Bootiful Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

dsc_0153Today is a quick post for any procrastinators out there who still haven’t decided on a treat to make for Halloween. These BOOtiful cupcakes have the ultimate chocolate flavor you would find in a cake packed into a tiny handheld cupcake. If that wasn’t dreamy enough the ghostly frosting is so creamy and light it resembles a giant melted marshmallow. The pair together is to die for.

dsc_0168For the ultimate chocolate punch in your cupcakes be sure to use a high quality baking chocolate. If you are really strapped for time you can omit the ganache step and opt for the more traditional cupcake. The chocolate flavor will still be strong but that little creamy morsel of chocolate boom will not be there and I really promote taking the little extra effort to fill them with ganache since it is very easy. The cupcakes can be made up to 24 hours in advance but make sure to refrigerate them in an airtight container so that the ghosts don’t decide to go back into hiding once Halloween is over.

dsc_0155Bootiful Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; chopped fine
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp. Confectioners’ Sugar

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; chopped fine
  • 1 oz. (1/3 cup) Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ cup Hot Coffee
  • 4.125 oz. (¾ cup) Bread Flour
  • 5.25 oz. (¾ cup) Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 6 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Meringue Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Black Food Coloring

Formula:

  1. For the Ganache Filling: Place chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on high until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and place in the refrigerator until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. For the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350°. Line a standard size 12 cup muffin tin with baking cup liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, about 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin on a wire rack until cool enough to touch, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from the muffin tin and set on the wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.
  5. For the Frosting: Simmer about 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over the saucepan, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the mixture for about 6 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch, about 120°.
  6. Transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whisk for 5 to 10 minutes, or until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add vanilla and whisk until just incorporated. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes using a large round tip, making sure to stop applying pressure 3 times while piping to create the ghost shape, pulling up on the last pipe to create a peak. Use a toothpick and dip in the black food color to create the eyes and mouth of the ghost.

dsc_0158SPECIAL THANKS TO:

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM GEORGIA JOHNSON

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

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Emergency Chocolate Cake

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If you have been in touch with the news lately, you will be all to familiar with the topic of war & Syria popping up at least once per broadcast. As grim as the subject is, war brings about some good qualities. People are reminded of the precious value of life, we bond together, appreciate more, and get innovative when times are rough. Such innovation brought this little gem out of World War II. During the war, key baking items like butter and eggs were difficult to come by and even if you managed to get your hands on the stuff you certainly wouldn’t be wasting precious ingredients on a dessert that would otherwise have fed the family for days if properly rationed. So in order to crave the sweet tooth of struggling America, cooks had to come up with cakes that didn’t need the scarce stuff.

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With men at war and women out to work, cooking times had to be short and simple. Desserts like the Emergency Chocolate Cake were loved by homemakers because they were quick and convenient, given the fact that all the ingredients were items already stocked in the pantry. This caused recipes like this one to continue being made even after rationing was a part of the past. Such an easy cake has to have a catch right? For me, not so much. This cake really had a lot going for it. Sure I had to do a little tweaking to boost the chocolate flavor up to modern standards but overall it was moist and delicious. That is if you can get past the fact that the main ingredient supplying the moist, velvety texture is mayonnaise. If you loathe mayo than that is your catch.

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A good way to get past the oddball ingredient is to know what mayo is really made up of. Behind the lardy appearance is just some whipped up eggs and oil, hence why it was the perfect substitute for the scarce butter and egg of wartime. This cake is so moist, tender, and chocolaty it really shouldn’t be subjected to only emergencies. You should try it pronto, especially with how easy it is and everything is on hand already. Before you do though I have just a few quick notes to maximize your experience.

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Keep in mind that the original recipe lacked the additional chocolate and egg that is added here. I prefer this minor tweak as it makes the chocolate flavor more prominent to our modern standards and the extra egg adds just a bit of extra textural support although you certainly could do without the extra egg and chocolate as the original formula. My favorite high quality chocolate that I used was Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate but you could use any brand of chocolate but it is best if you stick to a high quality brand. If you don’t like dark chocolate you can also use semisweet or bittersweet instead. Now I chose to top this cake with confectioners’ sugar since it is simplistic like the rest of the cake, but still adds a touch of elegance and added sweetness. You can however serve this cake with some sweetened whipped cream instead. The following formula makes one 8 inch square cake.

