During the holiday season, for Kathie Lee and her mom, it's all about being with family and enjoying her delicious pastry.
During this holiday season, we wanted to bring some of the TODAY family's holiday recipes to your home. Here. Kathie Lee's mom, Sandy Epstein, shares the traditional treat she makes: Christmas Kringle (Swedish puffs). Enjoy! It's from our home to yours.
Christmas Kringle (Swedish puffs)
Makes 20 servings
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 sticks) unsalted chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons ice water, divided
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 extra large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust: Place the flour and butter in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives used scissors-fashion, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the pieces of butter are no larger than peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the ice water over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until it begins to hold together. Press the dough into a ball. (If the dough remains dry and crumbly, sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of water over the dough and stir until it holds together.) Divide the dough in half and wrap both pieces in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly dust one piece of the dough with flour and, using your fingers, pat it into the shape of a rectangle. Place the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll the dough into a strip that measures about 13 by 4 inches. Peel off the top piece of waxed paper. Invert the dough onto a 15 1/2-by10 1/2 inch jelly-roll pan, leaving room beside it for the second piece of dough. Peel off the second piece of waxed paper. (if the waxed paper is difficult to remove, chill the dough on the jellyroll pan until the dough is firm, then very gently, peel off the waxed paper.) Trim the edges of the dough so that they are straight. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Refrigerate the pan of dough while you make the puff.
To make the puff: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and the butter. Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the water and butter to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring vigorously until the batter is smooth.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla or almond extract.
Remove the pan of dough from the refrigerator. Spread half of the puff mixture in an even layer over one of the strips. Spread the remaining puff mixture over the second strip. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. The puff layer should be dry and firm.
Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the pastries completely.
To make the buttercream: In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on medium-high until smooth. Add enough milk to make the buttercream a creamy, spreadable consistency. Beat in the vanilla or almond extract.
Divide the buttercream in half and spread in an even layer over the top of each cooled pastry. Slice each pastry diagonally into 10 slices.