Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TWD: Grinch Blondies

So how do you get a 15 year old boy to help you bake? You agree to make your food in hideous colors.... so I give you Grinch Blondies!




These are a rewind of Chewy Chunky Blondies. This time around we used white & dark chocolate chips and caramel nuggety things, which didn't give the batter much to cling to, but despite the horrifying color, they are really good.... and they do give you brownie belly so I guess we did something right!

Friday, December 17, 2010

FFwD: Sweet & Spicy Cocktail Nuts

Hey lookie there! I have a post! I guess the holidays are taking advantage of me.

Well no excuses because these sweet and spicy nuts were super simple. The only real hurdle is figuring out how much and which spices you will toss in.

My honey is convinced the finished product is full of evil things that are really bad for you because they are really really addictive. (I promise there is absolutely no bacon in there.)

You can find the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts, on page 18 in Dorie Greenspan's book Around my French Table. And be sure to join the club by becoming a member of French Fridays with Dorie.

Oh hey did you guys catch Dorie on the Martha Stewart Show... it was pretty great. She seriously made Martha look like an Amazon woman.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TWD: Maple Tuile... Crumbs...

Uhm yeah so my maple tuiles are not very tuile like at all.... obviously! I won't bore you with the details of how this came to be.

You can go see how these really should look by visiting our host this week Clivia at Bubie's Little Baker.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TWD: Rewind!

I'm not going to rewind very far, but I'm going to add a little twist. I'm not going to be the one baking it! Ha!

My friend and co-worker Lizzy Liz [Hi Liz if your reading this!] is coming over to help me make pies tonight and to learn a little something in the process. She wants to make an Apple Pie for her family, so I will be helping her make the All-American Apple Pie from a few weeks ago. I'm sure we will up the ante with a gorgeous double crust.

Hey you think you can have a double crust and a crumb on the same pie?! I just thought of that... yum!

Wish us luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Dessert

Uber cute Turkey pops by Bakerella-
What are you making for your Thanksgiving Dessert? 

Every year I make pies for my co-workers to raise a little extra dough for Christmas gifts... and usually the pies run the gambit from Apple to Lime... this year everyone seemed to choose the exact same thing. Pumpkin Cheese cake or Banana Cream Pie.... yes really Banana Cream Pie! I'm completely surprised by this, it seems so off the wall for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brown Sugar Spice Cake w/Hazelnut Buttercream

I made a few cakes this week to take with me to my last weekend of business class. Because the business class was full of foodies, everyone else had brought in something for us to try and critique. There was some fantastic eats to be had. I'm still craving the pesto a gal brought in. Even though she told me the next week it was made out of cilantro and I hate cilantro... at least I thought I did ;)

I felt I should step up to the plate and get some opinions. After all I was freely giving mine even though I sometimes felt bad about it after wards... I'm sure they all think I'm a jerk. Eh whatever... they won't be the first, or the last. But hopefully they took it as constructive criticism.

Anyhoo... I made this spicy cake up on they fly and I wanted to share the recipe. I think it would be great to take to a party this holiday season.

Brown Sugar Spice Cake

9 oz. Cake Flour
2 tsp. Siagon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cardamom
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 oz. Whole Milk
4 oz. Vegetable Oil
4 oz. Water
5 oz. Light Brown Sugar
2.5 oz. Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 ea. Whole Egg

Sift or whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Mix together, oil, milk, water and vanilla and set aside (I usually measure these all out in the same measuring cup so they are already mixed.) In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together, sugars, salt and egg. Scrape down the bowl then alternately add the dry and the wet ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake at 350 until the cake springs back when you touch the top.

I baked this in an 8x8 square pan then torted the cake and cut it in 1/2 to got 4x8 layers. I layered this with a buttercream spiked with Hazelnut Liquor and more of the Siagon Cinnamon. I would double up the recipe and put it in a bundt pan or something like that, maybe slathered with a really great cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TWD: Cranberry Shortbread Cake

Oh guys I had this idea when I was making my Cranberry Shortbread Cake! Ok so you know how I'm super lazy, I was like dreading separating the dough, and getting out the rolling pin and all that crazy stuff. This lead to a lazephiphany.

I lined my tart pan with plastic, pressed in 1/2 the dough to an even thickness then wrapped it up and popped it out of the pan to chill on a plate. Then pressed in the bottom 1/2 and put that into chill. Then I just had to unwrap the top and pop it onto the filling and it fits perfectly. No stinking rolling pin.... w00t! Hows that for easy? Alright, its not genius... but it took less time to do than to write down how to do it. And word on the street is that this is nummy! At least that's what was hollered down the hallway by the taste tester as I was finishing this post...... so I should go try some. ;)

This weeks host was Jessica from A Singleton in the Kitchen, she cranked out two versions of this just because she loves her friends, so much like most of the TWDers I wish she was my neighbor!

