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National Croissant Day, January 30th

croissant for national croissant day

National Croissant Day is celebrated by chefs, bakers and others who love fine pastry. The croissant is a French pastry enjoyed around the world.

Enjoy a croissant with a great cup of cup. May we suggest Whale Bay French Roast

Croissants were introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they began to gain popularity. French cuisine was becoming fashionable in the United States during this time, and croissants were seen as a trendy and sophisticated pastry. They were primarily served in high-end restaurants and hotels. Croissants became more widely available in the 1970s and 1980s, as specialty coffee shops and bakeries began to open and offer them. Today, croissants can be found at many types of food establishments across the United States, from coffee shops and bakeries to grocery stores and even fast food chains.

Types of Croissants

Croissants can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the context in which they are being served. Some common ways to serve croissants include:

  1. Plain: Croissants can be enjoyed plain, without any additional toppings or fillings. This is a classic way to enjoy the buttery, flaky pastry and appreciate the flavor and texture of the croissant itself.
  2. Sweet fillings: Croissants can be filled with sweet ingredients such as chocolate, almond paste, or fruit preserves. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast pastry or a dessert.
  3. Savory fillings: Croissants can also be filled with savory ingredients such as cheese, ham, and eggs. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast or lunch pastry, or as part of a brunch or picnic spread.
  4. Sandwich: Croissants can be sliced in half and used as a sandwich roll, with fillings such as meats, cheese, and vegetables.
  5. French Toast: Croissants can be used in place of bread to make French toast.
  6. As a side dish: Croissant can be served as a side dish along with soup, salad or any main course
  7. As a dessert: Croissant can be served as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or chocolate sauce

Croissants are a versatile pastry, and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Try one of these on National Croissant Day.

Interesting Facts about Croissants

Croissants have a rich history, and there are many interesting and amusing facts associated with the pastry. Here are a few:

  1. The croissant is said to have originated in Austria in the 17th century, and was called a “kipfel” or “crescent roll.” The French later adopted the pastry and named it “croissant,” which means “crescent” in French.
  2. The croissant is said to have been created as a way to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The crescent shape of the croissant is said to represent the Ottoman flag.
  3. The croissant’s flaky texture is due to the large amount of butter used in the dough. In fact, traditional French croissants are made with 83% butter!
  4. Croissants were originally considered a breakfast pastry, but in the 20th century, they became a popular snack food.
  5. In many countries, croissants are often used as a symbol of French culture, but in France, they are often seen as an example of American fast food culture.
  6. Some people has been calling croissant as a fancy bread roll due to its unique shape.

These are just a few examples of the interesting and amusing facts associated with croissants. While croissant is a beloved pastry, it also has some fun facts that make it more interesting.

Croissant Recipe to Try

Try out your talent on National Croissant Day with this recipe for traditional French croissants. Keep in mind that making croissants is a bit of a time-consuming process and requires some patience and practice.

Ingredients

  • 500g (17.6 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 7g (0.25 oz) instant yeast
  • 40g (1.4 oz) sugar
  • 10g (0.35 oz) salt
  • 250ml (8.4 oz) whole milk
  • 250g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, chilled

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. Heat the milk until lukewarm and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Take the chilled butter and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound it out with a rolling pin to create a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Place the butter rectangle on top of the dough rectangle so that it covers 2/3 of the dough. Fold the dough over the butter and seal the edges.
  8. Roll the dough out again into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.
  9. Roll the dough out again and fold it into thirds again.
  10. Place the dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 1 hour.
  11. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut it into triangles.
  12. Roll the triangles up, starting from the wide end, to form croissants.
  13. Let the croissants rise for about 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  15. Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  16. Serve warm.

As you can see, making croissants requires several steps and some time, but the result is definitely worth it. It’s a classic French pastry that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack.

Enjoy Whale Bay Coffee with your Creation

coffee and croissant

What better way to celebrate National Croissant Day than to serve your creation with a cup of “café au lait”, a delightful coffee made with steamed milk. The coffee used for café au lait is typically a medium-dark roast, such as a French roast, which has a strong, robust flavor that pairs well with the buttery, flaky texture of a croissant. The addition of steamed milk makes the coffee less bitter and more creamy, which also complements the croissant.

Another great option would be a café crème, which is a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk on top. This type of coffee is stronger than café au lait and goes well with croissant as it’s a rich buttery pastry.

A cappuccino is another great option, a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, it is a stronger coffee than café au lait and has a nice balance of the acidity and the sweetness of the milk, which pairs well with the buttery croissant.

Ultimately, the best coffee to serve with a croissant is a matter of personal preference. You can experiment with different types of coffee to find which one you prefer; enjoy!

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National Pie Day, January 23rd

apple pie on cutting board

National Pie Day is a holiday in the United States, celebrated on January 23rd. It is a day to appreciate and enjoy different types of pies, such as fruit pies, cream pies, and savory pies. The holiday is not officially recognized by the US government, but it is celebrated by pie enthusiasts and bakeries across the country. Some bakeries and restaurants offer special promotions or discounts on pie on this day, and there are also events and contests to celebrate the holiday.

