Momofuku Bagel Bombs

I have a confession to make, I’m a little bit in love with those little Bantam Bagel bites at Starbucks. I would probably eat them every day if I could.

These bagel bombs are not the Bantam Bagel bites, but they certainly suffice in a pinch, and they were a huge hit at Christmas brunch last year. They’re not as soft as the Starbucks version, they’ve got a bit more heft and chew to them which I think makes them more bagel-y. I tried boiling a batch of them like you would with a regular bagel recipe, but I was surprised to see it really didn’t make much of a difference. So I say skip the boil, it’s not worth it (and wasn’t part of the original recipe anyway). They also don’t brown very much, which can be a bit confusing when trying to judge doneness, so don’t be afraid if they still look a bit pale when you pull them out of the oven.

Made as written, this recipe will make a slider-size bagel bomb. I like to make smaller ones so I cut the dough into twice as many pieces so I can have more bite-sized bombs. This can, however, make filling them a bit more difficult. Just be careful not to over-fill them so that as much filling stays inside the bomb as possible. As for the ‘everything’ bagel topping, you should probably make double because you’re going to want to sprinkle that stuff on everything.

I made the Momofuku savory version, then a sweet version as well. The filling for the sweet version was tough to nail. I wanted it to be maple-flavored but as you can imagine, adding a bunch of maple syrup to cream cheese makes it a bit…. runny. In the end I settled on just a tiny bit of maple and threw in some cinnamon and brown sugar for good measure, with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top.

Momofuku Bagel Bombs

For the bombs

  • ½ recipe Mother Dough, proofed*
  • 1 recipe cream cheese plugs, frozen (below)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 recipe Everything Bagel Mix or cinnamon sugar (below)

Making the Bombs

  1. Make desired cream cheese filling (below) and freeze until firm, at least four hours or up to one month.
  2. Make mother dough (below, takes about 1 hour).
  3. Make your egg wash by mixing the egg and water together until well-combined.
    Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. *If you’re feeling brave, pop up the oven to 350, they never get as brown as I’d like at 325 but I don’t remember until it’s too late. Keep in mind you may bake them a bit shorter if you use a higher temperature.
  4. Gently punch down the dough and turn out and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. **Alternatively, you can divide the dough into 12 to 16 pieces, about 1.5 to 2 ounces each) They get pretty thin when you do the 1.5 ounce version, though. 
  5. Use your fingers to gently stretch each piece of dough out into a mini pizza between 2 to 3 inches wide.
  6. Put a cream cheese plug in the center of each dough circle. **If using the log method, just cut the log into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces depending on how big of bombs you are making.
  7. Bring up the edges of each round and pinch to seal so that the cream cheese plug is completely contained (I mean, it’ll probably leak out anyway, but at least you can say you tried your best).
  8. Once pinched, gently roll the ball between the palms of your hands to make it into a round shape.
  9. Arrange the bombs on your prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches in between each one (they will grow).
  10. Brush each bomb generously with the egg wash and sprinkle with a generous coating of everything bagel mix all over the savory bagel bombs. If doing sweet, cover with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
  11. Bake the bagel bombs for 20 to 30 minutes. They will probably leak a little bit but don’t worry, no one will know. Enjoy warm or allow to cool completely and store at room temperature for one day, in the fridge for a couple days, or wrap individually with foil and put into a large ziploc bag, freeze for up to a month.
  12. Reheat by zapping for a few seconds in the microwave or, even better, in an oven or toaster oven. From room temp or fridge, just about 3 to 5 minutes at 375 will do it, from frozen reheat while still wrapped in foil, I put them in the oven while it’s preheating and then check them about 3 to 5 minutes after it comes to temperature.

For the Mother Dough (Full recipe) 

  • 3½ cups (550g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) kosher salt
  • ½ packet or (1 generous teaspoon / 3.5g) active dry yeast
  • 1¾ cups water, at room temperature
  • grapeseed (or other neutral) oil

Make the Mother Dough

*The book calls for a half recipe of the mother dough, this will make 8 large or 12-16 small bombs. Math can be hard so if you want to make the full recipe of dough, there’s nothing wrong with having extra bombs on hand (your future self will thank you). Alternatively, you can wrap half tightly in plastic wrap and drop it into a freezer bag and stash it in the freezer for a couple weeks. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge then set on the counter (1 to 2 hours) to come to room temp. 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast until combined.
  2. Using a silicone spatula, add the water and stir, mixing until the mixture has come together into a shaggy mass.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, or until the dough forms a smooth ball. Continue kneading for another 4 or 5 minutes on the lowest speed. The dough should look like a wet ball and should bounce back when gently poked.
  4. Brush a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the proof at room temperature for 45 minutes. (If you want to hit the “pause” button, throw the bowl in the fridge overnight. Be sure to take it out about an hour or two ahead of time when you’re ready to continue the next day).

