baked occasionally – election palmiers

election palmiers | wee eats

When I chose election palmiers for our November Baked Occasionally recipe, it honestly had nothing to do with the election. It’s completely coincidental that the post is debuting the day before election day and they’re called “election palmiers” and … it’s just a whole bunch of serendipity I guess.

I’ll spare everyone words on the actual election, as I know it’s all we have heard about nonstop for the last few months, the last thing I need is another place to read about candidates and issues and voting, etc, I’ll leave you to pretty much any other form of media for that. Let’s deem this a safe space, shall we? Free of election news, despite the name of these delicious cookies. Instead, let’s talk about cookies, shall we? Palmiers, to be exact. Vote Palmiers 2016, that’s a cause I can get behind!

I’ve made palmiers dozens of times, but I’ve never made them totally from scratch. Usually I just grab some puff pastry from the freezer section and go along my merry way, so I was really curious to see what went into creating them from scratch. Lucky for me, Shannon had also never made them from scratch and being the curious creatures we are, we agreed that although it was probably the best-known recipe, it was also the most exciting recipe for November.

Yes, some elbow grease is required as we are basically taking a cookie dough and then laminating it. No, not with heat and plastic, but with rolling and folding and butter. Lots of butter. I also used this recipe to try out a new gluten free flour blend, but more on that later.

So, the pros

  1. The homemade version is a bit crunchier, flakier, with more butter flavor than the puff pastry version and I would say they are worth the extra work.

The cons

  1. It is a lot more work than simply unrolling some puff pastry and going on your merry little way, BUT I still think you should try making them from scratch at least once.
  2. Rolling – I seriously HAAAATE rolling dough. The only thing I hate more than rolling is cutting out cookies. I have tried for many years to make cut out cookies for the holidays and usually end up with a few cookies cut out and then I just give up. Make your life easier here by putting a piece of plastic wrap between your dough and your roller. You’re welcome.
  3. Folding – Yeah, it gets tedious and can be difficult, a dough scraper can be helpful for getting stubborn dough off or your counter tops and to help you get that perfect fold.

I scaled back on the cayenne significantly (by about half, but maybe my cayenne is just extra spicy?) and it added just the right amount of kick at the end without making the cookies overtly spicy. If you’re worried about it at all, feel free to leave it out entirely. It does give the cookies an interesting boost of flavor, though. I also made a second batch of these with pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon (and no cayenne), which were equally as enjoyable.

baked occasionally – election palmiers

Yield: 20 - 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces (1 ¾ sticks/200 g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup (125 g) raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

