Croissant Doughnuts… I’m Taking on the “Pull Off the Ultimate Pastry” Challenge from KitchenAid

For a year or more, I have been wanting to try my hand at making the trendiest trend in all of Food Land… the Cronut. But, time tends to slip away from me, and to be honest, a recipe as challenging as that just never seemed RIGHT. I needed a reason to contain myself in the kitchen for two solid days. I needed motivation. I needed a kick in the pants. I needed BlogHer and KitchenAid to force my hand. Guess what happened? They did. A group of bloggers were challenged by BlogHer and KitchenAid to create fabulous recipes that were a bit out of the norm, even for food bloggers who spend all of our time in the kitchen. I feel like I won the lottery – my challenge was PULL OFF THE ULTIMATE PASTRY. Of course, mine aren’t “officially” Cronuts – that name is trademarked – but they are every bit as inspired and every bit as delicious. Deep Fried Croissant Doughnuts.
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Say that without drooling. I dare you. So, I set about to make the croissant dough, because first things first – you MUST have the dough. I’ve made my share of laminated dough before, and I feel comfortable doing that. It’s soothing, watching your creation come to fruition. The smell, the feel in your hands as you fold, and fold, and fold… it’s a beautiful thing. The easiest part is tossing the ingredients in your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, and letting the mixer do the work for you. I use the paddle versus the dough hook for this – it works, and does an amazing job. Once the dough is mixed, just ball it up and place it in a greased bowl to allow it to rise until doubled. Me, I am fortunate, in that I am blessed with another incredible KitchenAid® appliance – the 48-Inch Dual-Fuel Commercial-Style Range. The oven is a godsend – it has a bread proofing feature. If you don’t have this, no worries, just be sure to cover the dough in plastic wrap, and tuck it into a warm spot to do its thing.
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While it is rising, make your Butter Block. Trust me, this is EASY. Take a couple of pieces of wax paper or parchment, and place two unwrapped softened sticks of butter between them. Use your fingers to press them down a bit, then roll them into a square, roughly 8 by 8. Now place the butter in the fridge and let it firm back up.
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Once you’ve doubled your dough in size, punch it down and wrap it in plastic. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour. This gives you enough time to wash a few dishes, check the mail, or take a nap. Me? I like to wash the dishes as I go, so that I don’t hate life so much when I am all finished and faced with a sink full of DIRTINESS. I have a KitchenAid® Dishwasher as well, so, whenever I can, I shove the mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and beaters in there. It does a great job – plus – out of sight, out of mind! My dishwasher has 40 targeted spray jets which makes things easy by eliminating the need for soaking and pre-scrubbing.
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Dishes done? Good. Now the real fun begins. Take the dough and roll it out to a large rectangle, roughly 12 inches by 20 inches. Now place the butter block on top of it, but with the corners of the butter pointing towards the outside edges of the dough. (I was nice, I took pictures for you!) From here, fold up the corners of the dough over the center of the butter, and pinch the seams together. You’ll find it easily comes together, and it will feel like you’ve been doing this for years!
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Now that the butter is safely encased inside the dough, roll it out again. A large rectangle again, about 10 inches by 24 inches. Give or take, it doesn’t have to be exact. Once it’s rolled out, fold it into thirds, like you would a letter. Easy peasy. You are now in possession of a dough made of 6 layers. Now it’s time to rest. Not YOU, silly! The dough. Wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to chill for an hour. Go run some errands. Take a bath. Call your mother. Just be sure to come back to the fridge in an hour. Unwrap the dough, and roll out the dough again. You can do this on a lightly floured surface, or, be like me and roll it on a non-stick baking mat. Again, we are rolling to 10 by 24, and folding into thirds. You are now in possession of…18 layers. Wrap again, fridge again, one hour, roll, fold. 54 layers. Wrap, fridge, hour. This time we roll to 6 inches by 18 inches. Much smaller this time. Don’t fold! Simply cut the rectangle of dough into 3 squares, 6×6. Stack the three squares. 162 layers. Holy Moly, y’all.
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Once again, it’s time to roll. 6 inches by 8 inches, roughly. Using a 2 inch biscuit or doughnut cutter, cut out a dozen circles. If you are using a biscuit cutter, use a smaller circle (like an apple corer or piping tip) to cut out a doughnut hole. No, I do not know what to tell you to do with the leftover scraps. Honestly, it pained me to see those beautiful scraps of dough, so mine are hanging out in the freezer until I know what to do. If you have ideas, I want them! But back to the task at hand. Place the doughnuts on a parchment or other non stick paper lined baking sheet, and allow them to rise. And rise they will. Mine grew huge! 30-45 minutes for me was the magic number, but it will depend on the temperature of your house, so just keep an eye on them. From here, it’s time to deep fry!
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Bring your oil to 350, then go for it! Fry these delicate croissant doughnuts about 2 to 3 at a time, being sure to turn them over as they fry. They will be glorious and golden brown, puffed and beautiful and worth every single minute you spent on them.
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The choice is now yours… how will you eat them? A simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk? (That’s yummy, of course!) Filled? Filled and glazed? Filled and glazed, and ganache? The choice is yours! Me, I made a quick chocolate whipped cream filling and topped with a dark chocolate ganache. But you can go wild! The hardest part is over, and YOU did it, just like I did.
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162 layers of flaky, buttery, croissant doughnut-y goodness. And while, yes, it did take some time, you didn’t have to crawl out of bed at 3:30am to be in line on a cold New York City street at 4am for the hopes of having one. Enjoy!
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Croissant Doughnuts

