Latest Recipe Testing

kitchenaid stand mixer on the floor with a broken bowl

I suppose it was only a matter of time until my kitchen gadgets began dancing off the counter because my singing voice is just that atrocious.

But before we get to that story, welcome back to another recipe testing post! A little behind-the-scenes look into my recipe adventures before the recipes make their way onto my blog. Curious about previous testing posts?

My entire baking life has been consumed by croissants lately, so that’s where all the focus is today.

croissant on a baking sheet before baking

MY DANCING MIXER

It was a Monday morning, naturally. I was testing chocolate croissants, a recipe I’m publishing in a couple days. I usually hover over my mixer as it mixes dough, but I stepped over to the sink to clean a silicone baking mat so I could use it. The dough wasn’t too heavy, so the mixer would be fine. Surely the mixer wouldn’t unplug itself and fall off the counter, right?

Wrong I was! That really happened! The piercing bang on the floor jolted through my body. I screamed at the unexpected sound, which startled the dogs, who began barking, which woke up Noelle from her nap. It all happened in about 2 seconds. I looked down at my shattered glass bowl, a direct representation of my heart because I had to begin all over again. Croissants, man, croissants.

Seriously though, it wasn’t that big of a deal. After I blockaded the pups from the kitchen and catered to my girl, I cleaned up the mess and started over again later that day. My mixer miraculously still works, but I’m left with a gnarly dent in my kitchen floor. I’ll just call it my croissant scar. I’ll show it off proudly. 😉

dent from stand mixer on kitchen floor

I thank my lucky stars that sweet Jude wasn’t laying there because he’s usually by my side in the kitchen. Though if he was, I likely wouldn’t have walked away from the mixer. Regardless, I learned a lesson: stand by the mixer at all times or place the whole thing on a silicone baking mat so it doesn’t dance away. Do you do that?

RECIPE TESTING

Like I mention above, croissants have been my main focus in the kitchen. I studied a couple recipes, tested them, tweaked what I found necessary, and played with recipes for weeks. I was really happy with the croissant dough and lamination process, but I kept facing hurdles when it came to shaping and proofing. My croissants always flattened out.

overhead image of croissants on a baking sheet after baking

I began rolling the croissants a little tighter, which helped them stay raveled as they baked. Additionally, I took a second look at my proofing process. Proofing, the process of rising, allows the shaped croissants to puff up before baking. I was proofing them at room temperature for 2 hours, which I concluded was too much time out of the refrigerator. Croissant dough, as you learned, loves being cold.

I began proofing the shaped croissants at room temperature for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for some time before baking. This gives the shaped croissants time to puff up in warmer air, then finish proofing in a cold environment. A lot of bakers do this the other way around (fridge then room temperature), but I found the croissants flatten out too much.

After several success batches, I moved on to chocolate croissants.

What a mess.

overhead image of chocolate croissants on a baking sheet after baking

I don’t know which sight is worse: my mixer on the kitchen floor or these deformed chocolate croissants. My problem here is that (1) the dough rectangles rolled around the chocolate were too skinny and (2) I didn’t roll them up tight enough. They unraveled and/or toppled over. Both easy fixes.

Luckily I still had dough leftover in this particular batch. I shaped it a little differently and rolled each chocolate croissant up suuuuuper tight. Success!

chocolate croissant on baking sheet after baking

After another test batch, I was ready to photograph them.

Can you spot a Jude? ↓

kitchen counter with croissants and baking supplies

Croissants have been a baking bucket list item for years, so I feel like an absolute rockstar for tackling this delicate pastry!!! Worth all the time and mess in my kitchen. Chocolate croissants are coming Monday!

chocolate croissants on a wood serving tray

TWO QUESTIONS

  1. Cheesecake. Nothing fancy, just simple cheesecake. Do you like it?
  2. Baked goods with rhubarb. Thoughts?

Have a great weekend!

224 Comments

  1. I am so psyched for chocolate croissants!

    1) I’m not a fan of cheesecake — eating it, at least. I’m not wild about cream cheese in general. I do, however, love making cheesecake. It’s always a crowd pleaser!

