Sunday, December 16, 2012

french buttermilk breakfast puffs

Where have these been all my life???

You'll ask yourself the same question after making and eating these french breakfast puffs. They're a cross between a muffin and a cinnamon-sugar cake doughnut. And most importantly, delicious!!!

I've made these twice. The first time, I followed the original recipe from Betty Crocker. BC's recipe called for vegetable shortening in the batter. I went with it because when I'm making recipes for the first time, I try and not to stray too far off of the original recipe. Today when I woke up at my Dad's house, I had the urge to make them again. This time I used butter instead of vegetable shortening and buttermilk instead of whole milk. Both recipes were successful and produced something yummy.

Get these on your table for Christmas morning or sooner. You'll thank Betty Crocker and me for bringing this recipe to your attention.

French Buttermilk Breakfast Puffs
adapted from Betty Crocker & the blog Spoonful
makes 9

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ***Try and grate the fresh stuff from a whole nutmeg seed.***
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the bottoms of a standard muffin tin. Set aside.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and nutmeg. In small bowl, whisk the egg until it's foamy and light. Mix the buttermilk with the cooled melted butter. Add the whisked egg and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Pour your wet ingredients into the flour well and with a spatula fold the ingredients together.

With a 2-ounce cookie scoop, equally scoop batter into your prepared muffin tin.

***This recipe yields 9 and 1/2.....for the cook. :) ***

I always drop an ice cube in my muffin tins if all of them are not filled with batter. This keeps the tin evenly heated.

Bake your muffins for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes rotate your pan and bake for 5 - 7 minutes more. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. 

In the meantime, melt the butter for the topping and mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Once the muffins have cooled enough to handle, dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then roll the tops, sides and bottoms in the cinnamon sugar.

These breakfast puffs are best served warm. 

You'll aslo find yourself eating them at room temperature too!!! AND IF you have any leftover, they could be frozen in a ziplock bag. But that's doubtful.....


Sunday, December 2, 2012

panettone scones

Panettone was one of my Mom's favorite Christmas holiday treats. She used to like it for breakfast, toasted, and with butter. 

After graduating from pastry school I used to bake her panettone every Christmas. I'm sure that she would have loved my panettone scones but I bet they have a pastry chef in heaven that can make them for her.

I adore the taste of candied citron in panettone. And strangely I also like the currants and golden raisins too which normally are not my fave in baked goods. Citron is an ingredient that I don't have regularly in my pantry. Luckily I had it and felt inspired by memories of my Mom so instead of waiting for panettone bread, I whipped up panettone scones.

Before we get started with the recipe, this is citron. It's candied. It's Italian. And it's delicious. My husband bought me this gorgeous sweet thing from Di Palo's here in NYC's Little Italy, but you can probably find it online or maybe your city's Italian specialty food store. In a pinch, you could use candied orange and lemon peel.

Panettone Scones
original recipe of Dreamy Cream Scones taken from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook tweaked with my very own adaptations

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup roughly chopped citron or candied orange and lemon peel
2 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Fior di Sicilia extract or vanilla extract

1 egg - beaten for egg wash
powdered sugar for dusting - optional

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In your food processor combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. A few pulses. Or in a large bowl, whisk together. In a measuring cup, mix together heavy cream and Fior di Sicilia or vanilla extract (if using) and set aside.

Add in your butter cubes and with short pulses, cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. If doing this by hand, use two knives or a pastry cutter/blender and cut in your butter.
Add your citron, currants, golden raisins and lemon zest. Pulse a couple of times or stir in. Transfer mixture into a large bowl.

With a rubber spatula, stir in your heavy cream and extract until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough and all floury bits onto a clean work surface and gently knead dough until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 - 10 seconds. Lightly flour your work surface and gently press out dough until it's 3/4 inch thick. With a 2-1/2 inch round cutter, cut out scones. 

Place them 2 inches apart on your parchment lined sheet. Brush tops with egg wash and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

caramel apple fruit roll-ups

I'm baking my way through a list of nostalgic foods that I loved eating as a kid. Last week it was iced oatmeal cookies and this week it's fruit roll-ups.

My first attempt for making fruit roll-ups was a few weeks ago when we were visiting my husband's family in NoCal. There was a quince tree on their property bearing fruit and it was just begging to be made into something. So fruit roll-ups were made. Making homemade fruit roll-ups are incredibly easy and tasty, it's just another recipe that you have to have a little patience.

