Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TWD: Finnish Pulla

Loved it. Uber soft and fluffy. Sweet with little hints of floral spice. It had both the texture of a bagel and a cinnamon roll. Just loved it.

I made this after watching two episodes of Downton Abbey. I would usually make the dough in the mixer, but my mind was in Downton. I started mixing it in a regular bowl and I didn't realize what I was doing until I was already kneading it by hand. Wah! I felt like Daisy when Mrs. Patmore points out her bumbles.

I love Downton. I love this bread. Yay....

For the recipe, check out Erin's blog, the daily morsel. She was this week's TWD host!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TWD: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

Crapola. I need to get off my behind and start shopping for Christmas presents. I can't believe it's already December! I'm usually pretty good and have ideas on what to get people by mid-October. But this year. Oh man....

Oh well! I'll just distract myself with baked goods instead. This week's TWD recipe is Gingerbread Baby Cakes.

These things are evil! EVIL I SAY! I couldn't stop eating them! Maybe because they are packed full of caffeine. Or maybe because they are just spicy enough for your body to release some endorphins. I don't know...but I sure did scarf a lot down.

Alone, they are rich and sticky from the molasses, with a big kick in the face of ginger power. The black pepper is really apparent in the aftertaste. It lingers on your tongue, just long enough, that you lose your willpower and have to take another bite.

To tone down the spiciness, I made some lemon mascarpone. The sweetness definitely mellows the cake out and brings in yummy tartness into the mix. Yay.

I liked having the cake either way, but I think I enjoyed it more on its own. Every time I took a bite, my mind would immediately think of the fight scenes from the old Batman TV show. KAPOW! WHAMM!

For the recipe, check out Karen's blog, Karen's Kitchen Stories. She was this week's host!

Notes: I used random amounts of molasses, because I was running really low on unsulphured molasses. I had 1:1:2 ratio of unsulphured molasses, blackstrap molasses, and agave nectar. Also, I used grated ginger instead of minced ginger. The batter was baked in a mini muffin pan and some of it was placed on a parchment paper lined sheet pan to make mini-cookies/whoopie pie-ish things. Yum.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TWD: Best Ever Brownies

Today was a weird day. I got up (that's normal). Went to work (also normal). And then all of a sudden, one of my lymph nodes was swollen and sore. Just one. What's up with that?!

It stayed that way for the rest of the morning. Every time I would turned my head, I could feel the lump. By the afternoon, it was gone. No idea what happened there. Poof! Huzzah!

However, there was a negative repercussion after the disappearance. It left me feeling achey and just plain old tired the rest of the day. I felt and looked like one of those tired people on the 5-hour Energy commercials.


Ok. Let's talk brownies. These brownies were good. Not the best, but definitely up there. Like any good brownie, the edges were the best. Chewy. Yum. I also really enjoyed the top of the brownie. The top was so flakey, it was almost like it had a hard icing. It definitely gave the brownie the additional texture it really needed. The rest of the brownie was very fudgey and I have to say, I'm not really down with that. Desserts that taste undercooked or soggy, such as bread pudding or molten lava cake, are just not my cup of tea.

Even though the middle was too fudgey for me, I think the combo of the flakey top and chewy edges still made it a pretty good brownie.

I probably won't make these again. Well, I might. Maybe if I combo it with another recipe to get the best of both worlds, I could make the chewiest, flakiest brownie ever. It would be called the Ultimate Brownie. Yes....MUAHAHahaha!!!

If you love fudgey brownies versus cakey or chewy, try making these. You can find the recipe on Monica's blog, A Beautiful Mess. She was this week's TWD host!

Oh no...the big lymph node is back!!! Ackk! I guess it's time for bed....Hopefully this will be gone before Thanksgiving. I don't want to miss out on the massive carbo load. Oh, and I guess seeing friends and family too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TWD: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

I'm such a slacker. I made these yum yums last night. They were lovely and quick to make. They're not the most filling breakfast, but they taste pretty good right after they are baked or straight from the toaster oven the next day.

