Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Banana Cupcake

I had a few bananas ready for baking, and the perfect amount for this Banana Cake. Which was really just to satisfy a craving for some cream cheese frosting. I made some maple glazed walnuts to try to make them look a little more like cupcakes than muffins, just in case the frosting wasn't enough!

They were nice - the cake recipe translated well to cupcakes, they were nice and moist, not too sweet, and not too strongly banana-y. The cupcakes without frosting really could pass for muffins. And maybe even a drizzle of cream cheese icing, and they'd still look ok for breakfast :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

Dorie has made me love shortbread. Before Baking I'd only tried standard vanilla, which I liked, but the brown sugar pecan and the espresso-chocolate have made me appreciate the variety possible. I'll now intentionally select a shortbread recipe, instead of using it only when I realize I'm out of eggs :-)

Dorie also seems to like using cornmeal, and I've not been entirely converted there. So for this week I subbed cornflour for the cornmeal, which seemed to work out well. I was a little rushed so they spread a little, but these were still tasty cookies!

Thanks to Valerie for this week's pick!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TWD Tourtely Apple Tart

Still without a pie or tart tin, I decided I'd try doing a slab pie version in a 7x11 pyrex. I used a half recipe, and I forgot to sub out for the nuts for the crust, but otherwise I tried going by the recipe. That crust dough is incredible - I kept sneaking bits out when I was rolling. I love almond extract! When I was growing up our local Baskin Robbins used a little almond extract in their buttercream for their ice cream cone clowns. I loved those clowns.

So this tart/pie was a little more grown up than frosting ice cream clowns, but it was very nice! The kitchen smelled fantastic after adding the apples back to the browned butter. These were very easy to eat, and I justified quite a few snacks :-)

Thanks to Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake for this week's pick!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whoopie Pies

I've been seeing recipes for Whoopie Pies for years, but have never had one. I happened to have some marshmallow creme, and I've been saving this America's Test Kitchen whoopie pie recipe. So I figured it was time to finally try them - having marshmallow creme on hand had to be a sign!

They were really quick to put together, and the frosting is addicting! It's nice and light and all butter (no margarine or shortening). I hope this isn't insulting to whoopie pie lovers, but the texture and flavors reminded me of like a chocolate zinger or fudge brownie round, except this was really good. It's like what the junk food would want to be. They were so light and tender, and they look so homey. I don't know how they'd travel, but these seem like they'd be great summer or picnic desserts. The kids would love them, and any adults who have a sweet tooth :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Espresso Brownies & Candied Walnuts

These are some fantastic brownies. Usually I like really dark, rich brownies - anything cake-like is not going to work. I've loved all of Maida Heatter's brownies that I've tried. And they usually have ended up rich and fudgy and perfect :-) I've had her Espresso Brownies marked since I got the cookbook(Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever), and now I finally got around to making them.

These aren't like any of her other brownies that I've tried. They are dark and light and tender, really beautiful! They're much more grown-up brownies. The only drawback is that they're so light it's really easy to just keep eating. They make a jelly roll pan's worth, and they're best the day of making. They're definitely a new favorite!

And because they look a little unphotogenic by themselves, I'm tacking on these Candied Espresso Walnuts here. We've been loving these - making about two batches a week. I've used Penzey's ceylon cinnamon, which I like, it's nice and bright. They're not the prettiest, but they're so easy to make, and too easy to eat!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TWD Coffee Ice Cream Tart

This tart sounds amazing.

And I'm hoping to try again this summer - coffee, chocolate, and almond is a favorite combination.

This go around, things just didn't seem to be working for me. I don't have a tart pan, so I figured I'd just sub a pie pan, but I couldn't find it. So I figured a muffin tin would be fine. As I was putting the sugar cannister back on the shelf, it slipped and fell on the bottle of vanilla and the glass butter dish, which then shattered. I had the food processor open with the crust dough at this point, so then I was imagining shards of glass in my crust. I figured I'd bake them off anyway just for show, and just threw the muffin tin in the freezer. Then the three year old opened the freezer to sneak a popsicle, and the muffin tin fell out along with a glad plastic container of some soup that then shattered plastic onto the muffin crusts. Amazingly, the crusts stayed in the tin (and none of the stuff hit the kid on the head). I still baked them off, added the chocolate here and a little praline frozen yogurt.

I'm definitely going to have to try this one again, because it sounds like something we'd love.

Thanks to Jessica of Domestic Deep Thought of the Day for this week's pick!