Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TWD: Cranberry Lime Galette

After a little over two years of enjoying Tuesdays with Dorie it is finally our turn to host. The three of us....Elizabeth, Whitney, and myself (April) decided to go with the fall theme. We were able to work out all our schedules and get together last week and bake this beautiful dessert.

There is nothing like fresh cranberries they have such great color and flavor. The holidays just aren't the same with out them.

After mixing all the ingredients together for the filling it smelled so good! It was hard to stay away from that area of the kitchen. Anytime one of us walked past we could not help but hover over the the cranberry ginger bliss!

It was even better baked. First off Dorie's crust recipe is AMAZING. Everyone has their tried and true crust and this beat mine out of the water. It was so buttery and delicious. I would have been happy with just the crust. Then for the wonderful cranberry, ginger, lime filling. When baked it melted in your mouth. We split the dessert three ways sending a third home with each of us. Later we learned that very little if any was shared with husbands or children. Two of us even ate it for breakfast the next day and guilt free may I add. It was so delicious and is sure to be made again, very soon...if not this week definitely for Thanksgiving. We hope everyone else enjoyed this as much as we did.

We also made another version with pears, cinnamon, orange zest, and cranberries. It too was delicious, but I did use a store bought crust, which was a big mistake and did not compare at all with Dorie's crust.

Cranberry Lime Galette (pg 364)

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for a single crust (pg 442), chilled
3 TBsp ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans or skinned hazelnuts)
3 TBsp dry bread crumbs (unseasoned, store bought)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (let thaw and pat dry)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup moist, plump dried cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
a 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lime
3 Tbsp raspberry jam or jelly

decorating (coarse) or granulated sugar, for dusting
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (see below) or a silicone mat.
To make it easier to move the pie dough onto the baking sheet, roll it between sheets of parchment (in which case, you can use one of the rolling sheets to line the baking sheet) or wax paper or plastic wrap. Alternatively, work on a well-floured surface, taking care to keep the dough moving by turning it and flouring the surface often.
Roll the dough into a large 1/8-inch circle. Using a pastry wheel or a paring knife, trim the dough to a 13-inch diameter. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and keep it covered in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Mix together the nuts and bread crumbs.
Toss together the remaining ingredients (except the decorating and confectioners' sugars for dusting) in a bowl, stirring just to mix.

Good for Everything Pie Crust

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 stick (10 Tbs.) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
2 1/2 Tbs. very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
about 1/4 c. ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing- what you're aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine one and off, gradually add about 3 Tbs. of water. Add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened to form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scape the dough out of the work bowl onto a work surface.

Shape dough into a ball and then flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)

Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Using a cake pan or pot lid as a template and the tip of a blunt kitchen knife as a marker, gently trace a 9-inch circle in center of the dough--this is the area for the filling. Sprinkle the center circle with the nut and crumb mixture and top with the filling. Now gently lift the unfilled border of dough up and onto the filling: as you lift the dough and place it on the filing, it will pleat. Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of decorating or granulated sugar.
Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is brown, the cranberries have popped and the filling is bubbling. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Very carefully slide a small baking sheet or a cake lifter under the galette and slip the galette onto a rack to cool. Serve the galette with it is just warm or when it has reached room temperature, lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Molasses Cookies

I LOVE ginger cookies and had been on the lookout for a fabulous recipe for quite some time. I found this one a couple of years ago and it has become a favorite. It is perfectly chewy on the inside with a little crisp ring around the outside. When I made them with my kids last week, I had a very proud parenting moment. I had my 5-year-old smell the ginger and asked her what spice it was. Without hesitation she smiled and said, "Ginger!" That's my girl! 

Molasses Cookies

1 cup butter, soft
2 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
a pinch of allspice, nutmeg and cloves
extra sugar for rolling

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Sift together remaining dry ingredients and add, mixing until just combined. Refrigerate dough at least a half hour. Shape dough into balls, roll in sugar, and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 275°F or until cookies are cracked on top. Cool on the sheet.

Scrumptuous Cake

My sister-in-law asked if I would be willing to create a cake and post on the blog, so here it goes for the first time ever!

I love making cakes and I'll take any excuse I can to make one. The cake I decided to do is two layers. One a classic white and the other a rich dark chocolate with semi-sweet chocolate chips added to the batter. I filled the cake with a dark chocolate syrup and marshmallow cream. Yummy, yummy. I used a basic vanilla frosting to cover the cake and decorated it with dark chocolate shavings, sugar beads and the same vanilla frosting tinted blue. I used tip #2D to add the swirl across the top.

Some cake baking tips that I have learned:
1. Always place wax paper at the bottom of your pan so that you have a flat surface for layering and decorating.

2. Give your layers a "tummy tuck" by inverting them on a cooling rack right after they come out of the oven. This helps to decrease the bulge on top.