    2) I’ve never tried rhubarb, but I’m always willing to try something new! I’ve heard of strawberry rhubarb pie, which I think it supposed to be really good?

    1. I hope you love the croissants, Liz! Thanks for sharing your cheesecake/rhubarb thoughts – I agree, cheesecakes always seem to be real crowd pleasers 🙂

  2. I have a KitchenAid, received it for my 40th birthday, so that’s nearly 7 years now.  It never used to move at all.  However, these days it’s much more likely to start wandering, which perplexes me – is it something to do with the motor becoming underpowered as the machine gets older, thus struggling to deal with the contents and then causing the movement?

    Plain cheesecake is good.  Rhubarb, in any form, is gross.

    1. That IS odd! Keep an eye on that mixer 😉

  3. Peggy Hauser says:

    Yes to cheesecake! No to chocolate cheesecake (a bit of a purist)

    Double yes to anything rhubarb, although I am a bit bored to death with the strawberry/rhubarb pairing. yawn…

  4. Actually, I read about your mixer incident in the FB group and…..and….that is how I knew my mixer speed wasn’t quite right…my mixer wasn’t banging on the counter. ha ha! I put it up a bit, then it got noisy and rough…and I had to stand there watching it…I knew I had it right then. 🙂

    The croissants are GLORIOUS! I froze a couple and thawed them out for breakfast this morning…SO GOOD. Still have some frozen dough squares at the ready too!

    Cheesecake…yes, I like it…but boy my hips don’t need it as we enter the Summer. I actually like vegan “cheesecake” better than the traditional sort. (oh, you must try it…creamy magnificence!) Have never cooked with rhubarb…I don’t even know what it tastes like!

    Have a great weekend!!! 🙂

    1. I’m thrilled you love the croissants! They are such a delicious treat to keep on hand – have a great week!

  5. I looove cupcakes,most of cakes( i hate pineapple upside down whatever cakes),cheesecakes and all your pies are to be made by me from scratch for my guy.Thank you sally for being a baking Goddess!

  6. Whoa! I had no idea a mixer could do that! I walk away from mine all of the time!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/passion-fruit-colada/

  7. Cheesecake ? Always. Bur did you ever try the german Käsekuchen ?

  8. Alicia Martin says:

    I honestly prefer just plain old cheesecake. My second favorite cheesecake is the plain cheesecake from Chik-fil-a.

  9. Judy Castaillac says:

    My latest favorite croissant is from my favorite French bakery in Provence. It is an almond croissant.  You may want to tackle that one of these days.  They are fabulous.
    Judy

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Judy! I love anything with almond 🙂

  10. So glad there were no injures in your Kitchenaid accident…except your poor floor!
    Hubby has been in India on business for two weeks and asked that I have croissants for him when gets home. I admit I did not make them but went to my local boulangerie to get some fresh ones! 
    I love cheesecake and like another post I like plain traditional cheesecake.
    Rhubarb is a family favorite-manily my father-and rhubarb crumble is his favorite. He likes it without any other fruit.

    1. Rhubarb crumble sounds delicious! Perfect for summer 🙂

  11. 1. Yes to cheesecake
    2. I’ve had bad experienced with rhubarb in the past but I would love to get over it and learn how to enjoy the stuff because it looks so pretty and there’s gobs and gobs of it in season. 
    Glad no one was hurt in the Great Mixer Mishap and love that the dent in the floor is actually croissant shaped! 

    1. Thanks so much Jordan!

  12. I’m often afraid my mixer will dance off the counter when doing thick doughs. My toddler has also figured out how to turn it on… even if the head isn’t down. ‍♀️

    Cheesecake yes… though I rarely go for simple/plain. 

    Id love to see some rhubarb! I don’t always see it often here so I haven’t had it in a looong time. My mum used to have it growing when she was a child so it’s one of her childhood favorites. So when I worked in hotels, one if the pastry chefs I knew snagged me some 

  13. Christine C. says:

    The croissant scar is even croissant-shaped! Hah! You have a wonderful attitude of reframing the accident. 🙂

    I love cheesecake. It’s my forever favorite dessert, and I have a non-cheesecake-centric baking business!

