This recipe was from Joanne Chang’s Pastry Love cookbook – I recommend it. She opened her first bakery, Flour, a block away from our Boston apartment and it was such a treat to walk across the park and get something tasty.
I substituted apricots for figs, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly (with one exception- I let the dough rest overnight, instead of the 3-hour maximum it suggested). These turned out deliciously sweet, tart and buttery. I do have danish pastry leftover in the freezer, waiting for me, which isn’t a bad thing.
These sourdough donuts from Baking Sense were outstanding. I iced them with a simple vanilla glaze and dipped them in the most fantastic candied sesame seeds. The end result tasted like a donut meeting a dim sum sesame ball.
Sourdough Donuts: Mix the dough up the day before (it takes most of the day) , cut and let rise for about 2 hours the next morning before frying. Recipe in link below. I substituted 1/2 tsp nutmeg for the 1 tsp cardamom because I feel like donuts have to have nutmeg.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. When the sugar dissolves and it starts to boil, pour in sesame seeds. Stir with a heatproof spatula constantly for about 8 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the sesame seeds are completely dry and crisp. They should just barely start to brown. Pour out onto parchment lined baking sheet, break up larger clumps of seeds and let cool.
Let donuts cool for a couple minutes before dipping in vanilla glaze, then immediately in cooled sesame seeds.
I keep making these scones. They seem to be what everyone in my house needs for breakfast right now. They are not too sweet.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into tablespoons
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg for egg wash
sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl or food processor. Add butter and work by hand or pulse in the food processor until the butter pieces are the size of peas or a little smaller. If using food processor, transfer mixture to a medium bowl at this point. Add brown sugar and oats and stir to combine. Pour in buttermilk and fold until the dough is moistened well but do not over-mix. Dump dough onto prepared baking sheet.
Gently pat the dough together, fold in half, pat together again and fold in half again. Pat the dough into a 10 inch circle, about 3/4″ tall, in the center of the baking sheet. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle liberally with sugar, and a few oats. Cut the circle into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges apart to separate them by about an inch or so.
I made these for an after school snack this week and then immediately made them again. The addition of coconut oil keeps the muffins nice and moist for a couple days, if they last that long. I like to add the blueberries with the flour to the mixer which helps them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin, and so some of the blueberries break down and get jammy up in there.
4 TBSP butter
1/4 cup triple-filtered coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Cream butter, coconut oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl in between. Add vanilla and mix.
Whisk nutmeg, flour, salt and baking powder together. Add blueberries to flour and toss to combine.
Add half of the flour/blueberry mixture to the mixer and mix briefly. Add the sour cream and mix. Add the remaining flour/blueberries and mix well. Give it a good stir with the spatula to make sure it is evenly mixed.
Divide batter among the 12-cups – each about 3/4 full.
Sprinkle a generous 1/2 tsp Turbinado sugar over each muffin.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until the center of the muffins are just firm.
These muffins pop up in my kitchen and my sister-in-law’s kitchen frequently – pretty much whenever there are 3 ripe bananas that need to be used. They stay moist and are kinda healthy.
This recipe is from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (3 large)
1/4 cup honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, banana and honey and mix until smooth. Beat in eggs. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add to egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Remove from mixer and give a good stir to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Fill muffin cups almost to the top. Bake 20-25 minutes, until firm in the center.
These muffins are super moist, light, and delicious. Mix them by hand in a large bowl, bake what you want, then refrigerate the batter for up to 2 weeks and bake them as needed. This is my mom’s recipe.
3 cups All Bran cereal
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour (you can substitute up to 1 cup whole wheat flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease or line your muffin tin.
In a large bowl, mix bran with hot water until moistened. Stir in brown sugar. Add buttermilk, eggs and oil, stirring until well combined. Add flour and baking soda, then raisins, if desired.
Scoop batter into greased muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops spring back when touched. Serve hot with butter or jam or both or none.
This is my favorite granola recipe – adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. This time I used cashews, Craisins AND raisins because I don’t want to get on Big Raisin’s bad side.
6 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
3 cups whole or chopped nuts
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups dried fruit
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Combine oats, coconut, flaxseed, nuts and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup and vegetable oil. Pour over oat mixture and stir to combine really well, about 5 minutes- making sure the oat mixture is well coated.
