Sweet Palmiers

Sweet Palmiers

These sweet, airy, crisp pastries are easily assembled with little fuss in your kitchen.  Sweet Palmiers are the perfect accompaniment to a morning or afternoon cup of tea or coffee, and keep for about a week in a air-tight container.  Be sure to bake them until they are a deep, golden brown; under-baking causes them to be soft and limp, not at all what we want in this yummy bit of sweetness.

Equipment needed:  Half sheet pans     Chef's Knife    Bench Scraper     

  Rolling Pin  Silicone baking mats      Cutting Board       Spatula

1 sheet of frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator until completely thawed.

1/2 cup of white sugar

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Combine the sugar, zest, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until well combined.

Unfold the pastry on a large cutting board or counter top.  Using the pastry as a guide, spread half of the sugar mixture on the counter or board, approximating the size of the sheet of pastry.  Lay the puff pastry on top of the sugar mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top of the pastry evenly.  Using a rolling pin, roll al over the pastry to evenly press the sugar into the pastry, and also even out and thin the pastry just a bit.

Fold the short ends of the pastry over to the center of the pastry sheet.  Scrape up any loose sugar with a bench scraper and sprinkle it over the top of the partially-folded pastry.  Repeat the fold again from the short end of the pastry.  Now fold the two halves onto each other.  Press together well and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.  (See video for demonstration of how to fold the pastry!)

Line 2-3 sheet pans with silicone baking mats.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and, using a very sharp knife, slice into 1/4-inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheets, at least an inch apart.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and flip the pastries over.  (The sugar will be extremely hot, take care not to touch it.)  Continue baking an additional 6-8 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.  (Check frequently, as ovens vary!  Use your eyes and nose!)

Cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.  Store in an airtight container.

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Fudge Brownies

Delectable Fudge Brownies

These seriously good brownies are perfect on their own, or as an accompaniment to ice cream (drizzled with some hot fudge and a dollop of whipped cream would be even better!).  This is not the same recipe that I made at the cafe, as I think it is a bit too gooey and doesn't hold up as well as this recipe.  This is my version of a recipe from King Arthur.  You will love it!

4 extra large eggs

1 cup cocoa powder

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon powder

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

11/2 cups unbleached flour

2 cups mini-chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.  Grease a 9"X13" pan.

Place the eggs into the bowl of a mixer, turn the mixer on to a medium-low speed, and add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla, then beat and for about 4 minutes. (Let the mixer run while you melt the butter and chocolate.

In a medium saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, then add the sugar and stir to combine.  Continue to heat until the mixture is hot (110-120 degrees), but not bubbling.  Stir, and it will become more shiny as the heat dissolves more of the sugar.

Add the hot chocolate mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.  Mix the chips and the flour together in a bowl, then add gradually to the batter.

Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth with an offset spatula.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  A cake tester should come out fairly clean, or with only a few crumbs clinging to it.  The edges should feel set, and the center should look moist, but not uncooked.

Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack completely before cutting.

 

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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

   Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins     

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

 

These moist, delectable muffins taste like autumn!  Pumpkin, spices and fresh cranberries all combine for a muffin that is literally bursting with fall flavors.  They are also very easy to make; no mixer required!  I got this recipe from a cookbook I picked up in Vermont, and not long after, discovered my mother's new "favorite" quick bread was the same recipe!  The final vote for this muffin was cast by cafe customers; this was a best seller!

Equipment needed: #10 Scoop              Food chopper                 Muffin Pans                  4 Quart Mixing Bowl

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries (I use a chopper and can even chop them frozen when I can't get fresh!)

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.  Spray the cups and top of 24 standard-sized muffin cups, or line with paper liners, then spray the top of the tin lightly.

Mix together the sugar, salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl beat together the water, oil, vanilla ,and eggs until well combined.  Stir in the pumpkin and mix well. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently but thoroughly until well-combined.  Fold in the cranberries and nuts.

Fill the muffin tins about 1/2 full.  (Using a #10 scoop insures all of the muffins will be the same size. If you have additional batter, fill more muffin tins or mini-loaf pans. Don't over-fill the muffin tins.)

Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for 5 more minutes.  Check for doneness with a cake tester or tooth pick in the center of a muffin.  Bake until the pick comes out clean. 

Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

 

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