Mardi Gras – A world of tradition surrounds Fat Tuesday, (Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday) the Christian celebration of the start of Lenten fasting. Crêpes and pancakes figure into many Mardi Gras celebrations as a simple way to use up any butter or eggs before a period without. .
We’ve paired the intense flavor of our Almond Schmear with creamy ricotta as a plump filling for warm crêpes. The tartness of raspberries contrasts nicely with the ricotta although blueberries would work well too. Crêpes can be made ahead and kept frozen making this a perfect dish to serve at brunch. As the season’s change, sautéed fresh fruit such as pears or peaches would make an excellent accompaniment. (And for those with a real sweet tooth, try our Chocolate Schmear in this recipe in place of the Almond Schmear.)
Dresdener Stollen is less than a plane ride away as bakeries across the country start selling them for the holiday season. And of course you can make your own from our Marzipan Stollen recipe here. But if you do happen to find yourself Germany this month, December 3rd marks the annual festival of the Dresden Stollen, said to be the progenitor of all the varieties we find available today.
The Great Northern Food Hall now open in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station is a tempting place where you’ll find cinnamon buns, poppy seed pastries layered with almond paste, crunchy, nutty breads and Smørbrød (open-faced Danish sandwiches).
We are always on the lookout for new ways with almonds and could not have been happier when we found so many delicious (and nutty) things to eat. Claus Meyer, Danish chef and co-founder of Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, created this food emporium this spring.
There are kiosks where you can purchase pastries, sandwiches, flatbreads like pizzas and coffee to eat in or take home. For those who bake, Meyers opened a small grocery that sells the kind of imported flours used to make their rye and other breads.
What can we say about Whoopie pies that hasn’t already been said? There is something irresistible about the combination of the fudgy cocoa cake and the sweet fluffy filling. It may not be an everyday food but surely an occasional treat. We wanted to make a gluten-free version because we know how well almond flour works in gluten-free baking. This recipe bakes into a nicely risen cake with some heft and not too much sweetness. (That’s what the marshmallow fluff filling is for.)
After some experimenting with a recipe we found on the blog, GlutenFreeBaking101, we made two discoveries: a small amount of cider vinegar definitely helps the texture of the muffin as does letting the batter sit a short time before portioning and baking. (Gluten-free baking expert, Beth Hillson, wrote us that “cider vinegar is a friend to gluten-free baking, especially if baking soda is present.”) These cakes are not the size of hubcaps but just the right size for a satisfying snack.