Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TWD: Shopping

Ok so I'm of the belief that we shoulda had the option to skip this weeks recipe in lieu of shopping.  But this is mostly because I'm super behind in the shopping department....but my waistline is never behind in the eating of yummy treats department.

I went on a super shopping spree with the Moms this weekend and now random gifts, bags and whatnot are strewn about the house, no room for baking!

Even tho I didn't bake I wanted to give a shout out (has anyone got a good replacement for that over-used phrase?) to our hostesses this week Laurie from slush chose the Unbelievably Good Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream and Julie from Someone's in the Kitchen chose the Puffed Double Plum Tart.

Catch us in our last few recipes at Tuesdays with Dorie and happy shopping!

Monday, December 5, 2011

TWD: Earl Grey Madeleines

Now I don't know if the baking gods were smiling upon me (because it's my turn to host) or my pleas to Madeleine from a few weeks ago did me good but these cookies slipped right out of their little shell cups like a dream!
Now I did buy something I never ever buy.... baking spray, with flour. In this case the Pillsbury type and as soon as I put it in my cupboard the other "all natural" ingredients shoved its chemically laden butt right off the shelf and it smashed to the ground and the lid broke into a million pieces (true story) and so I figured it was the beginning of the end. I assumed my little buttery mini cakes of goodness were doomed....but alas they came out beautifully. So thank you; can of things I can't pronounce, or baking gods or general crying and whining to Madeleine because what ever it was my cookies came out great. They are buttery and floral and perfectly yummy. I used Stash Tea Double Bergamont Earl Grey and if you haven't had a cuppa this you should. It's my current favorite and I've been telling people about it all week...they probably think I'm crazy... or English.

Anyhoo enough about that....on to the recipe!

Earl Grey Madeleines
Makes 12 cookies ~ Page 169 from Dorie Greenspans BAKING From My Home to Yours

5 tbsp unsalted butter (2.5 oz)
2 tbsp Earl Grey tea leaves
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (3.25 oz)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

To flavor the butter with the tea, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave oven. Stir in the tea and allow it to infuse for 15 minutes. Line a small sieve with a double layer of damp cheesecloth, then strain the butter into a small bowl; discard the tea leaves.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Put the sugar and lemon zest into a mixer bowl or in another large bowl and using your fingertips, work the zest into the sugar until the mixture is fragrant.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and zest together until pale and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the honey and vanilla and beat for 1 minute more. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients. When they are incorporated, fold in the butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 3 hours for for up to 2 days. This long chill will help the batter for the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the molds, cover and chill, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out excess. Or if you have a nonstick pan, give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, there is no prep needed. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Spoon the batter into the molds-don't worry about leveling the batter, the oven's heat will take care of that.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the mold by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pray pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your finger or a butter knife.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cook to just warm or room temperature (and try not to eat them all yourself, be nice and share.)

Thank you Dorie for not only teaching me how to be a better baker but also teaching me a new word this week. I work with many people who are recalcitrant and up until now I didn't know what to call them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TWD: Sourcream Pumpkin Tart

I learned three very significant things while making this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. But I just forgot one of them while I was writing this so I will give you two.....

1. This makes way to much filling for one measly tart, and I should probably review the recipe because I might have messed something up.
2. Pumpkin pie isn't horrible if you didn't just eat your weight in turkey, stuffing and gravy!

I wish I could think of the 3rd thing because it was really important but its been a long long long day. We had open enrollment at my work and me being the HR bossy boss of such things I am super beat so I will leave it at that before I write something really stupid.

Oh frick I just remembered! Apparently my brain is not as mushy as I suspected.

3. Leaving out 2 tablespoons of butter really doesn't matter when you have a cup and a half of heavy cream in a recipe! 

Go see Miss Judy for the recipe this week over at Judy's Gross Eats because this is anything but....

Make sure you join me next week as I get to be the AND/OR host for one of the very last recipes. Good gosh I hope my Madeleines don't stick!

December 6, 2011 – Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table chose Honey Almond Fig Tart on page 373 AND/OR Nicole of Bakeologie chose Earl Grey Madeleines on page 169.

Monday, November 14, 2011

TWD: Bittersweet Brownies

Were going to have a lot of lasts over @ Tuesdays with Dorie... and this is the last brownie. I would be sad but its not possible. If this is the last brownie you ever make tis a good one fo sho.

