pastry

Cranberry Kolaches

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

People ask me all the time if I ever have any kitchen failures. Let’s just LOL at that one. As with anything, particularly a craft that is heavily dependent on time, temperature, ingredients, skill, measurements, and, oh yeah, SCIENCE, baking is one of those things that just comes with a mixed bag of results. Some recipes are a win, an instant classic, while others require a million tries. Anytime I step into the kitchen, I’m expecting (read: hoping and praying for) great results, but there’s absolutely zero guarantees. Baking mishaps are a real thing.

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

I set out to make these cranberry kolaches after seeing seeing them freckled about the internet over the past few months. For some time, it seemed as if these European-born pastries were on their way to stardom, and I was bound and determined to wrangle a recipe I could be proud to share on this website. It couldn’t be that hard, right? After all, I’ve made babka! Brioche! The 17-try swirl bread! Cranberry kolaches were bound to be a walk in the park, right?

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

Wrong. After months of cranking out pies and cakes and cookies, my yeasted dough know-how was rusty. I had to revisit this recipe a number of times before I felt like I could make them without the slightest bit of anxiety or kitchen fury, but finally, I landed on something that is really quite delicious. These cranberry kolaches are sweet and tender goodies for the morning hour, and because I logged the man hours on the backend, you get to try these pastries with confidence! Let’s talk about how to make them.

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

The dough for these cranberry kolaches is adapted from my favorite cinnamon bread. Sweet and rich from the addition of sugar, butter, and egg, the dough comes together with milk, activated yeast, and loads of flour. After some time spent rising, small rounds of dough are pinched down and filled with your choice of fillings. First, a fresh cranberry option, tart and only barely sweet, is made on the stovetop with cinnamon and barely-burst berries. Second, a cream cheese and egg-based filling that is subtle in flavor but seriously delish. I personally prefer a combination of the two, but you can bake and fill with whichever you prefer. Finally, to finish off the cranberry kolaches, we sprinkle on a simple crumb made from flour and granulated sugar. The mixture bakes on the pastries for an extra hint of sweet and a bit of texture. They’re divine!

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

As with any of the refined baked good I opt to make, these cranberry kolaches were made with Kerrygold butter. The dough’s intense richness is 100% thanks to the helping of butter found throughout it, and I was incredibly pleased to see how much buttery flavor came through in the finished product. Kerrygold is aways a favorite choice of mine and this recipe is no exception. I hope you’ll give it a try and pick some up for this recipe next time you visit the store!

If you give these cranberry kolaches a try let me know what you think! Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post and many thanks to you all for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible. Happy baking!

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

If you like this cranberry kolaches you should try:

Pumpkin Danishes

Breakfast Danish

Brown Sugar Danishes

Cranberry Pear Mini Pop-Tarts

Poached Pear Trifles

 

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Cranberry Kolaches

Cranberry Kolaches by Wood and Spoonn blog. These are little puffy sweat yeast parties filled with a homemade cinnamon and cranberry jam or sugared cream cheese filling. Each bite has a little simple crumble on top and is a great breakfast brunch or dessert option. Learn more about the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

These cranberry and cream cheese kolaches are a sweet yeast dough pastry filled with cranberry jam or cream cheese and sprinkled with a crumb topping.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 240
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Pastry
Scale

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm milk (not hot or cold)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups (about 1 lb) all-purpose flour, with more for flouring surfaces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk, white reserved
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the cranberry filling (will fill approximately 12 kolaches):

  • 11/2 cups cranberries
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the cream cheese filling (Will fill approximately 16 kolaches):

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ of a lightly beaten egg, the other half reserved.
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the streusel:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Evenly sprinkle the yeast over top of the milk and allow the yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. The mixture should froth and foam slightly. You can stir it gently to make sure all the yeast has been moistened, but if the yeast does not foam, dump it out and start over. Once yeast has been activated, beat 1/2 cup of the flour in to the milk mixture using the paddle attachment. Once combined, add the remaining sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt, and beat the mixture on medium speed until combined. On low speed, add the remainder of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Once evenly combined, increase the speed to medium (I use speed number 4 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 4 minutes. The dough will be quite moist and sticky, and will hold together in long strands when you attempt to scoop it from the bowl.
  2. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest until it has approximately doubled in size, about 1-1/2-2 hours. In the meantime, prepare the fillings.

