Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TWD: Kid's Thumbprints & TWD Top 10

Wow, here it is. Finally. The L.A.S.T. recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie. After four years of baking along, week by week, here we are. I'm not going to go on and on here, because I'm sure everyone feels the same way. I just want to say thanks so much to Laurie of Slush for starting and maintining this group, along with all of the great helpers, and mostly to Dorie Greenspan for writing this most-excellent baking book from which I've learned so much and grown so much as a baker. I now feel like I could tackle most any baking recipe without getting too worked up. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

OK, for this last recipe, Dorie chose Kids Thumbprints. What a great recipe to end with. These were fantastic - slightly peanuty cookies wrapped in crushed peanuts and with a little dab of jam (or chocolate) on top. Perfect! I underbaked just a tad to keep them soft.

I'm going to share my favorite recipes from the book. Interestingly, I never knew I was such a big fan of fruit desserts before. Who knew?

My Top 10 Tuesdays with Dorie Recipes

- Coconut Butter Thins

- Blueberry Pie

- Banana Cream Pie

- Blanc-Manger

- Lenox Almond Biscotti

- Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops

- Real Butterscotch Pudding

- French Pear Tart plus I'm going to add the Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart.

Brioche Raisin Snails

- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

OK, that's all folks. You can find all of these recipes in Dorie's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TWD: A Fig Cake for Fall

In October, Ursula of Cookie Rookie chose A Fig Cake for Fall. Alas, no figs were to be found in October. But low and behold, I found some at my local Meijer the other day and I knew exactly what I was going to make for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, where we got to chose a rewind.

This little cake featured a cornmeal based cake with poached figs. I used red wine for the poaching liquid since that was all I had. Interestingly, my first impression when I tasted the cake was of peanut butter and jelly, of all things. Somehow the cake was nutty tasting with the cornmeal and the wine flavored figs reminded me of jelly (grape, I suppose).

It's hard to believe next week is THE. LAST. WEEK. of baking through Tuesdays with Dorie. Wow, so many recipe. I guess a "top ten" will be in order.

Anyway, If you'd like to see the recipe for the fig cake, check out Ursula's blog, or find yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking, From my Home to Yours... seriously, one of the best baking books EVER.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TWD: Puffed Double Plum Tart

Since we're on the homestretch with Tuesdays with Dorie, we're doubling up on recipes to get them all done by the end of the month. This week, Laurie of Slush chose Unbelievably Good Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream and Julie of Someone’s in the Kitchen chose Puffed Double Plum Tart.

As you can see, I went with the tart. It was beyond simple thanks to the shell being made with pre-made puff pastry. You almost don't need a recipe for this type of tart. That's one great thing I've learned over the past four years, baking with the TWD gang. Desserts don't have to be hard. Heck, I'll bet if you just roasted the plums by themselves in ramekins with a little sprinkle of sugar on top, they'd be awesome.

OK, that's it for this week. We've only got TWO more weeks and this project will be a wrap. TWD will be done, finished, no more. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TWD: Two Tarts - Honey Almond Fig and Normandy Apple

Wow, so many tart recipes as we come down the home stretch with Tuesdays with Dorie. Does that mean folks are scared of tarts? With their sugar cookie-like shell, I've found tarts to be much easier than pie.

Anyway, this week Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table chose Honey Almond Fig Tart. In addition, Nicole of Bakeologie chose Earl Grey Madeleines, which I didn't make but I'm sure were terrific.

I opted for canned peaches in my tart rather than figs, since figs are not to be found in stores right now.

I really loved how it looked with the peaches and the shiny nougaty-looking filling.

Sadly, my tart wasn't baked through in the middle, even after 40 minutes in the oven. We managed to munch around the outer circle, though. The overwhelming flavor in this tart was honey, with the peaches and almond taking a supporting role. If I were to bake this again, I might cut the honey by half, only because I'm a huge fan of peaches.

I'm also playing catchup from last week. I made both the Sour Cream Pumpkin Tart and the Normandy Apple Tart that Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats and Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures chose. As you can see, I only managed to photograph the apple tart.

This was a really tasty tart, with a homemade applesauce making up the bulk of the filling. The rosy color came from cooking the apple peels with the filling before straining them out. This was a big hit with the family.

I served the pumpkin tart at Thanksgiving and it was a bit hit too. The filling was a perfectly textured pumpkin flavor, just what you'd expect for the star of the Thanksgiving dessert table.

As a side note, I thought I'd mention that I didn't prebake any of the shells and they came out fine. I find that the edges of the shells come out too dark for my tastes if I prebake.

OK, that's it for now. The next few weeks will highlight the final recipes from Dorie Greenspan's outstanding book "Baking, From my Home to Yours". You can find the tart recipes in her book or at the recipe links above.