Tag Archives: sugar

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

A new cookbook from Dorie Greenspan has helped get the blogging lava flowing for me again.  Not posting since February? Yes. I’ll admit, life got in the way.  A trip to Europe happened (which warranted a blog post that didn’t happen), moving twice happened.  So, you know, life.  I didn’t stop cooking all together, but I wasn’t terribly adventurous. Still, a simple meal is something to rant and rave about.

So how about these cookies?

Baking Chez Moi released Tuesday, October 28. This is such a gorgeous book and I know it will produce gorgeous and tasty things.  The French Friday’s with Dorie group is still in full swing – finding duck and kumquats for this week didn’t happen so I might do a make up – but with the new book, Tuesday’s with Dorie is back.  The first recipe up is Palets de Dames, a butter cookie, best with tea or coffee.

PaletesDeDames2

I made the dough and thought there wouldn’t be enough.  As she states in her recipe, you’re to only use about two teaspoons of dough for each cookie.  After some batter loss and cookies that were sized too big,  i ended up pumping out 32. Not bad for a yield of 40.

PaletesDeDames3I let the dough chill overnight and the batter still baked up well.  I set my convection oven at 400F and the cookies were perfect at 7 minutes.  The icing was not as pretty as the book but I thought it looked OK for a first timer.

Paletes De DamesThese were perfect with my morning coffee.  Yum!

It feels good to be back (again!)

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The “IM BACK!” Post with Hi-Hat Cupcakes

It has been WAY too long, friends.  Way. To. Long.

I have about 10 posts for you as well.

I’m not going to beat around the bush.  I will give you one of the stellar and most recent creations I’ve made.

CUPCAKES!

And not just any cupcakes.  Hi-hat cupcakes.  Delish chocolate cupcakes.  Delish icing piled up high.  DUNKED in chocolate.   OK.  Enough with the ramble.  On to the recipe.

Hi-Hat Cupcakes (Courtesy of Martha Stewart what what girl!)
The recipe on Martha’s site is kind of … awkward.  It calls for water in the directions but water is no where to be found in the ingredient list.  I disregarded the whole water thing and everything was fine.

For the batter:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Chocolate Coating:

  • 2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center.
Place unsweetened chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave until just melted.  Stir and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about17-20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees.on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and freeze while preparing the chocolate coating.
 
For the chocolate coating, melt half of the chocolate with the oil in a heat proof bowl in the microwave.  When the chocolate is smooth, add the rest of the chocolate until melted.  Microwave for another 30 seconds if needed.  Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.
Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show.
Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Yep.  I wanted to DIE after eating these.  Messy and amazing. Don’t tell my trainer. 🙂

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Frozen Raspberry Pie

This is a pie that I am going to have to make again to “master”.  It looked good, tasted good but not GREAT.  I didn’t let the crust cool enough!  I am bad when it comes to patience.  I found this over at Back to the Cutting Board.

Crust

  • 32 (about 6 1/2 oz.) chocolate wafers, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. skim milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Filling

  • 3 cups red or black raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar, divided
  • 2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
Use a food processor or blender to grind the chocolate wafers, powdered sugar, oil, milk and butter until fine. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Press down any puffed up parts of the crust. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or until it’s at room temperature.


While the crust is cooling, wash out your blender/food processor. Puree the raspberries, lemon juice and salt in it until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing with a spatula to extract the juice. Throw away the seeds. Set raspberry mixture aside.


In a very clean stainless steel mixer bowl (make sure it doesn’t have a trace of fat or oil in it), combine water and cream of tartar. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar, beat with a whisk until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the egg whites are completely broken up.


Switch your mixer to high speed and continue beating. Add in your remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure the sugar is fully dissolved before adding more (waiting about 30 seconds should be fine). Once all the sugar is added you may need to stop the mixer for a few seconds to scape down the sides with a clean spatula. Continue beating until the mixture is glossy and stiff (it will hold it’s shape when you remove the beater).


Gently fold the raspberry puree into the egg whites until well combined. Pour into the pie crust. Put the pie on level surface in your freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
To serve, take the pie out of the freezer and let stand for about 10 minutes to soften slightly.

Because I didn’t let the crust cool enough i got this popcicle like effect on the bottom and the creaminess on the top.  Still, it was yummy and tart.  I will definitely be making this again and letting the crust cool COMPLETELY.

woopsies 🙂

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sugar donut mini muffins

one thing that i don’t do often is bake sweet things.  i don’t know why.  i just don’t gravitate towards a lot of sweet things.  however, i did buy a mini muffin pan not too long ago.  the first thing i thought of was using it for the monthly birthday breakfast we have at work.  january was assigned to my team and out came the mini muffin pan.  but what to make?  my boss already took the savory egg bake (which was quite yummy and i’m going to have to get his recipe) so corn and cheddar muffins were out.  per the suggestion of Julia, i made sugar donut mini muffins.

you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

preheat the oven to 350.  lightly grease a muffin tin and set aside.

in a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until combined.  in a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  pour into egg mixture and stir to combine.  pour in the vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.

divide batter into the mini muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full.  bake for 10-12 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

while the muffins bake, melt the butter and pour the sugar into a seperate bowl.  when muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each muffin with butter, dip and roll in sugar.  cool on a wire rack.

makes 24 mini muffins.

ok so it doesn’t end there.

the treats went over well but the idea came about to STUFF THEM with some sort of yummy filling.  grape jelly filling?  nutella?!  the possibilities are endless!  i plan on making the stuffed version for my next breakfast “thing”.

Donut Muffins

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes & Donuts with Julia

a few days before we embarked on our bi annual trip to the fiestware tent sale, Jules and I decided to make some treats for the fiestaware breakfast.  i happened upon the caramel apple cupcakes in Rachael Ray’s fall magazine.  now i know i’ve ranted about her a few times on my blog but i still like her magazine.  it’s colorful, fun and i actually found a few good recipes in it.  the recipe seemed easy so we both said, “aiiiite” and forged ahead.

you’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 rome apples (about 1 pound), peeled and shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups chewy caramel candies
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Let cool. Spread the frosting generously on the cooled cupcakes.

they look good, don’t they?  well, the only bad thing i could say about this was that we need a different icing.  the melted caramels are good when warm.  but when it cools, you might want to call your dentist before you take a bite.  i’d totally make these again but with a different icing.

check out Julia’s blog here, Pink Champagne, Gatorade and MRE’s

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(war of 1812) mojitos

a few years back on June 18, a few friends of mine realized that it was the anniversary of the start of the war of 1812.  the story is kind of blurry, and i’m not exactly sure why they decided to do this, but since then they have celebrated the start of the war with mojitos.  this was the first year i took a part in war of 1812 mojitos and i have been missing out!  it is kind of perfect to have it on this day – an unofficial welcome to summer with the ultimate summer beverage.  we followed the bacardi recipe for mojitos and it was quite delicious.

1.5 oz bacardi rum (or silver rum)
12 fresh spearmint leaves
1/2 lime
7 oz club soda
2 tbsp. simple syrup

toss in the mint, lime and simple syrup into a glass and muddle the ingredients.  fill the glass with ice and add rum, club soda and stir.  enjoy with the war of 1812 overture.


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