To prepare the cranberry filling:

  1. All of the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium low heat. Cook, stirring and squishing the cranberries regularly, until the mixture is thickened and bubbling, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

To prepare the cream cheese filling:

  1. Use an electric mixer to combine all of the ingredients. Set aside until ready to use.

To prepare the streusel:

  1. Combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the melted butter until combined and sandy in texture. Set aside until ready to use.

To prepare the kolaches:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the risen dough to 1/2 “ thick. Use a 2” cutter to trim out rounds of dough. Lay them out on parchment-lined baking sheets and cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a tea towel. Set aside to allow the dough rounds to rise for approximately 60 minutes or until fluffy. When risen, use your thumb or a floured bottom of a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to lightly until rounds into the center of the dough. You should leave about ¼-1/2” border around the edge of each round. Whisk the remaining half of the beaten egg with 1 teaspoon of water and use a pastry brush to lightly brush a thin layer of the mixture on top of each pastry. Fill the hole of each kolache with your filling of choice. Approximately half of them will be cream cheese and half will be cranberry. Sprinkle the undented edges of the pastries with the streusel generously. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the pastries are golden and puffed. Remove from oven to cool slightly prior to consuming.

Notes

  • The cranberry filling is rather tart. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of extra sugar to sweeten it after cooking, if desired.

Alphabet Cream Pie Tutorial

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

Around here, we look for any reason to celebrate. Whether it’s Christmas Day, the neighbor’s cat’s birthday, or 5 days since someone in our home wet the bed, we hunt out reasons to throw a party like our lives (and sanity) depend on it. There’s something 100% fabulous about celebrating for little reason at all, and I love to find new treats to serve at these any-occasion gatherings. So unless you’ve been living under a giant rock or still haven’t mastered Instagram (shoutout to my husband!), you’ve probably seen the cute little layered cream tarts in the shape of numbers and letters all over the internet. They’re adorable, and I loved the idea so much that I hopped on that bandwagon to bring you a tutorial to make your very own alphabet cream pie. 

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

Let me give you the quick scoop on these. I have no idea where they originated from, but I will tell you that they have taken over the internet. These desserts typically start with two sets of baked tart shells cut into the shape of numbers or letters. A cream filling is piped on each set of tarts that are then layered together and decorated with a million different treats: fresh fruit, macaroons, mini marshmallows, cookies, flowers, sprinkles, and the rest of the kitchen sink. Over time, the pastry cream barely softens the tarts so that you have a creamy layered dessert that is as beautiful as it is delicious. Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

I decided I didn’t want to fuss with tart shells and pastry cream. I wanted something I was more familiar with, something that would taste better, something way easier. So I introduce to you the alphabet cream pie: a few layers of buttery pie crust, filled with a simple lemon and vanilla bean whipped cream cheese, and topped with all of my favorite fresh fruit. Although this alphabet cream pie takes a step or two to make, it is the simplest version of this fancy pants treat that you will find and is incredibly fun to make. Let’s get started! Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

What You’ll Need:

Paper or stencil to trace letters/numbers

Paring knife or X-acto knife to trim out letters/numbers

Parchment paper for lining baking sheets

Piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I use Wilton 1A ) or a large plastic bag

1 Recipe for pie dough (see below)

1 Recipe for cream filling (see below) 

Items to decorate the pie

 

Directions:

You’ll need a stencil to trace out the numbers or letters for the alphabet cream pie. I printed out block letters on sheets of computer paper, cut them out, and used those to trace my letters onto the dough. You could also sketch it out on a piece of parchment paper. Using a stencil is vital so that your stacked letters match up. You’ll have enough dough to cover approximately two half sheet pans, so be sure that you letters aren’t any larger than what would fit on the pan- otherwise you’ll require more dough!

