Monday, June 30, 2008

Apple Cheddar Scones

This week's TWD recipe came from Karina of The Floured Apron.  I would probably have never chosen this recipe to make, but I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!! This was my first time to make scones- of course.  They were fairly easy to make- I am always worried that I am blending too much and then not enough or handling the dough too much, etc.  I took most of these scones to work and got great reviews.  I patted the dough out into a square and cut the scones into little squares.  I will DEFINITELY make this again!!  
On the other hand, I made the mixed berry tart on Saturday night when some friends came over and my pastry creme needs A LOT of work- It was not very good at all, but my sweet friends ate it and said it was good :-)  

Oh, and Dorie EMAILED me this week- See the below post!!

Dorie Greenspan ROCKS!!!!

Yesterday I posted a comment on Dorie Greenspan's blog about her strawberry tart.  Well, about an hour later, she EMAILED ME and told me that she looked at my blog and thought my tarts were great!!!  She is such a rockstar!!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mixed Berry Cobbler

This weeks TWD came from Beth of
Our Sweet Life. This was my first time to make a cobbler, but I only had to buy ONE ingredient- the berries. I felt so accomplished just because I had all the other ingredients!! Yay!! I liked the cobbler, but it browned on top before the crust was completely cooked, so I had to put it back in the oven after I took it out and let it cook. Overall, I think this is a great cobbler. The only thing I changed about the recipe was I added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the crust because of the suggestions on the TWD website. I used frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Yum.

Week Off

I missed the 
creme puff ring TWD challenge because I had a very busy week.  I hosted a couples wedding shower at my house and made petit fours and cheesecake pops from the Daring Bakers challenge.  The cheesecake pops made me think I could actually be a Daring Baker, but then I took another look at the 4 page Opera Cake challenge recipe and decided I am not ready.   This was my first time to bake a cheesecake and it was FABULOUS.  I scooped out little scoops and rolled them into smooth balls.  Then I stuck the sticks in and froze them.  I dipped the balls in milk chocolate and white chocolate and used sprinkles, colored sugars and crushed heath on top.  They were a huge hit and well worth the work!!  I was sad to miss the TWD creme puffs, but I will definitely make them sometime soon!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


This was my first Tuesdays with Dorie challenge/ adventure.  It was also my first time to make brownies from scratch, my first time to flambe anything  (rum soaked raisins). . .

my first time to chop chocolate 
. . .

and my first time to use my new KitchenAid mixer. . .

I made French Chocolate Brownies with rum soaked raisins.  I didn't try them because I don't like dark chocolate, but they received pretty good reviews.  I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet and I still thought the batter was not sweet enough.  I was worried about the texture after reading some of the comments on the TWD site, but they looked gooey and good.  I liked the idea of a crust on top.  My friends at work thought the raisins were a great addition.  Overall, I was pleased, but I am more excited about next week's strawberry tart since I've never made a tart.  It will be my first tart.  

French Chocolate Brownies

- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.