Office Bytes | Kouign Amman

| Recipe


ETA: Commercial grade aluminum baking pans make a big difference. I switched to using those instead of the darker non-stick pans (such as Wilton pans), and that eliminated the problem of burning the bottoms of the kouign amman. 

I know I have said that panna cottas are one of my favorite desserts, at least to order at restaurants. But my favorite baked pastry is definitely the kouign amman. I had been meaning to teach myself how to make them but kept putting it off. Then when I saw a class pop up at Baking Arts with Chef Richard dedicated to the kouign amman, I knew I could wait no longer!

There are many very similar recipes online that should all work just fine, so feel free to just search your favorite recipe source. If you just want to know what recipe I’m using (and it’s probably one of the easier recipes), see below. In short, this is like a croissant / puff pastry hybrid. The kouign amman is a laminated yeast-risen dough with sugar sprinkled between layers during the last set of folding. Because the dough is ultimately folded and squished into pastry rings or muffin tins, proofing the dough isn’t a crucial step, and you can use the “quick puff pastry” method of mixing in chunks of butter, instead of the classic croissant or puff pastry method of wrapping a détrempe (dough packet) around the beurrage (block of butter). It’s quicker and more foolproof.

I made these for an office baby shower celebration, with 1/2 standard, 1/4 with orange-zest sugar, and 1/4 with a chocolate hazelnut ganache filling. Everything was going smoothly, through the rolling, folding, sugaring, and forming.


And then I proceeded to overbake them and burn the sugar on the bottom, despite the otherwise foolproof recipe (that’s what happens when you rely more on the clock than on your eyes and nose). It feels sacrilegious to have blackened my kouign amman, but alas, we all have those days. In any case, if you don’t mind the taste of a dark caramel, they are still yummy! Glad I could share these instead of eating them all myself.

Kouign Amman
Makes 12 pastries

  • 150 mL cold water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 60 g (½ cup) cake flour
  • 190 g (1½ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 255 g (½ cup + 2 Tbsp) butter, chilled and cubed (~¼-½“)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar


  1. Mix salt and flours together. Add in 2 tablespoons of butter and mix well (or rub together with fingers) until no lumps remain.
  2. Mix yeast with water and set aside.
  3. Add cubed butter to flour mixture and fold/toss.
  4. Slowly drizzle on the water-yeast mixture in several additions while gently mixing. When the dough just comes together, pour onto table and shape, pat and roll into an approximately 18″x6″ rectangle. Make a letter turn (fold into thirds).
  5. Turn the dough a quarter turn, roll out to the same size, and fold in thirds again. Repeat for a third letter turn.
  6. Chill dough for 20-30 minutes in refrigerator.
  7. Complete two more turns and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen, and then thawed overnight.)
  8. Lightly grease a standard muffin/cupcake pan or pastry rings. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or 350 degrees in a convection oven).
  9. Sprinkle work surface generously with sugar. Complete last letter turn, sprinkling with sugar before folding.
  10. Roll dough into a 12″x16″ rectangle and trim edges.
  11. Cut into twelve ~3.5″ squares.
  12. Fold up the corners of each square and place into prepared muffin cup. Sprinkled with any remaining sugar (and salt, if desired). Let rest for 10 minutes in refrigerator.
  13. Proof dough at room temperature for ~30 min.
  14. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, rotating every 15 minutes, until browned.
  15. Remove the kouign amman from tins immediately and let cool on parchment.
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Baby Shower | Congrats Liang & Josh!

| Baby Showers, Featured, Recipe

Baby “DoFo” (that’s a mashup of last name syllables) is on the way, and I was happy to bring desserts to the tea-time themed baby shower. To match the theme, I wanted to make small bite-sized desserts that didn’t require any utensils to eat or serve. Another friend was already bringing scones, so I decided on coconut macarons with lime-lychee curd, matcha green tea sugar cookies (this time cut into D’s, F’s and circles — the ability to spell out DoFo was purely coincidental), and bourbon sugar fudge squares.

To make the macarons, I made plain shells but baked them with toasted coconut shavings on top. I probably could have ground up coconuts into the shell or used coconut extract, but I didn’t necessarily want the coconut flavor to be predominant. For the filling, I made lime-lychee curd (using a basic lemon curd recipe but substituting the lemon juice for about 75% lychee puree and 25% lime juice) and mixed it with a small portion of pastry cream.
The matcha green tea sugar cookies were just like the previous time I made them, but with a different brand of matcha that made the mix much more vibrant:

The fudge comes from a Bon Appétit recipe and is addicting. The original thought was just to throw in something darker and richer, like the pastry equivalent of a cigar for the men at the shower. But this ended up beingmy favorite of the three. The fudge has a light bourbon flavoring in it, and is topped with bourbon raw sugar and Maldon sea salt flakes which really give this dessert that something special.

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Fudge with Bourbon Sugar
Makes an 8″x8″ square (cut to desired shape/size)

  • 283.5g bittersweet chocolate
  • 113g unsweetened chocolate (okay to substitute with bittersweet)
  • 1 14-ox. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 142g unsalted butter (1¼ sticks), cubed
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • flaky sea salt
for bourbon sugar:
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup demerara sugar (raw cane sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon


  1. In advance, prepare bourbon sugar by scraping vanilla beans into a small bowl and stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out overnight (or speed up process by placing in oven at lowest heat possible.
  2. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper, leaving generous overhang to be able to pull out fudge later. Lightly coat with butter or nonstick spray.
  3. Heat chocolates in a double boiler (i.e. heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring occasionally until almost completely melted. Set aside.
  4. Combined condense milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Scrape in vanilla beans and heat over medium under barely hot (as close to same temperature as the chocolate).
  5. Gently stir in a quarter of the milk mixture into the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter, stirring to incorporate. Continue mixing in the remainder of the milk in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes.
  6. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth top.
  7. Let cool before sprinkling with bourbon sugar and sea salt.
  8. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  9. Turn out onto cutting board and cut as desired.
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Matcha Green Tea Sugar Cookies

| Recipe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

These might not be the right cultural reference, but they’re green and they’re tasty. I was inspired by a Bon Appétit recipe, but when that particular recipe resulted in cookies that were more like tea cakes, I searched for a great rolled sugar cookie recipe that could be appropriately modified with matcha green tea powder. The chopped white chocolate and candied ginger are optional but add some depth in flavor.


Here is the approximate recipe:

Matcha Green Tea Sugar Cookies
Makes about 40 ~two-inch cookies

  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2¼ cups (281g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 85g white chocolate, chopped
  • candied ginger, chopped (to taste)
for sugar coating:
  • ½ tsp matcha green tea powder
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

  1. Whisk together the ½ cup of sugar and ½ tsp matcha in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, 2 Tbsp matcha and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamed. Add sugar and continuing beating until light and fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add egg and both extracts and continue beating until fully combined.
  4. Add half of flour mixture and beat until just barely combined. Add remainder and continue mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in white chocolate and candied ginger.
  6. Flatten and wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  7. Roll out dough to ¼” thickness. Cut into desired shapes.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until just lightly colored around edges.
  9. While still warm, toss cookies in matcha sugar mixture and set on cooling rack.
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