Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'll be back!!

I promise, I promise, I'll be back soon! It has been a crazy few weeks and all I kept thinking about was....I need to get back to my baking!! But with starting a new job about a month ago, late nights working to get up to speed, a car accident last week and Thanksgiving tomorrow, I've just been trying to keep my head above water lately and haven't had a chance to make too many of the recipes. I did make the Rugelach, but just haven't had time to post.

Today I will be a baking fool getting ready for tomorrow though. I'm making 3 pies (pumpkin, pecan and apple), the holiday bundt cake from Dorie's book (but in loaf form as I do not own a bundt pan) and probably the chocolate banana bread as well. And then cooking all day tomorrow with my mom.

But after Thanksgiving is over, I PROMISE I will be back to my Tuesdays with Dorie weekly posts! I love this group and don't want to risk getting the boot!! So please don't kick me out yet! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No TWD today...but...

I definitely plan to make this week's TWD recipe, it will just be a few days late. I usually do my baking on the weekends, but this past weekend my husband and I were out of town for a friend's wedding. So, I'm going to make both this week's recipe and next week's recipe this coming weekend. It will be a baking extravaganza in my kitchen come Saturday!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What the...

I have no idea why the pics on my last post are all messed up. I'll fix them later! Stupid photobucket!

TWD: Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

The TWD recipe for this week was selected by Clara of I *heart* Food for Thought. I must first just say...Clara...Thank You Thank You Thank You!!! I LOVED this recipe! The cupcakes tasted amazing and this was an A+ recipe!

Many TWDers said they had a problem with the cupcakes being a bit too dry, so knowing that, I cut a few minutes off the baking time. The recipe (which you can find here on Clara's blog) says to bake the cupcakes for 22-25 minutes. I set the timer for 18 minutes and they were perfect.

One of my favorite things about Baking From my Home to Yours is the fact that several of Dorie's recipes include a "Playing Around" section which gives you ideas on fun ways to change up the recipes. For this recipe, Dorie suggested adding marshmellow fluff to the center of the cupcakes. I did this using a pastry bag and a large tip.

I decided to forego the glaze on top of the cupcakes as Dorie's recipe calls for, and instead attempted to make a whipped ganache which I saw on another of my favorite blogs, Tartelette. Unfortunately, the whipped ganache did not quite turn out as I expected. The recipe is simple enough, heavy cream and chocolate. How hard could it be, right? Well, it just never seemed to come together and all I ended up with was a chocolate whipped cream. It never seemed to thicken up or get stiff as I expected it to and was much too runny to use as a frosting. So I decided to add some powdered sugar to attempt to salvage this concoction. After about 6 CUPS of powdered sugar, I had something close to a frosting consistency, and it tasted pretty good, so I just went ahead and used it. It seemed to be a big hit, so I guess it was a success of sorts, but wasn't quite what I had hoped it would be.

These cupcakes were still delicious nonetheless and I think this will be my go-to recipe for the cupcake portion. I would like to make them again and try the glaze as Dorie suggests because I am sure it is a perfect combination.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD: Pumpkin Muffins

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Pumpkin Muffins, was selected by Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp! You can find the full recipe on Kelly's blog here.

I must say, I am not a pumpkin fan at.all. I never eat pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, much to the dimay of my mother in law who was rather disappointed last year when I didn't even touch the pie she made for dessert. But my husband really enjoys pumpkin, so this was again going to be a recipe that I made just to send to work with him. His co-workers are really starting to love me!

This recipe came together very nicely. I did try a bite of the muffins and thought that the pumpkin flavor was actually very subtle and the texture of the muffins was very moist. I omitted the raisins as my husband hates raisins and would never forgive me if I actually used them in this recipe. Several TWD's added chocolate chips of white chocolate chips to this recipe. If I were to make these muffins again, I think I would try adding the white chocolate chips to kick them up a notch.

Also, several TWD's noted that the baking time on these muffins was a few minutes less than actually listed in the book. I found that to be true as well. The book says to bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. I set the timer for 20 minutes and actually checked them after about 17 minutes and they were perfectly done.

I mistakenly thought that I had cupcake liners in the pantry, and when I couldn't find them I got a little worried. But I bought Baker's Joy spray recently and just used that instead. The muffins popped right out of the pan when they were done. If you haven't tried this stuff, give it a shot. My muffins didn't stick at all and it's much less messy than buttering the pan.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TWD: Lenox Almond Biscotti

This week's TWD, Lenox Almond Biscotti, was selected by Gretchen of Canela & Comino. I've made biscotti a few times in the past, and while it was ok, I've never been much of a fan of how hard and dry biscotti can be. I like moist and chewy cookies, so this was definitely going to be a recipe to take to work and share with others, unlike the Malted Chocolate Whopper Drops from a few weeks ago which I ate tons of while sitting on the couch watching tv! Don't judge, they were good and totally worth it!

But I did decide that these biscotti needed to be "jazzed" up a bit, so I added in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries and dried cherries. The addition of cornmeal to this recipe was a bit surprising, I was skeptical, but I used it anyway. Many TWDers said they didn't like the cormeal, that it made the biscotti kind of gritty, and I have to agree. If I were to make this recipe again, I would leave out the cornmeal.

The bake time seems very short for these biscotti, only 15 minutes each time you bake them (biscotti are basically twice baked cookies). Maybe I should have baked them longer, but I sort of liked that they were not rock hard as most biscotti I have tried before tend to be.

While this wasn't my most favorite TWD recipe, I did enjoy it. With the additional of the white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries and cherries, this reminded me of the perfect cookie for Christmas time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where have I been!?!

It seems like forever since I have updated this blog! And it has been, my last post was nearly a month ago. But I promise to be back at it soon. Especially with the TWD updates. I made the Chocolate Chunkers from a few weeks back and they were heavenly! I added dried cherries to some and cransins to the rest and they were delish.

The plums I bought to use for the Dimply Plum Cake are shriveled up and becoming pruney in my fridge...gross I know! And the new ramekins and kitchen torch I bought to make the Creme Brulee are still sitting in the box on top of my counter. I must make the Creme Brulee because it is my husband's favorite dessert and the last time I attempted it was years ago and it was quite the disaster so I know with Dorie's help it will be better this time around!

Life has just gotten in the way of my kitchen adventures during the past couple of weeks, but hopefully things are on the right track and I can get back to baking!