...many hours later I returned home from work to find my croissant triplets had doubled in size. That development certainly boded well for the texture. I crossed my fingers, set the stove dial to 350, and like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, slid the children into the oven.
Seventeen minutes later I retrieved the croissants, which had browned lightly. FYI, I prefer I slightly soft croissant, but if you're aiming for a very crispy exterior, leave them in the oven longer.
This breakfast pastry fairy had an insanely happy ending. I cannot believe how a croissant resurrected from its frozen state could have such amazingly buttery, light, and flaky dough. Complementing this savory casing studded with roasted seeds was a sweet, intense pumpkin and cinnamon filling. I consumed two of these babies post haste and forced myself to leave one for my husband.
Very often you do not get what you pay for with regards to pricey gourmet food. This product is a wonderful exception.
When it comes to what I am willing to pay for food, I'm all over the map. I rummage through the discount bin at Kroger like I only have two nickels to my name, then go home and purchase overpriced cheese online. And then there's the fact that I steal lemon slices from HEB to put in my water bottle.
Williams-Sonoma is known for its extravagant, unnecessarily expensive food and I am known to purchase it on occasion.
When their Pumpkin Croissants (12 per pack) went on "sale" to $31 and I had a coupon for $10 off my order plus free shipping, I couldn't resist. Fast-forward to this morning when as per WS's very detailed preparation instructions, I removed half of the batch so that they could rise for approximately 7 hours prior to baking.
Stay tuned for the outcome...
The name is a mouth and so is the cereal. Continuing in my search for some healthier pumpkin-flavored alternatives, I sampled Nature's Path pumpkin raisin crunch, one of two pumpkin-inflected cereals they offer, the other of which is the pumpkin flax granola. These people really like flax, apparently.
Comprising a mixture of whole wheat and bran flakes, raisins, sticky oat clusters, and pumpkin seeds, this cereal didn't have as intense a pumpkin flavor as I had hoped. Not particularly surprisingly, given that squash is only represented through seeds. Nevertheless, this cereal is terrific for its peerless diversity in textures and strong taste of molasses and cinnamon.
Which leads me to the "problem": a 3/4 cup serving is 210 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, all well and good if you're a normal person but if you're a carb monster like me, at least three servings are needed to fill the stomach. Coulda had three donuts instead.
Seasonal pumpkin-flavored products tend to fall into the not-so-healthy category (I'm looking at you Hostess Pumpkin Spice Donuttes), so it was refreshing to see Quaker Oats had gotten the squash bandwagon via its offering of a limited edition pumpkin spice instant oatmeal. Although Irish steel cut oats are my absolute favorite type of oatmeal, Quaker products in my tasting experience are extremely satisfactory.
Each box comes with eight packets of instant oatmeal that is easily reconstituted with hot water or warm milk or cream. (I suggest using the latter for a heartier, more decadent matutinal meal.) Along with oats, packets also hold various spices and a bit o'sugar.
This composition naturally (or rather, unnaturally) renders the instant oatmeal more caloric than plain oats; however, each packet is still only 160 calories and for that expense you still gain the profit of whole grains, fiber, and enhanced taste.
Speaking of which, the pumpkin flavor is strong, young padawan, in this hot cereal, and leaves one feeling satisfied and invigorated to take on all the challenges of the day ahead, be they navigating corporate mazes or wielding a light saber. Not that they are mutually exclusive.
Readers of the extensive canon of food writing know that I have an irrational devotion to Pillsbury products due in large part to my fascination with the Dough Boy. I find his pudge, his effeminate giggle, and pigment-less visage, utterly charming.
Thus, it took little convincing for me to sample Pillsbury's limited edition Pumpkin Spice Rolls made with Cinnabon Cinnamon (THAT'S A REGISTERED TRADEMARK, BITCH). Let's forgive Pillsbury for the redundancy that is "Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon" as standard pumpkin spice includes cinnamon.
Pillsbury has an extensive line of refrigerated cinnamon rolls , only some of which are the "Grands!" style, i.e., over-sized. Despite their excessive girth, I was able to eat three in one sitting, but more on that later.
Although I usually have no trouble wrangling Pillsbury's refrigerated dough products from their paper tube (and who doesn't love that satisfying POP when you crack the sphere against the counter), this particular time so doing proved ridiculously difficult. I nearly ruined half the rolls during the extraction process.
But time in a warm oven tends to heal all wounds with regards to injured baked goods, and fortunately, they emerged relatively unscathed, and more importantly, absolutely delicious.
Major props to Pillsbury for consistently delivering a mass-market dough with an amazing fluffy, chewy texture and a rich yeasty flavor only enhanced with ample amounts of cinnamon, sugar, and butter. "Pumpkin spice" in the form of nutmeg could be detected in the dough, but strong squash notes come in the thick glaze on hand to adorn the rolls. Tip: don't wait for the rolls to cool before executing this step as their warmth facilitating spreading the glaze evenly over the half dozen.
I love how commercials advertise these things as suitable for feeding a nuclear family and I could have easily polished off the bunch and had an omelet.
Nooks and crannies and pumpkin spice? Sign me up, muffin man. I am a huge fan of English muffins, a breakfast bread that I believe boast a singular ability to absorb an amazing amount of melted butter yet still maintain a crisp surface. I adore Thomas' English muffins and any time I am in London I pick up homemade (real) English muffins at Borough Market.
MMM, Borough Market.
Anyway, these muffins were good but the flavor surprising in that one tastes more nutmeg and cinnamon than pumpkin, though squash notes are still present. To enhance the pumpkin, I suggest adding a thick layer of Oregon Growers Pumpkin Butter on top a generous amount of butter.
Two-word review: Absolutely amazing. I bought this mix at World Market, dubious of its pumpkin flavor given past Fails with pumpkin mixes. This mix, with its ease of preparation (just add oil and water), and intense, earthy squash taste and ample spices, is a great value.
Tip: Substitute milk instead of water for a denser, creamier texture and use ample butter to grease the pan and create a slightly crispy, savory surface to the cake.
A review of Hostess mini donettes? How much lower can you sink, Joanna?
Oh so much lower. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the amazing spelling derivative of "doughnut"?
These donuts are one of 20-odd pumpkin-flavored products on special at Kroger this week that I plan to review. With the exception perhaps of pumpkin-spice coffee creamer because I don't do java.
Using a pint-sized cake donut as base, the Hostess bakers then add a cinnamon glaze and a dusting of spices not indiscernible to the tongue. It should be noted the cake texture is moister than you would expected from a processed baked good, suggesting an ample amount of lard and/or hydrogenated oils are at play. Overall, a lovely mouthfeel and pleasant but not overpowering pumpkin flavor.
So, get over yourselves, people. This donuts are good.