Now I talk a lot about brownie belly, and for some reason this brownie doesn't do that. Not that I couldn't have gone back for seconds and fourths and inflicted brownie belly on myself by just plain eating too many because they is goo-ood. But somehow, they are truly satisfyingly perfect forcing you to pace your brownie intake over several delicious days instead of just one day of glutenous punishment.

If you want to try some brownie perfection head over to see Leslie... she's got the goods over on her blog Lethally Delicious hmmmmm seriously fitting blog title for this recipe no?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TWD: Mini Madelines

Oh Madeline... why must you stick? I take every precaution and your cakey goodness still taunts me. Maybe I need to do the unthinkable and ditch my current Madeline pan for silicone but its so hard to get rid of what should be a good decent pan. I have to peruse all the other Madeline baker posts this week to find out what they did to avoid the stickage because the thought of silicone makes me cringe.

Well regardless of their reluctance to leave the coziness confines of the pan, they were yummy and possible worth the trouble. Should you be so inclined you can get the full recipe from Di over at Di's Kitchen Notebook this week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pirate vs Ninja 2: Pirate Bob's Revenge

This is the second installment of the Pirate vs Ninja cake series... haha I kid there is no series... but this is the second Pirates vs Ninja themed cake I've done. The first year (clicky click here if you want to reminisce) it was unclear who the would be the victor, but in the second cake its pretty clear who has the upper hand. You can go check out the details here.

Since the pirates had the upper hand I needed a second hand and recruited my mom to help. She helped make the ninjas heads for while I made the full body pirates, if you see the more serious ones were hers. Mine were the country bumpkin ninjas. She also made all the doubloons that were stacked inside the cake and the swords and legs for the ninjas. She drew the line at making hands... unless I wanted Canadian ninjas with mittens on she wasn't going to make them. I finished up all the details and painting of eyeballs and tiny things a couple of days later. It was really fun to get her involved, she's super creative but I think she's scared of cake... I might convert her yet!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TWD: Honey Nut Scones

I'm not sure about scones. I know people that love them but I just find them sorta boring. So boring that I forgot them in the oven while I was watching the last episode of Top Chef Just Desserts. They just need more... more fat, more flavor, more moisture... eh I dunno. The last time I liked a scone it was full of bacon and Asiago cheese so I think there maybe no pleasing me when it comes to scones unless its full of bacony goodness.

So, Halloween! How was yours? Ours was as fun as can be expected when you don't have little ones running amok. The hubster answered the door most of the night as I was super exhausted from the company Halloween Potluck. I didn't have the energy to be cheery for the cute little whipper snappers that came in search of treats all evening. Not to mention the strength to stop myself from smacking all the surly (un-costumed) teenagers.... geesh at least make a darn effort, lazy shits!

Anyhoo this was the dessert table at work.... I made the (un-costumed...hehe speaking of lazy) red velvet in the middle with an experimental cream cheese butter cream that I will tweak to make perfect because it was super delicious and can be delicious-er with a few adjustments. I have no idea how many cupcakes we ended up with, I think everyone that didn't officially sign up for the potluck ended up bringing in cupcakes, I think there were twice as many as in this photo! It was quite the choice to be made. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baby Bag Cake

Before I get behind myself, I better post this finished cake from September....

I've been on a tufting kick for awhile and after this cake I think I'm done with tufting for awhile, holy crap its been a lot of tufting, I'm surprised I didn't tuft the shoes or the bag too.....

You can see some more closeups here http://www.nichicakes.com/baby_bag.html

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TWD: Flip-Over Cherry Cake

So my plum cherry cake is in the oven cooking right now. I wasn't going to make this until I saw Andrea's version with Morello cherries and the pictures changed my mind.  I'm kind of scared tho, the Morellos from Trader Joe's are pretty blah... but maybe that's always the case with canned cherries. I honestly don't know what you'd use canned cherries for so its not something I typically buy. But you put enough butter and sugar on anything and its bound to be good right? right! Because I was using the canned cherries I cut out the sugar your supposed to toss the plums in and cut out a bit of the butter because really it seems like a lot even with my Paula Dean standards on butter (I swear I'm keeping Costco in business just from the amount of butter I get from them).

 The verdict...

Well it sure isn't photogenic but its mighty tasty. Mine turned out sort of like a sticky cakey cobbler and it would be amazing with ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream. 

Considering how easy it is to make, its a perfect good friends over for dinner sort of thing. You know the sort of friends you don't have to impress with a pretty dessert.

