Blueberry Rye Scones

blueberry rye scones

Meet my favorite coffee companion. Crisp on the outside, tender and fruit-studded on the inside, these blueberry rye scones are everything I want in a breakfast treat. As with pie dough, I always make scones with a portion of wholegrain flour for an extra dimension of flavor. I love the pairing of earthy rye with berries; but spelt, einkorn, or whole wheat work fine as well. The lemon glaze is optional for me, but not for my kids. If you’re going with the glaze, feel free to add the zest of the lemon into the scone dough.

Baker’s notes:

  • If you’re like me and don’t even think about baking BC (before coffee), prep the scones in advance through the chilling and cutting step. Freeze directly on the sheet tray until solid, then transfer the frozen scones to a ziplock bag and bake them off as needed (they’ll likely need a few extra minutes of bake time).
blueberry rye scone

Blueberry Rye Scones

Makes 8 scones | Adapted from Baked to Order

Ingredients:

For the blueberry rye scones:

  • 250g (2 c) all-purpose flour
  • 63g (2/3 c) whole rye flour
  • 50g (1/4 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half as much for table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 85g (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 170g (1 1/4 c) fresh blueberries
  • 120g (1/2 c) cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 60g (1/4 c) sour cream, cold
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

For the lemon glaze (optional):

  • 60g (1/2 c) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed

Method:

  • Make the scone dough: Line a 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients and cut it into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingers. You should have varying sizes of butter pieces, ranging from pea to nickel shaped. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, egg, and extracts. Pour over the dry ingredients and gently fold in with a spatula until combined. The dough should be a bit shaggy, but should hold together. If not, add more cold cream 1 teaspoon at a time until it does. Gently fold the dough onto itself until it becomes a cohesive mass.
  • Chill the dough and preheat the oven: Transfer dough to the prepared cake pan and freeze for about 20-30 minutes or until slightly hardened. While scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. (I like to bake these scones with an extra baking sheet underneath to keep the bottoms from browning too much.)
  • Cut and bake the scones: When scone dough is chilled, invert onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut like a pie into eight wedges. Transfer scones to prepared sheet pan. Lightly brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 22-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the tops and bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Glaze and enjoy: While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Add more lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is smooth and pourable. Drizzle or spoon over the scones. Enjoy immediately.
  • Storage: Scones are best freshly baked, but you can store them well wrapped at room temperature for a few days. (I would hold off on glazing until you’re ready to eat them.) Reheat for 5 to 10 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) oven. You can also freeze scones unbaked and bake them straight from frozen (you may need to add a few extra minutes of baking time).
unglazed blueberry rye scones

Related recipes and pages:

Brown butter mochi squares (gluten-free)

brown butter mochi squares
Note: This post may contain affiliate links

Many of the treats I remember my mom making came from a well-used Hawaiian church cookbook, a gift from her family in Oahu. Our family favorite was butter mochi, a popular Hawaiian dessert made from mochiko (also known as sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour), eggs, sugar, butter and coconut milk. Imagine the chewy texture of mochi combined with the rich flavor of coconut milk and topped with a crisp, caramelized crust. So good! And bonus: butter mochi is very easy to make. The recipe I’m sharing here is based on my mom’s, with a couple small tweaks (*cough* brown butter *cough*) for extra flavor.

Mochiko: the key ingredient

Butter mochi is a fairly flexible recipe — I’ve seen versions with varying amounts of butter and sugar; some use different types of milk or include shredded coconut and other add-ins. But the one non-negotiable ingredient is mochiko (sweet rice flour, or glutinous rice flour), which is milled from long grain glutinous rice. Mochiko is a naturally gluten-free flour that is responsible for butter mochi’s signature chewy texture. I recommend Koda Farms brand as that’s the flour I used to test this recipe (and what my mom always uses as well) — it’s available at Asian/International supermarkets and online. Do NOT substitute mochiko with regular rice flour or any other flour.

Pro-tip: pan-fried butter mochi

Once butter mochi has cooled, it’s perfectly enjoyable straight from the pan. However, my absolute favorite way to eat butter mochi is to pan fry it, which crisps and caramelizes the crust even further and warms the center through — the textural contrast is perfection. Just heat a lightly oiled non-stick pan over medium-low heat and fry each side until golden (about 1-2 minutes). Cool for a minute before devouring, and thank me later.

pan fried butter mochi

Baker’s notes

  • Mochiko has a tendency to clump when added to the liquid ingredients, so I like to sift it in. Don’t be afraid to work out any flour lumps with a spatula or else you might end up with “flour bombs” in the finished butter mochi.
  • For clean slices, let the butter mochi cool completely in the pan before removing and cutting. I like to let butter mochi cool and set overnight for the best texture.
brown butter mochi squares

Brown butter mochi squares (gluten-free)

Makes one 8×8 pan (16 2-inch squares)

Ingredients:

  • 57g (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
  • One can (400ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • 200g (1 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal — use half the amount for table salt)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs (cold is fine)
  • 225g (1 1/2 c) mochiko (sweet rice flour — I like Koda Farms brand)

Method:

  • Preheat oven and prepare the pan: Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle. Line an 8×8 metal baking pan with foil, dull side up. Leave a couple inches overhang on two sides for easy removal. Lightly grease the foil.
  • Brown the butter: Place the cubed butter in a small, light-colored saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir frequently with a heatproof spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as needed. The butter will crackle, foam, turn clear gold, then finally start browning. It’s done when the crackling subsides and you smell toasted nuts. This process takes about 10 minutes total, but the butter can go from browned to burnt in a flash—so keep an eye on it. Pour the butter and all the toasty bits into a glass measuring cup or medium bowl. Whisk in the coconut milk.
  • Mix the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer or a whisk), combine the sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder and eggs. Whisk on low to combine, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is thickened and pale, about 2-3 minutes (a little longer if by hand). Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually stream in the butter-coconut milk mixture. Mix until smooth and combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sift in the mochiko and mix on low until the batter is smooth. Use a flexible spatula to fold from the bottom of the bowl a few times to make sure the batter is well-mixed and no pockets of flour remain. If there are any flour lumps, use the spatula to press them out.
  • Bake: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan (it will be on the thin side) and bake until the top is golden brown and feels dry and springy to the touch, about 55-65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan (preferably overnight). Use a sharp knife to cut into squares; wipe the blade clean with a warm towel between slices. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
brown butter mochi squares

Related recipes and resources:

Small batch brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles

brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles

Hi, hello, and happy spring! Just popping in with a fun little recipe to add to your sourdough discard repertoire: brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles.

