Pumpkin Spice Soul Cakes

Pumpkin Spice Soul Cakes

Trick or Treat! Soul Cakes have an interesting Halloween related history dating back hundreds of years ago – watch my video on Curiosity Stream’s Instagram to find out more. (While you’re at it – sign up for 30 days FREE ALL ACCESS to Curiosity Stream with promo code Nathan!)

Yield: 17 cookies

1 cup (140 grams) black currants

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

14 tablespoons (197 grams) (cold) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces

1 packed cup (200 grams) light brown sugar

3¼ cups (450 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons whole milk

 

Place an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.

Add currants and Grand Mariner together in a small bowl. Stir well. Set aside.

Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer and mix on medium using the paddle attachment for approximately 10 minutes, until light (in color) and fluffy, scraping the sides down of the inside of the bowl using a rubber spatula halfway through the process.

Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

After mixing the butter and sugar, add 1 egg yolk. Mix on medium-low until the egg fully incorporates into the mixture, approximately 20 seconds. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides down. Add the second egg yolk and mix until it fully incorporates. Scrape the sides again and then add the third egg yolk. Scrape the sides down once more.

Add the Grand Marnier soaked currants (and any liquid left in the bowl) and mix on medium until it’s incorporated, approximately 10 seconds.

Turn off mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix on low until the dough begins to resemble clumpy sand, approximately 30 seconds. Sprinkle the milk evenly over the dough. Mix on low until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, approximately 15 seconds. The finished dough will have a play dough consistency.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to ½-inch thickness.

Using a 2¾ inch biscuit cutter, punch out as many circles as you can. Reroll dough and continue punching out soul cakes until no more dough remains. Using a kitchen knife or a bench scraper, impress an X shape atop each soul cake.

Evenly space 8 soul cakes on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Place the additional 9 on the second parchment-lined sheet tray.

Bake, one sheet tray at a time, for approximately 7 minutes. Rotate tray and continue baking another 8 minutes, until bottom edges are slightly browned.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Soul cakes are best served day of, but may be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

 

 

 

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest and Fleur de Sel

It’s Halloween week, so here’s some candy that your and your friends can enjoy come trick or treating time (kids love it, too!). All you need is a candy thermometer and you’ll have your very own homemade delicious toffee in no time. Costume optional.

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest

Toasted Almond Toffee with Orange Zest and Fleur de Sel

Yield: 1 sheet tray of toffee

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

1/3 cup organic light corn syrup

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons orange zest (approximately zest of 3 oranges)

1 pound toasted unsalted almonds

A few pinches of fleur de sel

 

Line a sheet pan (bottom and sides) with aluminum foil. Very lightly oil the aluminum foil (bottom and sides) with the olive oil, using a paper towel.

In a 3.5-quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, butter and salt. Do not stir.

As soon as the mixture begins to simmer, add a candy thermometer.

Once the temperature reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat, carefully remove the thermometer and, using a rubber spatula, stir in the baking soda, zest and almonds. The liquid will foam up a little and lighten in color.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. Using a rubber spatula, press the toffee evenly across the bottom of the sheet pan. Sprinkle some fleur de sel atop the toffee.

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, break into pieces and enjoy. Store in an airtight container with layers of parchment between pieces.