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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Flavors Wafting From Your Kitchen!

Hello all! I'm sending you two posts today, since I didn't get to post yesterday. This first one is about one of my favorite seasons - fall. There are certain smells that you associate with this time of year - pumpkins, apples, cinnamon - they always bring a smile to my face. So to help you bring a smile to the faces of all who come into your home, here are a few recipes you might want to try!

New England Cinnamon Sugar-Cider Donuts


  • 1¾ cups (7¾ oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup (1⅛ oz.) whole wheat graham flour
  • 3½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • Canola oil, for forming and frying

  1. Whisk flours, 2 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and ½ cup sugar until fluffy. Add yolks, vanilla, cider, and buttermilk; mix until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add dry ingredients and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms.
  2. Combine remaining cinnamon and sugar in a bowl; set aside. Heat 2" oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using lightly oiled hands, roll about ¼ cup batter into a loose, sticky ball; pat gently into a disk. With your thumb, make a 1½" hole in the center of dough; carefully slide into oil and fry, flipping once, until golden, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack; repeat with remaining dough. Let donuts cool completely; toss in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Proofing, the "resting" period in which yeasted dough is left to rise, requires proper time and temperature. An overproofed dough will result in a deflated, greasy product, while an underproofed one will lack the desired airiness.

Gianduia and Caramel Tart
Canal House Cooks Every Day

For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
For the filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 cup Gianduia (see below)
For the Gianduia (makes about two cups):
  • 1 generous cup (5 ounces) skinned hazelnuts
  • Large pinch of sugar
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into pieces

For the crust:
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter and shortening into the flour suing a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Gradually sprinkle in 3 tablespoons ice water while stirring with a fork. Press the dough together until it forms a rough ball. Don’t over-handle it; there should be streaks of butter visible throughout. Shape it into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 7 x 16-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin, then unfurl it into a 4 x 13-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim off any excess dough. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the crust with a sheet of foil that hangs over the edges by at least 2 inches, then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust until the edges are pale golden, about 20 minutes. Lift the foil and weights off the crust and continue baking until the crust is golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling:
  1. Put the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan over the heat frequently, until the syrup turns a dark amber caramel, about 15 minutes. Carefully whisk in the butter, cream, and sour cream (the caramel will hiss and bubble up, so stand back). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk until smooth. Pour the hot caramel into the prepared crust and let it cool for about 1 hour. It will thicken and set.

For the Gianduia:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts out on a small baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet and toast them in the oven until they are a deep toasty brown, about 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Grind the hazelnuts with the sugar in batches in a food processor to a fairly smooth, buttery paste.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water over medium-low heat, stirring often. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the cream and butte.r Stir in the ground hazelnuts. The Gianduia will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools. It will keep at room temperature in a covered container for up to two weeks.
  3. Melt the Gianduia in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water over low heat.
  4. Assembly:
  5. Pour the Gianduia evenly over the set caramel filling, smoothing out the top with a metal spatula. Let the tart set for a least 4 hours before serving.

Bourbon Chai Cocktail

  • 8 bags black tea, paper and string removed
  • 8 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 8 whole allspice berries, crushed
  • 8 whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • ½ whole nutmeg, chopped
  • 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds and pod reserved
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 6 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ⅓ cup honey or agave
  • 1 cup spice-forward bourbon, like Maker's Mark

  1. Make the chai: In a 4-quart saucepan, combine tea, spices, ginger, and vanilla bean seeds and pod with 6 cups hot water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and add almond milk and honey or agave, whisking to combine. Return to a simmer, remove from heat, and allow to steep 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer, pressing down on solids to extract flavors.
  2. Transfer the chai to a heat-proof serving vessel (like an earthenware pitcher) and stir in bourbon. Alternately, ladle chai into 8 individual mugs and portion 1 oz. bourbon into each.

Happy baking!

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