I love how they are moist and fluffy. It kind of reminded me of a good, not so dense coffee cake or banana bread without the banana. I guess shortening can do that to muffins. Never knew.

I also liked the subtle tanginess from the buttermilk. It was so delicate, it made me want to eat muffin after muffin to bring out the flavor. Oh muffins, you're so fun and addicting.

The muffin top was fun too. The small brown sugar crystals gave it a tiny crunch, which reminded of rock candy. Kind of.

If I make these again, which I probably will, I would want to up the healthiness to these muffins. Maybe add some wheat bran. Or maybe I'll just eat a head of broccoli on the side to make myself feel better. We'll see.

If you would like to make yourself this quick breakfast treat, check out Alisa's blog, easier than pie, for the recipe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TWD: Bagels

You might not believe me, but these two are actually brothers. You might even say they are twins. They are stemmed from the same dough, but were exposed to two different environments to reach their final stage. Below is their life story.

The first one is named Bagel Fail and the second one is named Bagel. 

Bagel Fail started off with his brother, Bagel, as a large, sticky, but springy dough. Together they grew happily in a nice cozy kitchen. Once they grew too big for their home, they were kicked out, punched in the face, and then...sadly, they were split up from each other.

They missed each other, but they could never be together again...

After being brutally attacked, Bagel Fail was immediately rolled, squished, and transformed into a ring toss. He lay sad and depressed in his new home, a baking sheet with parchment paper that had a plastic lid as a roof. He could feel the slight, chilly breeze coming from his new refrigerated environment. He was given a night's rest, but it looked like it didn't do him any good. All he wanted was more rest but sadly, he didn't get his wish. Early in the morning, while it was still dark and dreary, Bagel Fail was taken from his sad home, and was boiled alive, and then baked. He transformed to the experienced bagel he is now. 

Bagel, on the other hand, was given mercy. He was placed in a tightly sealed, glass container and was given a day's rest. He loved his new home. Every hour, Bagel ate and grew happily. Even after a night's rest, he was strong and creating a beautiful and intricate network. When it was his time to move to his final stage of his life, he was ready. Bagel endured the squishing and squashing with vigor. And considered his boiling and baking, a day at the spa. At the end, even though he might have had a little too much sun tanning, he transformed into the beautiful bagel he is now. 

Two bagels from the same origins, lived two different lives. They missed each other every minute they were apart. If Bagel knew how Bagel Fail turned out, he would've been upset, and then immediately, he would've saw Bagel Fail's potential to move to next level of bagelhood, which was to become Bagel Chips. Because everyone knows Bagel is a half full kind of bagel. 

If you would to experience your own bagel stories, check out Heather's blog, Heather's Bytes, for the recipe. Also, if you're interested in looking at beautiful bagels, check out TWD. They're lovely.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TWD: Nectarine Upside-down Chiffon Cake

Labor Day weekend was pretty slow for me. I was a sloth. I couldn't get myself off the couch. I mean...I did get a lot done, I guess. Well, a lot done for being glued to the couch.

I finally got off my butt and made this yummy cake. I really enjoyed the chiffon cake. I loved the super fluffiness of it and how it tasted like angel food cake but not as sweet.

I'm not sure if I'll make it again. I wasn't super impressed by it. I think it was due to the streusel being in the middle of the fluff. However, I did like the combination of the ginger and cinnamon with the nectarines. If I end up making it again, I would probably change up the layering of the items. Maybe even take the nectarines out and make into an ice cream. MmmMM a sweet caramel topping on a chiffon cake and a scoop of nectarine or peach ice cream with generous amounts of streusel on top. Yum.

Yeah...maybe I'll try that.

