Tuesday, November 29, 2011
One of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was picked by Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. She chose the Normandy Apple Tart. This week’s other recipe was the Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie/Tart, selected by Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats. I didn’t have a chance to make that due to my oven dying last week. You can check out the two sites to find the full recipes for both of this week’s selections. And don’t forget to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie page to see the links from all of the bloggers.
The Normandy Apple Tart is a very simple tart, just the tart shell filled with chunky applesauce and topped with sliced apples. I actually made and served this on Thanksgiving, and was able to make it with no added sugar so my diabetic father could enjoy it too. I used regular pie dough as it contains less sugar. I cheated a little and used store bought applesauce. My husband had picked up some chunky honey crisp applesauce that was spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and I figured it would be perfect for this tart. And it was unsweetened so it was even more perfect. It seemed like making your own applesauce was a lot of work, so I’m glad I went the easier route.
I had to assemble and bake this at my parent’s house since I’m still without oven. (The new one is supposed to be installed today!!) This was so easy to put together and looked quite impressive once baked. It wasn’t overly sweet, but you certainly wouldn’t think that it was lacking any flavor. I don’t think I have baked anything that my dad has been able to eat in a very long time. I love baked apples and this tart was really great.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 304-305
Friday, November 25, 2011
I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving. If you hit the sales already today, did you find good deals? I love shopping but I don’t like crowds so Black Friday is not for me. My mom and I went a time or two a number of years ago, but we just went to get the freebie ornaments and things that they were giving out. I don’t think there is much of that any more. It’s now about getting the super deal. I’ve already done a lot of my Christmas shopping so now I can just get small things, stocking stuffers and things like that.
I have a lot of Christmas cookies that I can’t wait to share with you, and while this cookie wasn’t on my master sheet of Christmas cookies to make, it is certainly Christmas-y. This recipe uses a sugar cookie dough base with added mix-ins. I had made sugar cookie dough for another use and then I didn’t use it all up. Not wanting to be wasteful (and needing to make some treat to take to my dance teacher) I searched for recipes that used sugar cookie dough. I came across this recipe that took one entire recipe of sugar cookie dough and added two cups of mix-ins. I simply scaled it down for the amount of dough I had and ended up making some great cookies.
I substituted dried cranberries for the dried cherries that the original recipe called for, which was a good substitution. The almonds were lovely, and the dough already contained almond extract so that flavor came through very well. These are chewy but crunchy, and had that familiar sugar cookie flavor. I hadn’t really expected these to be so good, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Give these a try if you have some extra sugar cookie dough around this holiday season.
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a large mixer bowl, cream the powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Add the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Stir on low until combined. Stir in the dried cranberries and the sliced almonds.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies just begin to brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Real Simple
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
So as I wrote yesterday, my oven died in the middle of making the apple fritter muffins. Luckily, I had already made this cheese torte so I would have something to post today! I’ve tried to be so consistent with my Tuesdays with Dorie postings, and I didn’t want to miss a week. The new oven is coming, but I won’t be baking for at least the next week. Thankfully I can bake the pie for Thanksgiving at my parent’s house.
This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, we got a rewind. That means I could pick any recipe. I was pretty excited to consider all of my choices and I decided on picking the Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte. I hadn’t realized it until now, but this was the second recipe ever chosen for Tuesdays with Dorie. It looked so good and I wanted to seasonalize it and use cranberry chutney for the jam. It was a really good choice!
This torte contains cottage cheese, which I hate so much that I can’t even look at it, but you process it so much that it was ok. Once baked, it seems just like cheesecake, so unless you tell someone about the cottage cheese they’ll never know. The cranberry chutney is slightly tart, which I thought paired will with the innate tanginess of the cream cheese filling. This was a really great recipe! As it was a rewind week, all the bakers are posting different things this week. Make sure you check out the Tuesdays with Dorie site and check out all of the recipes from this week.
