Tag Archives: brown sugar


19 Jan

I was walking through Trader Joe’s the other week and saw a flat package wrapped in opaque wax paper labeled “Almond Kringle.  From Wisconsin!  Limited Quantities available!”  You may know that I love almond everything.  Side story: I love the almond soap they have on Amtrak trains.  A lot.  So much that I tweeted once about how much I love it and where could I find some?  And Amtrak tweeted back to me, and I ended up getting a bottle of soap that doesn’t have a flat bottom (it screws in to the train) so I can’t use it unless I empty the soap into another container.  And it was great.

Also, I’m from Minnesota, so if I run into something in Texas that says “from the midwest!” I’ll buy it (also I am a sucker).  And “Limited quantities available,” because I am a sucker, means that I’ll buy it.  All the ingredients were in place for me to get this magical, amazing delicious experience (I’m not the only one who feels this way).  After getting home and taking a bite of the oval shaped pastry that came out of the mystery bag, I laughed and couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes.  My husband had a bite, and then we both texted all the people we knew from Wisconsin and told them that while we loved them, they are not the best thing to come from Wisconsin.

After we polished off our TJ’s Kringle in three days (it’s a bit over a pound, and contains at least one pound of butter), I decided to try to make my own.  The official recipe will have you use just over a pound of butter and take three days to make all the layers.  But there are plenty of homemade ones out there that do not take three days or tons of rolling, and that’s what I did.  You can stuff kringles with anything, but the TJ’s one was filled with marzipan (yum) and I did a coconut and almond filling for mine.  Many recipes were just butterscotch (butter + sugar).

I also was still in a bit of a funk when I decided to impulse make the kringle, so no ingredient photos.  The dough and recipe is super simple, but this was my first time making a filled pastry so I did a bad job (who knew you have to actually close it all the way, or the filling all falls out?!)


Dough or dough not, there is no try

The dough was just cutting butter into flour, then adding in yogurt (the recipe called for sour cream, but I use yogurt as a substitute for most white goops like mayo, sour cream, and sometimes butter/margarine/shortening).   The dough is VERY STICKY.


Though if you want a doughnut this is not the recipe for you

Wrap it up in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a while (all day is great, or overnight).  Meanwhile you can put together the filling, which is another cup of butter beaten with brown sugar and shredded coconut and almond pieces.  I put my coconut in a dry pan on the stove for a few minutes, until lightly brown and toasty.  I also used sweetened shredded coconut, unsweetened flaked would also be fine.


Happy MLK Day! You could also think of social justice once a week all day, perhaps AllMond ays?

Now you split the dough into two halves, and leave one in the fridge while you roll out the other on a very floured surface (remember, sticky) until very, very thin.  Far thinner than expected for a person who’s never made a filled pastry before.


I had some friends over while I made this kringle and we were watching Clueless and at this point I kept saying I was ‘rollin with my homies.’ Actually this isn’t true because I don’t have friends to watch Clueless with while baking.

Filling goes in one long line down the middle.  If you want to make two separate danishes, like lines, then stop before the ends so you can tuck down the top.  I put my two halves together so spread the filling pretty far to the ends.


If baking was Hollywood we’d celebrate avant garde fil(ling)makers

The recipe called for some fancy cutting and braiding, but didn’t have pictures.  I attempted this on the first half and then all the filling went out through the holes.  So, good luck to you if you decide to go the braided danish route- check for seals in your dough!  Instead, I recommend just folding the two sides over and making a less beautiful but more structurally sound tube of dough.


Kringles at TJ’s come from O&H bakery in Racine, Wisconsin. The other option besides the O is an H shape. This is not true.

See all the holes in my kringle above?  Don’t do that.  But do make two tubes and tuck them together to make the beautiful wreath shape of the kringle.  Bake at 375 until golden brown and it smells SO GOOD and it’s SO GOOD.  Even if it doesn’t turn out beautiful.


Easy coconut-almond kringle, adapted from Taste of Home

2 c flour

1 lb (4 sticks) butter

1 c full-fat plain yogurt (or sour cream)

1 c brown sugar

2 c sliced almonds

2 c shredded coconut, toasted

Cut 1 c (2 sticks) butter into the flour, until you have pea-sized chunks or smaller of butter.  Mix in the yogurt well, until you have very sticky dough.  Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate all day or overnight or at least a few hours.