For the recipe, check out Marlise' blog, The Double Trouble Kitchen, or Susan's blog, The Little French Bakery. They were this week's hosts!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TWD: Popovers

Last week was Julia Child's 100th birthday. When I heard about it I thought I should probably do something to celebrate but I wasn't sure what. I didn't feel like baking anything. Or cook anything. Hmmm...what to do...

YES!!!! I decided to...EAT.

So, the night before, I decided for her big 1 O O, I would have lunch at her favorite taco place in town, La Super Rica Tacqueria. Yeah, I couldn't wait. I pictured myself sitting there with my taco in hand and raising it up, and saying, "I agree Julia, these are excellent tacos." And then I would picture her wink at me and say, "yes." Because she would totally wink.

Sadly, it never happened. When I went by to check out how long the line was (there's always a line), I saw they were closed. Closed on Wednesdays. Sigh....

So, I decided I would get a crepe at the crepe shop. Yeah! Perfect!
Closed on Wednesdays. Sigh....

I ended up eating something super healthy that didn't contain any butter. Yeah, I know, pretty whack. Wiggity whack.

Luckily, that night, my husband made thon à la provençal from Julia's MAFC cookbook. It totally made my day. It was soooooo good. We used our tomatoes from our garden and fresh tuna from the local fishermen. It was so good, we had it another night with popovers.

I love the fact the popovers are just made up of soft insides and crispy outsides. Though, with the tuna, it was a little too eggy for such a savory dish. I actually enjoyed them more when I had them with strawberries and whipped cream. The eggy flavor seemed mesh well with the sweetness.

I made a smaller batch of popovers for breakfast one morning. Those were really tasty. Especially since I added a cube of Scharfe Maxx in each cup before baking. Each popover cavern was encrusted with soft cheese. Way to start the day.

Though my lunch adventure didn't work out, I still think Julia would be happy to know so many people are enjoying her work. Yeah....And I'll just have to go to Super Rica sometime this year and celebrate her 100th. Woo who!

For the recipe, check out Paula's blog, Vintage Kitchen Notes, or Amy's blog, Bake with Amy. They were this week's hosts!

Note: 1 less egg for savory dishes. Keep the same amount of eggs for sweet dishes. Maybe more salt.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TWD: Berry Galette

Berry Galette. Ohhhhh Berry Galette...how much you sadden me. With your sugared fruit filling and flaky free formed crust, how can you be so.......so uneventful?

I guess it's my fault. I'm not a big fan of baked raspberries. I thought I should add some to see if I still felt that way. Yup. I do. The crust wasn't that tasty either. The flavor just wasn't there and the texture was so-so.

I tried to spruce it up a bit by pan frying it. It definitely heighten the buttery goodness from the crust, but it still wasn't fantastic. Yup. Definitely, not a a keeper for me.

My filling was composed of blueberries and raspberries. This week's hosts both did different combinations with strawberries. Maybe I should've tried strawberries. Hmmm...oh well. Check out Lisa's blog, Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen, and Andrea's blog, The Kitchen Lioness. They are this week's hosts.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TWD: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

Sigh...so sad. Such a tasty pie, but what an unattractive serving...I just can't seem to serve it without uglying it up. I usually slice and serve my pies with a knife and fork, but obviously that just doesn't cut it (Hahaha I'm so funny). I definitely need to get a pie server! Ackk!!

Even though, the slices are quite sad looking, the sweet fruit filling and the salty, buttery crust really hits the spot on those days where you just want to kick back and watch some TV. Pie is awesome.

I've never had blueberry pie before, so I can't compare. I asked my husband for thoughts about the pie. He thought it was good and enjoyed the nectarines. The best part for him was how the filling wasn't completely macerated and the fact that you could actually taste the fruit. Neat!

If you would like to make this pie, check out Liz's blog, That Skinny Chick can bake, or Hilary's blog, manchego's kitchen.

Note: Used Alton Brown's pie crust recipe. Yum.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TWD: Semolina Bread

This week with TWD...Semolina Bread! 