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
1-3/4 cup flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces and chilled
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam
9 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup cottage cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Butter a 9” springform pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
Make the crust: put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse just to blend. Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir the egg yolks and vanilla together with a fork, and, still pulsing the machine, add them and continue to pulse until the dough comes together in clumps Don’t allow the dough to form a ball. Press the dough into the prepared pan. The dough should come about 1-1/2 inches up the sides of the springform. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fit a piece of buttered foil against the crust, covering it completely. Fill the crust lightly with rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or so—you don’t want the crust to get too brown. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the filling. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
Stir the jam and spread it over the bottom of the crust. It’s ok to do this while the crust is still warm.
Put the cream cheese and cottage cheese into the good processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times, for 2 minutes, until you’ve got a smooth, satiny mix. Add the sugar, salt, and spices and process for another 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the eggs and process, scraping the bowl as needed, for a final minute. Pour the filling over the jam.
Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed and no longer jiggly. Gently transfer the springform pan to a cooling rack and allow the torte to cool to room temperature, during which time the filling will collapse into a thin, elegant layer.
Run a blunt knife between the crust and the sides of the pan, then open and remove the sides of the springform. If the sides of the crust extend above the filling and you don’t like this look, very gently saw off the excess crust using a serrated knife. Chill the torte before serving and, if you’d like, dust the top with powdered sugar.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 240-241
Monday, November 21, 2011
I’ve been on a bit of a glazed muffin kick lately, but these looked so good that I just couldn’t resist. Apple fritters are my favorite donuts (although I really like Old Fashioned and Bismarcks, too) and a muffin based on that sounded so good. Now I know in a bakery that the apple fritters are made with all the scraps of the other donuts once they have been formed, but I don’t like to think of that. An apple fritter is a yummy, wonderful thing.
You cook the apples with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. If you want your house to smell great, just make the first part of this recipe. Wow, my house smelled so good! You then fold the cooked apples into a basic spiced muffin recipe. Very simple but the results are so special. I didn’t have enough glaze for my muffins, so I doubled the recipe for you here.
You may notice that my muffins are a little on the flat side, not domed like you would hope your muffin would be. My ovens been a little bit temperamental for a while now and when I was making these, I think it finally died and just couldn’t get to temperature. So these baked low and slow for a long time, which is why they don’t look quite right. They are cooked all the way through and still taste fine. So the bad news is that my oven is dead. The good news is that 1) I’m not hosting Thanksgiving and 2) a new oven is on the way. New adventures await with the new oven!
Apple Fritter Muffins
2 large apples, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup flour
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon hot water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. You’ll need about 20-22 liners total.
Add the diced apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon and water to a skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Let the apples cool slightly then toss them with the flour to coat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixer bowl, mix the applesauce, oil and both sugars until smooth and well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, and stirring gently just until the ingredients are combined. Fold in the apples.
Divide the batter among the prepared liners, filling each almost to the top. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and spring back when gently pressed on the top. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. Let cool slightly while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze: Whisk the melted butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the muffins in the glaze. Allow to set, then dip a second time and let harden again before serving.
Recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Friday, November 18, 2011
I’ve been waiting to make these cookies for a while. I read the recipe online and was so excited for the description of “These are the best cookies ever. Make them now!” It seems like every time I was going to make them, I was missing an ingredient. First I had to buy almond butter since I don’t typically have that at home. I usually have almonds around that I can grind up. Then last week I was going to make them and I was out of oats. Man, I’m never out of oats! So I restocked my oats container and vowed to get these made.
These are a variation of a chocolate chip cookie, which my husband was happy about as he loves chocolate chip cookies and rarely make them. These also have oats and ground almonds, and the addition of almond butter. I’ve never had almond butter but I knew it couldn’t be bad. Now I have a half jar of almond butter to use up and I’m sure it will make some tasty sandwiches.
My cookies don’t look much like the ones that I saw online, but that’s ok. The oats and the almond butter give the cookies a rich brown color. Don’t make these too big as I found that a little bit of dough makes a good-sized cookie. This recipe makes over 4 dozen, which was more than I expected with only ¾ cup flour, but with the oats and ground almonds, it goes a lot further than you think! These are really great and given the number of cookies eaten by my husband as soon as he got home from work, quite addictive!
