Two Chicks in the Mix

Unique ingredients, done right!

We Made Apricot Buns!

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Being an entreprenuer is difficult. It really cannot be overstated. Even more so, companies that revolve around the service industry can be especially exhausting; food service likely being one of the most arduous industries there is. At Two Chicks in the Mix, we use baking as a way to connect with our customers at pop ups. And these buns would totally be fun for a Mother’s Day brunch while reconnecting with family and friends.

Honestly, its been a really long time since I’ve baked for myself with no pretense or not in exchange for a paid invoice. But when my friend told me she was to host a brunch, I used it as an opportunity to try once again to make baking feel like it used to; fun and relaxing. So, I made these pillowy soft, yeasted Apricot Buns adapted from a recipe by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog. This was really fun and I used the opportunity to practice my iPhone food photography, and as you can see, I still need a lot of practice. This was also my first time making buns! They didn’t turn out quite like buns, per se. I didn’t dust the kitchen counter with enough flour so they basically stuck and all the jam was on top instead of inside of the bun. But they were still so good. I also changed the glaze a bit so as to make it less sweet.

Anyway, the recipe follows, as well as a link to the original recipe. And just a note: these will take two days to prepare, so plan accordingly!

Please do share if you make these for your mom! I would also love to know, have you ever had an experience with reconnecting with an old hobby? How did it turn out?

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Apricot Jam Streusel Buns (Adapted from The Vanilla Bean Blog)

Ingredients:

Dough

4 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk, warmed slightly on a stovetop

1/4 cup honey

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup bread flour

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/4 stick salted butter

plus 2 tbsp melted butter

Jam

Intense Apricot Fruit Spread from Bonne Maman Intense Apricot Spread (which boasts 39% less sugar than regular preserves which I love and worked perfectly here!)

Streusel

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

6 tbsp salted butter

Glaze

Juice of 3 halves of Cara Cara oranges

2 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Dough
Spray a large bowl with pan spray.

In a liquid measuring cup, add the eggs, milk, and honey.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, yeast, and salt and stir on low to combine. Slowly add the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the butter, one piece at a time until well incorporated. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl.

Cover the bowl with a linen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Place a flexible spatula underneath the dough and pull the dough up and over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding again. Continue 8 more times. Cover the bowl again and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this step 3 more times for a total of 4 turns and rests in total. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Streusel
With a fork, combine the all-purpose flour, sugars, almond flour, salt, and ground ginger. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and use the fork to mix together completely.

Glaze
In a small bowl, add the juice of the oranges, almond extract, salt, and powdered sugar and mix well with a fork. It will be runny. Mix again just before serving.

Assemble & Serve
Spray a large baking dish with pan spray.

On a well (!) floured surface, fold the dough over 3-4 times and then form it into a ball. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, about a 1/4 inch thick. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Spread about 3/4 cup of the jam on the dough. This might get messy but I’m not opposed to messy Apricot buns. Are you?

Roll the dough up onto itself, starting at the short end. If this seems difficult, try putting the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes and then try again. Use a sharp knife to cut the rolled dough into 12 pieces.

Set the buns in the prepared pan and let them rest about 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cover the buns with the streusel before putting into the oven.

Bake for 27 minutes, until the buns and streusel are fragrant and deep golden brown.

Let the buns rest and cool for about 15 minutes, stir the glaze together again and pour over the buns and serve.

I ate my second day buns with Tillamook’s Salted Caramel Hazelnut Ice Cream which is literally the best ice cream I’ve tasted in a long time, in a shop or the grocery store!

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How to: Flaky Pie Crust

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Pie crust can be intimidating. You want it to be flaky, roll out beautifully and bake to golden perfection. What if we told you we believe you are capable of creating an amazingly yummy pie crust from scratch? And we're here to help! This pie crust recipe is super simple and guaranteed flaky-goodness. Like fo'real, fo'real. You probably have every ingredient in your kitchen already so watch the video below and live your best pie life! 