A baking note: Don't plan on baking anything in your oven for the next 6 - 8 hours.

Caramel Apple Fruit Roll-Ups
makes 2 baking sheets 

3 - 4 large Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup water/apple juice/apple cider
1 - 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste)
pinch of cinnamon
generous pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon

You'll also need two rimmed baking sheets and 2 Silpat mats if you have them.

You can also use parchment paper instead of Silpats, but I haven't tried that yet.
Wash and peel your apples.

If your apples are organic and you want a little texture in your roll-ups, leave the skin on.

***Since this was technically my second attempt for making roll-ups, I didn't use organic apples. Ssshhhhh. Don't tell anyone.***

Roughly chop your peeled or unpeeled apples into 1/2 cubes.

Place them into a pot and over medium heat. Add your liquid - water/apple juice/apple cider. Cover and cook until the fruit is soft - about 5 - 7 minutes. You'll know when the fruit is done because it will look like apple sauce. Add your brown sugar and cook a few seconds more to melt the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in your cinnamon, kosher salt, vanilla and lemon. Set aside and cool slightly before blending.

After your mixture has cooled slightly, pour it into a blender or food processor. Blend/blitz until smooth.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper. Using an offset spatula, spread your puree evenly into a thin layer.

Place two racks in your oven evenly spaced (upper and lower thirds) and set to the lowest setting. My lowest setting for my oven was 170°F. 

Place your raw roll-ups into your oven and basically forget about them for the next 4 - 6 hours. Every two hours, rotate your pans for even drying. 

After 6 hours, test your roll-ups by lightly touching the surface. It should be sticky but not raw. Continue baking if needed.

Remove from oven to let cool completely.

Once cooled, place a piece of parchment on top and flip the Silpat mat over. Gently peel mat off of fruit leather. 

At this point it's ready for giving or storing. Roll up your fruit leather and tie with bakers string. Tie several pieces of string on the roll and cut into desired pieces with kitchen scissors.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

iced oatmeal cookies

These are not Mother's Iced Oatmeal Cookies , but they look and taste pretty darn close.....

I've been feeling a little nostalgic due to last week's news of Hostess closing their doors forever. I debated whether to make something Hostess-like this weekend, but I didn't have all of the ingredients to make anything. So sad...

I'm not gonna lie. I've indulged on Hostess products over the years like Raspberry Zingers, Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, various Fruit Pies, Chocolate Pies, Chocolate Cup Cakes and my all time favorite, the Orange Cup Cake. And since these childhood treats are soon to be gone forever I'll just try making my own and better tasting versions. 

Enter the iced oatmeal cookie.

Growing up my parents always had some sort of cookie in the cupboard. Sometimes they were homemade and sometimes store bought. I remember these iced oatmeal cookies distinctively because I loved licking off the icing leaving a soggy naked oatmeal cookie. I had the ingredients on hand to try and replicate these cookies and searched for the perfect recipe. I found many recipes on the inter-webs with similar ingredients but I liked the recipe from fancyfoodfancy. Fancyfoodfancy's recipe called for a mixture of multigrain flour but I just used plain old all-purpose flour. So here it goes.....

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from the blog fancyfoodfancy
makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies 

2 cups whole rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
generous pinch of cloves & allspice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter - melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.

In a food processor, pulse rolled oats, 10 - 20 times. Oats should look broken up but not powdery. In a large bowl, whisk together the processed oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt and spices. 

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and eggs. Add both of the sugars and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold to combine.

With a 1-ounce cookie scoop (1 1/2 inch diameter) scoop out cookies leaving 3 inches between them because they will spread during baking.

Bake for 16 - 20 minutes rotating the sheets halfway through baking.

Cookies should look golden brown all over.

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks completely.
For the Icing
2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup water plus more if needed
***One egg white can also be substituted for the meringue powder.***
2 cups powdered sugar
small squeeze of lemon

In a small bowl, whisk together meringue powder and water until frothy. Whisk in powdered sugar. The icing can be thick so add a little water at a time until it's a consistency of thick cream. Squeeze in a little lemon juice. Whisk thoroughly.

With a small offset spatula or butter knife, drizzle a little icing over the cookie. 

Lift the knife up and down, touching the peaks of the cookie with icing. The icing shouldn't look like it's spread on but drizzled. Kinda. 