You can grab the full recipe from our hostess (mmm... hostess cherry pie...that's what this sorta tasted like) this week, Becky from Project Domestication.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Queen Esther

Finally finding a few minutes to edit and post some finished cake photos to my website. Check it out ;)

A few close ups here http://www.nichicakes.com/queen_esther.html

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TWD: Salt & Pepper Cocoa Shortbreads

Salt in a cookie sure, but pepper? Very intriguing, like those savory chocolates from Vosges I'm to chicken to try.....

I used Black Onyx cocoa but cut it down to 1/3rd of a cup because I know how this cocoa can just zap the moisture out of anything. This would be a fun recipe to mess around with because they are easy to make. The Fluer de sel is addictive and the texture of the shortbread is melt in your mouth delicious. If you crave salty chocolately goodness these are the perfect PMS food. I should seriously keep these only for the girls at work and hand them out when necessary. Tho the boys do get PMSy too, I don't think chocolate and saltyness has the same ability to thwart a crying bitch fit for them.

I'm gonna go have another cookie :) but you can go make your own by getting the recipe from Buttercream Barbie.

Monday, September 12, 2011

TWD: Classic Brownies

Truth be told I should be making icing for decorated cookies... but always the procrastinator... I would rather write about Brownies for this weeks Tuesday with Dorie recipe. Besides I haven't had the time to join the group lately, be it sweltering temperatures or lack of time keeping me from my duty to bring you tasty treats.

Heck there probably isn't anyone reading this darn blog anymore as it is but its still is fun to write and with some the crap I say its probably best if it is only me reading it anyhow ;)

This recipe is brought you by the letter C for super Chocolately and the number 2 which is how many times Miss Anne Strawberry, who was out picker extraordinaire for the week, has gotten to choose a Tuesdays with Dorie recipe! You can grab the recipe from her here.

BTW, this is 4 points on the WW Richter scale if anyone cares to know, recipe as written, sans nuts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

September Cakes

The summer has had me very busy making lots of special order cakes and cupcakes and spending the rest of the time trying not to be hot which includes not turning on the oven unless someone is paying me! So no TWD lately :( boo!  Oh and we are getting new windows in our house Saturday! Im most excited, I will have to share the before and afters.

I have two more upcoming cakes in September which will be lots of work but lots of fun too.

The first is for a gal that is having her very first birthday party and the very young age of 70!
The second will be for a baby shower with an Orange and Pink Dress theme. This one will a lot of cute baby paraphernalia and some cute dress cookies to accompany it.

Kat's First Birthday

This is one of my most favorite cakes that I've made in a long time. The colors just made me happy and her parents loved it.

You can read a little more about this cake and see the detail photos here http://www.nichicakes.com/kats_first.html

Tufted Rose

This little bridal shower cake was for my nieces friend... the idea that my niece is old enough to have a friend that is old enough to be married just makes me feel old old old...

You can see more photos here http://www.nichicakes.com/tufted_rose.html

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

These were for my friend Jenn's Surprise Birthday party on Saturday. They turned out so tasty and were a little hard to ignore sitting on the table all night.

The cake was Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my Home to yours. It really is a perfectly nice cake for any occasion. Since the recipe has lemon in it, I paired it with a Lemon Vanilla Bean Butter Cream below. They turned out nice and light and citrusy.

Lemon Vanilla Butter Cream

  • 8 oz. Granulated Sugar
  • 4 oz. Water
  • 4 ea. Egg Yolks plus enough egg whites to make 4 oz. (This is roughly 3 yolks plus 1 whole egg, give or take the size of the yolks)  
  • 1 ea. Vanilla bean (you can use a bit of extract if that's all you have, should result in the same mellow flavor with out the specks)
  • 1 lb. Unsalted Butter - Softened
  • 1 ea. Large Lemon (juiced)

Put sugar and water in a stainless steel pot and set it on the stove to cook to 238 degrees. While the sugar is cooking, separate your eggs and start to whip in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. The airy-ness of the eggs usually reach their proper consistency by the time the sugar is cooked to the right temperature, for me anyways. With your mixer on high, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the eggs and continue to beat on high until the whole thing is cool to the touch. While your egg/sugar mix is cooling, reduce the lemon juice down to a syrup consistency and scrape your vanilla bean. I usually scrape the vanilla and stick it onto the butter, so that I don't loose any of those precious beans, its easier than trying to scrap them off a knife into the mixing bowl. Add the butter to the cooled sugar/eggs  mixture a little at a time, making sure to incorporate it before adding the next nub of butter. Lastly add in your reduced lemon juice and incorporate completely.