makes 12

Ingredients

  •  1 cup whole milk
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  1 tablespoon instant yeast
  •  4 cups all purpose flour
  •  1/2 cup granulated sugar
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  •  1 cup salted butter
  •  Oil, for frying
  •  Fillings and toppings, as desired.

 

Instructions

  1. Combine milk and water in a small bowl; microwave until warm, not hot. Add the yeast and allow to foam for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, salt and softened 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed, mix an additional minute. Remove dough from mixer and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3.  Once the dough is doubled, punch down, wrap in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  4.  While dough is chilling, create butter block using 1 cup of salted butter. Roll the slightly softened butter between two sheets of wax or parchment paper, into an 8 by 8 square. Refrigerate until needed.
  5.  After dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator and roll on a lightly floured surface. Create a rectangle roughly 12 by 20, and place the refrigerated butter block on top of the dough, with corners pointing towards the sides of the dough.
  6.  Fold the dough over the butter by pulling the corners of the dough into the center of the butter, pinching the seams together to encapsulate the butter entirely. Quickly re-roll the dough into a rectangle that is 10 by 24. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Wrap the dough and chill for one hour.
  7.  After one hour, roll the dough into a 10 by 24 rectangle again, and once again fold into thirds. Wrap and chill one more hour; repeat folding process once more.
  8.  After final chill, roll the dough into a 6 by 18 rectangle. Cut dough into 3 6 by 6 inch squares and stack the dough on top of itself. Roll this into a 6 by 8 inch rectangle.
  9.  Using a 2 inch doughnut or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 12 doughnuts. Use a smaller cylinder to cut out a center circle if not using a doughnut cutter.
  10.  Place doughnuts in a warm place to rise, roughly 30 minutes.
  11.  Bring oil to 350. Place 2 to 3 doughnuts in the hot oil and fry for 1 minute on each side. Remove from oil and place on towel lined plate.
  12.  Fill and garnish as desired.

 

 

KA-cronut-1 And now, you have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! To enter to win, leave a comment letting me know if you plan to PULL OFF THE ULTIMATE PASTRY or if you have another cooking challenge you’d like to try.

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

    1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
  • Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique terms in your tweet message: “#moretomake” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

 

  • Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

 

  • For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

 

 

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/19/14 – 3/31/14. Be sure to visit the KitchenAid page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by KitchenAid and BlogHer. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Thanksgiving Food Safety…Keep Everyone Healthy!

I can’t promise you that everything you eat tomorrow will be fantastic.  Perhaps your cat hoarding Aunt Mathilda made that bread pudding again that’s chock full of Persian Furballs.  Maybe your newly married cousin experimented with an Éclair Cake recipe but didn’t know the difference between powdered sugar and regular sugar.  Perhaps grandma can’t taste salt anymore, and went a little overboard with the cornbread.

Things happen.

But I imagine you’ll have plenty of great things to eat, like turkey. Gravy. Mashed potatoes and the like.  There’ll be those cousins you love there, your friends that may as well be family, and of course, the uncle that drives you crazy.  It will be a great time, and the food and festivities will be wonderful overall.

Just take a little care to be safe.

