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

dominique ansel’s banana bread

m4s0n501

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/

cherries and cream biscuit pops

cherry pop 1457 close

My love for Jenis Ice Creams is no secret around here.

I don’t let my inability to stop by their shop get in the way of my love. Aside from stuffing my face with ice cream and sharing their recipes on the blog, I harrased a number of I ran an impassioned e-mail writing campaign to bring Jeni’s to my local grocery stores. Though it may or may not have had an effect on the fact that I can now stop at my local grocer and pick up a pint of Jeni’s whenever the urge strikes, I like to give myself at least a little credit.

See, people,  if you annoy enough people if you chase your dreams and they really can come true!

My next goal is to get a local scoop shop! (Really guys, I will go in early and churn the ice cream just give me the storefront!)

I was so excited when I found out that my beloved Jeni’s was releasing another cookbook  that even FH knew about the book’s release – and totally surprised me by ordering me a copy FOR NO REASON! Seriously, how often do boys not only a> notice something that you like, or b> get you something out of the blue, let alone DOING BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

Note: It is entirely possible that the real FH may have been abducted by aliens – but I like this new one so I think I’ll keep him.

The only downfall of this amazing plan was that the book arrived mere days before we started our Whole 30 diet. Sooooo, no ice cream for us.  As soon as the diet ended, though, I dove headfirst into the book and picked out any number of recipes that I decided I needed to make.

In the end I settled on Page 36 – Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam Ice Cream. I gathered my ingredients and got ready for a day of ice cream making… only to realize that my peaches mysteriously disappeared.

Does that ever happen to you? You go to the store and you know you purchased something but then as soon as you go to actually use it… it’s nowhere to be found? Happens to me all the time, guys. Seriously. ALL. THE. TIME.

I wasn’t going to let this hiccup derail me though, so what if I was missing one of the three main ingredients of making this ice cream? We are chefs, we improvise!

So improvise I did – with cherries. The other recipe I’m dying to make from this book is the White House Cherry Ice Cream, but it requires something called “cherry blossom extract” which is a bit outlandish for the home cook and I haven’t yet been able to justify the purchase… so I took the cherry swirl from that recipe and used it in place of the peach jam from my original recipe and – TADAA!

cherry pop 1

Cream biscuits with cherries and ice cream – but that’s a bit of a mouthful so let’s just call it “Cherries and cream biscuit ice cream.” I guess that’s a bit of a mouthful too.

The slight cherry syrup is bright and crisp and pairs perfectly with the sweet ice cream base and the not-too-sweet tender biscuits. Oh, and I made these into Popsicle molds because I couldn’t help myself.

They are amazing.

[ Note: THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST – Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has nothing to do with this post and doesn’t even know I exist – I just love them SO MUCH that I really think you should buy their books, check to see if they are at your local grocer, or even if you might be lucky enough to have one of their scoop shops nearby! ]

You can get their new book here: (It’s only $11.99 so you really have no excuse not to buy it)

or pick up a copy of their original book (it’s only $9.99 right now, guys!)

cherries and cream biscuit pops

Yield: 12 pops, with some left over

Ingredients

    For the ice cream base
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sweet cream shortcakes (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup cherry swirl (recipe below)
  • For the shortcake biscuits
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 cup all-purpose flour and whisk well to combine)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • For cherry swirl
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

