Arsip Tag: maple

oat and maple syrup scones – smitten kitchen

The Sleep Fairy has left our apartment. I’m not sure what we did to her (I hope it wasn’t my cooking), or what we could leave out (teeth? might she be a distant cousin of the Tooth Fairy? cookies and milk? maybe Santa can help with these things?) to lure her to come back but we were sleeping and now we are not sleeping and we miss it terribly. Also, getting to the end of sentences while still remembering what they were about when we started them.

pot-luck brunch

My in-laws took pity on us last Saturday and invited our charge to notsleep at their place instead for the night. Of course, instead of pulling the shades and waking up a day and a half later, feeling a year and a half younger, we decided to host a brunch because apparently the only thing I miss more than sleep is entertaining friends. It was mostly a pot-luck, anyway, with Ess-a-Bagels, Russ & Daughter’s homemade cream cheese, various goodies from the Manhattan Fruit Exchange and a high chair that got relegated to cocktail ice bucket holding duties in the absence of its assigned toddler. I made thisbakedthing and also theseotherthings that might or might not show up in some silly old cookbook slated for 2012, and also, I made some oaty whole wheat maple syrup scones.

dry ingredients

a heaping tablespoon

I’ve been on a cookbook buying tear lately, to the point that you only need to make the slightest suggestion that a cookbook is good and I’ll go out and buy it. This has happened recently in the comments, which led to purchases of The Russian Heritage Cookbook and a used copy of The Cuisine of Hungary. This also happened recently over email, when I realized I didn’t own The Breakfast Book and immediately rectified that. And when Heidi at 101 Cookbooks mentioned The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery, the book looked so charming I had it in my hands before the week was out. It had been way too long since I curled up and simple read a cookbook, end to end, and this is a sweet one to tuck into. You’ll immediately want to go to the tea shop and bakery in Paris, and hang out with its creator, Rose Carrarini, who says she wanted to “dissolve the distinction between home and restaurant cooking”. I was personally excited to learn that she found most baked goods too sweet and to find that she incorporated a lot of whole grains into her baking without making a big fuss about the healthfulness of it. I think both things come in handy when you’re making breakfast.

kneaded gently together
ready to bake, intentionally close

What’s up with all the sweets? I know! I do strive for balance, usually alternating between the sweet and the not-sweet but you see, I’ve been working on the main courses for my cookbook for the last month and much of my dinner-ish energy is going there. Not to mention, I’m running out of ways to make dead-of-winter vegetables interesting! Spring, get here soon, will ya?

One year ago: Bakewell Tart and Romesco Potatoes
Two years ago: Skillet Irish Soda Bread and Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Cake
Three years ago: Caramel Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
Four years ago: Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Corn Bread and Cream Cheese Pound Cake + Strawberry Coulis

Maple Syrup and Oat Scones
Adapted from Breakfast Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery

These maple syrup scones have oats, whole wheat flour and maple syrup but are just barely sweet yet not at all gritty with healthfulness. I think it’s the substantial amount of butter within. Of interest, most of my favorite scones have heavy cream in them; this one does not but it has nearly the same amount of butterfat due to the higher amount of butter.

About the weights: In this recipe, they’re provided by the book’s author, not me. They differ from what I’d measure in my own cups and spoons but you can feel safe following them just the same, as they work — I did.

Yield: The book suggests 10 to 12 but I made mine (ruler-measured! yes, I’m ocd!) their suggested size and only got 8.

1 3/4 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting surface
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (35 grams) rolled oats (I used quick-cooking)
1 very heaped tablespoon baking powder (I only slightly heaped; wish I’d heaped more!)
1 very heaped tablespoon superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Scant 3/4 cup (160 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a baking tray, or, if you’re me and your baking sheets are in horrendous condition, line them with un-buttered parchment paper.

Whisk the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. In a small dish, combine the milk and syrup, then add these liquid ingredients to the butter-flour mixture. By hand or with a rubber spatula, bring everything together to form a softish dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more milk but not enough that the dough is sticky. “The dough should not be stick at all,” the book admonishes.

On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough out until it is 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) tall. Using a 2-inch (5-cm) cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared tray so that they almost touch. Glaze the tops with beaten egg and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the scones are lightly golden. The scones will stick together, so pull them gently apart when they’ve cooled a bit — pull-apart scones!