Beat the brown sugar with the remaining cup of butter.  Toast the almonds and coconut by putting each in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring lightly a few times, until they smell yummy and look lightly brown/toasty.  Mix the almonds and coconut (or whatever filling of nuts/fruits you want here) in with the butter and brown sugar mix.

Split the chilled dough into two halves.  Preheat oven to 375.  Roll out dough very thin into a rough rectangle, then put one half of the filling in one straight line down the middle of the dough.  Either cut and braid the outsides in, or fold them over.  Do so with both halves, then push the halves together into an oval shape on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned.


The EGGNOGstravaganza part II: bacon stuffed eggnog french toast

9 Jan

This is a ridiculously decadent and delicious breakfast.  Crispy salty bacon, sweet maple filling, and rich eggnog.  You can make this without the leftover eggnog (use eggs+milk+sugar instead), or without the bacon.  It’s so good.

Pros to this dish: all delicious ingredients, all delicious.  There's no way this is BAd, no CONs at all, even if you forget the bacon

Pros to this dish: all delicious ingredients, all delicious. There’s no way this is BAd, no CONs at all, even if you forget the bacon.

I did not know about the best way to cook bacon until I made this dish!  There’s even a website devoted to it.  Just put your bacon into a baking pan and put into the cold oven.  Set to 400, and set the timer for 20 minutes.  That’s it!  Magical crispy bacon every time.

Bakin bacon

Bake in a pyrex

Don't bake on the stove!

Don’t bake on the stove!

And that way you can prepare the rest of the dish while the bacon is cooking.  Make the filling: mix cream cheese with brown sugar and a dash of maple syrup.  I used half a block of cream cheese, and a little less than that amount of brown sugar.  You can’t really have too much of this filling.  It’s SO GOOD.

If you needed to translate the first person direct object pronoun into the most widely spoken aboriginal language in Canada, you could say to a speaker, "Cree me"

If you needed to translate the first person direct object pronoun into the most widely spoken aboriginal language in Canada, you could say to a speaker, “Cree me.”

And if the largest group of First Nations people in Canada made their own concoction a la Mississippi pie, they could call it Cree Mud

And if the largest group of First Nations people in Canada made their own concoction a la Mississippi pie, they could call it Cree Mud

The big plus of using eggnog for french toast is that you don’t have to measure anything, really.  Just whisk (number of people) eggs in with some eggnog (1/2 c per person or so).  A pie tin is the best vessel for this, so you can dip your bread.

Then spread your bread with the deliciousness, and put a piece of bacon in every other piece of bread.

This bread is like the CBS daytime lineup, ready for Phil-ing (though CBS uses the doctor and we'll use bacon)

This bread is like the CBS daytime lineup, ready for Phil-ing (though CBS uses the doctor and we’ll use bacon)

Make little sandwiches of wonderful, and quickly dip them in the eggnog mix.  Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they’re nice and brown and yummy looking.



If this bread was wearing underwear would it be a diphthong?  Unfortunately I'm pretty bad at telling what a diphthong is (Vietnamese is full of them)

If this bread was wearing underwear would it be a diphthong? Unfortunately I’m pretty bad at telling what a diphthong is (Vietnamese is full of them)

Everyday is FryDay!

Everyday is FryDay!

No need for makeup here, we certainly don't need any brownzer

No need for makeup here, we certainly don’t need any brownzer

Usually people serve french toast with syrup but this basically has syrup inside it.  It’s very good with a side of bacon.

IMG_20141221_112446087 IMG_20141221_112658982

Bacon stuffed eggnog french toast.  This is ingredients per person.

Two pieces of good bacon-one for stuffing and one for eating.  If you’re using the thin little slices double this.

Two pieces of white bread (white soaks up the egg better)

One egg

1/2 cup eggnog

1 oz cream cheese (so I made four servings and used half a package)

~ 1 TB brown sugar

~1 tsp maple syrup

A little bit of butter (for frying)

If you’re literally making this for one person, don’t dirty another pan and just cook your bacon in the pan you’re planning on using.  If more, though, use the bacon method– line a pan with bacon and put into a cold oven.  Turn to 400 degrees, and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Beat the egg and eggnog together in a pie pan.

Mix the cream cheese, brown sugar, and maple syrup together.  Spread on the bread slices.

Break a piece of bacon in half and put into a sandwich.  Dip both sides of the sandwich into the eggnog mixture, and fry in a skillet over medium heat until nice and brown on both sides.  Serve with the other piece of bacon.