Friday, November 5, 2010

FFwD: Potato Gratin

I don't mean to bore you guys with lame stories from Culinary School but its all I got some days....

The last week or so of school is pretty boring. It's supposed to be like our introduction to the production kitchen or something to that effect. But really what it was was a smorgasbord of food. I think since we were becoming pastry chefs, we (ok maybe just me) were ravenous for savory food. So we scavenged things from the school pantry and cooked things... just to eat. One of the instructors I can't remember who introduced us to the wonderful world of Gruyere, with potatoes, and cream and onions. I think it was Chef George, who also made us Ginger Beer and I will never ever get over it, I wish I had a chilly glass right now. I've been making it ever since.... the potatoes that is, not the beer (but oh how I wish!). I made it last year for Thanksgiving, it almost caused a riot because I didn't have mashed potatoes. Until they tried them and they were immediately converts. I don't think I have to make mashed potatoes. Ever. Again.

Dorie's are a little bit more refined with all the garlic infused herbi-ness but just as good in a different sorta way. Maybe I will merge the two this year for the holidays... a Gratin Hybrid. You can get with the program and buy Around my French Table where you can find the recipe for Potato Gratin, on pages 360 and 361. Join in the fun over at French Fridays with Dorie... hey you don't even have to have a blog! No one reads them anyway ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

TWD: Peanuttiest Blondies

The hostest with the mostest this week is me! Woo! Hoo!

I really thought that by the time I got around to it, we wouldn't have any recipes to choose from... but here it is and there was plenty to pick from! Hopefully you all appreciate a little fall fruit break and found the time to bake along!

I chose these because they just sound amazing, and it was a reason to buy chunky peanut butter.  I heart chunky peanut butter! Sadly, I live my life in family inflicted chunky peanut butter deprivation. In my parents house, no one else liked it and the mass majority of the peanut butter in our house went to the making of peanut sauce for satay, chunky satay sauce is not good eats! So never a jar would appear unless I slipped some in the cart my mom accidentally bought it. My honey doesn't care for the chunky either...unless you count me... hehe cuz I is chunky.

I have a confession... (besides the whole chunky butt thing) I forgot to add in the baking soda! Yikes! Hmm well I just noticed as I was typing up the recipe. They still came out deliciously yummy, just as I imagined like giant thick peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! I will just have to make it again... you know, for the sake of doing things properly.. maybe with toffee bits instead of chocolate next time.


Peanuttiest Blondies

Dorie says...
Made with peanut butter and bolstered with lots of salted peanuts and chocolate these blondies are big, firm, sweet, satisfying and definitely members-in-good-standing of the chewy branch of the brownie family. They're real kid fare, great with milk, malteds, or hot chocolate, and so good with ice cream.
  • 1 C A/P Flour (5 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C Peanut Butter (5 oz) Crunch or creamy - not natural
  • 5 tbsp Unsalted Butter (2.5 oz)
  • 3/4 C Granulated Sugar (6 oz)
  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar, Packed (6 oz)
  • 2 Large Eggs (4 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 C Chopped Salted Peanuts (5 oz)
  • 6 oz Semi-sweet or Premium Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 C chocolate chips
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil and put the pan on a baking sheet. [I used parchment to line an 8-inch pan instead.]
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together on medium speed until smooth. Add both sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each goes in. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer to low and add in the dry ingredients,  mixing only until they disappear into the dough; the dough will be thick. Add the peanuts and chocolate and give the mixer a few turns to stir them into he dough. If the chunky ingredients are mixed in after a few seconds, just finish the job with a sturdy spatula-don't over mix the dough. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
Bake blondies for 40-50 minutes, or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
When its completely cool, carefully lift the blondies our of the  pan using the foil edges as handles, and turn them out onto the rack. Peal away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TWD: All American Apple Pie

Culinary school or not, I still learn a lot from my TWD adventures. But I couldn't really figure out what I could possibly learn from making another apple pie. Well.... then it dawned on me, that every time I make an apple pie... I have to ship it off to a paying well deserved customer and then hear about how delicious it was. Don't get me wrong, I'm a total praise whore, so I love that they love my apple pie. But what I really want to do is sneak a slice! So I made this out of sheer pie envy....to hell with the learning!