If you are eating earlier in the day, say, 1 in the afternoon, you might just think it’s easier to leave a lot of the food out on the table, for those ballgame watchers who keep picking at the leftovers.  I get it.  It’s simpler than packaging it all up, just to have 3 sleepy men want you to drag it back out 25 minutes later.  But…you need to be careful.

Here are some suggested “Safe Times” for traditional holiday leftovers to stay out at room temperature:

  • Turkey/Ham – 2 hours
  • Green Beans/Potatoes/other cooked Vegetables – 2-3 hours
  • Bread/Stuffing – Safe to leave out all day. Cover to prevent drying out.
  • Cake/Pie – Safe for all day. Keep covered. Or hide. Or pretend it’s all gone.
  • Deviled Eggs – No more than 2 hours, and after refrigeration, consume within 3 days.

For egg safety – to stay healthy and avoid foodborne illness — USDA advises:

  • Always buy eggs from a refrigerated case. Choose eggs with clean, uncracked shells.
  • Buy eggs before the "Sell-By" or "EXP" (expiration) date on the carton.
  • Take eggs straight home from the grocery store and refrigerate them right away. Check to be sure your refrigerator is set at 40°F or below. Don’t take eggs out of the carton to put them in the refrigerator — the carton protects them. Keep the eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator — not on the door.
  • Raw shell eggs in the carton can stay in your refrigerator for three to five weeks from the purchase date. Although the "Sell-By" date might pass during that time, the eggs are still safe to use. (The date is not required by federal law, but some states may require it.)
  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling raw eggs. To avoid cross-contamination, you should also wash forks, knives, spoons and all counters and other surfaces that touch the eggs with hot water and soap.
  • Don’t keep raw or cooked eggs out of the refrigerator more than two hours.
  • Egg dishes such as deviled eggs or egg salad should be used within 3 to 4 days.

If you have a question about meat, poultry or egg products, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll free at 1-888-MPHotline or 1-888-674-6854, TTY: 1-800-256-7072.

 

Want to take your food safety a step further?  Especially when it comes to eggs?  I have recently become an ambassador for Safest Choice™, as a member of their Darling Dozen.  Their eggs are  pasteurized in the shell, before you ever get them!  They taste the same (they’re eggs, after all), no weird chemicals were added, and they are already SAFE to consume, even before cooking!  So…love cookie dough?  Love Caesar Salad?  These both include uncooked eggs. With Safest Choice, you’re good to go!

What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a century-old process that destroys pathogens through simple heat, and is well-
known for its role in making milk and juices safe to enjoy. To pasteurize a food means to destroy
harmful microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and viruses) by applying a precise amount of heat for a
specified period of time. This straightforward food safety technique was invented by French
chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur in 1864.

Pasteurization is an all natural process, in that it involves only heat (not chemicals or irradiation). Safest Choice eggs go through a series of warm water baths to eliminate bacteria. It’s that simple!

Visit www.SafeEggs.com/recipes/safest-choice-darling-dozen for more information on the Safest Choice Darling Dozen, or follow Safest Choice on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

About Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs:

Davidson's Safest Choice EggsFounded in 2001, in Lansing, IL, National Pasteurized Eggs is a privately held company that launched the Davidson’s Safest Choice® brand pasteurized shell eggs in 2003. Safest Choice eggs can be found in over 5,000 grocery stores, in thousands of restaurants and through major foodservice distributors in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Safest Choice eggs provide consumers the highest combined standard for quality and safety in shell eggs and the Safest Choice patented, all natural, award-winning egg pasteurization process allows everyone to enjoy all recipes without the risk of Salmonella. For more information or to find a retailer, visit www.SafeEggs.com.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(PS – I was kidding about hiding the dessert. Kind of.)

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Safest Choice Eggs, as part of the Darling Dozen.  This post is sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

It’s a Guy (Fieri) Thing

Last week, believe it or not,  I had the privilege of speaking with Guy Fieri over the phone.

Yes, me, Susan Whetzel, talking to THE Guy Fieri, host of several Food Network programs, including our household favorite, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  We love that show, and the recipes from it.  It seems that Guy is just about everywhere these days, from commercials, to Minute to Win It, and now, he’s taking to the road again on what just might be the coolest Rock Concert-Not Rock Concert/Food Concert ever.  I’ve never really heard of anything like it.