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and roll the dough out on a floured surface to ¼” thick. If the dough is too hard, allow it to rest at room temp about 5-10 minutes.  Use a paring knife or a clean X-acto knife to cut out the letters. You’ll need two of each letter or number as they will stack one on top of the other. (Sidetone: I opted to do “HBD,” which is millennial shorthand for “Happy Birthday,” but you could just as easily do a number 16, 21, or 50 for a special birthday, or even just one single giant letter to celebrate someone awesome!) Place the letters on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least an inch apart. If the dough got soft and the letters smooshed a bit, just use the stencil to reorient the letter how it was meant to be shaped. Place the prepared pan in the fridge or freezer to firm up (5 minutes for freezer, 10 minutes for fridge) and then bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the letters are barely puffed and golden. You can bake multiple pans in the oven, just be sure to quickly rotate the top and bottom pans about halfway through. Allow the letters to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack prior to use.

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

When the letters have cooled, prepare the serving platter or workspace you’re going to assemble the pie on. Place about half of the cream filling in a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip. If you don’t have this, feel free to fill a gallon or quart sized plastic bag with some cream and snip the tip off of the corner of the bag. Your round dollops won’t be as perfect, but no one will care. Pipe a dot or two of cream under each letter (once it has chilled, this will adhere it gently to your serving platter), and then begin piping ½ tablespoon-sized dollops all over the letters. I prefer to use rows and columns, but you can do it however you please. Once you’ve covered the first layer of letters, place the second layer of letters gently on top and then repeat this process. Cover the letters entirely with dollops of cream, refilling your piping bag as needed.

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

When you’ve completed the process, you’re ready to decorate! I use fresh fruit, like strawberries and blueberries, or even little candies. You are free to decorate with little cookies or edible flowers as well. If you use non-edible flowers, just wrap the stem or base of the flower touching the pie in a tiny piece of aluminum foil to keep them food safe. You can also color any remaining cream filling and use a star tip or another decorative piping tip to pipe on little colorful dollops of cream. The pie itself will keep in the fridge for a few days, but the items on top of the pie may begin to weep and bleed. As a result, I recommend eating this treat the day it is made.

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

This alphabet cream pie is totally festive and the perfect treat to celebrate the birthdays, anniversaries, and everyday happenings in your life. Make it for someone awesome and top it with all of their favorite things. It will be the celebration pie to beat!

If you like this alphabet cream pie tutorial, check out:

Painted Sugar Cookies 

Marbled Sugar Cookies

Gold Splatted Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Easter Cake 

 

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Alphabet Cream Pie

Alphabet Cream Pie recipe and tutorial by wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. this is a tutorial for those letter / number pastry cream filled tart cookies that have been popping up all over the internet! Find out how to make this simple dessert that is perfect for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You make two sheets of pie crust letters and fill the whole thing with piped out lemon whipped cream cheese filling. The tart is topped with fresh fruit, macaroon cookies, flowers, candies, sprinkles and whatever else feels festive. Learn how to stencil and prepare this fun treat! recipe on thewoodandspoon.cpom

This alphabet cream pie is a take on those popular letter/number tarts that are taking over the internet! This is two layers of shaped baked pie dough filled with a lemon vanilla bean cream cheese whipped filling and topped with fresh berries. 

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 120
Scale

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 3 ½ cups (420 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (12 gm) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 gm) salt
  • 2/3 cup (135 gm) chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks, 170 gm) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (approximately) ice water

For the cream filling:

  • 8 ounces (225 gm) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
  • 3 cups (680 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 11/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Instructions

To prepare the pie dough:

  1. Give the dry ingredients a whiz in the food processor to combine.
  2. Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until barely evenly dispersed and pea-sized clump exist throughout.
  3. Begin adding ice water 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form. I typically use about 6 tablespoons of water.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and separate in two round disks. Wrap in Saran wrap and chill for at least one to two hours prior to use.

To prepare the cream filling:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest together until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add a few tablespoons of the cream and beat to incorporate. Add a bit more cream and beat to incorporate. Once the cream cheese mixture is thick and liquidy, add the remaining cream and the vanilla, beating until thickened and stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use, but best used immediately.

Brown Sugar Danishes

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

What makes you joyful?