3. Make your layers before hand so that they can be frozen. Pull them out of the freezer in the morning if you are going to work on them that afternoon. The cakes stay moist and are much easier to work with. (keep in mind that you need to let them thaw a little. Working with a frozen cake is like trying to work with a rock)

4. When torting and filling the cake put a dam around the edge to prevent the filling from oozing out the sides.

5. Place a little bit of frosting on your cake board so that the cake stays in place and does not slide all around.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Okay, yes, you heard me, a snickerdoodle blondie bar. I had these at my friend Alexis' house. She introduced me to the blog cjaneinthekitchen where there is a much more attractive picture of these delicious goodies. I made a batch of these and rushed off to deliver half of them to a friend who just had a baby. Came home and found this....

the crust. While it still looks delectable I am a little dissappointed not to give you a pic of just how wonderful these are. Apparently my husband had to fight off little fingers to save just these morsels for me. If you give this recipe a try, put it in a 9x13 pan (the recipe doesn't specify). I didn't use any vanilla or cinnamon in the glaze because I knew they were cinnamon-packed and I wanted to keep the contrast - you can use white vanilla if you want though. Mmmmmm...they were so good - even just the crusts :)

Easy and Delicious Cheesecake

Okay so there are a million recipes out there for a million different types of cheesecake and admittedly I probably would love all of them. What I like about this one is that it is so insanely easy that anyone can do it. It does not require a springform pan, water bathing, an hour of baking, or even eggs. So easy and it works every time.

I acquired this recipe at a church function a few years ago and we have loved it ever since. Especially my husband. Sometimes, I bake them in ramekins, cover them and freeze. Then my hubby can pull one out at will on a Sunday evening and enjoy a treat when I have not baked.

Easy and Delicious Cheesecake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. sour cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 prepared graham cracker crust (if you make your own, add a little cinnamon)

1. Beat or food process cream cheese until very smooth.
2. Add everything else. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min - just until it is barely set.
4. Refrigerate for a few hours or freeze until cold (30 min?)

Enjoy with fresh or frozen fruit
(we just used frozen blueberries and the blueberries and cinnamon in the crust were a seriously good combo)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mike's new birthday cake!

Ever since Mike was a child, he has requested German Chocolate cake for his birthday; however, the last few years he requested this chocolate beauty! I have to admit, it's wonderful and amazing, and the confession....it includes a cake mix (gasp)!!!
I beg you not to be a cake mix snob and just make this cake, if only once! It's decadent, rich, and delicious. Mike likes it best the next day when it's been chilled, I prefer it warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 dark chocolate cake mix

1 small box instant chocolate pudding

¾ c. oil

¾ c. water

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream

4 oz. cream cheese

1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 for one hour. After cooling, drizzle with chocolate ganache and caramel.

Chocolate ganache glaze:

½ c .heavy cream

½ Tbs. butter

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Over medium-low heat, bring cream and butter to boil. Pour over chocolate chips and mix until smooth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TWD-Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

I love Fall baking! I love cranberries, pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The smell of something-warm- and-tasty-in-the-oven filling the house is heavenly. It seems that the cool Fall weather finally hit us in Utah this week. On Saturday, it was a beautiful 70 degrees and we were working in the yard in t-shirts. This morning, we woke up to SNOW! So the chilly weather was just perfect to pop this lovely little dessert in to the oven.

We had grand plans to do a double baking day at April's house today, but Lizzie's kiddos were sick so April and I got together to bake today, and we are all gathering on Friday to bake for next week. We missed you Liz!

This was a simple recipe to prepare. I made the "jam" while April made the dough. The "jam" was wonderful, a little too tart for our tastes so we added a bit more sugar when it was done cooking. I might just use it as a cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving, it was that good. The dough came together quickly and it was easy to see what Dorie meant when she said the dough was a delicate one. After chilling the dough we assembled the cake in the springform pan. It was a tricky dough to work with. For the bottom layer we rolled it out a little and then pressed it into the bottom of the pan with our hands. After putting the filling in, the challenge came in putting the top layer on. It rolled out alright, but was hard to put on without having it crack. So, we ended with a bit of a rustic top layer. 

When it came out of the oven it smelled wonderful! I sent a piece with April and then kept the rest here. My hubby loved it and he isn't normally a huge cranberry fan. He said that he liked the contrast between the sweet shortbread and the tangy cranberry filling. I thought it was a wonderfully simple dessert and will definitely make it again. It will be fun to play around with the fillings too. If you are interested in the full recipe, head on over to Jessica's blog. She also did the apple version and has some beautiful pictures as well.

Next week we it is finally our week to host TWD! We are super excited and are getting together on Friday to bake up a storm. Leading up to our hosting day, we are going to post some of our favorite recipes. So, until next week, Happy Baking!