    Make your ice cream base:
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside (this will be your ice bath)
  2. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix 1/4 cup of heavy cream with the cornstarch and set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt together until smooth.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the remaining cream with the sugar and corn syrup until it comes to a boil.
  5. Boil the mixture for 4 minutes and remove from heat to whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return the saucepan to heat and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened (about 20 seconds).
  6. Gradually whisk the cream mixture into the cream cheese until smooth, then stir in the buttermilk.
  7. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon ziploc bag and submerge in ice bath about 30 minutes.
  8. Transfer the ice cream base to the refrigerator until you are ready to churn your ice cream.
  9. Make the shortcake biscuits:
  10. Preheat oven to 450F and line a 8 inch baking pan with parchment.
  11. Pulse flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add cream and pulse just unti lthe dough comes togehter.
  12. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press it together.
  13. Fold the dough over itself, gently kneading, few times until it is no longer clumpy. Spread/press dough into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
  14. Allow to cool completely, then crumble shortcake until you have 1/2 cup of biscuit crumbles. Set aside.
  15. You will have a lot of shortcake left over. (What a problem to have!) I cut mine into individual servings and wrapped them and put them in the freezer for when the urge for shortcake strikes.
  16. Make the cherry swirl:
  17. Combine cherries, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil about 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently.
  18. Remove cherries from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  19. You have the option to drain and/or puree the strawberries, I left my sauce as-is and just didn't add all of the liquid when mixing the cherries into the ice cream.
  20. Churn and assemble the ice cream:
  21. When ready to churn, pour ice cream base into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
  22. If making pops:
  23. Layer into ice pop molds (ice cream, cherries, biscuits, repeat) starting and ending with the ice cream. Leave 1/4-inch gap at the top of the ice cream molds (it will expand when it freezes). Top with lid and insert popsicle sticks - freeze until completely solid.
  24. You will have extra of everything - I layered my extra into a smaller storage container and had scoopable ice cream as well (hooray!)
  25. To remove mine, I wrapped whatever popsicle I was removing with a damp warm towel and wiggled until the popsicle came free.
  26. If making standard ice cream:
  27. Layer ice cream into storage container, layering with biscuits and cherries. Press parchment paper onto the top and cover with lid. Place in freezer and freeze until firm.

Notes

*You will have extra of everything - I layered my extra into a smaller storage container and had scoopable ice cream as well (hooray!)

*To remove my popsfrom their molds, I wrapped whatever popsicle I was removing with a damp warm towel and wiggled until the popsicle came free.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/08/25/cherries-and-cream-biscuit-pops/

blueberry-coconut coffee cake

blueberry buckle 1

I was recently burdened with an overabundance of blueberries. (What a hard life I have, I know)

As much as I love blueberries I was nearing the end of my week and still had more than I could eat sitting in the fridge taunting me, threatening me that they were going to turn at any minute. The worst thing about berries is that they turn from delicious to inedible in the blink of an eye.

What was I to do with these berries? How could I possibly relieve myself of this awful burden?

The same way I solve all of my other problems, apparently, with cake!

As though it was meant to be, I came across the Bon Appetit recipe for a blueberry buckle and the clouds parted and the angels sang and all was right in the world again….

blueberry buckle 2

And I thought I would kick up the summer appeal by adding a bit of tropical coconut… because coconut = summer, right? Something like that.

I’m not sure what exactly differentiates a buckle from a coffee cake or any other cake for that matter… then again, who does? According to this article, this thing isn’t even a buckle, anyway! I think this counts as “coffee cake” in my book, but if they want to call it a buckle, I’m down for that too.

“A cake by any other name still tastes as sweet…”

Right?

But this buckle/cake/coffee cake/sugar-flour-butter-baby was amazing.

This was one of the most tender cake/cake-like-items that I have ever put in my mouth. The fact that it was filled to the brim with tart-yet-sweet blueberries and topped with glorious cinnamony streusel just made it all that much better. This cake “buckle”  is just as suited to accompany your morning coffee as it is for you after-dinner scoop of ice cream.

blueberry coconut coffee cake

Prep Time: 14 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the streusel
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
  • For the buckle
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces blueberries

Instructions

    Prepare for baking
  1. Prepare a 9-inch round spring-form pan with flour and butter (or use baking spray) and line with parchment. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Make the topping
  3. Whisk all streusel ingredients together except butter.
  4. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and cut into the streusel mixture until evenly distributed.
  5. Make the buckle
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter with sugar on high until the butter is pale and fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  8. Turn speed to low and add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the coconut cream, just until incorporated.
  9. Gently fold in the blueberries into the batter and scrape the batter into the pan. The batter will be thick and chock-full of blueberries. Gently press the batter into the pan with your hands or a spatula until it covers the bottom of the pan.
  10. Top batter with streusel and bake 80 to 90 minutes until baked through. Cool at least 30 minutes on a wire rack still in the pan.

Notes

* You will want to use a spring-form pan here since you cannot turn out the cake (or you will lose all of the delicious streusel)

* Though blueberries are used here, feel free to use any fruit you like or no fruit at all. This cake is AMAZING.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Apetit, July 2014

http://wee-eats.com/2014/07/28/blueberry-coconut-coffee-cake/

watermelon margarita

watermelon margarita 1325

This margarita was not supposed to be here today.

This margarita was supposed to be a different kind of margarita instead.

And then it was supposed to be a cake, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s story is about my quest to make you a delightfully southwestern margarita full of prickly pear juice and limes and tequila.

Unfortunately, both prickly pears (also known as “cactus pears”) and limes were in short supply in my neighborhood.   Which is funny because I distinctly remember almost buying a bunch of them last week, but not knowing what I would do with them so deciding against it. As luck would have it, now that I wanted to use them, they were nowhere in sight.

I searched my store high and low for those same prickly pears that were piled high just last week and finally found two hiding underneath some mini bananas. I quickly grabbed them up and immediately regretted my decision.

To say they were “over-ripe” would be an understatement. They basically turned to mush in my hands. Those poor two prickly pears had probably been hiding under those bananas for weeks, months, or maybe even years… thinking they were safe… until I came along.

Ok, so maybe not years. But definitely for awhile. It probably doesn’t help that bananas tend to help things ripen. Did you know that? It’s a very helpful factoid when you are stuck with an underripe avocado and a craving for guacalmole.

Would you like to know another helpful factoid? Prickly pears are prickly, and not just in the way you might think.

Prickly_pear_cactus_beed

Stores often remove the fruit’s larger spines to help save their poor customers’ hands. What they do not always remove, however, are the super tiny, almost invisible, hairlike spines that grow on them as a secondary defense.

At least, my store doesn’t… So after I set down my prickly pear mush, I discovered that my hands were now covered in tiny, almost invisible, cactus needles.  My poor poor hands.

Have you ever tried grocery shopping or driving a car with thousands* of needles poking into your hand? It’s rather difficult.

*Ok, so maybe it was more like ten…

I grabbed the tweezers when I got home and immediately began my emergency surgery. Time spent holding prickly pears: approximately 6 seconds. Time spent looking for and removing tiny cacti needles out of my had: approximately 26 minutes.

Lesson learned – always wear gloves when touching cacti-related objects.  No matter how safe they look.

You know what’s not prickly? Watermelons.

watermelon margarita 3

Watermelons are quite smooth, actually.  In fact, watermelons may be one of the least prickly things on the planet.

I’m not sure if there have been scientific studies or not to back this up, but if there were I’m pretty sure they would uphold my hypothesis.

Unfortunately, watermelons are also not prickly pears.  They do, however, have a similar flavor profile. While I would say prickly pears are a bit sweeter than watermelons, Shannon aptly described them as, “A prickly pear is like if a watermelon and some bubble gum had a baby.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So, this Cinco de Mayo, I give to you a not-prickly-pear margarita. No gloves or tweezers necessary. Limes, however, are necessary. You do not want to be out running around to four different stores at the last minute because you realize that you are a big dummy and you forgot to get limes.

If you need more ideas for you Cinco de Mayo fiesta, you can check out this roundup.

watermelon margarita

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 6 minutes

Yield: 3 Margaritas

Serving Size: 8 oz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup tequila (I use Sauza blanco)
  • 2 Tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cointreau
  • 1 lime, sliced (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Process watermelon in a blender until liquified. Strain if necessary to remove any seeds.
  2. In a large cup or shaker, combine watermelon puree, tequila, cointreau, simple syrup, and juice of one lime. Shake or stir with ice to combine.
  3. Strain into ice-filled glass and garnish with lime slice to serve.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/05/03/watermelon-margarita/

watermelon margarita - wee-eats.com