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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Oliebollen Dutch New Year’s Day Doughnut Recipe

Nothing says, “Happy New Year!” like balls. Amitrite? Everyone knows I like my balls (insert hilarious but innocent link here). Growing up, I asked one of my grandfathers what nationality we were. His reply was nothing short of insightful.

“You’re a mutt.” He replied and laughed and laughed.

What he didn’t know is this little girl was lost inside. What was I? I wasn’t blonde and didn’t like pickled herring all that much, so I must not be Norwegian. I wasn’t tall and didn’t swear like a farmer in the church parking lot so I must not be Dutch.


I was longing for something to hang on to for my native identity. In the meantime, this mutt picked up the special traditions of her closest friends and made them her own. Susie and the other Dutch kids in my school made oliebollen every New Year’s Day. The Norwegians stocked up on lefse every Christmas. Let’s just say I knew who and when to visit.

Is it coincidence when I visit Wallingford district in Seattle I get lost and find myself in Ballard next to all the Scandinavian stores and bakeries on my way home every single time? I think not. It is my viking soul calling me home.

Makes about 20 balls.


Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 48 ounces canola or vegetable oil (for deep frying)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Stir water & yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl.

Place milk, egg & vanilla in medium bowl and whisk together until well beaten.

Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients. Add about half of milk mixture to bowl as well. Combine. Add remaining milk mixture and combine until smooth – about 2 minutes. Dough should be very sticky.

Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Once the dough has doubled, stir in the salt and raisins.

Heat the oil to 375°F a deep fryer. Do not start frying until oil has preheated or you will end up with balls of oil. (Never mind that oliebollen actually means oil balls.)

Form balls of dough using a cookie scoop. Carefully dip scoop in oil to prevent sticking, scoop some dough, and drop carefully in hot oil one at a time.  Be sure not to crowd too many in as it will cool the oil down and your balls will become oily.  (I know. I know.) The oliebollen will sink to the bottom of the fryer and then float up to the top. Fry until golden brown on first side for about 3 minutes, carefully flipping when required and frying another 3 minutes on the second side. Use tongs to remove the oliebollen from the hot oil and place them on a sheet pan covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Sprinkle powdered sugar over oliebollen and serve warm.

I call this photo “MUST HAZ ALL DA SUGARZ”

When the Dutch made oliebollen, they were some of the first doughnuts on the planet. “My people” probably even brought them to America. You’re welcome.

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French Press Coffee Tray With Chocolate & Whipped Cream Toppings

When one goes to a fancy schmancy place, one feels fancy schmancy… that is, unless one doesn’t realize the appropriate attire for the Nutcracker at the Pacific Northwest Ballet is semi-formal and one arrives in jeans. Then one does not feel so fancy shmancy. But, that is a story for another day. Or, you know, never.

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One such fancy shmancy restaurant I’ve enjoyed serves their coffee with cream, and sugar… and chocolate, and white chocolate, and (as I like to call it) whoop cream.


For a girl who has always enjoyed her cheap, bitter coffee with a dose of hot water and her pricey, bold coffee black, I was overjoyed at the new, fanciful options.

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Shaved semi-sweet or Belgian chocolate .

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Chocolate Striped Mikado Sticks. You know, just because you can.

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Glorious whoop cream enhanced with a little powdered sugar and almond emulsion. Or, if you prefer, vanilla . Or maple. Or mint. Brunch for a crowd? Offer some of each.

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White chocolate curls? Yes, please!
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Fancy shmancy places eat your heart out.

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If anyone needs me, I’ll be right here. Feeling fancy shmancy. In my jeans.

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Homemade Cake Doughnut Recipe

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The only way to properly follow up a post about Spanx is with a cake doughnut recipe. Amirite? And the only way to follow up a doughnut recipe is with a frosting recipe. And the only way to follow up all of the above is with sprinkles.

You can take the girl out of the bakery but you can’t take the bakery out of the girl. And this is why I need Spanx.


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Fill with Crisco shortening and then preheat doughnut fryer to 375F. Look up your appliance’s instructions (or look for fill line) to decide how much shortening to use.

Prepare a baking sheet with an old, clean towel (or several layers of paper towels) on it to place doughnuts on after frying.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour (plus about 1-2 cups more for rolling out dough)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 T. canola oil

Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well then set aside.

Pour all wet ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and all are well incorporated.

