{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Pecan Sticky Buns (Whew)

Whew!  I have to say I feel like I just ran a marathon after making these Pecan Sticky Buns.  It’s a good thing though, that these take so much time and effort to make because if it were easier I might be tempted to make them more often and that would not be good for my thighs.

The recipe for these buns (which was contributed by Nancy Silverton – love her) begins with making a brioche dough, which in itself is a fairly complicated and time consuming process with lots of rising and chilling and rolling.  Then once the dough is made, it is made into buns with a lot more rolling and chilling and rising.  And a lot of butter.

Even though there were a ton of steps in the recipe, they were all very easy to follow and really caused me no problems.  And the end result was the best sticky bun I have ever put in my mouth, with super flaky layers of dough and a nutty caramel topping.  Definitely worth the extra effort.

If you are tempted to try your hand at making this recipe you can visit this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia hostesses, Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday.

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Lemon Loaf Cake

Alright, this post is going to be short and sweet – not unlike this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia pick, Lemon Loaf Cake contributed by Norman Love.  By that I mean that this cake couldn’t be easier to put together, and the result is a nice little lemony pound cake with a dense crumb that takes well to toasting, piling up with strawberries or peaches, or just eating as is.

No need to dirty up your mixer, this cake is made the old fashioned way with a whisk and a sifter.  It only uses lemon zest, so if you’re after an extra shot of lemon flavor I would add in a little juice too.  And it just begs for a little lemon glaze.

Please visit the blogs of our lovely hostesses, Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life for the recipe.

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia recipe, is not exactly what most people think of when they hear the word pizza.  This is actually a traditional Italian dish translated as “rustic pie” that is made with a  sweet pie crust and a cheesy, meaty, egg based filling.  It is usually eaten at room temperature or even cold, and often as an appetizer according to Nick Malgieri, the contributor of the recipe.  The Italian version of quiche maybe?

The major difference is in the crust.  It is a basic Italian pastry dough called pasta frolla which is used in most of their pie recipes, either sweet or savory.  It is made with a good amount of sugar added to the flour with eggs to bind it together.  The recipe did not call for chilling the dough or pre-baking it, but it rolled out without problem and baked up just perfectly.

In the filling you will find ricotta cheese, eggs, mozzarella cheese and Pecorino Romano, along with prosciutto and parsley.  This savory filling, especially with the salty Romano cheese and prosciutto, is used to provide a pleasing contrast to the sweet crust.  I thought it was an interesting combination but I did feel like the filling lacked a little “oomph” which might possibly be cured by adding more of the Romano cheese, another salty meat, or a few more seasonings.

We had a slice warm with our dinner the night is was made, then I tried a bite once it was completely cool, and then had a cold slice for breakfast the next day and I liked it equally well at all temperatures!  This was a really fun recipe to make and not extremely complicated either.  I’m sure the other TwD’ers will provide a ton of ideas for additions and variations of it too.

If you’d like to try this one out, visit our lovely hostesses for the week, Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home where you will find this recipe!

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Rugelach

The end is near, VERY near.  The end of winter, I mean.  I’ve already sworn off heavy sweaters  no matter what.  I’m getting ready to buy some colorful flowers for my porch.  Daylight savings is about to begin.  THIS IS IT!

As for my kitchen, this cookie will probably be the last of the winter warm-spiced sweets that will be coming out of it before the light citrus and floral flavors take over.  Rugelach, with a cinnamon-sugar, nut and dried fruit filling, is the recipe for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia.

The recipe was contributed by Lauren Groveman and is slightly different from Rugelach that I have tried in the past whereby it is rolled up lengthwise and sliced and then drenched in cinnamon-sugar-nut crumbs before baking.  The dough is traditional, made with cream cheese and butter which is easy to work with and bakes up fluffy and tender and is really hard to mess up.

I used a natural apricot preserve for my filling, along with pecans and walnuts and a dried fruit mix from King Arthur Flour that includes apricots, raisins, pineapple cubes, dates, and cranberries.  I didn’t need to plump the fruit at all and the mix of flavors with the sugar and cinnamon was delicious.  I think the idea of rolling these in the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture was brilliant.  It gave these cookies that little something extra that causes them to be slightly addictive.

