. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was/am for this post. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this day to come around.
The Secret Recipe Club (SRC). For the bloggers, many of you may know what I'm talking about. The Secret Recipe Club was created by Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' and the 'secret' group started out with only a small handful of bloggers. But today? It's grown into a full blown club that requires applications, acceptance, and tight lips!
The concept is quite simple but so genius. Every month, you get assigned a group and within that group, you are assigned a different blog. Your responsibility is to browse through their recipes and make any one of their creations (baking or cooking). Then, on an assigned day, you post the recipe and reveal who you're assigned blogger is. AWESOME, huh?! You might not share my enthusiasm but this is the first club I have joined in the blogging world AND it's been a loooong road to get here. Okay, not long, but it required patience. The first time I applied to join the club I was rejected because my blog was too young and I didn't have enough recipe posts. That was a sad day. But I kept at it, was eventually accepted, and here we are! So for the coming months, you'll be seeing SRC posts once a month and I'm so excited!
So now for my reveal. For my FIRST SRC post, I was assigned Cathy' blog, Wives with Knives. Gosh, where to start with this woman! I can't tell you how many times I ventured back to her blog, searching through her recipes and trying to get a a real sense of who she is. I found out through her 'About' page that she's lived in Oregon's Willamette Valley for her entire life and many of her dishes come from recipes handed down through her family. That caught me right there. Who can resist a family tradition?!
Her recipes are simply unique and I can tell you I have yet to come across a blog like hers.
To make it [a bit] easier, I decided that I was going to recreate one of Cathy's recipes that I normally wouldn't pick out on my own. Yet again, I had some difficulty picking the final entry because her recipes are mouthwatering [check out Cathy's Dresdener Stollen, Maple Nut Coffee Twist, Dungeness Crab and Cheddar Omelet, and Cinnamon Sugar Popovers, to see what I mean]. But with the help of Robbie, I decided to make her unbelievable Danish Puff.
To start, this is a family recipe handed down from Cathy's mother. Okay, I couldn't resist doing this recipe simply because of that. And, of course, because Cathy labeled this as her 'favorite coffee cake.'
And now it's MY favorite coffee cake/dessert/breakfast treat. Let's see if I can do this goodie justice. Okay, first, it's ridiculously easy. Beyond, beyond, beyond easy. Convinced? The puff looks intricate and from the way it tastes, you would think it took days. But it maybe took me 15 to 20 minutes to put the two puffs together.
What about the flavor, you ask? Well, the puff starts out with a simple pastry base, almost like an extremely soft butter cookie [but don't think crunchy cookie, think Melting Moment-esque]. And the base is topped with a pate a choux dough, which is what eclairs and cream puffs are made out of [if that helps at all]. I truthfully had no clue what the pate a choux was going to turn out like or taste like because I had never worked with it. But my life will never be the same. And then, the entire goodie is adorned with a rich glaze and toasted walnuts [if you choose!].
All together, you get an unexplainable melt-in-your-mouth, piece-of-heaven. Just to be frank. I will forever keep this recipe and whip it out for those special occasions. Cathy, thank you so incredibly much this one-of-a-kind family recipe, I had an absolute blast looking through your blog! Glad to be your newest follower ☺ .
- I actually used my food processor for making the pastry base and it worked out wonderfully. However, I put in the original directions below.
- You can choose whether you want to use the walnuts or not. Since I wanted to at least taste the original recipe from Cathy, I did one puff with and one puff without walnuts. But they are equally amazing. I will say that the walnuts completely change the flavors of the puff though, so I HIGHLY recommend trying out both variations.
- To toast the walnuts, place the walnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350°F or until the walnuts are fragrant.
- For the glaze, I ended up adding in an additional 2 teaspoons of water to get the consistency I was looking for. But you can add less or more, depending on how liquidy you would like the glaze.
From Wives with Knives
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
2 tbsp. water
Pate a Choux Dough:
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. all purpose flour
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 to 2 tbsp. water
1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. For the pastry base, in a medium bowl, cut in butter with flour using pastry blender or your fingertips.
2. Sprinkle water over mixture and mix well with fork.
3. Form the mixture into a ball and divide in half. Pat each half of the mixture with your hands into 12x3-inch strips on prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.
4. For the pate a choux, combine butter and water. Heat to boiling (making sure butter is all melted).
5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
6. Using a whisk, mix in flour, stirring to keep from lumping.
7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
8. Divide the pate a choux dough in half and spread evenly on each strip. Bake 60 minutes or until topping is crisp and browned.
9. For the glaze, mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and water until smooth (if needed, add 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time until glaze can be poured over coffee cakes). Glaze coffee cakes as desired. Top with toasted walnuts.
Yield: 2 coffee cakes