I love riffing on the classic snickerdoodle — previously, we’ve done gingerbread latte snickerdoodles, graham cracker snickerdoodles, raspberry lemonade snickerdoodles, and there’s a whole recipe on snickerdoodle variations in my book! Today we’re veering into new territory by adding some sourdough discard to the mix, which (along with a healthy dose of brown butter) give these treats a big boost of flavor. Add in crisp edges, soft centers, cinnamon sugar goodness — these cookies don’t last long in our house!

brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles

Baker’s notes:

  • Sourdough discard is the portion of your starter that you would normally throw away when doing a feeding. I usually store my discard for up to a week in the fridge, using it to make anything from granola to pie crust to chocolate cake. For this recipe, you can use discard that’s at room temperature or straight from the fridge, as long as it’s not overly acidic-smelling or has formed any liquid “hooch” on top.
  • I prefer to bake these cookies after a short chill, just long enough to make the dough easier to portion. Since this dough does have discard in it, it will continue to ferment if left in the fridge. If you’re not planning to bake off all the cookies at once, I would recommend freezing unbaked dough balls (without the sugar sprinkle) in an airtight bag/container. Bring to room temperature and reroll each portion between your hands (this slightly warms the dough, helping the sugar sprinkle stick) before rolling in sugar and baking.

Small batch brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles

Makes 10 cookies

Ingredients:

For the brown butter sourdough snickerdoodle base:

  • 115g unsalted butter, cubed (cold is fine)
  • 25g milk, cold
  • 140g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use a scant 1/2 tsp for other brands or 1/4 tsp table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, cold
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g 100% hydration sourdough discard

For the cinnamon sugar sprinkle:

  • 25g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)

Method:

  • Brown the butter: Place the cubed butter in a small, light-colored saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir frequently with a heatproof spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as needed. The butter will crackle, foam, turn clear gold, then finally start browning. It’s done when the crackling subsides and you smell toasted nuts. This process takes about 10 minutes total, but the butter can go from browned to burnt in a flash—so keep an eye on it. Pour the butter and all the toasty bits into a medium bowl. (You should have ~92g brown butter.) Stir in the cold milk and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Combine the dry ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk for a good 30-45 seconds to ensure the leaveners and spices are evenly distributed.
  • Combine the wet ingredients: Whisk the sugars into the butter-milk mixture until combined. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Add the sourdough discard and whisk until totally smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients and chill the dough: Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a flexible spatula to mix just until no streaks of flour remain. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is cool but still scoopable (it will be fairly soft).
  • Preheat the oven and prepare pans and cinnamon-sugar: While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare the sugar coating by whisking together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  • Portion the dough: Portion the cookie dough into 10 equal golf-sized balls, about 47 grams each. Roll between hands into a smooth ball, then toss in sugar coating. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each with a bit more sugar coating.
  • Bake the cookies: Bake sheets one at a time for about 9 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cookies should be puffed and the tops starting to crack, but the centers should still look a little soft. After removing the pan, bang it a couple of times on the counter to help deflate the cookies and get that classic crinkled top. Cool cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
brown butter sourdough snickerdoodles

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Ultra-soft sourdough sandwich bread (sourdough shokupan)

Introducing: the “fast” and ultra-soft version of my soft sourdough sandwich bread! Enriched with milk, milk powder, cream, egg, and butter, this sourdough shokupan style loaf boasts a smooth, bouncy crumb and mildly sweet taste. It’s perfect for sandwiches, grilled cheese, or the best ever French toast.

Compared to previous versions of this bread, I’ve upped the amount of starter in this bread so the bulk fermentation and rising is all done in one day. You will need to build a sweet stiff levain, which I do the night before I plan to mix the dough. While I’ll still continue to use my older formulas (especially when I want to do an overnight proof), I love this new recipe for its speed!

sourdough shokupan crumb

Thanks to the warm fermentation and sweet starter, this bread is very mild with a hint of sweetness, even with a large amount of prefermented flour. I’m happy to add this formula to my arsenal and excited for you to try it!

Tips for sourdough shokupan success:

Sweet stiff levain: For all my enriched sourdough breads I prefer to use a stiff levain — this just means that there is a higher proportion of flour to water in the starter. I don’t maintain a separate stiff starter — whenever I want to make an enriched bread, I just prepare a stiff levain using my 100% hydration starter. In this particular loaf, I add a little sugar to the starter as well to tame the acidity.

Thorough kneading: For best rise and texture, the dough should be fully kneaded to windowpane stage. I first knead the dough without butter until the dough is smooth and the gluten is well-developed; then add the butter slowly and continue kneading until the dough is very strong, smooth, and supple. Please note that the exact timings will vary depending on your flour and mixer; and it is possible to overknead this dough. I suggest checking the dough every couple minutes after all the butter has been added so you get a feel for how the dough is changing and developing.

Warm fermenatation: I keep this dough warm throughout bulk fermentation and proofing, about 80-82F. Because of the high percentage of starter the dough should rise fairly steadily; if not, it may come down to strength of starter, under/over-kneading, or too cool an environment.