This is not a ‘throw it all together and bake’ recipe, however.  It is fairly complicated and involves a lot of chilling.  I spread it out over three days – making the dough on day one, filling and rolling on day two, and coating and baking on day three.  You could do it in one if you started early enough, but it really needs at least two.  And I would suggest if you want to store some to bake later, freeze the logs after rolling them up but before coating them, just make sure to put aside half of the coating mixture in a bag to freeze with them.

Thanks to the Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia hostesses for this week, Jessica of My Baking Heart, and Margaret of The Urban Hiker.  You can find this fabulous recipe on their sites or in the lovely book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

 

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

Today it’s Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking with Julia and this week we baked David Ogonowski’s Chocolate Truffle Tartlets.  They’re made with a dark chocolate tart crust and a filling of butter, bittersweet chocolate, egg yolks, and sugar.  White chocolate, milk chocolate, and biscotti chunks are added to the filling before baking to push these tartlets over the top.

The recipe makes six 4 1/2 inch tartlets, but I only had four pans, so instead of trying to do some complicated math or only making three and risking a fight amongst the children, I halved both the dough and filling recipes and divided them up into four portions.  I had to roll the dough a little thinner but it still puffed up nicely when baked and made a significant crust.  The recipe also instructs you to remove the bottoms from the tartlet pans, but I left mine in (’cause I was scared) and they came out just fine.

The filling didn’t completely fill up the shells either, but once I tasted the end product I was kind of grateful that they weren’t any thicker.  These babies are RICH.  I would describe the texture of the filling as a kind of brownie/fudge hybrid.  They came out of the oven with that papery top you get on the best brownies and the inside was soft and a little fudge-y.  I almost didn’t add the biscotti to them because the idea just sounded wacky, but in the end I did, and I almost think that is the best part.  The whole thing is just so dang chocolatey that the biscotti adds that little bit of relief from chocolate overload.

I must admit that these tartlets had mixed reviews at my house, being deemed “too chocolatey” by the person who picks the chocolate chips out of the chocolate chip cookies (husband), and thoroughly enjoyed by another who was in the throes of some serious chocolate cravings (me).  Ultimately, I think this is the perfect recipe for a true chocolate lover – someone who doesn’t simply enjoy a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar but who also really digs the deep dark 70% and higher chocolate.

Our hostesses for the week are Steph, Spike, Jaime and Jessica, just click on their names to check out the recipe or you can get this fabulous book yourself by clicking here.

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia White Loaves

I’ve had the lovely book Baking with Julia in my cookbook collection for a while and have made some very successful and delicious recipes from it, but it had somehow gotten buried under the ever-growing pile of newer cookbooks over time. When I discovered that the Tuesdays with Dorie group had chosen this book, which Dorie Greenspan put together from Julia Child’s PBS series of the same name, I dug it out and flipped through the pages thinking all the time “Man, I forgot how good this book is!”

I know the brioche and sticky bun recipes are fabulous, and I love the idea of baking my way through the book in order to try all the other recipes.  So, here goes!

The first recipe chosen for the month of February was White Loaves, contributed by Craig Kominiak, which begins a chapter titled “Daily Loaves”.  Regular Shortbread readers will know that I have made quite a few loaves of bread in my time, and it was difficult for me to keep from straying from the recipe and doing my own thing.  But I tried to use the techniques it called for, and the only substitution I made was using instant yeast instead of active dry because it was all I had in the pantry.  (If you find yourself in the same situation, skip the first step of mixing the yeast, sugar, and water together and just stir the yeast and sugar into the first half of the flour before adding the water.)

This dough was definitely on the wet side for me, but the loaves rose quickly and baked up tall and fragrant.  It sliced easily and made tasty sandwiches, toast, and was even better with a layer of Nutella.

This week’s TWD/BWJ hostesses are Laurie of slush and Jules of Someone’s in the Kitchen, and on their websites you’ll find this recipe.  Visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blog for more information!

 

 

{Tuesdays With Dorie} No Substitution Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

There are just some things that cannot be substituted or duplicated.  Like ranch dressing, hazelnut spread, cherry pie filling, or Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Try as you might, it’s just impossible to make some things at home that work as well in recipes or taste the same as certain foods, whether you like it or not.