Bacon, Scallion, Cream Cheese Plugs

  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled or finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 scallions (greens only), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Line a quarter sheet pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until it is soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the chopped bacon, scallions, sugar, and salt and paddle briefly to incorporate.
  3. Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto prepared pan in 8 even lump. Freeze until rock hard, 1 to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can scrape it out onto the plastic wrap then use the plastic wrap to roll it into a log about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick (depending on if you plan to make larger or smaller bombs)
    *Once the plugs are frozen solid, they are ready to be used, or they can be stored in an ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Plugs

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (dark brown is best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar, if needed
  1. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until it is soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the maple, brown sugar, and cinnamon. If it looks too runny, throw in a teaspoon or two of powdered sugar to thicken it up. Taste and adjust as needed to your preference, I make mine a little less sweet (since the bombs will be dusted with cinnamon sugar) but you could use more or less brown sugar to your preference.
  2. Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto prepared pan in 8 even lump. Freeze until rock hard, 1 to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can scrape it out onto the plastic wrap then use the plastic wrap to roll it into a log about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick (depending on if you plan to make larger or smaller bombs)
    *Once the plugs are frozen solid, they are ready to be used, or they can be stored in an ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Everything Bagel Mix

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried onions
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Mix together the salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onions, onion powder, and garlic powder in an airtight container. The mix keeps forever in the pantry, but it is best used within 6 months.
    Note: You can now buy pre-mixed everything bagel mix at your local Trader Joes 🙂 Amazon also it (for a higher price tag) as well as a few options if you don’t feel like buying 6 different jars of spices.

Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Stir together ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Notes

  • If you do not plan to use your mother dough the day you make it, you can store it in an airtight container at least twice its size (or in its bowl, covered securely with plastic wrap) in the fridge for up to 3 days. Take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature 30 to 45 minutes before using.
  • If you’re making both fillings, split each recipe in half and fill half of the bombs with the savory cream cheese and the other half with the sweet cream cheese.
  • Reheat by zapping for a few seconds in the microwave or, even better, in an oven or toaster oven. From room temp or fridge, just about 3 to 5 minutes at 375 will do it, from frozen reheat while still wrapped in foil, I put them in the oven while it’s preheating and then check them about 3 to 5 minutes after it comes to temperature.

babka rolls

Babka has been on my to-do list for a long time now. So when King Arthur Flour featured their babka recipe as their Bakealong Challenge back in April, I Jumped on the opportunity to finally make my own.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with babka, it’s like cinnamon swirl bread but on crack. Often filled with chocolate or cinnamon and nuts, then topped with a sweet, crunchy streusel topping – this stuff is irresistible.

 

Though it looks very intimidating, having finally made it I can honestly say it’s not nearly as scary or daunting as I thought it would be. It’s a lot like making cinnamon rolls except you don’t have to cut the log into individual pieces, although once I made these all I wanted to do was turn them into rolls… which is why my April post turned into a July post (oops?).

 

However you decide to shape it, your babka will start with a simple sweet yeast dough. Once properly kneaded, you let it rise, shape it, let it rise again, then bake it off in the oven.

I know what you’re thinking… You’re looking at all those twisties and and saying to yourself that clearly this is some kind of trick. It must be harder than expected because just LOOK at how beautiful these babies are. I assure you, it’s no trick. Though time consuming (as all yeast breads are), these are not actually “difficult”. I made these three ways so you can choose your favorite and run with it.