    Chill the ingredients
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ teaspoon of the salt and place in the freezer. Place the butter in a separate bowl in the freezer. Finally, in a small prep bowl or measuring cup, stir together 2 tablespoons water with the lemon juice and place in the freezer.
  2. Allow all the items to chill in the freezer for 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Make the dough
  4. Remove all items from the freezer. Place the flour mixture in a food processor and pulse for 1 or 2 short bursts.
  5. Add about half of the cold butter chunks and pulse about 3 to 4 times in short bursts. Do not over process the mixture - the butter pieces should be visible and just slightly bigger than pea size.
  6. Add the remaining butter and pulse a few more times - the butter should still be visible and pronounced in the mixture.
  7. Drizzle in a few drops of the lemon juice mixture and pulse 2 or 3 times until crumbly.
  8. Test the dough by pinching a bit in your fingers, the dough should just hold together. If it still crumbles apart, continue to add drops of the lemon juice mixture and pulse as needed.
  9. *Note: you may not use all of the mixture, or you may need to add a few extra.
  10. Be careful not to over process the dough - it should be loose and crumbly, you aren't looking for it to form a ball.
  11. Form the dough
  12. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it just comes together. Use your hands to shape it into a rough 6-by-9-inch (15-by-23-cm) rectangle about ½ inch (12 mm) thick, with the shorter side closest to you.
  13. Make the first letter fold: Fold the bottom third of the dough on top of the middle third, then fold over the top third to cover, just like folding a letter.
  14. Rotate the rectangle so the short side is facing you, and letter-fold the dough again.
  15. Rotate again and use your hands to gently shape the dough into another 6-by-9-inch (15-by-23-cm) rectangle.
  16. Perform the final letter fold. If, at any time, the dough starts feeling soft or the butter starts to warm, refrigerate until cool again.
  17. Once all three letter folds are finished, cover the dough loosely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  18. Fold again!
  19. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface.
  20. Using a rolling pin this time, roll the dough into an 8-by-15-inch (20-by-38-cm) rectangle, with the shorter side closest to you.
  21. Make the first letter fold - Fold the bottom third of dough on top of the middle third, then fold over the top third to cover.
  22. Rotate the rectangle so the short side is facing you and letter-fold the dough again. Rotate again, gently roll the dough back into a rough 8-by-15-inch (20-by-38-cm) rectangle, and perform a final letter fold. Cover the dough loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
  23. Shape the cookies
  24. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Set aside.
  25. Place a half sheet pan sized (18 by 13 inches/46 by 33 cm) rectangle of parchment on your counter.
  26. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne (if using), and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and dust the parchment with one-third of the sugar mixture.
  27. Place the dough on top of the parchment and sprinkle the dough with another third of the sugar mixture.
  28. Roll the dough into a 12-by-15-inch (30.5-by-38-cm) rectangle about 1?8 to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) thick. If the dough becomes too sticky, sprinkle a tablespoon or two more of the sugar mixture over it. (I found that putting a layer of plastic wrap over the dough helped me out immensely here).
  29. Return dough to the refrigerator and chilld for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.
  30. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll up both of the long sides of the dough toward the center so that they meet in the exact middle.
  31. Brush the egg wash where the two sides of the dough meet (this will help to keep the rolls stuck together).
  32. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for another 20 minutes.
  33. Slice and Bake
  34. When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  35. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the parchment and use your hands to spread it around, making the parchment to be slightly damp.
  36. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut crosswise into ½-inch (12-mm) slices and place the slices on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
  37. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the slices.
  38. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip the cookies over with a spatula. Bake the other side of the cookies until they have spread slightly and are puffy and golden brown, about 5 more minutes.
  39. *Note: I flipped some and didn't flip others, because SCIENCE! See details below.
  40. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature.
  41. Storage
  42. Allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight storage container. They recommend eating the same day, but my coworkers seem to be enjoying them just fine a whole 24 - 36 hours later.

Notes

* Do yourself a favor and make rolling easier by putting a piece of plastic wrap between your dough and your roller. You'll thank me later.

* If making and baking all in one go, you will want to begin preheating the oven when you return the dough for its final chill (after shaping it into the spirals).

* Flipping the cookies: I left some cookies un-flipped for science and did not notice a huge difference in terms of flavor/texture between the flipped and un-flipped cookies, so I would deem this step as OPTIONAL. Especially if you are prone to burning yourself like yours truly.

http://wee-eats.com/2016/11/07/baked-occasionally-election-palmiers/

Get the book – Baked Occasions 

Check out Shannon’s post – November Baked Occasionally

(This post contains affiliate links, which means a tiny percentage of what you spend will go towards supporting Wee Eats)

cinnamon apple bourbon

DSC_0184-apple-bourbon

I’ve been infusing my alcohol for awhile now, as you may recall, but this is the first time I’ve ever chosen bourbon as my vessel. Partly because I never drink bourbon (personally, I’m not a fan) and… well no, that’s probably the only reason. Mr. Eats’ family on the other hand… well they ARE bourbon drinkers. Or whiskey. Or scotch. Or anything, really.

With the winter season around us, the weather just screams for something rich, warm, and comforting. So what better way to celebrate than with a spin on a hot toddy using none other than apple-infused bourbon. You want to start the infusion at least one week ahead of time, but you can keep it going longer if you please. For a more mellow infusion, remove the cinnamon sticks after the first couple days, or you can leave them in for a spicier experience (think, “Fireball” with a bit less burn).

apple bourbon

You can let it infuse in the refrigerator, giving it a shake every few days or so, until you’re ready to strain out the infusers. There will be some sediment after you strain the bourbon, but it can easily be removed with a quick trip through some cheesecloth.

Create your own toddy using 2 ounces of this bourbon with 6 ounces of warm apple cider, sweeten to taste and add a twist of lemon or cinnamon stick for garnish if you so please. Or, if you’re feeling sassy, shots for everyone! It’ll warm you up in no time at all.

