When I used to dine at the Corner Bakery Cafe, I always made sure to purchase a bag of their sweet raisin pecan crisps before I left. I was recently reminded of how delicious they are when a friend bought a bag for me. Crispy with a slight chewiness, these raisin crisps were sweet but not overly so with large sugar crystals coating both sides. Turns out, it's not that hard to make yourself! Here's a copycat recipe for Corner Bakery's sweet crisps made with homemade raisin walnut bread.
Corner Bakery's Sweet Crisps
Raisin walnut bread
- 1 ½ cups warm water (100-110 degrees F) (350 grams)
- 3 tbsp honey (60 grams)
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (7 grams)
- 4 cups bread flour (656 grams)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (26 grams)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (102 grams)
- 1 cup seedless raisins (120 grams)
Sweet raisin crisps
- 1 loaf raisin walnut bread
- ¾ cup butter, melted (170 grams)
- 1 cup demerara sugar or any other type of coarse sugar (250 grams)
- Combine warm water with honey and yeast, stirring to dissolve. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and the mixture is foamy.
- Combine yeast mixture with flour, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the chopped walnuts and raisins and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a bowl with 1 tbsp oil and transfer dough to the bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
- Punch down the dough and shape it into a large round loaf. Transfer to a baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, make ⅛-inch deep slashes across the top of the bread. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the oven to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Lower oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the bread into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Brush the top side with butter and sprinkle a generous amount of sugar, about 1 tsp depending on how long the slice is. Bake on a sheet pan for 8 minutes or until crisp.
- Remove from the oven and flip over the bread slices. Brush with butter and sprinkle more sugar. Bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove and cool.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Before you can make the raisin crisps, you have to make the bread. Start by activating the yeast in warm water and honey. Add the flour, raisins, and walnuts and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. The kitchen aid comes in handy when kneading the dough since all you have to do is turn on the machine. The dough may feel a bit sticky, but resist adding more flour. The dough will come together beautifully, you just have to believe!
Proof the dough in a warm area until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, shape into a loaf, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let it rise a second time.
Score the bread before baking to prevent the bread from rising unevenly in the oven. Use a sharp knife and be confident with the slashes. Don't worry if the dough snags a little; you will barely be able to notice once baked.
Keep an eye on your bread during the first 15 minutes when it is at 425 degrees. If you have a strong oven, I recommend covering the bread with foil if it starts to get too dark.
The bread alone was delicious; I actually saved a couple of slices just to enjoy as is. Spread a little butter and jam with a nice cup of tea and you have yourself one delightful breakfast. But we're not here just to make bread. We have to take it a step further and make those Corner Bakery's sweet crisps. Brush one side with melted butter and sprinkle a generous amount of demerara sugar or any type of coarse sugar.
Again, depending on your oven, the time may differ so keep an eye on those crisps. During the first 8 minutes, the crisps may not turn golden; that's completely fine. If the bread feels like it has been toasted and is slightly hard to the touch, they are ready to be flipped over. The side of the bread that touches the baking sheet will turn golden so it will have its turn to brown.
I honestly think that these crisps taste exactly like the ones from Corner Bakery, and I am not the only one who shares that opinion. The texture of the crisps is exactly like the ones from the restaurant, crispy but still soft in the center. Even with the different sugar used, it is hardly noticeable. Wrap up and give these away to your friends and you will be loved! They can be stored at room temperature for at least a week, if they last that long.
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