Pie Crust Recipe

(Servings: One 9-inch Double Crust Pie)

Note: Keep dough cold at every step

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 sticks butter, cubed and chilled

1/4 to 1/2 cold water

Instructions:

Place flour, sugar, and salt into a medium to large bowl and mix together. Cut the butter into the flour mix with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 1/4 cup water directly over dough, mix with fork or pastry cutter then add more water if necessary, mixing until the dough comes just togehter. Remove dough from bowl and form into two equal disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Drop a comment below and share your pie crust experience with us! 

Behind the Scenes with Two Chicks

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Generally speaking, baking is enjoyable. You get to create something magical with the most fun ingredients – sugar, chocolate, vanilla, butter, sprinkles and love. Your baked goods can bring happiness to a somewhat humdrum day. Me: “Hey you, cookies are in the break room!” You: "Hoo-Ray!" See. The mood has completely changed. But let’s also talk about those grueling moments that can come along with baking. The moment when your cake sinks in the middle or the moment when your intricate pie crust design melts away in the oven or when you forget to set the timer and everything goes to sh*t. Yes, those unkind moments. We have dealt with some of those mishaps. Correction: we deal with those mishaps more often than not. The key is how to bounce back! Below are a few of our behind the scenes baking blues and how we handle it. Bake the cake, don’t let the cake bake you.

Pie crust meltdown

Our fruit tarts are in the shape of squares. This time for whatever reason, I decided I would make them in the shape of traditional empanadas. Once I checked on them in the oven, I knew I was in deep doodoo. The crust around the peach filling had cracked and separated. When I took out each tray and let them cool, they were too fragile to even pick up and crumbled in my hands. I had about 1 hour before I needed to deliver these fruit tarts and more treats for a wedding. Luckily, I had let some pie crust thaw out overnight and hurriedly scraped the peach filling out of the disaster tarts and put them in our newly formed square. Everything went smoothly. Particularly, with the help of my assistants. 

Pro tip: Always keep extra crust in the freezer! Scratch made pie crust can last a few days in the fridge and months in the freezer. Storing extra crust in your freezer is never a bad idea. 

Buttercream nightmare

A few hours before a graduation cake drop off, I woke up a little earlier than usual to make Swiss meringue buttercream and ice the Lemon Olive Oil cakes. I woke up that morning, a bit sleepy and unfocused, and rushed to make the buttercream. Somewhere between beating the egg whites and adding the butter, the buttercream looked more like cottage cheese. Yikes! Well...what now?

I decided to pop it in the fridge a for bit and rewhip it since I read that was the proper procedure in this case. Unfortunately, my problem was much deeper and the buttercream could not be saved. It dawned on me as I cussed myself that I didn’t whip the egg white & sugar mixture long enough. And instead of letting go, I wasted precious time. Luckily, I was able to whip up a new buttercream and make my delivery on time – very stressfully I might add.

My takeaway: When it’s not working out, toss it to the curb and start over ASAP. More importantly, give yourself more than enough time to ice and decorate your cakes cause life be like "yea, ok" 

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Cake drop

I dropped my customers cake, in front of them! I was just finishing the decorations of their cake (buttercream roses with pink pearls) and when I tried to lift it into the cake box, it fell over onto the table. I probably screamed out loud. My customer said "is there anything I can do?" "Yes. Can you please not watch me?" I had blamed it on the small talk we were making that distracted me, but also this was at a time when I was so new to making cakes.

Here's what I learned: the cake board under your cake should also be two inches bigger than your actual cake. THIS is what makes it easy to move. Always complete your cake the day prior to the customer's pick up time, any mishaps should happen when they are NOT around.

We hope our unfortunate baking tales and tips were useful. Remember, make the cake, don't let the cake make you! Have you experienced a crazy baking moment? How did you bounce back? Comment below! 

 

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