Serve warm. Also, you may find them stale the next day but your toddler may not care, so keep them around!

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nutmeg maple butter cookies – smitten kitchen

Every December, I make you a promise in my head that this, this! will be the year that I share a recipe for classic sugar cookies, the kind that you can roll into any shape your heart desires and sprinkle, then ice, glitter and bauble merrily into the New Year and this year was no different. But then December arrives and my cooking dance card is absolutely bursting with offers to fill your internet quota with cocktails and party snacks and wrappable candies and so, so many cookies. Cookies with butter and chocolate, cookies with puddles of mint; cookies with hazelnuts and blackberries or white chocolate and ginger and butterscotch, people. Is it any wonder that I always lose sight of loftier baking goals each year when faced with the prospect of butterscotch-crunched cookies?

heady, delicious maple syrup
grating fresh nutmeg

As you can probably tell, I’m having a great time. I briefly wondered when I handed in my manuscript what I would do with all of that free time for the five weeks it is in the hands of some sainted copyeditor. I shouldn’t have worried, in part because I have one of these, and also because of butter; I am actually biding my time with boxes and boxes of butter. My daily vista is whipped butter, faintly sparkled with granulated sugar clinging to a KitchenAid paddle before an avalanche of flour and spices puff their way up from the attached bowl. My freezer is packed with layers upon layers of cookies between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers, eagerly awaiting the party invitations that will surely come flooding in now that, for the first time in the history of my disorganized life, I am actually ready for them.

pile of craggy dough

rolling out cookies
little rounds

You’re inviting me to your holiday party, right? Okay, phew. I might bring these. They look really plain, don’t they? But they are a tumble of butter and maple syrup, crackly sea salt and a whiff of nutmeg. They are the exact reason that I cannot bring myself to make ordinary sugar cookies, not when cookies like this exist. There’s a lot of maple syrup in there, which is one of my favorite things on earth and yet I have to retire my Maple Syrup Fanatic Club Card because apparently, I’ve been buying it all wrong. In school, a report card full of A’s (not that I ever saw one) was vastly superior than one cluttered with B’s and so, like most people, I assumed that Grade A maple syrup was the best you could get. I was so misled! Grade B is like maple syrup raised to the most maple syrup power (with math summaries like this, my report cards should surprise you less) — it is loud with the cool, almost smoky sweetness of dark maple syrup and it makes these cookies work. Maple syrup has such a subtle flavor that it’s often lost in baked goods, no matter how much you use. Not here. Here, it lingers and plays off of sea salt and nutmeg in a thin, tender when warm, crisp when cool, intensely buttery cookie. Oh, and I used generic, on sale, store brand butter. Could you imagine what the fancier butters would do for this cookie? I’m almost afraid to find out.

maple leaves
nutmeg maple butter cookies

Nutmeg Maple, previously: One of my favorite pies. Plus, maple syrup in oat scones and maple syrup in the very best bourbon drink on earth.

One year ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Two years ago: Cream Biscuits and Coffee Toffee
Three years ago: Pie Crust 102: All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough and Pie Crust 103: Rolling and Crimping, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Cabbage, Apple and Walnut Salad
Four years ago: Fennel Ice Cream and Ratatouille Tart
Five years ago: Blondies, Infinitely Adaptable, Fettucine with Porcini and Potato Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette

Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies
Adapted, just a smidge, from the late great Gourmet Magazine

1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) maple syrup (Grade B is ideal here, but the original recipe suggested that Grade A with a few drops of maple extract would also work)
1 large egg yolk
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (because it packs more tightly)
1 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt or 1 teaspoon table salt

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add yolk and slowly drizzle in maple syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be in loose clumps. Gather them together into a tight packet with a large piece of plastic wrap and chill dough for at least two hours (and up to four days) until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to roll out a quarter to half the dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge. On a floured counter, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.

(I started with conservative circles, moved into ridged circles, then maple leaves and then, after reading a fascinating article about the acorn harvest this year, got forrest-ed away with acorns and oak leaves that a reader sent me a few years ago. Not that you asked any of this.)

Arrange cookies on baking sheets and bake for 8 to 11 minutes each, or until lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to racks to cool. Cookies keep in airtight containers for a week, or in the freezer until their dance number is up.

