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.