Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dorie (on the downlow)

It's not tuesday, but I have some Dorie recipes. Since I didn't join the club until August, there are more than thirty recipes that I've missed out on making. I'm going to try to slowly catch up. Whenever I make something that's already been made by the group, I'll post it as "Dorie (on the downlow)".

I chose not to make all of the December recipes for Tuesdays with Dorie. I didn't want to add anything more to my to do list during the holiday season. But I did make two recipes for our Christmas dinner.

The Cranberry Spice Bundt Cake wasn't from the cookbook, but from the November issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.

The dry ingredients called for ground almonds which I conveniently had left over from the linzer cookies made earlier in the month. This recipe intrigued me because it calls for Chinese Five-Spice powder. I've never heard of it used in baking.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, fold in cranberries and nuts, and you have a very tasty batter. Yum.

This cake is good. It isn't too sweet and has perfect balance of spices.

It's good for breakfast too!

I also made The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart, which is on page 331 in the book.

I loved the smell that came from rubbing the sugar and lemon zest together. That's the real thing. Better than any scented spray or cleaner you can buy. I wish my kitchen could smell like that all of the time.

This tart is delicious! It's a little more involved than the bundt cake, but way worth the effort. I had made the tart shell in advance which made it quicker to put together. I love lemon, so I'll be making this whenever I need a lemon fix. It's rich, creamy and packs a punch of lemony goodness.

I'm looking forward to getting back on my baking schedule starting next week. Dorie, herself, chose the recipe for next week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TWD: Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

I knew I was going to like this week's selection, no if's, and's or but's. Give me butter, sugar, flour with a splash of can it go wrong? Well, my friend Wendy who's also my accupuncturist/nutritionist, could and would list more things than we could imagine. But we won't think about that now.

For now, we're just going to think about the sweet, simple goodness of a sugar cookie. This was an easy, straightforward recipe.

After mixing the dough, Dorie gives you the option of forming it into a disc which can be rolled out for cutout cookies, or rolled into a log which can then be sliced into cookies after it's chilled. I decided to go the log route and discovered my log rolling skills are, um, somewhat lacking. They looked like fat tapered cigars.

See how small the ones in the top left corner are compared to the ones in the middle? How do others get a more even log? Dorie suggested using the tube from the middle of a roll of paper towls, but I didn't have one handy. Work on improving log rolling skills - check.

I sprinkled blue sanding sugar on them before baking. They're delicious, even though they are shaped funny. Or, as Dorie would say, they're rustic. They're sweet and buttery, like a good sugar cookie should be.

Ulrike of K├╝chenlatein chose this week's recipe. You can find the recipe in Baking From My Home to Yours. You can also find it at Ulrike's site. Check out the TWD blogroll to see hundreds of different versions of these cookies!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TWD: Linzer Sables

This week's recipe is Linzer Sables chosen by Dennis of Living the Life.

I have to say, these are my favorite cookies that we've made so far. I'm surprised because they're so simple to make. The flavors compliment each other perfectly.

The recipe gives you the option of using finely chopped almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. I wanted to try hazelnuts, but Trader Joes didn't have them, so I used almonds.

Of course, I had to try the batter as a preview of how the cookie will taste. It was good. It has ground cloves and cinnamon which adds a hint of spice. Very mellow, but it gives it a nice flavor.

I used a two inch cookie cutter as Dorie suggested and made 27 sandwich cookies. Added some raspberry jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar and, voila...

They taste as good as they look. Jeff gave them a thumbs up too. I want to make these again using hazelnuts with a chocolate filling. Yum.
For the recipe, you can check out Dennis' blog with the link above or buy the book if you don't already have it. It's totally worth having. See what other TWD members are doing here. Thanks Dennis! You picked a winner. :)