When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Daring Bakers Challenge: Decorated Sugar Cookies September 28, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 8:23 pm

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

This challenge was right up my ally, but I procrastinated a little too much.  The mandatory part of this challenge was in two parts.  We had to make the sugar cookie recipe that was provided and then decorate the cookies with the theme of September.  (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Tarte Fine

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 3:43 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Leslie of Lethally Delicious.  She picked Dorie’s Tart Fine which is located on pages 315 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  The recipe was simple and straight to the point.  All it really involved was puff pastry and apples, which I happened to have some homemade puff pastry in the freezer so this was right up my ally this week.

But of course, like always I procrastinated.  At this moment I am trying to finish decorating sugar cookies for the Daring Bakers’ Challenge and making this Tart, so I am thanking my lucky stars that the recipe was so simple 🙂

It turned out pretty and it was yummy.  I big thanks goes out to Leslie for picking this.

Just a heads up, French Fridays With Dorie (FFwD) starts this week and we are starting with Gougeres.  I can’t wait 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Coffee-Break Muffins September 21, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Muffins,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:00 pm
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If there is one thing in this world that I cannot live without, it would have to be coffee.  I stopped drinking massive amounts, by that I mean approximately 6 shots of espresso a day.  I weaned myself off of it when I didn’t work for Starbucks anymore.  I might average a cup or two of coffee a week now, which is actually really good for me.

I would have to say that Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous choose well this week.  She gave me my bi-weekly dose of coffee in muffin form and who wouldn’t want that.  This recipe is located on page 15 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.

The muffins had a nice mellow coffee flavor and just a hint of cinnamon in the background.  By the second day the muffins were a tad dry, so I would advise to eat them the day that they are baked.  All around nice little coffee-break muffin 🙂


Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Food Preservation aka Canning Apple Butter September 14, 2010

Filed under: Boiling Water Bath,Canning,The Daring Cooks' — pastrybrush @ 4:11 pm
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The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Okay, so I almost forgot to post this.

It actually had nothing to do with procrastinating this time around, surprisingly 🙂  It just slipped my mind after I had made the Apple Butter.  It probably has to do with the fact that I just went on a canning spree and canned apple butter, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, and tomato sauce.  I was using the cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden.  I am probably going to have to do one more round of tomato sauce very soon 🙂 (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Fig Upside-Downer

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:55 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Sabrina of Superfluous.  She chose Dorie’s Cranberry Upside-Downer, which is located on page 206 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Okay, I guess you have noticed that the post name is different than the recipe picked.  Well that is because cranberries haven’t magically appeared at the grocery store lately.  When they do appear I will be jumping out of my skin and grabbing bags and bags of cranberries.  Since I don’t work at the pastry shop anymore (we moved almost a year ago), I won’t be able to readily get my hands on the cran-raspberry tart that we use to make/serve.  So I will be making myself one.  I might take to sharing it 🙂

Okay, back to the recipe at hand.  I recently remembered that Figs had just started to appear at the local Trader Joe’s, so while on my weekly shopping extravaganza (it has turned into one), I picked up a container.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I had to buy them 🙂  Yesterday, I remembered that Tuesdays was coming up and cranberries were just another dream.  It turned into a Fig Upside-Downer day with some Pecans thrown in along with a Sourwood Honey glaze.

It turned out pretty, but I have yet to sample it. Since  I have been being pretty strict with my food intake, I only made half a recipe.  It baked up perfectly in a 6 x 2 round cake pan, at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.  I am still trying to be strong, so we will see what happens to this Upside-Downer.

Okay, I know what is going to happen.

I will end up trying a bite and then forcing the rest of it on Mike 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses September 7, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine.  She picked Dorie’s Peanut Butter Crisscrosses, which are located on page 78 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Who doesn’t love a peanut butter cookie?

I know that if I wasn’t trying to be good that I would probably have eaten most of the half batch that I made.  With self-control in place, I ate 2 last night.  They were great.  I loved the random crunch of peanuts, and the absolute softness of the cookie.  PERFECT!!!!

I am currently drinking a Strawberry Banana Protein Shake and all I can think is, “Peanuts have protein.  Lets go eat a cookie.”  My self-control is still intact and hopefully it will stay that way the rest of the day.  Great Pick for this week 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies September 1, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:26 am
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Yes, Yes, Yes

I know this is 11 hours late, but I did bake them last night so that has to count for something.

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was picked by Donna of Life’s Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First.  She choose Dorie’s Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, which are located on page 125 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

This recipe was actually really easy to put together, and everyone knows I have a love for coffee.  It might be the years of me hanging out in coffee houses and then finally working in one.  So I fully expected to love these cookies because it has two of my favorite things: espresso and chocolate.  They baked up perfect and the texture was spot on for shortbread, but the flavor was lacking for me.  I kept thinking that they needed to have more sugar in them

Coming from me that is weird because I am not a lover of overly sweet things, but it just needed something else.  Maybe I will change my mind after I sit down with a GIANT cup of coffee and try one more cookie.