Last week we went to one of my favorite vacation destinations, Blackberry Farm. (You might remember me going on about our previous trips here and here!) A cozy oasis nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is southern foodie vacationing at its finest. Brett and I travel there with our friends at the turn of every new year, and it is nothing short of spectacular. Something about that place relaxes me to my core, way moreso than beach, island, or other mountain retreats do. It feels like home and somehow, in just a few short years, it’s become a place that brings me a ton of joy.

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

I want more of that in 2018. The things that bring me joy and refresh my zeal for life are a top priority this year. Yes, there will continue to be work and hustle and obligations, but I feel like my day to day needs more of the things that give me life and loads of joy. 

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

So while Blackberry Farm, with its 5 Star meals and attention to detail and lazy hours with my very best friends, might not be possible 365 days of the year, there are things in there that are worth pursuing daily: Slow dinners made with real ingredients. Maintaining a home that feels welcoming, clean, and cozy. Spending time on real relationships with people that will love you back as hard as they can. These are things that bring me joy. So 2018, you can bring it, and in the meantime, I’ll be working hard to make average days feel a little more like vacation. 

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

These brown sugar danishes are a year in the making. Literally. 

We ate the most divine breakfast danishes at Blackberry Farm in 2017. They were flaky and oozed with butter, brown sugar, and toasted pecans. It was love at first sight, and I spent the next 8 months testing out various versions of those danishes in an attempt to recreate that moment at home. 

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Ladies and gentlemen, these brown sugar danishes are it. These little pastries, though requiring a bit of love and effort in the kitchen, are every bit as delicious as I recall those fancy resort pastries being, and I am thrilled to be able to share the recipe with you today.

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

To make these brown sugar danishes, we start with perfect danish pastry. I adore this recipe from Samantha Seneviratnae and have adapted it for use in these pastries. Once made, the dough can be stored in the fridge for a day or two until you’re ready to fill and bake your danishes. The filling is simple, prepared with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and butter, and truly takes the dough from delicious to downright heavenly.

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

These brown sugar danishes are best consumed on the day they’re made, but they will heat and flake up decently in a toaster oven as well. Make these treats to stay warm these next few weeks, and I hope they bring you the same joy they bring me. Happy Monday and happy baking!

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like these brown sugar danishes, you should try:

Breakfast Danish

Raisin Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones 

 

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Brown Sugar Danishes

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

These brown sugar danishes are filled with butter, pecans, and gooey sugary filling. The perfect, flaky, tender addition to any breakfast or brunch!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 360
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 14 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the dough (recipe by Samantha Seneviratne):

  • 1 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup cold whole milk

For the filling:

  • ¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (65 gm) finely chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  1. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until butter is distributed in pea-sized pieces throughout the flour. Put the flour mixture in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, whisk the egg and milk with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold the mixture until the liquid is evenly distributed, being careful to not overwork the dough. Dump the contents of the bowl out on to a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Chill for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 8-by-15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding process. Dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, rotate, roll, and fold a final time, ending with a small, rectangular piece of dough. Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Repeat the entire rolling and folding process one more time. You will have rolled and folded the dough six times. If the dough becomes loose or tacky, place in the fridge to rest for a bit. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To prepare the danishes:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour in a medium sized bowl. Cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients, smooshing together to make a thick paste/spread.
  2. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 8”x21” long rectangle. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture evenly on to the dough. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Starting at one of the long ends, roll the dough tightly and gently pinch to seal along the length of the dough. Cut 1-1/2” slices of dough and place them in a lightly greased muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the danishes to rise slightly, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and whisk an egg in a small bowl. Once the danishes have risen, gently brush them with a thin layer of egg using a pastry brush and bake in the preheat oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, puffed, and flaky. Check to make sure they don’t feel too soft in the center prior to removing from the oven- this can cause the pastries to fall once they cool. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Danishes are best served immediately or within 24 hours.

Notes

  • I prefer to use a high-quality, fatty butter like Kerrygold.
  • You can tell if the danishes have risen well by gently poking one with our finger. If it puffs back up slightly almost immediately, it has risen well.

Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

“If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.” I’m not sure where that quote originated, but whoever it came from clearly has never tried to create the perfect lemon tart. I can almost see those people pointing and probably laughing at me as I taste tested another round of lemon tarts with utter disappointment. Well, this time, I get the last laugh, because I am happy to report that after many tries, I nailed it. Today, I get to share with you the recipe for the best, most perfect lemon almond tart – a light and nutty almond crust  filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. (Drool)

lemon almond tart

This all started with a giant bag of lemons and an afternoon peruse through Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon” cookbook. I ran across his recipe for lemon tart (or as Keller and the French call it, “Tart au Citron”), and I thought it may be worth a stab. I had all of the needed ingredients, with exception of those needed for the pine nut crust, but thanks to a lone wolf bag of almond meal left in the netherparts of my pantry, I decided to proceed.

Attempt number one was eggy- and so, so tart. Everything Thomas Keller does is is perfect, so I confess that my lack of skills and palate were likely to blame. Unfortunately, as my husband pushed the tart around on his plate, I knew it wasn’t a winner. 

Attempt number two yielded a perfect almond crust but with a filling that was still kind of eggy. I researched and discovered a few things about cooking with lemon and eggs (see notes!), so  attempt number three left me with a perfectly tart/sweet lemon filling. Unfortunately, I torched the shell this time around and failed to cook the filling for quite long enough so it still wasn’t right. #humblingkitchenmoments

lemon almond tart

Attempt number four, as baby bear would say, was juuusssst right. Lemony, sweet, and with an incredibly creamy mouth feel, this was a tart sexy enough to call it by its French name. This was a tarte au citron.

I often receive complements from friends and family about how lovely all my food looks from the 2×4” screen of an iPhone, but what most people don’t know is that behind every photo is usually a failed attempt, a frosting that’s too stiff, a curdled filling, a sink full of dishes, or a scorched mess on the bottom of my oven. Those things aren’t as fun to write about or as pretty to photograph, but they’re apart of the process. If this is ringing any bells right now, take heart, because redemption is almost always just around the corner. This week, we’re calling redemption lemon almond tart.

Lemon Almond Tart

Read through the recipe, and the notes in particular, prior to getting started. There’s no need for y’all to make the mistakes I’ve already trudged through. I like my lemon tart the exact way I take my ice cream sundaes- with a giant dollop of whipped cream. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be sure to whip some of that up as well.

 

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Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

A light and nutty almond crust filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. I prefer this tart served with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream and lemon almond crumbs.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 4 ounces (About 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) of almond meal
  • 7.5 ounces (About 1-1/2 cups) flour
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 whole eggs, cold
  • 2 egg yolks, cold
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of about 21/2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons of packed lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the lemon crumbs (if desired)

  • About 1 cup of reserved, uncooked almond crust crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. In a bowl, combine almond meal, flour, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a large fork, cut in the stick of butter until dough is uniformly pea-sized crumbles.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg and extracts together in a separate bowl, and, using the pastry cutter again, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Only manipulate the dough as much as you have to to make it uniform. Overworking your dough will cause it to toughen when baked.
  3. Place dough in the refrigerator for about ten minutes while you prepare your tart pan. Dough can also be left covered in the fridge at this point for up to one day.

When ready to prepare the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, butter a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom with 1 teaspoon of softened butter. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of pan with flour.
  2. Using your fingers, press the almond meal crust into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. You will likely use all but 3/4-1 cup of the dough. Trim any excess off the top.
  3. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until edges are almost turning golden and the center crust is set. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling. Alternatively, the crust can be made one day in advance and set aside covered.
  4. Bring a small-medium saucepan filled with an inch of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. In a bowl just barely larger than the saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
  6. Once water is boiling, place the bowl of eggs on top of the saucepan and whisk until mixture becomes paler and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the lemon juice and zest, continuing to whisk all the while. Occasionally turn your bowl to ensure you don’t cook the eggs. Continue whisking consistently until mixture is thickened, about the consistency of a very loose pudding. Your whisk should be leaving a momentary trail behind it as it moves through the bowl and the mixture should generously coat the back of a spoon. The entire cooking process will have taken about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off, but with the pan still on the burner, add the cold butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, whisking until piece is combined before adding another piece. Stir in the vanilla.
  9. Pour your filling into the tart crust. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Tart is complete at this point, but lemon crumbs can be added as a garnish if desired.