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maple pudding cake – smitten kitchen

There is a whole catalog of cooking devoted to what to make when you peer nervously into your bank account and find the balance lacking — one could even argue that the affordable preparation and dissemination of nutrients has always been the primary goal of cooking, before we got distracted by $700 blenders and organically milled heirloom cornmeal porridge (ahem, guilty as charged). Yet what better time to celebrate meals that don’t weigh heavily on our wallets than in the hours after our annual reckoning with the IRS? From the world’s cheapest protein (eggs, crispy, scrambled, smashed and omelet-ed with potatoes), to the most humble (beans, in soup, in curries, stews and chilis) to inexpensive cuts of meat, cooked and stretched forever (in tacos, over orzo, Jewish-style or in the heartiest of soups), most of the time when we’re talking about budget cooking, we’re talking, understandably, about dinner. But one cannot survive on stews and slops alone or at least one should not be expected to in the third trimester; somewhere it is written, or at least it is now.

what you'll need
cook the syrup and cream

I first came across pudding chômeur, or “unemployed person’s pudding,” one of the most popular traditional Québecois deserts, a few years ago and was intrigued. Like most classic desserts, there’s a story to go along with it, and it is said that it was created during the Great Depression as a comfort food by female factory workers with the kinds of ingredients that could still be found on the cheap — butter, cream and at the time, brown sugar although maple syrup has since become the standard. (Alas, less budget-minded here, but we’re going to run with it anyway.) A biscuit-like cake is dolloped into a veritable lake of maple syrup caramel, then covered with sauce, and baked in the oven until the cake puffs and drowns a little in this sticky mess, and it’s all exceedingly sweet and wonderful, especially with a dollop of tangy crème fraîche at the end to pierce through the sugar assault.

butter but barely any sugar
a thick biscuit-like batter
ready to bake in a bath of caramel

So where does this fit into your life? I mean, at least according to my Google Analytics, only a handful of you are in Montreal, it is not the Depression, and unless you have a sugaring operation in your backyard (jealous!), you’re likely paying a pretty penny for maple syrup where you live. But it would be a shame if you missed out, despite all of this. Think of this instead like drop biscuit sticky buns, Canadian-style, or even a biscuit bread pudding, an indulgent weekend treat for your sweet tooth. It’s ridiculously simple to make, so you can sleep in all you wish and not miss out on a thing.

maple pudding cakes | pudding chômeur
maple pudding cakes | pudding chômeur

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
Two years ago: Bee Sting Cake
Three years ago: Banana Bread Crepe Cake with Butterscotch
Four years ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll
Five years ago: Shakshuka and An Easy Jam Tart
Six years ago: Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers) and a Simple Potato Gratin
Seven years ago: Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Eight years ago: Jocelyn’s Fish Tacos

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil
1.5 Years Ago: Lazy Pizza Dough + Favorite Margherita Pizza
2.5 Years Ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt
3.5 Years Ago: Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel

Maple Pudding Cake (Pudding Chômeur)
Adapted from Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, Quebec via Epicurious

So, here is where I confess that I wimped out a bit when making this. I was scared of how sweet it would be, which is really no way to march into a Pudding Chômeur project! Regardless, I removed all but the smallest amount of sugar from the biscuits/cakes themselves, because I knew that even if the dough seems a bit salty, it would provide an excellent contrast to the syrup above and below. And then, well, I nearly halved the sauce, and believe me, we didn’t miss the extra at all. (But, of course, this is a warning to you if you grew up on the traditional version that you might want to bump it back up a little.)

Yield: 6 individual (ramekin-sized) cakes or 1 8-inch round

3/4 cup (175 ml) pure maple syrup
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
A couple pinches of sea salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
To serve: crème fraîche and more sea salt, to taste

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a medium saucepan, combine syrup, cream, cider vinegar and a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It may look a tad curdled at first from the vinegar, but it will all cook smoothly in the end. Set aside while you prepare the cake dough.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down bowl. Sift flour, baking powder and salt directly into butter-egg mixture, then fold together with a spatula. Batter will be very thick.

Divide 2/3 maple syrup sauce into 6 individual baking dishes, or ramekins, or pour it into 1 8-inch round skillet or cake pan. Divide cake dough into 6 mounds and drop one of each into each ramekin, or spread them out in larger dish. Pour remaining syrup sauce over and bake until the cakes are firm and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve warm, dolloped with crème fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream, plus extra sea salt, to taste. Reheat before serving any leftovers.

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