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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Bear Claws


These rate right up at the top of my favorite things.  I could have one bear claw with my morning coffee everyday for the rest of my life and not get tired of them.  But that aint gonna happen.  They are a 2 day process but they are not hard.  And oh, so worth it.  And here’s a shout out to Jessie, my daughters childhood friend, who remembered these and asked for the posting.  Sorry it took me so long, Jess.  Hope they’re as good as you remember…

Dough:

1 cup softened butter

1 pkg. dry yeast, I use fast rising or regular

1/4 cup warm water

3 eggs, room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 small can evaporated milk (5 1/3 oz.)

3 1/3 cups flour (AP)

Get 3 small bowls or cups out to divide the eggs.  One bowl holds all 3 yolks. Second bowl holds 2 whites, last bowl holds 1 white. Put plastic wrap on the 1 egg white bowl and put in the fridge for tomorrow. Set the 2 whites aside for the filling. we’ll get there in a minute.

Melt the butter. Sprinkle yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar to proof. When it’s foamy and alive, about 5 minutes later, add butter, 3 yolks and rest of ingredients to the bowl and mix by hand. It will look more like batter than bread dough but thats OK. Put plastic wrap on it and put in fridge til tomorrow. On to the filling…

Filling:

1/2 cup butter, softened but not melted

8 ozs. almond paste (I buy the Odense, in 7 oz. roll) in baking isle-close enough

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup flour

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

almond extract (real, not artificial) (optional)

3/4 cup finely chopped almonds (I buy the sliced almonds and put in a mini-chopper/food processor) just pulse a few times, you don’t want them ground up too small

The almond paste tube can be hard to break apart sometimes.  I grate mine to get it all in small pieces easy to mix in..

In a medium mixing bowl with high sides, with a hand beater, beat butter with almond paste first, add 2 reserved egg whites, lemon peel, the dry ingredients.  I usually put a teaspoon or 2 of almond extract also but you don’t have to.  I’m just an almond freak.  When it’s all mixed together, put plastic wrap on top and chill it until tomorrow.

Tomorrow:

Roll out chilled dough into a 13 1/2 inch by 27 inch rectangle. This is a soft dough, even chilled, so use plenty of flour and check as you roll out, to make sure it’s not sticking to the counter.  I lift it carefully several times and re-flour under it to keep it free as I go.  Cut rectangle lengthwise into 3—4 1/2 inch strips.

Divide filling into 3 equal portions. Roll with hands (just like play dough) into 3 —27 inch long snakes.  Put a snake centered in each of the 3 strips.  Fold top half of each strip over the snake, then fold over the bottom half, press down gently to flatten snake a bit and pinch to join the 2 edges.  You can brush the top edge of the folded over dough with a bit of the reserves egg white (beat it with a fork a bit to break it up) it acts like a glue but is not all that necessary, then fold up the bottom half and press.  Cut each strip into 6 sections, lift each section onto a cookie sheet and flip it over.  Space them out a bit (no touching) because they need room to rise.  This usually takes at least 3 cookie sheets.  I spray them ( the cookie sheets) lightly with oil or just grease lightly. Take a sharp knife and cut 4  sections, just half way through, then bend the claws to spread the sections.  Brush the tops with the beaten egg white, sprinkle with a little sugar and press in some sliced almonds if you want.  Let rise in a warm place for about an hour–don’t expect them to double in size or anything but they should soften and rise a bit.  They will rise more in the oven.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15- 18 minutes, til golden brown.  I bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven, so the bottoms or tops don’t get too brown.  After 5 minutes cooling on the sheets, remove to racks to finish cooling.  Store in large ziplocks  or tupperware to keep from drying out.  They also freeze nicely.  Enjoy!