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Emergency Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 7 ½ oz. (1 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7 oz. (1 cup) Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 oz. (½ cup) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 oz. Dark Chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Hot Coffee
  • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Confectioners’ Sugar (for dusting) (optional)

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa and chocolate. Pour the hot coffee over the cocoa mixture and whisk together until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Whisk in the mayonnaise, egg, and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares in the pan or for a better presentation, turn cake out onto a serving platter, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares to serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KEITH DRESSER

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

 

French Silk Chocolate Pie

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Another day. Another lost recipe. Today’s find=French Silk Chocolate Pie. Sure you can find some in your local grocers freezer section so it technically isn’t that lost of a recipe, but the reason I included it is because most home bakers refuse to tackle such a pie on because the original formula used raw eggs and as we know these days is completely unsafe. Second of all it is a pretty involved recipe and in our daily lives it is hard to fit in time to make any type of pie let alone this type, and if you want this type it is very tempting to just grab one from the freezer section, de-thaw it, and voila it is ready to serve with ease. In fact the way I stumbled upon this pie was from the freezer section of my local supermarket when there was a sale on pies. This caused me to look up its history.

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Despite the name including the word “French” this pie is an all-American concoction. It’s first appearance was at the Pillsbury Bake-Off competition of 1951 where its creator, Betty Cooper of Maryland, won the $1,000 prize. The pie is classic icebox style with an exotic name that reflects the international curiosity of postwar America. Originally Betty Cooper used a pie crust. I decided to switch it up for a more simple graham cracker crust. To whisk the chocolate portion of the filling into a light, silky texture without the use of Cooper’s raw eggs formula, a double boiler is necessary. Now I don’t buy those pricey contraptions. To be honest they are gimmicks to the baking enthusiast but completely unnecessary. Just take a large saucepan and a slightly smaller heatproof bowl that will rest securely on top of the saucepan. Place enough water in the saucepan to bring to a simmer but not boil. Place the bowl on top of the pan making sure the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. And there you have it… a homemade double boiler. Heck if you don’t have a heatproof bowl you can always use a slightly smaller saucepan in place of the bowl.

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Now the reason the double boiler is necessary is to cook the eggs. Pillsbury offers a simpler option for the original bake-off recipe by using egg substitutes as a way to be safe but these give off an artificial flavor that is no different then going back to the frozen section and buying the pre-made ones. By beating the eggs with sugar over the double boiler you incorporate air which gives the filling the light texture that is so desirable about this pie. When the egg mixture reaches the safe temperature it gets very thick and foamy. This is when you remove it from the heat and let it cool down. Once it is cool you can add the chocolate and butter which gives the pie the signature rich flavor and silky smooth texture.

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While researching this project I realized the drastic changes made to the Pillsbury Bake-Off competition. What used to be a competition that was pretty much open to any creative and delicious baked good now became a competition that forces contestants to use Pillsbury products like cookie dough or crescent rolls as their staple ingredient and therefore market the brand more than baking innovation itself. This competition is just a reminder of how our society has changed over the years. Contestants in the 50’s were treated like celebrities. Contestants wore corsages on fine outfits, worked in facilities set up at the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, and were served dishes like Guinea Hen Breast and Nectarines Flambe at a complimentary dinner… fare reserved nowadays for only the finest of restaurants.

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The Bake-Off certainly has a rich history, dating all the way back to 1949 when it debuted as the “Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest”. General Mills probably had no idea that it would launch the most recognized of all modern American recipe contests and have such an affect on America’s culinary heritage. The original grand prize winner for No-Knead Water Rising Twists won $50,000, an award so prestige at the time it was presented by Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1954, Open Sesame Pie became so popular it launched a nationwide use of sesame seeds. In the years to come, the kids bake sale favorite, Peanut Blossom Cookies would rake in millions for the Hershey Company and the Tunnel of Fudge Cake would launch the popularity of the Bundt pan, causing factories to work round the clock to keep production up to consumer demand. Although French Silk Pie didn’t retain the initial popularity it gained in 1951, it is definitely a pie worth revisiting, with just a few modern tweaks.