The original recipe provided by King Arthur Flour gave enough for two loaves, so I’ve halved the recipe assuming you will only want to make one loaf (or 12 rolls). If you want to make two loaves (or two batches of rolls), feel free to double the recipe and divide it into two pieces after its first rise to work one loaf at a time. I did NOT halve the filling or the topping, you will use all the filling in the rolls and you’ll have leftover topping but that stuff is good on everything so feel free to stash it in your fridge or freezer for the next time you want to jazz something up with a bit of streusel on top.

babka rolls

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups warm water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons (13.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk*
  • 1 tablespoon instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • For the streusel topping
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the egg wash (make right before baking)
  • 1 large egg, beaten (set aside)
  • For the glaze (make after the rolls come out of the oven)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

Instructions

    Make the dough
  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients, using the lesser amount of water. Mix the ingredients together until everything is moistened, adding additional water if necessary to enable the dough to come together. It will still be a little lumpy and not very pretty. Once the dough comes together, cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  2. After resting, knead the dough by hand or with the dough hook until it becomes soft and smooth like a normal bread dough.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the dough becomes very puffy (it may not quite double in size).
  4. If you need a break, now's the time to take it. Instead of allowing to rise now, you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove from fridge and allow to rise, covered, for 2 to 3 hours until it's nice and puffy.
  5. Make the filling (I make mine while the dough is rising then warm it a bit to loosen before filling the dough)
  6. Stir sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and espresso until the butter is fully incorporated. Set aside, covered, until ready to use. (Do not mix the chocolate chips or nuts in with the other ingredients).
  7. Make the streusel (I also make this while the dough is rising, and then stash it on the counter or in the fridge until I need it)
  8. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until moistened. You should be able to press the streusel into clumps with your hands.
  9. Extra streusel can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. Throw it on top of banana bread or muffins, or toss some into pancake or waffle batter. You can also freeze it for a month or two if you like.
  10. Shape the dough
  11. Line a 9-by-13 inch pan with parchment and grease lightly with butter or cooking spray.
  12. Pour dough onto counter and gently deflate, stretching/patting into a rectangle.
  13. Roll dough into a rectangle approximately 15 by 20 inches. If it's being stubborn cover it with a towel and let it set 5 to 10 minutes to relax. I usually use a combination of rolling and stretching until I achieve my desired size, it doesn't have to perfect, just something in that vicinity.
  14. Spread filling over the dough and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.
  15. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log about 20-inches long. Trim about a half inch or so off of each end to get rid of the straggly edges.
  16. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 equal-sized rolls and place cut-side down into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until rolls become puffy and begin to crowd each other in the pan.
  17. Bake the rolls
  18. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  19. Once ready to bake, lightly brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle generously with streusel topping.
  20. Bake rolls for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top and baked through.
  21. Glaze the rolls
  22. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and milk until no lumps remain. If too runny, add more powdered sugar, if too thick add more milk. The glaze should be on the thicker side, sort of like Elmer's glue but more delicious.
  23. Drizzle glaze over slightly-cooled rolls. Best served the day they are made (and still slightly warm).
  24. OK, but what if you want to make that impressive fancy babka loaf you see at the bakery? Well, I've got steps for that too!
    To make a loaf
  25. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment and grease lightly with butter or cooking spray.
  26. Shape each half of the dough into a 9" x 18", 1/4"-thick rectangle.
  27. Smear dough with the filling, coming to within an inch of the edges and scatter nuts and chocolate chips over the filling
  28. For the fancy (split top) twisty loaf
  29. Starting with a short end, roll the dough gently into a log, sealing the seam and ends.
  30. Use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise to make two long pieces of dough.
  31. With the exposed filling side up, twist the two pieces into a braid, tucking the ends underneath. Place into prepared baking pan
  32. To make a less fancy (twisty) loaf
  33. Starting with the long end, roll the dough gently into a log, sealing the seam and ends.
  34. Fold the dough log in half (like a horse shoe) and twist the horseshoe. Place log into prepared baking pan.
  35. To make an easier less fancy (non-twisty) loaf
  36. Starting with a short end, gently roll the dough into a log about 10-inches long, sealing the seam and ends. Place log into prepared baking pan.
  37. To bake either of the loafs
  38. Place loaf into a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, allowing to rise about 2 hours. Right before baking, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with topping.
  39. Preheat oven to 300°F and bake for 35 minutes. Tent with foil then continue baking an additional 15-25 minutes, for a total baking time of 50-60 minutes.
  40. Remove loaf from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Notes

* If you don't have dry milk, substitute liquid milk for the water.

* If the dough doesn't want to roll/stretch out, cover it with a clean towel and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten, then stretch it some more.