Place the iced cookies back onto parchment lined baking sheets and let them dry completely. Store your cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"all it takes is heart" and a happy birthday

It's been a couple of weeks since hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast and there's still A LOT to be done getting the communities and their lives back to normal. Or maybe the "new" normal......

My dear friends, Chris and Sarah Romulo from Rockaway Beach and of CROM Martial Training suffered great loss post Sandy which I blogged about here.

These two incredible people have THE biggest hearts and even though their lives, home and business seem like they've been shaken up in a snow globe, I wanted to bring them a little sweet happiness and I surprised Chris with a cake for his birthday. CROM MT's motto is, "All It Takes Is Heart," and it speaks volumes to what kind of people he and his wife are and the community unit of Rockaway.

Chris is by no means mean spirited. Don't let this growling face fool you!!!

I have made cakes for this family in the past getting inspiration from their logo or profession. You see, Chris is a Muay Thai fighter and has hung up his fighting gloves professionally but continues to educate and train others.

I was able to go out to Rockaway this week and volunteer in the relief efforts and took a shot of what was left in their gym.....

Chris, Sarah, CROM MT and Rockaway are going to come back bigger and better because ALL IT TAKES IS HEART!!!!!


***Don't judge my piping skills here. It was the day the Nor'easter hit and I was pressed for time to get it done.***

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

new york, new york cupcakes

Start spreadin' the news.....

I used this technique for creating the white royal icing disks. And with the tiniest of brushes and edible food coloring, I hand painted each and every skyline. Luckily there was only 30 (24 pictured).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

vacation, post hurricane sandy and dough & batter branding

It's Halloween and post hurricane Sandy. I am feeling sad for so many of our friends, fellow NYers and beyond who have experienced the worst the past couple of days. I only wish that I could offer them something - anything!!! I have lived unscathed through 9/11, the blackout of 2003, last year's hurricane Irene and now Sandy. New Yorkers are strong and even friendly and will pull together to bring this city back into shape - eventually.....

92nd Street, Rockaway Beach, NY
photo courtesy of Lauren O'Conner via Sarah Romulo's FB page 
There are many fake pics out there and in case you are wondering, this pic is the real deal!!! Unfortunately part of the boardwalk has swept up onto the street and on the doorstep of my friend's house. Please send happy and positive thoughts. A LOT of people need them!!!

Forgive me for the lack of blogging because I was on vacation the past 2 1/2 weeks. We were visiting family, picking/juicing/eating apples off of the trees, drinking wine by the fire and eating farm-to-table. Sounds heavenly, right??? Kinda wish we were still there.....

My husband and I were lucky enough to catch an earlier flight back on Sunday before Sandy immobilized the east coast. Our local grocery store is completely out of anything "bread" and I am baking my third loaf as I type this. If anyone is interested in a loaf of bread, hit me up! I'm baking up a storm. (no pun intended)

On a happier note and while I was away, my logo and incredibly talented branding designer, Hyun Auh, was featured on a local design blog!!! Hyun has been featured before on other blogs and publications but Jamie from 128 john st. combined together Auh Design and DOUGH&BATTER. 128 john st. IS about design and cupcakes. No wonder we both made the post. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

morning buns

Morning buns.
Yeah, you know you want one!!!

These morning buns look super intimidating to make, but they're not. You've just got to have a little patience.....

As most of you know, I geek out on what I call food porn. I watch A LOT of food related tv - educational and reality. If it's about food, I'm watchin' it!

I came across a Cook's Country episode on PBS on a lazy Sunday afternoon for breakfast yummies. And when I saw it was about morning buns, I set Tivo to record it so I didn't miss a thing. 

The pastry or dough part of these buns are a form of laminate dough. For all my fellow pastry chefs, you know what I'm talkin' about, but for the home baker it's pastry dough that is prepared by layering dough and fat along with a long process of rolling and folding. I know that sounds like a mouthful, but this recipe is far from scary so don't be intimidated.

Morning Buns 
scribbled down from an episode of Cook's Country on PBS
makes 12 and sadly only 12

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoon) rapid rise or instant yeast ***There are several different types of yeast so it's important that the right one is used in this recipe.***
3/4 teaspoon salt
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter - cut into 1/4 inch slices and chilled
1 cup sour cream - cold
1/4 cup orange juice - cold
3 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest from a large orange
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Before you do anything, zest your orange and measure out your juice and zest needed and set aside.

