Category Archives: Pastries

Cranberry and Orange Scones

scones

Makes 1 Dozen

Ingredients:
For the Scones

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

For the Glaze
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 º F .

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and mix in with your hands until dough becomes coarse crumbs. Stir in milk until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Mix and fold in the cranberries and orange zest.

Turn dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently until dough is no longer sticky.

Divide dough in half and gently form each half into a 7 inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut each circle into six even triangular pieces. Separate and set aside.

Place the scones on the lined baking pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes or, until tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, teaspoon lemon zest, milk and maple syrup to make the glaze. When the scones are slightly cool, drizzle glaze over the top with a spoon or rubber spatula. Serve warm.

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Blueberry Turnovers with Lemon Glaze

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Blueberries… there’s really nothing that tastes more like summer!  We went to work in the kitchen this weekend and decided to cook up some yummy blueberry turnovers.

Making flaky turnovers is about as easy as it sounds, and it’s even more fun to do so with family Simply just lay out squares of puff pastry, spoons the blueberry filling into the centers, and fold over one corner to create a pudgy, tightly sealed, triangular pastries.  Brush the tops with egg wash to help them turn deliciously golden when baked, and drizzle with a lemony powdered sugar glaze to create just the right balance of sweet and tart.

These turnovers with summertime flavors are great for desserts or for a nice casual Saturday morning brunch. We hope you will  enjoy these delectable treats!

Serves 8

Ingredients:
Filling:
Vegetable cooking spray
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 sheets puff pastry (*See Cook’s Notes)

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk + 1 Tablespoons of water
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey

 

 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450º F.

Lin two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with vegetable spray. Set aside.

In a bowl mix blueberries, lemon zest, sugars, and cornstarch until the blueberries are well coated. Set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry on a flour coated cutting board and cut each sheet into 4 even squares. Spoon out 1 to tablespoons of the blueberry mixture into the center of each square and fold each over to create 4 triangles. Seal the edges of the pastry with a fork and prick 2 to 3 air vents in each.

Brush turnovers with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place turnovers on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together confectioner’s sugar , lemon juice and honey to make the  glaze. When turnovers are slightly cool, drizzle glaze over the top with a spoon or rubber spatula. Serve warm.

*Cook’s Notes:
Making puff pastry from scratch is a time consuming process and many home cooks, like the option of using commercially prepared puff pastry sheets that are found in the frozen dessert section of the local supermarkets.

However, if you are adventurous and want to make you puff pastry from scratch, here is a quick and easy recipe from  Gemma Stafford,  a professional chef.  Her recipe is easy and fast to make without all the folding in making traditional puff pastry. The secret to this great recipe is the use of frozen grated butter. Follow the link  to Chef Stafford’s website, BiggerBolderBaking.com , for the recipe.


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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Guinness Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie

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Thank you so much!

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Apple Galette

This dessert is a  classic French pastry  with a frangipane filling, which is   found in many Italian-inspired desserts. Frangipane, is made from almonds ground together with sugar and eggs.

Traditionally, frangipane is a filling made from or flavored with almonds. Frangipane/frangipani is derived from frangere il pane (Italian for “break the bread”). This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries, such as the Jesuite. A French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners’ dictionary. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. Frangipane is one of France’s many traditional foods associated with Christmas celebration.

Today it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds.

Frangipane, also know as frangipani in Italian and crème frangipane in French, is as rich and velvety as it sounds. It is an almond pastry cream that is used as a filling in tarts, cakes and assorted pastries. It is comprised of creamed butter and sugar, with eggs and finely ground almonds added in. The term can be used to refer to both the almond cream itself or the pastry that is filled with it.

While most pastry terms reflect a characteristic of the substance or technique they refer to, that is not the case in for the  mysterious origins of frangipane. The word frangipani itself is actually derived from the Italian phrase “frangere il pane,” which means “bread-breakers.” One legend states that this name was bestowed upon a noble Italian family in the 11th century for their generosity in distributing bread to the poor during a time of great famine. Sifting through the lore of this lusciousness, there are upon two possible origins of the almond cream moniker, featuring members of the Frangipani family, nearly three centuries apart.

