Archive for January, 2020

Bacon Chedder Muffins

One thing I enjoy is BBQ Baby Back Ribs. I owned and operated a pizza carry-out business several years ago (The Perfect Pizza) in Washington Michigan. My daughter, my brother and even my nephew worked there. It was early in my Culinary years and I still had a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes were made, but you can never put a price on experience, good or bad. Anyway we sold “great fall off the bone ribs” and we always sold out of them everyday. The way I made them was to simmer the ribs for about 45 minutes on the stove top, then bake them off in the oven at a low heat for three hours in a small amount of the liquid left over from the pot. We would bast them in Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water!. When I made these Bacon Cheddar Muffins and took a bite of them it made me think of BBQ. These have cheese, bacon and pecan nuts in them and I could see myself wiping up the left over BBQ sauce on my plate with them………

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 cooked slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees and spray a cupcake pan with vegetable spray. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl whisk together the milk, egg and sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then pour the milk mixture in. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated, then fold in the cheese, nuts and bacon. Spoon the batter to the top of each cupcake insert. (should make 8) Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes in the center rack of your oven. Allow to cool slightly then remove and place on a cooling rack. These are great served warm with a a nice pat of butter.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Chocolate Eclairs

Making the Pate a Choux which is the shell for the eclairs is very easy and can be made ahead of time and frozen until you decide to fill them. You could even add cheese to the hot dough and make a savory shell, great for dipping into melted cheese or your favorite vegetable dip. I make Eclairs at the bakery all the time and usually fill them with a bavarian cream and top them with chocolate ganache. Today I’ve decided to make a chocolate filling that you can make right at home and a chocolate ganache to top them with. The finished product should be a nice crunchy shell with a smooth filling topped with that great chocolate ganache.

Pate a Choux (dough)
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper

In a medium sauce pan add the butter, water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Quickly add in the flour and whisk, mix well until incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and place the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a whip and begin to mix at a low to medium speed. Allow the dough to cool and mix for approximately 5 minutes (you don’t want to cook the eggs) When cooled add the eggs one at a time until a sticky dough like batter forms. In a pastry bag fitted with a star tip Wilton 1M begin to pipe out 3 1/2″ dough strips rocking slightly to form your eclairs onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes (should have almost doubled and turned slightly brown on the edges) Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes (the second heat is to allow the dough to dry out and form that crunchy exterior). Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, egg yolks and milk. Heat over a medium to high heat whisking until you form a smooth thick consistency. (8 – 10 minutes) Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla, salt and butter, stirring until the butter is melted and incorporated. Remove from the pan and place into a small bowel and cover with plastic wrap pushing down slightly to make contact with the mixture. (this will help avoid a skin layer from forming) Refrigerate and allow to cool completely.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with filling tip Wilton 230 with the chocolate pastry cream and fill each shell from both ends.

1/2 Cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi – sweet chocolate chips

In a small heat proof bowel add the chocolate chips. In a small sauce pan heat the cream until its begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and allow to stand until you see the chocolate melting. Whisk to form a nice smooth mixture.

Dip the tops of your filled eclairs and allow to cool. Keep refrigerated until serving

Chef Brian Klauss

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These are biscuits/cookies which are originally from Italy and the names comes from the latin word for “twice baked”. Because the cookies must be twice baked to make them dry and crunchy. They are great as is, but you can also dip them in melted chocolate. They have a sweet/salt nutty flavor and great for dipping into your favorite coffee.

1 cup of slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 1/2 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in the microwave oven and then allow to cool to room temperature. set aside. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes until slightly golden brown. When cooled place them on a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder, add the sugar and nut, then mix to incorporate. In a separate small bowl whisk the eggs, butter and vanilla then gradually pour into the flour mixture, stirring with a fork. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll out two dough logs approximately 8″ long. Place them on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. With a serrated knife make 1 1/2″ slices and then place back onto the sheet pan on their side and allow to bake another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip them over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack allowing them to dry and harden.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Well, the holidays are over and I’m back in Florida until the spring. I walked through the bakery just to make sure things were buttoned up before I left, I sure miss being at the bakery. I’ll admit waking up at 1am and starting the donuts is a little hard for someone over 60, but I still miss it. Anyways today I decided to make some pull apart bread. This recipe is very simple and it can be made either a sweet or savory. Chopping, slicing, or rolling small balls of dough allows for the finished bread to be pulled apart. Great for parties.

3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ounce of instant yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 eggs

2/3 cup grated parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Spray a 1/2 sheet pan with vegetable spray or line with parchment paper

In a bowl of a stand mixer add the milk, sugar and yeast. Mix to dissolve and allow to stand for 10 minutes (It should foam up) With the mixer at a low speed add in 1 cup flour and butter. Slowly add in an additional 1/2 cup flour and the eggs. Add in the salt and remaining flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes. Spray the mixing bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough. Flip the dough to ensure both sides are coated with the oil. Lightly cover the bowl and allow the dough to proof, approximately 1 1/2 hours (should almost double in size)
Pull the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 18″ x 16″ rectangle. (Filling) Spread the butter on the square dough then evenly spread the filling ingredients. Roll the dough from the long side and run a knife through the center to form two separate pieces. Rotate the dough with the split side up and begin to braid the dough and form a ring. Place the dough into a prepared 1/2 sheet tray and lightly cover with a damp towel. Allow to proof a second time approximately 1 1/2 hours. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the sheet tray into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool 20 minutes

Chef Brian Klauss

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