Tag Archives: breakfast

Most Important Meal of the Day

21 Feb

Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, Sunday mornings were my dad’s time to shine in the kitchen! His specialties at the stove consist of: lasagna and pancakes. Lasagna was always saved for the times my mom was away or my dad was put in charge of dinner. Pancakes however, were made on the regular; our Sunday morning treat! He would always make a huge batch of pancakes Sunday morning that we would devour with butter and syrup. Whatever we couldn’t finish would be frozen and eaten for breakfast before school each morning. It was the perfect way to start the day!

As an adult, I can’t say I make them every Sunday (I’d have to live at the gym!), but pancakes are definitely a welcomed surprise for my husband every once in a while. Over the past year when I’ve made pancakes, I’ve always changed and tweaked my recipes to find the best golden, fluffy pancakes and I’ve finally done it! These pancakes are fluffy, but not too dense, golden brown and melt in your mouth. It’s the perfect base to eat plain (as my husband likes them), chocolate chip (the way I like them), blueberry and whatever flavor suits you! Pair these pillows of heaven with a side of eggs and fruit and you have yourself a pretty fantastic Sunday if you ask me! img_2589

Prep Time     Cook Time     Total Time
10 Min            3.5 Min            13.5 Min

__________________________________________

Yields ~11 6-inch Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbs of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1.5 Cups of Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbs of Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 Tbs of Unsalted butter, for the griddle
  • 1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chops (optional)img_2569

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla
  3. Add in the flour and whisk until just combined. The batter should have small to medium lumps.img_2574
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat the griddle/pan on medium heat and add the extra 1/2 tbs of butter. Wipe off excess.img_2576-1
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or a ladle) scoop out the batter and pour onto the griddle making sure each pancake is roughly 2 inches away from the other. Scatter with chocolate chips, if you’re using them.

     

  6. Once the pancakes start to bubble and pop on top and the edges are slightly dry, it’s time to flip! This will take roughly 2 minutes, but it’s all a matter of your pan temperature, so use your eye. If you think they’re ready but not sure, sneak the spatula under the side and peak under to see if it’s browned, if so, flip!
  7. Continue cooking until golden brown on the bottom and slightly firm when you lightly press the top of them with the spatula. It’s like testing a piece of steak: Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Well Done. You want your pancakes “medium”, still squishy, but cooked through. This should take roughly 1 minute, but as mentioned before, it all depends on the heat of your pan. Low and slow is really the key here. If the heat is too high, the bottom will golden, but the pancake will not be cooked through.
  8. Once this set is cooked, transfer to an oven safe plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Continue with the next batch until the batter is gone.img_2587
  9. Serve with butter and your favorite syrup!img_2589

If you’re anything like me, you always make too much, but these are great to freeze and save for another morning. Just wrap well in tinfoil (you can even put 2 or 3 together) and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, unwrap and place on a microwave safe place. Microwave for 3o seconds and then 15 second intervals until steamy and ready to eat!

Enjoy!
Kristin

A Delicious Duo

21 Sep

Peanut Butter Blossoms

If you ask me, there’s nothing more delicious than the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter. I was looking for something quick and simple to bring to a family party this past Friday and was flipping through some old recipes, browsing pictures online and chatting with some colleagues. We got onto the topic of cookies and figured maybe I’d just settle with my classic chocolate chip (not that chocolate chip cookies are “settling”! I could eat them all day long!!), but I wanted to mix it up a bit. I haven’t made these cookies in probably over a decade… aka WAY too long ago and I was reminded just how easy and quick they are to make.

Needless to say, they were a huge hit! Even my Nana who “doesn’t like peanut butter”, which I’m not sure how that’s possible (Love you Nana!) now has decided that she in fact, does love it! I did question whether that was just her response given I am her grandchild, but on her 3rd cookie, she convinced me! The cookies were gone long before the night was over and the sangria continued to flow. All around great night with family!!Nana

Nana & Me!

Blossoms

final 3 strait

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 35 Blossoms

What You’ll Need:

  • 35 Unwrapped Hershey Kisses – Milk Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup of Shortening
  • 3/4 Cups of Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Cup of Granulated Sugar (+1/3 Cup for rolling)
  • 1/3 Cup of Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons of Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

Instructions:

  1. Preaheat the oven to 350 Degrees F and remove the wrappers from the chocolates. Place in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt until combined. Set aside
  3. Beat (with the paddle attachment if using your mixer) the shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended
  4. Add 1/3 Cup of granulated sugar and the brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Roughly a minute or two.
  5. Add the egg, milk and vanilla. Beat until incorporated
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture. Add in 3 batches and beat after each addition until combined.
  7. Using your hands, scoop out a tablespoon of dough and shape into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the additional 1/3 granulated sugar (if desired, but who wouldn’t love the extra sugar!?) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Don’t be deceived, they will grow in size while they bake. Keeping them on the smaller size makes them the perfect bite-sized treat!
    in the sugar    before the oven
  8. Bake the rounds for 10 – 12 minutes, depending on your oven, until they are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from the oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. The cookie will crack around the edges, so that’s OK!
    out of the oven
  10. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow them to cool completely. Full disclosure: I love eating these when they’re still warm and the chocolate kiss is still soft! They melt in your mouth and you’ll want at least 15 more!!

