Monday, May 30, 2011

Not a TWD: I revisited some old favorites

This past week/weekend, I made a couple of my favorite recipes, one of which was Dorie's. There was delicious strawberry rhubarb ginger crisp at our Memorial Day BBQ today. Last weekend I made some fabulous Chocolate Dark Cherry Toffee cookies.

What that means is, is that I skipped the caramel pots de creme. Come back next week, and I'll be back in the swing of TWD.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TWD: Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones

I've professed my love for a good scone in a previous post. For the most part, they are very easy to make, I generally have the ingredients on hand, and they're pretty tasty. This was no exception.

The only item I didn't have on hand was buttermilk, but it's so easy to clabber milk that I didn't bother to run out and get some. I also decided to sub in some white whole wheat flour for 2/3 c. AP flour. I thought the nutty flavor would compliment the oatmeal. Speaking of nutty, I can't recommend grating your own nutmeg enough. It keeps forever in its "nut" form and absolutely outshines the pre-grated stuff. I also decided to throw in some diced prunes. Good choice.

They came together in a snap. I formed the two circles right on my Silpat. This was a pretty sticky dough, so instead of trying to separate the wedges, I just scored them to start. After they had baked for about 18 minutes, I tookthem out and put enough room between them to ensure crunchy edges.

Post separation.

We tried to let them cool for the whole ten minutes. These were very good. I loved the flavor of the nutmeg with the prunes. The oatmeal and whole wheat flour were a good blend as well. I could see these made with dried apricots or cherries. I could even see me making them.

I love how craggy and rustic these are. Delicious!

Thank you to Patricia from Life with a Whisk for choosing this one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

TWD: Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

Making these biscuits was an afterthought. We just received the 1/4th of the whole hog that we ordered with some friends. Just in case you were wondering, a 1/4 of a whole hog is about 40 pounds of pork. Yes, it was more than I was expecting. We had some bacon and sausage from the same farmer that I purchased earlier in the spring that was calling out to be eaten. Plus, it lost its home in the freezer. My solution -- breakfast for dinner!

I love maple in just about any form. And cornmeal in baked goods adds a crunch that I really like. This recipe was a match made just for me. These were a total snap to put together. It was four steps. 1) mix the dry ingredients 2) cut in some butter 3) mix in the wet ingredients 4) scoop and drop on a baking sheet. Oh, and put them in the oven. I guess that's five.

They came out of the oven all golden and craggy. We ate them hot with a bit of butter and other additions. Small sandwiches were made with bacon and then strawberries. All were amazing. They were equally good the next morning.

For my taste, I could have used a bit more maple, but that's an easy fix. These are such a winner that I know we'll be making them again soon. I have more bacon and sausage. Lots more.

Thank you Lindsay from A Little Something.... Sweet for this fabulous choice. Go visit her blog to see some better photos.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TWD: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

I love a Bundt cake. Bundt cakes are so simple. With little effort, you get such a pretty cake. This one has the added bonus of being delicious.

First of all, the name called to me. Brown sugar bundt cake? What's not to love. Dorie's original recipe called for pears and prunes. I trust Dorie, but the fruit was not calling out to me. As always, she offered up a variation for this cake. I made a variation of Dorie's variation.

Her variation makes it a brown sugar nut bundt cake. I decided to do that version. And then I changed it a bit more. After realizing that I ran out of almond meal, I went to plan B. Being that I was too lazy to get out the food processor and make my own almond meal, I found a stand-in. I subbed in the peanut flour for the ground almonds. I used some toasted slivered almonds. And then I added in toffee bits. Yeah. It was a good choice.

The cake smelled amazing at it was baking. I was a bit nervous about how long it baked because it smelled good for a long time. It baked for just about an hour, and it was the right amount of time. The crust was a gorgeous brown color.

Mmmmm. Brown sugar, almonds, and toffee bits. Mmmmmm.

I let it ripen overnight. Another good choice. This cake is such a winner. I could see using it as a base for so many delicious add-ins. I left mine unadorned, but a bit of powdered sugar wouldn't have been bad. Neither would a chocolate glaze. Or a cinnamon glaze. Or an almond glaze. You get the idea.
Please don't let my lousy photography deter you from making this. Thank you Peggy from Pantry Revisited for choosing this one. YUM!

A very goofy, very enthusiastic thumbs up from the Boy.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

TWD: Basic Marbled Loaf Cake

Or, not so basic. The original recipe is a vanilla/chocolate marble cake. Dorie, however, has to gild the lily just a bit with some other options. There is a peppermint/chocolate version and an orange/chocolate version. Then there was the one that really caught my eye - a cardamom/coffee version. Yum!

This was absolutely a winner cake. It was an easy batter to put together. After the base is mixed, you add flavorings to each half. In my case, I added espresso powder that had been dissolved in water to one half and ground cardamom to the other half. Just a side note here - I used cardamom pods and ground them into powder in my spice grinder (old coffee grinder) The difference between pre-ground and freshly ground cardamom is amazing. The fresh stuff has an amazing taste. I highly recommend this method if you can do it.

Golden brown and delicious!

Instead of a loaf pan, I decided to use my Fiesta Bundt pan. I baked it for exactly one hour, and I think it would have been fine at 50 or so minutes. It seems a tiny bit dry to me. My swirling technique still leaves a bit to be desired, but I did get a good mix of each flavor in each slice.

Not so much a swirl as a clump.

This is a good recipe. I truly enjoyed the mix of flavors. I think if I need a simple cake for some event, this would be one that I would revisit. Thank you Carol of The Bake More for choosing this one!