Wednesday, January 30, 2008
So I now have to list 5 facts about me, and then pass my meme tag along :)
Fun Fact #1: When I was a sophomore in high school I broke my arm in cheerleading, and now permanently have two plates and thirteen screws...and no I do not set of the metal detectors :)
Fun Fact #2: I desperately want to be Giada de Laurentiis when I grow up.
Fun Fact #3: I am addicted to reality tv, and have everything from Survivor to Apprentice to The Hills (just to name a few) set up on my Tivo so that I NEVER, NEVER miss an episode!
Fun Fact #4: I am currently applying for my Master's in Education, starting in the fall...which hopefully doesn't affect my blogging!
Fun Fact #5: Do not ever leave an unattended dessert around me! I'll eat it :)
And now that you know a little about me, lets find out a little about
-Baking Soda at Bake My Day
-Jenny at Jenny Bakes
-Helen of Tartelette
-Brooke of Cookie Jar
-Jennifer and Oliver at Chocolate Shavings
Monday, January 28, 2008
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie
For the Crust:
¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water
For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar
For the Crust:
Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.
For the Filling:
For the Meringue:
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
The theme of Niki's birthday party was "Death of a Teen Idol", which was this huge murder mystery plot. Each girl that was coming to the party was e-mailed her "character" a week in advance, and she was to come dressed and in character to the party. The party, which was an entire day's event would have a horrendous murder, where one of the party attendants was the killer, and the whole idea of the party was to find out who the killer was.
Seeing as how the party was based around a murder, Michelle wanted a graveyard cake. So at first my mind was reeling with ideas. I'd have a spooky tree and crows and tombstones, maybe even a skeleton...Whoa, whoa, whoa...I suddenly realized that my cake was starting to sound more like a Halloween cake than a birthday cake. So back to the drawing board I went.
I started with a "Death by Chocolate" cake, which was probably one of the best chocolate cakes I've made! When I was shaping the cake I couldn't resist and had a bite of the "throw away" pieces, and I almost died! Pure chocolate bliss. I then covered the cake in chocolate frosting...of course! Now to the decorating. I knew I wanted tombstones but I didn't want the cake to look gothic, which is where the green grass (which is actually food colored coconut) came in. My tombstones are made out of Milano cookies, the pebbles are chocolate covered raisins and the tress...well they're fake. I said I think I got it, not that I was a cake decorating pro. With my planning I realized that writing Happy Birthday across coconut was going to be a little challenging, so I decided to make a dirt path for my message, which is made out of crushed chocolate graham crackers.
Overall I think this cake came out pretty good! Michelle flipped when she saw it, which is something I wasn't expecting. I still looks a little amateurish, but hey practice makes perfect, so I guess I'll stick to practicing :)
Friday, January 11, 2008
36 commercial prebaked miniature phyllo dough shells (I used a premade pie crust)
Combine coffee granules, hot water, and Kahlúa in a small bowl. Place coffee mixture, sugar, and the next 5 ingredients (sugar through egg) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell; discard the remaining filling. Sprinkle cheesecakes evenly with toffee bits.
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin cup liners. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
But it is that sense of comfort from dessert that I find so mind boggling! I mean even after writing the ways in which dessert offers me comfort and solace I still find it hard to believe that food has that kind of effect on people. The effect of becoming your best friend when dessert can't even talk. How is it that I trust dessert with so many of my secrets and feelings, but am too afraid to share them with people that I've known my whole life? Or when I feel all alone in this big world that dessert can turn it around, making me feel instead that I am on top of a little bitty world?
Maybe I will never know what it is about dessert that draws me in so close, and maybe I don't need to. If a slice of pie makes me happy, then by gosh I'm gonna have it! So here's to finding happiness in the New Year, however that maybe!