* For those (like me) who like to rely on thermometers, the bread should reach an internal temperature of at least 190°F

http://wee-eats.com/2017/07/01/babka-rolls/

 

Happy Birthday to Me (and the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Obsession Continues)


I’m here, I’m alive, I’ve survived another year! Go me! I know it’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other, but it’s been a busy year so it’s been hard to find time to sit down and blog. But, I’M BACK KIDS! It’s my birthday gift to me (and you)! For those of you who have been around awhile, you may be aware that every year I make my own birthday cake. This year was no exception. Previous birthdays included:

When I saw this cheesecake over on Smitten Kitchen, I just knew I needed to make it for my birthday. With layers of chocolate cookie crust, rich chocolate fudge, and creamy peanut butter cheesecake, all topped off with a chocolate ganache.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 9 oz (1 package) Nabisco chocolate wafers
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the fudge
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 13 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • For the cheesecake
  • 2 8-oz packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the ganache
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

Instructions

    Prepare the pan
  1. Cover the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with two layers of aluminum foil.
  2. For the crust
  3. Finely crush wafers in a food processor until they make fine crumbs. Add chocolate chips and brown sugar a pulse to combine. Add butter and continue pulsing until thoroughly moistened. (If you don't have a food processor, you can crush the cookies in a heavy duty ziploc bag using a rolling pin, then pour into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients).
  4. Transfer the crumbs to the springform pan and press them up the sides of the pan almost to the top (within a half inch) and into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place in refrigerator to chill while you make the fudge.
  5. Make the fudge
  6. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and peanut butter, whisking until smooth. Pour into pan and spread into an even layer. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until firm.
  7. Make the cheesecake
  8. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  9. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  10. Scrape down the sides and add the sour cream, beating to combine.
  11. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
  12. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom to ensure everything is evenly mixed. Pour cheesecake over the fudge layer.
  13. Bake in a water bath
  14. Place foil-wrapped springform pan into a roasting pan large enough to hold it.
  15. Fill the pan with enough hot water to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan and transfer very carefully to the oven.
  16. If you don't want to use a water bath, you can bake it without a water bath as well, but the water bath is more gentle. To bake without a water bath, simply place your springform pan onto a baking sheet in the oven. (The baking sheet will make it easier to remove when the cheesecake is done).
  17. Bake the cheesecake for 75 to 90 minutes until the cake is mostly firm but will still jiggle a bit in the middle when poked. If you like to be more scientific, the center of the cheesecake should reach about 150-155°F on an instant read thermometer. The top will be a light golden brown.
  18. When done, allow to cool about 30 minutes on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for at 3 hours (or longer).
  19. Make the ganache
  20. Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering.
  21. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and peanut butter, whisking until smooth and shiny.
  22. Pour onto the cheesecake and spread evenly across the top of the cheesecake.
  23. Return cheesecake to fridge for at least 30 minutes, until the ganache has set.
  24. Serve the cheesecake
  25. Run a small offset spatula or butter knife around the outside of the cake to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan. Unhinge the sides to remove the bottom piece containing the cheesecake.
  26. To cut the cheesecake, run a sharp knife under hot water and wipe with a warm damp cloth. Cut into thin slices, pressing firmly at the bottom to ensure you cut through the crust layer at the bottom, wiping the knife as needed.
http://wee-eats.com/2017/03/15/happy-birthday-chocolate-peanut-butter-cheesecake/

[ Recipe from Smitten Kitchen ]

Baked Occasionally December – Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies

peanut-butter-cookies-wee-eats

It’s already been a whole year of our Baked Occasionally series, can you believe it!? It’s only logical that we would close the year with a recipe from their Christmas Cookie selection. This month, we each selected our own recipes, with Shannon choosing the whipped shortbread cookies and me choosing these beauties.

These cookies bake of wonderfully soft and chewy, filled with butterscotch and topped with a sprinkle of fleur de sel they are the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and will make the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie collection.  Continue reading

steak and arugula salad

wee-eats-steak-saladI’ve been spending a lot of the last few months experimenting with all types of food delivery services – HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef and more. Meal kits have their pros – I love how convenient they are and how they can push me a little bit out of my comfort zone, but they have their cons too. For one thing, the costs can really add up and for another the produce isn’t always in the best shape by the time it gets to my door.  Continue reading