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.
I’m pretty darn sure that this is the is the first cookie I have ever rejected warm from the oven.
Like a good lasagna, however, it was far better the second day.
The batter has (or rather, batters have, since yu have to make the cookie dough and then the chocolate layer) just about everything: oatmeal, peanuts, craisins, chocolate and lots brown sugar. Bakers divide the cookie dough into two parts, spread one in the bottom of the pan, slather with a gooey chocolate mess, and then drop more cookie dough on top. It’s fun. It’s ok if it’s sloppy. What’s not to like?
Maybe it’s the warm craisins, but these are just not good straight from the oven. Even The Other Eater in this Household said “they’re ok” – a significant rejection, given that his usual criteria for Dorie’s creations include 1) is it good? and 2) did it kill me?
So, I split the tray of cookies in two and took a plate to work with me the next day. They were a hit! I didn’t understand it, so I had to try another, and I agreed! Far better than the first day I had baked them. Who would have guessed?
You can find the recipe here, at Confectiona’s Realm. They are far easier to put together than the list of ingredients makes them look.
I am so excited to be celebrating Tuesdays with Dorie’s second birthday by posting on time and in synch this week. Congratulations to our founder, and to those who have kept up faithfully for the last 104 weeks. You all should be proud of your accomplishments.
I must say, though, that I think the celebration makes this week’s Tarte Tatin selection especially enjoyable. It was the simplest of recipes (butter, sugar, apples, pastry dough), but I’m just loving it. Even though mine looks nothing like the photo is the cookbook, I’m loving the clean flavors. It’s really cold in Chicago right now, and warm apples with whip cream are just what the doctor ordered for when I’m snuggled up on the couch trying to stay warm and awake through the 10 p.m. news. Nevertheless, I think I would be equally comfortable serving this dessert for a dinner party in the dining room. It’s just that nice.
So tonight when I settle in for another slice of Tart, I’ll toast (with my fork) to another 104 weeks of baking with Dorie!
(You can find our host’s analysis and a link to the recipe here)
Thank goodness it’s over! I really enjoy baking, but when my one-woman kitchen begins to resemble the Tollhouse Factory assembly line I tend to get a wee bit crabby. I have to figure out a way to attack things better next year.
I made peppermint bark, and snickerdoodle blossoms, and peanut butter fudge, and Tollhouse pan cookies, and toffee bars (at least, that what we’ve always called them – it’s more of a butter cookie with melted Hershey bars on top), and spiced almonds, and mock turtles, and sour cream cherry coffee cake. All good, but SO. MANY. DISHES. TO. WASH. And then I had to get it all wrapped up and divvied up and off my dining room table in time to set the table for Christmas Eve dinner. AACK.
But, dinner was lovely, and ended with Dorie’s All in One Holiday Bundt Cake. I’ve made this before, but I still loved it just as much the second time around. The cake is surprisingly light considering all the stuff it has to hold (cranberries, nuts and apples), and it absolutely doesn’t need the maple icing Dorie suggests.
We devoured it after a big pasta dinner, and the leftovers were in great demand for Christmas breakfast. Thanks to The Nitty Bitty for picking it back in November!
These were a treat right around Thanksgiving, and given that I have a whole new bottle of molasses in the pantry now, I’m thinking they might be a treat again someday soon!
These cookies were chewy and dense and certainly spiced well – you must like ginger snaps to like these cookies, because they offer FAR MORE than your grocery store variety spice cookies. Also, they were a bit of a handful to get into the baking pan, so definitely chill the dough as Dorie recommends before trying to rol them out (I still ended up with a thin layer of dough on each hand after I rolled a dozen or so out). The woman knows her stuff!
I, of course, was drinking them with milk or weak tea, because that’s how I roll these days. But they would also be lovely with the last of the wine after dinner. They certainly are not overly sweet to where they might compete with the wine. I served them after brunch (french toast, quiche, sausage and cocktails) with friends for the perfect ending to a delightful Sunday morning.
Between working on the house, working at my job, celebrating with family, hosting overnight guests, and just sheer exhaustion, I’m WAY behind on my posting for TWD. But know, dear bakers, that I’ve been eating right alongside you and loving most of our creations.
I just recently pulled the photos of our Applesauce Spice Bars off of my camera (they were just before my niece’s Christening photos), and they were one of my favorites! I baked them over one of the first really cool fall weekends using Farmer’s Market apples, and they were popular both at home and at work – so popular that I forgot to photograph them before they were all gone:
Mine came out like a thin piece of apple cake with a sticky icing (which I enjoyed – it wasn’t too sweet) but it made them very difficult to transport to the office in one piece. We had to scrape the icing off the tin foil covering. Nevertheless, the tart fresh apple bits, plump golden raisins and wonderful fall spice blend made them worth it! I highly recommend these for an at-home treat.