I went with the crumb because all the TWD bakers had so many droolworthy crumb toppings today that I just had to! Mine was a little butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon and pecans.

You can cruise on over and visit Emily at Sandmuffin for the whole recipe. Next week its my turn to pick the recipe! Woo hoo! Happy Dance!

Friday, October 22, 2010

FFwD: Hachis Parmentier [Shepard's Pie]

This was so damn good... no really, really good. We ate 1/2 of it and I'm sure it was meant for a family of more than two people. I can't wait until tomorrow so I can has leftoverz.

Me and my honey made the quick version when we got home from work today. It didn't take that long to put together which is cool because we will be making it again

We threw in some peas for good measure and used some Dubliner Irish Cheddar, if you've never tried this cheese you should right away.

If you haven't gotten your book go here and get it already! And join the group of other cookers at French Fridays with Dorie. I promise you will not be disappointed ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Tart

I usually have a great time tweeking our TWD recipes because they usually come out really really tasty. Dorie's recipes are cool like that, they tend to be so good in the first place that any thing I manage to do to it won't muck it up to badly. This week, I wasn't so lucky....

I opted for a ginger snap crust pressed into a tart pan. How could that be bad right? The mahogany filling with a crisp cookie crust was mouthwatering. But sadly filling just gets into a total brawl with the crust, creating two great flavors that become horribly overwhelming together. Sad but true. I will have to try this again with a regular crust because it has the makings of something really fantastic.

You can get the full recipe from our host this week Janell from Mortensen Family Memoirs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FFwD: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

I finally got my book around my french table from Amazon! Pretty funny that the first recipe I get to make for the new group French Fridays with Dorie is Vietnamese...

Anyhoo... I actually love making soup, I whip up soup all the time because I can somehow make it out of pretty much anything we have around and we eat like kings peasants for a few days because there's always some leftover.

I think the most exhaustive thing about this soup is the ingredients, I couldn't find coriander seeds, white pepper or ginger. Well I found ginger but it looked like a science experiment so I just left it in the store. Fresh and Easy wasn't living up the 'fresh' part today. Other than that its a breeze to make. It did smell a little funky I must admit, probably the fish sauce or something but it did taste good in the end ;) I think I would leave the fishes out of it next time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TWD: Fold-over Apple Torte

I was pretty convinced that this was all about the crust. I mean why else would you leave the crust just laying on the top of the torte unless it was just so you could have more crust to eat? Or because your just lazy... and since I have to raise my hand on both occasions I was happy to oblige. I swapped the pears for apples and since I heard lots of TWDers mention they would have liked more innards (of custard that is) I nixed the nuts and the whatever else was supposed to go in there.

The apples rose to the top and reminded me a little of corn when this was about 3/4 done. And anyone who knows me, knows I don't like surprise unnecessary cornage.... so I was a little grossed out by the whole thing until it was finished. Because when it was finished it was golden and yummy looking. I let it chill out in the fridge until today and it was perfect. The custardy part is not really like giggly custard, its got some heft to it, some yummy heft. I'm glad I got rid of all the extra stuff, because this is simplified and perfect.

You can of course get the full recipe from our hostess this week by clicking here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Favorite Things

I'm trying to catch up on cakes that I've made this past year and update my website. This cake is almost a year old! Yikes I'm a procrastinator.
The hard thing about posting something like this is all the great detail photos that I have to choose from. Finally I just had to make a decision... you can go see the details if you clickity click here.
I love that this cake was so specific to the birthday girl. It could never be duplicated for anyone else and mean so much.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TWD: Apple Bundt Cake

I turned on the oven and started to make this recipe when I got to the part about the apple butter... er what?! So with the oven preheating (don't worry my honey was home paying little attention to anything but his computer games, I'm sure he would have smelled a fire.... maybe) I ran to two stores in search of Apple Butter with no luck. But what do they say "necessity is the mother of invention!" or some shit like that, so instead of trekking to yet another store I decided to head home and make due with what I had on hand. And it was fricken' fantastic my friends!

I'm going to include the recipe tweaks and technique below but you can go visit Lynne at Honey Muffin and I'm sure she will fix you right up with the recipe as it should be.

Apple Bundt Cake


Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare a bundt pan by spraying with oil and dusting with flour. If you have a nonstick pan do this anyway because if your bundt pan is an evil tease like mine, it does not like giving up the goods when the baking is done.

For the filling:
3 Medium Granny Smith Apples
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Grated Nutmeg
1 tbsp of Calvados

Peel, core and grate the apples. Sauté in a medium skillet with the spices, adding in the Calvados last. Let mixture cool while you mix up the batter below.

