Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dorie's Espresso Shortbread

These are some great cookies! I'd missed them for TWD when we didn't have a kitchen, but these are easy and tasty grown-up cookies. Not sweet, and not too espresso-strong, not too rich. The bittersweet chunks are perfect. Quick to mix together, and easy for a make-ahead and bake later. They're also not messy eating, so they're great for any grown-up kind of get together. I'll be keeping these in mind for quick and easy dessert!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cocoa Brownies

So the other night after having made a couple loaves of sandwich bread, the bagels, and homemade pizzas, I figured I might as well use the oven since it was on and make some dessert :-) But after the baking of the day, I wanted something easy, so cocoa brownies. No melting chocolate, less messy (I'd also buffed out and oiled the butcherblock counters that morning), they'd be perfect. And I never line my brownies with parchment when we're eating at home (course, then that's why my cuts look like they do up there). Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies looked like it got good reviews, and with only 7 ingredients (no nuts in my brownies) it looked perfect!

I only used 8tb of butter (10 just seemed like they'd be greasy), and they were still plenty buttery for me. These are pretty good cocoa brownies. Like SK described, they are fudgy. And they're very sweet, and sticky and gooey. There's a little hint of caramel in the background. But even though they look nice and dark, they're not deep or chocolaty. Like the difference between fudge and ganache. I think I'll be sticking to the brownies with bittersweet, even if it means I need to melt the chocolate :-)

Here are a few I've liked and will make again
Rick Katz's brownies for Julia and Chocolatechic's review and the recipe
the Baked brownie
and though not a true plain brownie, Maida Heatter's Santa Fe brownies

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reinhart's Whole Wheat Bagels

I tried making bagels once about eight years ago, I think, and they were a disaster. Doughy and tough and heavy. I think I used the BH&G cookbook recipe, which I'm sure would work fine for most people, and maybe might work for me now that I have a little more experience making bread. But this go around, I wanted a whole grain bagel, and Reinhart seems to be the man for bread. I'd gotten his Whole Grain Breads cookbook for Christmas, and thought this would be a fun one to start with!

From one recipe I got 8 bagels, about 3 3/4 oz each. I clearly need to work on my shaping (like my hiding of the pinch in the first photo?). The four on the left I pulled into balls and then poked the hole. The four on the right, I rolled into snakes and pinched together. The shaping is still on the to-do list :-). I was excited they were all floating in the first 10-15 seconds, and they ended up pretty light for all whole wheat. I did use KA white whole wheat, so that probably helped some, too. I also just used honey, the malt syrup will be on the list for next time! It seemed to go pretty quickly, lots of little steps, so it's a great project for a day at home!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TWD Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly, Sour Cream Bundt Cake

I liked this snack cake. It has a nice crisp crust (maybe from getting overbaked a bit!), and nice soft crumb. That crust and the soft interior are my favorite parts of a fresh bundt! And I'm sure it would be great as a bundt, I just wasn't sure where my pan was yet...

I made quite a few substitutions on this. I only made a half of the recipe, and though I thought for sure I should only use my 8x4 loaf pan, the 12c bundt recommendation made me go for the 9x5, so it ended up a little flat. I subbed buttermilk for sour cream, and clementine peel for orange. I also left out the raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in my swirl.

Thanks to Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort for this week's pick!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I really liked these muffins! I love the zest and sugar step.... what would be a candy that would taste like that smells? Or how could I use lemon sugar? Lemon marshmallows are the closest I've gotten. I love fresh lemons, and I found meyer lemons for the first time this weekend, though I'm saving those for sorbet :)

These muffins were rich and light and not too sweet (though no icing). I'm sure we'll be making these again!

Thanks to Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness for selecting this week's recipe!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Parisian Apple Tart

These apple tarts were selected for TWD about a year and a half ago, but I couldn't find any good puff pastry at the time, so I waited. And this year our Trader Joe's had their all butter puff pastry in stock! These were really quick and tasty and cute. Mine got a little dark on the bottom, but they tasted great and would be a perfect easy dessert.

And a very belated (June of 2009) thanks to Jessica of My Baking Heart!