Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TWD: One Day Late

Aah!! It's Wednesday and I'm writing my post for TWD! I don't really know what happened, but I realized about an hour ago that I forgot to write my post. DUH!!! So here it is, better late than never!

I am so glad that Amy, of Food, Family, and Fun picked and icy treat for this week. Seeing as how summer is coming to close, I wanna get all my ice cream eating in that I can. And boy was this one a good one! Dorie's Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte was amazing!! Who doesn't love ice cream with ganache? I DO, I DO!!

I must admit however that I am not a huge fan of raspberry ice cream, so I had to adjust the recipe a little bit. I started thinking about my favorite ice creams and right away cookie dough popped into my head. I wouldn't know how perfect an idea this was until the next day when I went out to dinner...Andy and I had gone to Jason's Deli and I was giving a blessing. After we ordered our dinner the lady at the counter asked us if we wanted to buy a bag of cookies pieces. Apparently there was a new hire who tried to take the cookies of the tray a little too soon and all they were left with was chucks of cookies. And at $0.50 a bag how could I resist?

I knew immediately these were gonna go into my ice cream treat. When we got home I was ready to start on my Torte. I poured a cup of coffee, ready to begin the ganache when another spark of genius hit me...Kahlua in the ganache? Dare I? Heck yes!!!

My little torte turned into this amazing cookie "dough"/chunk, coffee drinking ice cream. When it was all said in done the flavors of my torte were outstanding. The kahlua ganache with the chocolate chip/white chocolate macadamia/almond biscotti balanced perfectly together. And although it does take some time to get to the end process, the actual preparation is very, very easy. And the sky is the limit with flavor combos, which is always a plus when you wanna "reserve" the same dessert later in time!! Thanks AMY!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mud Pie Revised

At the age of four years old I remember making my very first "baked" good. It was my mud pie, and the ingredients couldn't be easier. Water, dirt and hands. And the directions were just as easy. Pour water over dirt, mix with hands. Smoosh mixture into cupcake shape and serve.

I guess I had a dream early on to become a baker. Because from cupcakes I graduated to stacked mud cakes, decorated with special rocks. Of course there was always mud cookies that had flower petal sprinkles. With such an easy and adaptable recipe the options were endless. I was sure that I had a huge hit on my hands.

The only problem was people weren't reacting to my goodies as well as I had hoped they would. I never understood why my mom was so excited to receive my mud pie, but never took a bite. I mean how can one say "Oh wow Stephie this is the most tastiest pie I've ever had," if they don't even put it in their mouth and chew it. And then Dad was always saying that he was so full from lunch or dinner that he just didn't have room, but always asked me to save it for him in case he got hungry later.

Well, twenty years later I am here with a revised Mud Pie (Cake) that is just about as easy to make as my original, but tastes 1 million times better, and doesn't leave any grit behind. And to my surprise people actually ate this mud pie and enjoyed it ;) So I guess my dream of being a fabulous baker still lives on thanks to Jennifer of Bake or Break! Her chocolate cobbler recipe was so reminiscent of my mud pie. I did make one little twirk to it, and that was that I reduced the water amount so that I could add a few shots of Kahlua. But blogger I am telling you this is like heaven in a baking dish. Please, please, please make it! It will take you five minutes to put it together and will take you five lifetimes to get over!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who Says Granola is Boring?

Back in the day granola was thought as something boring and bland. Just a bunch of oats toasted up and nothing special or fancy. Lately though granola has been all the craze. With it's versatility and variety of flavor combonations what's not to love?

Especially when you can add granola to a cookie!

Yes that's right...a COOKIE. (And dare we call it healthy? Sure why not ;) ) With this week's
Tuesdays with Dorie we did just that! We turned already scrumptious (yet a little boring) granola into one of the best, and I mean best, cookies I have ever had.

The combination of almonds and peanuts into the batter gave it such a crunchy texture, and the nuts were practically roasted while the cookies were baking, which really brought out that nutty flavor. And I am such a sucker for raisins, especially in cookies. There's something about a hot oven that can plump up raisins, that really gets me going.

I really love how these cookies are sweet but not too sweet either. When I usually eat cookies I can only have one, maybe two, at a time because they give me a tummy ache. But not with these bad boys! Which, now that I think about it can turn out to be a big problem if you know what I mean!

Excellent, excellent choice Michelle! Check out the recipe at Michelle's
Bad Girl Baking blog!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ok, Ok, I Give In!

