Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not Just For Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

So Sweet! So Tart! All I need is some vanilla ice cream to create a perfect harmony. I'm hoping that the cake will remain intact and not get soggy by tomorrow so that I can enjoy it with the ice cream. Something tells me that either way it will still be yummy! This was a wonderful in treat Pre-Thanksgiving! Thanks to Jessica, A Singleton in the Kitchen for this timely selection

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peanutties Blondies

Very Yummy, Very Tasty - from the dough to the finished product. Unfortunately, I used a dark coated 9 inch pan and should've turned down the thermostat so my blondies came out pretty dark around the edges and the center is not fully cooked. So, I've turned the temp on low and hoping the center will cook up some more. Hope everyone enjoys these as much as I do! Thanks to Nicole of Bakeologie for this great pick!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fold-Over Pear Torte

Oh my goodness... did Dorie really say to lay the pie crust into the 8-inch springform pan? How about press, smoosh, press, smoosh and clump it all together! I didn't do too well in this department. I also baked mine for a lot longer than 70 minutes...more like 100. Everytime I stook a knife in the middle it wouldn't come out clean. Hmmm..... I gave up and took it out. So, it's gonna be cooling over night and will become a breakfast morning treat. Oh yea, I also used cognac instead of rum. Hope everyone enjoyed this one... My daughter says it looks like chicken pot pie ... sniff, sniff. Check out cake law at Laws of the Kitchen. She's our host this week!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Double Apple Bundt Cake

What a moist and tender cake! I love apple cake and this one is going to the top of the class! I haven't made the icing yet because Dorie said wait one day! Aw man! I can't wait to add the icing! Valedictorian after that! Thank you Lynne! Check out her blog site Honey Muffin!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tarte Fine

I love apple desserts and this tarte is no exception! I used lovely honey crisp apples for this dessert. A nice crisp apple with a slight sweetness. As I slice the apples, I couldnt help but slice and eat, slice and eat, slice and eat! I'm not crazy about egg washes so I went with the alternate sugar and butter. A lotta budda!!! But! I'm enjoying it! Thanks to Leslie of Lethally Delicious.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coffee Break Muffin

I was so tempted to add chocolate chips to these muffins but resisted. I added a little crunch on top by sprinkling some demera sugar on top of each muffin before baking. I also used instant decaf coffee. Perhaps the coffee flavor would've been stronger if I used a brewed coffee. Nonetheless, these muffins were pretty fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous for a great pick this week!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peach and Raspberry Upside Downer

I've got cranberries! Or so I thought... I didn't do a good job freezing them and they turned into freeze-dried, freezer-burned cranberries. Oh well. Peaches and raspberries it is! This cake came together pretty easy. I think I would love the spice and cranberry combination together better. I did add almond extract with the vanilla considering the peaches. The almond is a nice touch. This cake is pretty addictive. I must confess, I ate three slices tonight. I'm gonna pay for that one! Hey, check out Sabrina's blog site Superfluos for the recipe. She did cranberries and pecans.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

Thank God for forgiving cookies! I told myself these are a eazy-peezy, and then I forgot to add the egg... nice, Lisa. So as I said, a forgiving cookie cause after I added the dry ingredients, in went the egg. These cookies are great. I used good ol smooth Skippy peanut butter. They're a nice mild peanut butter cookie that doesn't shout from the roof top - PEANUT BUTTER I AM!!! It's more a smooth operator kinda cookie. I like that...

Merci Jasmine for your selection. Check out her cookies. They look so sugary and good!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Cookie

Can we bottle that wonderful aroma filling the air! As every baker prior to me reported, these are some of the best smelling cookies! Espresso Chocolate Shortbread cookies were brought to us this week by Donna of Life's Too Short Not To Eat Dessert. Two thumbs up, Donna! The smokiness from the espresso and hints of bittersweet chocolate make these cookies a real winner! Dorie's right, why not a cup of coffee with these babies!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

Back from vacation and trying to get back into the groove. Tough one! Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart... hmm.... It smells wonderful, but I'm leary to try it. You see, I'm not big on the custard stuff. I did cop out and use nectarines. The pits were so big that I mutilated them and just placed small sliced pieces all over.