Cakey bits:
6 oz Unsalted Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

2 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

2 Whole Eggs
8 oz Sour Cream

Cream together sugars & butter until fluffy. Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl. Then whisk together sour cream and eggs in another bowl. Alternately add the dry and the wet into the butter/sugar concoction. Once this is well combined add in the cooled apple mix and stir in a cup of chopped nuts if you'd like. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake until its done. Cool slightly and turn out onto a rack.... weep tears of joy when your cake slips easily from the evil bundt pan of doom because you were prepared!

Now when everything is cooled this is the most important part....don't eat it yet. Mix about 3 tbsp of powdered sugar with a little warm water and vanilla this should be the consistency of like pancake syrup. Brush this onto the surface of the bundt then take more powdered sugar and dust the surface, let the sugar dissolve into the wet surface and dust it again until it stops dissolving I did this like 6 times or so. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or as long as you can stand it to dry. This made the surface like glazed donuts so totally worth every effort! Slice that bad boy up and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TWD: As if...

No that's not a radio station...that there was the temp. in town around noonish yesterday. When I got into my car to go home around 4:30pm, that read 116! I was laughing like a lunatic so I didn't have time to take another picture. Maybe the hysterics were because my brain was boiling out my ears. You know what I find super funny is the day was sweltering but it was gorgeous, the bluest of blue skies, quaint little white clouds and no smog, even the LA smog thought it was too fricken hot to go outside I guess.

The gorgeous recipe for Tarte Fine was chosen by Leslie at Lethally Delicious you can find it at there as well as loads of lovely looking tarts on the TWD blogroll.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TWD: Coffee Break Muffins

This was a super easy recipe to mix up that took me forever to actually bake. Since I didn't want to turn on the oven I baked them in a mini-muffin pan in my trusty toaster oven in like a billion batches... ok it just felt that way but by the second pan I was cursing my laziness!

I think this is a recipe best the next day, they mellowed out in flavor and the texture is much nicer.

You can grab the full recipe from our host this week Rhiani over at Chocoholic Anonymous.

When I was arranging the muffins for their glamor shot I picked up a muffin that had me rolling with laughter....

Why so serious?

Monday, September 13, 2010

TWD: Nectarine Upside-Downer

Ok you see that little nugget... that one there that fell off the side of the cake? Yeah that one there... that's the best part! Oh and the nectarines... and the cakey part too! Ok its all good I promise!

I used some delicious yellow nectarines we had picked up at the farmers market swapped out a bit of brown sugar for white and threw in some cardamom for good measure.

Excellent recipe I loved it even tho my cooked fruit o'phobe honey didn't even have a slice... ah well you cant win them all.

You can grab the full recipe from Sabrina over at Superfuluous. She's got some great photos of the luscious cranberry version there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hey Muffin Head...

Felt the need to bake this morning so I whipped up some carrot laden muffins for breakfast. Like any quick bread recipe you can toss this into a loaf pan if your not feeling muffiny that day. These were great with a little slather of softened butter... but hey what isn't right? right!

Carrot Almond Muffins

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sweetened Coconut
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 3 each Whole Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 2 Cups Shredded Carrots (thank you inventor of the food processor)
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 18 muffin cups or line with paper liners (or grease a loaf pan).
In a very large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients to break up any clumps then stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, coconut.
In a separate bowl, beat together the wet ingredients until smooth. Stir the wet into the dry until moistened. Scoop into prepared muffin cups or pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with a few almond slices and sprinkle with sugar tossing into the oven.
Bake until the top springs back or a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Take a fantastic picture and add your blog link in a comment to tell me if you like them ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses~Gluten Free Style!

I'm no glutenfreegirl by any means but I happened to pick up some Peanut Flour at Trader Joe's just because I found it intriguing. With no plans for what I would do with such an odd item in my kitchen it was a fluke to run out of regular all purpose flour when faced with the prospect of having to make some Peanut Butter cookies. I swapped the AP for Peanut and voila Super Peanut Butter Crisscrosses!  These were awesome with coffee tho a little dryer than the original might be I totally loved them.

You can find the real recipe over @ Jasmine Cuisine below is a 1/2 recipe of my rendition.


Gluten Free~ 
Super Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

  • 1 1/4 c. Peanut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 4 oz. Salted Butter 
  • 4 oz. Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 ea. Whole Egg


A bit of extra granulated sugar to roll your cookies in.

Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Cream together butter, peanut butter & sugars until fluffy. Mix in egg until well combined. Whisk dry ingredients well (the peanut flour is pretty clumpy so this may take a bit of doing, if you not lazy like me, sending everything thru a sieve might be better) add to other ingredients and mix to combine. This mixture comes out really really dry but can be easily scooped (#40 makes 20 cookies) and rolled in sugar. Place them on a parchment lined baking pan and smoosh with a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake until bottoms are golden brown, cool and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread

The weather has smiled upon us and the temperature plummeted to a tolerable level over the weekend. Can I get wOOt wOOt!

With the ability to willfully turn my oven on, I made the Espresso Chocolate Shortbread (chosen by Donna over at Life's to Short ) on Sunday night. They are ... uhhh how do you say....not good. This totally makes me sad because they smelled delicious when they were baking. Like dreadfully addictive good kind of smell but they are just blah. This is probably not due to the recipe, but the ingredients I used. The chocolate was very dark and the shortbread recipe doesn't call for much sugar so they are just bland old bittery hunks of nothingness. Eh... whats a cookie monster to do! I guess god can bless you with good weather so you can bake.... and then he thoughtfully puts you on a cookie diet so you can still wedge your butt into your office chair. Thanks for looking out G!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TWD: No Custardy Crunchy Peachy Tarts

Aye I forgot to post this blog yesterday! See the heat is getting to my brain.....

Well its flippin' hot here right now...its supposed to be like 111 degrees or something insanely hot like that. Since it is so hot and I have no real A/C, at least not in the kitchen, unnecessary baking of any kind is on the back burner.....

The Custardy Crunchy Peachy Tarts were chosen by Rachel at sweet tarte, you can find the full recipe here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

Last weekend we got together with my sister-in-law Tahnee and her family for a brunch before we headed over to Cousin Gayle's for a family get together later in the day. It was bound to be a day of eating (allot) and of course we couldn't go empty handed so I made the Oatmeal Breakfast Bread to take with me to brunch and a big batch of these Snickerdoodle Blondies to take with us later to the party. 

The only flaw in this breakfast bread was that the topping wanted to fall off when I was taking the loaf out of the pan and again later when I was slicing it. A tragedy to be sure because the topping is always the bestest part! So when I make this recipe again I might make it muffins so that all the goodness stays intact.

Excellent choice from Natalie over at Oven Love you'll be able to find the recipe over on her site if you want to make this yourself.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TWD: Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream

I always wonder why I never make ice cream after I make some. It's fairly simple straightforward and easy to do every single time. Maybe its because there is patience involved and you know how I feel 'bout that....waiting is not my strong suite.

It came out a little grainy, probably because of the chocolate that I used but otherwise it was pretty delicious. I mixed in some mini dehydrated marshmallows because I'm stuck with a gigantic bag of them. Never underestimate the power of dehydration because a pound of mini dehydrated marshmallows is shockingly bigger than one would imagine. At least to me it was...... A fresh baked sugar cookie cup and a little squeezy chocolate out of the fridge finished it up quite nicely.

Great choice this week from Katrina at Baking and Boys! you can find the full recipe on her blog here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nostalgia

I was in the toy section at Target the other night browsing for god knows what... we don't have any kids young enough for toys but we go play with stuff in there anyways..... in the nostalgia section of the department they have been adding cool little things... slinkies, sock monkeys and crap like that. Meh... nothing exciting.

But then.... I saw this...
 
Monchhichis! I must have them! They don't have any cool outfits.... but they are just too cute!

My honey didn't understand my excitement over these little balls of fur... so I texted a picture to my bestie from when way back when and she was just as excited as me so :P!

And if the Monchhichi song isn't already stuck in your head...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TWD: Chewy Chunky Blondies

The mix-ins for these Chewy Chunky Blondies seemed to exceed the actual batter. I suppose if your into chocolate, butterscotch, pecans and coconut.... such a ratio would be pure bliss. The were true to form leaving you with what I like to call "brownie belly". That oh man I shouldn't have eaten that feeling, but then you go back for more even though you were forewarned with the first piece you had.

If you'd like to establish your own brownie belly.... head over to see Nicole @ Cookies on Friday, she's got the recipe to fix you right up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TWD: Lots-of-Ways Peach Cake

Well I didn't have any bananas which is unusual for my house. I did however have a can of peaches, for what... I don't know. We don't eat canned peaches, or fresh peaches for that matter. It might have been for a long past TWD recipe that never came to fruition.

Heh... so sub in peaches for bananas and 1/2 the recipe for the ol' toaster oven (man that thing is getting major mileage lately) and you've got something that looks like this.