One such account of the origin of frangipane features the 13th Century Italian noblewoman who married into the Frangipani family, Jacopa da Settesoli, and St. Francis of Assisi. She was a young widow when she heard of the holy man. Desiring to meet the penitent in order to seek his spiritual advice, Upon meeting St. Francis, Jacopa became a follower and benefactor of his. Francis advised her not to abandon her family. She  was so moved by St. Francis that she joined the Third Order of Saint Francis, turning administration of her affairs over to her two sons.  Francis and Brother Jacoba 754px-Josep_Benlliure_Gil48Francis and Lady Jacoba became friends and she  spent of  the rest of her life in service to him and others in need, in the practice of good works. When he travelled to Rome, Francis would stay as her guest. She gave some of her family’s property in Trastevere, Rome to Francis and the brothers to use as a hospice for lepers and she provided for their needs. St. Francis had given Jacoba the title of “Brother” in gratitude for her service and determination, a title that allowed her entry into the friary to visit with the dying St. Francis at a time where women were forbidden to enter. It was said that St. Francis requested her appearance at his death bed and asked that she bring with her an almond sweet that she had made him during one of his visits to her in Rome. While it is believed that he was too ill to consume it, this sweet nonetheless became known as frangipani.

Another account is that this almond cream’s namesake was a 16th century Italian nobleman living inleather-satin-and-embroider-2 Paris by the name of Marquis Muzio Frangipani.  Frangipani was the inventor of a popular accessory of the time, bitter almond  perfumed gloves, said to have been worn by Louis XIII. It is believed that in order to capitalize on the popularity of these almond scented gloves, pâtisseries flavored pastry cream with almonds and called it “frangipane.”

On Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ, where the French cut the King Cake, a round cake made of frangipane layers, into slices to be distributed by a child known as le petit roi (the little king) who is usually hiding under the dining table. The cake is decorated with stars, a crown, flowers and a special bean hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece of the frangipane cake with the bean is crowned “king” or “queen” for the following year. Sounds similiar to the King Cake served throughout the Carnival season and associated with Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It is believed the festivities of Carnival were brought to Louisiana by French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. He led an expedition on behalf of the French crown and on March 2, 1699, he set up camp along the Mississippi River, 60 miles south of the present location of New Orleans. It just so happened the next day was Mardi Gras, and so began its celebration.

But whatever the origin of this sweet cream filling, it makes for a stellar dessert in shape, form of fashion.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, about 10 x 14-inches, thawed
1  1/2 cups of toasted almonds or  finely ground almond flour
½  cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼  teaspoon salt
½ stick Lurpak, or any European style, unsalted butter, softened
2 large fresh eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 large baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 a fresh  lemon
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Purchased or homemade salted caramel sauce, for serving

Directions:

For the Frangipane:
Process whole toasted almonds or almond flour until finely ground. It is wise to use the pulsing method for processing the almonds to avoid over-grinding them into an almond paste.

Use the creaming method to beat the softened butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, if using a hand held mixer add 2 additional minutes.

Add the ground almonds and beat on medium speed until blended, approximately 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Break the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs one at a time on medium-low speed, beating well after each addition.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the 3 tablespoons of flour. Beat on low speed until just incorporated, approximately 1 minute.

This frangipane is now ready to be used as is or flavored as your favorite tart or pastry recipe calls for. This mixture can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week.

For the Galette:
Preheat an oven to 350°F .

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 16 x 14-inch rectangle. Carefully roll the pastry around your rolling pin and transfer it to a 9- or 10-inch ovenproof fry pan, pressing it gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Refrigerate until ready to  fill.

In a bowl, toss the apple slices with  the freshly squeezed lemon juice to coat.

To assemble the galette, pour the almond mixture into the pastry-lined pan and spread evenly. Arrange the apple slices evenly on top of the  almond mixture, overlapping them slightly. Fold the excess puff pastry back over the edges of the pan to form a rim or crimp the pastry decoratively.  Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream and salted caramel sauce on top.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

 

Hot Honey Apple Tartlets

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For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil.    Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and  the rest, as the say, was history.

Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.

Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.

For this recipe, I used a dark  honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but  you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of  Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of  2 green thai chiles  and 1 habanero  to every 3 malaguetas.

And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all  things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Hot Honey:
Makes About 1 Cup
2–4 hot chiles , thinly sliced
1 cup Langnese Forest Honey

Directions:
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain  into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled  in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.

Make  Ahead:  The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.

 

For the Tartlets:
Two  17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD:  Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing. 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes:
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Golden Curry Puffs

Adapted from Christina Arokiasamy
The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, 2015

The Spice Merchant's Daughter - Christina Arokiasamy's photo.

Curry puffs are very popular tea time snacks in Malaysia. Prepared like Indian samosas, golden curry puffs are lightly spiced, drawing flavors from sweet potato, potato and chicken. For this recipe, Chef Arokiasamy has chosen to use frozen puff pastry for convenience—it is available at most supermarkets or you can wrap the filling in our Malaysian Raya Brand or Kawan Brand Paratha.

 

Makes About 2 Dozen Pastries

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen petite peas
1 pound frozen puff pastry
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato,peeled and diced
1 small  Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 springs curry leaves finely chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

Directions:
Thaw the peas in a medium bowl filled with warm water for 10 minutes. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and set aside to thaw. Preheat the oven to 400°F .

Meanwhile, set up a steamer by bringing a couple of inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Place carrots, sweet potato, potato and peas in the steamer insert and set the insert over the boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the curry leaf, ginger and garlic and fry until the garlic is golden and the spices release a fragrant scent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and curry powder and cook, stirring as needed until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.

Add the steamed vegetables, season with the sugar and salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

When you are ready to make the curry puffs, lay one pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to increase by about 1 inch all around and thin it slightly. Cut the puff pastry sheet into 3-inch discs circles. Repeat with the remaining pastry. You will need about 22 circles.

Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. Place 1 tablespoon of the cooled filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a semicircle. Gently seal the edges with a fork and place the curry puffs on a baking sheet. Brush each pastry with egg and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Chocolate Almond Braid

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Similar to an almond crescent, this braided pastry creation is  so light and flaky, but is filled with a rich chocolate and  almond center. It is so versatile you can serve it for dessert, breakfast or brunch. It will taste as if it was made from scratch at a bakery, yet the packaged puff pastry makes the recipe quick and easy for both the novice and experienced home cook.  Your friends and family will be amazed by this delightful treat.

Enjoy!

Serves 12
(Makes 2 braids-6 slices each)

Ingredients:
For the Almond Paste Filling:
One 7-ounce  package of  almond paste
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
Two 3.5-ounce Ghirardelli Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven Bars*
1 medium egg, for the egg wash

For the Glaze:
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds,divided, toasted

Directions:
Place the almond paste, butter and sugar in a food processor; cover and pulse until chopped. Add 1 egg and flour; process until smooth.

Unfold puff pastry sheets onto a parchment lined greased baking sheet.

Spread half of the almond filling mixture down the center third of one pastry sheet. Place the chocolate bar in the center, cut diagonal lines along the left and right side of the chocolate bar about an inch apart.Remove the corner pieces.

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Starting from the top, fold down the flap then alternate right and left until you are close to the bottom.

Fold the bottom flap up and finish alternating between right and left. Pinch ends to seal. Tuck any extra puff pastry underneath.

Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with almond slices.Bake at 415°F / 213°C for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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Remove to a wire rack.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk and almond extract. Drizzle over braids; sprinkle with additional almonds. Cut into slices and serve.

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*Cook’s Note:
Feel free to  use your favorite chocolate bar in this recipe.
You can also omit the almond paste filling, if desired.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Mini Crescent Roll Cheese Danishes

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Photo Credit: http://www.notyourmommascookie.com, 2013

Great taste comes in small  packages, just like these miniature danishes that make a great addition to a brunch buffet. Using commercially prepared dough allows you to make them in a snap! You can also make fruit and cream cheese danishes by adding a spoonful of your favorite pie filling, like cherries, peaches or lemon, prior to baking.

In this recipe, I swapped the cream cheese for Neufchâtel cheese which contains about 1/3 less milk fat than regular cream cheese. I also added a bit of left over cherry filling to the cheese center, creating a Cherry and Cheese Danish. The variations are endless!

Enjoy!

 

Makes 20 to 24 Mini Danishes

Ingredients:
For the Pastry:
Two 10 -ounce cans of Pillsbury® Original Crescents Rolls

For the Filling:
1⁄2 cup white sugar
One 8-ounce package of Neufchâtel cheese, softened
3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅔ cup whole cherry pie filling (optional)

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons of milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the Filling:
In a large bowl, cream the  cheese, sugar,  vanilla extract and sour cream together. Set aside.

For the Glaze:
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Set aside.

For the Danishes:
Slice  the unrolled crescent roll dough into 1/4 inch slices, as if making slice-and-bake cookie dough. Place slices of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and make slight indention in the center of each slice. Add about 1/4 of teaspoon of the cheese filling to each roll. If you are using the cherry filling, spoon one cherry and a small amount of the cherry filling on top of the cheese. Brush each danish with melted butter.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the danishes and place on a wire rack to cool. After the danishes have cooled, drizzle with the glaze and place on a platter and serve.