This beautiful breakfast pastry uses store-bought puff pastry as a shortcut. I loved the crushed dried blueberries sprinkled over the top.
I served this pastry as part of our Easter brunch along with my favorite brunch dish, Asparagus, Leek and Gruyere Quiche. We also had fruit and green salads, cheeses with crackers and warm bread, hummus with vegetables, nuts, and sliced kielbasa.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Anna Theoktisto. I modified the method and proportions. The combination of blueberries and lemon was bright and delicious.
The pastry is ideally served warm, but I made it a day in advance, refrigerated it overnight, and served it at room temperature. Still great. It could also be reheated prior to serving.
Yield: Two 5×12-inch Pastries (about 8 to 10 servings)
1 (18.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s)
all-purpose flour, for dusting
5.2 ounces cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
5 to 6 T blueberry preserves (I used Stonewall Kitchen)
scant 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1 T water
2 T whole milk
2 T whole freeze-dried blueberries, crushed
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon zest and juice with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, gradually increasing mixer speed to medium-high, until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Measure 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture into a separate medium bowl; set aside for icing.
Unroll thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. (I used a pastry mat instead.) Cut pastry in half lengthwise; place 1 pastry half on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second roll of pastry on second baking sheet.
Divide remaining cream cheese mixture in half. Spoon one ration of the mixture in a 1 1/2-inch-wide strip lengthwise down the middle of each pastry half on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a 1-inch border along short pastry edges.
Stir together preserves and cornstarch in a small bowl. Divide the mixture into fourths.
Spoon each ration of the preserves mixture evenly along the long edges of both cream cheese strips (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per side), leaving a 1-inch border on each long side.
Beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush border of topped pastry lightly with egg mixture; reserve remaining egg mixture.
Place remaining pastry half on top of filled pastry, pressing edges firmly to seal.
Chill until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Brush chilled pastry lightly with reserved egg mixture. Using a paring knife, cut 5 small (about 1-inch) slits on top of pastry.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and evenly puffed, 40 minutes on convection or up to 45 minutes in a standard oven, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let pastry cool 10 minutes.
Place freeze-dried blueberries in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Whisk milk into reserved 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture until smooth.
Drizzle icing over warm pastries, and sprinkle with crushed freeze-dried blueberries. Serve warm. (see Note)
Note: I waited for the pastries to cool to room temperature prior to drizzling with the icing. Once garnished, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. Pastry can be reheated or served at room temperature. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
These soft gingerbread cookies were my daughter’s favorite in the assortment! I bought Nordic Ware snowflake cookie stamps after seeing them on the beautiful blog The View from Great Island.
The recipe was adapted from Ottolenghi’s dessert cookbook, Sweet, via theviewfromgreatisland.com. I modified the method using another post on the same blog that used cookie stamps.
I also used a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop instead of a 2 tablespoon scoop, resulting in less of the snowflake imprint being transferred. (I need a 2 tablespoon scoop!) I would also thin the glaze even more next time so that it would be more transparent, revealing more of the pattern of the stamp.
Alternatively, instead of the glaze, each cookie could be sprinkled with additional granulated sugar prior to baking.
Yield: 18 cookies (using 1 1/2 T scoop) (6 of each design)
For the Cookies:
6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 packed cup plus 2 T (7 T) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (5 T) molasses (do not use blackstrap, which is bitter)
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1 T Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To Roll and Stamp:
small bowl of granulated sugar
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 T warm water, plus more for thinning
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put your cookie stamps in the freezer to chill.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer (or with a hand held mixer).
Beat in the egg yolk.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low until the dough comes together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until all the floury crumbles are incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk. I did not have to chill my dough before rolling, but if yours is very soft, you may want to.
Use a medium (1 1/2 or 2 tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion out the dough.
Roll the dough into balls and coat in granulated sugar.
Stamp the balls of dough with your cookie stamp. Gently pry it off the cookie stamp by just nudging one corner. The cookie should come right off the stamp. (at this point, you can sprinkle the top with additional sugar if not making the glaze)
Place the stamped cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes. (I placed them on a parchment paper-lined cutting board.)
Place the cold cookies onto fresh parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to over bake these cookies, so do a test cookie or two to figure out the best timing for your oven. The cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but will firm up as they cool.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan before carefully transferring to a rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together until they become a smooth thin glaze. Add more water if the glaze is too thick, it should have the consistency of maple syrup or a thin honey.
Brush the cooled cookies with the glaze. You want the glaze to be thick enough to settle into the design for a beautiful emphasis. It will become more translucent as it dries.
Let the glaze set up fully before serving or storing.
One more apple treat to share. 🙂 We ate these rolls as a special snack and re-warmed them for breakfast the next day as well.
The recipe for these miniature “monkey breads” was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com, but I was inspired to top them with apple cider glaze from davebakes.com.
