a cast iron skillet. Turns out, that was a good idea. We loved it, you guys loved it, and many people have made it or have been inspired to make their own versions. I love when that happens. (See my Giant Skillet Cinnamon Roll here.)This week I returned to that idea with new inspiration and transformed my favorite sticky bun recipe into one giant sticky bun baked in a 10-inch cake pan. It has the same virtues as its predecessor, which is a greater ratio of soft, tender interior to crusty edge.

    A giant sweet bun like this is best served in wedges, like cake. Just check out those layers! It tastes exactly as you might expect – the center of roll is slightly gooey with a concentrated swirl of sugar and butter (just like any good sticky bun) with soft, tender layers radiating from its middle. The outer layer is just chewy enough to be called crust. All of this is covered with a brown sugar-maple and pecan topping that cooks into a sticky caramel.

    The ‘sticky’ part of this recipe is cooked on the stove top until all the ingredients are melted together. This is a quick, uncomplicated task. When the mixture is consistent, pour it into a 10-inch round cake pan. You could also use a 10-inch cast iron skillet if you don’t have a cake pan this size.Sprinkle on the pecans and let the topping cool slightly in the pan. When it’s cool enough and safe to touch, pat the pecans into the caramel. This makes an even bed for the sweet bun to sit upon.

    This part of the process is much like making cinnamon rolls. The dough is halved, then the rolling, buttering, and sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, commences. But instead of rolling up the sugared dough sheet jelly roll-style, you’ll cut it into 5 long strips (as you can see in the last photo, didn’t aim for perfection here!).

    Forming the bun is easy. First, roll up a dough strip from a short end, and then roll it into another strip. All the strips are wound around the first. The dough spiral is then transferred to the center of the prepped cake pan. The remaining portion of dough is rolled, buttered, filled and cut just as the first, and then those strips are wound around the dough in the pan.The sticky bun needs to stand, covered in plastic wrap, in a warm place to puff. It won’t completely fill the pan at this stage, but as the bun bakes in the oven it will expand to the edges.

    As my pastry baked, the center swirl popped up comically tall with the steam releasing from the caramel underneath. When it came out of the oven I placed a clean tea towel in the center and gently pressed it back down (I recommend you do the same if this happens – just be careful of the escaping steam!).

    Turning the cake out requires a large platter or dish with a lip to catch overflowing toppings. I used a 12-inch pie pan which worked well. A word of caution here – the sticky caramel straight from the oven is like napalm and can cause terrible burns. Be careful!

    Because the brown sugar topping is so caramel-like, I could not resist adding some flake sea salt on top. This really takes the flavor of the pastry to another level. It’s an option garnish – but a tasty one! 

    This pastry would be a wonderful addition to a special brunch or breakfast. It stores well if kept airtight for about 2 days and slices reheat easily in the microwave.