Almond Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookies
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup almond butter
8 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the ground almonds and oats. Set both aside.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar for about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating between. Beat in the vanilla extract and almond butter. Stir in the flour mixture and the almond/oat mixture. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until slightly browned on the edges. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe from Chocolate and Carrots
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The second Tuesdays with Dorie recipe of the week was selected by Jessica of Cookbook Habit. She chose the Alsatian Apple Tart, which is an apple custard tart. I love baked apples so I was really looking forward to this recipe. You can get the complete recipe for the tart on Jessica’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the Tuesdays with Dorie site to see how the other baker’s interpreted this week’s recipes.
It seems like I go through phases with pies and tarts. I don’t make them for the longest time and then I make a bunch all together. After last week’s butternut squash pie, now we have an apple tart, plus there is another apple tart coming up the last week of November! I’m not always thrilled to make pie crust, as it can be very finicky. I was thrilled to see that this and the next apple tart use the press-in-the-pan sweet tart dough. I love this dough and I think it’s just about the best thing in the entire cookbook. I love that I don’t have to roll out pastry! I made the regular pastry instead of the nut version, but I’m sure that would be good, too.
I used Fuji apples in this tart, and they worked well. They had a bit of tartness and not too hard of texture. My apples seemed small (compared to giant ones I typically get in Washington State) but I ended up using less than a pound of them. I went all the way with the custard: full heavy cream and egg yolks, because it just didn’t seem right to skimp on dessert. Mine baked up beautifully and it smelled divine while in the oven. We’re big fans of custard in our house and this is certainly a custardy tart. I love the egginess of the custard with the baked apples. I didn’t glaze my tart; instead I just went with a simple dusting of powdered sugar. I really enjoyed this tart and I can’t wait to make the next one in a week or so!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 314
The first of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipes was selected by Leslie of Lethally Delicious. She chose Bittersweet Brownies, which are fudgy, dark chocolate brownies. These are very simple: just butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar, flour and some flavorings. I was very tempted to add something else to these brownies, but that would have missed the point. These brownies are all about chocolate in its simple goodness, and they certainly deliver. You can get the complete recipe for these cookies on Leslie’s blog.
As I said, I didn’t change this recipe at all. I did cut the recipe in half and baked it in an 8” square pan. I had read that some of the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers had trouble with the brownies being done, as Dorie expressly states to bake them no longer than 22 minutes. I did bake mine for about 35 minutes because otherwise they would have been brownie soup! They just looked done at that point and still tested as being very fudgy, so I knew they would still be nice gooey, fudgy brownies. I then refrigerated the brownies overnight before cutting them.
When I cut the brownies, they were super cold and it seemed like I was cutting fudge rather than brownies. They got gooier* as they came to room temperature, but they still came across as fudge-like rather than brownie-like. But that’s ok, they are tremendously good. The chocolate flavor is intense and I could really taste the espresso powder that I added. I can’t usually pick that out when I add it to chocolate desserts, but this time I could. These are decadent, rich brownies, and if you’re looking for a chocolate fix they won’t disappoint.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 90
*Microsoft Word says that “gooier” is a word. I’m not sure…
Monday, November 14, 2011
I had to travel to Baltimore last week for a conference so I had been out of the kitchen for too long! My whirlwind trip was tiring but it was a good conference so it was worth it. I unfortunately didn’t have much time at all to explore Baltimore and I came home without any new recipe ideas. Oh well, I guess I will have to go back because the little bit of the city I did see, it seemed like a nice place.
I didn’t bring any treats to work last week since I was only there one day. Thankfully one of my great coworkers brought in something one day so the library staff did get a little sugar boost for the week. The weekend was very busy, seeing old friends and other errands, so I got to the end of the weekend knowing that I wanted to make something, but I sure didn’t feel like making the multi-stage coffee cake that I had planned. Muffins sounded much easier and more appealing. And glazed donut muffins sounded even better.