I've read some great entries about this dessert, so I will be fearless and give it a try. Even if it's already 11:00 p.m. This weeks choice comes from Rachel of Sweet Tarte. Her tart is lovely.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gingered Carrot Cookies

Well, I have to say that by the time I got to my fourth cookie these grew on me. You say, four cookies? I know. I guess I had my sights on a carrot cake cookie since carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. This is literally a carrot cookie with lots of extras. These cookies are just the right size too. Guess that's why I ate four!!! This week's recipe was selected by Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina. Make sure you check out her site!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chewy, Chunky, Blondies

Blondies, can be a girl's best friend! Especially when you add butterscotch chips to them. This rich dessert was brought to us by Nicole of Cookies On Friday. These bar cookies totally rock! The chewiness of this bar is part of what makes them so wonderful. The richness of the butterscotch chips is out of this world. Some folks may have chose to add both the toffee chips and the butterscotch. I'll have to try that as well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lot's Of Ways Of Banana Cake

It's been too long since I've posted! I've been baking but have been without a computer for a month or more! What a great way to return with such a fabulous dessert! This selection was brought to us by Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities. Her cake looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. It'll make your mouth water! I on the other hand chose to make muffins out of mine and use my tulip paper holders. I used as Dorie suggested, what I had in the cabinets. I used yogurt for the liquid ingredients and added a few chocolate chips into the batter. These were lovely and came out very moist. A definite keeper!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tender Shortcakes

My day completely got away from me and it wasn't until 10 p.m. that I realized that I still hadn't made my tender shortcakes. These fabulous shortcakes were selected by Cathy of The Tortefeasor. These babies are a keeper for sure and so easy to make! I called my husband and told him to pick up some whipped cream on the way home and got crackin on the shortcakes. I had already picked up a pint of blackberries and had some raspberries in the freezer. I decided to add some fresh nutmeg and a splash of almond extract. As the shortcakes baked in the oven, the aroma of the nutmeg was heavenly! Once these were put together, they were gobbled up as the angels sang! I think I will make these for 4th of July.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

White Chocolate Brownie

I was really looking forward to this week's baking selection which was chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights until I baked it, and then I cut, and then I tasted it ... not a happening dessert here!

It just didn't appear done. My meringue was nice and brown and I baked it an additional 15 minutes. Still, it was very wet in the middle and not pleasant to behold. I went back to the picture in Dorie's book and if you look at it closely, hers does have a wet texture as well. With this being the case, I don't think the word "brownie" was the best way to describe this treat. As someone else said, it's like a lemon bar. Has anyone got a new name for this dessert?

With all this being said, the orange, raspberries and meringue captured wonderful flavors. Unfortunately, I had my heart set on a yummy brownie.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apple Apple Bread Pudding

It sucks to be sick and bake. I persevered. I really didn't want to make this dessert but when I told friends and family; their faces persuaded me otherwise. This week's recipe comes from Elizabeth of Cake or Death. I'm not an eggy, custard kind of gal. I was relieved that it wasn't that bad ... I wish my apples were more caramelly. The apples were "just there" for me. I used a store brand apple butter and added some fresh nutmeg and a baking spice from Penzey's to kick it up a notch. I ony made half a batch and weighed my eggs to get an accurate measurement. I'm looking forward to June's picks. How about you?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quick Classic Berry Tart

Wow! Was this scary! I've never made pastry cream before but have made Dorie's French Lemon Cream Tart. Not the same! The recipe wasn't kidding when it said to whip vigorously! So, just when I stopped to see if my liquid was boiling the whole thing thickened up so fast, I didn't know how to react! I stirred and turned off the fire just as fast. I think there should have been a warning flag about this!

Well, I ended up with tiny little lumps in mine. Nothing detremental but could of been smoother! I'll have pics tomorrow of the whole sha-bang!!! I've got the pastry cream cooling in the fridge and mini tart shells freezing in the fridge! Thanks to Christine of Christine Cooks for selecting this week's recipe! Check out her lovely berries!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream Continued!

