{Tuesdays With Dorie} No Pressure Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Have you made your Christmas list yet?  Started your Christmas shopping?  Finished your Christmas shopping?  No pressure or anything.  It’s not like I’ve done any of those things yet.  I take that back, I bought my first Christmas present yesterday, so I guess I’ve officially jumped on the holiday bandwagon.

If you need a little nudge to get you started, here’s a recipe that will help get you in the holiday mood.  Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies chosen by Pamela of Cookies With Boys for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is just perfect for snacking on while making out your gift list.  A crispy cookie with a little bit of softness in the center from the molasses and brown sugar that is spiced with ginger, cinnamon, allspice and a little pinch of black pepper, and covered with a little sprinkling of sugar ‘snow’.  Sweet, spicy and delicious.

Sound good?  Visit Pamela for the recipe.  Now I must go make my list.

No Pressure Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Have you made your Christmas list yet?  Started your Christmas shopping?  Finished your Christmas shopping?  No pressure or anything.  It’s not like I’ve done any of those things yet.  I take that back, I bought my first Christmas present yesterday, so I guess I’ve officially jumped on the holiday bandwagon.

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Happy National Bundt Day Hazelnut Espresso Coffeecake

hazelnut bundt

With today being National Bundt Day, I have to share this wonderful Hazelnut-Espresso Coffeecake I baked from my newest cookbook, Whole Grain Baking from King Arthur Flour.  I was inspired to make this cake by Mary of The Food Librarian, who has been celebrating the Bundt for thirty days by baking a Bundt each day.  Yes, I said a Bundt each day.  Now that is some Bundt love.

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Whew! Creme Brulee {Barefoot Bloggers}

 

What mistake do you make in the kitchen most often?  Omitting ingredients, forgetting to preheat the oven, or maybe not setting the timer?  I’ve made all of these more than once, but I find the thing I do more than these is trying to cut a recipe in half, and forgetting by the end of the ingredient list that I’m halving the recipe and adding the whole amount of the last two or three things.  Sometimes it ends in disaster.  Sometimes not.

I almost made the same mistake with this recipe, Creme Brulee from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris.  I decided to divide it in half, since I only had a pint of cream.  So I mixed together one egg and two egg yolks with half the sugar, heated half the cream and mixed it into the eggs, and then proceeded to add a whole teaspoon of vanilla instead of a half.  Then I thought to myself, I don’t really think the family will be crazy about this if I add a whole tablespoon of Grand Marnier (the original measurement), so I’ll just add . . . a teaspoon, I guess.  Lucky me, that I didn’t go ahead a put the whole thing in, I mean, extra vanilla usually can only be better, but I have a feeling all that orange liqueur in just a half recipe would have resulted in some faces being made at the dinner table.

Instead, this turned out to be the best Creme Brulee I’ve made yet.  It was so smooth and creamy, and the flavor was just perfect.  Everyone in the family finished theirs off.  I just wish I’d had enough ingredients to make the whole recipe.

Creme Brulee is actually a fairly simple dessert to make and can be done ahead of time and burlee’d right before serving.  If you don’t have a kitchen torch, just broil the desserts in the oven.  Here’s my suggestion for the best flavor:  Take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving so they will be cool, but not cold.  Much tastier that way.

Thanks to Suzie of Munch + Nibble for choosing this Barefoot Bloggers recipe, which you can print here.

 

Whew! Creme Brulee

bb creme brulee

What mistake do you make in the kitchen most often?  Omitting ingredients, forgetting to preheat the oven, or maybe not setting the timer?  I’ve made all of these more than once, but I find the thing I do more than these is trying to cut a recipe in half, and forgetting by the end of the ingredient list that I’m halving the recipe and adding the whole amount of the last two or three things.  Sometimes it ends in disaster.  Sometimes not.

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Out Of The Mouths Of Babes Cran-Apple Crisps

Oh, children and the things they will say.  Like “My mom says you can’t come over ’cause you’re a bad influence” to a friend’s daughter.  OH THE HORROR.

So after eating some crow, I barely had room for dessert.  But I had made these Cran-Apple Crisps for Tuesdays with Dorie and I had to make room, and I’m glad I did.

These lovely crisps are made with fresh apples and fresh and dried cranberries.  I used a mixture of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp (my new favorite) apples.  The only change I made was to use walnuts in the crisp mixture instead of coconut, which I thought made a great substitution.

The sweet apples and tart cranberries were very tasty together in these crisps, and a scoop of ice cream added just a little more sweetness.  I highly recommend it.

 

This Tuesdays with Dorie pick was brought to you by Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef and you can find the recipe there.

