Spritz Cookie

Every year right before the Holidays my grandchildren and I make cookies. The favorites like Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal and Peanut Butter are a given but Spritz cookies made with a cookie press are fast, easy and decorate with just about anything with a little imagination. We use cookie icing, sprinkles, chocolate, nuts, dry fruits, and just about anything that sticks to it. We also flavor the dough with vanilla, almond, butterscotch, chocolate and even maple flavorings. Here is the standard recipe we use with our Wilton cookie press.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (soften)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl add the flour and baking powder and mix well, set aside. In a stand mixer add the butter and sugar mix until its light and fluffy. Then add the egg and vanilla at medium speed until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture forming a smooth dough. Fill the cookie press and apply directly to an ungreased cookie sheet 1/2″ apart. Make sure you press firmly to the sheet pan with the cookie press so that the dough sticks to the surface. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes on the center rack, the edges should be slightly tan in color when done.

Chef Brian Klauss









Butter Tart

Several years ago a good Canadian friend of mine gave me a recipe for butter tarts. I have to say I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to finally make it. In this recipe however instead of making individual tarts I made a large tart in a 9″ spring form pan and after it was set and frozen I cut it into pie sliced shapes. I must say if you love a sweet brown sugar tart this is the one for you.

Tart DoughIMG_7174
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
1 egg

3 tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

For the dough, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. With a pastry cutter add the butter until it forms a crumble like mixture. Add in the egg and blend to form the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 – 5 minutes then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For the filling, Cream the sugar and butter with a hand mixer, add the vanilla, salt and egg. Mix until well blended then hand mix in the raisins and walnuts.
In a 9″ spring pan press in the dough to form a shell with approximately 1/2″ of dough running up the sides. Dock the dough with a docker or fork then spread in the filling.

Bake for 10 – 14 minutes until the top is set, place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes until slightly frozen, remove and cut into pie shape slices.

Chef Brian Klauss


Chrusciki (Angle Wings)

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Detroit and on occasion I would travel to Hamtramek, Michigan which at that time was populated with a lot of people of Polish descent. There you could get great punchki’s, pierogi’s and of course the bakeries had Chruscikis (angle Wings) sitting on a shelf in large clear bags. It wasn’t unusual to drive back home to find you just ate the entire bag. I have never made them before, but I did today….here is the recipe I used

1 cup all purpose flourIMG_7173
2 tablespoons sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanila
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
3 cups of powered sugar to dust
1 quart of canola oil

In a small bowl add the eggs and sugar. With a hand mixer blend until it thickens and forms a lemon color. Add in the sour cream, vanilla, orange zest at a lower speed until well blended. Slowly add in the flour to form a dough like consistency. You may need to add slightly more flour to achieve. Turn out onto a flour surface and knead for approximately 3 – 5 minutes, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a medium size pot allow the oil to reach 350 degrees

While the oil is heating remove half the dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a floured surface until it is approximately 1/16″ thick and around a 12″ – 14″ square. With a pizza cutter cut 1 1/4″ strips 3 1/2″long, then make a slice into each strip and pull one end through to form a bow. Place onto a 1/2 sheet pan keeping them separated, then do the other half of the dough. Place 3 – 4 strips into the prepared oil and allow to fry until slightly brown then quickly turn over (This should only take 20 – 30 seconds) Remove the fried dough with a fork and place onto another 1/2 sheet pan lined with paper towel. Allow the fried dough to cool then dust both sides generously with powered sugar. These are best consumed that day but will keep for a few days in a loose fitting container.

Chef Brian Klauss







Keto Pizza

Last year I didn’t open the bakery because of several medical problems. Even though I run 5 miles every other day and work weight training sections every other day I still couldn’t stop the medical problems from rearing its ugly head. I was diagnose with Wolf Parkinson and had surgery to correct that, then I had a double hernia which became infected and I spent several days in the hospital for that.  Luckily the infection cleared up, however they discovered that I also had an enlarged Aorta. The doctor placed me on high blood pressure medication and suggested I lose 20 pounds. Of course all the time spent undergoing medical treatments caused me to stop working out and it caused me to gain weight. I decided to get back to exercising and go on the Keto diet. The Keto diet is low Carbs with a lot more fats, which is what I prefer to eat. Here is a pizza recipe I made yesterday.IMG_7164

1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup of almond flour
4oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9″ spring form pan with vegetable spray then cut and line the pan with parchment paper.

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well with your hands until you form a dough like ball. Remove the dough and press into the prepared pan. Wet your hands from time to time which will help prevent the dough from sticking to you. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Allow the pizza crust to cool and remove from the pan. Remove the parchment paper and place on a pizza pan or sheet pan. Add a sugar free pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni (any other keto topping you like) Place back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Chef Brian Klauss

This is a Scottish classic which we make from time to time. Shortbread should only vary in color slightly, however the bottom should be a slight golden brown when completely baked.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper

1 1/2 cups all purpose flourIMG_7161
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
11 tablespoons unsalted butter (soften)
4 oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sliced Almonds

Toasting Almonds; (heat your oven to 350 degrees, spread the almonds evenly on a half sheet pan and bake for 3-4 minutes. They should turn slightly brown. Allow to cool before adding to the batter)

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter, cream cheese, sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the flour and corn starch and toasted almonds mix until well blended. Remove from the bowl and knead until the dough comes together, flatten out to 1//2 to 3/4 inches. Cut with a shortbread cookie cutter or a cookie cutter of your choosing. Place onto the prepared cookie sheet sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate for at least hour. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes and allow to cool 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies are one of the most popular cookies we make at the bakery. Just like any good cookie you have to start with the very best ingredients and you have to be consistent with the recipe, size and baking times and temperature. One way to control the size of your cookie is to use a small to medium ice cream scoop with a lever release. Your cookie batter will come out the exact size each time. You could also use a scale and measure the batter weight but I find that the scoop is much easier.

1 cup good quality peanut butterIMG_7158
1 cup soften unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups of shelled peanuts (optional)

Pre Heat your oven to 375 degrees

In a stand mixer blend the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy. In a medium bowl add the flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix. Now add the eggs and flour mixture intermittently to the sugar mixture until well blended. Mix the peanuts in by hand. Place the batter by using an ice cream scoop approximately 1 1/2″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a fork press each cookie batter down slightly in a cross pattern. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to allow the dough to stiffen slightly. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until the edges are slightly brown, allow to cool 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

There are many ways to make brownies and many flavors you can add to them but it always starts with a great chocolate base. Here I have taken the basic good  quality brownie recipe and added a little peppermint candy flavoring and sprinkled it with crushed peppermint candy. This is one for the holidays!

10oz dark chocolate (at least 50 percent cocoa solids) chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (soften)IMG_7147
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon peppermint candy flavoring
10 crushed peppermint candies

Spray a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with vegetable spray then line with parchment paper then spray the parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water making sure the water does not come in contact with the chocolate. Melt until the chocolate and butter are smooth, then set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Add in the sugar then the eggs one at a time and incorporate. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and blend well making sure there are no lumps. Add in the peppermint flavoring, mix then pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the crushed peppermint candy and bake for approximently 15 minutes until the top is solid to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours which will allow you to cut to your desired size easier. Remove from the pan and cut on a cutting board.

Chef Brian Klauss