Degassing during shaping: For the tightest, bounciest crumb, the dough should be very well degassed at the shaping stage. I also keep the bench rest and shaping times short, as this dough ferments fairly quickly. If you start getting air bubbles under the skin while the dough is resting, it is harder to get a really smooth, even crumb. When rolling the dough, use quick and firm movements with the pin and try to push all the bubbles out from the dough. You shouldn’t need any flour for shaping.

fully fermented sourdough shokupan

Sourdough shokupan (ultra-soft sourdough sandwich bread)

Makes one 9x4x4 pullman loaf or 9×5 loaf

Ingredients:

For the sweet stiff levain:

  • 35g active, ripe sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 58g milk
  • 13g granulated sugar
  • 105g bread flour

For the final dough:

  • 114g bread flour
  • 114 all-purpose flour
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 21g milk powder
  • 75g milk, cold
  • 81g heavy cream, cold
  • 50g egg (about 1 large), cold
  • 7g salt
  • 46g unsalted butter, at room temperature

To finish:

  • Milk, for brushing
  • Melted butter, for brushing (optional))

Method:

  1. Make the sweet stiff levain: In a medium bowl, mix the starter, milk, sugar and flour together to form a stiff dough. Cover the bowl and ferment the levain at warm room temperature until more than doubled in volume and puffy, about 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Autolyse the dough: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together all final dough ingredients except the salt and butter until just combined. Cover and autolyse (rest) for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Mix the dough: Add salt, and knead dough on low until gluten is moderately developed, about 5-7 minutes. The dough will start out sticky and rough but should gradually come together and feel smooth and stretchy. Add the butter in three batches batches, mixing in the first portion completely before adding the second. Continue kneading on low/medium-low until the gluten is very well developed and the dough passes the windowpane test. Timing will depend on your flours and mixer, but usually takes about 5-10 minutes after the butter has been added. The dough should be smooth and supple. Desired dough temperature is ~75-76F.
  4. Bulk fermentation: Transfer to a clean and lightly oiled bowl, cover, and bulk rise at warm room temperature (80-82F) for 2 hours, or until roughly doubled.
  5. Shape the dough: Transfer dough to a clean surface. Divide into 3 parts, shape into balls, and rest for 5 minutes, covered by lightly oiled plastic. Using a rolling pin, roll the first ball into an oval about 9″ x 5″, doing your best to degas the dough. (Roll from the center out, which should push the air bubbles to the edges. Pop any air bubble you see; this will help create a tight and smooth crumb.) Fold the two long edges to the center, slightly overlapping. Roll to a rectangle about 10″ x 4″, again doing your best to fully degas the dough, then roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal. Repeat with other two portions. (See photos above for visual cues.)
  6. Proof the dough: Transfer rolls to a loaf pan, seam sides down. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rise at warm room temperature (~80-82F) until dough roughly triples in volume and nearly fills the tin (if using a Pullman Pan; in a 9×5 pan it should rise about 1″ above the rim), about 3.5-4 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven and bake the loaf: About 45-60 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400F with a rack in the middle. After the dough has finished proofing, brush lightly with milk, transfer to oven, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350F and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at least 195F. If the loaf is browning too quickly, tent a piece of foil over the top to keep from burning. When the loaf is finished, immediately remove from the pan and turn onto a wire rack. Brush melted butter over the top and sides while the loaf is still warm, if desired (this helps create a soft crust). Allow to cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers in a sealed plastic bag.

Related recipes and links:

side view sourdough shokupan

How to make twice-baked croissants

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Or in bakers’ terms, one person’s stale croissants are another person’s favorite breakfast treat. We’re talking twice-baked croissants. Almond croissants are the most famous of this genre, but really, no need to stop there! Today I’ll give you a general formula and ideas for how to create the twice-baked croissants of your dreams, plus recipes for both almond croissants and black sesame croissants.

twice baked croissants

It starts with stale croissants

First, you need to get yourself some croissants. If you have access to good-quality day-old croissants, great! But we’re going to leave them out to dry, so I don’t bother making my own or splurging on anything fancy — plain old supermarket croissants work just fine. You can even use pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants) if you want something a little more decadent.

Twice-baked croissants work best with stale croissants — they’ll be primed to soak up more of the delicious syrup we’re going to spread on them. So leave them out, uncovered, for at least a few hours or overnight.

Simple Syrup

With twice-baked croissants, you have several opportunities to layer on flavor. With each of the elements, feel free to get creative to come up with some unique flavor combinations!

The first flavor layer is simple syrup. At its most basic, simple syrup is just sugar heated with an equal amount of water. I like to flavor mine with a little alcohol (rum, whisky, or bourbon), but that’s totally optional. You could add vanilla or almond extract, or if you want to get fancy…

  • Infuse citrus zest or herbs in the syrup (add it to the syrup after the sugar has dissolved and let infuse until the syrup cools, then strain before using).
  • Replace the water with lemon juice for a lemon simple syrup.
  • Replace the granulated sugar with brown sugar.

Frangipane

I’ve waxed on about my love for frangipane, or almond cream, on more than one occasion here. A mixture of butter, sugar, egg, and almond flour, frangipane is like the secret sauce of pastry chefs. It’s also the delicious filling and topping for our twice-baked croissants, and another opportunity for added flavor.

You can customize your frangipane in a few ways:

  • Replace some or all of the almond flour with another kind of ground nuts or seeds — think walnuts, pecans, pistachios — or in my example below, black sesame seeds.
  • Replace the granulated sugar with brown sugar or another sweetener like honey or maple syrup. With liquid sweetener, I usually use only 3/4 the amount (by weight) since they taste sweeter than regular sugar.
  • Experiment with additions: spices/citrus zests/extracts/alcohol are easy ways to start, but you can even try adding a little mashed banana or pumpkin puree or melted chocolate or cocoa powder. These additions may take some dialing in to figure out ideal proportions, but frangipane is pretty flexible and you can add a little extra flour if needed to give the cream some structure.

The topping

The final element to a twice-baked croissant is the topping. After spreading on a bit of frangipane for glue, sprinkle on chopped nuts / seeds / coarse sugar for visual interest and texture.

If you’re using a special infused simple syrup for your croissants or prefer a sweeter pastry, you can brush some syrup over the top before spreading on the frangipane.

