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Tuesdays With Dorie: Pecan Powder Puffs March 29, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Tianne of Buttercream Barbie.  She picked Dorie’s Pecan Powder Puffs, which are located on page 156 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Every time that I would read the title of the recipe I would think, what is that…without even glancing at the recipe.  My brain would always seems to want it to be some sort of meringue  type cookie, maybe it was just the fact that it said puffs in the recipe.

Once I took a lot at the recipe, I began to realize that this recipe looked very similar to something that my mom would make every Christmas and a cookie that I have taken up making now.  The only difference is that we use walnuts instead of pecans and confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar.  In my family, for some weird reason, we call these cookies Butterballs.  In Mike’s family they call them something along the lines of Rabbit Terds (that is what happens when there are 3 boys in the house).  I would always forget what he called them, and would refer to them as Snowman Poop, which he said should be the new name for them.  Rabbit Terds never felt right to me because we had 2 rabbits growing up and there little nuggets never looked like these cookies.  But I would imagine a Snowman would release something a long the lines of a snowball and since these cookies are rolled in confectioners’ sugar they actually resemble a little snowball 🙂

These cookies are very easy to make, and if you are going to vegan route you will be happy to note that the only thing you have to substitute is Vegan Butter because this recipe contains no eggs.  An extra bonus is that since there is no raw ingredients you can just sit there all day and pick at the cookie dough, which is very yummy.  For this recipe, I actually stuck to the recipe and I used pecans because that actually ended up being the only nut that we had in the house 🙂

These cookies baked up perfectly.  The taste is slightly different since it is made with pecans instead of the walnuts that I am use to, but they had a nice tender butter texture and the pecans added a nice nuttiness to it without it being bitter.


Daring Bakers’: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake March 28, 2011

Filed under: Baking,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 8:46 pm
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The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Coffee Cake is a favorite anytime food in my house, so I was very happy to make this.  I only made a few modifications to the recipe, which just involved the filling.  I increased the amount of granulated sugar and cinnamon, added brown sugar, and omitted the chocolate.  The recipe for the filling below is what I used and not what was originally in the recipe.  I also only made half a recipe because there is no way that the two of us could have finished two coffee cakes.  We are having trouble finishing one and that is why Mike is taking it into work tomorrow 🙂

The flavor reminded me of a cross between a cinnamon roll and monkey bread, which makes this recipe extra yummy. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Honey Nut Brownies March 23, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 8:38 am
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Suzy of Suzy Homemaker.  She picked Dorie’s Honey Nut Brownies which are located on page 102 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Because wordpress was down when I got home from work yesterday, I was unable to actually post this on time…pooper.

The best thing about these brownies was that I was able to use up a good portion of a giant jar of Sourwood Honey that has been hanging out in my pantry for about a year.  The brownie batter actually came together pretty easy.  Instead of using a double boiler and melting the butter and the chocolate together, I melted the butter in the microwave and then stirred the chocolate in.  It did the job just as well, no separation and no burning 🙂

I used walnuts in the batter for the nuts.  I actually didn’t have enough walnut pieces, but I just happened to have some ground up walnuts from a previous cookie recipe so I just added those.  Then I decided that the batter was  a little to light for me and needed more chocolate so I poured in about 1/2 of bittersweet chocolate chips.

I like really THICK fudgy brownies and I knew that these weren’t going to be too fudgy just because of the long baking time and the fact that a knife inserted in the center is suppose to come out clean.  I baked these in a 8 x 8 square baking pan for 70 minutes on 325°F, that was about the time the knife came out clean.  I let them cool, and then sliced them up.

A couple of the members of Tuesdays With Dorie said they thought the brownies were overly sweet, but I didn’t think that at all.  Which got me wondering if they were actually using bittersweet chocolate (like the recipe calls for) or milk chocolate.  If you used milk chocolate, I could see how the brownies might be overly sweet.  For me the brownies had the right amount of sweetness,  the ground walnuts gave the brownies a nice texture which contrasted with the cake consistency of the brownie, and finally the chocolate chips gave it that extra chocolate flavor.

I actually would make these again for two reasons: 1) To use up some more of that Sourwood Honey and 2) The brownies were very good for a cake type brownie.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins March 15, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Muffins,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lauryn of Bella Baker.  She picked Dorie’s Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins which are located on page 7 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Have a expressed my obsession with the smell of oranges lately because if you didn’t already know it is one of my FAVORITES!!  These muffins were such a treat to make and they taste delicious straight from the oven, which is how I enjoyed them for breakfast on Tuesday.  I decided to go with GIANT muffins again.  I baked them on 350°F for about 30 minutes.

Lately, I have started to lower the oven temperature for things like muffins.  I have been doing this because they have a tendency to brown more when baked at a higher temperature because the pan I baked them in is a dark metal pan.  Also, since I have been using the GIANT muffin pan they also have to be in the oven longer so better safe then sorry.

These muffins have a bright citrus flavor that goes perfect with the currants.  I think dried cranberries would also be a great substitution for the currants.  I have a small obsession with the flavor combination of cranberry-orange, which turned into me making a yummy cranberry-orange muffin recipe right after I made these 🙂


Daring Cooks: Papas Rellenas March 14, 2011

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Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

This months we were given a choice to make Ceviche or Papas Rellenas because of my currently state (pregnant) I cannot have Ceviche so that narrowed it down for me.  Mike and I enjoyed the Papas Rellenas with Salsa Criolla for dinner.  I essentially spent most of the day prepping all of the items so that I was able to cook up dinner as soon as he came home from work.  It actually worked out really well for us.  Good thing I actually thought ahead instead of trying to fly by the seat of my pants. (more…)