Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

It's hard to go wrong when you have wonderful ingredients and a Bundt pan.

This cake was very good. It's a lovely sour cream coffee cake with some wonderful added flavors (orange and vanilla) and a swirl of cinnamon, sugar, chocolate, and, in my case, almonds. The original recipe called for raisins and pecans. I decided to skip the raisins and use almonds because they were in my pantry. It was a good choice.

The batter came together easily. Caitlin put the fear of God in me with her tale of sticking swirl and broken cake. She begged us all to butter andflour the panto within an inch of its life. I did. I was also warned about using too much batter in the beginning, because it doesn't leave enough to cover the second swirl. I was very careful.

Mine baked for exactly one hour. I held my breath as I unmolded it. WHEW! No sticking. (Thanks, Caitlin!) Golden brown and delicious.

My swirls were more layery and not very swirly.

We decided that the swirl on the right looked like it was smiling.

The (very goofy) Girl and Boy were most definitely smiling. Thumbs up!

Truth be told, I have an absolute go-to sour cream Bundt cake that I am required to bring to family meals. This one won't replace it, but I'm glad to have tried it.

Go see Jennifer's blog, Cooking for Comfort, if you'd like to see the recipe.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm a guest poster!

It's National Rhubarb Pie Day, and I have a guest post up at Susan's (Doughmesstic) Food Holidays website.

Go check out my post and all the rest of them because it is SO MUCH FUN. Popcorn day? Yes! Hot Buttered Rum Day? Of course!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

What a wonderful, simple recipe for a cold, snowy morning.

These muffins came together in a snap. The most work was zesting and juicing the lemon. The mixing was all done by hand. If you don't own a cookie scoop that doubles as a muffin scoop, you should get one.

I sprinkled them with coarse sugar instead of making the glaze. These had a bright, lemon taste, and I love the added burst of poppyseed flavor. I will say that these are more like cupcakes than muffins to me. They were a bit sweet and the texture was very cake like. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you. These earned a big thumbs up from the Boy and the Girl. I think we'll be making them again.

Thank you Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness for a bright recipe on a wintry day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm going to be guest posting!

Susan, of She's Becoming Dough-mess-tic has a fun new blog. It's all about official food days. For instance, today is Curried Chicken Day. Who knew?

January 23 is National Rhubarb Pie Day. I'm not going to question why it's in January when most midwest rhubarb is under a blanket of snow, but ok. I think they can put it in January because there are people like me who love rhubarb so much that we always keep a stash in our freezer for rhubarb emergencies. Yes. There are rhubarb emergencies. Quit laughing.

I'll be baking a pie and (virtually) sharing it with all of you on the 23rd. Go check out her blog now and be sure to come back on the 23rd to see what I've cooked up.

Teaser! Stolen from iphoto.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TWD: (Not) Fluff Filled Chocolate Madeleines

I'll be blunt. When it comes to certain things, I am lazy. Why make a layer cake that you have to frost when a Bundt cake tastes just as lovely and only needs glaze? Why make a two crust pie when there are crisps and crumbles that just need fruit and a streusel? Are you sensing where this is heading?

I've never made madeleines before. The last time the TWD group made them, I skipped that week. It had something to do with needing special pans or some other excuse. I decided I wasn't skipping this time. I borrowed a pan. (I was going to buy one, then I ran into my sister-in-law at the store. She told me she has four of them. Thanks, A!)

The madeleines were so easy to put together. Seriously. I used one bowl and a few measuring cups/spoon. The batter went into the fridge overnight. Viola! I'm ready to bake. I read about not overfilling the pans, so I wanted to be careful. The recipe says this makes 12 cookies. Normally, I get more than the printed yield. Since I hadn't made these before, I wanted to stick with the right yield. I used my tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the dough. After 12 minutes in the oven, mine were done. They popped right out of the pan. They looked the way they were supposed to look!

If you look closely, you can see the little ridges.

I thought about using fluff and ganache. I did. And then I lined them up and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. Lazy. And less messy. I was a little worried that the ganache would overpower the more delicate flavor of the cookie, so I can use that as an excuse as well.

These turned out really nicely. Both the Boy and the Girl gave them thumbs up. I think that this is a lovely easy recipe, and I would certainly make it again. I really want to try the traditional version now. I just may have to go out and buy my own pan.

To see what the fluff filled version looks like, go visit Margo at Effort to Deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles

I am so lucky and honored to be able to work with Laurie and help her maintain the Tuesdays With Dorie site. Since it's the third anniversary, I thought Laurie should choose the recipe. Since I've been helping her out, she thought I should choose the recipe. We compromised and chose it together. (Well, it was more like this -- Me: "Is there anything you haven't made from this book?" Her - "No" Me- "How do you feel about Midnight Crackles?" Her - "Love 'em!" So Midnight Crackles it was.

The recipe and some lovely comments are over on the TWD site. I did have photos of the cookies, but since my hard drive crashed (AGAIN!), and I hadn't backed up my data for about 10 days (BACK UP YOUR DATA!), I no longer have the photos. Hmmmm, I think that sounds like an excellent excuse to make them again!

Wait! Photos! Thank you CrashPlan for saving them for me!

These were just delicious. They were a rich, dark, deeply chocolate cookie that I will make again. I will say that the cold dough was a bit tough to work with. Next time, I think I'll try some un-chilled dough and some slightly chilled dough and see how it works out.

Happy Anniversary Laurie, Dorie, and all the TWD participants. I hope your new year is sweet and wonderful!