Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kid's Thumprint Cookies- The Very Last Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe and Goodbye from me!

I made these kid's thumbprints to celebrate the last week of Tuesdays with Dorie. TWD is/was a baking blog started by the wonderful blogger, Laurie Woodward. She decided to bake a different recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking every single week until she baked through the entire thing. I joined later in 2008 and have made almost every single recipe in the whole book. I have met wonderful people both online and in person and really improved my baking skills. I am so happy I participate in this group and am grateful to Dorie Greenspan for writing a book that added so much joy to my kitchen and my family/friends. This week, I decided to actually bake and post in the same week. (I filled them with Sarabeth's strawberry jam and loved the combo of the sweet jam and crunchy nuts. It is a testament to the strength of the book that the last recipe chosen was as good as the first.) I have been a lazy blogger recently and have been cooking the books but not photographing them or writing them up. I am so busy now with my regular non-blogging life that I will continue with French Fridays with Dorie (where we cook through Around my French Table) and Baking with Julia (where will bake through this book, starting in February of 2012) but won't be blogging about it publicly anymore. I look forward to following all of the other bloggers online and learning even more skills as I follow along silently at home. As Laurie always says to us on the Tuesdays with Dorie web site, "Bake on!" Hugs to all!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Virtual Cookie Exchange Day- Heartland Turtle Bars

I made Heartland Turtle Bars from Baked Explorations to celebrate Virtual Cookie Exchange Day. Diane, of Di's Kitchen Notebook. This recipe is a take on the turtle candy- a chocolate/caramel/nut confection that is oh-so-messy but good. These bars have an oatmeal shortbread crust and crumb topping and taste great at room temperature, warm and gooey, or cold from the fridge. I am having one right now, in fact. Click here to see all the cookies and get great ideas for the holidays. Diane, Thanks so much for putting this together for us! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, may your season be sweet and filled with treats!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy National Bundt Day! Enjoy some Lithuanian Coffee Cake to Celebrate

Happy National Bundt Cake Day to you and yours!

I am a big fan of Mary and her blog, The Food Librarian. This month, she baked a different bundt every single day for 30 days, ending today, November 15th, which is National Bundt Cake Day. I am tired just reading the entries, and wish I lived closer to her so I could snack on all the leftovers.

I made a Lithuanian Coffee Cake, made famous at a local vegetarian eatery called Claire's Corner Copia. This is a traditional coffee cake made with cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, and ground coffee. The moisture comes from low-fat sour cream and it has a nice, tight crumb. I made two 6 inch bundts to facilitate easier sharing and sprinkled it with powdered sugar instead of the buttercream frosting that the recipe calls for. Here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself. If you decide to celebrate along with me and make a bundt, submit the information to Mary here and she will send you a super cool pin commemorating the occasion.

If you want to read the story behind the Lithuanian Coffee Cake, check it out here.

Happy Bundt Making to all! I am already excited for Bundt Month in 2012!!!!

TWD: Bittersweet Brownies and Alsatian Apple Tart

I guess I am more of an eater than a blogger. I made both of the treats selected for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie posting but didn't photograph either one of them. Oops. I know we enjoyed them and ate them quickly but I wish I had charged the batteries in my camera. I made the bittersweet brownies with Callebaut chocolate and added some toasted marshmallows to the chopped walnuts. Visit the Lovely Leslie of Lethally Delicious for the entire recipe. Leslie was lucky and got to make these brownies with Nancy of The Dog eats the Crumbs. I love it when bloggers meet in real life and I wish I had been there too!
Next, Jessica of cookbookhabit chose the Alsatian Apple Tart. In this recipe, I loved how the filling was creamy and custard-like. I will make this again and again. Visit Jessica's blog for the entire recipe and actual photos.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog a Loaf: Sono Bakery's Classic White Bread- a cautionary tale

See this beautiful homemade white bread? This is The SONO Baking Company Cookbook's Classic White Bread Recipe. I made this for Diane's Post a Loaf Day. It has a mild sweet taste and is nice for sandwiches or as toast. While the ingredients are simple (water, yeast, flour, nonfat dry milk, sugar, salt, butter), the techinique is a little bit involved. Make the dough. Let it rise. Punch it down. Let it rise. Fill the loaf pan. Let it rise. Bake it. While I was making this recipe, I was also making Heidi Swanson's cabbage soup and Baked Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownies. (No, I will not add links or give you the whole recipes. Buy the books- it is worth the money for those recipes alone.) I was having trouble paying attention and I forgot the most important step at the end. "Preheat to 500 degrees. Place the loaf on a baking sheet, place the baking sheet in the oven and IMMEDIATELY REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERTATURE TO 375." Oops.
This blurry picture taken by my kindergartener shows the top of the loaf when you leave it at 500 for the first twenty minutes. Oops. The inside of the bread was great, but the top was a little bit burnt and scary. Oh well. I guess I learned my lesson: Do not bake/cook three different things at once and read all of the instructions thoroughly before jumping into the shower! I look forward to reading everyone else's "Loaf" posts. I wonder if meatloaf or quick breads will be represented. I would bet a lot money that mine is the only burnt loaf in the bunch!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TWD: Apple Nut Muffin Cake

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is the Apple Nut Muffin Cake. Take all the ingredients of a fall muffin (chopped apples, nuts, raisins) and dump the whole batter into an 8 by 8 pan instead of muffin tins. I liked the flavor of the almond extract mixed with fresh fruit and nuts. This recipe was exceptionally easy because the stick of butter is melted and cooled (i.e. no waiting for the butter to come to room temp) and the ingredients are hand mixed in a bowl so there is no mixer to clean. This is the perfect post-apple picking snack. We had nibbles for breakfast and afternoon snacks. Visit Katrina's blog, Baking and Boys, for the entire recipe. I really enjoy Katrina's blog because she often writes about the joys of cooking for and feeding her sons, which is near and dear to my heart.

Friday, September 30, 2011

FFWD: Deconstructed BLT and Eggs

Deconstructed BLT is this week's French Fridays with Dorie selection. Take the best of the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) and add croutons fried in bacon fat and hard boiled eggs. Toss in a simple vinaigrette and you have the perfect meal. The recipe recommends a swipe of mayo on top of each egg. I served the salad plain in the bowl and let me dinner guests add their own mayo to taste. I love the salty bacon with the creamy egg and crisp, almost bitter greens. It is a great combo- filling, varied texture and color and perfect for this weird end of summer meets early fall weather we have been having recently. Warning: croutons fried in bacon fat are extremely addictive. You might experience trouble eating one and walking away. You might be unable to eat ordinary croutons anymore. You have been warned.