Divide between two rimmed baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes. Rotate trays and bake for another 25 minutes. At this point I usually turn the oven off and let the granola cool down completely with the oven.
Toss dried fruit and granola together. This makes a large batch, but keeps in an airtight container for several weeks.
I firmly believe there is a time and a place for raisins: the oatmeal raisin cookie, rice pudding, and the (underrated) French pastry, Pain Aux Raisins – which I prefer to pronounce “Pan O’ Raisins” because I might as well double down on my horrific french pronunciation.
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp rapid-rise yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
5 TBSP cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBSP butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup raisins
Take butter out of fridge to let soften a bit while you mix the dough.
For the dough: Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and slat in stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Combine milk and egg in a liquid measuring cup. Add to dry ingredients with mixer on low and mix until dough comes together. Increase speed and knead until the dough comes together. You will need to scrape the bowl a few times. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Cut one stick of butter in half so you have 3 even pieces. On a piece of plastic wrap, sprinkle half of the tablespoon of dough and place the butter on top. Sprinkle remaining half tablespoon flour on top. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Gently pound the butter with a rolling pin until it is pliable, then roll it out to a 5-inch square. Refrigerate.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is a 9-inch square. Place the butter square diagonally on the dough square. Fold the corners of the dough in so they meet in the middle and cover the butter diamond entirely. Gently roll the dough out to a 14″ square. Fold the dough in thirds to form a rectangle, then fold the rectangle in thirds to form a square. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove the dough and let soften for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out again for the second “turn” to a 14″ square and fold again, as you did previously. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours again.
For the filling: Pour boiling water over the raisins to cover and let soften for at least 30 minutes. Combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Combine yolks and milk in a measuring cup. Whisk milk into sugar mixture and heat over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Continue whisking until the mixture is very thick and at least one bubble has popped. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Strain, if you like (I don’t), into a bowl. Cut butter into pieces and whisk in butter a piece at a time until fully incorporated. Drain raisins and stir into pastry cream. Refrigerate until needed, stir vigorously to soften before using.
Roll out danish dough into a very large rectangle – about 12″ by 16″. Spread raisin cream evenly on top, leaving a 1-inch border on the long edge. Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the exposed edge with egg wash to help seal (save egg wash). Roll up loosely and seal at the long edge. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm it up a bit.
Cut the roll into 1/3-1/2-inch slices – the pastry cream will ooze a bit, just do your best to keep it in shape. Place on a lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. It can also be frozen at this time for a later date. Let come to room temperature (both if you freeze it or if it’s from the fridge) and let rise until it has gotten a little puffy (it won’t get super puffy, and it may take an hour or more, depending on how cold your kitchen is).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tops and sides with reserved egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Eat them immediately.
Guys guys guys- after years of trying I finally nailed homemade pop tarts. Happy little accident involving self-rising flour I bought for no reason other than I heard a story about Loretta Lynn using it for biscuits. It makes the perfectly delicious cardboard-y tasting pastry I’ve been hunting for. The filling ended up being a great use of the half jar of morello cherries that was taking up fridge space. The key here is to roll the dough out SUPER thin. Like, when you say to yourself, “I think this is thin enough” – keep rolling until you say to yourself “this has GOT to be thin enough”.
1 1/2 cup jarred morello cherries, drained (reserve 3 TBSP liquid for optional glaze)
In food processor, process cherries and dates until crushed. Combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Whisk in cherries and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Add almond extract and set aside to cool. This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated.
Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter in and work until it’s the size of peas, or a bit smaller (by hand or food processor). Stir in milk until combined and knead until the dough holds and is uniform. Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half between long sheets of wax paper until very thin – (as thin as possible – 1/16″ maybe) and in the shape of a long rectangle. Dust with flour as needed to keep from sticking. Using a ruler or straight edge, trim the edges of the dough. Cut the dough in half, the long way, then cut every 3″ or so to make 3″x5″ rectangles. You should get 16 rectangles total from all the dough. Spread about 2 TBSP filling in half the rectangles, but leave about 1/2″ from the sides free of filling. You will have extra filling, which you can freeze for another poptarting. Brush the edges with egg wash. Poke the other dough rectangles with a fork 3 or 4 times, then sandwich the pop tarts. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush tarts with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Dust with powdered sugar, leave unfrosted, or glaze.