pain au thanksgiving

11.14 turkey pain 2

I know that by now we have seen every possible use of Thanksgiving leftovers under the sun. We’ve seen them in pies, in soups, in sandwiches, and in salads, but one I had not seen was this masterpiece.

Imagine, if you will, your Thanksgiving leftovers tightly wrapped in a croissant dough and baked to perfection.  I think my knees just went weak…

May I present to you Pain au Thanksgiving! It’s very similar to its cousin pain au chocolate but instead of being filled with chocolate, it is filled with an entire Thanksgiving dinner … all rolled up into flaky buttery croissant dough… which is where it has apparently always belonged.

As soon as I got this idea I couldn’t wait to make it. I knew that I had to do it before Thanksgiving, so that you could use it for your leftovers. Of course, the added bonus of me getting to eat TWO Thanksgiving dinners this month may have weighed on my decision as well.

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For these, I used a standard croissant dough (you can use your own favorite recipe, I used this one only because I had successfully used it before). If you’re short on time (or motivation) you could even use store-bought puff pastry or some of those refrigerated “crescent” rolls in a pinch. Just keep in mind that a different dough may yield a different amount of pastries. My recipe yielded 24 pastries each one about 4 by 2 inches when baked.

For the filling, I used turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I toyed with the idea of putting the gravy inside, but decided it would a> be too messy and b> be much better alongside the sandwich. Because, if there’s one thing I love more than a sandwich, it’s a sandwich with a jus for dipping.

I also opted to leave out the cranberry sauce since Mr. Eats turned his nose up at it. You’re welcome to include it if your guests are more cranberry-friendly – I personally think it would have been delicious stuffed inside or even drizzled on top as a glaze.

If you’re wondering what on earth you are going to do with 24 thanksgiving pastries, fear not! You can freeze the pains (baked or raw) and keep enjoying that turkey dinner for up to three months.

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Pain au Thanksgiving

Yield: 24 Pain au Thanksgivings                                                                  [  Printable Recipe ]

Time: 1 hour (prep), 8 – 18 hours (refrigeration), 15 – 20 minutes (baking)

For the croissant dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warm (105°F–110°F)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • Thanksgiving leftovers: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, whatever you want!

Baking & Serving: 

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Gravy, for serving

Directions

Making the dough:
1. In the stand of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix the milk, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until foamy (appx 5 min). In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, set aside until yeast has foamed.
2. Add flour/salt mixture to yeast, while mixing on low. (I usually add half, then once incorporated add the rest)
3. Once it comes together into a smooth, slightly sticky mass, shape it into a rectangle about 1 ½ inches thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for about an hour until chilled

Laminating the dough:

1. Once dough is chilled, line up sticks of butter and smash with a rolling pin between two sheets of parchment paper until they are roughly the shape of an 8 x 5 inch rectangle. Wrap and chill, swapping butter for dough in the fridge.croissant 1
2. Unwrap dough and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary* into a 16 x 10 in rectangle. Arrange dough w shortest side nearest you, put butter rectangle in the center, and fold like a letter—cover the butter with the bottom 1/3rd of dough first, then with the top. Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.

3. Turn dough 90 degrees so new shortest side is near you, then pound with a rolling pin at even intervals, making uniform impressions (this will help the butter to spread). Roll dough again into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. Brush off any excess flour, and fold in thirds again, stretching the dough as needed to square off the ends—thus forming a 3 layer 10 x 5 inch rectangle.

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4. Give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back for doing your (presumably) first ever “fold”, rewrap the dough in plastic wrap, and stick it back in the fridge at least another hour. (I’m not going to lie, I got a little impatient and may not have waited the whole hour… on that same note, I also left the house a while between another fold and it was in for over an hour, and alas the world has not come to an end)

5. Repeat 5 & 6 three more times, creating a total of 4 “folds”. Once you have completed your last fold, rewrap the dough and place in refrigerator for 8 – 18 hours.

When you’re ready to shape the Pain au Thanksgiving

1. Remove dough from refrigerator, unwrap and cut in half cross-wise. Re-wrap half of dough and place back in the fridge. Just look at all those buttery layers…

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2. Roll on lightly floured surface into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle, stretching as needed to maintain rectangular shape

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3. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Stretch each square so that it is slightly elongated and place a small amount of filling of your choice into the center. If you go over 2 tablespoons of filling you will probably have a hard time rolling it into shape.

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4. Fold one side over the filling and wet it slightly with some water. Fold the other side over and press down firmly to seal.*

5. Place onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan, seam side down. Continue with remaining squares, I was able to fit 8 onto each pan. Once the pan is filled cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in size 1 to 2 hours.

6. Remove other half from fridge and repeat the steps again.

 

 

Baking: 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F and make an egg wash by whisking one egg with 1 tablespoon water.
Right before you put the dough into the oven, brush with egg wash. If you feel so inclined, you can sprinkle some shredded cheese on top for added flavor. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well-browned.