The Guy Fieri Food Show, according to Guy, will be unlike anything the food audience has ever seen.  Although there will be cooking, of course, Guy’s inner rockstar will be on full display with a “killer”  fur covered DJ booth, manned by LA’s own DJ Cobra.  Not cool enough? An Australian mixologist/performer will open the show with drinks and dazzling I can only imagine will imageput Tom Cruise and his Cocktails of the 1980s to shame.  Plus, expect to see some pork on the menu…Guy’s tour is presented by the National Pork Board.  I’ve had nothing but great dealings with the NPB, and I know they will put on one heck of a show!image

Ticket prices are very reasonable, from $35 and up, but the true fans will get a lot of bang for their buck, especially those who choose to fork out for one of Guy’s VIP packages.  For just under $300, you can opt to sit on stage, sample the cooking, meet and greet, and take home a belly of fine cooking and a copy of Guy’s new cookbook.  What’s not to love? 

Speaking of the new cookbook – Guy Fieri Food comes out early next month.  Amazon currently has it on a special pre-order price at just around $17.  Not bad for a 400 page, 150+ original recipe cookbook.  Illustrations are by Guy’s tattoo artist, and full color photos present the eye candy we all crave when looking for the next best cookbook.  I can’t wait to get mine!

I guess my favorite part of talking with Guy was how REAL he was.  A REAL dad, real cook, real man.  I asked him about cooking with kids, because I know he’s an advocate for getting families in the kitchen together.  In fact,  he even petitioned to get the second Saturday in May recognized as a holiday for family cooking – and succeeded! Guy is a firm believer (as am I) that kids should be exposed to as many foods as possible – not just what they ask for.  Moms and Dads who only serve mac & cheese and nuggets?  Listen up.  Yes, that’s what many kids ask for, and even stomp around until they get.  But it’s not healthy, and not practical.  Exposing your kids to a variety of cuisines makes for a well rounded child, and a healthier one at that.  We do NOT make two dinners in this house.  If we are having goat cheese chicken, so is Seven.  Sure, if he wants to scrape out the goat cheese, okay, but it’s what he’s getting for dinner.  He loves broccoli – especially teriyaki broccoli.  He loves carrots, and potstickers, and squash.  Did he want to try them at first?  No, not really.  But he loves them, and your kids may, too.  Guy expressed that every recipe in his new book is “Kid Friendly”, some more than others, especially those that may have too much heat or require deep frying, but all are family based and would make for a great evening in the kitchen together.  He really recommends getting the kids in on the meatball recipe!

I also asked him about Social Networking.  Honestly, he’s a little shy about it.  He does his own Twittering, though he rarely has much to say.  Why?  Because he thinks he is boring his fans to death if he tweets what he’s doing.  Or that he’ll sound “stupid”.

Really?  Guy Fieri has the same anxieties the rest of us do?  Whoudda thunk it.

I bet those nerves don’t show on stage.  What do you think?

For those of you interested, the tour dates are as follows, and tickets are available through Ticketmaster.  Scoop yours up while the getting is good!

MAY

Tue – May-17 North Charleston SC North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Wed – May-18 Charlotte NC Ovens Auditorium
Thu – May-19 Cherokee NC Harrah’s
Sat – May-21 Windsor ON Caesars Windsor – The Colosseum
Sun – May-22 Cleveland OH Palace Theater
Mon – May-23 Columbus OH Capitol Theatre
Wed – May-25 Midland MI Midland Center For the Arts
Fri – May-27 Sioux City IA Orpheum
Sat – May-28 Hammond IN Horseshoe Casino
Sun – May-29 St. Louis MO Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center
Mon – May-30 Kansas City MO Midland Center For the Arts

JUNE


Wed – Jun-01 Fayetteville AR Walton Arts Center
Thu – Jun-02 Catoosa OK Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Fri – Jun-03 Robinsonville MS Bluesville
Sat – Jun-04 New Orleans LA Harrah’s
Sun – Jun-05 Austin TX/San Antonio Bass / Paramount
Tue – Jun-07 Mesa AZ Mesa Arts Center

For more information on Guy, his tour, and his book, be sure to head over to www.guyfieri.com.

And, if you intend to catch his Charlotte, NC tour stop, let me know…I’ll be there!

To Pre-order your book (Hello? DO IT!) – You can get it here…along with the DDD Books. great to have!

By: ifood.tv