Traditionally, twice-baked croissants get showered with icing sugar before serving. But you could definitely go a little crazy here too — citrus zest, freeze-dried fruit powder, drizzled melted chocolate, salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, etc.

Time to get creative!

So there you go: play around with the flavor elements of a twice-baked croissant to come up with your own delicious pastries! Here are a few ideas to whet your creativity:

  • Chocolate Hazelnut: Day-old pain au chocolat / brown sugar simple syrup / use ground hazelnuts for frangipane / top with chopped hazelnuts and dusting of cocoa powder or melted chocolate
  • Pistachio rose: Day-old croissant / rose-infused simple syrup / use ground pistachios for frangipane and add a couple drops of rosewater / top with chopped pistachios and edible rose petals
  • Cinnamon apple: Day-old croissant / cinnamon brown sugar simple syrup / add cinnamon to the frangipane / add a layer of apple compote or apple butter under the frangipane / top with pieces of freeze-dried apple and a shake of cinnamon
  • Raspberry, lemon, almond: Day-old croissant / lemon simple syrup / add a layer of raspberry jam or compote under the frangipane / top with extra lemon syrup, pieces of freeze-dried raspberries, and a shaving of lemon zest
  • Chocolate orange: Day old pain au chocolat / orange simple syrup with grand marnier / honey frangipane with orange zest / top with dusting of cocoa powder or melted chocolate

Baker’s notes:

  • Twice-baked croissants are a great make-ahead treat. You can prepare both the simple syrup and frangipane ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to assemble! You can even freeze leftover croissants and then defrost them night before you want to whip these up.
  • If you want to add an extra layer of flavor, spread some fruit jam, curd, or compote onto the croissants after the simple syrup and before the frangipane.

assembling twice baked croissants
almond croissant on plate

Twice-baked croissants, two ways

Makes 8 croissants | Adapted from Baked to Order

Ingredients:

For the simple syrup:

  • 65g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 80g (1/3 c) water
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional)

For the almond frangipane (makes enough for 8 croissants):

  • 100g (7 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 c) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g (1 c) almond flour
  • 16g (2 Tbsp) all purpose flour

For the black frangipane (makes enough for 8 croissants):

  • 100g (7 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 c) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g (1/2 c plus 1 Tbsp) roasted black sesame seeds, ground
  • 20g (3 Tbsp) almond flour
  • 16g (2 Tbsp) all purpose flour

To assemble:

  • 8 day-old croissants
  • Sliced almonds or black sesame seeds/pearl sugar, for garnish
  • Icing sugar, for garnish

Method:

  • Make the simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum (if using). Pour the syrup into a heat-safe container and cool to room temperature. (Syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.)
  • Make the frangipane: You can make frangipane using a food processor, electric mixer, or bowl + wooden spoon. Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla (mixture will look curdled; this is normal). Fold in the flours until evenly combined and smooth. (Frangipane can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months; bring to spreadable room temperature before using).
  • Assemble and bake the croissants: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Split the croissants horizontally, leaving one edge attached. Brush the insides liberally with simple syrup. Spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp of frangipane on the bottom halves of the croissants (reserve about 8 Tbsp for the tops of the croissants). Close the croissants, then spread the remaining frangipane over the tops of the croissants and sprinkle with the sliced almonds or sesame seeds/pearl sugar. (If you like your twice-baked croissants extra-sweet, you can brush the tops with any leftover syrup before adding the frangipane; but I usually don’t.) Bake until the frangipane is puffed and golden on the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack, then enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature. Dust with icing sugar right before serving, if desired. Twice-baked croissants are best the day they’re baked, but you can store leftovers for a day or two in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat for a few minutes at 300F to refresh.
black sesame croissant cross section

Blood orange sherbet

blood orange sherbet scoops

I know, I know. Three kinds of dairy, fancy blood oranges, lots of bowls, and a few head-scratching ingredients; all for some blood orange sherbet?

I understand, it’s a big ask. But if you are willing to commit, you’ll be rewarded with the best orange sherbet of your life — intensely fruity and tangy and refreshing. The perfect shade of peachy pink, too (though exact color will vary depending on your fruit!).

The neglected world of sherbet

But first, sherbet: if you’re like me, you may have grown up on those little cups of orange sherbet swirled with vanilla ice cream (the ones with the tiny wooden paddles), or perhaps the occasional scoop of rainbow sherbet. Neither tasted much like orange or rainbows, but they had their place as a refreshing poolside treat.

Sherbet is actually a category of frozen dessert that sits between sorbet and ice cream. Basically, sherbets are fruit sorbets with some added dairy. Sherbets have the bright flavor of sorbet with just a touch of milky richness for body. They’re the perfect palate cleanser and such a fun, overlooked way to preserve the fruits of the season.

If you’re interested in sherbet (or ice cream making in general), I highly, HIGHLY recommend Dana Cree’s book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream, the original source for this recipe. Of all the ice cream cookbooks I own, it’s my favorite in terms of technical knowledge and inspired flavor combos. Although Cree delves deep into the science of ice cream making, it’s all packaged in understandable language and is considerate of the average home churner. Although she has some favorite specialized ingredients, she offers accessible alternatives for those of us who can’t source them easily.

Specialty ingredients and alternatives

blood oranges

Here’s the rundown of a few specialty ingredients needed for this blood orange sherbet and some alternatives if you can’t source them.