Combine wet ingredients into large bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently just until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Dust counter, doughnut cutter, & rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut doughnuts & doughnuts holes out and lay on a baking sheet so they are ready for frying.

Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Look for middles and edges to become golden brown before flipping.

Place fried doughnuts on baking sheet covered with a towel to drain excess grease off doughnuts.

Eat while hot or wait for doughnuts to cool a bit before frosting. This chocolate frosting recipe is fantastic.  Or if you are feeling rather maple-y this maple frosting recipe is top notch.

If you would like to keep it simple, you can use this vanilla frosting recipe:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use clear vanilla for pure white frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Makes about 24 cake doughnuts and 24 doughnut holes.

Tips For Making Homemade Bakery Goods 

When measuring flour measuring cup into flour canister. Level off top of measuring cup with a butterknife. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup (like you would brown sugar) because you will get too much into your dough.

Stirring too much will make doughnuts (and pancakes and scones…) tough and rubber-y.

Wait for the oven or fryer to preheat every single time. If you begin before the preheat, your puff pastry will flop in the oven and your doughnuts will be full of grease from the deep fryer.

Don’t panic. If you’re afraid of your doughnuts under-cooking, just try one first and figure out how long you need to fry on each side then repeat.

Don’t forget the sprinkles. And Spanx. And sprinkles.

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Homemade Caramel Sauce

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You need this recipe in your life just like you need a pumpkin spice candle, and a maple leaf wreath, and decorative gourds. Yes, you do. And you can have it in just five minutes.


Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce featuring Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding or, you know,  Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding featuring Caramel Sauce. Either way, your life will never be the same.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

This is one of those recipes where mise en place is key. Have all your ducks in a row. Be a good scout, always be prepared. Okay, you get the idea.

Melt butter over low heat in medium-large saucepan. After it is fully melted, stir in brown sugar and salt. Turn heat up to medium to medium-high heat and watch closely.

When sauce starts to boil and get foamy looking, simmer for about three minutes over medium heat

After simmering, carefully add in heavy whipping cream. The sauce’s reaction to the cream is pretty jumpy, so be careful.

Stir together and remove from heat. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before using so you don’t burn yourself. Fresh out of the pan caramel sauce is very hot.

And now when you tell your friends your Caramel Sauce is homemade and they ask, “Homemade homemade?” and your all like, ‘Yeah, like homemade homemade!”  You can be all proud and stuff. Because you are awesome sauce. And that’s not just the caramel talkin’.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes With Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

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Light the pumpkin candles. Cue the Christmas song list (Yes, Christmas. Because, well, one cannot get enough Christmas music.) Download the free “Turkey For Twelve” eBook. But, most importantly, print this recipe for tomorrow is officially fall.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes Recipe

  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

Place pumpkin, buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs, canola oil, sugar, spices, baking powder, sea salt, and pecans in medium bowl. Whisk until eggs are well beaten and combined with other ingredients.

Gently stir in flour until mixed in. Do not stir too much or pancakes will become rubbery.

Heat non-stick pan over low heat if using a gas stove. If you have an electric stove top, I recommend testing a small pancake first over about level 5 heat. Some can range (no pun intended) as high as level 7 for pancakes.  Just get to know your stove top and preheat to the same setting every time you cook pancakes.

Pour about 1/3 cup pancake batter into pan. Quickly spread into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cook until bubbles form around edges and the ones in the middle begin popping.

Flip pancake and cook until becomes somewhat puffy in middle – showing you the center is fully cooked.

Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 cup maple extract (Can use less for lighter maple flavor or none if you’d like plain cream cheese syrup.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in blender on medium-low speed. Pour into saucepan and heat until syrup reaches a boil. Whisk for about 1 minute while syrup thickens then remove from heat.

And with a collective sigh, the people fell for fall and everything pumpkin spice all over again. Glory be. Glory be.

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Eggs Benedict Recipe

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I’m on a kick lately. Back to basics… the traditional, if you will. The basics are good for the soul. Here are some others I’ve been in touch with lately:

  • Take road trips.
  • Be happy.
  • Be kind.
  • Be silly.
  • Keep learning.

There’s something about going back to the basics that refreshes the soul. Sometimes we get too fancy, too complicated, too side-tracked. And then there’s Eggs Benedict – classy and uncomplicated.


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Two servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 English muffins, toasted
  • Butter
  • 4 pieces of Canadian bacon (or several slices of Black Forest ham)
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1 recipe of hollandaise sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced (optional)

Toast English muffins and butter them. Place each on a plate.

