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Banana Date Bread

Ok I just purchased these bananas yesterday from the local grocery store and they are already going bad. It’s time to make some banana bread but I’m adding a little twist I’m going to add some dates and a cheesecake filling. I’m also using some new individual serving containers I purchased this year that can be baked in, covered and sold.


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ripe bananas (mashed)
1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon apple spice
1/2 teaspoon salt


8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all purpose flour


1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In this recipe you can use a loaf pan or small serving containers like I did however you have to adjust your baking times For a loaf pan spray the inside with vegetable spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer (starting with the batter) with a paddle attachment at medium speed add the butter and sugars and mix until combined. Add in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, dates and bananas until well mixed. In a medium bowl add the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, spice and salt and whisk together. At a low speed add the dry flour mixture to the wet and mix until just incorporated. Set aside
Filling, mix as you would for a cheesecake by mixing the cream cheese and sugar until a smooth consistency. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs and flour until just combined without over mixing.
Set aside.
Topping; place the dry ingredients into a small bowl and cut in the butter until a crumble forms and set aside.

Now let’s assemble, pour about 1/4 to 1/2 batter into the pan then spread the filling over the top. Add the remaining batter over the filling to cover it. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake for about 1 hour and 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Chef Brian Klauss

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This makes a wonderful cake with some crisp cookie like edges and has a moist flavorful taste. Great with a scoop of ice cream.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
3 1/2 cups peeled, cored and cubed apples (granny smith or honey crisp)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and center the oven rack. You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan or in my case I used 5 mini bundt pans. (greased and floured)

In a bowl of a stand mixer whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices. Using a paddle attachment and at a medium speed add in the butter, oil and eggs until combined. Then at a low speed add in the chopped apples and raisins until blended. Turn the batter into the prepared pan or pans and smooth out evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

Glaze: Using 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 – 4 teaspoons milk. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the cooled apple cake.

Chef Brian Klauss

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When I make pies I always save the left over dough to make tarts. This is one of the recipes I used because it makes about 10 small tarts. You could always start from the beginning and make a standard pie dough or purchase a package of pie dough from the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. This recipe is easy and fast.


1 large egg
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rasins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup toffee crunch (coarsely chopped toffee)

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and locate a cupcake pan

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/16″ to 1/8″. Using a 3″ circle cutter cut 10 circles of dough. Lightly press each dough into the cupcake compartments forming a cup shape and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg. Add in the sugar and corn syrup, whip to incorporate. Whisk in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide both the raisins and pecans equally and place into the dough. Pour equal amounts of the egg butter mixture into each dough cup. Sprinkle each tart with the toffee crunch and bake in the center rack for 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly then run a knife around the side to help release while cooling. Allow to cool 20 minutes then remove and place onto a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Poppy Seed Roll

I stopped by on a Saturday morning at a farmers market in the Villages in Florida to find some wonderful baked goods. While shopping I came upon two ladies selling an assortment of Romanian style baked goods. They looked wonderful and tasted just as good. One of the items I decided to make myself….A Poppy Seed Roll


1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 packet of instant yeast (2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg

1 cup poppy seeds (extra for topping)
1/3 cup milk (boiling)
1/2 cup ground almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of a lemon

Egg Wash (whisk together and set side)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl add the yeast and the warm milk and allow to stand for 5 minutes. The yeast should begin to froth up. In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the yeast mixture egg and vegetable oil and with a hook attachment mix at a medium speed until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl. (you may need to add a little more flour if necessary) Remove the dough and knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Place the dough into a slightly oiled medium bowl, lightly covered and allow to proof for about an hour.

Place the poppy seeds into a food grinder until they become moist then place into the boiling water and allow to boil for 5 minutes, set side. Grind the almonds and add to the cooled poppy seeds along with the sugar, vanilla extract and zest and mix well.

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to about a 10″ x 12″ shape. Spread the poppy seed mixture and roll up starting at the 10″ end. Place the roll with the seam side down onto the prepared pan, cover with a towel and allow to double in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours). Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool and serve

Chef Brian Klauss

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Making candy especially toffee can be very easy. The key to it is being patient and allowing the candy to come to the correct temperature. A thick sauce pan with high sides, good candy thermometer and quality ingredients make the difference. This recipe calls for heavy whipping cream which never seems to be in the refrigerator when you need it. But because it has a good shelf life and can be used in several recipes such as whip cream and ganache you should make it a point to put it on your shopping list.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup good quality honey
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup shelled chopped pistachio nuts

You will need a mini 1 1/4″ cupcake pan lined with paper (Makes 30)

Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan except for the nuts. Stir the ingredients to incorporate, then place over a medium to high heat. Attach your candy thermonitor to the pan and bring the ingredients to a boil. Allow the ingredients to reach 255 degrees (hard ball stage) Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Using the two spoon method, which is using one spoon to scoop up the mixture and the other one to help slide it into the paper cups. Fill all the paper liners, allow to cool at a room tempeture for 6- 8 hours.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Strawberry Scones

Its strawberry season here in Florida and what a great time to make strawberry scones. Scones are a biscuit like pastries and are usually eaten at breakfast. We make several Scones flavors each day at the Bakery. This recipe I have added fresh strawberry and chopped them into 1/4″ pieces and glaze the scone with a vanilla icing. The key to a great scone if to keep the batter cold, use cold or frozen butter. Also don’t over mix the batter which can make the dough tough and not flakey.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, center the rack in the oven and spray a 1/2 sheet pan with vegetable spray

2 cups all purpose pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed and cold (even frozen)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup of fresh strawberry chopped into 1/4″ sizes
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl add in the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter to form a crumble, add in the heavy whipping cream and eggs to form the batter. Fold in the frozen fresh strawberry and roll out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just to incorporated. Form a 10″ x 6″ square and place onto the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove the sheet pan and cut into your desired shapes, space out 2″ apart and bake 25 – 35 minutes until the tops are a golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool. To make the drizzle, add the confectioners sugar with the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well and when the scones are completely cooled coat with the drizzle.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Brioche Buns

These buns are soft, light, buttery and great for sandwiches.