The apple cider glaze gave them an unexpected tanginess. Tasty and fun.
Yield: 16 rolls
For the Dough:
1 cup (113g) white whole wheat flour
2 cups (240g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) fine sea salt
3 tablespoons (32g) potato flour
3 tablespoons (50g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons (57g) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm milk (I used 2 percent milk)
1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm water
For the Topping:
1/4 cup (4 T) granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 heaping cup (128g) cored, chopped apple, peeled or unpeeled (I used Pink Lady apples)
raisins, optional (I omitted them)
For the Glaze:
2 cups apple cider, reduced, optional
2/3 cup (74g) confectioners’ sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
1 T (14g) milk (I used 2 percent milk)
1 T unsalted butter, melted
To Make the Dough:
Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all of the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to make a smooth, soft dough. It may seem dry at first, but as you knead it’ll soften up.
Place the dough in a greased bowl or greased 8-cup measure, cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s noticeably puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk). (I used a proofing oven.)
Lightly grease paper muffin cups, and use them to line 16 cups (8 cups in each) of two standard muffin tins.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 pieces; each will be about 1 1/2 ounces (44g). Round each piece into a flattened ball.
Working with one piece at a time, use a bench knife (or regular knife) to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Don’t worry about being precise; pieces can vary in size.
To Make the Topping and Form the Rolls:
Ration the chopped apple into 16 piles, each pile should be about a generous tablespoon.
In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon with a whisk.
Roll or shake four dough pieces in cinnamon sugar, and place them into a muffin cup.
Sprinkle with raisins, if using, and chopped apple.
Roll the remaining four dough pieces in cinnamon sugar; top the filling with these remaining four pieces of dough.
Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, raisins, and apple.
Sprinkle the top of each roll with an additional 1/4 tsp cinnamon sugar.
Cover them lightly with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for about 2 hours, until they’re noticeably puffy. (I used a proofing oven.)
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
Uncover the risen rolls, and bake them for 14 minutes, on convection, or up to 17 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Don’t let them darken too much; they’ll be dry.
Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack.
To Make the Glaze & to Finish:
Place the cider in a pot over medium heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Set aside. (If the cider cools, it must be rewarmed in order to add it to the glaze mixture.)
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and butter. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of reduced cider, to taste.
Adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more milk or more reduced cider.
It seems like a good time to share more cookie recipes. 😉
Before the holidays, I started receiving weekly cookie emails (I subscribed ) from The New York Times- a pretty dangerous and crazy idea! This “pantry cookie” recipe caught my eye right away. A crowd-pleaser for sure.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Jerrelle Guy. The recipe starts by creaming the sugar with eggs rather than butter. The end result is a cookie with a crusty exterior and chewy interior. Cracks also form on the surface which are highlighted by the essential glaze. Great.
Yield: 15 to 16 cookies
1 cup/95 grams old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup/128 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1/4 packed cup/55 grams light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 T/57 grams unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup/92 grams confectioners’ sugar
5 teaspoons whole or oat milk, plus more as needed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and line two large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat both sugars with the egg, cinnamon, vanilla and baking soda on high speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until glossy, pale and thick, a full 2 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium. Very slowly drizzle in the melted butter and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
Add the oat mixture and gently fold by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until incorporated, being careful not to over mix.
Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, drop 15 golf ball-size mounds of dough onto the sheet pan, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. (I used a 1 1/2 T cookie scoop.)
Bake until the edges and surface are set and lightly golden brown, but the center is still gooey, 10 to 11 minutes on convection or up to 12 to 14 minutes in a standard oven.
Remove from the oven and immediately rap the cookie sheet on the counter or stovetop a couple of times to help the cookies flatten a little more, and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar and milk using a small whisk or fork until the icing is completely smooth and very thick but still moves if you tilt the bowl. Add more milk in small increments as needed. (I add the milk 1 teaspoon at a time to make sure the consistency is not too thin.)
Dip only the very tops of the cookies into the bowl of icing, leaving the deeper cracks in the cookies uncoated and allowing any excess icing to drip back into the bowl.
Flip the cookies over and return them to the cookie sheet to allow the icing to harden, 10 to 15 minutes. The iced cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
My daughter and I made these mini cakes as a birthday surprise for her friend. ❤ Sprinkles=Birthday over here. Using red, white, and blue sprinkles would make these cakes a fun and patriotic Fourth of July treat.
The recipe was adapted from thebittersideofsweet.com. They can be served for breakfast or dessert! 🙂
Yield: 4 mini cakes
For the Mini Bundt Cakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon milk (I used whole milk)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup Confectioners’ sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used 1 1/2 T whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
gel food coloring, optional
Preheat the oven to 325° F, preferably on convection. (My pan has a dark, non-stick interior finish. Set the oven to 350° F if using a pan with a light interior finish.)
Spray 4 wells of a mini bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, and eggs. Stir in melted butter and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Slowly stir until just combined.