I want an ice cream maker! I tried to make this ice cream by hand and froze it in a medium glass bowl. I took longer to freeze than it probably should have. I put this in the freezer at approximately 8:30 a.m. and beat it with a hand mixer every 30 minutes. By 11:30 I was ready for bed. When I woke up in the morning, my ice cream was solid but ice crystals were in there! It taste very good, but I will try this one again with an ice cream maker!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

Oh how I wish I started this ice cream yesterday. All I can do is watch, stir and wait. I borrowed an ice cream maker from my sister in law, but it's one that requires rock salt and ice cubes. I wasn't quite feeling that! After seeing the post for Dave Liebowitz and his handmade method, I figured I'd give this one a try. This recipe comes to us by way of Peggy of Project Domestication.

I've never made ice cream before, but this was pretty easy to put together. You do have to keep your eye on cooking that sugar though and after adding the eggs and reheating, that went pretty quickly to get it to the appropriate temperature.
It's so difficult to wait for what is sure to be a wonderful frozen treat. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You're only a day away! More pictures to follow...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chockablock Cookies

The Crumbler! My new name for this cookie after I changed some of the ingredients and sold these as a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis at their annual walk event. I took my daughter and one of her friends to sell the cookies. Here's her friend, at the table. They also needed to earn community time for high school graduation requirements so, it didn't take a lot of convincing to get them out there first thing in the morning!

Having this idea in advance of knowing that Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet was going to select it had me excited! First, I made the recipe exactly using dried cranberries, peanuts, coconut and chopped bitter sweet chocolate. I found the chocolate to be overwhelming and the cookie itself unattractive. In the second batch I reduced the molasses to 1 TB and increased the granulated sugar. I also used golden raisins, peanuts and reduced the amount of bitter sweet chocolate to 10 oz. and added fresh nutmeg and cinnamon. This made a more balanced cookie and much more attractive. On the rack you'll see in the bottom row each cookie; the darker being the original recipe. Check out Mary's site because she did so many different versions of this cookie which all look fantastic!
We sold approximately 50 cookies that day which was great considering that free subway sandwiches and drinks were given away to all walkers. This cookie was a great success! If you're interested in learning more about The National Multiple Sclerosis Society you can go to http://www.nationalmssociety.org/.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sweet Cream Biscuits

Happy Biscuit Baking Tuesday! This week's selection comes from Melissa of Love At First Bite. If you check out her site, you'll see how diligent she was in attempting to make a perfect biscuit. I think she got it right with the White Lily flour and over the top when she made sausage gravy to go with them. Drool City!

I used all purpose flour for my biscuits. I have the worse depth and height perception. I didn't roll out my biscuits, but patted out the dough. Still no clue, and ended up with some biscuits an inch high vs. the suggested half inch.

But guess what! They rose!!! Not as pretty as I would have liked, but they tasted yummy. Lorrie from With a Grateful Prayer Thankful Heart made an apricot butter to go with hers. I had strawberry rhubard preserves handy so I turned that into a butter spread. Oh so yummy!!! The outside of my biscuits were a little crunchy and had a littly grainy textural look on the outside. Inside, these biscuits were soft, fluffy and a little dense. I ate two of them and my tummy is VERY full!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

Was this a cake a "sleeper" or what! Very easy to put together and quick to bake. I didn't have a 9-inch cast iron pan so, I went with a 9-inch cake pan. This cake has a tremendous almond flavor rounded out with lemon. I have to say, my cake didn't rise much. I did whip up the eggs using a mixer and figured that's where the height would come from since there was no leavener.
I kept looking at the picture in Dorie's book and looking at mine. Dorie's ... mine ... Dorie's ... mine. Nope, not the same height. This cake was absolutely delicioso!!! A definite keeper!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Coconut Tea Cake

Boy, this has been a confusing two weeks for me by switching the selected baked items. I feel left out as not too many bakers took the offer to switch weeks. I'd like to know who baked something special for Easter other than our weekly TWD?

So, this week I chose Coconut Tea Cake which was selected by Carmen Cooks. I made this cake to take to my brother's home for Easter dessert. I had already made two carrot cakes and Dorie's Almost Fudge Gateaux. I was a little "baked out"! I made this cake on Sunday afternoon after church! Needless to say, I delivered this cake a little warm! After reading some of the posts from the prior week, I decided to make the lime coconut version. I toasted my coconut and made a lime glaze as well as a blueberry coulis. It's Easter!!!!

