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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 .

Almond Coffee Cake Recipe

My years spent sleeping on bakery shelves before grade school are paying off for you once again. Today, I share with you the Almond Coffee Cake.

Almond Coffeecake Recipe

Almond Coffee Cake Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (110°F or lower)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup shortening or unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-6 cups white flour
  • 1 egg, beaten (for sealing and top of coffee cake)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Filling Ingredients

  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Place yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add warm water and sugar. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to create the sponge for your dough. When it looks bubbly & frothy, it is ready.

Whisk mashed potatoes, shortening, eggs, and salt into yeast mixture.

Add in flour a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. At about 4-5 cups, you will need to start kneading with your hands and evaluate whether or not you even need more flour. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should be able to be formed into a smooth ball. Let sit in a warm place to rise for one hour. Using a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook is a great way to knead dough. When the dough clings to the dough hook and is still very elastic-y, it has enough flour.

Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a towel, place in a very warm place, and allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. If it’s too cold, it will take longer.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stretch dough into a long piece and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Dough should end up about 1/2 inch thick,  18-20 inches in length, and 6 inches wide.

Place almond filling ingredients in a food processor and process for few minutes. Spread down the middle of the dough along the whole 20 inches and about 2 inches in width. Bring the bottom of dough up. Use beaten egg to brush the bottom flap. Bring the top of dough down to attach to end with egg coating. Turn coffee cake over so sealed side is on the bottom. Make into a circle and connect the ends.

Allow coffee cake to rise again until doubled in size. Brush top with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle sliced almonds over top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Allow coffee cake to cool to almost room temperature. Make frosting and drizzle over top of coffee cake.

I just had a piece and it’s heavenly. I’m so happy. All I need now is a bakery shelf to nap on.

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Raspberry Almond Mazarin Tart Recipe

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One of my favorite Scandinavian treats is the mazarin tart. It is rich and regal yet one of the easiest things one could make for friends… the perfect dessert.

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Preheat oven to 350F.

Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Cream butter & powdered sugar. Add egg yolk (save egg white for filling). Combine. Add flour & sea salt. Mix well. Place some flour on countertop. Separate dough into six equal pieces. Press into six 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Make sure bottoms and sides are covered as you would a pie crust. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients

  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (remaining from above egg yolk)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Whip butter and almond paste until combined well. Add sugar, egg, egg white, almond extract, and sea salt. Whip together. Spoon filling into tart crusts. Place all tarts on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool until they can safely be removed from tart pans.

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup Strawberry or raspberry preserves

Spread a few tablespoons of preserves over the top of the almond tarts while they are still somewhat warm.

Serve on a pretty little plate.  Add a few fresh raspberries on top and drizzle with chocolate if desired.

This recipe can also be made in about a 10-inch tart pan for one large tart.

Alternate Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine

Mix together well to make a lovely glaze. Spread over top of tarts after they have cooled. Allow icing to dry for several hours before serving.

These are an impressive holiday dessert but also easy to make ahead and refrigerate for a hot summer evening.

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Braised Chicken With Dried Cherry Compote

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What is gorgeous and festive and scrumptious and festive? Why, braised chicken with dried cherry compote, of course. She is sexy upon a plate of arugula and impressive for your guests. Doubled or tripled, she is perfect for a shindig – for she is a party on a plate and in your mouth.

Braised Chicken With Dried Cherry Compote

Braised Chicken Recipe

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 chicken, fabricated (cut into pieces)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Leaves from about 8 fresh thyme stems
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe pot over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces a few pieces at a time. After skin is golden brown on all sides, set chicken pieces aside.

Add onion to remaining olive oil and cook until somewhat translucent. Add the chicken back into the pan and enough chicken stock to come to about 1/2 the way up the chicken. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, cover lightly with foil and bake at 350F for about 60 minutes or until middle of the breasts are 165 degrees on meat thermometer. Remove from oven when done.

Dried Cherry Compote Recipe

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Cook onion in oil in saucepan over medium heat until somewhat translucent. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes while stirring until sugar mixture turns a golden caramel. Carefully add  wine and salt. Continue to boil, stirring for a minute or so. Add dried cherries and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally, until liquid has reduced down to become syrupy, about 45 minutes. Add water. For a sweet and spicy zing, add a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to compote at the same time as adding the water. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When chicken is done baking, place on a platter and top with dried cherry compote. ‘Tis lovely served with Swedish rye bread.

She is sweet and saucy.  She will not disappoint. Plus, you get to use the word “compote” when telling your guests about her and that is always most impressive.

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Sweet Swedish Rye Bread Recipe

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I am one of the luckiest girls on the planet earth. When I was a wee one, I would watch trays of dark, sweet Swedish rye bread come out of giant, scary bakery ovens. The aroma would almost knock me over while suffering from pure joy. Although no bread will ever come close to the large $1.19 Swedish rye loaves I grew up with, this recipe has me sitting next to the giant ovens once again in my mind. Happy, happy girl.

  • 1 ½ cups warm water, 110 degrees or cooler
  • 2 packages yeast (or 1 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup medium rye flour, divided
  • 5 cups white flour (plus a bit more for handling sticky dough as needed)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Place warm water into a very large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Whisk together.

Add sugar, butter, egg, honey, molasses, rye flour and 1 cup of all-purpose white flour.

Stir. Should be a soupy consistency. add three more cups of white flour one cup at a time, stirring between each cup in with a sturdy spoon.

Knead dough by hand for about 15 minutes; or, better yet, if you have a mixer with a dough hook, knead in mixer for about 8 minutes on medium speed.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until double in size. The colder the location is, the longer the bread will take to rise.

Deflate again. Add one cup of white flour. Knead again for about 15 minutes by hand or 8 minutes on medium-low speed in mixer.

Form dough into ball and place back into bowl. Cover with towel again & place in a warm place to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°F. After dough has doubled, punch dough down. Using a bit of flour to keep fingers from getting sticky, form dough into two equal balls & place on a half sheet baking pan with space in between lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise in a warm place for another happy hour.

Loaves will about double in size. It’s moments like these that remind me there is a God.

Time for the magic of egg wash. Beat one egg well.

Gently brush the loaf with egg wash for a shiny top and place into oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, turn tray around, then bake for 20 more minutes.

This bread is perfectly perfect for cutting big pieces to have with a bowl of soup.

To make it extra special at Christmas, you can add the zest of an orange.

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Oh, my! How < insert every positive adjective ever known to man here >.

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Actual size is approximately this big.

To enjoy all of the luscious flavors this Swedish rye has to offer, allow to mostly cool before slicing. This bread is perfectly perfect for cutting big pieces to have with a bowl of soup.

To make this recipe even more fun. I know, not possible, right? Yes, yes, it is possible. Give away shorty baby loaves to friends. Fill little soup cans a bit less than half full when you form your loaves. Just spray with baking spray & make sure you use the kind you open with a can opener.

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After cooled, wrap with a piece of scrapbook paper and tie with a fun, rustic bow. Shorty baby bread has never looked or tasted so good. Who needs flaming hot ferris wheels anyhow?

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017