Tag Archives: rough puff

Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Sweet Cherry TurnoversLet me pinpoint for you the moment I knew I wasn’t cut out for office jobs.

It was the summer of 2003 and I was working as a part-time receptionist at a doctor’s office between high school graduation and starting college. I was on my way to the office one early morning and decided on a whim to stop at the Blue Bonnet Bakery (of gingerbread man and florentine fame) and pick up some treats for my coworkers. You know, the sort of nice thing that you do every once in a while to brighten the mood.Sweet Cherry Turnovers
Out of all the pastries they had on display that morning, I decided to go with cherry turnovers—pockets of ultra-flaky pastry filled with cherry pie filling. Everyone at the office loved having a treat around so much that that one act started a trend. Everyday after that, somebody brought something to share. One day it was Seven Layer Dip, another was Chipped Beef (which I have never had before or since). The doctor and his wife/office manager would bring in doughnuts or fresh figs from their own trees. I even brought in my mom’s Ham Salad once. (Sounds weird, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it.)Sweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry Turnovers
Long story short, by the end of the summer, I knew once and for all that while I liked my coworkers, I did not care about office work at all. AT. ALL. Bored me senseless. But I did care about trying new recipes and food as a social experience.Sweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry Turnovers
It would be almost ten more years before I learned to bake from scratch, but in that time I learned to cook, wrote my first recipes, dreamed about owning a neighborhood restaurant, and gathered friends into tiny New York apartments to share late-night dinners. I had a few more office jobs too, and I can say now that I spent most of those work days reading food blogs and surfing a then-newfangled thing called Pinterest in search of recipe inspiration.

(Oops.)
Sweet Cherry TurnoversBut it all goes back to that impromptu stop at Blue Bonnet Bakery. That was the catalyst for the chain of events that lead me to where I am right now. It just took another decade or so and a lot of professional misadventures to manifest itself into E2 Bakes and being that person who always has cookies. #crazycookieladySweet Cherry Turnovers
Sweet Cherry Turnovers
And so, here I am on the first day of June 2018–fifteen years after my first office job—writing on my very own food blog about the Sweet Cherry Turnovers that I made in my kitchen this week. They’re made with my shatteringly crisp rough puff pastry and a tried-and-true sweet cherry filling, and they’re topped with a sweet vanilla glaze. They’re basically the very best kind of hand pie.Sweet Cherry Turnovers
Heck, if you’re lucky, they might even change your life.Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Sweet Cherry Turnovers
makes 6 large turnovers

Cherry Filling:
1 lb fresh whole sweet cherries, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water

Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5-6 teaspoons milk

Cherry Filling and Pastry Dough may be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Make the Cherry Filling. Combine pitted whole sweet cherries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until cherries are starting to release liquid. Remove from heat and stir in optional almond extract and butter. Let filling cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.

Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice into 6 squares.

Working with one square at a time, roll it into a 5-inch square. Place 2 tablespoons of cherry filling in the center, leaving behind any excess liquid. Paint two edges of each turnover with egg wash. Fold dough into half to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edge. Remove to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, chilling for 15 minutes if dough becomes sticky or difficult with which to work.

Chill pan of turnovers for 10 minutes. Cut vents in each turnover. Brush all exposed pastry with egg wash. Bake 25-27 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Make glaze. Combine confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and 5 teaspoons milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. For a thinner glaze, add 1 more teaspoon milk. Drizzle over cooled turnovers. Glaze should set after 20 minutes.

Turnovers are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Pastry will soften over time.

Note:

If you do not wish to make the Rough Puff Pastry, you may use one sheet of frozen all-butter puff pastry that you have thawed according to package directions.Sweet Cherry Turnovers

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Easy Scratch Chocolate Croissants

 I love a good complicated cooking project. My idea of the perfect day? Making a full Thanksgiving dinner by myself.

Yeah, I’m a little crazy.

But not crazy enough to attempt croissants from scratch…yet. The dough itself isn’t complicated, but there’s a ton of folding, and then there’s a process where butter is laminated into the dough. I’m sure I’ll get around to making the real deal someday, but for now I’m taking the easy way out.