I’ve made a cinnamon sugar mini donut muffin before but these were different. I love old fashioned donuts and I think these have a lot in common with those. The muffins are flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, and I also used buttermilk to add an extra tang. They are then double glazed while warm with a buttery vanilla glaze. I doubled this recipe which ended up making about 3 dozen, so unless you want a bunch of these sitting on your kitchen counter, I’d just stick with the single recipe. Do fill the muffin cups fairly full so that you’ll get a nice domed muffin. These are quick, easy, and very tasty!
Glazed Donut Muffins
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon hot water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 12-18 muffin cups with muffin liners.
In a large mixer bowl, beat together butter, vegetable oil, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and flour. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon batter into cups, filling until the cups are just about full. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, combine the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water; whisk until smooth. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip in the glaze a second time and allow to fully harden before serving.
Recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Friday, November 11, 2011
With so many full size candy bars left after Halloween, I was challenged to try and find recipes to use up some of the extras. The box of candy we bought had a lot of Snickers in it, and my husband doesn’t like those (because of the nuts) and I certainly didn’t need to eat them so the hunt was on. I have found two recipes that can use Snickers, so I should be able to use them all up.
This recipe originally called for Milky Way bars, but the only difference with the Snickers is that they have nuts. Oats, chocolate, and caramel would certainly work with the nuts in a Snickers bar, so I just substituted. This is a substantial bar, with a hearty oat/brownie mixture and a caramel filling. They take a little time to put together, but they are worth it. These use Kraft caramel bits as a shortcut. I have found that caramel bits can be hard to find (luckily I can find them at my local Target) so if you can’t located them you can just use 11 ounces of unwrapped caramels.
Getting the top on these bars was the most challenging part of making these cookies. You can’t really spread the topping over the caramel. What I ended up doing was taking a piece of the topping and flattening it and placed it on top of the caramel. Do that enough times and you can piece together a top crust. Don’t worry about getting it perfect; these would be just as good with streaks of caramel showing through. At first I thought these would be really chocolaty, but they weren’t. Still the combination of flavors was great and really enjoyed these bars.
Oatmeal Snickers Brownie Bars
2 full size Snickers, chopped
11 ounces Kraft Caramel Bits
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups oats
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups boxed brownie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and butter the foil.
In a medium sauce pan, place the Snickers, caramels, and heavy cream. Let simmer over medium low heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and let cool approximately ten minutes.
In a large mixer bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and butter. Mix on low to incorporate. The mixture will be crumbly, with chunks no bigger than the size of peas. Stir in the two cups of brownie mix, egg, and oil. Stir until just combined.
Spread half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking pan and press firmly to flatten. Pour the melted caramel mixture over the oats. Make sure to get all the way to the corners. Top with remaining oat mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the bars begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe from I am Baker
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The other Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for this week was picked by Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine. She chose the Depths of Fall Butternut Squash Pie. This double crust pie contains butternut squash, pears and dried cranberries. Absolutely perfect for fall. You can get the complete recipe on Valerie’s blog and check out how the other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers fared with this recipe.
As you can see, I didn’t make a big double crust pie. I really wanted to make this since I like butternut squash so much, but I just couldn’t envision a whole pie. I asked the other TWD bloggers about cutting this recipe down and I got a couple of suggestions. I think it being a double crust pie was what was throwing me. It was actually my husband suggested that I make them similar to how I make mincemeat pies. I ended up using the same pan that I made the mini madeleines in, which was not planned at all. I tried it and it seemed to work out just great.