Fry Canadian bacon or ham until hot. Place on English muffins.

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Poach four eggs. The best way to do this is to heat water in saucepan on high until it starts to boil. Place a paper towel on a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium high. Stir until water forms into a circler rotation in pan. Crack an egg open and drop into middle of pan. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove egg from water with slotted spoon and place on plate. Continue until all four eggs are cooked. Eggs will look imperfect and this is perfect.

If you’re not a fan of the runny yolk and like an over-hard egg, you can cook them for about 8-9 minutes. This isn’t traditional, but you should enjoy your eggs the way you like them. You can also use fried eggs or scrambled eggs. This dish is delightful either way. 

Make hollandaise sauce and pour over your eggs. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.

She may seem prissy and hard to figure out, sure, but she is so much more than that. She is comforting. She is saucy. And she is empowering. And, once you realize you can make the basics, you can do anything.

 

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Penuche Coffeecake Recipe

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Sometimes life is about breaking the rules. Like, who says penuche is only for German Chocolate Cake?

For new readers, I worked in one of the Seattle area’s most popular bakeries back in the eighties & nineties. It is where my love of all things small business, all things sugar, all things Scandinavian, and all things yeast started.


At Scandia Bakery, there were penuche danish and penuche coffeecakes coming out of the ferris-wheel oven daily. So I must share with you my remix (cue auto tune music) of this beloved sweet and golden uprising – the penuche coffeecake. Everybody got time for dat.

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Pastry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110F or cooler)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 cup of instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 3/4 cups warm milk (110F or cooler)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • About 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Place yeast and warm water into a large bowl. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to become foamy.

After foaminess has developed, whisk in sugar, instant mashed potatoes (premixed mixed with water as listed above), milk, eggs & shortening. Mix until well combined and shortening is about the size of peas. Finally, stir in salt.

Continue mixing with a wooden spoon and add a cup of flour.

Slowly continue adding about a cup of flour at a time. When you can no longer stir the dough easily with a spoon, begin kneading in the remaining flour. You can keep it in the bowl while doing this or on the counter – whichever you find easiest for you.  Knead by hand for about 5 minutes or until dough is somewhat elastic.

Cover with a clean warm, damp towel and let dough sit in a warm place for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size. This can sometimes take longer in the winter because of the weather so be sure to place dough in a warm place.

This is a great time to make filling (recipe below) and then set aside to use at the right time.

Turn happily risen dough onto flour-covered countertop. Coat dough with a little bit of flour so it’s easier to work with and punch down.

Prepare baking pan. Spray with non-stick baking spray or coat with butter. You can use a large circle cake pan like I do (about 12-inch), or any pan you have that will fit comparably like a 9X13. You’ll need room for dough to rise one last time and the filling. The coffeecake will also expand while baking. Place dough into pan. Press dough to fit pan bottom and side. Allow to rise for another hour (or until about double in size again).

Preheat oven to 350F. Press dough down in the middle of pan. Pour filling into dough. Top with streusel (recipe below). Bake with a sheet pan underneath to catch drips (just in case).

Bake for 35-45 minutes. When bottom pastry dough is cooked (edges should be golden brown), coffeecake is done baking. Allow to cool to room temp so that coffeecake will be easier to remove from round pan and your coffeecake will look glorious upon a round platter. If using a 9X13, you can just serve in the pan. Drizzle with frosting (you guessed it, recipe below).

Penuche Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups pecans, lightly toasted
  • 7 ounces shredded sweetened coconut

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add heavy cream, egg yolks, sugars, vanilla. & salt. Whisk well. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Watch closely. Stir in pecans and coconut. Allow to cool to room temperature and then save in refrigerator until cake is ready.

Streusel Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg
Place streusel ingredients into food processor and press pulse until combined but still crumbly (about the size of peas). Sprinkle onto pastry. If you have extra, this can be frozen for another day. It’s handy for bakers to have on hand.
Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Stir together until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Step aside, German Chocolate Cake. I love you; but, Penuche Coffeecake in the hero of this sweet rebellion.

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How to Cook Bacon For a Crowd

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After discussing squashed squash, one can only assume it is appropriate to follow up with baking bacon. No?

While cooking breakfast for six people at a time at my inn plus a family of bacon snitchers, I was forced to figure out a way to cook bacon for up to a dozen people at a time. My answer to this very serious problem was to bake bacon in the oven.


