Sunday, December 16, 2012

french buttermilk breakfast puffs

Where have these been all my life???

You'll ask yourself the same question after making and eating these french breakfast puffs. They're a cross between a muffin and a cinnamon-sugar cake doughnut. And most importantly, delicious!!!

I've made these twice. The first time, I followed the original recipe from Betty Crocker. BC's recipe called for vegetable shortening in the batter. I went with it because when I'm making recipes for the first time, I try and not to stray too far off of the original recipe. Today when I woke up at my Dad's house, I had the urge to make them again. This time I used butter instead of vegetable shortening and buttermilk instead of whole milk. Both recipes were successful and produced something yummy.

Get these on your table for Christmas morning or sooner. You'll thank Betty Crocker and me for bringing this recipe to your attention.

French Buttermilk Breakfast Puffs
adapted from Betty Crocker & the blog Spoonful
makes 9

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ***Try and grate the fresh stuff from a whole nutmeg seed.***
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the bottoms of a standard muffin tin. Set aside.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and nutmeg. In small bowl, whisk the egg until it's foamy and light. Mix the buttermilk with the cooled melted butter. Add the whisked egg and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Pour your wet ingredients into the flour well and with a spatula fold the ingredients together.

With a 2-ounce cookie scoop, equally scoop batter into your prepared muffin tin.

***This recipe yields 9 and 1/2.....for the cook. :) ***

I always drop an ice cube in my muffin tins if all of them are not filled with batter. This keeps the tin evenly heated.

Bake your muffins for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes rotate your pan and bake for 5 - 7 minutes more. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. 

In the meantime, melt the butter for the topping and mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Once the muffins have cooled enough to handle, dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then roll the tops, sides and bottoms in the cinnamon sugar.

These breakfast puffs are best served warm. 

You'll aslo find yourself eating them at room temperature too!!! AND IF you have any leftover, they could be frozen in a ziplock bag. But that's doubtful.....


Sunday, December 2, 2012

panettone scones

Panettone was one of my Mom's favorite Christmas holiday treats. She used to like it for breakfast, toasted, and with butter. 

After graduating from pastry school I used to bake her panettone every Christmas. I'm sure that she would have loved my panettone scones but I bet they have a pastry chef in heaven that can make them for her.

I adore the taste of candied citron in panettone. And strangely I also like the currants and golden raisins too which normally are not my fave in baked goods. Citron is an ingredient that I don't have regularly in my pantry. Luckily I had it and felt inspired by memories of my Mom so instead of waiting for panettone bread, I whipped up panettone scones.

Before we get started with the recipe, this is citron. It's candied. It's Italian. And it's delicious. My husband bought me this gorgeous sweet thing from Di Palo's here in NYC's Little Italy, but you can probably find it online or maybe your city's Italian specialty food store. In a pinch, you could use candied orange and lemon peel.

Panettone Scones
original recipe of Dreamy Cream Scones taken from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook tweaked with my very own adaptations

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup roughly chopped citron or candied orange and lemon peel
2 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Fior di Sicilia extract or vanilla extract

1 egg - beaten for egg wash
powdered sugar for dusting - optional

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In your food processor combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. A few pulses. Or in a large bowl, whisk together. In a measuring cup, mix together heavy cream and Fior di Sicilia or vanilla extract (if using) and set aside.

Add in your butter cubes and with short pulses, cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. If doing this by hand, use two knives or a pastry cutter/blender and cut in your butter.
Add your citron, currants, golden raisins and lemon zest. Pulse a couple of times or stir in. Transfer mixture into a large bowl.

With a rubber spatula, stir in your heavy cream and extract until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough and all floury bits onto a clean work surface and gently knead dough until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 - 10 seconds. Lightly flour your work surface and gently press out dough until it's 3/4 inch thick. With a 2-1/2 inch round cutter, cut out scones. 

Place them 2 inches apart on your parchment lined sheet. Brush tops with egg wash and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar.