Friday, June 03, 2016

Celebrate National Doughnut Day!

Happy National Doughnut Day! Did you know that this day is rooted in the Salvation Army's response to World War I? The women who delivered doughnuts to boost troop morale were called Doughnut Lassies. Isn't that the coolest job title ever?



There is SO MUCH happening with donuts in Boston today - here's the rundown!

Kane's Donuts:



I recently had the chance to stop by Kane's Boston location and they gave me some sample donuts to try. This likely goes without saying, but there is no parking anywhere nearby during the day so plan your visit accordingly.




The doughnuts are huge! My favorite varieties here have simple glazes, such as the basic honey-dipped, and the Maine Blueberry is probably my favorite, but I'm guessing you already knew that






I think my favorite thing about Kane's Donuts is their rotating selection. For example, for Cinco de Mayo, they had an amazing Margarita donut. Did you know that the margarita dates back to 1938 and was invented in Mexico, by Carlos “Danny” Herrera, for a customer who was allergic to many spirits, but not tequila?


For Father's Day, they have a whiskey donut. In fact, they have teamed up with Rhode Island distillery Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. to create the whiskey glazed donut. If there is a special Dad in your life, or you want to pretend there is, this donut is awesome. The whiskey glaze is created using Sons of Liberty Spirits’ international award winning Battle Cry Whiskey, an American Single Malt born from a Belgian-style ale. Battle Cry is a unique experience from beginning to end - hints of dark fruit and spices, such as anise and black licorice, with a subtle sweetness and a lasting finish that leaves the palate begging for more. Kane’s boiled down the Battle Cry to cook out most of the alcohol and then blended it with sugar, local organic honey and butter to craft a divine whiskey glaze. Since this donut is too good to only serve for one weekend, they’ve made it one of their June flavors of the month.

I also love how friendly their staff are. While I was waiting in line, another woman came to get two cupcakes for an office birthday party, and Kane's even had birthday candles available which is a nice touch for such a small space. There is no seating inside this location, but on a nice day there is plenty of outdoor seating. On a not-so-nice day, you can hang out at the window counter.

Here are other ways to celebrate today:

For some other ideas, check out the doughnut archives. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer is Almost Here

I got the chance to meet with one of my favorite people last week: Carol Sneider, Founder and President of Bakes for Breast Cancer!

Here are all the details for Boston, Rhode Island, and now the Cape and the Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer. Boston takes place May 2-8, Rhode Island takes place May 8-14, and the Cape and the Islands June 6-12. Here are more details:
From May 2 through Mother’s Day on May 8, more than 200 restaurants, bakeries, caf├ęs, ice cream, and chocolate shops throughout Massachusetts will participate by designating all sales of one specific dessert, or 50 percent of proceeds from their entire dessert menu, to breast cancer care and research. Proceeds from the 17th annual event will Bakes for Breast Cancer, Inc., a non-profit breast cancer organization dedicated to making a difference. For a list of participating establishments or to shop online, please visit bakesforbreastcancer.org. 
We both have a massive sweet tooth so of course we met up for ice cream at Abbott's Frozen Custard. As you may recall, I'm a big fan of frozen custard. Abbott's frozen custard was fantastic - smooth, creamy, and delicious.


I got birthday cake with sprinkles in a waffle cone coated in chocolate. Also, you judge me during PMS, I judge you during PMS.


How adorable is this place?




I grabbed some salted caramel for home and it was also amazing. Enjoy!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Legendary Boston Baker John Pupek Shares Recipe, Techniques for Making Jordan Marsh's Blueberry Muffins

Image source.
I don't know about you, but this constantly flipping weather, nonstop political fighting, and the winding down of the semester (combined with stacks of papers to grade, mind you) has me daydreaming of carbs. Come watch John Pupek, the legendary baker of the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin, prepare his masterpiece:

Legendary Boston baker shares recipe, techniques for making Jordan Marsh's blueberry muffins | Local News - WCVB Home


You can learn secret techniques for making the muffins too.

According to Yankee Magazine, this is the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups large fresh blueberries
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for top of muffins)


Instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. In a second bowl, combine all dry ingredients. (You can use an electric mixer to combine the dry ingredients thoroughly at this point so that you won't need to overmix once the wet and dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture along with the milk and vanilla.
  5. Optionally, mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries, and stir in by hand (this will turn batter a light shade of blue and add a touch of blueberry flavor, but this step may be skipped, if you wish). Add the remaining whole berries and stir in gently by hand.
  6. Spray a 12 muffin baking pan with Baker's Joy (or other non-stick spray). Fill greased muffin cups.
  7. Sprinkle sugar on top of unbaked muffins.
  8. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin after several minutes to free it from the pan and cool on wire racks. Muffins may be brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar, if desired.

My personal favorite blueberry muffin recipe is from the Fanny Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook, which is also posted on this blog here.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Nutella Pizza at MAST' is as Good as it Sounds

I recently had the pleasure of eating at MAST', a truly authentic Southern Italian restaurant located near Park Street.




Everything required to make the most authentic Neapolitan pizza is imported from Italy, from the flour to the tomatoes to the hundred-year-old oven to the cooks themselves!




One of the helpful waitstaff, Tessa, created this video to show you the chef in pizza-making action:


I sampled a variety of pizzas for lunch. Because the oven is so hot, the pizza cooks in the oven for less then 1 minute. If you have not had traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizza before, the pizza dough itself is likely different than what you might expect. It has a complex flavor and rich, chewy texture and is so delicious it encourages eating slice after slice. All I'm saying is plan your carbs that day accordingly because you will want to indulge.

Here is the Margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, basil, and olive oil:



Here is the Zucca pizza with pumpkin squash creme, fior di latte, and spezia, which takes advantage of the pumpkin flavor. No lame pumpkin spice here!


Here is the Capriciosa with artichoke hearts, Prosciutto cotto ham, olives, fior di latte, and San Marzano tomatoes. 


Here is the best part of MAST' - NUTELLA. Here is their Nutella wall:


The Nutella pizza, which is so good that upon tasting, you start trying to figure out ways to hoard it from others: 



Here are photos of the owners. Thank you for the fantastic lunch!




** Editor's note: lunch was provided by MAST'


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Live Candy Cane Making Demo at Tuck's Candy Shop

Last week I had the pleasure of checking out one of my favorite holiday traditions - the candy cane making demonstration at Tuck's Candy Shop! Located about an hour's drive north of Boston (and accessible by commuter rail with a short walk), Rockport is on the tip of Cape Ann, Massachusetts.  You have likely seen the most famous image from town, referred to as Motif No. 1, in Bearskin Neck wharf because it is photographed so often:



Although one might think of it as a summer destination to visit the beach and cute shops, it is fun to walk around even this time of year. Many shops are still open and the temperature is unseasonably warm. Being so close to the water will make you crave seafood but be aware that everyone else will have the same thought and plan your lunch or dinner table-waiting accordingly.

I was super excited to revisit Tuck's. I hadn't been there in years and was excited to go there!


Here is the candy-making demonstration schedule:


Here is an overview of the entire process with feedback from the candy makers. The taller gentleman mentioned that he is a third generation candy maker:


The curving and setting of the candy canes:







I believe the last demonstration of the season will be on December 20. Have fun!