TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

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.

TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

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).


TWD: Chewy, Chunky Blondies

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.


TWD: Brrrr-ownies

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.

Dorie’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

my best cookies

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!

limoncello poundcake

This tasted like spring!

The sun is finally shining in Chicago, just enough to melt the icicles off the  side of my house and clear the blacktop driveway. It doesn’t matter to anyone that it’s still cold enough to safely store groceries in the back of your care for long periods of time; we are all just thrilled to have enough daylight to find our keys at the end of the work day.

This bright yellow lemony pound cake seemed to further my feeling that spring is on its way!

limon cello poundcake

The cake was moist and buttery, with just the right amount of lemon flavor. But the liquor (my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made their own a few summers ago, and it is still wonderful) kept the cake from being too sweet to eat for breakfast, lunch, while I was cooking dinner, and then again before I went to bed. IT didn’t last too long in my house, and I’m thinking another loaf will find its way to my freezer before this baby is born and I’m too pooped to bake.

I’m so glad to have found it online! You can find the recipe here, at

TWD: Milk Chocolate mini-cakes

 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.

Milk Chocolate MiniBundt

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.

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

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.

almost candy bars

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.

Happy Birthday TWD!

  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.

Apple Tart Tartin

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)