Tag Archives: dried fruit

Day 13 of Baker’s Dozen: Easy Panettone

We did it. We made it to the last day of the Baker’s Dozen. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know many organizations are off from work today, getting a head start on the holiday weekend. I hope you are all finished with your shopping and baking and can now sit back and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

This is the easy version of Panettone, which is an Italian fruitcake. You will see it in stores generally in the blue boxes. I’ve never bought one of those. I worry how dry and old they may be. And the whole preservative thing (obviously it has something in it if it is shelf stable for months!) Which is probably one of the big reasons it is commonly turned into French Toast (which will be my Sunday morning brunch. Can’t wait). But the traditional way to make panettone is a very long and tedious process. And really, who has time for long and tedious this month? Not me.

After all the baking I’ve done this month, I needed the easy version.  King Arthur Flour has the easy version and it was delicious. You’ll notice that there’s a hole in my panettone. Traditional panettone is baked high with no hole, which makes for a more difficult baking process.Remember, we need easy right now.

I followed their recipe almost exactly, except that I let my biga rise for almost 24 hours  and then I tossed my dried fruit in a little rum for about 30 minutes before adding it to the dough. And that’s it.  They did such a great job with the instructions that I’m just going to give you the link. You can still make it in time for Christmas Brunch and you won’t regret it. After all your hard work this month, you deserve a treat, don’t you think? Now you can have your cake and eat it too.

King Arthur Flour American Style Panettone

Be sure to read the tips right below the ingredient list.

Warmest wishes to you and yours! Happy Holidays!

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Day 4 of Bakers Dozen: Sugarplums

We’ve all heard of sugarplums before, most likely from the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker (which everyone must see at least once, in my humble opinion).

But have you ever eaten a sugarplum? Do you even know what is in a sugarplum? I hadn’t, nor did I know what a sugarplum was. Turns out, my beloved Alton Brown had a traditional sugar plum recipe.

They are really easy, almost healthy, and unique. However, I didn’t like them all that much. I don’t like licorice. Anise seed tastes like licorice. I was hoping the anise would be subtle enough for me not to notice, but I did. Good news for licorice lovers though – you’ll love these! I think I’ll try again without the anise seed. I’m sure I’ll love them then.

Try something new this holiday!

Sugarplums

Adapted from Alton Brown

Yield: About 60

Difficult: Easy

Prep time: About 30 to 45  minutes (not sure why the recipe online says 13 hours…must be a typo)

  • 6 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
  • 4 ounces dried plums
  • 4 ounces dried apricots
  • 4 ounces dried figs
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup coarse sugar

1. Place the dried fruit and nuts in a food processor and pulse until small but not combined fully.

2. Add the powdered sugar, spices, and honey. Pulse until moist and mixture comes together.

3. Scoop into small 1/4 ounce balls and roll in hand to compress. Then roll in sugar.

4. You are done! Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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