With football season in full force and hockey season right around the corner.. oh and baseball still on TV, this is is the perfect Sunday Funday treat to share with your friends and family. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

Fianl 9

Enjoy!
Kristin

Chocolate & Butter Croissants

5 Dec

Croissants are one of my favorite morning pastries. They’re flaky, savory and delicious and I’m shocked I haven’t made them before now. This past week in baking school was pretty hectic. The plan was to make chocolate butter-cream filled macaroons, butter croissants and chocolate croissants, but we ran out of time and only had enough time for the macaroons and the preparation of the croissant dough. Since I had my hopes up for some fabulous croissants the next morning (and I’m too impatient to wait a week!) I decided to make them on my own.

Interesting to note: have you ever noticed that there are some croissants that are straight and others that are curled?

    

Well, apparently this is not just a preference of the bakery, it actually has meaning. In France, a straight edged croissant is made from butter whereas a curled croissant is made from margarine. It is a way to cut costs since good butter can be very expensive, so the curled croissants are often cheaper, but the strait ones are better quality.

What You’ll Need:

Dough: Very similar to Puff Pastry (This makes 20 – 24 Croissants)

  • 500 Grams of Bread Flour (3.5 Cups) *
  • 65 Grams of Granulated Sugar (1/3 Cup)
  • 2 Tsp of Salt
  • 40 Grams of Softened Butter
  • 25 Grams of Yeast (2 Tbs)
  • 125 Milliliters of Milk
  • 124 Milliliters of Water
  • 300 Grams of Cold Butter

Croissant:

  • The Dough from above
  • 6-8 Ounces of Chocolate
  • Egg Wash (1 slightly beaten egg + 1 Tsp of water)

Directions:

For the Dough:

Combine the flour (make sure to see the note below with regards to the bread flour), sugar, salt and yeast (if dry yeast) in a mixing bowl. If you’re using an electric mixer you are going to use the paddle attachment to combine the ingredients. Then add the softened butter and mix.

If using fresh yeast, dissolve it into the water and mix, then add the liquids into the dry mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be flaky and won’t come together as other doughs you may have worked with. Don’t add more liquid to it because it is supposed to be like this. Kneed it in the bowl a little until it starts to come together and then place it on your work surface, kneed lightly into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. The composition of your dough right now is a precursor to how your croissant will turn out after baking. A croissant is very flaky, light and airy, so if your dough is thick, wet and dense it is going to prevent the dough from rising properly which is what gives the dough its texture.

As with the Puff Pastry, you are going to turn the dough after it has rested. Unlike the Puff Pastry, you are only going to do 3 turns to the dough. Doing 6 turns will make the croissant too flaky. As my Chef in class would say, they’d be Cork Flakes.

After the last turn, let the dough sit in the fridge for roughly 40 minutes. When ready, place the dough on your work surface and cut in half. Roll each half out so that the width is around 8 inches and the length as long as need be to reach 3/8ths of an inch thick. One will be used for plain butter croissants and the other will be for chocolate croissants.

For Butter Croissants:

Starting at the bottom left corner, place your knife at an angle to create a right triangle and cut your first piece. Then, where the tip of your knife just was, cut straight across the dough to create your second piece. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the dough.

Place one piece in front of you so that the wide end is farthest from you and the tip facing you. Cut a slit, roughly half an inch long down the center of the top. Fold the pieces away from you and slightly press down with you fingers

Using both hands, place your finger tips at the top and the your thumbs in the center with your hands at a slight angle so that you’re forming an arrow with your index fingers. Roll the dough down and out so that you stretch the dough wider as you roll down. Then, when you’ve rolled a little more than half way down place one hand on top of the dough, with the other hand grab the tip of the dough and stretch lightly down as the other hand rolls the dough until your hands meet. Place the croissant on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet with the tip facing down. You don’t want the tip on top, or the croissant will open while rising and/or baking and you don’t want the tip all the way under because that will restrict the dough from rising.

For Chocolate Croissants:

Chop the chocolate into 4 inch long, 1/4 inch wide pieces.

Place the second sheet of rolled puff pastry on a floured surface in front of you. Cut 10 (or as many as you can) rectangles that are a little wider than the length of a chocolate piece and 4-5 inches long. Place a piece of chocolate at the top, roll the top of the dough over the piece of chocolate and press lightly with your fingers. Place a second piece over chocolate just in front and roll the dough over that piece twice until the seam is on the bottom. Place your hand directly on top and press lightly to seal.

     

Place the finished croissants, as you did with the butter croissants, on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Once all the croissants are rolled and on their designated baking sheets, its time to proof them (aka let the dough rise). If you recall from the Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread I made back in May, I had a great method in college for proofing dough, but it seemed to have failed in my NYC apartment resulting in blown fuses and a dark apartment. Well, luckily for me the problem has been solved! I was talking with another member of my baking class and he mentioned that a great way to proof your dough is to just put the light in your oven on and place the dough in there. The light will create enough heat and it will be undisturbed. It worked like a charm and saved me from the confusion of my fuse box!

Anyway, I let the dough proof for roughly an hour to an hour and a half or until they nearly double in size.

Once the croissants are proofed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, rotating the pan half way through. Let them cool on the backing sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warm with some butter and coffee.

Enjoy!

* Bread Flour contains 12 to 14 percent protein, whereas all-purpose flour only has between nine and 11 percent protein. When you use all-purpose flour in a recipe calling for bread flour you can use the exact same amount of flour but you may find that breads take longer to rise or do not have the same density they would have if you had used bread flour.

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