Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was picked by Carmen of Carmen Cooks. She picked the Coconut Tea Cake. Some of the Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers opted to delay making this recipe for a week, so they could have it for Easter, but I decided to plug ahead and make it. This cake has a couple of variations and I ended up making the Coconut Lime Tea Cake. If you would like the complete recipe, visit Carmen’s blog.
Have I mentioned how much I love Bundt cakes? I just love them; no fuss, no muss and a great cake every time. (Next week’s recipe is another Bundt, yay!) I first started making pound cakes when I started baking and I always used a Bundt pan. You should see the page in my cookbook with the pound cake recipe. It’s so messy, but it’s been a great recipe and I’ve never been disappointed. This recipe, which you do bake it in a Bundt pan, is quite different than a pound cake. This recipe only has 4 tablespoons of butter, which is a very small amount. I go through prodigious amounts of butter and I’m always a little skeptical when I see a recipe that calls for so little butter.
This cake is described by Dorie as a “dry cake” but I don’t think this is dry at all. I was ahead of the game this week and made it early, but then left it sitting on the counter for a couple of days. It was still very fresh when I cut it and still moist. It doesn’t have much butter, but the recipe calls for coconut milk and maybe that’s what helps. I used sweetened, untoasted coconut and I preferred that. I think using untoasted coconut held the cake stay fresh and kept it from drying out. I’d never made anything with coconut milk before and this was really good. I couldn’t taste the lime all that much, but it did add the slightest of tang. I liked this cake a lot and I’d like to try some of the variations, especially the coconut sesame variation. I’ve been thinking about baking with sesame seeds and that might be the perfect thing.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 194 and 195
Friday, March 26, 2010
As many recipes as I have made as a part of Tuesdays with Dorie, there are still recipes from the book that I can’t wait to make. I joined Tuesdays with Dorie in August 2008 and some really great recipes were chosen before I joined the group. I keep thinking that someday I will make all of those great recipes I missed, but there are only so many things that I can make in a week. As much as love to bake, my waistline tells me that I shouldn’t bake too much more than I already do.
Madeleines are one of those recipes on the list that I have wanted to make for so long. For this one, I had a legitimate reason to wait: they are my boss’s favorite cookie. I wanted to wait and make them for her, but the right time hadn’t yet presented itself. Well, this week is her birthday so now is the perfect time. Happy Birthday Boss!
I had made madeleines years ago, long before I had a baking blog. I really liked that recipe, but I had written the recipe down on a small scrap of paper, which I have no idea where it is now! I need to be more careful about keeping track of recipes. This recipe is quite different than the one I made before. You make the batter in advance, refrigerate for an extended period of time and then bake. For me this worked out great. I made the batter one day and baked them up the next morning before work. Fresh cookies, simple and easy.
I had no trouble making these, although folding melted butter into the batter was a bit tricky. I don’t know that I got it mixed in all the way, but in the end it didn’t matter since they turned out beautifully. I wasn’t sure if I had filled the pans enough or too much, but all looked fine, except one that was on the small side. I really liked the lemon flavor, it was just right. I’m excited the try some of the variations that are in Dorie’s book, and maybe I’ll take a look and see if I can find the other madeleine recipe I used to use.
2/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
confectioner sugar, for dusting
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter.
Butter and flour the madeleine mold and spoon the batter, filling each one almost to the top, into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. (Or just refrigerate the batter and spoon into the pans right before baking.)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the madeleines for 11-13 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the mold by rapping the edge of the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the madeleines to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar. Madeleines are best served the day they are made.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake. She selected the Dulce de Leche Duos. These are a seemingly simple sandwich cookie, with the cookie dough containing Dulce de Leche and then they are sandwiched together with additional Dulce de Leche. Visit Jodie’s blog for the complete recipe and you can also check out how other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers faired with this recipe.
This recipe calls for Dulce de Leche, which can be hard to find in the store. I looked in all the grocery stores and didn’t have any luck. I knew I could find it at the fancy kitchen gourmet store, but it’s very expensive there. I ended up doing what many other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers did: I made my own. A couple of people had talked about making Dulce de Leche and it didn’t seem too hard.
Dulce de Leche is just a thick caramel sauce, and you can make it with sweetened condensed milk. I used David Lebovitz’s recipe, which worked out very well. You basically pour a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pie plate, put it in a water bath and bake for an hour and a half. I would have liked to bake mine for about 15 additional minutes, but I was on my way out the door. My caramel wasn’t as caramelized as it could be, but it looked good.
The cookies are very good on their own; you can’t taste the Dulce de Leche all that much, but they’re still very tasty. I didn’t sandwich too many of mine, partially because I needed more Dulce de Leche, partially because my Dulce de Leche wasn’t very thick. Even directly from the refrigerator it wasn’t thick, and this made sandwiching the cookies together a sticky (but yummy) mess! They are really good as sandwich cookies; you can really taste the caramel. I’ll see how they set up, and maybe they won’t be so messy, of course they have to last that long!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 161.
