chocolate chip almond muffins

almond muffin 0084

Apparently December is brunch month for me – with pain au chocolateapple pie biscuits and cinnamon-almond scones and now… muffins! Sure everyone else is helping you make Christmas cookies but here at Wee Eats we are committed to ensuring you are covered for your most important meal of the day.

These muffins are adapted from Monica over at Playing with Flour. She’s got tons of gorgeous goodies over on her blog, I highly recommend you stop by and check her out!

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These are not those big, dense muffins from your nightmares. The almond flour in these muffins give them a remarkably light crumb, they have a touch of sweetness, and then sliced almonds on to give them a nice little “crunch” as if to say “Good morning, Sunshine!”

Although her recipe calls for orange zest, I left it out because I’ve never really been into that whole chocolate-orange thing. Instead, I added a dash of almond extract to complement the almond flour and sliced almonds, and took these guys another route.

almond muffin pin 2

chocolate chip almond muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 to 15 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners. Grease liners, if desired, to aid in easy removal of muffins.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the mini chocolate chips and toss to coat with the flour mixture.
  3. Place sugar and almond meal into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extracts, then add the buttermilk and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Remove bowl from stand mixer and add the flour mixture. Fold flour mixture into wet mixture, stirring just until combined.
  7. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups (the batter will be very stiff), filling them nearly to the top and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
  8. Bake until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and set onto the rack to finish cooling.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/16/chocolate-chip-almond-muffins/

[ Recipe adapted from: Playing with Flour ]

cinnamon almond scones

cinnamon almond scones 2 - wee eats

‘Tis the season for cups of hot cocoa, gift-giving, and out-of-town relatives. Chances are that you (or someone you love) is traveling this month. There will be brunches, dinners, parties, and overnight guests and all of those wonderful things that come with the holiday season.

What are you to do in times like this? Make scones, of course! These come in handy both as a host and as a guest, and are so easy to whip up that you can really make it from start to finish in about 30 minutes. They don’t have any tricky ingredients (except a dash of almond extract, which is totally optional anyway) and so they can be made from almost anyone’s kitchen. Or, better yet, you can make them ahead of time in your own kitchen and freeze them until you need them!

Scones are very thoughtful like that, always there when you need them.

cinnamon almond scones - wee eats

Situations in which these scones may come in handy:

  • Your brother or sister is in from out of town and staying with you and you need an easy breakfast treat.
  • You are staying at your in-laws and want to surprise them with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air in the morning.
  • You’re hosting Christmas brunch and need something you can make-ahead so you aren’t running around like a crazy person on the day of.
  • You have to go to a holiday party and have NO IDEA what to bring the host/hostess – Bring a batch of scones wrapped with a bow for them to enjoy for breakfast the next morning!
  • You have to work on the holiday and want to do something nice for your fellow co-workers.
  • You need to make something sweet but are pretty sure that if you see one more cookie you might just finally snap…

cinnamon almond scone 3 - wee eats

The trick to getting big and fluffy scones is to make sure they touch when you bake them. I don’t separate mine at all after cutting. You see, scones (and biscuits) are friendly treats. They like to hold hands with their brethren when they bake so they can use each other for support and grow big an fluffy. If you want flatter scones, just leave an inch or two in between the wedges and they won’t bake up quite so tall.

Since this recipe makes six large scones, I’ve also included directions on how to turn this recipe into mini-scones. Again, if you want them to bake up big and fluffy leave some of them touching (maybe in pairs) so they can use each other for support.

These scones are great because they aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. They have a delightfully cinnamony dough topped with crunchy almonds and a delectable cinnamon-sugar topping which gives them just the perfect touch of sweetness to accompany your morning coffee.

cinnamon almond scones pin - wee eats

cinnamon almond scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 large scones

Ingredients

    For the Scones
  • 2 cups all ­purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Cinnamon-sugar (below)
  • For the Topping
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter cubes until the largest pieces of butter are about the
  4. size of small peas.
  5. Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and add the milk and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until a shaggy dough is formed.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a your parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently pat the dough into a disk about 7 inches wide.
  7. Scatter almonds over the top of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  8. Cut into 6 wedges and place into oven - if you leave the wedges together they will get taller than if you separate them.
  9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Notes

To make mini scones:

You could make these into mini scones by shaping the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut that rectangle into 6 to 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make triangles. Bake mini scones 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

To freeze scones:

You can freeze scones either right after cutting or after baking. To freeze before baking, place cut scones (prior to cinnamon/almond topping) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and place into freezer-safe baggy. Bake directly from freezer, adding an additional 2 to 5 minutes for baking. You may want to use an egg wash to get the cinnamon-sugar and almonds to adhere to the frozen scones.

