Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

After having some surprisingingly good tacos and some enchiladas that used up most of our zucchini, I needed to hide some of it. I started with an epicurious search and ended up adapting this recipe. They turned out pretty well! I didn't notice the zucchini much, they were nice and moist, and not too sweet. I used chopped chocolate since it's what I had on had, but next time, I'll try chocolate chips or maybe mini chips for the cupcakes.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
2 1/4 c ap flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
2 c grated zucchini
6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate

Sift together dry ingredients. Cream together butter and sugars, add oil. Add eggs and vanilla. Add buttermilk and zucchini. Add half of chopped chocolate. Divide in muffin cups, sprinkle with remaining chocolate. Bake at 350 for about 30 min.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lattice Apple Pie

My next effort with the apples! I've done a few apple pies in the past, but don't really have a favorite. They've usually turned out a little runny, so I figured a lattice would help some. I used the Lattice Apple Pie with Mexican Brown Sugar
from epicurious, with the brown sugar and molasses substitution.

The crust turned out great! It's been really exciting to start to get flakier crusts this past few months. The sugar on top was fun, too :) The pie was pretty good, strongly flavored with the molasses, but not as much from the spices. It was best still warm. The next day, I could taste the flour which wasn't super pleasant. I'll keep this in my epicurious box to maybe try again, but I'm also looking forward to trying more pies!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Tart

The family went apple picking last week, and we went a little crazy picking two bushels. We'd already gone once earlier, and the kids had gone through that bushel plus all the extras from farmers' market. So I figured get two bushels and either it'll be just right or they'll decide they're sick of apples and won't eat another one for two months. We ended up getting cortlands, mcintosh, honeycrisp, golden delicious, red delicious, spartans and jonathans.

For my first baking, I had a batch of tart dough in the freezer, so I adapted this epicurious recipe for Apple Tarts.
I used a springform pan this time, which seemed to work well.

Apple Tart
1 batch tart dough
4 apples (I used two huge Cortlands and two Golden Delicious)
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Roll out tart dough to pan and refrigerate. Peel apples. Add skins, 6 TB sugar and water and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, add vanilla. Strain out solids. Arrange apples in tart and brush with syrup. Sprinkle on remaining 2TB sugar. Bake at 400 for 20 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake another 20 min. While baking reduce remaining syrup to about 1/4. Let tart stand for a few minutes and brush with remaining sugar.

Ling's Brownies

Another brownie recipe :) Ling's Brownies were really good brownies. Not quite as wet and a little darker than the Baked brownie. These are by far the tallest plain brownies I've ever made. And I used an 9x9 pan, which I'm pretty sure is bigger than the round pan called for. They were quick to pull together, and they'd be great for the potluck/work type of sharing.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

I can't seem to find my pictures of these, and to be honest I don't remember taking the picture, I was just assuming I had. We had them warm with dinner, and the sweet potato flavor wasn't super noticeable. The next day, though as Dorie wrote, when cold they were much more sweet potato-y. I think I liked these best of the family, warm with a little butter, they were great!

Thanks to Erin of Prudence Pennywise for this week's pick!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Allspice Crumb Muffins

These muffins were like little coffee cakes - very cute! I think we mostly ate them for the streusel :)

Thanks to Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table for selecting this week's recipe!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Plums and Watermelon

I've still been drawn to preserving. With the 13lb of plums, we ate probably half. So even though I wasn't sure I'd like it, I made plum jam and plum jelly. They both are pretty good. A lot more peach-like than I'd thought. The jam is just plain plum from the Certo pack, the jelly was vanilla plum or cardamom vanilla plum. The jam is good, though nothing outstanding. The jellies taste great, but I overcooked them while testing, so they're a little rubbery. I'm learning :)

Vanilla Cardamom Plum Jelly
Cook down the plums with water to cover and approximately 8 green cardamom pods for every 4 lb plums. Strain the juice. Use 3/4 c sugar to 1 c juice and boil til it sets, then add 1 tsp vanilla for every 4 c juice.

I also made watermelon candy/watermelon pickles because I'd heard that my grandma used to make them. They never got great reviews in the retelling. But then I heard they were mentioned in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and that made them seem even more romantic. So I tried these. Who knows what I may have done wrong, but for all the sugar in them, they just were not great. My two-year-old liked them enough to eat a few pieces (again, all the sugar). The five-year-old wouldn't touch it (I couldn't blame her). And my husband who is crazy generous in the reviews said,"It tastes like a kind of candy, but I can't place it. It's not something you get in a store." (ha!!) Funnily enough as I was looking at the jars in the condiment aisle the other day, they actually had watermelon pickles in stock. Amazing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Split-Level Pudding

I'm slow with this one, just finishing this afternoon. I did 2/3 vanilla and 1/3 lemon (about 1/8 tsp of lemon extract for about 1 c of the pudding, a cheater's version). I've not tried the vanilla yet, but I like the lemon (I've been loving lemon and chocolate this year). I was thinking there was hardly any ganache in each bowl, but it's perfect! And now the rainy day photo that I couldn't get the camera to focus on the pudding instead of the bowl, but anyway.

Thanks to Garrett of The Flavor of Vanilla for this week's pick!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Caramel Apples

The caramel apples I've made before have all been the Kraft kind, so I was excited to see in the Baked cookbook a recipe for caramel apples.

It didn't work perfectly, but it was all manageable. My first issue was that the recipe calls for a small pot. I'm thinking 'That must mean a saucepan. But it's caramel, it's going to boil over. But the directions say a small pot and to tip the pan to cover the apples, so there won't be that much caramel....' Anyway, I started with a saucepan and then transferred to a dutch oven when that boiled over.

I didn't have a vanilla bean, so I subbed in a tsp of vanilla and added it at the very end. The recipe also calls to bring the temp to 245, but I only got to 242.5 and it looked like the bottom of the pan was going to burn soon, so I quit then. I also realized when taking the photo that I should select apples not only for size but by how they stand. The second row's a little rough.

They turned out great! The caramel is a nice, light caramel, not too sticky, covered well for eating. Definitely will be making these again!