Inspiration….. Mestres em Doces Conventuais Lisboa

I stumbled across Mestres em Doces Conventuais – “Masters of Dessert” – while shopping in the mall of the Expo area of Lisbon.What pastries! Masters indeed!

Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Dig the Moorish head dress
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Famous custard tarts
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Palmier covered with Sweet Egg, Papiros
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Eggs of paradise
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Food of the Gods, Bacon from Heaven, and Brown Eggs (Chestnut Eggs)
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Some kind of egg custard filling in a shell. Do you know?
Mestres em Doces Conventuais – Divine Gluttony

If I have labeled anything incorrectly just let me know!

French Almond Nougat

For two Christmas’s in a row I made this candy to give away in Christmas boxes to friends and family. It is definitely a huge success. Thanks again Martha Stewart!

If you have made butter cream icing before then nougat will be a snap. The timing can be slightly, and only slightly, tricky but the results are worth any effort.

French Almond Nougat – Wrapped nougat in the Christmas Boxes

I generally make 4 recipes filling 2 – 1/4 baking sheets.

For 1 Baking sheet I used:
4 Large Egg White – room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup Water

then:

3 Cups of Light Corn Syrup
3 Cup of Sugar
8 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract – (1 TBS if you want more vanilla flavour)
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
7 Cups of Whole Raw Almonds with the skin on

More after the jump…….
Start by lining your sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. The paper should slightly extend over the edges. Set the an aside for later.

French Almond Nougat – Everything is ready to go

This is a two step process.

Step 1: Mazetta

In the mixer with the whip attachment, whip egg whites until stiff and set aside.

French Almond Nougat – Egg Whites

In a sauce pan mix 1 1/2 cups of corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar together. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reaches 242 degrees (soft-ball). This may take up to 20 minutes.

French Almond Nougat – Both boiling steps going at once.
French Almond Nougat – Coming to temperature

Once temperature has been achieved, slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites beating continuously until all of the syrup had been mixed in. This should take you a few minutes. Set aside for the next step.

French Almond Nougat – The syrup has been added
French Almond Nougat – The complete Mazetta

Step 2: The rest

In another pan mix 3 cups of corn syrup, 3 cups of sugar and bring to a boil. You will want to reach 280 degrees (soft-crack). This can take up to 25 minutes.  Be sure not to leave the mixture until you have finished.

Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 2 minutes.

French Almond Nougat – Next Syrup

Now you have to work really quickly!

Pour the slightly cooled mixture over the previously mixed Mazetta and stir until smooth.

French Almond Nougat – Adding the second syrup

Next add the butter, vanilla, and salt and mix again until the butter is incorporated fully. Now stir in the nuts. The mixture will be heavy so use a strong spoon or spatula.

French Almond Nougat – Butter and vanilla
French Almond Nougat – Add the almonds
French Almond Nougat – Mixed in almonds

Once thoroughly mixed empty the mixture onto your parchment lined pan.

Smooth the mixture out to ensure it fills the pan from corner to corner.

Let stand for 1 day. You can let it stand for less time but 1 Day was the right amount of time for me.

French Almond Nougat – Sitting to cure for a day

Packaging is up to you from here.

I used:80 – 3 1/2″ x 5 ” pieces of parchment.

I cut the completed nougat along the short side of the pan in 3/4″ slices then each of the strips in to 7 or 8 pieces. I wrapped each piece of nougat in the parchment twisting the loose ends to contain the nougat.

French Almond Nougat – Cut & Wrap

Now you are done! Enjoy!

Baker’s Notes:

  • I have had 2 pots of mixtures on the go at once – it reduced the amount of waiting time between step 1 & 2. Since the mixtures have to be at 2 different final temperatures this has worked well.
  • don’t stack the finished pans on top of each other while you are waiting for the nougat to cool. When I did this, somehow the nougat leap up off the one pan and sealed itself to the other pan. It was difficult to separate the two
  • you will need to twist the end of each piece of candy in its parchment cover. If you don’t the nougat will ooze out and you will have a pile of nougat with paper innards.
  • this might be the place for Tahitian vanilla extract since you are not cooking the vanilla
  • you may be able to use glacè fruit in the mixture for a more festive look

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies

I made these Cinnamon Swirl Cookies to give away. I did have just a few.