To freeze after baking, cool scones completely on wire rack. Place on lined baking sheet in freezer 1 hour until firm. Place in freezer-safe baggy. Thaw and enjoy at room temperature or warm for 5 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/09/cinnamon-almond-scones/

 

[ Recipe from: Bake or Break ]

apple pie biscuits

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Apple pie isn’t something we really do around here. I mean, I’ve made it once or twice, but it’s just not usually on my radar. And that, my friends, is a shame because I love apples. Like, a lot.

I love them in muffins and cakes, I love them dipped in peanut butter, piled on top of toast, or even on their own.

So why, you may wonder, when fall presents itself and apple pie season rains down upon us, do I not use the opportunity to make a thousand apple pies?

I don’t know. I honestly couldn’t tell you, except that I tend to be pie-averse in general. Generally speaking I hate rolling out dough, but then I just spent like two days rolling and shaping croissants with no problems so what’s the big deal with apple pie? It just… doesn’t excite me.

BUT, if you take that very same apple pie flavor and stuff it inside of some biscuits, like that lovely lady Joy the Baker did recently… well, now you’ve got my interest.

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When I told Mr. Eats what I was making, he thought I was a crazy person and replied with “Hm, weird.” About a half a dozen biscuits later though, he was forced to wave his white flag and submit to the glory that is these biscuits.

And honestly, what’s not to love about a light and tender biscuit dough filled with freshly sliced apples that have been sauteed in cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Though not the most photogenic thing I’ve ever made, these babies would (and did) make an excellent after dinner snack, midday snack, or an equally delightful breakfast treat.

apple pie biscuits

Ingredients

    For the Apple Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 large Fuji apple, peeled, cored and sliced very thin
  • pinch salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • For the Biscuits:
  • 2 cups Self-Rising Flour (I made my own - see below)
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
  2. Make the filling:
  3. Heat butter in a 9 inch skillet over medium heat until it melts. Add cinnamon and sugar and stir to dissolve to sugar. Add the apples and toss to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes until the apples are just slightly softened, but not cooked through.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the biscuit dough:
  6. Place flour in a medium bowl and add cold butter cubes. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dough until the pieces are about pea-sized. Add the granulated sugar and stir to combine.
  7. Create a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and add 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir the mixture together until it is well-moistened and holds together well.
  8. Add the remaining buttermilk if the dough looks too dry, as needed.*If you're using your own homemade self-rising flour or you'll want to add the full 3/4 cup of buttermilk.
  9. Spoon dough onto floured work surface and use your hands to gather it into a ball and gently pat it into a small rectangle.
  10. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick, about 7-inches x 10-inches.
  11. Arrange cooled apples in a single layer over half of the rolled out biscuit dough and fold the bare side of the dough over the apples. Gently press the edges to seal in the apples and pat the dough into a 6 x 8-inch rectangle.
  12. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 12 squares.Carefully transfer each biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet, placing them about 2-inches apart.
  13. Bake the biscuits:
  14. Brush each biscuit top with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  15. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and puffy.
  16. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  17. Serve warm or cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Biscuits are best enjoyed within two days of baking.
  18. Reheat briefly at 400F in the oven before eating.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/02/apple-pie-biscuits/

[ Recipe Source: Joy the Baker ]

apple pie biscuits | wee-eats.com

pain au chocolate

m4s0n501

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Pain au chocolate, though frequently found at your local grocer or bakery, is rarely made at home. Flaky, buttery croissant dough filled with rich dark chocolate and topped with salty, crunch fleur de sel. It’s like it came straight from heaven.

Since I had a bunch of leftover croissant dough from my Pain au Thanksgiving project (and really had no need for 24 Thanksgiving-filled treats) I used half of it for these delectably sweet treats.