Note: You may use homemade whipped cream for the topping or a tub of Cool Whip for convenience. A garnish of miniature chocolate chips around the outer edge of the pie is optional but a great finishing touch. Pie serves 8 to 10 people. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

French Silk Chocolate Pie

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream; chilled
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 8 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; melted & cooled
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter;  softened & cut into pieces
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream or 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • Miniature Chocolate Chips (optional)

Formula:

  1. Prepare the crust: Melt butter in a small dish. Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Add the melted butter and stir until no dry crumbs remain. Line a spring-form pan with food grade acetate. Press graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  2. With mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate.
  3. Combine eggs, sugar, and water in a large heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan filled halfway with simmering water. Be sure you don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. With a hand mixer set to medium speed, beat egg mixture until it has thickened and registers 160°, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and the texture is fluffy, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the cooled egg mixture, beating until incorporated. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape filling over the graham cracker crust and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Once set, whip heavy cream to medium peaks or for convenience use a tub of Cool Whip and spread evenly over the set chocolate filling. If desired, sprinkle miniature chocolate chips around the outer edge of the pie and serve.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM DIANE UNGER

PILLSBURY BAKE-OFF® CONTEST

KRAFT FOODS: COOL WHIP

GENERAL MILLS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles

dsc_0280When I was a kid, I remember attempting to make a Spritz cookie with a cookie press contraption that was just too difficult for my little hands to grasp let alone the dough was too soft and didn’t hold up after being pressed. This caused me to have a frustration with this cookie into adulthood. I thought I would revisit the concept of the spritz cookie but in a whole new way. That is when I stumbled on a recipe for Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles.

dsc_0269Roselyn’s Bakery opened in 1943 and was a major distributor of baked goods around the Indianapolis area. They closed in 1999 leaving many locals craving their specialties, including the Buttermilk Jumble Cookie.  Although you can still find some of their baked goods in supermarkets near the area they are non-existent here in Florida and it is a shame because they are so delicious and rather simple to prepare. Resembling the look of a spritz cookie, you use a piping bag and large star tip rather the traditional cookie press. I much prefer this method as most people have these items already in their home and you don’t have to go waste money on expensive cookie presses to get an elegant looking cookie.

dsc_0273This cookie is soft and delicate. It looks impressive and time consuming but is easy to assemble and uses minimal ingredients. The only ingredient that may be hard to find for this recipe is the necessary arm strength and posture needed to make many little stars. The formula uses the creaming method to ensure a proper spread and rise. Also by using cake flour rather than all-purpose the cookies obtain an even smoother, tender texture than a traditional spritz. All in all a great find that history has tried to swallow up but hopefully this delicate little jumble will stay alive a bit longer.

dsc_0294Note: You will need a piping bag and a large star tip. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. This formula yields about 3 dozen cookies.

Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups Vegetable Shortening
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 ½ cups Cake Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 6 tbsp. Buttermilk

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 375°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  2. Beat the sugar, shortening, and salt together until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Mix until light and fluffy. Transfer dough to prepared piping bag.
  3. For each cookie, pipe 1 star and then pipe 6 more stars surrounding the first star onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets. Repeat with any remaining dough. Serve.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

 ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

dsc_0366Sock-It-To-Me!!! If you are anything like me, the phrase jogs a need to belt out a specific tune by Ms. Aretha Franklin. In fact it was her 1967 hit “Respect” which introduced the phrase to most Americans and made it popular. Following the songs popularity, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In added a comedy skit with the same title in which an actress typically ended up being doused with water. Even Richard Nixon once used the phrase while campaigning to be president. It was that much a part of American culture. So it comes as no surprise that in the 1970’s, Duncan Hines would create a cake with the same name and place the recipe on their famous back of the box collection used to market specific cake mixes.

dsc_0351The original Sock-It-To-Me cake from the back of the box recipe is legendary and continues to be made to this day. It uses an easy dump and stir method that incorporates a few extra ingredients added to the back of the box requirements which are meant to transform the typical yellow cake mix into a moist and velvety coffee cake. Too bad the extra ingredients can’t mask the artificial flavor the store-bought mix lends.