For some reason, I was really productive the day I made this bread. I woke up at 5:50 am, stood straight up, went to the kitchen and started the bread making process. While I was waiting for the first rise and the second rise, I made apple butter, which I have to say, was totally awesome in flavor content. I also scrubbed my car mats, did loads of dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and did other household chores. I have no idea what was up with me. Whatever it was, it felt great! Woo who!

When baking the bread, it smelled fantastic in the kitchen. The room had a beautiful sweet bread aroma that reminded me of my time working at a bakery. I was a cashier/cookie maker/cookie eater.
I had a hard time slashing the bread. My super sharp knife kept getting caught on the sticky dough. Maybe there's a trick to slashing dough? If anyone knows one, I would like to hear about it and try it out!

I enjoyed eating this bread toasted. It had a nutty taste that reminded me of popcorn and toasted walnuts. It especially tasted like popcorn when I slathered melted butter and sprinkled sea salt on it. That was definitely the best way to eat it. Though, I did thoroughly enjoy it with the newly made apple butter as well.
When it wasn't toasted, it had a subtle tangy flavor that reminded me of buttermilk, which I'm not sure why.

If would like to enjoy making and eating your own popcorn bread, check out Anna's blog, Keep it Luce, or Renee's blog, The Way to My Family's Heart. They are this week's hosts!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TWD: Hazelnut Biscotti

When I saw that the next recipe was Hazelnut Biscotti, I was whatever about it. But then...the more I thought about making them, the more I wanted crunch. Everyday, I wanted crunch. I wanted crunch breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Crunch toast. Crunch bacon. Crunch sandwich. JEN CRUNCH!!! Though, nothing seemed to satisfy my crunch craving until I made the biscotti. 

They were fairly easy to make. The best part was blanching the hazelnuts. The purple foam and black water was spooowooooky.
During my first bake, there were warm hints of hazelnuts and sweet bread. MmMm...It also reminded me of the smell of popcorn, which I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not, but I like it! 
When they came out of the oven, the sweet smell of the cookie was abundant. Similar to when you stick your head in a box full of fortune cookies. Ok, I've never done that, but that's the first image that popped into my head when the first bake was done. 
Sadly, my two logs formed into one weird log. So, some of my biscotti looked like Super Mario Bros. clouds. Once, I started I slicing them, I had the theme song stuck in my head. There it is again! Doo do doo. Doo do do do....
The second bake took a lot longer than I thought. But they were worth the wait. I took a huemungo bite and with a loud crunch I was satisfied. 

These babies are also satisfying with some hot chocolate, warm milk, or black tea. If you would like to make some of your own (I'm not sharing), check out Jodi's blog, Homemade and Wholesome, and Katrina's blog, Baking and Boys. They were this week's hosts. Yay biscotti!

Here's a picture of my Super Mario Bros biscotti:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TWD: French Peach Cake

This week at TWD, we were suppose to make a French Strawberry Cake. Instead of strawberries, I made it with peaches.

We had a bbq last week and had some leftover peaches when we made grilled peaches with rosemary ice cream (from Cooking with Michele). Yum!
Since I couldn't get myself to buy strawberries when I had perfectly yummy fruit at home, I went with peaches.

This was a pretty intimidating recipe. From reading the TWD bakers' failures and successes, I got a little scared. Since it's a genoise cake, the egg/flour folding was the make or break stage of the recipe. I took the advice of a fellow baker and sifted the flour into the batter. This definitely helped decrease the clumps and decrease the folding.
I didn't have a 8" pan, so I used a square pan, which made the cake look like a cute french cake. Yay.

The day I made the cake, I felt it had a very subtle peach flavor and the cake itself was quite dry. I was quite disappointed with it all and was thinking of throwing the whole thing away. But good thing I'm a lazy bum and just stuffed in the fridge, because the next day...man oh man....it was soooooo much better! It seemed the cake just needed a little time to absorb the moisture from the peaches. It turned out to be moist and airy with a beautiful peach flavoring. Very nice.