Not to shabby if I do say so myself! It is pretty tasty, I could have used a few more spices, like cardamom or cinnamon and a little more salt to give it a bit more kick.

You can get the real recipe from our Tuesdays w/Dorie host of the week Kimberly over at Only Creative Opportunities or you can follow my recipe tweak below.

Peachy Coconut Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan~Baking from My Home to Yours (Page 204 & 205)

Pour out syrup from a 15oz can of peaches and puree, I left it a little chunky. If you have a stick blender you can do this right in the can.

Preheat your toaster oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8 inch cake pan, dust with flour and tap to remove excess.



For the cakey bit:
  • 1 1/3 c AP Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 3 oz. Unsalted Butter @ room temperature
  • 1/4 c Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c Granulated Sugar
  • 1 e Whole Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 c Peach Puree
  • 1/4 c Coconut
Sift together dry ingredients. Cream together sugars and butter until fluffy, then add in egg, vanilla and peach puree. Mix in dry ingredients and stir in coconut. Pour into the prepared baking pan. You can skip to the baking portion of the program here, or use the leftover puree to make the topping.

For the topping:
  • 1/4 c Peach Puree
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 c Sliced Almonds
Mix together puree and sugar, swirl on the top of the cake and top with sliced almonds.

Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes or until a tester comes out with a bit of crumb.  You can tent this with aluminum foil if the top starts to get to brown.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I was trying to figure out where this recipe came from, but like most recipes floating around in the blog-o-sphere this was adapted from an adapted adapted recipe. So I know not whom to give credit to, I can just tell you I got it from the Brown Eyed Baker and the full recipe is here.

It being 100+ degrees over the weekend it was all about toaster oven baking. I tweaked it to fit in my toaster oven by halving the recipe and added cinnamon chips for fun.

It will fit perfectly in an 8x8 square baking pan which fits nicely into my little oven. I turned the temp down to 325 and about 1/2 way thru the baking, I tented the blondies to keep them from getting too dark on the top. My honey loved these and asked that if he dies from eating too many, that I bring some to his graveside so he could still have them in the afterlife..... morbid I know!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hawaiian-bread Pudding

I have this hate/hate relationship with bread pudding as explained here. But with alot of things in life...it never hurts to give it a try again. I had some Kings Hawaiian Bread leftover from the 4th of July BBQ so I decided to mix up some bread pudding. It tasted fantastic, I wanted to pick off all the top of the pudding and dunk each piece into caramel.....


Hawaiian-bread Pudding


Liberally butter a glass baking dish and pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

  • 1 C. Whole Milk
  • 1/2 C. Fat Free Half & Half
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom 
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 Hawaiian Bread Rolls
  • 1/4 C. Sliced Almonds
  • 4 tbsp Butter 
  • Cinnamon/Sugar (optional)
Whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Cut the Hawaiian bread into quarters, dunk them into the custard and pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, cinnamon sugar and dot with butter. Bake in a baine marie until custard sets. Slice and serve with warm caramel sauce.

TWD: brrr...ownies

Go grab a big glass of cold milk kiddies cuz your gonna need it this week! Dark rich chocolate brownies wrapped around chunks of peppermint patty that turned oozy & gooey in the oven. A sinfully delicious way to have chocolate...


You can find the recipe for the brrr...ownies over at Crazy Blessed Life.

Monday, July 5, 2010

...little patience, mm yeah, ooh yeah,

Need a little patience, yeah
Just a little patience, yeah
Some more pati... (ence, yeah)
Ok truth be told I've never had enough patience to listen to that Guns N' Roses song in its entirety....so I always thought the title was sadly appropriate.

To make your own Vanilla Extract you'll need:

  • 6 Supple Vanilla Beans 
  • 16 oz Vodka 
  • A whole crapload of patience..... 
                     8 weeks of patience!

I scraped the vanilla beans, cut them up and tossed everything in a big mason jar. Closed it up tight and put it in the cupboard, with instructions for the honey to shake it like a polaroid picture if he happened to notice it sitting there. 8 or 9 weeks later (I lost count and interest) the hubbie's patience ran out and he claimed the experiment triumphant as he had opened the jar and spiked his morning coffee with a little of the extract. 