To overcome this, a little extra work is necessary but is still simple enough to serve quick and easily at any of your March events. I personally recommend serving this for any March Madness watch parties you may host. It is simple and satisfying to even the pickiest of sweet tooths. Also what better way to root for your favorite team then to have your cake, eat it, and chant for them to sock it to the other team.

dsc_0371The easiest way to prepare this cake is using a food processor, however you can prepare it by hand if you don’t have a food processor. You will lack the finer crumb the food processor gives the cake but it will still taste delicious guaranteed. For the streusel, you will have to chop the pecans finely then mix the rest by hand in a small bowl. For mixing the cake, use a whisk by hand or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.

This cake serves 12 and looks best prepared in a 12-cup non-stick Bundt pan, but you can also prepare it in a 12-cup non-stick tube pan like I have. No matter which pan you choose to use be sure to grease it with a baking spray made up of a combination of vegetable oil and flour. Doing so ensures a perfectly clean release from the pan. Never trust the deceiving non-stick sales punch lines on your pan products. I have had enough stuck and ruined baked goods in my day to know they are lies 😛

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Pecans, toasted

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the streusel: Process flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer the streusel to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor.
  2. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 325°. Grease and flour a 12-cup non-stick Bundt or tube pan. For the cake: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In the food processor, blend sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour in butter until incorporated, then add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with the streusel mixture. Cover the streusel with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Tap the cake a few times on the counter to remove any air pockets. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the cake is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. As the cake cools prepare the glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2 days.)

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CALI RICH

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Bonnet Biscuits

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With it being a little bit cooler and rainy around Central Florida the past few days I was in for something rustic and homey to prepare for the visitors here. My boyfriend pointed out that in the past I had made some very good bread while in culinary school and he missed it. This led to me realizing that I really lack making bread not just for blog posts but in general. This sent me on a mission to find a formula that would lend the house a yeasty fresh baked loaf scent but also unique enough that you wouldn’t just look at this post and feel like you could have easily went to the supermarket and picked yourself up the same thing in the bakery minus the hassle and dirty dishes. So here is what I found… the Bonnet Biscuit.

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What’s so stellar about this formula is the resulting soft texture and yeast flavor of a fancy dinner roll yet the convenience of the traditional biscuit. Oh and lets not forget to mention how cute and unique the shape is – a tiny replica of a woman’s bonnet. Turns out, these biscuits are rather rare and forgotten pieces of pastry’s history. A search for the original recipe is difficult to find and often leads back to one woman… Mary Midleton. During a visit to her aunt and uncle in Bucks County, Pennsylvania she collected and recorded farmer’s recipes, which one happened to be for Quaker Bonnet Biscuits. In a 1915 book by Edith M. Thomas titled, “Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes Compiled during Her Visit: among the “Pennsylvania Germans,” Mary’s original recipe was listed and very tough to execute in the modern era. Definitely a formula in need of updating. Since lard is no longer a conventional fat used, an equal amount of butter provided great taste as long as the flour was reduced by half. The original formula also lacked salt and sugar, which when added provided a better taste as long as it was kept to a minimum. Rapid-rise yeast was a necessary transition for a quicker rising time as it is widely available compared to the original cake yeast called for by Mary.

Although most bread formulas require two rises to provide a tender, flakiness, it is no longer practical to take so long just to make biscuits when you could grab a tube of pre-made stuff at the store marketed by a white doughboy that’s as cute in his own right as the little bonnets shown here.  Mary may have had all morning to make her biscuits for dinner but us working mom’s and dad’s need something quick and easy enough to make after work still while watching out for the children as they get more and more rambunctious while waiting for dinner. To make this happen, the traditional first rise is cut out all together, much like a southern yeast biscuit. As soon as the dough is mixed together, rather than allow it to rise for the first time, it is instead quickly rolled out, cut, and then allowed to rise. Once doubled in size it could be baked and on the table all in an hour’s time. Surely a biscuit recipe worth getting to know in our modern kitchens.

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One important note to anyone who wishes to try these historical biscuits, they are easiest to prepare using a large food processor. However, if you don’t own a food processor don’t fret it, you can still make these delicious little bites just be sure to freeze the butter. Once the butter is hard, grate it on the large hole side of a box grater into the dry ingredients. Using your hands, toss the dry ingredients gently in order to evenly distribute the butter. Once thoroughly mixed, you can proceed with the formula as given. A little extra work but totally worth it to have one of these dainty little bonnets in your stomach 🙂

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Bonnet Biscuits

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 pkg. Rapid-Rise or Instant Yeast
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour; extra for work surface
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Salt
  • 8 tbsp. Unsalted Butter (1 stick); cut into ½ in. pieces; kept chilled
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted; for biscuit assembly

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 200°. Once the oven is preheated, allow temperature to maintain for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven. 
  2. Heat the milk to 100°-110°. Add the yeast and stir gently until just combined. Allow mixture to bloom a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined.  Add the chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 one-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  4. Add the egg, milk and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Briefly knead the dough together, about 1 minute. If dough is too wet or hard to work with, add more flour as necessary.
  5. Roll the dough into a 12 in. round. Cut out eighteen 2 ½ in. circles that are ¾ in. thick, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough into a round a ½ in. thick and cut out eighteen 1 ¼ in. rounds. Lightly brush the larger dough rounds with melted butter and place the smaller dough round slightly off center on top of each larger round. Place baking sheets in the warmed oven. Let rise until double in size, about 25-35 minutes.
  6. Once doubled in size, remove the baking sheets from the oven and heat to 375°. Once the oven is fully preheated, return the baking sheets to the oven and bake until biscuits are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Be sure to rotate the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Serve biscuits hot or warm. 

 

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM BRIDGET LANCASTER

 

 

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

 

 

Hermit Cookies

Happy Easter week to all of the readers here at HoneyBee’s Patisserie. A few days ago I posted Carrot Cupcakes for the Easter Bunny in all of us and this week’s recipe will focus on the true meaning of Easter celebrations. I know I know it isn’t as fun as the Easter Bunny, dying eggs, or filling plastic eggs and baskets to set around the house and yard for the kids, but it is getting back to basics. At Easter we should remember what happened in the ancient days to lead us to celebrate this date year after year. In light of discussing ancients and history, I decided to find yet another forgotten recipe in history that was once extremely popular. Now I didn’t go all the way back to the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection for a pastry, but the late 1800’s deemed far enough for today.

Hermit Cookies are mysterious in origin. It is known that they began appearing in cookbooks around the New England area earliest, such as Miss Maria Parloa’s New Cook Book of 1880 or The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer in 1896. It is said that the name ‘Hermit’ was coined for the cookies ability to be hidden away and stored for long periods of time without spoiling, much like a hermit hides. According to the Betty Crocker Cookie Book of the late 1800’s, the Hermit cookie was incredibly popular and would accompany sailors on ship voyages leaving out of Cape Cod. The cookies would be placed in canisters and tucked away into chests and kept for the sailors to enjoy on their long voyages. To ensure that the cookies don’t bake up like a dry, overly spiced, cardboard-esque hard tack I made sure to bake the cookies into logs and cut them while they are still slightly warm rather than the traditional formulas calling for a drop style panning method. Whether you take Hermit Cookies out to sea, pack them in an Easter basket, or in a packed lunch for work, these old-fashioned cookies are perfectly soft, chewy, and full of sugar and spice worthy of revival this holiday.

Hermit Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 2 tbsp. Crystallized Ginger, finely chopped
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ cup Molasses (mild or light)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Powdered Sugar (for dusting)

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Process raisins and ginger in a food processor until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until butter is nutty brown in color. Stir in the cinnamon and allspice. Cook until the spices are fragrant. Stir butter mixture into the raisin mixture and stir until well combined. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir brown sugar, molasses, and eggs into the cooled butter mixture until fully incorporated. Fold in the flour mixture (dough will appear very sticky) and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 1 ½ hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into quarters. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 10 inch log. If you prefer you can use a spoon or portion scoop and place round drops of dough on prepared baking sheets and continue as follows, however there will be a noticeable texture change in the cookie. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and bake each log (4 in total) for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to rotate the sheets halfway through baking time for even baking. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer parchment to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  5. Once cooled, cut logs into 2 inch bars. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.  

Special Thanks To:


Cali Rich &

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012