  • Blood oranges: Blood oranges are a variety of citrus known for their deep rosy color and extra-sweet flavor. They tend to taste a little less acidic than regular navel oranges, with undertones of raspberry. Read all about blood oranges at Ask the Food Geek. If blood oranges aren’t available or in season, you can replace the zest and juice with that of another orange-like variety (regular orange, tangerine, cara cara, clementine, etc.). For the amount of juice and zest in this recipe, I used about 5 smallish blood oranges.
  • Citric/malic acid: These are neutral tasting acids that come in powdered form. They definitely give the sherbet an extra refreshing zing, but you can either omit this if you prefer a less tart sherbet or replace with a squeeze of lemon juice. Citric acid is often available at the grocery store (look near the spices or in the jam/jelly making section); I found both at a beer-making shop; they are also available online.
  • Glucose or light corn syrup: Using an inverted sugar such as glucose or light corn syrup gives frozen desserts a more viscous, less icy texture. Check your local baking supply store for glucose; corn syrup is available in most grocery stores. In a pinch you can replace the inverted sugar with the same weight of granulated sugar, though the sherbet will be more sweet and icy. Read more about using inverted sugar in ice cream in this article on Serious Eats.
  • Xanthan gum: Don’t let the name scare you — xanthan gum is jut a natural gum that in this case works as a stabilizer, inhibiting the growth of ice crystals. Just a tiny bit drastically improves the texture and shelf life of homemade ice cream. I found mine at the local bulk store and online. If you can’t find xanthan gum, you can replace with 2 tsp of tapioca starch whisked with 2 Tbsp cold water. Stir this slurry into the dairy base after straining out the orange zest and before chilling over the ice bath. (Consult the book for even more alternatives.)
blood orange sherbet

Blood orange sherbet

Barely adapted from Hello, My Name is Ice Cream | Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 250g blood orange juice, freshly squeezed (zest before juicing)
  • 100g buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp malic or citric acid or 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 300g whole milk
  • 100g cream
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 100g glucose or light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp packed blood orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Method:

  • Make the blood orange-buttermilk mixture: In a small bowl, whisk together the blood orange juice, buttermilk, and acid or lemon juice (if using). Refrigerate.
  • Heat and infuse the dairy: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the whole milk, cream, sugar, and glucose. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a bare simmer. Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest, and cover. Infuse for 30 minutes.
  • Chill the dairy: Strain the infused base into a clean metal or glass bowl and discard the zest. Set over an ice bath and until the base is cool to the touch (50F), whisking occasionally.
  • Blend and chill: Whisk in the xanthan gum and blood orange-buttermilk mixture. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a traditional blender) to blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24.
  • Churn and freeze: Churn the chilled base according to the instructions for your machine, until the mixture has the texture of soft serve (for my machine this is about 25 minutes). Transfer to a freezer-friendly container (a loaf pan works well). Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Ice cream will keep for up to 3 months.
blood orange sherbet scoops

Orange and Honey Frangipane Soft Sourdough Sweet Rolls

orange and honey frangipane rolls

A few days ago, I wandered around a grocery store for the first time in what feels like forever. It’s funny the things we take for granted — I used to drag my kids to do grocery shopping regularly. For a truly gold star outing we’d visit a store with “special carts” — you know, the ones resembling fire engines or tractors complete with mini steering wheels. Yes, it would take us longer to get dressed and in the car than actually shop; but these grocery store trips were a needed diversion during the week, often fueling ideas for the week’s meals and recipes for this blog. I’ve missed it.

Anyways. I managed to snatch a few blood oranges on aforementioned trip, because if you don’t make something with blood oranges are you even a food blogger? Some of my bounty went towards these frangipane sourdough sweet rolls, a variation on my favorite sourdough cinnamon rolls.

These soft, lightly sweet breakfast rolls swap traditional cinnamon-sugar filling for nutty frangipane. Frangipane is truly one of my favorite baking components — whether piped into a tart or spread between layers of dough, it adds rich flavor and a bit of bakery pizazz to any treat (though it couldn’t be simpler to make). Frangipane is also easy to customize: swap the almonds for another ground nut, switch out the sugars, add some spices. Here I opted for fragrant honey rather than regular sugar and added a bit of blood orange zest for extra punch.

These rolls aren’t too sweet, which means you should definitely not hold back on the citrus glaze. Sadly my blood oranges weren’t particularly pink inside so I didn’t achieve that perfectly hued glaze. No big deal. Still delicious.

Baker’s notes:

  • If you don’t have einkorn/spelt/whole wheat flour, you can omit it and increase both the bread and all-purpose flours to 142g (284g total) in the final dough ingredients.
  • If you want to have these rolls ready to bake on, say, a Saturday morning, I suggest the building your stiff levain Thursday night, mixing the dough and doing the 2-hour room temp proof on Friday morning, and shaping the rolls right before going to sleep that night. Leave them out on the counter to proof overnight. Then preheat the oven and bake first thing when you get up in the morning. Note that you need a ripe, active 100% hydration starter to build the levain, so make sure your starter is nice and happy by giving it a feeding or two beforehand.
  • Just for fun, I baked a few of these rolls off in my Nordicware giant popover pan. The rolls turned out cute but this method was messier than I’d like; so next time if I want individual rolls I’ll just use a regular muffin tin. If you do want to try the popover pan, I’d recommend cutting the individual rolls a little smaller (into 10 or 11 pieces rather than 9) and tucking the tail underneath before placing in the pan. Also, make sure to grease the pan well before filling.

Orange and Honey Frangipane Soft Sourdough Sweet Rolls

Makes 9 rolls | Adapted from Baked to Order

Ingredients:

For the stiff levain:

  • 18g ripe sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 31g milk
  • 57g bread flour

For the final dough:

  • 125 g bread flour
  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 34 g einkorn, spelt, or whole wheat flour
  • 45g granulated sugar
  • 21g milk powder
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 100g milk, cold
  • 80g heavy cream, cold
  • All the levain
  • 7g kosher salt
  • 45g unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the honey frangipane filling:

  • 45g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70g honey
  • Zest of one small orange (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 75g almond flour
  • 12g all-purpose flour

For the orange glaze:

  • 90g icing sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ~1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (as needed)

Method:

