Thursday, August 14, 2008

Almond Crescents w/ Burnt Butter Icing

Almond Crescents w/ Burnt Butter Icing

Almond Crescents w/ Burnt Butter Icing

Usually I hate excessive frostings and glazes. They're often overly-sweet and loaded with scary ingredients like shortening and corn syrup. Icing recipes can be bland; they never quite lose their water/milk/egg white/sugar taste, even with the addition of extracts or juices.

This is probably the only time you'll hear me say this: I wish I put more icing on these. The browned-butter icing on these almond crescents looked and tasted fantastic. Mom and I repeatedly stuck our fingers in the container of unused icing for taste-tests. I'm looking forward to using it on other pastries.

I was happy this recipe turned out so well- i've had less success with others from the same book. I had some difficulty rolling out the dough; I suggest chilling it thoroughly and liberally flouring the counter if it sticks.

I seem to bake more every time I visit my family. I think I whipped out two different pastries within twenty-four hours of arriving. Now that I live alone with a tiny kitchen, counter space and enthusiastic tasters are a luxury. There will be plenty of baking before I head back to Pittsburgh.

Almond Crescents with Burnt Butter Icing
adapted from America's Best Lost Recipes
makes 2 crescents, each serving 6

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 package rapid-rise or instant yeast
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
1/4 cup warm evaporated milk (110 degrees)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Burnt Butter Icing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp milk

1. For the dough: Pulse the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal. Turn the mixture into a large bowl.

2. Beat the milk, water, sugar, and egg in a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture, then press against the side of the bowl. (The dough will be sticky.) Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

3. For the filling: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir the brown sugar and almonds together in a small bowl.

4. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 14x9 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with half the melted butter, then sprinkle with half the almond mixture, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into an even cylinder and pinch the dough to seal. Form the cylinder into a crescent shape on a prepared baking sheet and, with a paring knife, make cuts around the outside of the ring, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Rotate each piece cut side up. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray and let rise until the dough is almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the crescents are golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating and switching the sheets halfway through baking. Cool on a rack until just warm, at least 40 minutes.

6. For the icing: While the crescents are cooling, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swiring the pan constantly, until the butter is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the butter to a bowl and whisk in the confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle the icing over the crescents. Serve.


Christina said...

That sounds and looks amazing! I'm with you on the frosting, but something about browning the butter really takes that excessively blah edge off.

Sandy Smith said...

This is lovely, very elegant. I bet it's amazing with the browned butter icing.

Leslie said...

I love how you shaped these! But unlike you..I LOVE LOVE frosting!!

Deborah said...

I made a browned butter frosting on a cake awhile back, and I fell in love with it. The almond crescents are gorgeous!

crunchLin said...

those look delightful! And creatively made! Great job!

Patricia Scarpin said...

What a wonderful recipe. I can't stop staring at these - they are too pretty, Lisa!

Helene said...

Everytime I see one, I buy 2...everytime I bake some I make 2..that's probably why I am not a size 2 :)
Looks fantastic!