Waiting for anything has never been my strong suite. That's why I'm not a big fan of making bread... to much waiting, too much patience. But as with bread making our own vanilla has rewarded us with something pretty fantastic. Give it a try if you have allot of Vanilla Beans hanging around, for some reason I do... well that's because I'm kind of too stingy to use them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD: Apricot Jam Chocolate Cake

My Dressy Chocolate Loaf cake turned into an Apricot Jam Chocolate Cake. I only made 1/2 the recipe and baked it at 325 in my toaster oven using a 5x3 round cake pan. It came out perfectly filling the whole house with an enticing chocolate odor.
When it finally cooled, I sliced it into 4 layers. Adding apricot jam to two of them and a 1/2 recipe of this super shiny gooey glaze for the third layer and finally topping. Interestingly enough, for the glaze I subbed in agave syrup because I was out of corn syrup. I may do this every time, it was far less sticky with a different kind of sweetness that went nicely with the super moist cake.

Monday, June 14, 2010

TWD: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

After this was finished I was left wondering why I don't make more bread. Bread is easy. The only intimidation is time and the crossing of your fingers & toes in hopes that your yeasties will work for you. Which they usually do... I may jinx myself by saying they always do so I will stop at usually.

This delivered a good punch of tasty flavor with a bare minimum of effort because sitting around waiting for dough to rise is a pretty lazy thing in my book.

You can grab the full recipe over at food.baby the bloggy home of Susan.

I can't leave without adding a link to the obnoxiously burping yeasties from the Alton Brown episode Dr. Strangeloaf.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carrot Raisin Quick-bread

What do you do when you come back from a Hawaiian vacation? Well most unpack and wash their laundry..... I had to bake! We were lucky enough to have a washer & dryer in our condo so we brought home only a teeny tiny bag of clothes that needed washing. Woo hoo!


Carrot Raisin Quick-bread

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Butter [softened]
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Juice [Orange, Apple etc.]
  • 1 2/3 Cup AP Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Cup Carrots [grated]
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 2/3 Cup Walnuts [chopped]
Direction: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a loaf pan. Grate the carrots. Soak raisins in hot water to plump them up.

In a big bowl using a hand mixer combine the sugar and butter until fluffy, then add in eggs and juice. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients and mix into the wet just until no more dry remains. Drain off raisins and add them with the carrots & walnuts folding gently with a large spatula. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with a little sugar on top to give the crust a nice crunch.

Bake until a tester comes out clean 45 minutes - 1 hour depending on your loaf pan.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TWD: Un-White Chocolate Brownies

Marthe of Culinary Delights chose White Chocolate Brownies this week for Tuesdays w/Dorie. Since I don't particularly care for White Chocolate, I switched it out for dark chocolate. I also was worried about all the super gooey reports, so I added about 1/4 cup more flour to the mix because gooey brownies are not my thing either. The whole thing came out so un-brownie like that they can't even really be called that anymore. They were light and fluffy and moist and yummy and nothing like a dense brownie at all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake



When I was in culinary school they had us make cheesecake in a regular cake pan. This was a little scary at first because sheesh I've used a spring form pan most my whole life, how the hell are we going to get a cheesecake out of a regular pan!

Here's what you do...line the bottom of a regular cake pan with parchment just like making a cake. Par-bake your crust, and bake your cheesecake like usual. Let the cheesecake chill out overnight in the pan in the fridge. The next day, take your pan put it directly over your burner on a high flame, and spin it around for a few seconds to slightly warm the crust, run a knife carefully around the sides then invert (yes really) the cheesecake onto a cardboard or plate, it will plop right out. Turn it right side up on your serving plate. Voila! Easy cheesy! You will never have to buy an uber-expensive spring form pan or try and keep your water bath from seeping into it or find a place to store the blasted thing.....

This was the Low & Lush Chocolate Cheesecake from Baking from My Home to yours page 243. The crust is a combo of sugar cookies, almonds and turbanado sugar. The sugar stays crunchy because there isn't much to dissolve the granules when you make a press in crust. This was great to add a little crunch to the creamy texture of the filling. The top was a dark chocolate 50/50 ganache poured on after it was cooled down a bit.