  14. I’m surprised some have never had rhubarb. I’ve had it since I was a child. My sister makes a rhubarb dessert with a crust, layer of rhubarb, and meringue on top. It’s delicious! 

    1. That sounds incredible!

  15. Cyndi McMahan says:

    Sally, I wanted to sob when I saw your lovely mixer on the floor AND the scar on your wood floor :(.  I love mine!  Yes to cheesecake, especially with yummy nuts, chocolate or fruit.  I am indifferent to rhubarb but have enjoyed it in cobblers.  Kisses to the baby and your four-legged loves!

  16. Christina Harlan says:

    Love plain cheesecake. 
    Love rhubarb

    Can’t wait to see what’s next. 

  17. Chocolate croissants sound so good but I have had zero luck with rolling dough out. It’s so bad. And this story of your kitchen aid made me laugh so hard… because I had one heck of a week last week and I literally wound up in tears because… stress lol. I tried to make a lemon blueberry cake with all cake flour and the mixing method was cutting butter into your flour using the kitchen aid and it worked great until she said “turn the mixer to medium until it resembles coarse peas.” Mine turned into one big clump in 2 seconds flat. I proceeded to bake anyway and they turned out tasting gummy. Literally. The clean up process (omg I should have taken pictures), my slightly cracked cabinet door for my trash broke off (2 year brand new white maple cabinets), my kitchen aid bowl dumped over in the sink full of water and splashed up EVERYWHERE including my ceiling. It was so, so bad. Then 2 nights later I tried to make snickerdoodle cookie bars in a pan and the dough wouldn’t spread AT ALL. I melted some butter in the microwave to dip my spatula in to try spreading it and magically, somehow (I can see this in slow motion haha!) turned from my microwave to the counter by my sink and the bowl in my hands just tipped and flew it’s contents everywhere. Melted butter, which hardens because duh, it’s fat. All over my kitchen faucet, back splash, sink, countertops, lights, walls, ugh… I then took a break from the kitchen. I am happy to say I made your strawberry donuts yesterday morning and they turned out fantastic!

    1. Oh ya, and next time… I’m totally trying YOUR lemon blueberry cake 😉 

    2. Oh Holly! What an unfortunate series of events! If you end up making my lemon blueberry cake, let me know 🙂

  18. Cheesecake. Meh. I can take it or leave it. My family loves it, though, so it gets requested for lots of gatherings – and I always oblige.

    Rhubarb, though? I’ve never baked with it, but I always love the goods other people make with it.

    1. Thanks so much, Mia!

  19. Hi, yes to cheesecake and rhubarb anything, croissants are my faves, plain, chocolate ,almond, or any other kind…as for your kitchen accident you can bring your floor back to its former glory by putting a steam on that injured part with a floor steamer or a curtain steamer , a little at a time…may take a while but will go back to its original glory…

  20. My Kichen Aid mixer is about 25 years old and has taken some steps during her lifetime but, as you said, you can’t take your eyes off her for a minute. I’m glad your pups weren’t in the line of fire and no one was hurt. That being said, I’m definitely going to try the croissants. I haven’t missed yet with any of your yummy recipes! 

    1. So sweet, thank you! Happy croissant baking – hope you enjoy them!

  21. I love cheese cake! Never had rhubarb though 🙂

  22. MayLynne Emiry says:

    My Kitchen Aid mixer never moves an inch on my counter even when mixing bread doughs. I’m so surprised to see this happened. Most of the reason that I use a stand mixer is so that I can walk away and do other things while it does its job. I have 8 kids and I’ve never once considered that my stand mixer might fall on one of them. If I wanted to stay with my bread dough I would knead by hand in my big bread bowl, (which is what I do a lot of the time).

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE rhubarb!! Mine is just coming up. I chop and freeze and bake with it all winter long. The favorite dessert of my fussy 17-year old son is an old fashioned rhubarb pudding cake– rhubarb on the bottom, spiced cake batter dropped on top, then a sauce made with orange juice is poured over and runs to the bottom to thicken the rhubarb, but also creates a delightful crispy coating on top of the cake. The punch at my wedding reception was made with homemade rhubarb syrup courtesy of my mom. Yup–we love rhubarb. For those who haven’t tried it, you should if you have a chance.