This was plenty of butter cream for 30 regular sized cupcakes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mango Cranberry Chutney

A few weekends ago we went out to help my parents with their rental house. They live in the Devils Inferno of Southern California, aka the High Dessert. As my reward for helping and somehow not bursting into flames the entire weekend my mom gave us a couple of Yellow Mangoes which I found out are called Ataulfo Mangoes. They are super tangy compared to the everyday mangos I'm used to so chutney immediately came to mind.

I set out last weekend to turn them into just that.

Mango Cranberry Chutney
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 C. White Vinegar
  • 6 Ataulfo Mangoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 C. Maui Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 C. Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Dried Ginger

Stir everything together in a large heavy pot and cook for about and hour and a half on low until the mangoes break down and the mixture thickens.

To can your delicious chutney you pour the mixture into sanitized jars and process in a water bath for 15/20 minutes. I got a total of 9 half pint jars from my batch.

In hindsight it might have been funner to make some Chicken Curry and invite some friends over for a party......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo cupcakes lined up like little solders for a co-workers party!

I wasn't quite sure what really qualifies as an Oreo Cupcake in the first place. When in doubt Google it! There are so many variations on the web it boggles the mind! Oreo crushed and cooked into the batter, whole Oreo placed in the bottom for an oreo surprise, minis, filling, pudding, whip cream, cream cheese... the ideas go on and on.  Ahhh deep breaths...

In the end I topped my best chocolate cake with luscious Oreo butter cream and crowned the whole thing shebang with a whole Oreo for good measure. I got a thumbs up this morning! I'll have to take his word for it because I was a good girl and made just enough ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ni Hao!

This sweet little Ni Hao, Kai-Lan cake was for my friends daughter Lorraine who was turning 2. It's a simple 8 inch chocolate layer cake covered with almond vanilla butter cream. The little Kai-Lan character was a bear to duplicate. Odd proportions and her eyeballs set in her head like ET required a plethora of cutters and serious dexterity to get her finished. For awhile she was looking an awful lot like Tommy from Rugrats but in the end I think I captured her likeness pretty well and I hear little Lorraine was a happy girl!

Monday, June 27, 2011

TWD: Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies

I haven't had a lot of time lately to bake with the TWDers. With special cakes to make and being all Hawaii Five 0 for a for a quick minute... sadly a lot of fantastic recipes have past me by never to be seen again.

This week I really wanted to make the effort and bake along with everyone. The recipe sounded really good but really these cookies were a pain in the arse! They stuck to whatever I tried to bake them on, until finally I gave up.

You see that little plate there with approximately 6 little itty bitty sandwich cookies... that's all I managed to finish.... hmph! whatever sticky cookies from hell.  I shall rewind a few weeks and make a date nut loaf instead just to spite you.....:P

Despite my shady outcome you can always give it a try yourself by going over to Spike Bakes for the recipe... I'm sure they didn't dare stick to a thing in her kitchen.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Princess Hailey

Finally getting this posted..... just a couple of weeks and a Hawaiian vacation later!

If you want to see the full cake you can check it out here. A few elements never made it to the cake and a lot of rearranging happened but I still loved it in the end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cakey Sneak Peek

 This is a cake I'm making for this weekend. Can you guess what movie its from?

There's been a few changes to the design so it won't look exactly like this in the end, and I think I might add another tier just for the heck of it.

 I finished sculpting the frog last night. He looks really ghostly with no color. I was really frustrated with this little guy, he started out looking like HR Pufnstuf then looked like Slimer from Ghostbusters before he had his arms & legs. I wish I had gotten a bit of a better tilt of his head but sometimes i just doesn't work out that way and you have to let the sugar do what it want to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TWD: Maple Cornmeal Biscuits

If your anything like me, your not at all opposed to breakfast at any time of the day. Nothing is quicker and more comforting after a long day of work than a good plate of scrambled eggs. Add a side of bacon and a little gravy drizzled with Chipotle Chalula and I'm a happy girl. It maybe odd for some, but for me its just the right thing.