    Giant Sticky BunYield 10-12 servings, one 10-inch panSweet dough1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water (105°F-115°F)2 1/2 teaspoons (one 1/4 oz. packet) active dry yeast1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (70g) granulated sugar3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk, at room temperature4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, at room temperature3 large egg yolks, at room temperature1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom1 1/4 teaspoons fine grain salt4 cups (about 520g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dustingFilling1/2 cup (110g) light brown sugar, tightly packed1 tablespoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom4 tablespoons unsalted butterTopping3/4 cup (165g) light brown sugar, tightly packed4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter1/3 cup (80 ml) pure maple syrup2 tablespoons corn syrup1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) pecans, roughly choppedFlaked Maldon sea salt, optionalMake the dough: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and let stand 5 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles and foams.To the yeast mixture, add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, milk, butter, yolks, cardamom, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed until well incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat on low speed while slowly incorporating more flour. When a smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky dough is formed, stop adding flour. You may not need to use the entire last cup of flour, (however, my dough required all of the flour to reach consistency). Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes longer with the dough hook.Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise, 1 hour (or until doubled). Meanwhile, make the filling and topping.For the filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a bowl. Whisk to combine; set aside. Keep dry mixture and butter separate for now.For the topping, combine the brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter and sugar are melted and a thick, syrupy mixture is achieved.Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Pour the topping mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Immediately sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Let cool 5 minutes, then pat the pecans into the syrup mixture so they form a flat bed on which you can place the sweet roll.Assemble the sweet roll: Punch down the sweet dough and divide in half. Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to an approximate 15×10-inch rectangle (about 1/4-inch thickness). This doesn’t have to be perfect, just do the best you can. Melt the butter called for in the filling ingredients. Using a pastry brush, cover the rectangle with half the butter. Sprinkle the butter with half of the dry filling mixture. Trim the edges of the rectangle to slightly square them off; cut the rectangle into 5 long pieces using a sharp knife or a bench scraper.Begin rolling a dough piece beginning at a short end, jelly roll style. When the first piece is rolled, lay it on a second piece of dough and roll up. Continue until you have rolled all of the pieces onto each other, and lay the rolled-up dough in the center of the 10-inch pan filled with the topping.Repeat the process with the remaining dough: roll it into a rectangle, brush with remaining butter and fill with remaining sugar mixture, and then cut into 5 long pieces. Pick up the pieces one by one and wind them around the center piece of dough in the pan. When all of the dough has been used, cover the pan and place in a warm area until puffed and approximately 1-inch away from the pan’s edge, about 45 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and a thermometer placed near a center pleat reads 160° F. Tent with foil if it appears the dough is over-browning before the timer sounds.Have ready a large platter or plate with a rim (I used a 12-inch pie pan). Using oven mitts, immediately turn out the sticky bun onto the platter and carefully lift the pan away. The topping is extremely hot and sticky like napalm, so be careful. I don’t want you to get burned.Let cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle the top of the pastry with pinches of Maldon sea salt, if using. Serve slices of the sticky bun warm. Leftovers can be stored at airtight at room temperature for 2 days. Re-warm slices in the microwave at 20 second intervals.Note: A small amount of the sticky bun topping bubbled out of the pan during baking. Place a sheet of foil or a large cookie sheet on the rack below the pan to avoid drips in the bottom of your oven.
    link Giant Sticky Bun By Heather Baird Published: Friday, July 24, 2020Friday, July 24, 2020Giant Sticky Bun Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    This simple peach cobbler is a summertime favorite. It’s a great way to celebrate peaches at their peak sweetness!There are a couple of peach cobbler recipes that I make regularly, but I’m adding one more to my repertoire. My usual recipe is this Skillet Peach Cobbler with Biscuit Crust. It’s a little involved and makes a big cast iron pan full of cobbler that is wonderful to share with company, but these days it’s just us. Smaller batches of baked goods makes sense for our household of 2.This recipe largely focuses on the flavor of the fruit, which is spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. This gives the filling a cozy home-style flavor (which, apparently I am way into this summer!).
    Many peach cobbler recipes rely on lots of melted butter to add richness, but here there’s just enough in the crust to make it a proper drop biscuit texture. I’m not saying this is diet food, but it’s somewhat lighter than you might expect.
    Fresh, ripe peaches at peak sweetness are best for this recipe. I used a mixture of white and yellow peaches. They are tossed and coated with a cinnamon and cardamom-spiced cornstarch mixture.
    This recipe calls for an 11×7-inch pan, which I don’t have (which was a surprise!). This oval baker is about 12×8, and it worked well.  A 9×9 square pan would also work.
    The drop biscuit topping will feel scant to cover the peaches, but there’s just enough and it puffs in the oven. I use two spoons to effectively pick up and place the biscuit dough on top of the peaches in the dish.
    Golden brown and delicious! The peaches become soft and even sweeter in the oven.

    This is such a classic home-style dessert that everyone loves. There’s absolutely no question that this cobbler should be served warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream on top!

