Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD: Pecan Powder Puffs

Tianne of Buttercream Barbie chose Pecan Powder Puffs for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Oh, except that mine were ALMOND Powder Puffs. They were awesome. And crumbly. I loved them. If you'd like to see the recipe, please check out Tianne's blog (see link in first paragraph) or find yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daring Bakers: Meringue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake. These are a close cousin to cinnamon rolls, but with a few twists (literally!).

Before the fillings are layered on the rolled out dough, meringue is slathered on.

Then comes the filling, which can be anything you chose really. I decided to follow the recipe, which included a light sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (just enough!), chopped pecans, and chocolate chips.

The dough is rolled up jelly-roll style and arranged in a ring.

The dough is cut through in various places. These slits can be as shallow or deep as desired.

The rings are allowed to rise, then brushed with egg wash and baked. And voila!!

These were very tasty and I loved the addition of chocolate chips. They were different from regular cinnamon rolls in that the filling seemed to melt into the bread, which was not a bad thing. I'd like to try this was a really generous layer of cinnamon and sugar and see what happens.

Thanks to Ria and Jaime for a great challenge! It was enough to bring me back from a long hiatus from daring bakers (I'm half surprised I haven't been kicked out).

If you'd like to see the recipe, click on the links in the first paragraph to either Jamie's or Ria's blogs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TWD: Honey Nut Brownies & Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins

Ruh roh! Somehow two Tuesdays have gone by without me posting my Tuesdays with Dorie treats. I baked them... just didn't post them!

Anyway, this week, Suzy of Suzy Homemaker chose Honey Nut Brownies and last week, Lauryn of Bella Baker chose Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins.

First up, the brownies... from the discussion forum I heard that these "brownies" tasted more of honey than chocolate. Those that baked early advised using a honey you really like because the honey flavor was front and center. Sadly, I'm not in love with the honey I have on hand, so I used Lyle's Golden Syrup instead. Lyle's is, I believe, a British product and tastes of caramel and has a consistency much like honey. I figured it would be a perfect match. I also increased the chocolate by half again, and used cashews to add another level of tastiness.

I must say... boy, were these ever good! Wow! I couldn't stop myself from cutting off a hunk every time I walked by. I'm glad I only made 1/2 batch! Now I need to find a good honey and try them as intended.

Moving on to the Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins, they were aptly named because the day I made them the sun came out after what has seemed like forever! I get so tired of these grey, gloomy, Ohio winter skies, I just crave sunshine so badly this time of year.

Enter the muffins...

I even took them outside, risking a too-bright picture because it was so nice to see some sun.

These tasted lightly of orange and lemon and were nice and soft.

Next time I let the clouds get to me, I'm going to bake another batch of these and see if they will work their magic again on those nasty clouds.

OK, that's all folks. If you'd like to see the recipes, please check out Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, from My Home to Yours", or click on the links in the second paragraph for Suzy and Lauryn's web sites.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TWD: Corniest Corn Muffins

Jill of My Next Life chose Corniest Corn Muffins for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.

I was thinking about an old co-worker as I made these. (I'll call him Joe, to protect the innocent.) Joe was Irish, like, from-Ireland Irish, complete with an adorable Irish accent.

Joe had this thing about corn.

And it wasn't "A Good Thing", as Martha would say. It was a bad thing.

Joe despised corn. The mere mention of corn would send him off on a tirade (and this from a normally mild-mannered fellow). According to Joe, during the potato famine period in Irish history, a lot of people were starving, but somehow they got ahold of some corn. According to Joe, corn has no nutritional value, and so it didn't solve the famine problem and people were still starving.

My husband also worked with me at the time and he was witness to at least one lecture on the evils of corn. Nowadays, every so often, one of us will say to the other "remember how Joe used to get so upset when someone mentioned corn?".

I think Joe just might have approved of these muffins, though. They were just barely sweet, hearty muffins, chock full of corn. I haven't made cornbread many times, but when I have it usually turns out crumbly. These muffins weren't crumbly at all. I think these will be the "corn muffins" I turn to if I'm ever in need of a good recipe.

Thanks, Jill, for a great pick. Please check out Jill's site (at the link above) if you'd like to see the recipe, or see Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking From my Home to Yours".

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Christine of BlackCatCooking chose Chocolate Pots de Creme for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.

This dish is much like pudding in taste and texture, but unlike pudding, it is baked in the oven rather than on the stove top. That's OK with me, I'm not a big fan of standing by the stove and stirring, stirring, stirring...

Something strange happened to my pots de creme. For some reason they separated into three layers after setting up in the fridge. The bottom layer was smooth and silky, the darker, thin, middle layer was almost fudgey, and the top layer was... just weird. It was thick and greasy. It almost seemed like the fat from the cream and milk separated out in this layer.

I'm sure it's my fault. When I added all of the ingredients together before putting them in pots and baking, I whisked the mixture really well because the chocolate was not mixed in well. I guess I whisked too much, like when you over-whip whipping cream, you know, it starts to get clumpy.

Oh well, live and learn. The bottom two layers were tasty. And I kind of figure I made this into a low fat dessert by not eating the top layer, LOL.

If you'd like to check out the recipe, visit Christine's blog (see link in first paragraph), or Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking, "From my Home to Yours.