Cherry, Chocolate, and Almond Biscotti

Cherry, Chocolate, and Almond Biscotti

These crisp, crunchy, and lightly sweet biscotti are studded with bits of tart cherry & dark chocolate, with hint of almond. Covering the bottoms in Chocolove’s Cherry & Almonds in Dark Chocolate takes them to the next level for the perfect snacking companion for your next cup of something warm.

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Strawberries & Cream Filled Donuts

Maybe you are a mom.  Or have a mom.  Or know a mom.  I mean, any reason to make and eat these for Mother's Day brunch or breakfast this weekend is completely legitimate. 

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Moi?  I will not be having fresh donuts, or sleeping in because hello, nursing infant.  Instead, I'll be making sure that little boys are at least acceptably clean, small tummies (and the adult ones too because hangry is real) are full, and shoes are on feed before we all shoo ourselves out the door to church.  And you know something?  I think it'll still be a stellar morning.

But I have to admit, I wouldn't mind donuts.  I mean, I don't ever mind donuts.  My relationship with them is on a scale of "Oh, doesn't that sound good!" to "GIVE ME FRIED BALLS OF SWEET DOUGH LEST I DIE" and I'm usually somewhere in the middle.  And I feel like one of Instagram's greatest gifts to humanity is making us all lean towards the crazy obsessed end of the eat all the donuts spectrum.  Meaning, I'm usually more into them than not.  Throw some strawberries and cream in the middle, and it's all over, because I freakin' LOVE strawberries.  And who doesn't love some pastry cream oozing out of their donuts?

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So all of that to say?  If theere's a mother in your life that you need to show some extra love to this weekend, you have found your answer.  Right here, right now.

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Because doesn't everyone speak the love language of donuts?

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Strawberries & Cream Filled Donuts
Light, raised donuts filled with strawberries and cream-- what better way to enjoy a spring brunch?
Ingredients
  • 1 batch yeasted or sourdough donuts, tossed in sugar (links provided below)
  • 10-12 fresh, ripe strawberries, medium to large
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
Make donuts according to directions, leaving them whole without a hole in the centers. When you are removing them from the frying oil, place them immediately in a bowl of granulated sugar and toss quickly to coat them.For the cream filling: in a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup milk, 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.Heat the milk, sugar, and salt over medium heat until simmering, then slowly whisk into the egg yolks a spoonful at a time, bringing them up to a similar temperature. Once it is all combined, return to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or rubber spatula. Bring to mixture back to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. It should be able to hold it's shape for a few seconds before falling off of a spoon, and will continue the thicken as it cools. Once it is ready, remove from the heat, add the butter and vanilla, and place in a clean bowl. Place a piece of cling wrap directly on the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely chilled.While the cream is chilling, smash the strawberries in the bottom of a small pan. Combine the 2 Tbsp. white sugar and 2 tsp. cornstarch, then stir into the berries and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This will help the strawberries release their juices and not scorch. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and the juices are no longer cloudy from the cornstarch.To prepare the donuts, insert something long and thin into one side (I like to use a metal kebab skewer), and gently move it back and forth to create a space inside the donuts.Place the cooled cream and strawberry mixture into separate pastry bags with round tips on them (you want a fairly large opening on the tip, approximately 1/4". I used a Wilton number 14). Insert the tips into the slit you've created in each donut and squeeze the fillings in alternately. You should feel the donut getting heavier in your hand and slightly swelling as you fill it. Donuts are best served the day they are made and filled, but will keep in an airtight container overnight in the refrigerator.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 donuts
 Raised Sourdough Donuts

Raised Sourdough Donuts

 Glazed Yeast Donuts

Glazed Yeast Donuts

Denmark // Wienerbrød // Danish Braid

We’re at D now.  D as in Denmark. D as in… Danishes.  Oh yes, I am going there.  I’ve kept it pretty serious up until now with entrees and mostly solid, hearty fare with only a little bit of sweetness in the Belgian waffles.  So now it’s time to break out the sugar, jam, and puff pastry.

These are pastry perfection.  They are essentially puff pastry (which equals LOTS OF BUTTER) filled with the perfect amount of lightly sweetened filling.  Fun fact—the name Weiner points to the history of the pastries.  In the 1850s, Danish bakers went on strike, forcing owners to hire from abroad.  Viennese bakers answered the call, bringing with them their very own recipes and traditions to Denmark and becoming quite popular with the tempting new dainties.  Once all of the ruffled feathers were smoothed and the Danish bakers went back to work they kept the new recipes around, tweaking them to align with Danish traditions and preference, and what we know as the danish was born.

Usually, danishes in America are served as individual pastries, which are completely acceptable and adorable.  But I wanted to try my hand at the other traditional way to make them by creating a sort of braided loaf.  And I loved the way it turned out!  It was beautiful and elegant, and even if it didn’t look perfect, it tasted it. 

The cardamom was a new flavor for me to work with, and though I wasn’t sure about it at first, the flavor is perfect.  A more floral, aromatic spice, it seems to be felt in your mouth rather than tasted, and doesn’t have the punch of something more pungent like cinnamon. 

I love the flexibility that these afford.  You can choose different flavor fillings (I opted for wild blueberry jam), and while it’s lightly sweet and delicious on it’s own for a weekend breakfast, a little drizzle of icing can add to the dessert wow factor.  

Wienerbrod // Danish Braid
Makes two 16" braids

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Preserves or jam (blueberry, strawberry, or seedless raspberry are all wonderful options)
  • 1  egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water

Optional Toppings

  • Sliced Almonds
  • Pearl Sugar

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Directions:

Cut butter into ½” chunks, and place into a large mixing bowl with flour.  Cut flour and butter together with a pastry blender or knives until the butter is the size of small beans.  You want to leave large enough pieces to make nice butter layers in your dough, which create a puffy, flaky texture.

In a small bowl, dissolve active dry yeast in warm water (between 100-110 degrees). Let stand for 10 minutes before stirring in the cream, cardamom, salt, eggs and sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and butter, and use a large spoon or spatula to turn the flour/butter mixture into the liquid. Carefully mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and a dough is beginning to form. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, overnight or up to 4 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out dough to make a 16 to 20 inch square. Fold dough into thirds, rotate dough a quarter of turn and fold into thirds again, making a small square. Turn over dough. Repeat rolling and folding another three times (for a total or 4 times folding). Divide into to small squares, then wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll each square of dough into a 12” x 16” rectangle. If not making both braids at the same time, you can leave the second square in the refrigerator.

Spread filling down the length of center of your rectangle, covering the center third of the dough. Cut slanting strips at 3/4 inch intervals (see picture) along both sides towards the center. Criss-cross strips over the filling. Carefully move braid onto your baking sheet and let dough rise for 15-30 minutes, or until pastry looks slightly puffy. Beat the egg and water together and gently brush onto the dough with a pastry brush and if you want to, sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or almonds.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. To make icing, mix together powdered sugar, warm milk and vanilla or almond extract. Drizzle icing on top and let set before cutting. Enjoy!