Friday, March 19, 2010
We’re almost through winter and I’m ready for spring. Since I work at a college, my life is defined in 4 quarters. We’re just about done with winter quarter and then it’s on to spring. Spring quarter goes so fast and then before you know it, it’s time for back to school. It’s funny how quickly time goes by. I really like when fall comes around, I can start making all of those autumn recipes that I adore.
So last week I asked a couple of coworkers which cookies to bake. This was one of the choices. One of my colleagues looked at the King Arthur Flour website where this was posted and she read the reviews. She mentioned that the comments say the cookies taste better a couple days after they were made. So I made a bit of a compromise: I said I would make these early the next week and bring them on Friday.
These are certainly more of a fall or holiday cookie, but I don’t care. I love ginger! These were posted on the King Arthur Flour blog: Baking Banter back in November. These are easy to make, but they do use a number of bowls. They reminded me a lot of gingerbread when I was making them, which is a nice memory. I did make them early in the week and then cut them right before taking them to work on Friday. I was a little short on candied ginger, but just barely. I did have to sacrifice cute Ginger Babies to make these, but it was for a good cause.
I’m really glad that I made these early, because it does seem like the flavors had blended together wonderfully. The bottom layer is so good and does taste a lot like gingerbread. My husband said they taste like Christmas. The bottom is chewy and the top is crumbly; the little chunks of candied ginger are a nice touch. Sure maybe these are better suited for the holidays, but they’re pretty tasty any time of the year.
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" pan with foil and butter the foil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, allspice, salt, baking soda, and crystallized ginger. In a large mixer bowl stir together the molasses, eggs, brown sugar and butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
While the bars are baking, make the topping: using a pastry blender, mix together the flour, butter, salt, and brown sugar until it's fairly well-blended; some chunks of butter can remain. Mix in the crystallized ginger.
As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle on the streusel, and bake an additional 30 minutes, till the streusel is a deep, golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry! She chose the Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart. Since raspberries aren’t in season, I used canned cherries instead. I like chocolate and cherries together, so I figured that it would work out just fine. I was right! This tart was very tasty and if you’d like to make it, you can find the complete recipe on Rachelle’s blog.
If you have math-inclined folks in your life, you probably know that Sunday was Pi Day, March 14th: 3.14. I work at a college and my colleagues and I are friends with many of the math instructors. My colleague usually made pies and took them to the math department to share. (Maybe the math folks don’t bake? I’m not really sure.) This year she decided to make pies to share in the library. I figured a tart is pretty close to a pie, so I brought this tart to share with the group. We celebrated Pi Day, a day late, with apple pie and chocolate cherry tart. It made that two hour meeting on Monday morning a lot more enjoyable.
I really liked this tart and it’s not too sweet. The crust is one I’ve made many times and always turns out perfectly. He filling looks at first glance like traditional custard, but it’s basically chocolate ganache with some additional sugar and eggs. You use a mixture of milk and bittersweet chocolate, which provided good balance. All milk chocolate would have been too sweet, and all bittersweet would have been too strong (for my taste at least). You could pick up the sweetness of the milk chocolate and the richness of the bittersweet.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 354
Friday, March 12, 2010
When I first started baking, I worked at Hallmark. My coworkers really liked the things I made and I would sometimes take my cookbooks to work and my coworkers would bookmark the recipes that looked good. I liked when I was able to make the cookies that they requested, because most of the other time I was guessing as to what they would like or I’d just pick what I wanted.
I have a lot more cookbooks now, and I follow a lot of blogs that have great recipes. Sometimes I’m still stuck as to what I should make. I try to be in tune with holidays and that sort of thing. Right now, Girl Scouts are out there with their cookies. I have found a couple of copycat recipes that I really want to try, but they take more time than I usually have on a weeknight. My husband recently sent me a couple of recipes that he thought sounded good. So I had a lot of ideas coming my way.
This week a sent a couple of recipes to my colleagues and let them choose. They picked this recipe (well, it was basically a tie), which is one that my husband had sent me a couple of days ago. I’d make oatmeal sandwich cookies a while ago, but it’s the filling that is really special. The cookies themselves are pretty good; I like the oats in combination with the almond extract. The filling is ok by itself too, but when these are all together they are really wonderful. The filling I made was really thick, and next time I would thin it with some additional milk, but I wouldn’t change anything else.
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups regular oats
3/4 cups chopped pecans
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons dark rum
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1pound powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixer bowl, combine butter, shortening, corn syrup and brown sugar. Beat on medium until fluffy; add egg and almond extract and mix until blended. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves and gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in oats and pecans.
Shape dough into small balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press down on each ball to flatten slightly. Bake for 9-10 minutes until golden. Cool on baking sheet and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Make the rum raisin filling: beat cream cheese in a mixer bowl until smooth. Add milk, rum, vanilla and salt and beat until blended. Don’t worry if the mixture look curdled. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing on low until combined. If the mixture seems too stiff, add additional milk. Stir in raisins. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of filling on cookie bottom and sandwich with another cookie.