It officially started in 1986 and was created by the American Pie Council, a group that promotes the baking and consumption of pies in the United States. The group chose January 23rd as the date for the holiday because it is the birthday of Crisco, a brand of shortening that is commonly used in pie crusts. Since then, the day is celebrated annually as a way to appreciate and enjoy pies.

Here are some interesting facts about pie:

  • The ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first civilization to make pies. They filled them with honey and fruit and used them as a way to preserve food.
  • The first pies in America were brought over by the English and Dutch settlers in the 17th century. These pies were often savory and filled with meat, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Pumpkin pie is the most popular pie in America during Thanksgiving.
  • Pecan pie is the most popular pie in America during Christmas.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.
  • George Washington’s wife, Martha, had a recipe for “great cream pie.”
  • The term “as American as apple pie” has been used since the late 1800s to describe something that is quintessentially American.

In the movie “Michael” staring John Travolta, pie is celebrated with a scene where pies of all types are served. I think there were apple pie, berry pie, cream pie… Let us know if you can remember them all.

Here is a recipe for a classic, flaky pie crust that can be used for a variety of sweet and savory pies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the chilled butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  5. Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the desired size and thickness.
  6. Carefully transfer the dough to a pie dish, trim the edges, and crimp the edges to your desired design.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  8. If making a pre-baked crust or blind-bake the crust before adding your desired filling.

This recipe will make a double pie crust, enough for a 9-inch pie. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking and if you need help with a specific type of pie crust let me know. Enjoy with a bold cup of coffee.

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National Blonde Brownie Day, Jan 22nd

blonde brownies

Blonde brownies, also known as blondies, are a delicious and unique variation of traditional chocolate brownies. They have been around for over 100 years, first appearing in a cookbook called “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” by Fannie Merritt Farmer in 1896. However, despite their long history, blonde brownies are still a relatively unknown treat. They are often overlooked in favor of their chocolate-based cousins, but they deserve just as much attention and appreciation.

Blonde brownies are made with brown sugar instead of cocoa powder, giving them a light golden color and a slightly different flavor profile. They are also often made with vanilla, nuts, and sometimes white chocolate chips, which give them a unique taste and texture. They are a popular treat, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, snack, or breakfast treat. They are similar to chocolate chip cookies in texture and can be made gluten-free and vegan too. They are a great option for those who are not a big fan of chocolate, but still want to enjoy the texture and taste of a brownie.

In this post, we will explore the history, ingredients, and methods of making blonde brownies, as well as some fun facts about this delicious dessert. We will also include a recipe for you to try making your own blonde brownies at home. So, whether you’re a long-time fan of blonde brownies or are just discovering them for the first time, this post is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, let’s get started

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the melted butter and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. If desired, fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake the blonde brownies in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the blonde brownies cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, cut the blonde brownies into squares and enjoy!

Note: If you want to make them gluten-free, you can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. If you want to make them vegan, you can use vegan butter and a flax egg instead of regular butter and egg.

This recipe will produce a batch of delicious blonde brownies that are perfect for a sweet treat or a dessert. You can also adjust the recipe by adding or substituting ingredients such as chocolate chips, nuts, or fruits to make them your own.

Blonde brownies pair well with coffee because the rich, buttery flavor of the brownies complements the bold and slightly bitter taste of coffee. The nuttiness of the nuts and white chocolate chips in the brownies can add a nice contrast to the coffee. Additionally, the creamy texture of the brownies is a nice contrast to the smooth and rich texture of a cup of coffee.

One way to enjoy blonde brownies with coffee is to have a warm slice of blonde brownie with a cup of coffee as a dessert after a meal. The warmth of the brownie will enhance the flavors of the coffee and the coffee will help to balance the sweetness of the brownie.

Another way to enjoy blonde brownies with coffee is to have a slice of blonde brownie as a snack with a cup of coffee in the morning. The caffeine in the coffee can give you an energy boost to start your day, while the sweetness of the brownie will make it a satisfying breakfast.

Some people also enjoy dipping their blonde brownies in their coffee, this can be a great way to enjoy the flavors of both the brownies and coffee together.

Overall, blonde brownies and coffee make a great pairing as they complement each other’s flavors and textures, making for a satisfying and enjoyable experience.

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National Coffee Break Day, Jan 20th

national coffee break day

Happy National Coffee Break Day! Today, we take a moment to celebrate the importance of taking a break and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, a coffee break is the perfect way to re-energize and boost productivity. So, grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy a well-deserved break. Cheers to coffee and the benefits it brings to our daily routine.

If you are still not convinced, drinking coffee can help to improve focus and concentration, and taking a break from work can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout. Many companies encourage their employees to take a break and have a cup of coffee together.