almond puff loaf

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Sometimes I get my inspiration from restaurants or a particular craving I have. Sometimes they just come to me from my wild imagination or another food blog. But sometimes, it’s literally sent to me… like this one which I received in my Sunday morning King Arthur Flour recipe e-mail. This recipe falls into the latter category.  Continue reading

chocolate chip almond muffins

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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 ]

galette de rois

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Yesterday Future Husband and I were discussing food items. He said dinner “looked great” and I said something about how I was more concerned about how it tasted than how it looked and he said “well your food always looks good AND tastes good” (isn’t he just ever so sweet?). I replied that it wasn’t true, that sometimes my food looked ugly but tasted great anyway, to which he agreed.

The then followed with, “Or sometimes food looks great but it tastes AWFUL” to which I shot him a look and said “BUT NEVER MY FOOD OF COURSE!” where he caught himself and said “No, of course not your food. Never your food!”

No. Of course not my food. That would just be crazy.

Well this, my friends, falls into the middle category. Looks like the pastry equivalent of a melting burn victim but tastes like angel wings and unicorn glitter.

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In fact, if I had to rate this cake on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is best,  this cake gets a 2 on looks but on flavor… YOU GUYS the flavor… This flavor goes to 11.

Which is one more than ten.

Anyway, this was my attempt to make David Lebowitz’s galette de rois (aka: king cake).

The concept of king cake is thusly: You make a cake, you hide a “feve”. Your feve can be pretty much anything: a candy, a nut, a chocolate chip, or even a tiny toy… I recommend against the latter only because I am rarely eating at a speed at which choking is not already a hazard and I have no need to tempt my fate by including inedible objects in my baking. When cutting and serving your cake, HE WHO GETS THE FEVE RULES THE WORLD, or good luck, or fortune, or any variety of things depending on your region and the type of king cake you are enjoying. I’m not totally filled in on the whole history of king cake, I am much more knowledgeable about eating it.

As luck would have it, out of this whole cake the very first slice FH cut sliced right through the feve… which was extra alarming to him because he was (1) unaware of what king cake was (2) definitely unaware that there was anything hiding inside of it (3) afraid that I was trying to poison him.

After I reassured him that it was just a dried cherry and that it meant he could have been “the king” for the day had he been better at cutting things, we both had half of a feve. I think that means we are both half lucky for a year… or maybe 100% lucky for half of a year… I’m not really sure how this whole thing works. Maybe he canceled out all the luck by cutting right through the feve, that’s the more likely scenario.

Anyway, this cake was supposed to look like this:

It did not.

I could have cried and decided not to post it, or made a whole new one altogether, but having already consumed my weight in my “failed” king cake (and thoroughly enjoying it), I didn’t have it in me to make another one. Plus I was out of almond paste and the store always seems much farther when your belly is full of puff pastry and almonds.

Turns out all that filling that leaked out and baked on its own, that stuff is FREAKING DELICIOUS. In fact, I’ve been thinking about making a whole batch of the filling, spreading it out on a baking sheet, and baking the crap out of it because IT WAS THAT GOOD GUYS. Seriously. So good.

I’m sure it’s equally good (maybe even better) piled inside of the cake, as per Mr. Lebowitz’s picture above. My cake had much less filling (obviously, given the glorious almond paste puddle surrounding it) but was still irresistibly delicious, not to mention super easy to make… assuming that you can properly seal your edges unlike SOME PEOPLE. (/looks around)

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The moral of the story (if there is one) is that sometimes when you’re baking things don’t always go to plan.Your caramel will burn, sugar will explode all over your kitchen, or your mug cake will overflow and fill your microwave with (delicious) cake batter.

These things happen.

And when they do… you have a choice. You have the choice to give up or to try again.

You also have the choice to eat the crap out of your “failed” item anyway and just accept that the baking gods are just not with you on that day.

So, without further adieu, here is the recipe for David Lebowit’z galette de rois. Remember to seal the edges very tightly. Or don’t, it’s up to you really.

galette de rois

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

    Almond Filling
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pound (or 1 package) puff pastry, divided in two pieces, chilled
  • 1 feve (an almond, dried fruit, piece of candy, the choice is yours!)
  • Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Instructions

    For the almond filling
  1. Combine the almond flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter and mix until it’s completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla and almond extracts. The mixture will be grainy, but that's ok. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the puff pastry
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle or square about 9 1/2-inches wide. Using a cake pan or pot lid, trim the dough into neat circle.* Place the dough on the baking sheet.
  5. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper or plastic film, then roll and trim the other piece of dough and lay it on top. Chill the dough for thirty minutes.
  6. Assemble the galette de rois
  7. Remove the dough and almond filling from the refrigerator. Remove the top layer of dough and parchment or plastic from pan so that there is only one circle of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Spread the almond filling over the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch exposed border.
  9. Strategically place your chosen feve somewhere in the almond filling,
  10. Brush water generously around the exposed perimeter of the dough then place the other circle of dough on top and press down very firmly to seal the edges very well.**
  11. To bake the galette, preheat the oven to 375ºF and decorate the top of your galette as desired by slicing into, but not through, the galette to create a design.
  12. Stir together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top. Try to avoid getting the glaze on the sides of the galette, as it will prevent the pastry from rising at the edges.
  13. Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam escape while baking.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the galette is browned on top and up the sides.***
  15. Remove from the oven and slide the galette off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. The galette will deflate as it cools, which is normal. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*As far as I can tell, trimming the cake into a circle serves no real purpose. Next time I think I will roll the pastry sheets into 9 to 10-inch squares and bake in a square shape (less wasted puff pastry!)

**Seal the edges VERY WELL. Like, Really well. David decorated his all pretty-like even

***During baking, if the galette puffs up too much, you may poke it once or twice again with a paring knife to release the steam.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/04/08/galette-de-rois/

[ Adapted from David Lebowitz ]

 

almond cake

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I was in the mood for a “summery” dessert when I came across this gem on serious eats. What’s more summery than a light cake with fruit preserves? Not much (except maybe some strawberry shortcake). Plus, I had been itching to … Continue reading