TWD: Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie

No pie for me this week. But you can find this weeks recipe at Spike Bakes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWD: Apple-Apple Bread Pudding

However delicious this sounds... bread pudding reminds me too much of the buffets at culinary school. And that just makes me wanna yack! I don't know why those buffet days riveted within me these harsh feelings towards cupcakes and bread pudding... but it did.
I've kind of gotten over the cupcake thing, hell its been like 4 years or something... you eventually have to let things go right? But my bread pudding feelings are still strong, probably because I haven't given any bread pudding chance in hell. The big cambros filled with stale cake and bread just awaiting the dunk in custard to form a glutenous mass of bland carbs that not even a delicious sauce could make edible just can't be ripped from my brain.
Well... if that doesn't inspire you to go make it yourself I don't know what would! You can find the recipe over at Cake or Death? and to be honest Liz' looks fricken delicious.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD: Quick Classic Berry Tart

A super simple berry tart was chosen by Cooking with Cristine this week for Tuesdays with Dorie.
I was this close to skipping it...... see the hubs doesn't like berries, because they are too seedy. His distaste for strawberries is almost cause for divorce but I came to realize that it really just means more strawberries for moi! So I made this tart anyway. With a dastardly plan to keep his slice berry free. To please his pallet I made chocolate pastry cream instead of vanilla by tossing in 2 oz. of chocolate into a 1/2 recipe. And I lined the tart with a slather of white chocolate before filling it with the cream which gave the crust an extra snappy texture. So everyone is a wiener!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Zero Calorie Sweet Treats

I wanted to share this saweeet new collection of wallets made by Christian Marie. The Confection Collection is adorable and she has lots of other creative bags too.

I'm totally loving the Wedding Cake Zipper Wristlet. I don't know if its because I want to use it, or duplicate the cake designs!


And the super cute Lemon Clutch, food related but not sweet, unless you sprinkle in a little sugar. So summery!



Check out her entire collection by here, and she does custom orders too! I may have to get that wedding cake fabric made into a tote... how deceptively put together would I be if I went to a cake consult with that!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

You know when your out camping and you make your first roasted marshmallow of the trip? The kind that you rush through (and maybe light on fire a few times to many) and its way to charcoalie because the fire is to high? So you set your mind to making the perfect one and you take your time to really crisp up the outside to the perfect dark brown and its been on the stick so long its just practically oozing off because its molten marshmallow all the way to the center...you pop that marshmallow in your mouth and its so very perfectly perfect? This is what this ice cream taste like.... but cold.... cold perfection.


Go visit Becky over at Project Domestication for the super easy recipe.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD: Chockablock Cookies

However yummy these cookies sound, I have to pass because I'm making lots of other cookies (and various other things) this week.

I'm going to be a vendor at a Quarter Auction! Yikes so scary for me.... and old friend talked me into it (bitch!). If I had know I actually had to get up in front of 100+ people and hock my wares I probably would have never signed up! I don't even like when people watch me set up cakes and I don't even have to talk during that. Eh well what can you do... I have to shake off my shyness and make it work (as Tim Gun would say- OMG wasn't the finally of Project Runway the best!)

Anyhoo....I will share pictures next week of what I make because I'm totally bringing on the cuteness.

Oh yeah for TWD, you can grab the Chockablock recipe over at Popsicles & Sandy Feet. 

Oye too much Mt. Dew today!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TWD: Sweet Cream Biscuits

The easiest recipe on the face of the earth and of course I muck it up. Well ok maybe not totally, they were edible... but they were like cookies instead of biscuits. I had no cream so I used some 1/2 & 1/2. They turned out really thin and since I left them in the oven too long they were also very crunchy. They were good... but not a biscuit, unless I was from New Zealand or something then the biscuit/cookie cookie/biscuit business would make sense. I topped them off with a sprinkling of sugar before baking and then slathered them with honey butter after they were over baked.

You can find some properly made biscuits on the Tuesday with Dorie blog roll here. And you can find the recipe over on Love at First Bite or on page 23 of Baking from My Home to Yours.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lavender Sweet Sixteen

This cake wins the award for the most dragees on one cake to date! A fairly easy setup of square cakes but the intricate designed on each layer made it a challenge that I was really happy with in the end.

This was my first attempt at quilting on a cake, with nothing more than a cardboard triangle, it was rough going and I had a few spots that were less than acceptable. I think if I had to do quilting again I would opt for one of those quilted mats to save time. I would have been supremely happy with this if I were 16 again!

A few other shots here, I took these at the last minute as my camera was running out of juice.

Oh and here is the original sketch of the cake. I like to get the end result as close to the idea as possible.... I love it when a plan comes together.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

Oh my lordy those Swedish people are geniuses.... first Ikea (mmmm Lingonberry juice) now this! Ok well I'm sure this cake came before Ikea, but you know what I mean.
This cake is so easy and so very good. I made only 1/2 the recipe in my little mini skillet and topped it with sliced almonds and pearl sugar. The pearl sugar stays crunchy when it bakes so you get the incredible texture of the almonds then a bit more crunch from the sugar. Perfection!
Visit Nancy over at The Dogs Eat the Crumbs for the full recipe.