Another example of this is sweetened condensed milk.  This tooth-achingly sweet version of milk in a can makes so many recipes taste fabulous and they just aren’t the same without it.  Can you make it at home?  Most likely.  Would it taste the same?  Probably not.  But I’m willing to have someone else do the work for me in this case.

If you happen to have some of that fabulous milk on hand, you probably also have  the rest of the ingredients to make this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars.  These bars are composed of an oatmeal cookie-like layer on the bottom, a rich fudge center, and are dotted with more oatmeal cookie dough on top.  Mine were made without the peanuts and raisins to increase their chances of being eaten at my house, but I know they would be great if you like them at yours.

Give Lillian a visit at Confectiona’s Realm to see the recipe or find it in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

No Substitution Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

There are just some things that cannot be substituted or duplicated.  Like ranch dressing, hazelnut spread, cherry pie filling, or Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Try as you might, it’s just impossible to make some things at home that work as well in recipes or taste the same as certain foods, whether you like it or not.

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Swedish Chef And Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben

Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben brought to you by the Swedish Chef:

swedish chef doughnuts

Well, maybe not quite Scherben, but close.

It felt a little Swedish Chef-ish to make this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, since it was something a little crazy and unusual.  A little ball of dough made from a small amount of butter, a tiny bit of sugar, a pinch of salt, one egg and a little flour and baking powder is then rolled out and cut into funky shapes and then deep fried.  The fried ‘shards’ are then covered in cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar to make a crispy and sweet and slightly addictive snack.

I wasn’t sure about them at first, but they grew on me and I found myself picking the last little pieces out of the sugar from the bottom of the bag.

Teanna of Spork or Foon? was the host this week, and you can find recipe there if you want to try these.

Hmmm, what can I fry next . . . maybe doughnuts?

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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{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.

{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.

Tuesdays With Dorie Parisian Apple Tartlets

twd apple tart

Have you ever been to Paris?  If so, what is the one thing that made the biggest impression on you?  Whenever I think about my trip to Paris, the thing that sticks out the most in my mind is that the women walked around the city in heels.  Even the tour guides that took us on trips to gardens and museums wore some kind of shoe with a heel. Granted most wore very worn-in looking heels, but it was impressive nonetheless.

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Tuesdays With Dorie Cinnamon (And Chocolate) Squares

twd cinnamon square

My husband’s sweet great-grandmother is 91 years old. Until very recently she would still cook and bake her favorite recipes. One of the things she’s famous for is her chocolate pie, made with homemade pie crust and a fudgy filling.  Everyone loves them, especially my sister-in-law.  Last Christmas she sent over a couple of pies for everyone to enjoy, and when my sister-in-law took her first bite she made a funny face and said, “What’s wrong with this pie?”  My mother-in-law tried a bite and said, “It tastes like cinnamon.”  It soon became obvious that great-grandmother had mistaken the cinnamon for the cocoa powder.
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Tuesdays With Dorie Chipster-Topped Brownies For Friends

bb chipster brownie

I miss my Friends.  That is one of the funniest shows ever, in my opinion.  I still catch a re-run every once in a while and just literally laugh out loud.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a truly funny comedy that doesn’t make fun of people or just make you feel dirty.  Especially since I was around the same age as the ‘friends’ when they were on, I could really identify with their characters.  They were just plain funny.

Making this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection from Beth of Supplicious (click for recipe), Chipster-Topped Brownies, made me think of this:

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Tuesdays With Dorie Tiramisu Cake(wreck)

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Today’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Tiramisu Cake, chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures (click for recipe), turned out to be a little bit of a ‘cake wreck’.

I made half of the cake recipe and baked it in a springform pan, to make it easy to remove and hopefully easier for us to finish!  The cake baked up nicely and came out of the pan with no problems.  When I started to cut it in half, though, it broke up into a bunch of pieces.  Waah!