Unfortunately, Mr Eats doesn’t like dark chocolate and I didn’t want him to miss out on all the delicious goodness, so I filled some of my dough with cinnamon sugar in place of chocolate. The result was remarkably delicious, like if a cinnamon roll and a croissant had a baby and then rolled that baby in cinnamon sugar. Seriously, what’s not to love?

This also gave me the opportunity to show you what happens when you don’t properly seal your pains. Some were actually much worse than my cinnamon snail below, but what can ya do? Just remember to seal your dough very well when you are rolling it up because once it starts to rise all bets are off.

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So I filled my croissant dough with some delicious Ecuadorian Askinosie dark chocolate and others with cinnamon chips and cinnamon. Honestly, you can fill these things with pretty much whatever you want – milk chocolate, Reese’s cups, cookie butter, caramels, or even last night’s leftovers.

pain au chocolate
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ recipe croissant dough
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Chocolate version
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate (or filling of your choice)
  • Fleur de sel (for sprinkling)
Cinnamon Version
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon (for filling and sprinkling)
  • Cinnamon chips
Instructions
Shaping
  1. Remove croissant dough from refrigerator, unwrap and cut in half cross-wise. Re-wrap half of dough and place back in the fridge.
  2. Roll on lightly floured surface into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle, stretching as needed to maintain rectangular shape
  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.
  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.
Baking:
  1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F and make an egg wash by whisking one egg with 1 tablespoon water.
  2. Right before you put the dough into the oven, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with desired topping (cinnamon sugar or fleur de sel). 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
You can see more detailed directions for shaping and rolling your dough by clicking here

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.

 

dominique ansel’s banana bread

ansel banana bread

As you may have heard, the great Dominique Ansel recently released the recipe for his infamous cronuts. The recipe takes three days, four rises, a deep fryer, and something called a “butter block”. Oh, and let’s not forget to make the glaze and the flavored sugar.

While I may never eat (and will more likely never make) a cronut, what I was more interested in was his much simpler, more approachable recipe for the great and humble banana bread. Because the one thing everyone needs is yet another banana bread recipe, right?

I mean, it’s not like I don’t already have not one but two recipes for banana bread right here on this very site, but I was intrigued. I mean, how amazing can banana bread really be?

I became even more intrigued as I continued reading the recipe… no vanilla, no brown sugar, not even a hint of cinnamon. Clearly this was some sort of trick. Would Mr. Eats even eat a quickbread that wasn’t covered in streusel? I wasn’t sure…

I fought off my urge to tinker with every fiber of my being… No, Natalie, we aren’t adding vanilla. Or brown sugar. That “dash of cinnamon” is definitely off the table – If the great Dominique Ansel doesn’t need it, then neither do I gosh darnit!

ansel banan bread 2

After I congratulated myself on completing a recipe from start to finish by actually following the directions and not tinkering with a single ingredient… I tossed it in the oven and prepared myself for disappointment. I was ready to laugh and scoff and bring Chef Ansel down a peg.

Well color me wrong because this stuff is like banana gold. It turns out, apparently, that you don’t actually need any vanilla, or streusel, or cinnamon. All you need is bananas, flour, sugar, eggs and love. And lots of butter. You’ll definitely be needing that butter. And an over-sized loaf pan (my puny 8 by 5 would not do. Luckily I found some old larger loaf pan that, judging from the looks of it, I can only assume came from my mom or possibly a bomb shelter.

The loaf baked up with an incredibly light and tender crumb on the inside and a delightfully crisp exterior. I was a bit lazy about the banana-mashing so I still had a few chunks of banana, but i like it that way.

It is pure banana essence baked into loaf form and more than anything else – it is addictive.

Score one for Chef Ansel. I’m so sorry I ever doubted you.

ansel bread 4

Since I assumed that his cookbook would be full of cronuts and other complex things that frankly I get tired just thinking about… I had already decided that I wasn’t going to purchase it. However, now that I realize that there could be more gems in there like this banana bread,  I should probably just pre-order it now.

dominique ansel’s banana bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10" x 5" x 3 ½" loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisking to combine.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and whisk in mashed bananas.
  4. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently fold the mixture until the ingredients are just combined.
  5. Add the melted butter to the flour and banana mixture, and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to complete cooling.

Notes

This recipe was found on Tasting Table

http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/18/dominique-ansels-banana-bread/