Since I had some leftover grilled peaches with brown sugar syrup, I drizzled that on top of the cake. It made it even better. It gave the cake a smoky flavor to it.

If you are interested in making this wonderful cake, check out Sophia's blog, Sophia's Sweets, and Allison's blog, Sleep Love Think Dine.

Notes: I used 4 good sized peaches for the filling. Since they were pretty juicy, I cut them a little differently. I cut them in half, twist the halves apart, and then using a paring knife, ran the blade around the seed. I grabbed the tip of the seed and popped it out. If anyone knows a better way to keep a peach intact, please tell me. It took me a few peaches to figure this method out. Hmm..I guess I could’ve googled it. Lesson learned (the hard way).
I didn't have a slotted spoon, so I used a colander with a bowl under it to drain the peach mash liquid.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TWD: Oasis Naan

Who doesn't love a pretzel? That's what it tasted like to me. A really chewy bread with flakes of salt and green onion on it. mMmMmMmm....
I made four round oasis naan to go with our take-out Indian food. We had tikka masala and saag paneer. The naan didn't taste like something I would find at a restaurant, but it was still tasty with the food.
I used a pizza stone to make these, so I made them one by one. Each a little a different. The first one was by the book. It came out super pretzel like. The second, I decreased the borders. The third, I made it thinner and decreased the borders some more. Also, I added the green onions 4 minutes in, because they were burning. By the fourth one, I decided to go even thinner. It made a nice crunchy bottom with a soft layer on top.
Next time I make these (if I'm not too lazy), it would be better if they were even thinner. Also, I would decrease the baking time by 3 minutes.

For the recipe, check out this week's hosts, Maggie of Always Add More Butter and Phyl of Of Cabbages & King Cakes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TWD: Pecan Sticky Buns

I had a good time making these buns. Especially since I was doing something...something evil in between freeze times. Evil....EVIL I SAY!!!!
I sat on my butt and watched a korean drama for 11 hours straight. MUAHAHAHAHA!!!! 
If you have ever watched a korean drama, you know then, how it has the power to consume you. It's an evil thing. I try to limit myself to one drama a year. If you haven't watched one and want to get a good bawling session out, I highly recommend getting into korean dramas. 
I was pretty intimidated to make these buns. The process seemed endless! So many pages!!! But once I watched the Julia Child video that a fellow TWD baker, Ckay, recommended, I felt more at ease. 
I made the brioche dough 5 days beforehand and froze it until I felt ready to take on the sticky buns recipe. Once I started the korean drama (mUAHAHAHA!!), I put the dough in the refrigerator to thaw. This was about mid-day. I wanted my husband and I to enjoy warm breakfast treats first thing the next morning, but alas, that didn't work. When I got to the part where it said to rest the buns uncovered at room temperature, it was 11 pm. I put the buns in the refrigerator overnight, hoping they would rise, but they did not. They looked exactly the same the next morning. I should have just left them out. It was cold enough that evening that they probably would have done just fine. 
It took 5 hours at room temp for them to rise. And since I had my final CERT drill that morning, my husband had to finish the rest of the recipe for me (Thank you good sir!).
It smelled so lovely when I came home. Warm and lovely. 
I was really excited to see how they came out. When I reached the plate of yummies, my first thought was, "Miel Pops! Bzz bzzz bzz. Bzzz bzz bzz." They were perfect little honeycomb with three bees gathered together in each cell.
I took them over to a friend's bbq and we all had a taste. The topping was sooo divine!!! I wish I could've dipped each bun in more glaze. The layers were fun to peel away and eat, but the bun itself seemed a little dry. It might have been baked a little too long.
It probably would've been super awesomely perfect if we had them in the morning for breakfast. Slightly warm with a little bit of butter. Yes, more butter.
Butter puts a smile on my face. 