Recipe from Framed, My Life One Picture at a Time who got the recipe from Christmas with Southern Living
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Mike of Ugly Food Dude. He selected Thumbprints For Us Big Guys, which are a refined thumbprint cookie. Visit Mike’s blog for the complete recipe. I used to not like thumbprints very much; they were always kind of boring. I made some Cashew Caramel Thumbprints earlier this year that I liked a lot and these were very good as well. I really like thumbprints now!
These thumbprints get a lot of their flavor and sophistication from the dough, which is one part flour, one part ground hazelnuts. I love hazelnuts, so I had great hopes these would be good. You could easily substitute ground almonds if you prefer that flavor. You then have your choice of fillings. I used raspberry chocolate orange preserves. Fancy, huh? These preserves really knocked these cookies out of the park.
Both my husband and I have a habit of picking up interesting ingredients when we see them, with the expectation to use them later in a recipe. We always visit the local farmer’s market when it is running. We sometimes get flowers, local produce, a pie from the pie lady, you get the idea. One weekend, we found a vendor selling homemade preserves. She was sampling the raspberry orange preserves, but we noticed the raspberry chocolate orange preserves. She only had a couple of jars left, so we bought one.
The preserve tastes mainly like regular raspberry preserves, but with interesting chocolate and orange notes. I think that the flavors pair well with the sweetness of the hazelnuts. These cookies are addictive! I was a little late coming home from work and my husband enjoyed quite a few while he was waiting for me to come home. The dough is very crumbly, so that’s a bit of a challenge when you are making the cookies. My batch also made a lot less than the 60 that the recipe says it yields. Dorie must have made her cookies super small. Mine aren’t as perfectly round as the ones pictured in Dorie’s book, but I really loved this cookies. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 164
Friday, March 5, 2010
Growing up, at least when I was old enough to bake, I would wait for the November and December issues of my mom’s magazines to come. I loved all of the holiday recipes that I found. The magazine articles had great recipes, but I also liked the recipes that I found in the advertisements. A couple of my favorite cookie recipes have come from ads.
One year, one of the magazines had a pull out recipe book. The recipes featured Crisco, which isn’t actually something I bake with all that often. I think I still have that cookbook somewhere. I remember making a couple of recipes from that book, all of which contained sweetened condensed milk. Those cookies that I made were good, but they were so sweet. I’m a fan of pretty sweet stuff, but it was even too sweet for me! Ever since, I’ve been a bit hesitant when a recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk.
This recipe came from the Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies that they do every December. They looked good, and I thought that I could substitute cinnamon chips for the butterscotch chips that the recipe specifies. They do call for sweetened condensed milk, but I was hopeful that the oat crumb topping and the cream cheese would balance the sweetness. Many of my coworkers (who get to eat all of my Friday cookies) are from other countries, and they generally don’t like sweetness as much as Americans do.
I’m pretty happy with how these turned out. They aren’t super sweet, but their taste is a little different than I expected. The biggest surprise is that the cinnamon flavor isn’t very strong, which is odd considering the cinnamon chips and ground cinnamon. You can taste the lemon zest and juice in the filling, which goes well with the oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. They are very crumbly, so you have to be careful when you are eating them.
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
11 oz. cinnamon chips
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drape a 9 by 13-inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing the foil to hang over the sides, and butter the foil.
In a food processor add the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Add butter and cinnamon and pulse until the mixture forms clumps when pressed between your fingers. Add the cinnamon chips and pulse until combined. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, reserve the other half. Bake until slightly golden and set, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon zest and juice and vanilla until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Spread evenly over the baked and cooled oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the remaining half of the oatmeal mixture over the cream cheese. Bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.
Cool and chill before cutting. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and using the foil handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Recipe from The Food Network
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Beryl of Cinemon Girl. She picked the Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart, which is a delicious coconut cream tart. You’ll definitely want this recipe and you can find it on Beryl’s blog. You can also check out the how the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers fared with this recipe. Oh man, this was good. You really want to make this one!
This recipe uses Dorie’s sweet tart dough, which is my favorite pastry to make. I think that pastry can be a bit fussy. The sweet tart dough is foolproof. You make it in the food processor and then press it in the pan. You don’t have to roll it out, which is nice since that always makes such a mess of the kitchen. The crust is filled with coconut custard and topped with whipped cream. I used coconut rum since I had that on hand, and I think it added to the flavor.
Since joining Tuesdays with Dorie, I have made many custards, so I’m getting pretty good at making custard! This one came together perfectly and thickened up so fast. It said to bring it to a boil and boil for a minute before removing from the heat. My custard thickened and boiled almost instantly, so I took it off the heat right away. Nothing’s worse that overcooked custard, so I’m glad I took it off the heat when I did.
I took this to work to celebrate my colleague’s birthday and it was a big hit. I got a lot of compliments about how good this was and I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any left for me to bring home to my husband. That’s ok, since I will have no problem making this one again. It’s really that good. Thanks Beryl, for choosing such a great recipe. This ranks right near the top of my favorite Dorie recipes.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 344 and 345.