After making my ice cream sandwiches for TWD I began receiving requests for the recipe of the cookies that I had made. And let me just say that these were the best oatmeal cookies I have ever had. They were crunchy on the edges, but still soft on the inside and had a real yummy nutty oatmeal taste to them that rules over any other oatmeal cookie.

So I decided that since so many people were interested in the cookies, and the simple fact that I forgot to post the recipe in my rush to make the "TWD Deadline", that I would make yet another sandwich and post the recipe.

These sandwiches came together so easily with the help of a jar of Marshmallow Fluff, and yet they were outrageously delicious. Everybody at work was mad at me that I brought these in because they all had their fair share of cookies that morning. I tried to tell them that the oatmeal in it made it ok, and I guess they bought it. Because those cookies were gone in a flash :)

Nut Oatmeal Cookies
Courtesy of The New Best Recipe
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
16 TBSP (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c light brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Adjust oven racks to the low and middle positions of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl.
Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and nuts.
Working with 2 TBSP of dough each time, roll the dough into 2 inch balls. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool at least 30 minutes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sour Blueberries

I am flabbergasted!! Tuesday's with Dorie never cease to amaze me. When I first bought Dorie's book almost two years ago there were some recipes that, just by name, I had decided not to try. To me there's something about a name. A name can explain everything. A name gives identity. A name relates an object to the brain. And when I read the name Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream I didn't know what to think. My first reaction was to the Sour Cream part. I am a huge sweet cream girl, I love my sweets. Sour in an ice cream (unless it's Sour Patch Kids) just doesn't seem like a sane thing to do.

But, needless to say that's why I joined this group. I wanted to have a reason to try every recipe, whether I liked it or not. Baking gets kinda boring if you don't experiment. Besides, I've been pleasantly surprised before by my lovely little Apple Cheddar Scones.

So, off I went to make this thing called "Ice Cream". In making the blueberry syrup I almost hit a snafu. The dang syrup was so good that I almost ate it all, but I made sure to leave plenty for my ice cream. It was a difficult task :) Then I dumped it into the blender gave it a whirl and added my sour cream base. I looked on in awe as my deep sea of indigo blue slowly transformed into a light airy lilac purple. As soon as everything was blended together I dunked my spoon in to get and early taste.

I so wanted to say "Oh my gosh, this is absolutely disgusting." But, I couldn't bring myself to do it! I had to take another bite just to see if I was really tasting it right. Then I found my tongue craving yet another bite of the sweet blueberry taste with just a slight tang to it. I just couldn't believe that this was actually good and that I wanted to keep eating it!

Things got even better once I turned my liquid heaven into a frozen blueberry goodness and slapped it between two homemade oatmeal pecan cookies! I actually think this dessert is one of the best representations of summer that I have ever had. And I am so happy that Dolores of Chronicles in Curiosity chose such an extraordinarily, original, mind blowing recipe!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

...Making up for the non-exisiting marble

Today's TWD is brought to you from Ashley of A Year in the Kitchen. Little Miss Ashley chose a most scrumptious looking Black and White Banana Loaf (aka chocolate Marbled Banana Bread). I am a huge banana bread lover, and was really excited to try this one out, because I have never actually had chocolate and banana together in a loaf...I know call me crazy.

This was the first TWD recipe that I was actually a little disappointed with. After reading so many people's comments on how they didn't like the nutmeg taste, I knew right away that I would be omitting that from my recipe, I was too afraid to chance it. After I got my batter mixed up, I found it to be very runny, which was my first indication of an "un-marbled" loaf.

I did like Dorie said and dolloped blobs of one batter on top of blobs of the other batter, took a knife and being my marbling technique. But, since my batter was so runny to begin with both batters started melding together...which didn't really bother me, because it was gonna taste the same either way...right? (I have to ask those of you who had a perfectly marbled bread :) )

The oven timer dings, I pull out my big brown loaf from the oven and am immediately happy with the smell. Now I wait to see if my marbling turned out. 20 minutes later, and the answer is...NO. I have hardly any marbling in my bread, but hey, looks can be deceiving. So, I cut a warm slice and hungrily take a big bite out of it. My reaction was...mixed...the bread was very moist, but I don't know if I really cared for the flavor. It actually seemed a little bland.

So, I got to thinking. I needed a way to cover up the blandness and I knew just the thing. I pulled out my Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream, put two whopping scoops on top of my chunked up Black and White Loaf. I then proceeded to amaze myself...and my tummy...and flambeed some bananas, bananas foster style!! Yeah you heard me!

And now I had a Black and White Loaf that I truly adored!!