Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD: Chockablock Cookies

As the name would lead you to believe, these cookies are chockablock full of stuff - nuts, dried fruit, coconut, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. This is a complex cookie.

Dorie has one or two similar recipes to this one. The Chockablocks, however, had an ingredient that the others don't have; and it was a highly discussed ingredient. Molasses. Some bakers substituted honey, corn syrup, or Lyle's Golden Syrup. I stuck with molasses. I wanted to try this one as written. The other highly contested ingredient was shortening. I used butter flavored Crisco sticks. Honey roasted peanuts were my nuts of choice. And I stuck with raisins for the dried fruit. They were in the front of the cabinet. They won.

It was an easy cookie to put together. It's a simple drop cookie. In hindsight, I think it could have used some refrigeration. My cookies spread quite a bit. I made my cookies much smaller than the recipe suggests. Dorie's yield is 30 cookies. I got 64.

It was a mixed verdict. The smell of the cookie reminds me of Mary Jane peanut butter candies. The taste was a bit less Mary Jane like. I think there were just too many competing flavors in this one. The molasses also added a little more moisture than I would like. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy a chewy cookie. But this one had no crunch to it, and I missed it. The boy and girl enjoyed it, but even they aren't rushing to the jar for more.***

Not the prettiest cookie out there. It does beg for milk.
I don't think this one won a spot in our cookie rotation. Ah well. Thank you Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet for choosing this one. Go check out her blog for the recipe.

***Speaking of cookie jars - check this one out! My girlfriend painted it for me. Isn't it fabulous! (pardon the lousy photo) It was an experiment that succeeded with flying colors. Go check out her website to see her other hand painted glass art.

Monday, April 19, 2010

TWD: Sweet Cream Biscuits

Or not. Sorry, Melissa of Love at First Bite. These didn't fit into my baking (or eating) plan this week. It's kid birthday season around here, so I'm baking lots of cakes. (Yellow cake with cream cheese frosting, strawberries and chocolate writing for the girl's party cake. Cardamom coconut tea cake for the birthday breakfast) A DQ cake next weekend, and then cakes for the boy.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

Welcome to the fabulous cake with the slightly odd name. This one is a definite keeper.

It is perfect for when you have a cake emergency. You know, all of a sudden the book group is at your house tonight. Or it's your morning to bring the treat for the meeting. Or you just need something delicious and easy. This is the cake.

It came together in a snap. Butter is melted, so there's no pesky softening time needed. It all came together for me in about three minutes. The recipe calls for a 9" cast iron skillet. I have an 8" and a 10 1/2" skillet. I know I could have looked around for the conversions, but I skipped authenticity and went with a cake pan. The only substitution I made was to use orange zest instead of lemon. I really like orange and almond together. Also, I didn't have a lemon. I did add the optional vanilla and almond extract.

Here it is just waiting to be taken out of the pan. Sadly, no skillet.

It baked up in about 30 minutes. It smelled divine, and the rustic look is very charming. This tasted wonderful. I think it could even almost be a little less sweet and still be very good. The texture was so moist on the inside. The crunch of the almonds was a terrific counterpoint. I think that this cake could be adapted very easily to other flavors. This one will absolutely be in rotation from here on out.

The edges had a wonderful chewy texture that worked so well with the moist inside. Now that I think about it, this sort of reminds me of an almond macaroon. This cake got a big thumb's up from everyone in the house. The girl thinks I should make a coconut version.

Thank you Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs for picking this recipe. I am sure to revisit this one. A lot.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

TWD: Mocha Almond Marbled Bundt Cake

Whew! Got this one in under the wire. Passover ended last night, so this cake was first thing on my agenda this morning.

Pretty low on the fuss factor. It requires one batter, half of which is combined with a coffee/chocolate mixture. The original recipe calls for walnuts. I happened to have almond meal, so I made that substitution. I'm not so fabulous on the swirling, but I trusted in Dorie.

Not bad!

While I was baking, I thought about another post for Tricks for Treats. I was spraying my pan with Baker's Joy and started formulating what I would say. I love the stuff. It always works.

See! Isn't that gorgeous. Nice and golden and so smooth.

Fooled ya! Here's the other side. Oops! I think that's the side we'll just eat first. And perhaps I need to do a more thorough job with my Baker's Joy.

I'm saving this one for after dinner, but I did have a little taste. There were some pieces readily available.... YUM! I loved the slight almond taste blended with the mocha. This one is a keeper.

Go check out Erin's blog -- When in Doubt....Leave it at 350 for a much prettier cake and the recipe.