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.