These biscuits are perfectly sweet in my opinion. Almost like someone already put the honey on it for you. You can find the full recipe on pg 24 of Baking from my Home to Yours or visit Lindsay at A Little Something.... Sweet. Excellent choice Lindsay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TWD: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

Not much to say about this yummy little bundt cake. I used almond for the nutty bits and replaced 1/2 of the A/P Flour with whole wheat for good measure. The brown sugar lent enough moisture that it wasn't obvious at all... or maybe it was all the butter that disguised it.

This recipe begs to be made again and again because it was really easy and from all the other posts this week, its fun to dink around with and switch things up.

You can grab the recipe this week from Peggy over at Pantry Revisited.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nick's 16th

Finally had time to show off this fun cake! You can go see the details here and read all about this cake here....

If you wanna be a follower, please go "like" me on Facebook too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal Shortbreads

Ok I'm going to be honest with you guys. As I was mixing up these cookies my honey was in the kitchen hanging up a new ceiling fan and I said "Wow we really are coming down to the shit recipes now...." he grumbled something like "stupid ceiling fan... fricken fracken wife and her projects" ok he didn't say that but was probably thinking it when he really said something like "What are you making?" I say "Cornmeal Shortbreads" heavily laden with a snort of skepticism because how could these be good? Well I must eat my words... these are SOOO GOOD! Goods not even good enough... they are stupendously buttery and crunchy and oh so yummy! So maybe we aren't down to the shit recipes... maybe we are really down to the hidden gems!
To accommodate my laziness and lack of patience...... I baked a 1/2 (stupid stupid me!) recipe pressed into a 8x8 pan lined with parchment, about 1/2 way thru I poked holes and cut the shortbread into 9 pieces.....that I must go hide from my honey because he just walked by and said "those are pretty good cookie thingies".... I will throw him off the trail with mediocre chocolate chip cookies...

You can get the delicious recipe from Valarie at Une Gamine dans la Cuisine. DO it! Go now to make them!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TWD: Tourtely Apple Tart

I feel sort of ashamed to put that tile up there... I can feel it mocking me because I really really winged the apple tart thing this time. 

I made the nutty crust but not the top and opted to put on a sort of almondy crumble. I threw in some Calvados instead of cider and I didn't cook the apples to a smooshy consistency because it just really didn't appeal to me last night.  The worst part was the whole thing really stuck in the pan, so you can see in my photo the edge there is a cavernous gap in the crust. Well regardless of my free wheeling on this recipe and my pan loving crust, it was super yummy. I really should try and stick to the recipe sometimes.....

If you want to see what this was really supposed to be, check out the post from our host Jeannette from The Whimsical Cupcake.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cakey Sneak Peek

A little peek into what I'm working on for this weekend. It will change a little from the original sketch by adding a few more key elements.

The cake will be made of 8 inch rounds of red velvet with vanilla bean butter cream for the drum and 10x10 squares of vanilla chocolate chip with mocha butter cream for the base tier.

All the stuff is about 1/2 the size of regular items but its pretty cool that I even faked myself out a bit because the candy bar looked real but tiny.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TWD: Honey Nut Brownies

So I've been either way way under the weather (understatement of the year!) or way to busy (like always) or just plain old disinterested (sorry February hosts!) in the choices of recipes this month ... but who can skip Brownies! So I actually made mine early... on Sunday night and then almost forgot to post this!

An easy peasy brownie recipe; just like Dorie Greenspan's recipes for brownies always seem to be. Makes me wonder why anyone ever makes cardboard box brownies! One of my coworkers said he felt duped... and I tend to agree, he saw the word brownie and of course expected a brownie but that's not really what he got....they were very cakey and very un-brownie like. I'll have to go see everyone else's to find out if I mucked up the recipe or if they were supposed to be there way. I personally could have used a bit more of a chocolately punch but they were yummy because the tangy honey flavor really shined through.

Monday, March 7, 2011

So busy!

I've been crazy busy with work lately and updating my cake website too. So since I don't have any time to bake, I  thought I would share some projects I did awhile ago.

Pirate vs. Ninja

Pirate vs. Ninja
Sometimes in my cakey life..... I make some things that I love so much that I don't want to send them away to be eaten... this was one of those times. I just wanted to keep the pirate and put him on a shelf and all the details were so fun to make. You can see more of the details here. And even tho Ninjas are stealthy little effers, I think pirates win because they have cooler outfits...ha that's such a girlie opinion isn't it!