Although it's not a pound cake, this cake was very moist and had a dense but fluffy crumb. I could definitely taste all of the flavors this cake had to offer. The lime was a delight and everyone agreed. I was barely able to steal a slice home so that I could snap a pic!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mocha Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake

This week we were given a choice of making the original choice of coconut tea cake or mocha walnut marbled bundt cake due to the fact that some may have wanted to make the coconut tea cake for Easter. Well, it wasn't that I wanted to make the tea cake for Easter but, I had all of the ingredients for the bundt cake so, bundt cake it was! The mocha walnut marbeled bundt cake was selected by Erin of When In Doubt...Leave It at 350. Right now, I wish I had made the tea cake. I read the directions several times and still goofed!

When I read that I could achieve a different marble effect by just pouring the chocolate on top and marbling, I did it- literally. I poured the melted chocolate on top of the the entire batch of white batter and attempted to marble that. Something did not look right ... after I put the cake in the oven, I read the recipe again. DUH!!! I was supposed to mix just about half the white batter into the melted chocolate first. I raced to the oven and pulled the cake out and mixed the chocolate a little more into the batter.

Well, as you see in the picture, the bottom of my cake is where most of the chocolate went ... straight to the bottom. Nice crack too, huh? Boo-Hiss! How'd it taste? Pretty good but, I missed out on really appreciating the marble effect and the even distribution of the chocolate.

One exciting thing that I got to do though, is try out my new cake tester by Nordicware designed specifically for bundt cakes. That was pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dulce de Leche Duos

Let me start off by saying my day and my belly have been filled with Dulce de Leche Duos cookie dough, Dulce de Leche filling, and finally the finished product!

This recipe was selected by Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake. I love cookies and these were no exception! I went to a local foo-foo store near my job and asked if they carried dulce de leche in a jar. I was in luck, they did and at the same time a customer chimed in and said she makes it all the time at home and gave me the stove top method. Once I got home, I started looking at all the posts for the different methods of making this. I obviously had already bought the jar and took the lazy man's way out!

Looking at the posts of the folks who made their own, the jarred version is a lot darker (and very tasty!). Yes, you can eat this stuff right out of the jar ... and I did! I used a small scoop instead of a teaspoon for the cookie dough. This worked well for consistent size. Once the cookies were cooled, I was kind of sparing on spreading the filling. These cookies are very sweet and don't need a lot to throw them over the top.

Soft Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Well, I'm a little behind here in that I didn't post last week's fab soft chocolate and raspberry tart. This selection was chosen by Rachelle of Mommy? I'm Hungry! and man oh man, did I ever feel guilty after seeing cb's post of I Heart Food 4 Thought saying that she wanted to say hello to the newbies but some of us (moi) didn't post. Waaaahhhh!!!

I did it, I did it... and everyday I said, I'm gonna post, and I never did - bad girl! Well, I chose to use blackberries because those dog-gone raspberries were very, very expensive! I own a 9.5 inch tart pan which worked out OK only because some of my berries were left a little exposed.

This was the first time I have ever made any type of home made crust. I was excited to have it look as good as it did and not only did it look good, but it tasted awesome! I tasted this tart at room temperature as well as refrigerated. I liked it equally both ways. This tart is a definite keeper. I think next time I'll try cherries and use mini tart pans!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thumprints For Us Big Guys

What a beautiful day in Connecticut!!! It was at least 60 degrees today in March and I love it! I'm also exicted today because I have officially been added to the Tuesday's With Dorie Baker's List. YAY!!!! I didn't make last week's Toasted Coconut Custard Tart because no one in my household would eat it. I wanted to make a few mini tarts but didn't own any mini pans... at the time. Last week, I ordered a few things from King Arthur's catalog and that included four mini tart pans which were delivered today. I'll be posting on the tarts very soon!