  23. cheesecake-not my first choice of dessert, but if that’s what’s for dessert, I’ll gladly partake. Plain is best.
    –rhubarb–love, love, love it! (although, I don’t understand buying rhubarb-it seems everyone here has a rhubarb patch) Martha Stewart has the most amazing recipe for Rhubarb Upsidedown Cake! https://www.marthastewart.com/344240/rhubarb-upside-down-cake

  24. Linda @ Today She Loves says:

    Thank goodness all of you guys are safe! I tend to stay next to my mixer but this is definitely a lessons learn.

    I have my eye on croissants but I don’t think I’ll make it in time for end of April to complete.

  25. Cheesecake: Absolutely not.
    Rhubarb: YESSSS!!! I would love to see some more rhubarb recipes out there.

  26. Vicki Tunell says:

    Definite yes to both cheesecake and rhubarb!

  27. Love cheesecake! I think the simpler cheesecakes are actually harder because you don’t have as much going on to cover up any flaws.

    I LIVE for rhubarb season…a strawberry rhubarb is the epitome of summer.

  28. Ouch–so sorry about your floor–I dropped a glass dish on my floor and it left a mark too and broke my dish from my grandmother. I was more upset about losing the heirloom dish than my floor :)….2 years later in this house–lets just say its not the only mark there from my kitchen disasters! Luv the picture of your faithful friend hanging out while you are in the kitchen. Like cheesecake but don’t really like rhubarb but my husband does so I could be the nice wife and make whatever you will post :)..At least you didn’t break it on Friday the 13th 🙂

  29. Oh wow! First let me say yum baby yum. They look amazing! I want now! Am i going make them? Snort! I will stick to scones, cakes etc. I am making two of your cakes in double sizes for a Rehearsal dinner out of town soon. I am planning on traveling with them frozen and then making icing and decorating there. 70 people coming for this dinner. So please cross your fingers and wish me luck that it all works out well. I am making one of them into a Chocolate three tiered stump. I have given it one test run so we shall see. Decorating icing bags and tips. Hmm been playing with those. Again wish me luck. Let me see my sympathies for your mixer. My heart would have exploded. Yes mine is over 10 years old. Yes he likes to walk and dance around when he has too much in him. Oh say like sausage ball mix. Snort. Never walk away or at least not far. And lock the sucker too. Now let me say, Hi Jude. So adorable. So glad he was not under you or got hurt. Now let me say i am drooling over your counter top and space. So coveting it! Cheesecake, we love it. I have The BEST recipe for New York Style. Let me say, Do NOT Do NOT use cheap or low fat cream cheese or low fat sour cream. Not ever. Hmm all I can say is soupy runny mess. But it still got eaten so there is that. And by a large crowd of people that So Love Me! In put sight of me crawling under the table here! haha. Lastly, I have had someone put a Strawberry Rubarb pie in my oven years ago. Insert disaster here and fire and major overflow and my freaking out! Hmm always put a BIG pan with sides under any kind of pie or dish containing fruit of any kind under your work of creation in the oven. Lesson learned. Can you believe we put out the fire, cleaned up the mess and finished baking it? And it was still good! Shock. Sorry so long. Thanks for all your works of love.

  30. I adore cheesecake AND rhubarb in all forms! In fact I ate cheesecake today and have strawberry-rhubarb compote in the fridge. 🙂 I used honey, cardamom and a few drops of vanilla and rose water in the compote. Orange or lemon zest are also good. I like having the compote on porridge or Greek yogurt sprinkled with granola. 

    You can add a little baking soda to decrease the acidity of rhubarb – though so far I haven’t found the perfect amount to avoid that weird feeling on your teeth completely.

    My mom is vegan and has a much-loved rhubarb pie she makes with rhubarb from her garden sweetened with dates and using a whole wheat olive oil crust. 

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