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Tuesdays With Dorie Chocolate Cream Tart(lets)

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Yesterday was one of those days, you know the kind, where everything you do takes 5 hours longer than it should.  I had set some lofty goals for myself around the house and in the kitchen, including hanging bathroom hardware, washing and folding the 50 loads of laundry that had mysteriously piled up over the weekend, spending 30 minutes on the treadmill, baking the Chocolate Cream Tart for Tuesdays with Dorie, carving and cooking a country ham, and making homemade pizza for dinner.  In my mind this seemed quite achievable.

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Tuesdays With Dorie Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

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Okay, tell me you know what I’m talking about.  That look when the cashier who’s checking your groceries picks up some unusual item you’re buying and reads the label – MEXICAN DRINKING CHOCOLATE – raises their eyebrows, and gives a little shrug.  Sometimes they might even say, “What is this?”.  “A citrus reamer”, you answer sheepishly.  Yes, I’m thinking, I know it’s beyond your comprehension why someone might need two popover pans, but I do!

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Tuesdays With Dorie 15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte

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Last night my husband was watching a show on the Golf channel called The Haney Project where Charles Barkley was trying to learn to become a better golfer.  Charles says at one point something like “I just know I’m going to be the one who goes through all this and still sucks.”  I can relate.  I started taking tennis lessons with some girlfriends recently, and I can just see myself being the one who still sucks after it’s all over.  I always wanted to play tennis, but it never came naturally, and no one wants to play with you if you can’t hit the ball back.  I even took tennis as a course in college, but it soon become apparent that everyone else already knew how to play, and were just doing it for the A.  Well, that’s not what I got.

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Tuesdays With Dorie Banana Cream Pie

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Ever since my daughter could express herself, she has been an animal lover.  She used to stop people walking by our house with their dogs and ask if she could pet them.  Her book choices at the library always include at least one animal book.  Horses, whales, hedgehogs, naked mole rats – you name it, she wants it as a pet.

But she can’t stand monkeys.  I don’t even know when her dislike for monkeys started, but the first time we went to the zoo she told me in no uncertain terms that she did not want to see the monkeys.  “You know I hate monkeys, Mommy,” she said.  I do??  Monkeys have been very popular on kid’s clothes lately, and she was completely freaked out by this.  At her school one of the third grade teachers had decorated her room with all kinds of fun monkey stuff.  It would have been very traumatic if she had turned out to be my daughter’s teacher.

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Tuesdays With Dorie Coconut Butter Thins

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I am a procrastinator baker.  If there is dusting to be done, I bake cookies.  Pictures to be hung?  I make bread.  Toilets to cleaned?  I must find a use for those browning bananas.

So this weekend when the floors desperately needed to be swept and mopped, I found myself in the kitchen once again baking up this week’s Tuesday’s with Dorie selection, Coconut Butter Thins.

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Inaugural Tuesdays with Dorie Blueberry Crumb Cake

blueberry crumb cake

There’s a boy in my son’s second grade class who is constantly making up stories.  And my son, bless his heart, believes every word he says.  Most recently, my son reported, this boy made up a new crayon color, sent it to Crayola, and they are going to start putting in their box of 64.

I had to explain to him that sometimes other people don’t always tell the truth.  “You mean he LIED??”, he asked, horrified.  “Well, this is more like a tall tale”, I told him.  So now he’s never sure he wants to tell me the latest from the tall tale teller, ’cause he knows I probably won’t believe him.  Bless his heart.

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Peace

World Peace Cookies

In honor of the Inauguration yesterday, I baked up a batch of World Peace Cookies.  If only baking cookies could solve the problems of the world…

Our new President has a hard road ahead and I, like everyone, hope he is what America needs to get us through.  In the meantime, bake some cookies for you and yours and spread some peace in your own corner of the world. Continue reading

You Say Peecan and I Say Pahcahn Shortbread

Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

It’s the most famous nut in the south, with the most variations on how to pronounce its name.  I tend to change the way I say it depending on where I am.  With my family in NC – PEECAHN.  With my family in SC – PEECAN.  With the girls in the Junior League – PAHCAHN.  It’s all the same to me, and the pecan is probably the nut I choose first for my recipes.  They are so good just off the trees in the fall, and they freeze well, too.  And when you toast them, it takes them to another level. Continue reading