And to kick off my year of joy and happiness I turned to an amazing recipe from Epicurious for a Triple Berry Pie with Crumb Topping. Suddenly the holiday blues melted away and I was reminded of the warmth of the sun shining on my face in the midst of summer. My feet gently sweeping across the prickly spears of green grass, while relaxing with a nice glass of cool ice tea. I'm telling you, this pie took me to the wonderful days of summer that I am so longing for, and was allowed to escape to for a few blissful moments!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
This glorious masterpiece came is thanks in part to Peabody and it's called "Chocolate Crunch Slice". This is the richest, most decadent "get over your boyfriend" piece of chocolate you will ever have! It's basically melted chocolate, cream, butter and Oreos! How easy is that? And since I wanted to show my compassion for my totally amazing friend I decided to put my chocolate slice in some Hesrhey Kisses molds that I've had lying around in my cupboard. These Kisses will totally knock your socks off! Peabody's recipe called for dark chocolate but I used milk chocolate, and they were still very, very rich, but oh so satisfying. (Eating these are great post break up or pre-period, but not recommended before a dentist appointment :0) ). And they're such a cinch to make, how could you not want to try them?
In giving this to my friend, I just wanted her to know how much I care about her and that she truly deserves the most scrumptious kisses everyday, so forget the dumbie that let her go and look forward to the real Mr. Right, because I know he's out there for her! So to all those girls out there looking for love, don't give up...have a kiss!
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Oh, well no time to dwell on what was...because I've got a lot planned for this upcoming year. After searching through many different options of "what to be when i grow up", I think I have finally decided! My plan is to go back to school in the fall and get my Master's in Education and become a High School English teacher. Which I am so excited about!
But don't get scared! I of course will need sweet treats to get me through my time back at school, so I have also resolved to bake and blog more than I currently do. I am a frequent guest to Peabody's blog and am so jealous of here seemingly weekly posting of outrageous baked goods. So I have decided, with Peabody as my role model, to be more adventurous in my baking and blog more than twice a month :)
With that being said I wanted to share with you my special New Year's Eve treats. The first is a recipe that I found on BettyCrocker.com, which uses a packaged chocolate chip cookie dough mix. These goodies are known as Luscious Layer Bars and will totally knock your socks off!
The chocolate chip cookies are the base to the butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, pecan, white chocolate topping. Similar to Seven Layer Bars, these bars are so moist and gooey, and full of sweet, sweet flavor! When I took these bad boys out of the oven I just couldn't resist, I got a spoon and dug out the corner, revealing a melty, oozy, warmly soft morsel, which I immediately devoured!
These second little gooey I made was a mini cheesecake which I found on the Pillsbury Website. (who has time, with drinking and staying up late, to actually make recipes from scratch!) These scrumptious cheesecakes are called Black Forest Cheesecake Desert Cups, which are so easy to make.
My favorite part of the recipe is that the base of the cheesecake is actually packaged brownie mix. I'm a huge brownie fan, so I was very very satisfied when I saw that on the recipe list. The brownie is then topped with a creamy chocolate cheesecake, and covered with cherry pie filling!
Need I say more?
All it takes is one bite of this cheesecake to turn your world upside down!! Happy New Year everybody and may 2008 be the best year yet!!
I know we're well past Christmas, but I had to post this beautiful cake I made. It's an Eggnog Layer Cake that melted my heart! I'm usually not a big fan of eggnog, but I decided to give this recipe a whirl and thank goodness I did! I have never had a moister cake in my life, thanks to whole cup of eggnog that gets mixed into the batter :) The cake is also lightened by beating egg whites and gently folding them into the cake batter.
This was also one of my most successful attempts with a butter cream frosting, usually my butter kinda curdles up, but not this time. The frosting was so smooth and creamy that it brought tears to my eyes.
And with the cake being so light and not overbearing, I unfortunately ate way more cake than necessary, but I guess that was the holidays are all about! Sorry to post this so late in the holiday season, but if you're looking for a great cake, with a unique flavor this Eggnog Layer Cake from Holiday Baking is just the thing!