Paczki!

Hello, y’all! I ended up making the most DELICIOUS baked donuts for Fat Tuesday… as in a Tuesday that occurred nearly a month ago. I planned on posting this journey on Thursday of that week, but then snowpacalypse came and I lost power, got it back, lost water, got it back, and them stared out the window wondering when the bottled up fears and anxiety I had would dissipate. My eyebrow stopped twitching this weekend. No joke.

SO- what are Paczki? They are polish donuts that are often purchased by many-a-Metro Detroiters in a delightfully loud box on Fat Tuesday. These are a Polish tradition, so people often visit Hamtramck to purchase “legit” ones. We lived next to a Polish family growing up, so Paczki would magically appear on my dad’s windsheild each Fat Tuesday. There was a gallon ziplock bag filled with several individually wrapped packzi. I would request the lemon… in case that query was going to keep you up at night. The cut one in the picture below is a lemon paczki. LOOK AT IT. LOOK. So. Good.

I have not been in Michigan for Fat Tuesday since 2013. Sad fact- I had to check my LinkedIn profile to see when it was because it has been so long. I wasn’t logging donuts on my LinkedIn profile, but I was an adjunct professor and remembered the timeframe.

I feel like this post is going to have a lot of asides. Buckle up, y’all!

I have had a donut on most Fat Tuesdays to eat a delish piece of fried dough in solidarity with my Michigander friends and family. It was usually not lemon because options are limited. And this year wasn’t lemon because I did not want to make lemon curd. Therefore, this year was raspberry jalapeno.

I baked these, though there are plenty of recipes where you can fry them. It was my first time making a yeast dough for donuts. I always make cake donuts in the oven. The yeast dough required more advanced planning since the dough had to rise a few times.

When I filled the donuts I finally used this cool jelly filling tip I purchased a while back. At first I cut slits in the paczki and then filled them. I found it was easier (and more fun) to stab a hole in the donut with the jelly filling tip and fill them that way.

Finally, I decided to go all out and make a box for the paczki. It was as close as I could get to the the legit ones in Michigan.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I would have liked to share it sooner, but having donuts to emotionally eat when we got hit with water and power issues seemed fortuitous. I knew y’all would read it when I was ready to rock and roll again.

XO,

Yule Logs are Not Easy to Roll. Or Decorate. Or Take Pictures of, TBH…

I REALLY wanted to make a Buche de Noel for Christmas this year. We did not travel anywhere and it seemed like the perfect time to create a dessert with a stupid amount of steps and processes. I am going to share the broad strokes with you here! There’s a full video if you want to watch this go down- including me rolling the video and seeing my cake crack… thrice.

First, I wanted to make meringue mushrooms for this adorbs cake. I did… and were they the most adorable things I’ve created, then eaten? Yes.

Will I make them to top any dessert I create when we eventually entertain again? Also yes. SO. CUTE.

Next, I made the roll cake. My husband is not a huge cake person. He isn’t even a small cake person. He’s a human person who doesn’t love cake. So I asked him to choose the cake/icing flavors hoping this would entice him to eat a slice or two (it did!) He opted for red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting (in the same recipe link).

I thought about making a chocolate buttercream or chocolate cream cheese frosting for the cake, but my man is a PURIST and would be super sad there was another flavor sneaking into his VIP party in Flavortown. So I just made the cream cheese frosting brown with food coloring. Problem solved!

I also chopped off the roll on the front piece pictured below (have no fear- we ate it). It was not the blunt shape of the other ends and I wanted continuity. Next time I’ll attach it on that side, to not need this step (This is a lie- I will do the same thing so I can eat cake sooner).

I also wanted to cover the roll cake with rolled pieces of chocolate so it looked like real bark. This became an EXCELLENT idea because my roll cake had one three cracks in it when I rolled it up. I glued the cake back together with the brown colored cream cheese frosting, then covered it with the chocolate bark.

The last few steps were putting ground pistachios around as moss and placing the mushrooms (once again using brown cream cheese frosting as glue). The green sticks are matcha pocky. So cute, no?

The last step? Making my husband take pictures of me as I added powdered sugar snow:

Awe.

We ate most of this and I froze two slices for a rainy day. You can watch a video of the whole process here.

XO,