I’m certainly not going to skimp on flavor though. No way! These chocolate croissants are buttery, flaky, and bursting with chocolate! And they take just two hours start-to-finish. 

Easy Scratch Chocolate Croissants are super simple. The dough is what’s called a “rough puff“–homemade puff pastry with all the difficulty taken out. It only has four ingredients, takes just minutes to put together, and is just as good (if not better) than the all-butter puff pastry you find in the freezer aisle. Plus, there’s some serious pride in being able to say “Oh, yeah. I made the pastry.” Trust me–when you say that, people look at you like you’re Julia Child. What they don’t know is that it’s really no trouble at all.

Basically, rough puff pastry is like making pie dough or biscuits–cold butter is cut into dry ingredients before liquid is added. After everything is stirred together, a shaggy dough forms. Be careful to keep everything cold; the butter must stay solid until it reaches the oven, or the dough will be tough instead of flaky and layered.

A word on ingredients. Don’t be tempted to use regular store-brand butter here–the dough needs the extra fat content found in European or cultured butters. Plus, this recipe has so few ingredients that quality really matters. American-style butter is delicious, but if you’ve ever had European butter, you know how insanely rich and luxurious it is. When it’s used in pastry, that richness translates into some seriously amazing breakfast. So, don’t use just any butter you have in your fridge–go for the really good stuff. I like Kerrygold, Lurpak, and President. Enough about butter! Back to the rough puff. Once you have your shaggy dough, turn it out onto a very well-floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that measures roughly 8×10″. Take one of the short sides and fold it so that the edge of the dough meets the center, like folding a piece of paper to fit in an envelope. Fold the other short side of the dough over the top–again, just like folding paper for an envelope. Turn the folded dough one quarter-turn. Roll it back into an 8×10″ rectangle, then fold and turn again. Repeat this until you have done it six times total. This will create unbelievably flaky pastry with visible layers!

Wrap your folded dough in plastic wrap, and chill it for at least an hour. This dough may be chilled up to 48 hours, or frozen! If you choose to freeze it, just thaw it in the fridge overnight before using it.

When you are ready to make croissants, unwrap your folded dough and place it on a very well-floured surface. Unfold the dough and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 12×18″ rectangle. Slice the dough into eight small triangles, each with two long sides.  
Take each triangle and place a bit of chopped dark chocolate near the short side. Use your fingertips to roll the short side over the chocolate, continuing to roll toward the point where the long sides meet. Shape the ends in any way you choose, and pinch any gaps together. If the dough gets warm or sticky at any point in this process, chill it briefly before continuing. 

  Place your croissants on a lined baking sheet, and brush each one with egg wash. Place the pan in a 425F oven and close the door. Immediately turn the oven down to 400F and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Then, prepare for buttery, flaky, chocolaty heaven. Oh my word.

I know that seems like a lot of steps, but this really is a simple recipe. There are only six ingredients, and you can have warm, homemade chocolate croissants on your table in about two hours! All that’s left to do is sit back with a cup of coffee or tea and pretend you’re in Paris 😊 

 Easy Scratch Chocolate Croissants
makes 8 small croissants

Rough Puff Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For Croissants:
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 large egg, room temperature

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough square. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll into a 12×18″ rectangle. Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut dough into quarters. Slice each quarter diagonally so that you have eight triangles with two long sides and one short side. Place roughly 1 tablespoon chopped dark chocolate near the short side of each triangle. Use your fingers to roll the short side toward the pointed end where the two long sides meet. If there are any gaps, squeeze them together with your fingers. Repeat with all triangles.*

Place croissants at least 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Whisk egg with a fork. Use a pastry brush to paint each croissant with egg. Place full pan in oven. Immediately turn temperature down to 400F. Bake 12-15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool five minutes before serving.

Croissants are best the day they are made, but will keep in a covered container at room temperature for up to 48 hours. 

Note:

Easy Scratch Chocolate Croissants may be frozen at this point. To do so, place croissants on a lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once completely frozen, place croissants in a freezer bag for up to one month. When you are ready to bake, there is no need to thaw. Follow the instructions as written, adding a minute or two to the baking time.