I cut the recipe in half and I made 12 tartlets. I could have made one more, but there are 12 spots on the pan so that’s what I made. Instead of doing a top crust, I cut out leaf shapes and just used those to top the tarts. I’ve had those mini cookie cutters forever and I’ve used them so much over the years. I baked the tartlets for about 45 minutes and they were nicely browned. I used microwave steam-in-the-bag butternut squash which made this recipe super easy. I loved these tarts: not too sweet, great flavors of fall with the squash and the pears. I wasn’t 100% sure how all of these flavors would come together, but this tart was a hit! I especially like them in miniature form!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 328-329
One of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook. She chose Mini Madeleines, which are the traditional shell-shaped cookies made tiny, flavored with honey, brown sugar, and lemon. I didn’t exactly make mine mini, but I did make them in a different pan so they would be different than the other madeleines that I have made. If you want to recipe for these madeleines, you can visit Di’s blog, and also don’t forget to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie site to see how others did with this recipe.
I made half a batch of the batter and baked my cookies in this small tart-like pan. It’s a British pan that my husband had when we got married. It has round indentations with a bit of a start pattern. I typically use in to make mince pies at Christmas. (And as you’ll see, I ended up using it to make mini Depths of Fall pies, too.) It’s not as small as the mini madeleine pan, but it was different so I figured that was good. I ended up really liking the shape of these once they were baked. They had a bit of a star shape and were kind of three-dimensional. How fun!
My madeleines stuck to the pan, but it seems like I wasn’t the only person who had this problem. I find that perfectly buttering and flouring this type of pan to be particularly challenging. I did get them out of the pan without damaging them, but it took a bit effort. I was hopeful that you would be able to taste the honey and brown sugar, but I could only pick up the lemon. Still, it was nice to try something different and I think this pan can work when I need it as a back-up for my madeleine pan.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 172
Monday, November 7, 2011
This cake is from Baking from My Home to Yours, but the recipe was selected before I joined the Tuesdays with Dorie group. I like carrot cake, but there’s a bit of a dilemma. I take most of my baking to work and one of my colleagues is known for her carrot cake. It’s really great and this is one recipe that I won’t take to work. Carrot cake is her territory (and I always have a dozen other types of cakes that I want to make, waiting in the wings.)
I take dance class a couple of times a week and I often bring my teacher a sampling of the things I have made. She lives alone so we’re kind of like her family and I can tell that she’s really excited when I bring her treats. She had her birthday recently and we decided to throw an impromptu party for her after ballet. I said I would bring a cake and decided that it was time to make carrot cake. I like carrot cake; she likes carrot cake so I figured it would be a good choice. (Plus, it has carrots so it’s healthy, right?)
Carrot cake is pretty east to put together, and since I have a food processor to grate the carrots, the only difficult task is taken care of. I made the cake in just two layers (plus a small layer for my husband to try), as I’ve discovered that three layer cakes are a bit of a challenge to take places. For the frosting I used a slightly different recipe and added coconut extract to boost the flavor. This cake was a great success. Everyone at dance loved the cake and my teacher was happy with her little party.
Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins. In a large mixer bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean Cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
Place one layer on a serving plate and smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, and repeat, frosting to the edge of the cake. (Do this with the third layer also.) Finish the top with swirls of frosting and toasted coconut, if desired.
Cake recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Frosting recipe from Apple A Day
Friday, November 4, 2011
So this year at work, I’ve been trying to actually leave on time. I get there pretty early in the morning and therefore should leave a little earlier in the afternoon. That doesn’t always work out, but I’m really trying to keep to my schedule. One of the benefits of leaving on time is that I can catch some of the Food Network and Cooking Channel shows when I get home. One afternoon when I had gotten home, an episode Giada De Laurentiis’ show was on and she made these cookies. I thought they looked interesting.
This cookie is different from the black and white cookies that you typically buy at a coffee shop, which are covered with white and dark chocolate. This cookie starts with a chocolate ganache filling. It’s exactly what you would do to make truffles, so that can’t be too bad. You then wrap the chocolate filling with sugar cookie dough. The original recipe called for store bought cookie dough, but I just made my own. This recipe here that I have included makes more dough than you really need, but you can always just bake up some extra sugar cookies.