They were F-A-R better then Rachel Ray’s Tiny Grape Upside Down Cakes. Mine tasted like overly dense pancake batter topped with apple jelly, and looked like something you would feel an elementary school classroom’s pet turtle:
But maybe you’ll have more luck than I did.
Hungry Girl calls this dessert Scoopable Creamsicle Crush Pie, but since I turned it into parfaits, I’m not really sure that the name still applies. But it tastes darn good. You can find the recipe at her site in celebration of National Creamsicle Day (Aug. 14).
Two things appealed to me about this recipe: 1) it uses Nilla Wafers, which I love, and 2) it doesn’t mandate anything I din’t usually have in the house – most especially, no mass quantities of Splenda. I made the creamy filing with instant pudding mix, yogurt, Cool Whip and the juice from a can of mandarin oranges, and then layered it with whole orange slices and cookies that she recommended you break up. I think my way was much better, if only because it dictated single servings in the cute parfait glasses I got at a second hand store for 25 cents a piece.
Plus, I could eat them with the excuse that Baby needed fruit and calcium and maintain some truth to my story – the ingredients are that real. Life is good.
(Alas, the dessert would be far cuter if I had a can of cool whip to spray on top, but that would have mandated another trip to the grocery store, most likely in my pajamas, and nobody wanted that.)
I made the bold decision to leave the espreesso out of these brownies, and I feel like I stopped mid-step. I should have left the sour cream topping off, as well.
The brownies were really good – though my marbling left a lot to be desired. The brownie part was dense, the cheesecake part was creamy, and the combination was a delight! I really enjoy chocolate and cheese together in general (so much so that I once attended a chocolate and cheese pairing class at Vosges, where I made a mess of myself eating white chocolate panini, and I would do it again in a heartbeat), second only to chocolate and peanut butter, and this 9″ pan of goodness did not last long in my refrigerator.
However, the sweetened sour cream topping added nothing but a big mess. The taste didn’t really enhance the brownies at all, and it made them difficult to eat in the car – one of my true tests for good feed: can I eat it in transit? Sour cream leaves too much evidence, and it smells if you forget to wipe it off your steering wheel before you leave your cap in a sunny parking lot and board the train in the mornin.
I’m just saying: leave the topping off, then love the brownies.
These desserts are so tiny, I’m hesitant to say too much in my post: these were not great, but they have a great form and so they may end up in a holiday basket just for their darling appearance.
The chocolate cake is kind of dry and I’m not digging the orange-chocolate combination. I would have preferred instant espresso powder to deepen the flavor. BUT, the hard white chocolate topping and mini-muffin cup size is wonderful – totally different from anything else I’ve made, and so I might make them again just for the aesthetics.
You’ll find the recipe at Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen (who photographed them is a darling cake dome!). I have a few suggestions to enhance Dorie’s advice:
1) Use a tablespoon of batter in each mini muffin cup, but a teaspoon. These barely rose at all.
2) Butter the muffin cups really well or else use paper liners. The batter looked so slick I might have skimped on the Crisco, and I had a really hard time getting them out of the pan. Several buttons were lost in the process.
3) Skip the orange in favor of almond extract, espresso, or mint even.
As I’ve come to expect, Dorie’s creation is moist, delicious, sweet, perfect even without icing, blah blah, blah. It’s also easy to make, and produces few dishes to wash. The Other Eater in my Household likes that part, especially.
My challenge will be to find reasons why it is ok to eat this for breakfast the rest of the week. I am proud to say that I made it with fat free yogurt rather than sour cream, which is always nice. Also, the cake does have 4 bananas. These offer potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B, (Thanks, Tao of Good Health). Practically good for me!
What never fails to amaze me is how other TWD bakers move past the excitement of simply having fresh baked good in the house and think creatively. Confectiona’s Realm added almond extract and apple butter (and considered other stuff) before putting hers in the oven. Prudence Pennywise added maple extract, wheat flour and nuts. And Ezra Poundcake is thinking about peanut butter cream. A hat tip to you all!
You’ll find the recipe for Dorie’s masterpiece at The Food Librarian, where Mary touts all things Bundt. I kind of agree that I love my bundt pan and the beauty it brings to the table without icing or frosting or in-some-other-way polishing a less-than-perfect dessert. I’m going to have to check out some of the other 10 bundts she’s blogged about this year…
Side Note: While looking for reasons to eat more of this cake, I found that:
- An average American eats 26 pounds of bananas every year – that’s about 150 bananas.
- Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the early years (1892-1920s) were given bananas to eat. Many had never seen them and didn’t know how to eat them – some ate the whole thing, peel and all.
- Bananas were introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the same expo that introduced Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone.