Grand plans were made to post some lovely pink hued macarons in honor of Valentine’s Day! In my mind they were beautiful and delicious and enviable. How hard could macarons be, anyway? I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to baking. I’d say I’m an advanced amateur. And I’m seeing macarons everywhere. If all of those people can make them, then I can. You know what happens when you start thinking like that? You get humbled. Big time. I overestimated my kitchen abilities and wound up with some cracked and foot-less macarons. Apparently macaron baking is a skill that requires practice. Hats off to those of you who make them well. You have my respect forever and always. So I will keep working on my macaron making. Maybe some day you’ll see a post on them! That is if I don’t get too discouraged and give up. Sometimes I do that…
Instead of finicky macarons I went with something I am more comfortable and familiar with, pastry! This would make a lovely Valentine’s breakfast. You can bake it the day before and then just warm it up in the oven briefly before glazing. You could also let it do the second rise overnight in the fridge and bake it in the morning.
Although there is yeast in the bread, the end product is more flaky than bready. The filling is delicious (especially the stuff that gets nice and crunchy on the edges) and the browned butter glaze adds great flavor. The glaze recipe below makes more than enough. You could easily halve it. These are sweet, so be warned if you’re not a big sweets lover. Serving this as a part of a breakfast that includes something savory would be the way to go I think.
Make sure to chill the dough well! I got impatient and started rolling the dough before it was properly chilled and wound up having a harder time putting this together than I should have had. It stuck quite a bit to the counter. Be careful moving the rolled up cylinder to the baking sheet, and definitely don’t shape it until it’s on the baking sheet.
If you don’t want to shape this into a heart, simply make a circle and follow the same instructions.
Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!
ALMOND HEART DANISH WITH BROWNED BUTTER GLAZE
Adapted from America’s Best Lost Recipes
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 envelope yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick chilled butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk, warmed to about 110°F
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
- Pulse flour, yeast and salt in a food processor a couple times. Add in the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Beat milk, sugar and egg in a small bowl. Use a rubber spatula to fold the liquid into the flour-butter mixture. Once combined, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
- Flour a clean work surface and roll dough out into a long rectangle, about 8 by 16 inches. As you can see by my photo above, it doesn’t need to be perfect. It helps if it is more rectangular than oval shaped, though.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Leave a 1/4 inch border along the edges.
- Roll the dough to make a long cylinder and pinch each end together to seal. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and shape into a heart, pinching the ends together.
- Use a paring knife to make slits in the dough about 1-inch apart. Carefully take each small piece and rotate so that the cut side it facing up. Repeat all the way around. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and let rise for about an hour, until doubled in size. (Mine did not really rise, but baked up fine. So don’t worry if after an hour it looks the same as when you left it.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating half way through, until lightly browned. Let cool of a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then move to a serving platter.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. As butter begins to sputter, start swirling the pan around. Once butter smells nutty and begins to brown remove from the heat.
- Whisk browned butter, powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk together in a bowl. If it seems too thick to drizzle, add a little more milk until it reaches a good consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over the cooled bread and serve. If you’ve made the bread ahead of time, warm in up in a low oven before drizzling. This tastes best when slightly warm.