    Fresh Peach Cobbler6-8 servingsFilling6-8 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (about 7 cups)1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar3 tablespoons cornstarch1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom1 tablespoon lemon juiceBiscuit crust1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour1/4 cup (50g) sugar3/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt1/4 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon lemon zest3 tablespoons cold butter3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, chilled*Vanilla ice cream, for servingPreheat the oven to 375° F.Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom. Whisk well. Pour in the peaches. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the peaches and then toss together to coat. Pour the peaches in a greased 11×7 baking dish. Set aside. For the biscuit crust, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or the tines of a fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture. When pea-sized pieces are dispersed throughout to flour, add the buttermilk. Stir together using a rubber spatula.Use two spoons to place portions of dough on top of the peaches in the baking dish. Use the back of a spoon to spread the dough evenly across the peaches (it’s okay if some peaches peek through the dough).Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the peach mixture is bubbling. Serve warm with scoops of ice cream.
    link Fresh Peach Cobbler By Heather Baird Published: Friday, July 10, 2020Friday, July 10, 2020Fresh Peach Cobbler Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Triple Berry Scones

    These buttery pastries are filled with summer’s best berries. Serve them with hot coffee or tea for a wonderful start to the day!Summer usually means at least one trip to our favorite berry farm, where picking a gallon is an easy pleasure and fingers turn purple-red from secretly taste testing the goods. We’re not venturing out much these days, so when I get my hands on fresh berries – even the store bought kind – I want to celebrate them! These scones are a beautiful way to use the season’s best berries.

    As a well-practiced southern biscuit maker, I’ve tried almost every technique for cutting butter into flour. Scones are very biscuit-like, and my favorite way to make them is with grated frozen butter. It takes a bit of work on the large holes of a box grater, but it’s well worth the end result. The frozen pieces of butter evenly disperse throughout the flour, and stay cold throughout mixing and forming. As the dough bakes, the cold butter releases steam which gives the pastry light, fluffy texture.
    I used whole blueberries, blackberries and chopped strawberries. I imagine whole fresh raspberries would work nicely in this recipe also.
    The mixed dough will be ragged and a little crumbly. You could knead it together at this stage, but I prefer to handle the dough as little as possible. Instead of kneading, I squeeze the dough together and pack it under my palms to shape it into a circle. Overworking the dough will lead to scones that are tough with a chewy texture, instead of light and flaky. If kneading feels more intuitive to you, use a light hand and knead just until the dough comes together.
    Cover and refrigerate the dough before cutting it for the neatest slices. It’s very important to use a sharp chef’s knife! You want the berries to slice without resistance. A dull knife will drag the berries through the dough and it will tear and crumble your neatly fashioned circle.
    Ready for the oven!

    The scones should bake to a light golden exterior, and come out of the oven in slightly less perfect form than they went in. Corners will not be as sharp. Remember, these are rustic beauties! They are supposed to develop crags and crackles on their tops.
    I loved these with a zigzag of confectioners’ glaze, but you could also dust them with powdered sugar. If you’re looking for something less sweet, then just leave ‘em plain!Be well, all of you! xo -h

    Triple Berry SconesYields 8 sconesScones2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar1 tablespoon baking powder3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt6 tablespoons (85g) frozen unsalted butterZest of 1 lemon1/2 cup (3 oz.) fresh blueberries1/2 cup (3 oz.) chopped fresh strawberries1/2 cup (3 oz.) fresh whole blackberries1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones2 large eggs Glaze1 cup (114g) confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons heavy cream1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to aerate and combine.Grate the frozen butter on the large hole side of a box grater. Immediately add the butter to the flour mixture and stir until the pieces are well-dispersed. *Alternatively, you can cut cold butter (not frozen butter) into the flour using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork.Stir in the lemon zest. Add the berries and toss in the flour mixture to coat.In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and eggs. Add the cream mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold together gently using a large rubber spatula until a ragged, shaggy dough is formed.Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, pack and form the shaggy dough into a 6-inch circle (alternatively, knead until the dough just comes together). Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 400°F.Use a large sharp chef’s knife to cut the circle into 8 triangles. Transfer the slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream.Bake 20-22 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Let cool before glazing.For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cooled scones. 
    link Triple Berry Scones By Heather Baird Published: Friday, July 03, 2020Friday, July 03, 2020Triple Berry Scones Recipe LEGGI TUTTO