I have been eagerly waiting for the day that I could share with you my friend Aimee Wimbush-Bourque’s new book, The Simple Bites Kitchen (get it on Amazon), which is an extension of Aimee’s blog, Simple Bites. I got a sneak peak of a few of the recipes from this new book before it was published because I did some recipe testing for Aimee. I think I loved testing recipes from The Simple Bites Kitchen even more than for her first book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars (remember that iced cider caramel corn? You guys. SO GOOD!).
This time around, Aimee sent me a small stack of recipes for me to bake my way through. I got to try the homemade empanadas (even the dough was made from scratch and it works well!). You can find them on page 83–84 of the book. And then there were the lemon cornmeal madeleines, which had a lovely flavour and texture (page 92).
And though I enjoyed every recipe I tested from The Simple Bites Kitchen, there were two recipes that stood out. The first was the Honey Whole Wheat Bagel recipe (page 39). I keep telling people if there’s one reason they should buy this book, it’s for the bagel recipe, which I made over and over again after I was done testing the recipe because I enjoyed making bagels with the help of Aimee’s recipe so much. It was fun. It was easy. Aimee’s bagel dough is a dream to work with, and I adored playing around with all the different toppings I could sprinkle on my homemade bagels before baking (hello, za’atar bagels!).
The second recipe, which I made a few extra times were these spiced stollen swirl buns. I love making loaves of stollen from this stollen recipe every Christmas to enjoy toasted with lots of salted butter. I’d never thought to turn the dough into swirly buns. Genius! And the bonus is that you can make them ahead and bake them Christmas morning.
Buy The Simple Bites Kitchen for the bagel recipe (trust me!), and stay for Aimee’s take on the classic stollen recipe with these spiced stollen swirl buns (page 37). Aimee will also teach you life essentials like how to organize your fridge, which most of us could use a little help with (or is it just me?). The recipes in The Simple Bites Kitchen are approachable, but a little more sophisticated with a few twists on flavour that make things extra exciting.
Overnight spiced stollen swirl buns
Make these spiced stollen swirl buns the day before so that you can bake them in the morning and serve them fresh!
- 2/3 cup 2% milk
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp candied orange peel
- 1 tbsp rum
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened and divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- powdered sugar for dusting
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until scalded, then cool to wrist warm or around 110 degrees F. Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and let stand in a warm place while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In the same saucepan, combine dried cranberries, candied orange peel and rum. Warm gently, then turn off heat and let soak.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of the soft butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and cardamom. Tip in the yeast sponge and add 1/2 cup of the flour. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed until a soft dough forms. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Remove the dough hook, cover the dough with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a lightly floured counter, roll out dough to a 12 x 16-inch rectangle. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup soft butter in an even layer over the dough, going right to the edges. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and allspice, then sprinkle evenly over the butter. Evenly scatter soaked fruit over the buttered dough. Starting from a short end, tightly roll the dough into a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 buns, each 1-inch thick. Gently reshape them into rounds if they get overly squashed.
Butter two 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheets. Place 6 buns on each sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, allow buns to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. You can do this step in the oven, with the oven turned off but the oven light turned on. If you do this, make sure to remove them before preheating the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Remove plastic wrap and bake buns for 22 to 24 minutes, rotating once, until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Original recipe calls for slivered almonds, but I didn't have any. Use 1/2 cup if you want to add them, scattered over dough along with rum-soaked fruit.
Recipe from page 37 of The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, published by Penguin. Get your copy of the book on Amazon.