They were part of my Christmas gift boxes last year. They also features in 2 hospital ward Christmas parties and our own annual Yule party. Crunchy, not overly sweet, and tasty leads me to make these again some time soon. This recipe came from the Martha Stewart site. Until recently they had a cookie of the day post. The post is now called dessert of the day.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookie

You really need to try these:

I made 4 batches in order to have enough to give away.

In total I used:

8 Cups of All Purpose Flour
4 Teaspoons of Salt
2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
2 Pounds (8 Sticks) of softened Unsalted Butter
4 Cups of Sugar
1 Teaspoon of fresh Orange Zest
8 Large Eggs

For the filling I used:
8 Ounces (2 Sticks) of softened Unsalted Butter
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
2 Cups of Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cups of Chopped Walnuts, lightly toasted
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

I made theses Cinnamon Swirl Cookies in 2 batches making about 24 dozen cookies.

More after the jump…….
I started out gathering and measuring everything out so that I could move quickly.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – The ingredients

I the combined the sifted flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl and setting that aside. I added the butter, sugar, and orange zest into the mixer and beat it for 4 or 5 minutes. I scraped down the bowl a couple of times.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Mixing the flour and sugar

I then added the eggs one at a time to the mixer and ensured they had been combined.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Adding an egg
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Ready for another egg
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Final egg mixing

Next I added the flour and mixed the dough until it was just combined.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Adding the flour
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Just about mixed

When I removed the bowl from the mixer I mixed it with a spatula to catch any stray flour. I split the dough into 2 portions and wrapped them in plastic warp. I repeated the whole process again, finally giving me 4 wrapped batches of dough. I refrigerated everything for an hour until the dough firmed up.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Separated and wrapped for the fridge

As the dough was chilling I toasted the walnuts for about 8 minutes and cooled them. I also mixed both brown sugars, the butter, and the cinnamon in a bowl and added the walnuts. I split this mixture in to 4.
Once the dough was chilled I rolled it out to a 10″ x 12″ rectangle and squared it off with a paring knife. I placed the dough on a no stick mat ( you could use parchment paper). I then sprinkled the just 80% of the dough with the mixture.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Spreading the filling

After the sprinkle, I rolled the dough up using the no stick mat to assist me. I sealed the roll with the un-coated edge of the dough, wrapped the log in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for another hour or so. I repeated with the other 3 pieces of dough.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Rolling the log
Once the logs were well chilled I removed them from the fridge and cut the logs into 1/4″ slices or slightly smaller and put 12 pieces on a baking sheet. The remainder of the log I kept cool until the oven was free to bake another batch.  With the ragged ends I gathered together and baked them for a
baker’s treat.
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Ready for the oven
The cookies then went into the oven for 17 minutes at 350 degrees. When they came out of the oven they cooled off the tray on a cooling rack.
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies – Cooling on the Pan

I am usually a pecan freak rather than a walnut aficionado but these were amazing! Did I say they were good?

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Earlier in the year I was looking for something a little different for Saturday breakfast. Why? Just because. So I set out to find a new pancake recipe. I came across Recipe Girls post for Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

I had some canned pumpkin puree left over from a recipe in the fall so I thought that not only did the combination sound great but I had the things to make the pancakes with out having to run to the store at 10:00 PM!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

For this recipe I used:

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 Cup melted Butter
3/4 Cup Whey Low Gold sugar substitute
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Pancakes:
1 3/4 Cups Skim Milk
1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Whey Low Gold sugar aubstitute

Sadly the cream cheese icing was out for us.

On Friday night I combined the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and let them sit in a resealable bag over night on the counter.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – Butter, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon

The next morning I measured out the ingredients for the pancakes. I Mixed the dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl I mixed the wet ingredients. I added the dry to the wet and mixed well. I had to add a little more milk due to the whole wheat flour. I accounted for the extra milk above.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – The Wet Ingredients

I ladled out a pancake into a hot pan and swirled in the cinnamon mixture as Recipe Girl instructed.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – Cooking in the Pan

When the pancakes were showing signs of cooking through I flipped them.

Sadly my camera died for the last pictures.. 🙁

They were very good. I would imagine the icing would put them over the top!

Thanks Recipe Girl!!!

Bakers Notes:

June 2020 – Whey Low Gold has been increasingly hard to get. I have been using Swerve Brown with great results but, I haven’t used it with this recipe.

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