Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD: Honey Wheat Cookies

I was excited to try this cookie. After all of the super sweet chocolate we've consumed lately, wheat sounded almost... healthy. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of honey. But, hey, I'm game!

This is intended to be a mildly sweet, lemony, perfect-for-a-cup-of-tea cookie. Except I didn't have lemon. I have lime zest in the freezer, but I wasn't sure it would work. Hmmm, check out the fruit drawer and I find - tangerines. Ok, honey/wheat/tangerine it is!

This was a simple cookie to put together. I had wheat germ left over from my (far too many batches of) granola grabbers, so I didn't have to skip the coating. I really liked rolling these in the wheat germ. I was expecting the finished cookie to be a little fuzzy. You know, the germ pieces would sort of be feathers on the top, but they melted right in.

The cookies smelled wonderful while they were baking. The Girl and the Boy loved the finished product. The pronounced honey flavor was a drawback for me. I might make these again, but I'm not sure. So many cookies so little time!

Go check out Michelle's blog, Flourchild, to see the recipe and some fun photos.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TWD: My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, not my best chocolate chip cookies. Hi, it's Debbie Downer with another "eh" recipe this week. I have been making chocolate chip cookies for many more years than I care to remember. I started with the traditional Toll House recipe. I tweaked. I added. I studied. And now I have a recipe that I swear by. This one is not going to take its place. My favorite recipe makes a chewy centered crispy edged buttery chocolatey little bite of joy. These didn't quite measure up. (Well, sure. With that build up, what could?)

This was an easy recipe with a low fuss factor. I ended up leaving the dough in the fridge for two days. I thought it would improve the texure/flavor. And I made the dough and ran out of time to bake it. It's a simple process to make these -- scoop, place, bake. The only change I made was to sub out half of the chocolate chips for cappuccino chips.

Dorie says that these are flat cookies. I was prepared for flat. I was not prepared for FLAT. These dough mounds really sank to ultra thin dimensions. I thought maybe the oven was too hot, so I lowered it 25 degrees. Nope. Still flat. Hmmmm. Apparently, that's how they are supposed to come out. I thought it might have just been me, but other bakers commented on the total flatitude of these cookies.

I didn't like the way the chips "stuck out." I like for them to be nestled in the cookie. These were not my favorite cookies. I can't say that they even rank in the top ten. Having said that, even an "eh" homemade chocolate chip cookie is good. The flavor was decent. I just can't get past the shape and texture. I like a little more substance to my cookies. These will not find a place in my baking rotation.

All plated up for the Husband's meeting.

Go check out Kait's blog for the recipe and some beautiful photos.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

TWD: Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia

This week's pick was brownies. A really long name for brownies. I did a whole thing on brownies once where I discussed that I'm a baking snob and I never ever use mixes. Except when it comes to brownies. They are really easy to doctor up and Ghiradelli does a great job. (Because I'm lousy at doing tags, and I don't remember when I wrote it, there's no link)

But hey, I'll make these. I've made other brownies from the book and they've been good. Anyway, so, I read the recipe. And then I re-read it. And then I read it again. It took me about four readings to make sure that I understood it. And I'm sure I read it a few more times when I was in the middle of things. This is a very rich (read-fattening) brownie. And there were a lot of steps. A lot of fussy steps.

I greased the pan (a topic of discussion for some) and baked away. Mine needed an extra few minutes (another topic of discussion) to make sure that the brownies, while gooey, were not liquid in the middle.

In the end, we decided that these were very good brownies. Rich, delicious, fudgy. However, they are not good enough to warrant the effort and dishes. I'll stick to the box. Which for me is saying a lot. Unless you have an easy fabulous recipe for me....

Here's a photo of the cut edge. Very moist. (not great photos to choose from this week. Have I mentioned that I need to work on my photography skills?)

Thanks to Tanya of Chocolatechic for choosing these. I know that she'll have a great photo and story on her blog.

**** Edited to add -- Don't get me wrong, these were excellent brownies. Very chocolatey and moist. Still, I thought they were a lot of effort for, you know, brownies.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

TWD: Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Or in my case, dark chocolate mini Bundt cakes. I'm not a huge fan of milk chocolate, and I didn't have any anyway. So dark chocolate it is!

This is a pretty simple cake. It's a chocolate cake that you layer with something. The original recipe called for pecans. I made the buttermilk variation from the "playing around" section. I did stick with the pecans.

I think that I over baked these a bit. While the taste was good, the texture was a bit crumbly. That may also have something to to do with using dark instead of milk chocolate. I left mine unadorned (mostly due to sheer laziness), though the original calls for a chocolate glaze.

I made these once before using dark chocolate. Instead of the pecans, however, I used candied ginger. I much preferred that version. This was very good with a scoop of ice cream plunked right in the hole, though. I think ice cream fixes many baking mistakes.

These ended up with quite a few holes. I think the glaze would have made them much prettier.

Here's a little cross section. You can see the cocoa covered pecans.

Thanks to Kristin of I'm Right About Everything for choosing this week's recipe. Get it at her blog, or go buy the book already!