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You will need a roasting pan with shallow sides so that your bacon can brown and not simply steam. Or, better yet, you can use a half sheet pan with sides which will also keep the excess grease in the pan.  No one needs a grease fire, after all. Preheat your oven to 350F then line thick-cut bacon in a row. If you choose regular-cut bacon, you’ll just want to watch your cook time closely because it will probably take less time to cook. A half sheet pan will fit about a dozen slices at a time.

Have you ever had a grease fire? I don’t mean to brag, but I have. If you throw water on a grease fire, it will multiply your fire. Never do this. A bunch of salt can help put a grease fire out. I always keep a large container of sea salt handy for cooking… or small grease fires. Once I had my self-cleaning setting on my oven and a fire broke out inside. Always learn how to stop clean-mode on your oven so you have the knowledge inside of you when you need it. I hadn’t. But, I did think to push the door closed as tight as I could and suffocated the oven fire. Take that, oven fire. I’m sure well-seasoned cooks know this stuff but figured I would take one fore the team and share this info for new cooks.

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You can bake a few pans at a time but will need to carefully rotate the pan locations so they bake evenly. I recommend turning bacon over half-way through baking time. Baking bacon usually takes about 30 minutes total.

If you are using one pan over and over again, be sure to pour the excess bacon grease into a container and set aside. Bacon grease is wonderful when kept in a mason jar in the refrigerator. Try stir fried rice or green beans or beef pieces fried in it. You’re welcome.

To be sure your bacon is done cooking, pull out a meat thermometer and make sure the temperature of the bacon reaches at least 145F.

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Place all bacon upon a few paper towels to drain excess grease. You could place it on a pretty platter, but let’s be honest. It’s never gonna make it there once the crowd smells the sizzling, bacon-y goodness.

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Grilled & Filled Nectarines Recipe

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This sexy little vixen was featured on New Day Northwest recently. You must try. Like, today.

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INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil
3 ripe but firm white nectarines

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Garnish:

6 fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Place a grill pan or prepare the outdoor grill over medium – high heat. Cut the nectarines in half and remove pits. Lightly brush inside of nectarines with olive oil so they don’t stick to the grill.

Place nectarines with the cut side facing downward onto grill. To get great grill marks, do not move the nectarines while they cook.

Grill until marks are well formed and they are slightly softened and heated through, about 5-10 minutes.

Combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide the filling equally, topping the cut side of each grilled nectarine. To take things over the top, use a large decorating bag and large decorating tip to create an amazing swirl on the top. Garnish with fresh mint.

Sweet baby Jesus, it’s take-my-breath-away gorgeous every time.

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Coconut French Toast with Orange Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

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What is extremely popular and a perfect breakfast for Mother’s Day or any day? This.

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This Coconut French Toast with Orange Cream Cheese Syrup is the talk of the town this month. There is nothing quite like her. She is nutty. She is comforting. She is refreshing. She is creamy.

COCONUT FRENCH TOAST INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 long loaf French bread cut into about 1 inch slices
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups coconut
  • 2 tablespoons butter (to coat baking pan)

Prepare French toast the night before. If desired, use a knife to cut a small slit into the sides of each slice of bread and place about 10-20 chocolate chips inside the middle for a chocolate-y surprise. Whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla until very well combined & golden in color. Dip sliced bread into egg mixture and coat each slice well. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread. Cover with saran wrap and allow to rest in fridge overnight (or at least for a couple of hours) to soak in eggy goodness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9X13 baking pan with butter. When ready, remove French toast from fridge. Place coconut onto a plate and press each slice of bread into the coconut until both sides & edges are coated. Place each one into baking pan. Place a little extra coconut on the top side of each slice of bread. Bake for about 1/2 hour or until egg coating is fully cooked and coconut is light golden brown. (Turn French toast try around, if needed, half way through baking time for even browning.

ORANGE CREAM CHEESE SYRUP INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup  (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • Juice & zest of 4 fresh oranges
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Cut cream cheese and butter into small pieces. Warm syrup ingredients, except powdered sugar, over low heat in a large saucepan until fully melted. Whisk in powdered sugar until becomes a lovely syrup. If needed, pour syrup into blender and blend for smoother texture.

Drizzle syrup over each piece of French toast or serve on the side in a lovely pitcher.

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Make this for mom and she will love you forever. She will also ask you for the recipe. And then you will be her favorite. You’re welcome.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016