Cranberry Orange Muffins

Great fall breakfast treat.

For extra tasty muffins, allow your mixture to sit overnight. This also lets you just scoop and bake in the morning.

370 g/ 13 oz flour
6g/ ¾ tsp baking powder
300g/ 10 ½ oz sugar
80g/ 2 ¾ oz butter + more for greasing tins, softened
9 g/ 1 ½ tsp salt
140g/ 5 oz eggs (about 2 ½ large)
140g/ 5 oz buttermilk
15g/ 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
80g/ 2 ¾ oz vegetable oil
310g/ 11 oz cranberries
40g/ 1 ½ oz grated orange zest
150g/ 12 oz confectioner’s sugar
60 g/ 4 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven 190C/ 375F.

Coat 12 cup muffin tin with butter or use muffin liners.

Sift flour and baking powder together.

Cream together sugar, butter, and salt until smooth and light in colour.

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. Add ⅓ to butter mixture and thoroughly mix. Then add second ⅓ and mix. Repeat with remainder.

Add flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Fold in cranberries and orange zest.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Cool the muffins in the tin 15 minutes before removing.

Once the muffins are completely cool, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over muffins.

Pains Au Chocolat

 

1 recipe Croissant Dough
20 Chocolate Batons

Makes 10

Using prepared, folded, and rested croissant dough, roll into rectangle 23 by 64 cm/ 9 by 25 inches. Cut 12 by 13 cm/ 4 ½ by 5 inch rectangles. Starting 1 ¼ cm/ ½ inch from the bottom edge, place 2 chocolate batons width wise 2 ½ cm/ 1 inch apart. Roll up tightly and place on parchment lined baking sheet seam side down.

Brush with eggwash. Proof in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.

Put in freezer for ten minutes.

Brush with eggwash again.

Bake at 200C/ 400F, rotating halfway, until browned. The pains au chocolat usually take less time to bake than regular croissants, about 15-17 minutes.

Transfer to a rack to cool.

Almond Croissants

These are addictive.

Makes 11

1 recipe Croissant Dough
60 g/ 2 ⅓ oz Almond Cream
60 g/ 2 ⅓ oz Almond Flakes

Using prepared, folded, rested, and rolled croissant dough, cut triangles as normal. Make a small 2 cm/ ¾ inch slit at the base of each triangle. Gently stretch the triangle. Add 1 teaspoon of almond cream at base 1 cm/ ½ inch from bottom before shaping. Roll up from the base. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Curve the ends inward.

Brush with eggwash. Proof in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.

Put in freezer for ten minutes.

Brush with eggwash again. Sprinkle almond flakes on top.

Bake at 200C/ 400F, rotating halfway, until browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Croissants

These are a bit of a weekend project, but oh so worth it.

The butter is important in this recipe. Along with European butter making the croissants taste better, the higher percentage of butter fat makes the butter block more pliable.

The croissants can be shaped and frozen, unproofed, in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. To bake, let them come to room temperature and proof 3 hours.

Croissants can also be frozen after baking. To eat, thaw at room temperature and reheat in a 175C/ 350F oven for 7 minutes.

Makes 11

Dough:
272 g/ 9 ⅔ oz Whole Milk
408 g/ 14 ⅓ oz Bread Flour
4 g/ 1 ⅓ teaspoon Instant Dry Yeast
10 g/ 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
40 g/ 1 ⅜ oz Sugar
40 g/ 1 ⅜ oz European Butter, unsalted, soft

Roll-In:
226 g/ 8 oz European Butter, unsalted, softened but still cold

Preparing the Dough

To make the dough, place milk (first), then flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment. The yeast and salt need to be added at opposite sides. Mix 4 minutes at low speed. Scrap sides of bowl. Mix 4 minutes at medium speed.
Turn dough onto sprayed pan. Cover and ferment at room temperature (24C/ 75F) until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Fold over the dough and spread it into a rectangle 38 by 30 cm/ 15 by 12 inches on floured parchment. Wrap and retard in fridge overnight.

The next day, on parchment paper, spread butter to 28 by 24 cm/ 11 by 9 ½ inch rectangle, pounding with a rolling pin if necessary. Place in freezer about ten minutes, depending on room temperature.

Remove butter from freezer and make sure it is pliable (bends without breaking). If it is not cold enough to work with without it melting put it back the freezer for a few more minutes. Conversely, it might need to pounded with the rolling pin if it’s too stiff.

Remove dough from fridge. Make sure it still measures 38 by 30 cm/ 15 by 12 inches. If it has risen out of shape roll over it a couple of times with a rolling pin.

Lock in butter with a letter fold: Visually divide dough lengthwise into thirds as if you were folding a business letter. Place butter on the top two thirds of the dough, leaving 1 inch gap from edges. Fold the empty bottom third over the center third of the dough, covering the butter. Then fold the top third of the dough with the butter down over the center. Pinch together the seams along the bottom and sides of the dough. Roll 3-4 times gently across the top to help seal the seams.

Cover and rest in fridge 30 minutes.

Next administer a book turn: Visually divide the dough into quarters. Fold the two short edges in toward the center, leaving a bit of space between them. To finish, fold one side over the other, like closing a book.

Cover and rest in fridge 30 minutes.

Finally administer another letter fold.

Rest in fridge, covered, before forming for 2 hours, or overnight.

Forming & Baking

Roll dough into rectangle 23 by 61 cm/ 9 by 24 inches.
Cut 11 isosceles triangles 23 cm/ 9 inches high and 10 cm/ 4 inches at base.
Make a small 2 cm/ ¾ inch slit at the base of each triangle. Gently stretch the triangle. Roll up from the base. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Curve the ends inward.

Brush with eggwash. Proof in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.

Put in freezer for ten minutes.

Brush with eggwash again.

Bake at 200C/ 400F, rotating halfway, until browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Mincemeat Pies

Sweet individual mini pies. So festive and the perfect size for parties

Makes 36 4½cm/ 2″ mini tarts

1 recipe sugar dough, or another pie dough
600g / 2½ cups mincemeat
butter, for greasing
powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Preheat the oven to 220C/ 425F.

Butter 2″ pie tins.

Roll out the dough quite thin. Cut out 36 5½cm / 2¼” circles for the bottoms and 4cm / 1¾” stars for the tops. Press bottoms gently into tins. Add a teaspoon of mincemeat. Top with stars.

Bake until golden brown, about 10–15 minutes. Watch to make sure the tips of the stars do not burn.

Immediately after baking remove from tins. If working in batches, make sure to allow tins to completely cool before refilling.

Once completely cool, using a strainer, dust with powdered sugar (optional).