Since we had an extra Tuesday this month, this week was a TWD make-up. I'm really glad I was able to make it. Yay! 
For the recipe, check out Lynn's or Nicole's blog. They were the hosts for that week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TWD: Hungarian Shortbread

I never knew rhubarb was so awesome. I have always had it with strawberries and I thought the awesomeness came from there. But no. It's the rhubarb. I love the tartness and sourness of it all. I also love the fact it's a vegetable and when one adds some sugar to it, it becomes something wonderful. I'll have to grow some in the garden and make a ton of jam. 

This recipe was interesting to follow. Well, it didn't help that I had a mint julep while I was making it. It was such a nice day. Perfect mint julep weather. There were two things I really liked about this recipe. One was beating the butter. I kept getting wafts of sweet milk essence. mmmMm. And second, grating the dough in a food processor. So easy! It looked like shredded mozzarella afterwards. When I was placing it in the baking pan, I thought (for just a second) I was making some kind of potato gratin. 

The very top and very bottom came out nice and crunchy. You could really taste the butter there. The middle was super moist and soft from all the liquid it absorbed from the rhubarb jam. It melted in your mouth.

This week's TWD hosts were Lynette of 1smallkitchen and Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler.... Check out their blogs for the recipe.

Notes: I froze the dough in the shape of a log for easy grating with a food processor. I didn't press down on the dough at all when placing it in the pan. I parbaked the bottom layer for 15 minutes. Next time I would like to either have less dough or more jam.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

I love lemony baked goods. I love lemony baked goods so much I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant. - Tracy Jordan (Well, I added the lemony goodness part)

I really do love anything with lemons in it. Lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, lemon tarts. You name it!

This lemon loaf cake was a pretty simple recipe and comes out pretty tasty. Well, only around the edges. If you follow the directions straight from the book, like I did, you might find it a little dry in the middle. The edges were moist and full of potent lemon flavors, but the middle was lacking. I kept reaching for some milk when getting to the center. I thought adding lemon icing would help, but it didn't. It just made the edges taste even better! 

Next time, I'll have to add lemon juice before or after baking. MORE LEMONS! ha ha! 

I love lemons. :) 

Oh, also I think it helped that the lemons I used were from my coworker's really old lemon tree that produces a TON of fruit. They are also small in size (I used 5 lemons for the zest) and potent in flavor. Yuuuumm yum. 

This week's TWD hosts were Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life. Check out their blogs for the recipe.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TWD: Pizza Rustica

This was a simple recipe. I had a lot of fun making it, but it wasn't as tasty as I thought it would be. 

You know those days when you wake up and head to the kitchen to find someone lovely making you breakfast? There's this awesome aroma that hits your nostrils and you say to yourself, "ahhh yes...the goodness is here." 
That is what the pie tastes like to me. The smell of breakfast. It has the sweetness and savory flavors you love in a big morning breakfast or a warm ham and cheese croissant. Everyone loves those flavors, but this pie literally has such a subtle taste of those flavors it makes sad. It also makes me want to eat more, just because I think I can get more out of it. But alas, I do not. 

If I every do make this again, I would definitely add bolder flavors, such as gorgonzola, sun dried tomatoes, or maybe just add more prosciutto to it. 
If I don't make it again, I know for sure I would make something else with the pie crust. It has a really good consistency for a fruit pie or maybe even mini custard tarts. Yuuuuum yum!

Check out Emily and Raelynn's blogs for the recipe. And if you would like to see how the rest of the group's pies turned out, head over to TWD blogroll. You can find other bakers there who might have altered the recipe a bit by adding creative fillings. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWD: Irish Soda Bread

Gruyere and garlic chives
Irish soda bread reminds me of Boardwalk Empire. Mrs. Schroeder makes irish soda bread for Nucky and then she tosses it because she gets all upset when he smugs her. psshhh...I just didn't understand. Why would she throw out a perfectly good chunk of bread!? So sad...

