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Almond Crackers

Ok so I have continued  to move forward with my keto diet. I made it through Thanksgiving without consuming any carbohydrates and even lost a few pounds. I have to continue to find snacks to eat, so I decided to make Almond crackers which was listed on my Almond flour package. I added a little spice and cheese to this recipe and I think they turn out great. If you like spicy crackers with cheese try this out.

1 large eggIMG_0078
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cup Almond flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons Garlic Sriracha seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Mix all ingredients except the parmesan cheese together forming a dough ball. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten using a rolling pin to 1/8 thickness. Remove the top parchment paper and sprinkle the dough with parmesan cheese then cut the dough into 1″ squares and place onto a sheet pan and bake for 14 – 16 minutes until they are slightly brown. Cool the crackers on a cooling rack.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Almond filled Stollen

Stollen is a bread with nuts, spices and dried or candied fruit and sprinkled with powered sugar or icing. It is a traditional German bread eaten during the Christmas season. It was known to have been first baked in 1545. Over time it went from hard and tasteless to a rich sweeter tasting bread. This recipe I filled the center with almond paste. Just, slice a generous piece, slip it into a toaster and spread a little butter and you have a wonderful morning meal.

Preheat Oven at 375 degrees

Sponge: {better flavor is added to the bread with a sponge}IMG_7209
3/4 cup of bread flour
3/4 cup of warm water (100 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

Dough
2  cups bread flour (+ or -)
1/4 cup water (warm 100 degrees)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons dry powered milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter (very soft)
1/4 cup chopped Hazel Nuts toasted
1 lb. golden raisins (soaked in rum 12 hours.. optional)
1/4 cup dried dried cherries
1/2  cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
3/4 cup almond paste

Coating bread:
egg wash
unsalted butter (melted)
powered sugar

First make the sponge by hand mixing the yeast, flour, water together in a small bowl and allow it to sit covered for at least 2 hours up to 12.
In a stand mixer with a dough hook place in the sponge, flour, water, yeast, sugar, corn syrup, salt, egg, egg yolk, powered milk and vanilla. Mix on a medium speed for 8 – 10 minutes to incorporate the ingredients. Add in the butter until the dough is smooth. At a slow speed add in the hazel nuts, walnuts, cherries, orange peel and pistachios. Spray the inside of a medium bowl and add the dough flipping to coat both sides, cover lightly and place in a warm area to double in size. Pull the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces, flatten each piece, cover and bench rest for 20 minutes. Scale out 1/4 of the almond paste and roll into a log to the length of the dough. Place the almond paste into the center of each dough and fold over and seal edges. On a parchment paper lined sheet pan lightly sprayed with vegetable spray place each dough 2″ apart. Allow the dough to proof covered lightly in a warm area until a 50 percent increase in size. Brush with the egg wash and bake in the center of your oven for 45 minutes. Remove for the oven and brush with the melted butter. Allow to cool on a cooling rack then dust with powered sugar.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pretzel knots

Well another fantastic Thanksgiving has passed. It was great to spend time with friends and family, enjoying each others company and feasting on great food. This year I made plain, strawberry, cherry and apple cheesecakes, a selection of cookies, puff pastry flips and pretzel knots. Everyone enjoyed the food but the pretzel knots were a hit. The soft interior, the crusty salted exterior makes for a tasty bite and of course you can throw in a  nice spicy dipping sauce. Here is the recipe I used;

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees
IMG_7207
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
3/4 cup of luke warm water (110 degrees)
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Poaching 
1/2 cup baking soda
1 1/2 quart hot water
kosher salt

In a small bowl add the water and yeast and whisk, allow to sit about 10 minutes
In a stand mixer add the flour, sugar, salt and mix to incorporate. Add the milk and yeast and mix at a low speed until the dough gathers. (add a slight amount of flour or water to bring about a smooth dough) Remove the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for 7 – 8 minutes. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and flip the dough in the bowl to coat both sides. Lightly cover and allow the dough to double in size. Punch down the dough and remove from the bowl. Divide into 12 equal pieces and roll out forming a 7″ log and tie into a knot. Transfer the knots to a sprayed sheet pan and proof uncovered until double in size. Place the sheet pan in the refrigerator 30 – 40 minutes to form a crusty exterior. Poaching; In a large pot bring the water to a boil and add in the baking soda, reduce to a simmer and add in the dough knots. Poach the knots for approximately 30 seconds then flip and 15 seconds on the other side. Remove the dough with a slotted spoon and allow to drain then place on a sprayed sheet pan. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

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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.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Filling
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.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

 

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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.

Enjoy 
Chef Brian Klauss

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

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