  1. Make the levain: In a medium bowl, mix the starter, milk, and flour together to form a stiff dough. Cover the bowl and ferment the levain at warm room temperature until more than doubled in volume, puffy, and domed, about 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Autolyse and mix the final dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together flours, sugar, milk powder, egg, milk, cream, and levain until just combined. Cover and autolyse (rest) for 45 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and knead on medium-low speed until the gluten is moderately developed, about 5 minutes. The dough will start out sticky and rough but should gradually come together and feel quite smooth and stretchy. Turn the mixer to low and add the butter about 1 tbsp at a time, incorporating each batch before adding the next. Turn the speed back up to medium-low and continue kneading until the gluten is very well developed and the dough passes the windowpane test, about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and supple. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly oiled container.
  4. Bulk fermentation: Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough will be noticeably expanded, but not doubled. Stretch and fold the dough, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  5. Make the honey frangipane: In a small bowl, mix together the butter, honey, zest, spices, and salt (I just use a spatula). Add the egg and mix until smooth. Fold in the almond and all-purpose flour.
  6. Shape and proof the rolls: When ready to shape, lightly grease a 9 x 9–inch (23 x 23–cm) baking pan or a 9- or 10-inch (23- or 25-cm) round cake pan (preferably aluminum).
  7. Take the dough out of the fridge and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch (36-cm) square, doing your best to maintain an even thickness.
  8. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, going all the way to the edges. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, pinching to seal. Turn the roll so the seam side is down.
  9. Cut into nine even pieces using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss (my preferred method).
  10. Transfer the rolls, cut side up, to the prepared pan, leaving space between each (they will grow into each other during proofing).
  11. Cover the rolls with a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature, about 74-76F, until the dough is very puffy and roughly doubled, about 8 hours or overnight.
  12. Preheat the oven and bake the rolls: About 45 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the middle. Bake until the rolls are lightly golden and register 195 – 200F in the center, about 20 minutes. (Tent with foil partway through baking if browning too quickly.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you prepare the glaze.
  13. Prepare the orange glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and salt. Whisk in the orange juice a teaspoon time until you get a thick glaze that drizzles easily off the whisk (I used the full 1 Tbsp). Drizzle glaze over the rolls and serve immediately.

Plush Sour Cream Pound Cake: Simple Perfection

plush pound cake
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I’ve been on a pound cake bender this year, baking and tweaking and baking and tweaking to define my ideal. Pound cake may not rank high on anyone’s sexy, exciting baking list, but I love their unassuming simplicity — perfect any hour of the day, just begging to have a sliver sliced off each time you spot it on the kitchen counter.

As with the perfect chocolate chip cookie or the perfect brownie, the definition of “perfect pound cake” varies from person to person. My ideal pound cake is buttery with a dense but smooth / creamy / plush crumb. It should be moist but not overly so, and just sweet enough to enjoy without accompaniment (though a glaze can glam it up for show). Finally, a pound cake should boast a beautifully golden crust with an attractive crack down the center. Let’s dive into my formula and top tips for pound cake perfection!

My formula for plush sour cream pound cake

Traditional pound cake formulas use equal parts (by weight) butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. While you can make a delicious cake using these proportions, many modern bakers (including myself) like to tweak things a bit to create a recipe that aligns with our personal tastes. Here’s a rundown of the ingredients in my pound cake:

  • Fats: Pound cake equals rich, buttery flavor, so I use mostly unsalted butter in this recipe. Just a touch of neutral oil adds a little extra moisture.
  • Leavening: Pound cakes traditionally don’t call for any leavening, hence its characteristic dense crumb. I add a small pinch of baking powder for a little lift, but the lion’s share of the rise comes from proper creaming of the butter and sugar (more on this later).
  • Sugar: For cakes in general, I prefer using superfine / caster sugar as the extra-fine granules dissolve quickly during the creaming process and produce an ultra-fine texture. I usually make my own by processing regular granulated in a food processor for about a minute.
  • Eggs: I use a combination of whole eggs and yolks for a rich texture that’s not overly bouncy or dry from too much egg white. The yolks add a little extra fat and emulsification power, which allows for more liquid in the cake overall without compromising the structure.
  • Flour: For this pound cake, I use bleached cake flour. I tested with all purpose and a mixture of cake and all purpose, but using all cake flour by far produced the most even and tender crumb. All-purpose flour in Canada is usually made from hard wheat, which normally doesn’t pose much of a problem in my recipes. But in this case, I noticed that cakes made with all purpose flour would routinely have a few gummy, dense streaks and a less even crumb overall. It’s possible that bleached and lower protein all-purpose flours would work fine, but I haven’t been able to test them out yet. Cake flour tends to clump, so I always recommend sifting it before mixing. For a thorough explanation on cake flour, see this article on Serious Eats.
  • Dairy: My main change to the classic pound cake formula is replacing some of the fat and eggs with full-fat sour cream, which both adds flavor and keeps the cake tender for days. I add a touch of milk as well so the cake doesn’t get too heavy. I do not recommend substituting the sour cream with low-fat varieties, yogurt or any other dairy product.
  • Extracts/flavoring: I love the combination of vanilla and almond extracts for a classic bakery-style flavor. Use pure, not imitation, extracts — imitation almond extract in particular can taste harsh and…well, fake. If you don’t like almond extract, replace with more vanilla. As always, a bit of salt helps round out the flavor and keep the sweetness in check.
  • Pan size: My pan of choice is a 9x4x4 pullman pan, which results in a beautifully tall cake with straight sides. You can substitute a 9×5 loaf pan. Do not use a smaller pan or your cake may overflow; if you only have a smaller loaf pan (8×4 or 8.5×4.5), fill the pan so there’s an inch of space at the top and bake extra batter in mini loaf pans or cupcake tins.

