December 8, 2009

Herbs de Provence Popovers {Webisode #4}

Location: My parent’s house, Cooperstown NY
My Day So Far: Filmed cooking segment for WKTV Utica/Rome, returned emails, leftover butternut squash soup from cooking segment for lunch.
Naptime Goals: Pack suitcases, bake Herbs de Provence Popovers for snack and dinner, wrap Christmas gifts, catch up with Dad.

Tonight’s Meal: My Mom is cooking (yeah – a break for me!)

Parenting Lesson of the Day: Grandparents are helpful to have around.

While visiting my parent’s in Cooperstown this week, I found myself in the mood for a hot savory snack on Monday mid-afternoon. Luckily, since my mom was cooking that evening, during my daughter’s naptime I had two hours completely free for baking projects, suitcase packing, gift wrapping and a quick catch up with Dad. Given my savory craving I opted out of baking yet another batch of Christmas cookies, and instead decided to make my favorite popovers.  A piping hot buttery roll was just the ticket for a chilly afternoon snack, plus I knew they would pair beautifully with our meal that evening.

My favorite part about making popovers is that delicious reward comes from minimal effort. Unlike a complicated butter pastry, this dough can be mix together with relative ease and put straight into the oven. Furthermore, it can be flavored almost any way you like. In my first batch I used my favorite Herbs de Provence, and in the second I added freeze dried chives (there is nothing wrong with freeze dried herbs when fresh aren’t available). Either work well, you could also add cheese, other herbs like rosemary or thyme – or nothing at all!

Many times people have asked me about using specialty popover pans and I assure them that they are definitely not necessary. As I’ve said before, I don’t spend a lot on specialty baking items that only have one purpose. Instead I’ve invested in good quality muffin tins, they are versatile in the kitchen and work beautifully when making big, puffy popovers. If you already have popover pans certainly use them, but they are not going to make or break this recipe.

When I made these my daughter and I almost consumed the entire batch by ourselves. We couldn’t get enough of the flaky butter dough and fragrant herbes de provence. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I got straight to work making another batch the very next day and was thoughtful enough to film it for you. I hope this demonstrates to you how utterly simple these are to make, and how delicious they are to eat. As you will see, making these during my daughter’s afternoon naptime is a snap. In fact, they are also easy enough to make that sometimes I do so when I have five minutes even if she’s awake. I’ve also made these right before guests come over and have served them at dinner or brunch. They are always hit, and you’ll soon see why. Enjoy!

Naptime Chef Popovers from Kelsey Banfield on Vimeo.


Herbs de Provence Popovers

adapted from The New Basics Cookbook


2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
¼ c. Herbs de Provence OR ¼ c. freeze dried chives
1 pinch Kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray, or a 6-cup large muffin tin – depending on the size of the popovers you’d like.

2. Melt butter in microwave and allow to cool.

3. Combine eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until all ingredients are blended.

4. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Then, with the mixer on low, add the cream, milk and melted butter. Mix until everything is smooth and completely incorporated.

5. Add the chives and fold them in with a spatula.

6. Distribute batter evenly amongst muffin cups, so each cup is roughly 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until popovers are poofy and a light golden brown. Serve hot. Or, if you want to save them for dinner, pierce a tiny hole in the top so that they don’t “fall” while you are waiting to serve them.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Popovers are incredibly versatile, you can add or subtract almost any flavoring to create the exact taste you want. I recommend adding cheese or interesting herbs such as rosemary or thyme for unique variations.

Naptime Stopwatch

As you can see, making the popover batter takes all of two minutes, then it is just a matter of baking. There is hardly an easier way to make a homemade hot snack.

Naptime Reviews

Be mindful of people’s flavoring preferences, my husband is wary of dill so I do not add them it to anything I make, especially popovers. But everything else I’ve tried has been a big hit with him, and my daughter, too.