So, this week's baking deed comes from Mike of Ugly Dude Food who chose Thumbprints for Us Big Guys. Do you think the "guy" part had any influence in his choice? I've got a question, did anyone like me toast their hazelnuts and rub the skins off. I have to say, that took some time to do and there were some stubborn suckers! I think next time I'll look for some without the skins. Well, once I got through this part, these were a breeze to make. I can't say I'm a big hazelnut fan and may make these again next time using walnuts or pecans. All in all these are a very tasty cookie with a big flavor!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Honey Wheat Cookies

Heeey, it's Tuesday, February 23 and not only is it baking day, but it's my dad's birthday! This meant that I had to make two desserts today- two desserts and a terrible cold! I made the milk chocolate baby cakes (see earlier blog) for my dad, which he loves. This evening, I made Honey Wheat Cookies which were chosen by Michelle of FlourChild. I have such a sweet tooth, and when I saw honey....wheat germ....lemon....I wasn't too excited. After reading other blog entries, I did start to become intrigued and couldn't wait to see what they would taste like. These cookies were so easy to make and bake up pretty fast. The dominant flavor in these cookies was honey. I used a local grown honey. The lemon didn't stand out as much as I would have liked. With my first bite, I wanted my cup of tea! What a perfect cookie for a cup of tea and to curl up with some wonderful reading. These cookies have a nice crisp edge and a soft cakey center. I have already bagged up some cookies to bring to work for everyone in the office. Yes, sniffles and all, I will trudge my way into the office.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Today's baked goody was chosen by Kait of Kait's Plate. Her selection was My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have to say, I was really worried about making these cookies after reading the many disappointments from other bakers. I reviewed many other recipes and techniques for this classic cookie. Even though I agreed with some that Cook's Illustrated does make a fabulous cookie, I was willing to give Dorie's a try without fiddling with the original recipe. I decided to add the espresso powder into these cookies to try a little something different. I had no regrets. These cookies came out with a little crunch on the edges and lots of chew in the middle. Although they were somewhat thin, they had a character all their own worth a big cheer! I used Jacques Torres 72% dark chocolate. His chocolate comes in bags of pistoles. I weighed out the entire 12 ozs. and once I started chopping I used a little bit more than half of it. This was plenty for me!!! Boy, these make a lot of cookies! I made two dozen cookies and scooped and froze the rest which resulted in another 30 cookies. Espresso cookies are for me!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Well, it's Wednesday and not Tuesday. My daughter came home late last night and heisted the computer to do her homework, so I was unable to post. This week Tanya of Chocolatechic chose Rick Katz's Brownies For Julia. This is a great storie behind these brownies which were made for Julia Childs. After reading the many different posts about the texture of these brownies, I have to say I wasn't too excited making them. I'm really not into gooey brownies. After leaving them in the oven for 30 minutes, I used the divot test that was put on Nancy's blog site "the dog eats the crumbs". This can be found on the King Arthur, website.

You take a toothpick or cake tester and pick up a little piece of the top and see what the texture looks like underneath. They definitely weren't done after 30 minutes and I gave them an extra 10 minutes. This did the trick! I have to tell you, it was very difficult not to eat those brownies

right out of the oven!!! I did stick a spoon in them, though...they are very rich and delicious.

After removing them from the fridge the next day, they tasted like a decadent fudge brownie. These are a keeper.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Well, today we made Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes which was selected by Kristin of I'm right about everything. I had some Guittard milk chocolate chips left over from the summer. When I poured them out of the bag, I noticed that the chocolate had bloomed but none the less, still good. I must've not realized that there was some water in the glass pyrex cup I used to melt the chocolate because the whole batch seized up! What a waste!!! I eventually went out to the grocery store and picked up a bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Oh well. Again, another late night baking, but ya know what? It was worth it! El Yum-O! I've had a mini bundt pan for a couple of years but never used it. I sure wish I had used cooking spray to prep the pans vs. butter. They didn't come out of the pan very easily, but I prevailed. I used again, Ghiradelli chips to make the glaze topping. I think I figured out why the glaze doesn't flow for so many, including myself. In Dorie's recipe, she says to finely chop chocolate, aka a chocolate bar with a decent amount of cocoa butter, aka Callebaut, etc. Or as some may have done - add a drop of oil. So, I spread my chocolate on top of the bundts and this worked just fine for me. This mini bundt cake was a lovely treat and I hope I can bring myself to share them!