Sunday, December 14, 2014

Knead to stop by...

I mentioned in my last post that I had tried a bagel from Knead but, needed to visit again to write my review.  I had stayed in the car last time and wanted to get the full experience of entering the bakery before I wrote my review. 
Fresh sausage was a plus, wish there was a little more seeds though.
 I say bakery, which wasn't quite my first impression when walking into the place.  I was looking forward to it being a warm and cozy shop, and smelling of freshly baked bagels.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting, it was busy and took me a minute to realize where the bagels were displayed.  They were up front and center, but just kind of lost behind the tables and guests garnishing their coffees.
Bacon, egg, and cheese.
The selection of non-traditional bagel flavors and spreads were pretty interesting like Moroccan Spiced Apricot and Pastrami Spiced.  But, I decided to go with the Black Sesame seed sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese.  The egg sandwiches are made with their signature aioli sauce.  Which was very tasty!
Here are some notes on my review of Knead Bagels:

1- The look... I have to say, when I first pulled the bagels out of the bag, they sort of reminded me of mass produced bagels.  But, they did have a nice sheen.  I guess they were missing a deeper caramel color that I was expecting.  I would give the look a 2.5 out of 5 poppy seeds.
2- The crust... was quite firm and did have a bit of a crunch.  There was no need for us to toast the bagels the first time we had them and took them home.  The second experience was consistent with the first; the crust had a pleasant bite.  The crust gets a 5 out of 5 poppy seeds.

3- Inside Texture and Taste... I have to say the interior texture was pretty on par with what I would call a great bagel.  It was not overly doughy and certainly not dry.  The flavor was pretty balanced; I didn't get a sense of salty or sweet.  I'll rate this a 4.5 out of 5.  

So, the overall rating for Knead is: 4.0 out of 5 Poppy Seeds = Very Good.  I will definitely go back, I'm tempted to try some of their non-traditional flavors.  Lemon Goat Cheese, yes please.

Till next time, 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Just one more Pumpkin recipe...

Yes, stuffed with Nutella!?!

Another rainy day is upon us... I guess its better than snow.  Although, snow would make such a more beautiful sight.  My last post was about pumpkin and pumpkin flavored treats; well, here is one more recipe worth mentioning. 

 brown butter Nutella-stuffed pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (I know, its quite the mouth-full)
These are the Nutella rounds after coming out of the freezer.

This recipe calls to brown the butter before adding it into the batter.  I've been baking for years, let's just say the gift I wanted most as a young girl was an Easy Bake Oven.  Which incidentally is still available; check out the video, it will make you want one, too. 
Anyway, I can't believe that I never came across a recipe to brown the butter before using it.  (Or I may have, but decided not to choose that recipe because it sounded too complicated.)  This was not the case, it just took a little longer, but well worth it!  It gives a rich, deep, almost nutty flavor to the cookie.

Let butter melt slowly.

Stir frequently.

Continue stirring until the butter literally starts turning a caramel color.
Again, these cookies take a little longer than normal because there are a few extra steps to create them.  You have to prep the Nutella, just line a cookie tray with parchment paper and freeze small spoonfuls while you prepare the batter.  Then brown the butter, which can take a few minutes.
 Of course, another step is to "fill" the cookie.  So, you need to flatten the dough top with the frozen chocolate, and roll into a ball.

I only wish that I hadn't pressed down the tops of the cookies like the recipe said.

 These cookies turned out very good!  The pumpkin flavor/spices were not overwhelming.  If anything they got a little lost with all the chocolate.  I plan on using an interpretation of The Ambitious Kitchen's recipe for chocolate chip cookies from now on, because the brown butter is that good.  So, next time you make a chocolate chip cookie consider browning your butter first.

Oh, in case you were wondering, yes, I eventually did get the Easy Bake Oven.  But, truth-be-told, I got it after I had already been using the real kitchen oven.  So it was fun, but the real oven was way better.  The last pumpkin treat I will probably be making is a Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake for Christmas Day.  Its been a few years since I've made it, but I'll post how it comes out for y'all.
Also, a quick note on bagels.  My husband and I did visit Knead Bagels last weekend.  I still haven't written about it because I wanted to visit one more time.  So, hopefully in the next week I will let you know my official review on that.  For now, let's just say they were quite good.

Take Care,