These take a little bit of time but not too much extra effort for a cookie that looks fun. The center remains a soft chocolate and the sugar cookie bakes up a bit crispy. It’s a cookie of contrasts! This recipe made about 28 cookies, which is a small batch for me! Next time I think I might increase the chocolate to 10 ounces so I could make more cookies. These would be excellent if you added some flavoring to the chocolate, an extract or a liqueur would work; I think hazelnut would be especially good.
Black and White Cookies
1/3 cup cream
7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a small pan or in the microwave, heat the cream until almost boiling. Add the chocolate to a medium sized bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit or a couple of minutes and then stir to combine. Cool the chocolate (in the refrigerator if you want to speed the process along) until firm enough to roll into balls.
Make the sugar cookie dough: in a large mixer bowl, cream the powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Add the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Stir on low until combined. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for about an hour.
Once the chocolate is firm, preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
Roll the chocolate into ½ teaspoon-sized balls and set aside. Roll a tablespoon ball of cookie dough into a thin log about 4 inches long. Place a chocolate ball on a work surface and wrap a cookie dough log around the chocolate ball and press to adhere. It should look like a cookie version of the planet Saturn. Roll the cookie in the sugar to coat. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the cookies to about 1/4 inch thick.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. Until lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. Sugar cookie recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I received this recipe in this round of the recipe swap, which this time had the theme of Thanksgiving sides. One of the reasons that I participate in the recipe swaps are to try new things. I just never know what I’m going to end up with, but I’m ok with that! It expands my horizons and that can’t be a bad thing. If I don’t like something, I just move on. Luckily so far I’ve had pretty good luck with the recipes I’ve gotten in the recipe swap. This time, I got a recipe from Heather Lynne at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks.
When I got my recipe for baked garlic cheddar grits, I didn’t quite know what to say. Grits? I’m from Seattle; do they even sell grits at the store here? I’ve only had grits once, at a local restaurant that is run by a southern chef. I liked the shrimp and grits I got there, so I figured this would be interesting. One morning after breakfast my husband and I stopped at this different grocery store and they did have grits there. They were quick grits, which I hoped would be ok for this recipe. I really know nothing about grits, but I figured it couldn’t turn out that bad.
This was really easy to make. I tried to make it a little healthier, but by no stretch of the imagination is this healthy. It’s a Paula Deen recipe, for goodness sakes! I used a little less cheese, probably 6 ounces rather than 8 ounces and I only used 1 tablespoon of butter rather than 2. I think you could leave out the butter and could likely use reduced-fat cheese. This is gooey and decadent and very, very tasty. This recipe really put me outside of my comfort zone, but I really liked it. I’m glad I gave it a try!
Baked Garlic Cheddar Grits
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ cup grits
4 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed
¼ cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” square baking dish.
Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a boil. Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the grits are thick.
Add in the cubed cheese and milk. Stir until totally melted. Gradually add in the eggs, butter, and garlic, mixing until everything is well combined.
Pour the grits into the prepared pan and top with the grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the grits are set.
Recipe from Heather Lynne at Hezzi-D’sBooks and Cooks, who adapted the recipe from Paula Deen
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It’s my birthday today! These cupcakes were made by my husband as a surprise for me. Growing up, I remember having cherry chip cake for my birthday. My cake was from a cake mix and I honestly thought that they don’t make cherry chip cake mix anymore, as it has been surpassed by Funfetti everything. But they do still make it. My husband knew that I liked that type of cake so he surprised me.
He made two variations of cherry chip cupcakes: one with the boxed cake mix and store bought frosting and this homemade version. They taste quite different and while I don’t usually go for boxed cake, it certainly brought back some memories. The homemade version was certainly more adult, with the cherries soaked in cherry liqueur. I loved the lovely pink color of the cupcakes though. Something about pink food really can make you happy! My husband is the best, isn’t he?
Cherry Chip Cupcakes
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
Cherry liqueur or hot water
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
Pink food coloring
2 large egg whites
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line about 8 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
Place chopped cherries in a bowl and cover with cherry liqueur or hot water. Let sit for 10 - 15 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixer bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. On low speed, add half the flour mixture until just blended. Add milk until blended. Add remaining flour and mix until just blended. Blend in the food coloring.
