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Sweet Almond Buns and A Food Gal Giveaway

A breakfast pastry adorned with almonds that’s not too sweet. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)


It’s rare that I allow myself a pastry for breakfast during the week.

But come Sunday, I am sure ready to indulge in one.

“Sweet Almond Buns” are just the perfect size, too. Not Super-Size me over-the-top. But just a couple bite-fulls of something sweet, tender and with a haunting hint of cardamom.

The recipe is from “Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts” (Weldon Owen) by veteran cookbook writer Rick Rodgers. The book, which I received a review copy of when it came out in 2010, is full of inspired recipes for the most important meal of the day. There’s everything from “Golden Cornmeal Waffles with Fried Chicken” to “Raspberry Jam Doughnuts” to “BBQ Shrimp and Grits.”

These little buns are full of almonds, one of my favorite nuts. They get stirred into the yeast-fortified dough, and mixed with sugar to sprinkle on top of the buns just before baking.

For those who don’t like their breakfast treats cloying, these are perfect as they are just sweet enough.

An almond-packed prize. (Photo courtesy of the Almond Board of California)

CONTEST: One Food Gal reader will win a most almond-packed prize from the Almond Board of California. It includes 1 pound of whole natural almonds, one jar of almond butter, 1 pound of sliced almonds, an insulated travel pouch for breakfast on the go, and a $20 VISA gift card to help you purchase everything else you need for a hearty breakfast.

Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Sept. 21. The winner will be announced Sept. 23.

How to win?

Just tell me about one of your favorite breakfast treats and why you love it so. Most tantalizing answer wins.

Here’s my own response:

“Would you believe one of my fondest breakfast foods is eggs scrambled with cubes of SPAM? That’s right. It’s because it was a favorite of my Dad’s. Some of my earliest memories of him cooking at the stove revolve around him making that weekend breakfast treat. I can still smell that salty, porky aroma of the SPAM hitting the hot pan, too. It may have been ages since I’ve actually bought a can of SPAM. But that iconic meat-in-a-can will always hold a special place in my heart.”

They’re the perfect size, too. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Sweet Almond Buns with Cardamom

(Makes 12)

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) quick-rise yeast

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, the butter, egg, yeast, cardamom, and almond extract. Add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until a thick batter forms, about 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of the almonds and mix just until combined.

Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. (The batter is too sticky to use paper liners.) Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Lightly oil a sheet of plastic wrap and place it over the pan, oiled side down. Let stand in a warm spot until the buns have risen to the top of the pan, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the remaining almonds and the 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the buns. Bake until the buns are golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the buns from the pan and serve warm.

Adapted from “Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts” by Rick Rodgers

More Almond Goodness: Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting

And: Brown Sugar and Almond Biscotti

And: Cinnamon Almond Wafers

And: Almond Tart with Mirabelle Cream

And: Apricot, Almond Brown Butter Tart