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The Queen’s Scones

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Justgrams got me all hungry for scones. When my daughter was young, her grandma would take her to Ferndale’s  annual tea party held at a local church and put on by the mother-in-law of the preacher there, who was from England. She would go around to the tables, making sure everyone knew the “proper” way to eat scones…with jam and softly whipped cream on top. The scones were crisp on the outside and soft inside. So when I started looking for scone recipes, I picked a British version. They did not disappoint. Not as good the next day, they had lost some of their crunchy exterior texture. But heaven 10 minutes out of the oven, I added some finely chopped dried apricots because my generous brother and sister-in-law send me a large sack of moist dried apricots for Christmas that I am still happy to be using up. Thanks, Jay and Maria.
scones 006The Queen’s Scones

1 + 3/4 cups flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup finely diced up butter (either dice it or cut in with pastry cutter-but not TOO small-you should have small chunks the size of peas in there)

1/3 cup cream

1 egg

Mix the dry. Beat egg into the cream. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Pour wet into dry and combine-don’t over beat. Use a couple more Tbsp. of cream if necessary to hold dough together. Ball it up and knead lightly 3-4 times. Pat into a round, 1 inch thick or slightly more. Transfer to cookie sheet and cut into 8 wedges, separating slightly. Bake about 12 minutes-don’t over brown. Let cool about 10 minutes before diving in. You can add currents, raisins, chopped dates or chopped dried apricots like I did. About a handful.

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Apple Pancake/Muffins

On a recent trip home (Humboldt County) I stayed with a good friend, Barb Mooney, because my best friend, Toni and her daughter Donnella were staying with my brother and sister-in-law, Rand and Beth. With the exception of our oldest sibling, Terri, the Waynes LOVE to cook, and the youngest, Randy, is no exception. He made for his guests, one morning, a puffed baked apple pancake, that I unfortunately did not get to partake of (pout-pout). But it got me hungry for one and I found this cute variation.

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The recipe said it made 6, but those must have been the jumbo muffin cups because this made 8, and I still had enough batter for 2 more, just no more apples already cooked up.

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They were even more puffed when first taken from the oven, but they deflate quuickly and my camera wasn’t ready fast enough.

Individual Apple  Thingys

First, lets cook up some apples. Oh, yeah, and crank up the oven to 450 degrees.

2 apples, peeled and diced

2 Tb. butter

1/4 cup lite brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tb. lemon juice

Toss the diced apples with the lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and carmelize the apples, about 8-10 minutes. Cook them through, but not til mushy.

Butter 10 muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar to coat.

Batter: 2/3 cup flour

                3 eggs

                 5 Tb. sugar

                  2 Tb. melted butter

                   3/4 cup room temp whole milk

The recipe said to put in a food processor and run for 3 minutes. This seemed like alot of dishes, I just used a hand mixer for 2 minutes. I cheat. Divide the apples amongst the muffin cups and pour in the batter til it almost reaches the top. Put in the hot oven and immediatly turn it down to 400 degree. Cook for 15 minutes-all the puffing takes place the last 5 minutes. cool slightly before attempting the dismount. Yes, some did fall apart.Some held perfectly. Don’t know why. Will perfect later. Delish either way. You can dust with powdered sugar if you’d like but we ate them plain. YUM.

 

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Cinnamon Rolls

I’m waiting for nothin! I’m just jumping in with lame pictures and all.

So there.

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These are some cinnamon rolls I made off the Pioneer Woman website.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/

She has a great site with a lot more than just wonderful recipes…check her out.

This recipe makes a TON! And this was using just half the dough!! 

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 But, I must say, it was a very tender dough…not chewy and bready like some cinnamon rolls. The changes I made were 1. I used softened butter instead of melting it. 2. I used brown sugar instead of white.  Then, along with a healthy dose of cinnamon, I beat them into a spreadable paste. I didn’t want any leakage.

OK, get ready. Here comes the blurry photos of the finished buns. At this point, the house smelled like heaven.

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These just melt in your mouth…

Here they are with some maple glaze on top…half the pans got this treatment. And I must say, the glaze was not overly sweet or overly maple-y.  I think this was due to the addition of some coffee into the glaze. I liked them both ways-glazed or un-glazed. I am such a cinnamon bun whore! Do me glazed, do me unglazed…just DO me.

 

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Ree, you’re a dangerous woman.

I think I’ll wait til Christmas to make them next, and give them as presents to neighbors and friends.

OK, Toni, you’re up. what did YOU cook today? Love ya

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