Don’t Go Down The Drain English Muffins {The Bread Baker’s Apprentice}

 

Today’s question to ponder . . . Why is it always the good spoons that accidentally drop into the disposal?  Never the old hand-me-down silverware that you use for cooking, but the shiny new (-ish) stuff you got for wedding gifts.  Hmmm.

I can tell you that if you like to bake at home and you need one more reason to get The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, here it is.  These English Muffins are so over and above anything you have ever bought, and I don’t say that lightly.  These are so delicious they will even convert those who don’t usually care for English Muffins (i.e., the husband).

I really never even thought is was possible to make English Muffins at home until I got to this recipe in the book.  And still, I had a few reservations about getting that cornmeal crusted top and bottom and the ‘nooks and crannies’, but I was not disappointed.  The recipe consists of a yeast dough that has risen and is cooked in a skillet and finished in the oven.  Much easier than I had expected and with terrific results.

Later this week I’ll have a few recipes for things to do with these.  In the mean time, you can take a look at the book here.

 

An Easy Answer Napoletana Pizza Dough {The Bread Baker’s Apprentice}

 

Today’s question to ponder . . . Why does the clicking sound your car makes never happen when you’re at the mechanic’s?  Hmmm.   If only I knew the answer.  But I can answer the question of how to make the BEST pizza dough ever.  Two words – Peter Reinhart.

I have made quite a few pizza dough recipes in the past and none ever hit the mark.  I wanted a thin crust that wouldn’t be too bread-y, and that would bake up with some crunch on the edges.  I had seen the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for Napoletana Pizza Dough before, but since the dough required an overnight rest, I passed it over.  Finally, when I got my own copy of the cookbook and started slowly baking my way through, I realized how successful the recipes are.  So I gave in and mixed up a batch of the dough.

This dough was so soft and silky, and was a dream to stretch out.  It could be made a little thicker, like the Barbecue Chicken Pizza at the top, or extra thin and crispy like the White Pizza With Arugula below.  I was really amazed that I was able to make a dough like this at home, and so was everyone else in my family.

Like I said, it does have to be started the day before, but it is SO WORTH IT.  However, you can keep it in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.  I guarantee you it won’t last that long, though.

101 Cookbooks is where I first saw the recipe in a post coincidentally titled Best Pizza Dough Ever (it says the olive oil is optional, but I used it also).  If you’re interested in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice take a look here.

Dunk And Gift Chocolate Citrus Biscotti {Cookie Carnival}

 

Here’s a good one to put on your baking list for the Holidays – Chocolate Citrus Biscotti.  Perfect to bake and dunk in your warm beverage of choice while you do the rest of your work in the kitchen, and lovely to package and give away as gifts.

The recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis and is the Cookie Carnival pick for October.  It differs from the traditional biscotti with the addition of cornmeal, which gives it even more crunch than usual.  Lemon and orange zest are added to the mix also, in just the right amounts.  Chocolate and cocoa make them even prettier and even tastier.

Fun, festive, addictively crunchy and just right for the Holidays, click here for the recipe so you can bake up a batch.

 

Celebrate Fall Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread {The Bread Baker’s Apprentice}

 

It’s November, and now that Halloween is over, get ready to brace yourself for the full onslaught of the commercial holiday season.  Christmas items are already filling the shelves and Santa Claus is showing up on the television.  I really have to try not to get too carried away or fall and all its smells, sights, and sounds will pass by before I can enjoy them.

I believe in buying my Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, and waiting until December to start the Christmas holiday baking, which includes Fruitcake.  Yes, that’s what I said.  I am a fruitcake fan, but not the prepackaged kind that’s shaped like a brick, but real homemade more-fruit-and-nuts-than-cake fruitcake.  And I will share my favorite fruitcake recipe for my fellow fruitcake fans in December.

Even though I will sneak a few Christmas songs onto my iPod this month and definitely start my shopping, I plan to bake a lot of pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, nutty things that remind me that it is still fall.  And if I start to feel a little wistful for some of that fruitcake, this Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread will surely tide me over until December.

This loaf from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice combines the flavors of cranberry and walnut with a touch of citrus flavor that reminds me a little of my favorite fruitcake, but can still be very fitting for the fall.  So, celebrate by baking some great bread filled with delicious fall ingredients and enjoy the season.

Interested?  Preview and purchase the book here.

Celebrate Fall Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread

bba cranberry-walnut bread

It’s November, and now that Halloween is over, get ready to brace yourself for the full onslaught of the commercial holiday season.  Christmas items are already filling the shelves and Santa Claus is showing up on the television.  I really have to try not to get too carried away or fall and all its smells, sights, and sounds will pass by before I can enjoy them.

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