Notes:

To freeze raw:

Once you have filled and sealed the dough, you can place them seam-side down on a small baking sheet (that will fit in the freezer) and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour until firm, then transfer to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and return to freezer until ready to bake.

To freeze cooked:
Wrap cooled pains tightly in foil and place into a freezer-proof Ziploc bag.

To bake from frozen (un-baked):
Place frozen dough on parchment-lined sheet and cover with plastic wrap.Place on counter to rise overnight about 8 to 10 hours. Once doubled in size paint with egg wash prior to baking.

If you freeze croissants pre-baked:
Frozen croissants can be thawed overnight prior to reheating or taken from the freezer directly to the oven, in which case they will need a few minutes more to reheat.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375F from thawed, add a few extra minutes if baking from frozen.

 

 

 

thursday things – the 2014 thanksgiving special!

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Take a walk down memory lane with 20 years of Thanksgiving food trends.

Did you know that you could celebrate a fast food Thanksgiving (think “semi-homemade” – Sandra would be proud)… sadly that stuffing actually sounds really freaking good.

Meanwhile Food52 comes to the aid of your gluten-free guests.

King Arthur Flour answers the age-old question about what makes the best pie crust: Butter or Shortening? (Hint: IT’S BUTTER!)

New York Times has Thanksgiving across the states – what is your states dish? Arizona’s is apparently cranberry sauce with chiles.

And The Kitchn showed us how to make our entire Thanksgiving meal in the slow cooker. Of course, then you would need like six slow cookers, but who’s counting?

This Philly delicatessen has turkey-shaped mozzarella.

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And Salt & Straw has released a turkey flavored ice cream… that supposedly is actually pretty good.

Make your life easier on Turkey Day and cut down on those tears by nuking those onions before you chop them.

And DON’T BASTE THAT TURKEY because if Alton Brown doesn’t do it then neither should you.

If you still need to stock up on Thanksgiving gear, check out last year’s Thanksgiving Survival Kit with all the gear you need to get you through the holiday unscathed.

If you are heading out to the grocery store, Serious Eats will hook you up with a a printable list of your Thanksgiving pantry essentials.

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

The turkey is sacred territory to pretty much everyone out there, so I won’t touch that one with a ten foot pole. I will, however, give you some side dish ideas! This year hubby’s dad is making the turkey, so side dishes are all we need to worry about anyway!

Last year I made this sweet potato casserole recipe from Some Kitchen Stories and it was delicious.

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This classic sage and sausage stuffing from Serious Eats is sure to please your Turkey Day guests.

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Though Thanksgiving isn’t generally a time for experiments, I’d definitely give these slow cooker mashed potatoes from Gimme Some Oven a whirl

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Of course it’s always good to have a nice, light salad on hand, but you don’t want it to be boring. That’s where A Periodic Table’s Asian Pear & Fennel Salad comes into play.

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And let’s diverge from that murky green bean casserole and enjoy some of Pink Parsley’s crispy green bean fries instead.

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I’m obligated to make this praline pumpkin cake every year or else Mr. Eats will kill me… in fact it may have been in the fine print of our marriage contract. “Must make pumpkin cake at least once a year”..  If you want to go the more traditional route, try the creamiest pumpkin pie in the world.

praline pumpkin cake

 

And don’t forget to make miniature versions of everything to serve to your hamster.

halloween candy bark

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Halloween is tomorrow and since I’ve been 1,896 miles from home for the past week, sadly I haven’t had time to create a Halloween costume.

I have, however, managed to carve a pumpkin – Hubby and I started this tradition just last year, neither of us having carved pumpkins for many years.

pumpkins

In my time away over the last five days I’ve enjoyed a bit of actual autumn weather, got to see some fall colors, and walked 25.25 miles through the trails surrounding the beautiful Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA, while away at work conference. And yes, my legs are very, very sore.

I also learned the bad news from my beloved that, despite following the advice of a trusted website, our pumpkins have already turned to rotting mush in record time and will not be making it to Halloween… It turns out that peppermint soap thing actually does the opposite of preserving your pumpkin.

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So today, as I am sitting on a plane hurdling towards home (and 90 degree weather) at 500mph (or around there), anxiously awaiting my return home, I am also mourning the loss of our beloved pumpkins, and have every intention to drown the sorrows of our loss in this bark.

Just like the last bark, I used the sturdier candy molding formula for the base layer of bark because I love the snap it gives the chocolate. I also went with an extra dark chocolate for the base to provide a good contrast to the sweeter milk chocolate flavor for the second layer.

After spreading the second layer of chocolate, I adorned it with some of my favorite candies and a sprinkle of crushed potato chips and set it in the fridge for a few minutes to set up. Start to finish (including chopping time) I was done in under 30 minutes which isn’t bad at all if you ask me.