To prepare lemon crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of reserved, uncooked almond tart crumbs with lemon zest and sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until small clumps form.
  3. Spread out on a sheet pan and break up larger clumps to smaller, pea-sized pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan intermittently. Allow to cool. Sprinkle on top of tart or on top of each piece along with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

  • Crust dough will be crumbly, but be sure to cover the sides and bottom of your pan thoroughly and evenly. It may crack in the oven, but that’s ok.
  • When zesting your lemons, avoid the pith (the white part below the yellow exterior of the lemon). Zesting the whites can cause your tart to taste bitter.
  • Cooking time of the filling may differ depending on the type of saucepan you’re using and how large your bowl is on top of the pan. If your bowl is too large, it will take longer to cook the eggs.
  • Cooking your filling in some materials can cause your tart to taste metallic or eggy. After trial and error myself, I recommend using a glass bowl and a silicone whisk.
  • If you prefer a much more tart filling, add another packed teaspoon of zest to the filling.
  • If you like to serve your tart with whipped cream (don’t we all?), whip 1 cup of cold, heavy whipping cream until frothy, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. When nearly to stiff peaks, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Yum!

Recipe Adapted From: Thomas Keller

Breakfast Danish

breakfast danish by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a rough puff pastry made by laminating dough, rolled out and filled with winter fruits like apples, cherries, cranberries, and other bourbon soaked fruit. Learn how to make laminated dough and how to braid a danish dough. Turns into golden, flaky, pastry once baked. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Brett made a scrunchy face at me and meticulously picked through the remains of his breakfast danish. “There’s a lot of fruit in here”, he said.

“Get out of the kitchen”, I replied.

I usually encourage constructive criticism when it comes to recipes and baking, but this danish had taken so much research, preparation, and use of my spare time that I wanted nothing short of glowing reviews. My husband, though, sometimes a bit more honest than my pride can bear, had already given away how he really felt about the pastry that contained hours of my love, sweat, and flour. He went on the lament of all of the “raisins” in the danish, even as I repeatedly confirmed to him that they were dried cherries.

“CHERRIES. They are dried cherries. It’s legitimately dried fruit soaked in bourbon and then baked into a delicious, flakey crust. How is that ever a bad thing? Explain. Now.”

I usually try to heed most of my husband’s likes and desires but this was one instance where the degree to which he was wrong was no match for how oh-so right the pastry was.

braided breakfast danish fruit filling

At the start of this year, we visited Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. I high recommend it. Anyone who would kind of consider themselves a foodie, or even anyone that just really likes to eat, would find themselves at home among the never-ending parade of seemingly perfect meals that we were served the entirety of our stay. The resort is small, intimate, and classically Southern, and they are known for their culinary and wine program.

On the last morning of our trip, we sat down for brunch and my attention was immediately directed to my left where BJ Novak (you probably know him as Ryan, the temporary hire on “The Office”) was dining with three other people. I was literally seconds away from approaching him to ask if we could FaceTime Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapour) so I could fangirl  her and talk about her new book that had me near-pants-wetting the entire time I read it. Right about that time, our waitress brought to our table a complimentary treat: breakfast danish. Let’s talk about that danish.

Actually, I may need a minute to just cherish the memory of that pastry.

Blackberry Farm- you know how to do it. You see all the other restaurants and resorts serving club crackers and cold biscuits as their complimentary bread basket and you decide to Michael-Jordan-slam-dunk-from-the-free-throw-line all over their faces. No, this was not your run of the mill bread basket. 