Fold in sprinkles. Avoid over stirring.
Using a cookie scoop, distribute the batter into the 4 prepared wells of a mini bundt pan.
Bake for 17 minutes in a convection oven, or for 20-25 minutes in a standard oven, or until edges are golden. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Remove from oven, leave cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Remove cakes from pan and allow to completely cool on wire rack.
Once cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl add milk, Confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
Recently, my friend’s husband made this wonderful bread. It was so delicious, she ran over to give us a few slices to sample. Lucky me! 🙂 She also shared the recipe, of course. This bread is completely different from a classic crusty baguette. It is soft, tender, and quite dense. The dough is more manageable and it can also be made from start to finish in a single day.
The recipe was adapted from The French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France by Susan Herrmann Loomis. The texture and flavor of this loaf are reminiscent of my husband’s favorite sourdough sandwich bread, which also includes milk and butter in the dough. Both this loaf and the sourdough sandwich bread seem to be resistant to becoming stale- if they’re not eaten right away. 😉
Yield: One 18 by 3-inch (45 by 7.5 cm) loaf
For the Bread:
250 ml (1 cup) whole milk
1 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
2 T granulated sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
325 g to 360 g (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur), plus more for dusting
2 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Glaze:
2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp whole milk
Scald the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until it has tiny bubbles around the edge of the pot.
Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a large bowl.
When the milk is slightly cooled (and no longer feels hot), sprinkle in the yeast and sugar. Let sit until some of the yeast has bubbled up to the top of the milk, about 5 minutes.
Add the salt, stir, and slowly add half of the flour.
Add the melted butter.
Add up to 1 1/4 cups (187 g) of the remaining flour to form a fairly thick dough. If the dough is still soft and very sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a dough that is firm, but not stiff. (I started with 325 g flour and incorporated an additional 20 g to achieve the desired consistency.)
If using a stand mixer, knead the dough with the paddle attachment on low-speed for 5 minutes. Alternatively, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (I used a proofing oven.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and position a rack in the center.
Gently punch down the dough down. Pull to form it into a baguette shape measuring 18-inches by 3-inches (45 cm by 7.5 cm). (I formed mine into a 16-inch long shape because of the length of my baguette pan.) Crimp the ends.
Let it rise until it is about one-third larger, about 30 minutes. (I placed it on a baguette pan in a proofing oven.)
To make the glaze, melt the butter and the milk together, whisk to combine. Keep warm until ready to use.
Brush the loaf with the glaze. (I used about 2/3 of the glaze.) Score the top of the loaf 4 or 5 times using a sharp knife, lame, or kitchen shears.
Bake until the loaf is golden and baked though, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, brush the loaf with any residual glaze, and let cool before slicing.
I love a quick cake. I have made this one on a couple of occasions! It is a wonderful seasonal treat. Apparently, it is named a “dapple” cake because the apple chunks create a rippled effect on the surface of the cake where the glaze can settle. The coffee in the batter balances the sweetness and gives it a beautiful brown color.
This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I weighed the ingredients and used heavy cream in the glaze. We ate it for dessert but it could also be served as a coffee cake. Super moist and yummy.
Yield: One 9×13 cake, about 12 to 15 servings
For the Cake:
nonstick cooking for pan
320 g (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose, spooned and leveled
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
170 g (3/4 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (4 T, 57 g) canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, cold
3/4 cup (170 g) lukewarm brewed coffee
4 cups peeled, cored, and chopped Honeycrisp apples (cut into 1/2-inch/1.25 cm pieces)(I used 2 very large apples)
For the Glaze:
170 g (3/4 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 T (57 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (57 g) whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
To Make the Cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees (180 C), preferably on convection.
Spray a 9×13-inch light-colored metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. (I use binder clips to hold the parchment overhang in place to prevent it from falling onto the surface of the cake.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy.
Add the granulated and brown sugars and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly stream in the oil until well blended.
One at a time, beat in the eggs.
On low-speed, spoon in half of the flour mixture.
Slowly pour in the coffee.
Stir in the remaining flour until the batter is smooth.
Fold in the apples by hand.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly.
Bake until the cake is deeply golden all over, begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (I baked mine for 40 minutes but may check it even earlier next time.)
Let cool slightly in the pan set on a wire rack.
To Make the Glaze:
In a 1 to 1 1/2-quart (1 to 1.4 L) saucepan over high heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, milk, and salt.
Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring often, and boil until you can see it has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes depending on your pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. (I forgot to do this every time- by accident, of course )
Let the glaze cool just until it stops bubbling.
Pour the hot glaze over the still-warm cake. Working quickly, use a spatula to spread the glaze so thinly and evenly that it covers the entire the surface of the cake.
Let the cake cool completely, uncovered, on the rack.
Note: Leftover cake can be stored loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.