Baker’s Notes:

  • Use room temperature ingredients! Ensuring all your ingredients are at room temperature is crucial to a properly mixed cake. Butter and sugar will cream up to the right texture without overmixing, and ingredients will blend properly. Butter should be cool but soft enough that it’ll hold an indent if pressed. It should not feel greasy or oily. (If you have an instant-read thermometer, you’re aiming for 60-65F.) Bring eggs and dairy out of the fridge for 1-2 hours before mixing. You can bring eggs up to temperature quickly by soaking them in warm water for a few minutes. You can warm the sour cream/milk on 30% power in the microwave in short bursts; just take care not to go too far (again, aiming for temperature around 65F).
  • Don’t rush the mixing process. Cream your butter and sugar until it’s noticeably expanded in volume and lightened in color. Proper aeration of the butter is what will give your cake a good rise and even crumb, so don’t cut your creaming short! Mix on medium speed and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl periodically to make sure no dense pieces of butter remain. When adding the eggs, go slowly — you’re trying to force liquid and fat together, two things which don’t normally like to mix. I like to lightly beat my eggs and extracts together so I can stream them in gradually. If your eggs are at the proper temperature, they should easily mix into the butter-sugar mixture without breaking. While a curdled batter isn’t the end of the world and should still result in a delicious cake, a properly emulsified batter will bake up with the best crumb and texture.
  • Bake the cake fully. Pound cakes are thick and dense, so they take a long time to bake — more than an hour! Start checking for doneness until your kitchen smells of buttery goodness and the cake is well risen and golden. Cracks in the surface will be pale, but not wet; a skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  • Cool completely. The crumb of the cake will continue to set as it cools. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, turn the cake out and wrap in plastic to cool completely before serving. I find pound cakes taste best on the second/third day: the moisture is well distributed and the flavor has time to bloom.
plush sour cream pound cake slice

Plush Sour Cream Pound Cake

Makes one 9x4x4 or 9×5 cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 140g full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 50g milk, at room temperature
  • 150g (about 3 large) eggs, at room temperature 
  • 54g (about 3 large) egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • scant 3/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 300g granulated sugar (preferably caster or superfine)
  • 28g neutral oil (I like grapeseed)
  • 250g cake flour, sifted

For the glaze (optional):

  • 70g icing sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp hibiscus powder (optional, for color)
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk or cream, plus more as needed

Method:

  • Preheat oven and prepare pan: Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle. Grease a 9×4 pullman pan or 9×5 loaf pan (I recommend aluminum, not glass or ceramic) and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
  • Prep ingredients: In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the sour cream and milk. In a glass measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and extracts.
  • Cream the butter and sugar: Place the butter, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back to medium and add the sugar in a gradual stream. Once all the sugar has been added, continue mixing on medium until pale and very fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl 2-3 times during this creaming process to ensure even mixing. Add the oil and mix well to combine.
  • Add the eggs: With the mixer on medium, slowly stream in the egg mixture about a tablespoon at a time, letting each addition fully incorporate before adding more. Take your time — adding too much liquid at once can cause the mixture to curdle and affect the final texture of the cake. Scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl 2-3 times during this process. Once all the eggs have been added, continue mixing for about 30 seconds to make sure the batter is well combined.
  • Alternate the flour and liquid: Turn the mixer down to low. Add the flour and sour cream-milk mixture in five additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Use a flexible spatula to fold from the bottom of the bowl a few times to make sure the batter is well-mixed and no pockets of flour remain.
  • Bake the cake: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Run a chopstick or skewer through the batter to pop any large air pockets, then use an offset spatula to smooth the top. (Note: If desired, rub a butter knife with a little softened butter and slice down the center of the cake — this encourages the cake to split in the middle. Totally optional.) Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 65-85 minutes. (This is a fairly tall and rich cake; err on the side of a few extra minutes in the oven to make sure it’s fully baked through. The pullman pan will take a little longer than a 9×5 pan.)
  • Cool the cake: Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan, then run a thin knife around the edges and turn onto a wire rack. Wrap in plastic and allow to cool completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Glaze (optional) and serve: If glazing, unwrap cooled cake and place on a serving platter. Whisk together the icing sugar, salt, and hibiscus powder (if using) in a small bowl. Drizzle in liquid of choice a couple teaspoons at a time, whisking well after each addition, until you reach the desired consistency. Pour or drizzle over cake. Allow glaze to set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Caramelized White Chocolate and Walnut Cookies

caramelized white chocolate and walnut cookies

Hello! Just dropping in here with a new cookie recipe for you all: caramelized white chocolate and walnut! These are a quick-and-easy, must-have-cookies-ASAP recipe — it uses melted butter and cold eggs, so you can whip them up on a whim.

These cookies are a variation on the triple chocolate peppermint cookies I posted in December, but here we’re highlighting caramelized white chocolate (or blonde chocolate) — some melted straight into the dough, and more folded in at the end for maximum impact. Caramelized white chocolate has been a trending flavor in the dessert world for about a decade now — while plain white chocolate tends to taste overly sweet and one-note, roasting it produces more complex and toasty flavors. You can make your own caramelized white chocolate by simply chopping up high quality white chocolate and baking it (stirring often) at a 250F until golden and toasty (see this tutorial from David Lebovitz). Or you can buy something like Valrhona Dulcey.

To complement the caramelly sweetness of the chocolate, I added toasted walnuts and a generous pinch of flaky salt. If you don’t have walnuts, I think either toasted hazelnuts or pecans would work nicely here — or even macadamia nuts if you’re a fan of the white chocolate macadamia nut pairing! And while flaky salt is normally an optional garnish, I highly HIGHLY recommend it here. It really helps balance out the cookie and veer it ever so slightly into the salty-sweet category.

After mixing the dough, just a short chill (30 minutes in the fridge, or even 10 minutes in the freezer) helps control spread and produces cookies with a thick, blondie-ish centers. If you bake them straight after mixing, the cookies will spread more and not be quite as soft overall. In the photo below, the top cookie was baked from dough that was chilled for half an hour; the bottom cookie was baked straight after mixing.

These cookies don’t brown much, so just keep an eye on them and bake just until the edges are set but the centers still look soft. They’ll continue to cook and set up on the pan. Enjoy slightly warm with a cup of black coffee (or milk)!

Baker’s notes:

  • For perfectly round cookies, use a round cookie cutter slightly larger than your cookie or even a spoon or offset spatula to nudge the cookies into shape right after baking. You must do this right when the cookies come out of the oven when they are still a bit malleable.
  • Don’t want to bake all the cookies off at once? You can keep unbaked dough balls in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage. For cookies chilled longer than half an hour, I find they spread best if you bring them to room temperature before baking (just pull them out while the oven is preheating).