Red Bull Formula One Cake

Red Bull Formula One

This Red Bull Formula One was for my ever challenging friend Lynndy. Not that she is personally challenging but what she thinks I'm capable of and what I think I'm capable of are never one in the same, but it always comes out cool.  She also challenged me to make a dinosaur grooms cake for her wedding... you can see her wedding cake and the Stegosaurus grooms cake here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

Packed with loads of chocolate, cinnamon and a little oatmeal to take away the guilt. These were like little easy bake brownies.

Thanks to the gals over at Bake with Us for choosing such a simple tasty treat for Valentine's day week. You can find the full recipe here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oatmeal Crumb topped Apple Bars

Soooo you know how at Costco you can get these great big trays of apples? Where this is what begot these apple bars over the weekend.

I'm very picky about my apple consumption....they have to be perfectly crispy, juicy, sweet and tart all at the same time. We had a tray of some sort of apple I knew nothing about and I didn't care for so I decided to cook them up ala Cinnamon Apples from Chilis.

One thing lead to another and as luck may have it when I was looking for a cupcake recipe (which I never made by the by) I came across the More from Magnolia cookbook. I have no idea how long I've had this book and I don't think I've ever baked anything from it but there it was and this book is chock full of cool little things like these bars....which were super tasty. The bottom was a whole lotta crumbly but I think that was baker error not because the recipe is flawed in anyway.

You can google your way to the recipe by searching for Apple Bars with Oatmeal Crumb Topping or clicky click here. I promise its worth the trouble, especially if you have a whole tray of apples lying around.

Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

TWD: Great Grains Muffins

It's about 8pm on a Tuesday night... not the ideal muffin baking hour... but alas here I am with muffins baking away in the oven with some dairy free chocolate cake. My oven might give out with all this healthy crap baking at one time. Its not used to this sort of pressure!

I made mine according to the recipe with chopped apricots and some extra fruit and walnuts scattered on top with a bit of sugar. They tasted like super buttery slightly sweet corn muffins. They would be great with a little maple butter.

You can grab the full recipe here from Christine at Happy Tummy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TWD: Long Winded Bundt Cake

Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake... that's a bit much for a recipe name. Its so long I had to go pilfer it from our host this week instead of trying to remember what it was called. 

You can visit Jennifer at Cooking Comfort for the full on recipe and be sure to visit the other bakers at Tuesdays with Dorie for a better example of how to get your swirl on.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD: Tangerine Poppyseed Muffins

Have I ever told you guys that my honey doesn't like seeds? Yeah.... probably because he really really hates them. The only good benefit to this for me is that I get all the fresh strawberries I want without sharing... and I get extra props if I ever give him seed free strawberry butter cream which is delicious with or without the seeds but he is extra appreciative if he can enjoy it sans-seeds.

Well you can't really make seed free poppyseed muffins, so of course I had to toss in the seeds. I think he was really loathing seeds on Saturday morning... eh oh well! These were just OK anyways and nothing to write home about even if you like seeds. Maybe the lemon version has the right kick that these lacked for me and I found them a little denser that I was expecting too. I could easily chalk this up to my not halving the recipe properly, or over mixing.

You can get the full recipe from Betsy our host this week over at A Cup of Sweetness.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Accessory temptation....

Do I really need a glass mixing bowl? Probably not, but I'm so tempted to get one. I blame it on Martha Stewart and her fancy pants show with their glass bowls....

When I was in culinary school, we started out with big white professional Kitchen Aid mixers and for some reason the school, in their infinite wisdom, took away all the Kitchen Aids and gave us these ridiculous Hamilton Beach mixers. The Hammies, as we called them, were big pieces of crap. I would stare longingly at the locked racks of Kitchen Aid mixers in the storage area when I walked by them everyday.....

Maybe this is why I am lucky enough to horde have two Kitchen Aid mixers. A 5 Quart Blue Boy that I got from my in laws many years ago and a Professional 600 I call Bertha. What kind of mixer do you have?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles

So I've been telling everyone at work that my New Years Resolution is to be a slacker.... so getting these cookies done on Wednesday falls right into my evil plan.

I used Black Onyx Cocoa which made them extremely chocolatey. They are a little tedious to make but worth the trouble and truly worthy of the Tuesdays with Dorie's 3 Year Anniversary! Thanks to Laurie of Slush and Julie of Someone's In the Kitchen for picking the recipe and keeping thing running for us all.