Sunday, April 5, 2020

Disneyland Beignets from Home!

To keep myself busy and to keep from feeling sad that we missed out on our big family Disneyland trip, I've been planning a "Disneyland at Home" day. I planned it in my head for weeks! It was keeping me going almost as much as a regular vacation countdown and prep would. Yesterday was finally the day! You may have seen some of the pics on our Facebook page. We did a lot of YouTube ridethroughs and wore our ears, but the best part was the food! Mickey pancakes for breakfast, Mickey ice cream bars and churros for a snack (Tio Pepe is the brand Disney uses, you can find it at Smart and Final!). But I was MOST looking forward to those amazing New Orleans Square beignets!

First of all, we used the official Cafe du Monde beignet mix. Cafe du Monde has been a New Orleans staple since 1862, so you know they're doing something right! You can even purchase the mix at Ralph Brennen's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney (or Amazon while everything's closed!).

*Fun Fact!* If you like cooking shows, Jon Favreau did an episode of The Chef Show where they made this exact mix and it's totally worth checking out on Netflix.

The mix makes it very simple, ingredient wise. You just need 2 cups of mix (refrigerate the rest) and 7oz of water. Can't get easier! Aside from that's you'll need LOTS of flour, powdered sugar, oil for frying, and a Mickey cookie cutter.

I didn't actually have a Mickey cookie cutter! My mom has one and when I first got this mix (you know, before the pandemic) I just figured I'd borrow from her. So that left me with a bit of a problem. Luckily for me, I have a 3D printer and a husband who loves a project!

Before we got started, we put on a "New Orleans" mix on Spotify and it didn't disappoint!

All you need to do is mix the powder and water, roll to 1/8 inch thick, and fry at 370F. But we learned a few things along the way...

To start, the dough is sticky. Like crazy, stick to everything, so-much-stickier-than-you'd-expect sticky. So when you roll it out, use WAY more flour than you'd ever think you'd need. So much flour! Be SURE NOT TO ROLL TOO THIN. Ours were too thin and it made some of our beignets kind of flat (but still tasty!).

Because of the stickiness, we found it helpful to use a knife to help separate our Mickey from the rest of the dough. Also, a spatula might help you get it off of your work surface. Don't underestimate the stickiness.

When you're frying, keep basting the beignets with more oil so they puff up nicely and cook evenly. They only take a few minutes on each side, so keep an eye on them.

Cover them completely in powdered sugar and eat immediately. They're amazing!!!!

We took the leftover bits of dough that we couldn't quite get more Mickeys out of and made them into squares. This time we left the dough much thicker and they puffed up beautifully compared to our over-rolled ones. Live and learn! 

Easy peasy but pretty messy. Give it a try and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

We Made Jack Jack's Num Num Cookies!

So, let's get this out of the way, I'm a homebody by nature. If I could do anything on a given weekend, it'd be to stay home with my hubby and son. So, in that sense, social distancing hasn't given me the cabin fever it's given some of my friends. 

Having said that, I have had the urge to bake. Now I have little to no interest in cooking. Dinner? How can I get out of making it? But I’ve always enjoyed baking. I am not great at it, by any stretch of the imagination. But I do enjoy it. 

I have also been feeling bummed, as many of us have, because my Spring Break Disneyland trip was cancelled. (Postponed. I’m going to say postponed.) So, how perfect is it that Disney/Pixar recently released the recipe for the Jack Jack Num Num cookies? Something from Disneyland that I could bake at home?! Sign me up!!

First, can we talk about how cute the recipe cards are?! Disney/Pixar always does an awesome job with adorable little touches!





So, let’s go through the steps. First gather your ingredient. Check!!

Next, brown the butter...I’ve never done that before. Ain’t gonna lie, I watched a couple YouTube videos first. Here’s mine:

Probably could have gotten it a little browner, but all roads pointed to “butter goes from browned to burned really quickly, so I erred on the side of caution. (Btw, if you’ve never browned butter before: medium-low heat and constant stirring are your friends.) Let that cool until is starts to solidify. 

From there, I creamed the browned butter with the sugars, mixed in the wet ingredients, then the dry ones, stirred in chocolate chips, and formed cookie dough balls. 


Now, full disclosure, I have never had Jack Jack's Num Num cookie before. They became a big thing *after* my last trip to the park. But I know enough to know that they are huge and served in muffin-sized cups. So I tried to make mine big! 12 cookies from the big batch of cookie dough. 

From there, refrigerate. (Ugh! I wanted to bake them right away!) Directions say at least one hour, overnight is ideal. I did about 5 1/2 hours. 

Now comes the part that I had to change: this recipe is for regular-sized cookies. 7-10 minutes was not going to cut it for cookies that were at least double-sized. So I checked on them every 5-10 minutes after the first 10. They were in the oven just over 20 minutes. 

So, after all that, how did they turn out? Amazing. Dangerously good. Possibly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever eaten!! Two sticks of browned butter will do that, I guess. (And I don’t even like butter!) They are sweet and moist and chewy and chocolaty and all amazing things! They don’t look exactly the same as they do in the park, but again, I said I *like* baking...I’m not great at it.  

If you have the ingredients in the house already (I did!), or are planning your socially-distanced grocery shopping soon, I highly recommend trying this recipe out! You won’t regret it. 

Have you tried to make these cookies, too? Let us know what you thought of them in the comments!