Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf

Back in the saddle! I (sadly) missed the last two weeks of TWD due to work, travel, and life getting in the way. I'm in a slight work lull right now, so I was able to get in some baking.

This one was good. I love the crunch that cornmeal brings to baked goods. This loaf ended up being a slightly sweet, apple-y bread that was perfect for snacking.

It was a snap to put together. The recipecalls for fresh as well as dried apple. I have to say that I didn't really see the benefit of the dried apple. I think next time I would leave it out. And I'm pretty sure there will be a next time. I added a sprinkling of coarse sugar on the top of the loaf. It added just the right texture and sweetness.

You can see the darker bits of dried apple vs. the lighter fresh apple. I think this would be equally good with pears.

Thank you Caitlin of Engineer Baker for choosing this delicious recipe. Go see her blog for much better photos.

Monday, August 15, 2011

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I've been crazy busy lately. Between work, travel, and family stuff, baking has fallen off my radar. I'll be back to it one of these days.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cookie Carnival: Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I haven't baked along with the cookie carnival group for a while, but when I saw this recipe, I knew that I had to make it.

Actually, I've made it three times in the last month. That's how good these cookies are. This is an intensely chocolate cookie. It is also an incredibly versatile cookie.

The first time I made it, I followed the recipe pretty exactly. I added more espresso powder (1 T more) because I wanted a really strongly flavored cookie. It was perfect. It was a slightly bitter really chocolatey cookie. Yum. The second time I made it I used cappuccino chips for the mix in along with the higher ratio of espresso powder. The third time I used milk chocolate chips for the mix in and got a great cookiewith a hint of sweetness.

Here's the cappuccino chip version.

My imagination can only go from what I've done so far. Reducing the espresso powder back to 1 T. would make a rich chocolate cookie without the coffee hint, so any chip could be fabulous (mint? cherry? toffee bits? dried fruit?)

You wish this was on your counter.

I know that this will be a recipe that I go back to often.

Tami will have the round of of all the bakers. Go see what the other bakers did!

WWD: Cocoa Almond Meringues

This is turning into a bad habit. It's not Wednesdays With Dorie, and yet, that's where I've been for the last two weeks. Do I get any sympathy if I tell you that my air conditioning isn't working and it was 95 yesterday? Just checking.

I know meringues are a like 'em/hate 'em thing for a lot of people. I fall firmly into the like 'em camp. I'm really lousy at making them, though. For some reason, I can never get the whites to whip up the right way. I use a perfectly clean bowl and beaters. I bet them for a long time. I add the sugar in small amounts. Maybe the humidity defeated me on this one.

No crags or mountains. More like small sand dunes?

Mine taste good, but they don't look anything like Dorie's. There is almost no rise to them. I like the subtle cocoa flavor with the bites of semi sweet every so often. I don't taste the almond at all. I wonder if a little almond extract might be better than vanilla in these if you are looking for that taste.

Thanks to Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude for choosing this one.