Check out one of the TWD host's website for the recipe: Carla and Cathy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TWD: White Loaves

Ahhh finally!!! My first Tuesdays with Dorie post! Today's recipe is...white loaves.
I was pretty intimidated by the idea of making bread again. The first and last time I made it was 6 years ago in my boyfriend's kitchen. It turned out awful! We had no idea what we were doing. "Is it done rising? Is it suppose to look like that?" It came out looking like an ancient frisbee. It tasted like one too. Rock hard. Stale right out of the oven.

This recipe makes two beautiful white loaves. My first batch came out a little dense. My guess was that it had something to do with the rise/proofing. Piebird thought it might have been proofed too long. Later I learned, that was definitely the case (thanks for the tip Piebird!), but it still made a tasty roast beef sandwich.

I couldn't start off TWD with a failbread, so I made a second batch and I'm super glad that I did! The crust was amazing and the crumb was nice and fluffy. It reminded me of an English muffin. I could have devoured the whole thing!

I made one with a cinnamon swirl in it. The cinnamon sugar syrup was oozing out from the swirl. My first slice I drizzled icing on top and I instantly engulfed the warm yummy goodness as an afternoon snack.

MMmMm. Goodness....

This recipe can be found in Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan or you can also find it in Jules' blog.

Baking notes: Boiled RO water and dissolved sugar; waited until temperature decreased to 115 degrees F to add yeast. Used SB tap water for the rest of the recipe.
Proofed for 45 minutes in a slightly warm oven.
Cinnamon swirl ingredients - 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blueberry Pecan Bran Muffins with Spiced Streusel topping

Oh bran muffin! How I love thee so!! The muffin that brings me such joy with your moist goodness and everlasting texture!
I made bran muffins last Sunday to have throughout the week. They were deeeee-licious. There were so many flavors that came forward in every bite! Sometimes I would notice a hint of orange, a light flavor of molasses or come across a nice juicy blueberry. Yum.
The best part about making this muffin was that I learned the importance of flour being present in streusel topping. My first batched had everything in it except flour and it melted right into the muffin. That made it have a nice sweet surprise in the middle, which isn't a horrible mistake in my opinion.
The second batch I added flour to the streusel-like mixture and it looked sooo much better.
I used Joy of Baking's Bran muffin recipe and added 1 cup of dried blueberries and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans.
For the topping, I didn't measure anything, but it is made up of butter, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, rolled oats and flour. I'll have measure it next time I make it, which I hope it is quite soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tarte Tatin

For New Year's Eve, I made a tarte tatin. I've always wanted to make this but I was always too lazy to do it. My main drive to make it that night was because I've been reading other baking adventures by the TWD bakers for three years now and I thought...yes!!! 2012 will be the year I join them!! So, I thought, I should make something! What should I make? Tarte tatin? Tarte tatin.

I burnt it. 
I kept reading notes that said to keep cooking it til it's a dark caramel!! And that I won't regret it! 
I guess I went too far. Sigh...
It was still awesomely tasty. That deep rich caramel flavor was all throughout every bite. Yum. 
I had to make it again. 
And so I did. 
Three days later. 

I used REALLY BIG Fuji apples for this one. 
I'm not sure which one was better. They both were super delicious! The first one, since it was cooked longer, had an almost dark maple syrup flavor with an aftertaste of apple. And the second one had larger apple chunks, making it have a bigger apple pie presence. 
I don't think I can choose. And...I don't have to. One thing I do know is that I had each of them the next day and it was fantastic! The syrupy goodness seeps into the crust and gives you a buttery, sugary goodness that makes your mouth salivate every time you think about that day you ate the tarte. Sigh...
If you would like to be in sugary bliss as well, you can find the recipe on NPR's All Things Considered or in Dorie Greenspan's awesome cookbook