(Dough Starter)
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg

Start by adding all the above ingredients of the starter into a small bowl and whisking together. Then cover for about 1 1/2 hours on your counter. (should bubble)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter (soft)
3 eggs

Egg Wash;
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
Whisk together and apply with a food safe brush

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, sugar and yeast, mix then add the salt. With a dough hook at a low speed add in the dough starter and the eggs and mix at a medium speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the butter, about a tablespoon at a time (the dough will appear very sticky but will firm in the refrigerator) Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and scrape the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to raise in a warm area until double in size. Place the dough into the refrigerator for about an hour, then deflate it and place it back into the refrigerator overnight. Pull the chilled dough and place it onto a lightly floured surface and deflate. Separate the dough into desired portions (I used 6 – 4″ tart pans which were sprayed with vegetable spray) Then proof by allowing the formed dough to double again in size in a warm location in a covered proof box or covered with a damp kitchen towel. Egg wash the tops with a brush and bake in the middle rack of your oven at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. This will vary depending on your shape and size but they should be golden brown and sound hollow. When slightly cooled remove from molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Several weeks ago I was at a farmers market in Florida where a french baker was selling his selection of baked goods. He had a fabulous spinach mozzarella bread that had just a hint of garlic. I decided after having several slices that I had to make this bread. It is great toasted with a little butter or sliced smaller and offered with a selection of cheeses and meats. Any way you decide to consume it I think you will like the flavor and texture.

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup water (room temperature)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded) and a little extra for topping
1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and juice squeezed out)

First make the sponge by adding all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix to incorporate, cover and allow to sit on the counter for at least 3 hours (This will help the flavor, texture)
For the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the flour, salt and yeast then mix to incorporate. In the sponge bowl stir in the water, sugar and oil until combined. Add this sponge mixture, spinach, mozzarella cheese and garlic to the dry ingredients and mix at a low speed to combine. Increase the speed and knead the dough until the dough pulls from the side of the bowl (you may need to add a little flour if necessary) The dough should be slightly sticky but soft. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and add the dough flipping so both sides are coated. Cover and place into a warm area allowing the dough to raise doubling in size. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and position your rack towards the bottom of your oven. Spray a small bread pan 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ (a set of 6) with vegetable spray. Divide the dough equally into the six pans and tap down to seat the dough. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the center reaches 201 – 210 degrees. Allow to cool slightly then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

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We make and package popcorn at the bakery and we are always looking to create different flavors to add to the line up. This one I think turned out good enough to add to the shelves. It is a take on S’mores. We added graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and milk chocolate to our caramel popcorn. You could make this right at home.

1 cup of unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
1 cup of crushed graham crackers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts fresh popped popcorn

Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees and locate a candy thermometer.
Place the popped popcorn into a large heat proof bowl that will accommodate 10 quarts (or a large pot). Set into the oven to keep warm. (During the coating process and before adding the marshmallow you may need to move the pan back and forth into the oven to help completely coat the popcorn.)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, salt, corn syrup and bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Stop stirring and bring the solution to 285 degrees. Remove from the heat and add in the baking soda and vanilla extract, stir allowing the caramel to foam. Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and stir to completely coat, while still hot and sticky add in the graham crackers and stir to incorporate. Allow to cool slightly then add in half of the marshmallows. After almost completely cooled add in the rest. Break the caramel corn up throughout the process into individual pieces. In a microwave melt the chocolate for 1 – 2 minutes a minute at a time. Lay the popcorn mixture onto two half sheet pans and drizzle with the chocolate. Refrigerate the sheet pan for about 1 hour allowing the chocolate to set up. Break apart and allow to come to room temperature. Store in an air tight container.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Chocolate Pecan Tart

Tarts are always available at the bakery. This tart is a chocolate pecan tart that takes about two hours to complete but if you like chocolate and nuts you will love this one. This will make either a 10″ large tart or six 4″ tarts. I made the later because I like making individual desserts. You can also finish them off with whip cream and a little chocolate chard.

Ingredients; ( Sweet tart pastry)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cold unsalted butter (slightly short of one stick)
1 egg yolk
2 – 3 teaspoons water

4 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter (soften)
2/3 cup of brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans

Spray your tart tin with vegetable spray and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Tart crust; add the flour, confectioners sugar and butter to a food processor and blend to form a crumb texture. Add in the egg yolk and water and pulse to form the dough. Pull the dough and knead slightly and place into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Filling: Microwave the chocolate for about one minute and stir until smooth, set aside. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer add the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and mix until blended. add in the eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate until smooth. Fold in the pecans, set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. Cut to the desired size of your pan and press into the sides and bottom. Refrigerate again for about 15 minutes. Dock the dough with a fork and pre-bake in the center rack of your oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill each tart shell to the top with the filling. Bake again for 30 minutes until set. Allow to cool 10 minutes then remove the tart tin and place onto a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

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