(Drink responsibly, of course.)

cinnamon apple bourbon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 500 mL

Ingredients

  • 1 (500 mL) bottle bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
  • 2 apples, preferably organic, washed, dried, and sliced
  • 2 to 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 large jar, washed and sanitized (a trip through the dishwasher will do)

Instructions

  1. Place apples, vanilla bean, and cinnamon in a large clean container. Place the cinnamon sticks in last so they will be at the top in case you want to remove them early for a smoother infusion.
  2. Secure lid and place in refrigerator for at least one week, shaking every few days, making sure that the apples stay submerged.
  3. When ready, pour through a fine mesh sieve and discard apples, cinnamon, and vanilla bean (or you can keep the vanilla bean if you have a use for it). If there is still sediment in your alcohol, run the liquid through some cheesecloth to remove the sediment and transfer to a smaller container for storage.
  4. The concoction should keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Notes

If you don't want to "waste" your apples, you can use just the skins (I would increase the amount to three or four apples in that case) and enjoy the apple insides as you like!

Enjoy mixed with warm cider or on its own!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/17/apple-pie-bourbon/

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

11.14 biscuit 0230

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.

11.14 biscuit 0226

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

monkey bread

monkey bread instagram

Hey guys, remember this thing from my Christmas brunch?

Allow me to refresh your memory: it involves soft, pillowy dough, lots of cinnamon and sugar, and a warm, gooey, butterscotch glaze.  Is that jogging your memory at all?

Good.

You know those dishes that just instantly transport you back to your childhood?  You smell it cooking and suddenly you’re eight again at grandma’s house rolling pieces of dough around?

This is one of those dishes.

I know we all love to do all the things and make things from scratch, but sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy, ya know?

When I was little, monkey bread started with cans of biscuit dough and cinnamon sugar, then over the years taking bits and pieces from other family traditions the biscuits evolved into bread dough and the cinnamon sugar got amped up with pudding mix.

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it at first too.  Pudding mix?!?

Yeah, wipe that skeptical look of your face.  It works, and it’s not only “good” but it’s like, irresistibly good.

So good that your fiance may have an intense internal debate on Christmas morning about which is more important: eating monkey bread or your relationship.

photo

He may then stare at you in still in his pajamas, lured out of bed by the smell of baking cinnamon,  like you’re the meanest person in the world for telling him that he has to wait for company to arrive before he can eat it.

This may force you to remind him that the only way he will have monkey bread in his future is if you’re still around to make it.

All theoretical, of course.

Oh, and the best part about this delicious magical breakfast bread?  You can assemble it the night before and then just bake it in the morning.  Doesn’t that just beat the crap out of getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to make some fresh cinnamon rolls or pull-apart bread?

Yeah, I thought so too.  I mean, I love my family, but we all have our limits.

So make this and it can be your “easy” dish, or your only dish, no one will care how long it took (or didn’t take) you to make it because it’s so gosh darn delicious.

FH and I were still eating it like five days later and IT WAS JUST AS SOFT AS THE FIRST DAY.  I swear this stuff is magic.

monkey bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 13 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 bundt cake

Ingredients

  • 22 frozen dinner rolls, I use Rhodes
  • 1 small package cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Set out rolls to thaw slightly - I laid mine on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and then covered the tops with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. It took about 45 min to 1 hour for them to thaw.
  2. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Melt butter in microwave and then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract; let cool slightly to room temperature.
  3. Cut rolls in half and toss into bundt pan.
  4. Once half the rolls are in the pan, sprinkle with half of the pudding mix and pour half the butter mixture. Repeat with remaining rolls, brown sugar mixture, and butter.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F and set bundt pan on the counter about 30 minutes to warm to room temperature (I actually set mine on top of the oven while it was preheating to try to get more lift out of it).
  7. Once ready to bake, place bundt pan on a sheet pan and remove the plastic wrap. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through, covering with foil after 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a rimmed serving dish (this is important, because there will be goo oozing everywhere).

Notes

*If you don't want to wait overnight, place your covered bundt cake on the counter and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours) and then follow baking instructions. The speed of the rise will depend on how warm your kitchen is.

*If you can't find (or don't want to use) frozen dinner rolls, you could definitely use homemade rolls - I recommend sticking with either white bread or brioche dough.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/01/27/monkey-bread/

 

monkey-bread-pin