Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TWD: Ginger Jazzed Brownies

We have a love for all things ginger in this house. We use ginger syrup on our pancakes. We sprinkle ginger sugar on our toast. My kids eat candied ginger as a treat. And, you can certainly never go wrong with chocolate or brownies. I've put the two together a number of times with great results. This was no exception.

I started out with a bit of difficulty because as I began to bake, I realized that I was out of unsweetened baking chocolate. So, I went to my handy substitutions bible. To replace one ounce of unsweetened chocolate, you substitute 3 T. of cocoa powder and 1 T. butter. Ok, I can do that. Then I realized that the the ratio of unsweetened to bittersweet chocolate was opposite what I thought. Lucky for me, I found a second substitution - remove 3 T. of sugar and 1 t. of butter for each ounce of bittersweet that you add in. Fingers crossed that this was going to work out!

The third substitution was because I got lazy. Instead of going all the way into the basement fridge to get my knob of ginger (I store it in sherry, which by the way is fabulous for cooking once the ginger is gone), I used 1 t. of dried ginger, and I diced up about a quarter of a cup of candied ginger and stirred it in.

I cheated on the pan prep. A simple spray of Everbake did the trick just fine. Mine baked in about 30 minutes.

After they cooled came the moment of truth. Did all the substitutions work?

I'll take that as a YES! The Boy really loved them. The Girl did as well, but she was at swim team practice while I was taking pictures, so her thumbs up came later. He made a scale of how gingery the brownies were. On a scale of "no ginger" to "tons 'o ginger", these came in just below neutral or medium. We'll see tomorrow how much the ginger flavor has intensified.

I love the texture on these. They aren't gooey, but they have a bit of a fudginess. They aren't cakey, but there's a bit of a spring when you bite into it. I can certainly see making these again.

Thank you Hindy of Bubie's Little Baker for choosing the recipe this week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TWD: Twofer - Basic Biscuits and Apple Nut Muffin Cake

Basic Biscuits is such an innocent name. But it's recipes like this that make me nervous. It's the ones that seem so simple that can often be the hardest. In general biscuits are pretty straightforward. The ingredients are easy to find. It only took one bowl to mix up, so there were few dishes.

But, and there is a BUT, the biscuits are made or broken with the mixing. Dorie warned us a number of times that a light hand is what makes the difference. Mix less, knead less, fuss less, and you get better biscuits. I'm not good at that. I like a cohesive dough (I'm also lousy at leaving lumps in the pancake/waffle batter like everyone says). I was doing great up until the "knead three or four times" instruction. My dough was not coming together. So I did some more kneading. And then a bit more.

And my gentle patting to get my biscuit dough to a 1/2" was, perhaps, a bit forceful. I cut out my biscuits, and then re-patted the dough for the second round. And then I did it again. I wasn't so confident at this point. Into the oven they went.

Boy was I surprised when they came out of the oven.

Ta dah! Those are actually layers!

Apparently, this dough is rather forgiving. So good to know for future baking! It takes down the intimidation factor just a bit. The flavor was wonderful. I did the buttermilk version. These were lovely warm out of the oven. The few that are left will be breakfast for the Boy and Girl with eggs and cheese. (The request has already been made)

So pleased with the way these rose and split.

The arrangement for the dinner table. The Girl wanted to make sure you saw her placement handiwork. ;-) The Boy painted the plate.

Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort was the host for the biscuits. Thanks, Jennifer!

Due to some family stuff, I wasn't able to post last week's recipe. I did bake it though, so I wanted to share.

More apple baking! Yay! This, apparently, was supposed to be muffins. And then Dorie ran out of time, so it became a cake. Either way, I think it's yummy.

So so moist and delicious. A sprinkling of coarse sugar adds a little crunch to the top.

This was pretty darn easy to put together. Rather a few dishes, but the end result was worth it. I subbed in cinnamon chips for the nuts, and I think it was rather inspired. This was a perfect after school snack for the Girl and Boy. And then breakfast the next morning.

Yum and yum!

This pick was Katrina of Baking and Boys.