That danish was of another world. That danish tasted as though it was made entirely of butter and fairy dust. That danish was melt in your mouth, rich, buttery, flaky, tender pastry wrapped around a tart and spicy fruit filling.

braided breakfast danish fruit filling

It was beyond. And I knew I had to have it. After scouring the internet for a recipe that seemed worthwhile, I ran across a recipe by efore I tell you the recipe, a few thoughts that I will share in rhetoric:

  • Is this a ridiculously simple recipe? No. This recipe can look a bit overwhelming from the front end and it is not a mere one or two steps.
  • Is this a recipe that I can prepare in an hour start to finish? Absolutely not. This will take you a chunk of time and is best worked through in short phases throughout the day.
  • Is this a recipe that will melt my face off? Yes. Prepare your face for its day of melting. This is a recipe that is worth every second of meltage and more.

braided breakfast danish fruit filling

I recommend reading the recipe start to finish a few times so you’re kind of prepared for what’s ahead. For additional notes, be sure to check out the original recipe for the pastry as well.

And by the way, BJ Novak, if you ever read this by some random strike of luck or coincidence, tell Mindy Kaling I say what’s up and that we should be best friends. That is all. 

braided breakfast danish fruit filling

 

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Breakfast Danish

breakfast danish by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a rough puff pastry made by laminating dough, rolled out and filled with winter fruits like apples, cherries, cranberries, and other bourbon soaked fruit. Learn how to make laminated dough and how to braid a danish dough. Turns into golden, flaky, pastry once baked. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

A tender, flaky pastry crust braided and baked around a sweet and tart blend of winter fruits.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the danish dough (Recipe by Samantha Seneviratne)

  • 1 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup cold whole milk

For the winter fruit filling

  • 13 dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoons good quality bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Instructions

To prepare the dough

  1. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until butter is distributed in pea-sized pieces throughout the flour. Put the flour mixture in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, whisk the egg and milk with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold the mixture until the liquid is evenly distributed, being careful to not overwork the dough. Dump the contents of the bowl out on to a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Chill for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 8-by-15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding process. Dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, rotate, roll, and fold a final time, ending with a small, rectangular piece of dough. Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Repeat the entire rolling and folding process one more time. You will have rolled and folded the dough six times. If the dough becomes loose or tacky, place in the fridge to rest for a bit. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To prepare the filling

  1. Combine the apricots, cherries, and bourbon in a 4 quart saucepan over low heat with just enough water to almost cover the fruit. Allow to simmer over low heat until fruit has plumped and some of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes total. Set aside the fruit and its liquid in a separate bowl.
  2. In the same pan over medium heat, combine butter, apples, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, dried fruit, and lemon juice. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until apples have softened slightly but are not mushy. During this time, slowly add liquid reserved from the dried fruit so that the filling remains a moist a syrupy consistency but never watery. You may not use all of the reserved liquid. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Allow to cool in the refrigerator.

To assemble the pastry

  1. Roll the pastry dough out in a 11×14″ rectangle on a lightly floured piece of parchment.
  2. Using the back of a knife, mark off a 3″ section of dough running the length of the pastry. Be careful not to break all the way through the pastry. This will serve as your guideline of where the fruit filling will go.
  3. Starting at one end and working your way the entire length of both sides of dough, make 1″cuts perpendicular to the lines you first created, dragging your knife from the barrier line to the end of the dough.These will be the pieces of dough you braid over the top of your fruit filling. Cut off the top and bottom 1″ strips, leaving just a center “flap” on either end.
  4. Beat an egg in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of water and apply a thin coat of this egg wash over the braiding strips and end flap.
  5. Spoon your filling in to the 3″ partitioned section of dough, discarding any extra watery liquid that may have gathered in the bowl.
  6. Fold the center end flaps up and over the fruit. Starting at one end of the pastry, braid your strips, in a slightly downward angle. When you get to the end of the pastry, fold your strips over and lightly press to ensure that the pastry has adhered and sealed.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Move the parchment to a cookie sheet and cover with saran wrap, allowing the pastry to rise. It will puff up slightly and bounce back at your touch.
  8. Brush the remaining egg wash all over the top of pastry. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, gently turning the pan halfway through. Remove from oven when the pastry is flaky and golden. Cool on a cooling rack until just warm. Serve warm with a simple powdered sugar or brown butter glaze.

Recipe Adapted From: Samantha Seneviratne