White Cheddar and Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies

INGREDIENTS:
makes ~12-14 pies

  • 2 cups (260 gr) AP flour
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 4 oz.(113 gr) extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup (151 gr) butter, cold
  • 5-6 Tbspn water, cold
  • 500 gr apples
  • 1 Tbspn lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (25 gr) sugar
  • 1 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tspn ground cloves
  • 1/2 tspn freshly grated nutmeg
  • heavy cream
  • turbinado sugar

METHOD:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Coarsely grate the cheese. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cheese and cold butter into the flour until the size of small peas.
  3. Gradually add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together when pressed. Do not overmix!
  4. Wrap the dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Peel, core, and chop the apples into small chunks. Toss to combine the apples with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  6. Preheat oven to 230 degrees C.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/8″ thick. Cut out 5 inch circles. Fill each circle with apples and fold in half. Press the edges together tightly, crimping with a fork. Cut three small slits on the top of each pie. Chill the pies in the refrigerator or freezer briefly if the dough has softened.
  8. Before baking, brush the tops of the pies with heavy cream. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  9. Bake at 230 degrees F for five minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15 more minutes, until the crust is golden.
  10. Remove from oven and cool briefly before serving.

Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces), divided
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

METHOD:

  1. To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture. Lightly spoon 2 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).
  4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (30°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
  5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom. Divide dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12 x 10–inch rectangle; brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoon butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  7. Uncover dough. Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Rugelach

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Glaze:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon water

METHOD:

  1. Cut cold butter and cream cheese into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter, cream cheese and sour cream until crumbly. (I suppose you could also do this with a pastry cutter, but a food processor does a great job.)
  2. Pour half of the crumbly mixture onto a 1 ft. piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a rectangle about 5 x 8 inches or so. Wrap up in plastic wrap.  Repeat with the other half.  Refrigerate 2 hours to 2 days.
  3. Combine sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Roll each rectangle into a rectangle that is between 1/8 and ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle rectangle with sugar/nut mixture. Press lightly into dough. With chef’s knife or pizza cutter, cut rectangle lengthwise into two thinner rectangles. Roll each rectangle to form a long log.
  4. Cut each log into 1½ inch segments, so you end up with 9-10 segments per log.  Place pieces onto either an ungreased baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Beat egg white 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp water.  Brush each piece with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake rugelach in the center rack of your oven 22-24 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.

Croissant Caramel Sticky Buns

INGREDIENTS:

Dough
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 T Rapid Rise yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk, cold
  • 2 T unsalted butter, softened, but cool
  • 2 ½  sticks butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, cold
  • 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour
Filling
  • 1  cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Caramel Topping
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup lightly roasted chopped pecans

METHOD:

The Dough
  1. Whisk 2¾ cups flour together with the yeast, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Place the milk in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add the flour mixture and kneed at low speed until a ball of dough forms.  Cut the 2 T butter into small pieces and add to the dough.
  2. Continue to knead until the butter becomes fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth, begins to form a ball, and clears the sides of the bowl.  Add up to ¼ cup more flour, one tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky.  Place dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Toss together the 2 T flour and the 2½ -sticks-worth of butter pieces on a clean work surface.  Use a bench scraper to smear the butter and flour into a smooth, but still cold mixture.  Wrap the butter in a large piece of plastic wrap and form it into an even 7-inch square.  Place in the refrigerator until firm.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface.  Roll dough into an 11-inch square.   Place the chilled butter square diagonally onto the dough.  Fold the corners of the dough over the butter square so that they meet in the middle and pinch the dough to seal the edges.
  5. Using a rolling pin, gently whack the dough, starting at the center of the dough and go outward, until the square becomes larger and the butter begins to soften.  Then gently roll the dough into a 14-inch square.  Make sure that the butter doesn’t break through.  If it does, sprinkle with flour.  Fold the square into thirds to form a long rectangle.  Starting from the narrow ends, fold the rectangle into thirds again to form a square.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator, gently whack and roll again to a14-inch square.  As in step four, fold dough into thirds and then fold one last time so you have a square again.  Wrap and refrigerate again for at least 2 hours.
Filling and Topping
  1. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt with a fork and set aside.
  2. Spray three 12 cup muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Melt the sticks of butter for the topping in a medium saucepan.  Add brown sugar, water, and pecans.  Mix well and bring to a boil.   Boil for one minute only.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Forming  & Baking the Rolls
  1. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into a rough 18” x 18” square about ¼”, or a little less, thick.  Evenly spread the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the surface of the rectangle.   Cut square in half, forming two equal rectangles.  Roll each rectangle into a long log.  Gently pinch the seams to seal.
  2. Place about 2 tablespoons of caramel mixture in the bottom of the cups of two muffin tins, plus 8 more cups in another muffin tin.
  3. Preheat oven to 205°.  Once oven is heated, place a large sheet of aluminum foil on the baking rack and then place 1 or 2 muffin pans on top of the foil (the foil should catch any caramel overflow).  Bake for 10-12  minutes, or until caramel is bubbling and buns are well browned.  If buns seem to be getting brown too fast, loosely cover with aluminum foil and bake until done.11.  Measure and mark 1” segments of the log and then slice with a very sharp knife. Gently place rolls on top of caramel mixture in the muffin cups.  Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and set to rise in a relatively cool place until puffy, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove pans from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Invert onto serving plates and redistribute nuts and caramel if necessary.  Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
Makes 32 sticky buns.

Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:

  • ½ cup milk (2%)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting work surface

FILLING:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon regular ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt

CARAMEL TOPPING:

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces, lightly toasted

METHOD:

  1. Make the dough: Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until butter melts.  Remove pan from heat and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees). In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the warm water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolk at low speed until well mixed.  Add the salt, warm milk mixture, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 cups of the flour, and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute.  Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding ¼ cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary) until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes.  Scrape the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rise in refrigerator overnight. The next morning…
  2. Mix the filling: Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. Make the topping: In a medium sized pot over medium high heat, mix together the butter, light brown sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Stir constantly as you bring to a boil.  Once it has come to a boil, remove from the heat.  Butter a 9 X 13 inch cake pan.  Pour caramel topping into the pan.  Sprinkle pecan pieces evenly over the surface of the caramel.  Set aside.
  4. Form the rolls:  Turn dough out of bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.  Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle, with a short side facing you.  Spread half of the sugar, butter, cinnamon mixture over 2/3 of the rectangle.  Starting with the unbuttered third, fold the dough into thirds like a letter.  Roll out to a large rectangle again and fold in thirds again.  Then fold in thirds one more time.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour.  Then roll dough out to a 16 x 12 inch rectangle.  Spread the remaining sugar, butter, cinnamon mixture over the entire surface and roll up, starting at one of the 12-inch sides.  Cut log evenly into 6 rolls.  Place rolls onto nuts & caramel in the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (45 minutes to an hour).  While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 180°C.
  5. Bake the rolls: When the rolls have fully risen, put in the preheated oven and bake until rolls are deep golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll reads 85-88°C, about 28-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes.  Invert rolls onto a large cookie sheet, making sure to get all of the caramel and nuts on top.  Cool for 10-15 more minutes before serving.
Makes 6 rolls

Banana Cream Puffs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pkg (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 largish bananas, cut into about 1/4 inch chunks
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Bring water and butter to a boil.  Add the flour all at once & stir vigorously until it forms a ball.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
  2. When water-butter-flour mixture is cool, beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth each time. Scrape into a gallon-size plastic storage bag.  Snip off about ½” of one corner to make a pastry bag.
  3. Preheat oven to 230°C.  Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer, or other mixing bowl and beaters.
  4. Squeeze out blobs that are about 3 tablespoons worth of the paste onto two parchment-lined baking sheets.  (More paste for larger puffs, less for smaller puffs)  Blobs should be at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake at 230°C for 10 minutes—then turn oven down to 180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until well-puffed and light brown.
  6. Move puffs to wire racks.  Poke each one with a toothpick or a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.  Once cool, cut each puff horizontally in the middle and gently remove membrane-looking insides.
  7. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together milk and pudding powder.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or more.
  8. Place banana chunks in a medium sized bowl and gently stir in about a cup and a half of the pudding.
  9. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled mixer bowl.  Whip on high speed until almost stiff peaks form.   Then fold the remaining pudding  into whipped cream. (Use 2/3 to all of the pudding, depending on how sweet you want your cream puffs to be.)  Do not over-mix.
  10. Spread a layer of banana/pudding into the bottom of a puff.  Then with a spoon, scoop enough of the cream mixture into the bottom to just go over the top.  Spoon some into the top to fill in.  Return top to its puff.  
  11. Plate puffs and sprinkle with powdered sugar.Makes 12 large, 18 medium, or 24 small cream puffs.