How many different ways can I serve a sour cream bundt cake? Breakfast in the car, after dinner on a plate with a linen napkin, after a take-out lunch of Potbelly sandwiches with the in-laws. It was THAT good. Continue reading TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Dorie has done it again and brought such simple joy! These were fabulous on so many levels:
1) The crisp, tight flavor of fresh lemon was great after so many gray days of temperatures below 20 degrees, and anticipated wind chills FAR below zero.
2) The sour cream in the better makes the muffins wonderfully moist. They popped out of the muffin tin without a crumb left behind, and the few crumbs I spied on the napkin that I ate off of at my desk this morning easily came together with my fingers as I hurried to mop up every. last. one. Seriously.
3) The smell of lemon pastry really freshened up a house that hasn’t seen an open window in months. I should bake these weekly just for the emotional high that brought.
I thought these were wonderful, and I don’t think I’ll ever eat a lemon muffin from the office cafeteria ever again. There must be both health and financial benefit in that. The Other Eater, on the other hand, merely thought they were “good.”
But my baking experience left me with a question for my fellow cooks. I made 6 muffins with paper muffin cups for sharing with others, and six straight in the muffin tin for eating at home. The paperless muffins for a lot taller than the paper-wrapped muffins, and I’m wondering why. Any ideas?
In general I’m thinking that next time I’ll make 10 naked muffins for oversized indulgence, just so you know.
I prefer vanilla ice cream. I wear white t-shirts under cardigan sweaters A LOT. I abhor wallpaper. In a nutshell, I prefer things to be plain. But these muffins were too plain, even for me.
I started eating peanut butter out of the jar, with a spoon, when I was in college. It was one of those bad habits people develop when they stay up all night doing important things like writing 10 pages papers that count for 70 percent of their course grade and writing articles for the school paper about how many health code violations the dining hall had racked up that month. It’s not a habit I’m proud of, nor one that I’ve held on to (except for a brief period when I was pregnant, but that doesn’t count), but in dire moments that burst of protein did wonders for both my energy level and my mood.
But I still love a good peanut M&M, peanut butter cup or peanut butter cookie, so I was glad when Jasmine Cuisine chose them to bake with Dorie Sept. 7. They were quick and easy to assemble and I had high hopes because I ate a ridiculous amount of raw dough while I assembled them….and then I pulled mine out of the oven and thought that maybe they were too easy. My cookies were flat as pancakes! Still delicious and not too sweet and tender to bite, but not at all like the picture in Dorie’s book. Her’s looked more like a toasted English muffin, and mine were similar to manhole covers.
Was it because I left out the peanuts? Or because I sprinkled mini chocolate chips into the top? Would it have made a difference if I had chilled the dough before I rolled it into balls and then rolled the balls in sugar for baking? I’ll just have to try them again I guess.
There are certain things I think everyone keeps in their pantry. Rice. Flour and Sugar. Olive Oil. Chocolate Chips. And when you run out of these staples, you know it has been FAR TOO LONG since your last trip to the grocery store.
That’s the wake-up call I got when I went to make the oatmeal bread that Oven Love selected for Tuesdays with Dorie and found myself short on oats. I used instant low sugar apple cinnamon oatmeal to make up for what I lacked, and it turned out just fine. I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries and golden raisins from Trader Joe’s golden berry mix, which I love.
This was a spectacularly moist breakfast treat that Another Eater and I enjoyed every morning last week on our ways out the door: mine was perched in my lap while I drove to the train station, his came in finger-full bites while he fed PT before daycare (which PT loves).
Just like the Cookies on Friday blogger who selected this recipe last month, I love baking bar cookies. It’s a simple way to create a good volume of cookies (whether you are sharing them with others or simple curling up with a glass of milk after a bad day), and there is something unbelievably therapeutic about pressing batter into the corners of a pan and then licking it off your fingers when you have it Just Right.
Picking different flavors to add into the bars is too big a decision for me on most days, so I stuck with Dorie’s recommendations on this one: butterscotch chips, milk chocolate chip, walnuts and coconut. The only on I regret is the coconut, as it was really the only thing I tasted. Maybe it’s me – coconut isn’t my favorite thing – but it didn’t stop me from gobbling these up! The cookie base that carries whatever add-ins you choose is just perfect enough to make these irresistible, regardless.
I baked Tuesday and then worked late Wednesday, which means that when I got home after dark I found PT asleep and The Other Eater (is he now Another Eater, since there are three of us?) cooling off with a glass of milk and two brrrr-ownies.
And he seemed pleased with his find. I was glad, because they sure were unattractive when I finished slicing them. Dorie wasn’t kidding when she recommended chilling them before slicing, because they are sticky and sweet and the counter-cooled creations stuck to the knife like skin to vinyl upholstery in August. But fresh from the fridge at the end of another humid July day, Another Eater said they were perfect! Gooey but not sticky. Minty. Dense and chocolate-y. I’m looking forward to my snack after work tonight!
If you can see beyond my shotty slicing job, they look good, with the big white chucks peeking through the shiny dark chocolate. They are the perfect picnic treat, but they’d melt on the buffet. Hmmmmm…too bad I’ll have to hoard them in my own fridge this week! It’s hard being me.
I wasn’t overly impressed.
But first, an apology: I’ve been away for far too long. But I have a GREAT excuse.
P.T. was born March 13, and he’s kept me quite busy. Sure he looks cute and serene here, but man does he have lungs! He’s a good baby, and I’m working hard to keep up with him. Baking has been secondary.
But now, back to the cookies. They were good cookies – dunked in milk they were loaded with brown sugar and made a great late-night TV-watching snack. I mixed dark chocolate chips, mini chips and semi-sweet chips in mine (honestly, I was cleaning out the baking drawer and just threw in all my remnants, but my story is that it made for a nice surprise when you bit into a chip). But these are still cookies and thus too crisp for my taste. I prefer cookie bars because they are softer and more cake-y. But I can see how they’d be a hit at a picnic this summer or in a room full of kids. Bake away!
I took a stand this week, and it did me no good. I ended up with really dry mini-cakes. Though they were exceptionally cute.
On principle, I refused to go out in cold and snow just to buy whole milk for the fraction of a cup this recipe called for. I used the skim I had in my fridge. And that was a mistake.
The cake was delicious, but it totally needed a big glass of (skim) milk to wash it down, as well as a plate to catch all the crumbs that came off in big chunks. I had pieces breaking off around the delicious walnut-cocoa-sugar swirl. I hoped that piping the melted-chocolate-and-corn-syrup glaze over the top would help – and it was delicious – but the cake remains drier than I would like. I think the fat from whole milk would have made a world of difference.
The Other Eater and I split the valentine treat above for breakfast on Sunday, and the rest went to a baby shower I co-hosted Sunday afternoon. I few made it home from that, but they remain uneaten in my beautiful cake dome four days later. That can’t be a good sign.
Thanks to Kristin from I’m Right About Everything for choosing it.