Caramelized White Chocolate and Walnut Cookies

Makes about 15 cookies | Adapted from Baked to Order

Ingredients:

  • 113g (1/2 c) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 150g chopped caramelized white or blonde chocolate (such as Valrhona Dulcey), divided
  • 175g (1 1/3 c plus 1 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 120g granulated sugar
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 large egg yolk, cold
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Flaky salt, for garnish

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. You’re not trying to brown it or drive off any moisture, so don’t let it boil — pull it off when there are still a couple unmelted bits left and let the residual heat finish the job.
  2. While the butter is melting, place the espresso powder and 50g of the chopped caramelized white chocolate in a large bowl. Once the butter has melted, pour it over the espresso-chocolate mixture. Whisk until the chocolate has melted. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the sugars into the butter until smooth and combined, followed by the egg and egg yolk. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together until just combined. When just a few streaks of flour remain, add the remaining 100g caramelized white chocolate and walnuts. Mix just until evenly distributed. Cover and chill for half an hour, or until firm but not solid.
  5. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the middle and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Portion the dough into 15 ping-pong sized balls, about 50 grams each. (At this point, the dough balls can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage. For best results, bring dough to room temperature before baking — see notes above.) Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 2½ inches apart and sprinkle the tops generously with flaky salt.
  6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are set but the centers are still soft and barely set, 10-11 minutes (the cookies will not brown much). Rotate the sheet in the oven halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Sour Cream Cardamom Donuts

sour cream cardamom donuts

When it comes to donuts, I’m a sucker for the good old-fashioned sour cream glazed variety. I remember my parents buying clamshell packs every so often from Safeway; and as we didn’t have sweet breakfasts too often, those were real treat days!

I’d never really considered making cake donuts at home (confession: I don’t like the smell from deep frying so I make my husband do that part ;D). But when I got my friend and fellow blogger Kelsey’s lovely new cookbook The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes, her sour cream cardamom donuts immediately caught my eye. I’m so glad we made these — they’re so easy and delicious (the spelt and cardamom add a sophisticated woodsy flavor that I love), and absolutely perfect with coffee.

The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes

Let’s talk a little more about Kelsey’s book — it’s amazing! Kelsey grew up (and continues to work) on a farm in British Columbia, and her book is filled with recipes, photos, and stories inspired by the seasonal produce she and her family grow. The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes is packed full of fruit-forward recipes I can’t wait to try; and I love how there are little nuggets of gardening/preserving advice peppered throughout the pages. Congrats on your beautiful book, Kelsey — I look forward to baking through the seasons with it! Be sure to visit Kelsey’s wonderful blog and snag a copy for yourself.

Baker’s Notes:

  • I don’t have a deep fryer or electric skillet (Kelsey’s preferred frying methods – see note at the bottom of the recipe), so I used a Dutch oven to fry the donuts. 350F was my temperature sweet spot using this method. As Kelsey suggests, definitely fry a test donut so you can adjust the temperature as needed.
  • I’m a big sucker for nutmeg in donuts so I also added some freshly grated nutmeg in the dough. So good!
  • I rolled the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment paper — this worked really well and kept flouring to a minimum. I ended up with 8 regular sized donuts plus a bunch of donut holes (I could have gotten more regular ones but was lazy about rerolling).
  • I like a generous coat of glaze on both sides of the donuts so I made a 1.5 batch of the glaze.

Sour Cream Cardamom Donuts

Makes about 10-12 donuts | Reprinted with permission from The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes

Ingredients:

For the donuts:
  • 57g (1/4 c) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 120g (1/2 c) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 125g (1 c) all-purpose flour
  • 125g (1 c) spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • Neutral oil, for frying (I used canola)
For the glaze:
  • 120g (1 c) powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) milk, plus more as needed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, or to taste

Method:

  • Make the donuts: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce to low and add the egg. Mix until will combined. Add the sour cream and mix together on low. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is evenly combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, salt, baking powder, and ground cardamom. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet and mix until almost combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a spatula to finish mixing the dough together. The dough will be sticky, and that’s just right! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for about 1 hour, or until you can roll it out easily.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled, roll it out onto a lightly flour surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a donut cutter or two round circle cutters (one large and one small) to cut the donut shapes. Place donuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet as your work. Gently press together any leftover dough scraps, roll them out again, and cut more donuts. When all the dough is used up, place the baking sheet into the fridge to chill.
  • In a deep fryer, an electric skillet, or a large, heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil to 350-375F. There should be enough oil that your donuts will float about 2 inches above the bottom, while being about half immersed. Line a wire cooling rack with a few sheets of paper towel to absorb the oil, place the rack over a large baking sheet (this will catch any large oil drips) and move it beside the fryer. If you aren’t using a deep fryer with a basket, then a spider strainer works perfectly for dropping the doughnuts into the oil as well as removing them.
  • Once your oil is up to temperature, remove the donuts from the fridge and fry 2 or 3 at a time, being careful not to crowd them. They should initially sink to the bottom of the fryer and then float for the majority of the cook time. Always try frying a test donut first. Allow the test donut to cool slightly, and then cut it open to check its doneness. If you oi is too hot, the donut may get too dark but be undercooked inside; but if it’s not hot enough, it will take too long to cook and you’ll end up with an oily donut. Fry the donuts for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place onto the paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat with all the donuts.
  • While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and cardamom. Add ore milk or powdered sugar if necessary until the desired consistency is reached. Place a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet to catch the excess glaze, and dip each donut in the glaze and place onto the rack. The glaze will set in 5 to 10 minutes, and they’ll be ready to serve. As with all donuts, these are best served immediately or at least the same day.
  • Note: A deep fryer works best, although I’ve use an electric frying pan for many years as well. These both control the temperature for you, and I find them safer to use compared to a pot on the stove. If you use a pot on the stove, make sure it’s a heavy-bottomed one, which will absorb and distribute heat more evenly and help keep the temperature steady. You will need a candy/deep fryer thermometer on hand to keep an eye on the temperature.