In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy, about 2 minutes. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Add remaining egg whites and fold until combined. Fold in the chopped cherries.
Divided equally among the muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Make the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light & fluffy. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
Recipe from A Good Appetite
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The other Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by me! I’m really happy that I had another opportunity to choose a recipe. The first time I picked, I knew I wanted to pick some sort of cookie, but this time I wanted to try something different. I had read through this recipe and I was intrigued: I’d never heard of Far Breton and it was a different type of cake that you make the batter in a food processor. I picked and I hope that others like it.
I had a feeling that this wouldn’t be a super-popular choice, as it is custardy and I’m not sure that people are that big of custard fans. My husband is British so custard is very popular in our household. It also contains prunes steeped in Earl Grey Tea. I love prunes but they have a bad reputation. I eat them all the time and again it was one of the elements that piqued my interest in this recipe. I don’t like floral teas like Earl Grey, but in a cake I figured it would be fine.
I made the batter in my food processor, which doesn’t do well with as much liquid as they cake had. So other than a bit of a mess on the counter, it was simple to put together. This cake is very delicate, and I could have taken even more care when I took it out of the pan. It cracked a tiny bit but I just covered it with powdered sugar. I left the prunes whole, but I think I would cut them in quarters next time as they seemed too large when I cut the cake. I liked the flavor of this cake and it’s similar in texture to bread pudding. This recipe was new and different, and I’m glad that I gave it a try.
2 cups whole milk
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup dark raisins
1 cup hot tea, such as Earl Grey, or ¼ cup Armagnac plus ¼ cup water
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Up to 1 day ahead: Put the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and melted butter in a blender or food processor and whir for 1 minute to blend. Add the flour and pulse the batter several times. Pour the batter into a pitcher, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or, preferably, overnight.
Meanwhile, for tea-soaked fruit, pit the fruit in a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot tea. When the tea cools to room temperature, cover. For Armagnac-soaked fruit, put the fruit and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the water almost evaporates, then turn off the heat and pour the Armagnac evenly over the fruit. Stand back, ignite the alcohol with a long match and wait until the flames die out before pouring the fruit and syrup into a heatproof bowl. When the fruit is cool, cover it and set aside.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-x-2 inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper, butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Remove the batter from the refrigerator and whisk to reblend it, then rap the pitcher against the counter to break the top bubbles. Pour the batter into the pan and drop in the fruit, trying to distribute it fairly evenly; discard whatever soaking syrup remains.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is puffed and brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
The far is fragile (its fragility is part of what makes it so delicious) and it takes a little extra TLC to unmold it. So that the custard is not cut by the wires of the cooling rack, cover the rack with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and dust the paper with confectioners’ sugar. Have a serving plate at hand. Run a blunt knife gently between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out into the prepared rack. Don’t leave it on the tack any longer than necessary—quickly and gently invert it onto the serving plate.
Just before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 202-203
One of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake. She chose Honey Nut Scones. We’re so close to finishing the book that we’re doing two recipes a week until the end of the year and then we’ll be done. How sad! But don’t worry, there are always new things on the horizon. You can get the full recipe for these scones on Jeannette’s blog. Don’t forget to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie site and see how the other bakers fared with this recipe.
We’ve made a number of different scones for Tuesdays with Dorie, and on the weekly Q&A post for this one, several people mentioned their tricks that they use to make sure that their scones turn out well. One of the suggestions was to pat the dough into a round pan, score the scones, bake them in the pan and then fully cut them once they are baked. I tried this method and I think it worked quite well. The scones don’t get the crusty edges, but overall the scones are less dry.
These scones combine whole wheat flour, a touch of honey, and pecans, which give them a great flavor. I used the lightest touch possible when making these, and I think they rose a little more than previous attempts at scones. I didn’t cut the butter in all that much, but it worked out ok. I’m glad that I tried the new method of baking these in the pan, I think that really helped!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 31.