Cranberry cookies from the bag recipe

9 Mar

Whenever I’m idling somewhere I have a tendency of reading everything in sight.  For instance, at the dentist’s office I like trying to anagram the words on the posters while I’m waiting.  (Cancer: nothing.  Medicine: I end mice!  I am the mouse destroyer!  Rawwwr!)  Anyway, I was eating oatmeal the other morning and noticed a recipe on the brown sugar bag, so thought I’d try it!  Yum!

You cran do it; put your bake into it

You cran do it; put your bake into it

There’s not too much to these delightfully fluffy, slightly spicy fruit cookies (it’s like light fruitcake in a cookie).  I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  I also use yogurt in place of mayonnaise (like egg salad etc.)- just add some lemon.  Anyways, I thought I’d make a challenge to myself to wash as few dishes as possible: one bowl, one whisk, one measuring cup cookies.  I ended up adding a measuring spoon too.


I wonder if the author of Mme Bovary’s friends ever said things like “That’s so Flaubert.” (a la that’s so raven). And maybe they’d shorten it to “that’s so flau”. Or if there was something he’d really like more than the first thing, it’s ever more flau, or flau-er. Probs not cuz they were French and it was the 1800s.

Usually I use two bowls: one for wet ingredients and another for dry, then mix them together.  This time I whisked up the flour, baking soda, and spices in the bowl, and then dumped the blend onto some parchment paper (which I would later use to bake on, so I wouldn’t have to wash the cookie sheet).

Next, as usual, you should cream your butter and sugar.  Since this was on the brown sugar bag it called for only brown sugar, which was surprising but also great.  Brown sugar has this beautiful depth to it which really works with the spices and fruits.  There’s a reason sugar cookies are made with white sugar.

Oh sugar sugar, you are my cookie base... and you got me wanting you

Oh sugar sugar, you are my cookie base… and you got me wanting you

Next we finish off the wet ingredients with yogurt and an egg.  Next time I’d probably also add a splash of vanilla.


Yo yo yo yippee yo yippee yay-gurt

I couldn’t take a picture of me putting the flour into the wet ingredients because it used both hands, but be assured it was awesome.  I just picked up the parchment paper and the flour easily slid right down the chute.  So great!


These raisins sure are raising the bar for these cookies. (But really it’s the baking soda that does that.)

Finally you mix in a handful of golden raisins and a handful of dried cranberries.  To make pretty cookies, the next step is key, which is why I didn’t do it.   Use a tablespoon or even a tablespoon and a half measuring spoon to make perfectly round little mounds on your parchment paper.  These cookies don’t spread very much so how you plop them is basically what you get.


Drop it like it’s hot makes sense, but for cookie dough you more drop it like it’s lukewarm.

Bake that for 8 minutes at 400 degrees.  When these babies came out I thought they didn’t quite have enough flavor, so I heated up some leftover coffee until it was almost boiling (aka for 45 seconds in the microwave) and the stirred some chocolate chips into it.


Do you want less cha? No, mocha!

Then I drizzled this very beautifully over the cooling cookies while my lovely children played quietly in the garden with the buckets of 100-dollar bills we had won last week in the raffle.  I’m just kidding, my kids would never play quietly.  But I’m seriously kidding, I don’t have buckets of dollars.  Or kids.  Anyways.  I threw the chocolate on the cookies.


Oof I better wrap this post up because I’m running a little (choco)late

These were pretty good at first, but they were AWESOME after a few hours of sitting.  The sweet chocolate was a perfect offset to the warm spicy rich flavors with a curiously light and fluffy texture.

Recipe, adapted from the Domino brown sugar bag:  I only made a half batch because I ran out of flour, and it’s sort of closer to a third of a batch also.  This recipe makes some number of cookies (about 2 dozen):


1/3-1/2 c brown sugar (I used 1/3 to offset the sweetness of the chocolate, but if you don’t want to do the chocolate drizzle, use 1/2.  You should probably use 1/2 anyway.)

1 stick butter

Until creamy.  Then beat in:

1 egg

1/4  c yogurt

Separately, whisk together:

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg

Beat wet and dry ingredients together, then stir in:

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/2 c golden raisins

Bake 8-10 minutes at 400 until the edges are lightly brown and the tops look dry.  While letting cool, heat up:

1/3 c coffee

And then stir into the hot coffee:

1/2-3/4 c chocolate chips

Until the chocolate chips are melted and you have a good texture.  Then drizzle your melted chocolate-coffee beautifully over your cooling cookies (parchment paper is good for this).

These are best after they’ve cooled, with a cup of tea.

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