For the DOUGH:
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a large ziplock bag. Add the slices of butter to the bag, zip it shut and shake to coat butter slices with flour mixture. Once the butter slices have been coated, open the bag a little and press out all of the air and tightly zip it shut again. Lay your bag of butter and flour on a flat surface and with a rolling pin, roll over bag several times, shaking and moving butter pieces around until all of the butter seems to be pressed into large flakes after rolling. Dump the contents of the bag into a large bowl and stir in the sour cream, orange juice, water and egg yolk until combined.

Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it together and knead it briefly into a smooth ball. Lightly flour your surface again and roll your dough out into a 20 x 12 inch rectangle. Starting with the shorter end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Gently press the cylinder flat into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Place rectangle onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill in your freezer for 15 minutes.

Line a muffin tin with foil liners. Do not use paper liners because your buns will stick to the paper!!! Spray your liners with baking spray and set aside.

For the FILLING:
In a bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract.

Remove your dough from the freezer and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 20 x 12 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the filling over your dough leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides. Starting on the longest end, fold over about 1 1/2 inches of dough and the start rolling in into a tight cylinder. Pinch the end to seal the seam. 

With a sharp knife, cut the cylinder in half. 

***The show suggested to cut a half inch off of the edges, but why waste any of it?*** 

Cut the halves in half and then cut into thirds creating 12 equal portions. 

Gently place your buns into your prepared foil 

Loosely cover with plastic wrap, place into the refrigerator and say good-bye to them for at least 4 hours and up to 24. 

***I prefer to let them rest overnight. I know, it's torture!!!***

Adjust your oven rack to the middle position. Bring a pot of about 4 inches of water to a full boil. Remove your chilled buns from the refrigerator, place on the middle rack of your oven and set the pot of hot water on the bottom of the oven. Close the oven door and let the buns proof for 20 - 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Remove the buns from the oven and preheat your oven to 425°F. 

Bake the buns for 5 minutes and reduce the temperature to 325° and continue to bake until deep golden brown, 35 - 45 minutes. 

Cool your buns in the tins for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack and immediately remove the foil liners. 

Serve warm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

dough & batter's etsy shop

My new DOUGH & BATTER Etsy shop is open for business!!! 
Check it out.
"Like" my shop.
And place an order!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

7 layer bars

Graham crackers, butter, sweetened condensed milk, walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and kosher salt. Does that make these 9 layer bars??? There are many versions of this recipe, but I liked the chip combo from the Brown Eyed Baker. I altered some of the ingredients to my personal taste and used what I had in my pantry.....

9 graham crackers - you'll get 3 packages in a box of grahams. One package is 9 crackers.
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter - melted ***I cut 3 tablespoons out of the original recipe. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I was trying to cut back on our butter consumption a little. Due to the minimal butter used, my bars also crumbled as we ate them, but we didn't really care? They were still tasty***
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk ***I used about 9 oz. or 3/4 of the can because that's what I had available.***
1 cup walnuts - finely chopped
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut 
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips ***You could use semi-sweet, but I personally like the taste of bittersweet.***
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

Spray lightly with cooking spray a 9x13 inch pan and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper - overlapping bottom and going up the sides. Leave the wider sides a little long so that it acts as handles when you want to remove the bars from the pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. When your oven is ready, toast coconut. Don't walk away, the coconut toasts/browns pretty quickly. 4 - 5 minutes. Toss during baking to ensure even browning.

In the meantime, dump your graham crackers into a gallon ziplock bag. Press out all of the air and with a rolling pin bash and roll them into fine crumbs. 

In a bowl, mix together thoroughly the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and melted butter. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan.

Scatter the chopped walnuts onto graham cracker crust, then assorted chips and next the toasted coconut. In an even stream, pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan of goodness. Generously sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt on top. 

Bake until golden brown for 25 - 30 minutes. 

Cool bars in the pan for at least 2 hours.

With the parchment handles, gently remove from pan and cut into bars.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

a little louis for leah's birthday

It's my cousin's birthday and when I heard she loved Louis Vuitton I was nervous and excited at the same time. The nerves kicked in as I began hand painting the LV pattern.....

I was excited to create some Murakami.....

My interpretation of the LV pattern.....

Now I know the pattern isn't picture perfect, but you get the idea. Right???

Happy Birthday Leah!!!