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Even though one day is plenty of time to make this bark in time to hand out for Halloween, it would be an excellent way to use up all of your leftover Halloween candy as well.

I included my favorite candies in the recipe below, but feel free to use whatever candy you find in the bottom of your (or your kid’s) trick-or-treat basket.

halloween candy bark

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: one 18 by 12-inch half sheet pan of bark

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate (I used this candy molding formula from Chocoley)
  • 2 cups milk chocolate (I used this dipping and coating formula , which is a bit thinner than the candy formula)
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter (go with a regular standard peanut butter that won't separate, I always use Jif)
  • 1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups; chopped (I used a mix of Trader Joe's dark chocolate and milk chocolate peanut butter cups)
  • 1/2 cup mini Oreos (I used mini Reese's Oreos), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini Reese's Pieces
  • 1/2 cup potato chips, roughly crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment-lined baking sheet and set in the fridge to solidify, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt milk chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and stir in peanut butter until fully incorporated. Pour over hardened chocolate and spread to cover.
  3. Working quickly, before the top layer of chocolate hardens, sprinkle with assorted toppings (I listed them in the order I sprinkled, but that's not necessary) and place into fridge to harden for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove bark from refrigerator and cut into pieces.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/30/halloween-candy-bark/

 

candy corn halloween bark

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Halloween is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to make your own candy! Even if you’ve never made candy before, literally anyone can make a killer bark.

Though I’ve included a recipe for the bark that I made, no real recipe is needed. Just like with any other recipe, though, you will want to think about balance. If you follow a single flavor profile, your bark will end up tasting a bit flat. You might not know what it is missing, but you will definitely know that something is missing. A good place to start is with something sweet, something crunchy, something salty, and go on from there.

For this bark I wanted to stick with Halloweeny flavors, so I started off with candy corn for sweetness, pretzels for crunch, pumpkin Joe-Joe’s (From Trader Joe’s), and then sprinkles just to make it pretty. Since I was using white chocolate for the top layer, I stirred a tiny bit of orange gel food coloring into the white chocolate once it was melted, because everyone knows that Halloween things are better when they’re orange.

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To make sure I got a good “snap” from my bark, I used Chocoley’s candy molding formula for the bottom layer of chocolate. I love using their candy molding formula for projects like this because it gives you a great sturdy base with the snap of a tempered chocolate without having to actually temper any chocolate. Then, for the top layer, I used their dipping and coating chocolate formula. That formula is a bit thinner than their candy formula and so it sets up a little bit softer, but either one would work perfectly.

If you plan to use another type of chocolate, TheKitchn has a nice thermometer-free tutorial, or David Lebowitz has a more in-depth “how to” for tempering chocolate on his site.

Since I used a couple of items (candy corn and pretzels) that aren’t prone to snapping along chocolate’s natural fault lines, I chose to cut this bark with a knife. That allowed me to get nice, clean cuts with my pretzel and candy corn pieces on each piece of bark.

candy corn halloween bark

Yield: one 18 by 12-inch half sheet pan of bark

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate melting chips (I used this candy molding formula from Chocoley)
  • 2 cups white chocolate melting chips, (I used this dipping and coating formula , which is a bit thinner than the candy formula)
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sandwich cookies, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Set in fridge to solidify, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Pour over hardened chocolate.
  3. Working quickly, sprinkle with assorted toppings and place into fridge to harden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cut or break into pieces (I cut mine since I had larger toppings that weren't likely to divide evenly if I just broke the chocolate into pieces)
http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/27/candy-corn-halloween-bark/

thursday things – halloween 2014

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Today’s Thursday Things is dedicated to Halloween. Everyone’s favorite holiday.

Here’s what the internet has for us…

18 pictures that demonstrate how terrifying Halloween was back in the day…

These bat cupcake toppers from Oh Happy Day

5 easy ways to package Halloween candy.

Chipotle has upped the price from “free” to $3 for its costumed-up Halloween patrons

In case you don’t have a costume yet, try out one of these Frozen costumes.

This one is not necessarily Halloween-related but still kinda gross and creepy…

If you are entering Movita’s carve-off, here are 5 ways to extend the life of your jack-o-lantern.

Or, if carving isn’t your thing, try out these DIY pumpkin decorations.

Meanwhile in Halloween Recipe Land…

Candy Corn Upside-Down Cake from yours truly

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Spider Krispy Treats from Cookies & Cups

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Bloody Caramel Apples from FoodieCrush

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Warm Vanilla Cider from Some Kitchen Stories

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 Seven Layer Bar Crunch from A Periodic Table

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Graveyard Dip from The Law Student’s Wife

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Nutella Cream Filled Skeleton Snack Cakes from Gringalicious

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Monster S’mores from Say Yes

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