Sunday, May 26, 2013

Malted Madeleines

Have Pan Will Bake

I am going to be making the Malted Madeleines.  Duh, you're writing a post about it....of course you're making them.
Maybe I should be clearer.  I HAVE to make the Malted Madeleines.  Oh, it isn't a matter of life and death (or is it 'life or death'?).  Hmm....maybe I should google that.  No!  Get back to the Madeleines.

Let me take you back dear reader to a day....the day....when madeleines were something I needed.
It all started(over two months ago), when I read ahead on the baking schedule for Baked Sunday Mornings.  And there is was, the date for Malted Madeleines (still a ways off).  But then around the same time, Yummy Chunklet made Chocolate-dipped Maple & Bacon Madeleines (yes, Bacon!)  Well, what could I do?  It was obvious I needed a madeleine pan.  And so began my our hunt for a pan.  Hubbie was part of this too.  (He was the driver.)  Everyone needs a driver to be at the ready when it is necessary to try another store.  It only took three stores until I found one.  To be fair, I found them at another store, but they seemed expensive for a cookie pan.  Wow, great story....the plot twists were crazy and I'm dying to does it end??  (It is a sad day, dear reader, when your own sarcasm comes and kicks ya in the butt.)  Fine!  I'll move along...even though there could have been crazy plot twists in this story.

So, I bought a madeleine pan.  And now I have to use it....I just gotta.  It is still sitting in the the bag I brought it home in!!  It judges me; every time I walk into the kitchen.  "Where's my Madeleines, Bedelia!!" (yep, I just brought some Creepshow into this post.)  Sorry.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TWD-Savoury Brioche Pockets

Hot Pockets

These little pastries look good.  I'm a little anxious about making the dough though, but I think that is a normal anxiety for me.  One day, I will have dough making down pat!  I see that it is a long process for the dough making, so I think I will give myself a day to do that and then make the pockets the following day. (Famous last words of the always rushed.)  I so hope they turn out.  They looks so darn cute!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

Stoked for a Stack

Griddle cakes!!  Sign me up!  I loves me some griddle cakes.  And I think the addition of cornmeal will make them even better.  I love cornmeal muffins, so I'm pretty sure this is going to rock.
As per the Baked Boys, "It's like a fresh, hot, buttery, flat, crunchy corn muffin."  Ummm......Yes please!!!

Huh, I didn't realize I'd have to cook the cornmeal first.  Not that it really changes anything, I'm still making these griddle cakes.  I just thought it would be like making muffins.  Huh.  Fascinating, Captain.

I think I might be overly excited about these.  Remember my let down about those Lacy Panty (Pan)Cakes?  Yeah, that wasn't pretty.....though I did discover whiskey sauce and that was a very good thing!  I have high hopes for these griddle cakes.  High as the sky!  Who lives in a pineapple under the sea.....  (oh, oh, she's singing....all is lost.)

I could just be craving pancakes.  Hmm??  I have recently made the sour cream pancakes that Pioneer Woman shared on her site...and I gotta say, LOVE 'EM!!  I didn't think I'd ever like a pancake more than my Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Pancakes.  Let me be clear, nothing beats the buttermilk ones, but those sour cream pancakes are so light and have so little flour in them and are fast and easy to make.  I have enough (pancake) love for all of them.  I'm sure I can squeeze in some griddle cake love too.  (Look away!!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Alfajore Cookies

 Spot of Tea?

These cookies look wonderful in the Baked cookbook.  I am looking forward to making them, as I love dulce de leche.  I am still on the fence about making my own (dulce de leche that is).  I know it is just condensed milk and easy peasy to make......but Eagle Brand does now sell dulce de leche.  And I may or may not already have a can or two of it sitting in the cupboard.  (I'm not being coy, I seriously can't remember if I actually tried it in anything yet.)

I think these cookies will look very pretty on the new plate, teacup and saucer I bought especially for this day.  I bought these months ago for this specific post.  They have sat in my dining room hutch waiting for their moment to shine.
Not only is it Mother's Day, but it would have been my mom's birthday today.  She had a penchant for teacups and saucers.  And I know she would have loved this set....and not just for the sheer beauty of them, but also because I got them on sale!!  And we both loved/love a sale!

Focusing on making the cookies now.

First, need to get the flour and other dry ingredients blended together. 

The corn starch is sifted first; then, whisked with the other ingredients.  The mixture becomes so fluffy!

Maybe not this fluffy.

Butter and sugar are ready to get it on.  (Cue the Barry White music.)  Oh yeahhhhhhh. 

Next, the lovely lemon zest gets added.  Oy, it smells heavenly.

If I wasn't drinking (the last of the....but shhhh don't tell hubbie) iced coffee, I'd want a lemonade.  My hubbie makes a good cup of coffee....but he makes a crazy good glass of iced coffee.  No sugar, just the double strength coffee over ice with a splash of half and half.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.

The egg yolks and whole egg are added next.  I even went to the trouble (though really not a trouble at all) of removing the white bits from the eggs.  Aren't they beautiful, Madge?!

The last ingredients to be added to the bowl (before the dry ingredients) are the rum and vanilla.  I'm beginning to feel like I can't bake without my Sailor Jerry anymore.  What?  He understands me....we've got a connection.  The recipe calls for a good-quality light rum.  I went with Sailor Jerry.  He would never fail me.

Where were we?  Oh yes, adding the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. 

And here we have the dough.
It looks so good...I just wanna eat it now. 

Once shaped into a disc, it can be put in the fridge to chill for awhile.  This dough feels great.  Yes, I'm feeling my dough!  Hey, this is private!

So I do have two cans of the Eagle Brand Dulce de Leche.  I think I will just pour the contents into a pot and heat it up.  Not sure how thick it is, so I may need the heat to thicken it.<shrug>

Well, I have heated it up and let it cool, but it doesn't seem to be as thick as what it looks like in the Baked book.  Perhaps I'll put it in the fridge for a while.  Not having a good feeling about this people.

Going to move on, to the cookie making.  I left the dough in the fridge overnight.  For no particular reason...well other than I wanted to get outside and pull some dandelions...what....isn't that what everyone thinks of when making cookies??  Yep, nothing better than spending 3 hours pulling dandelions and weeds.  Good times.

Dough gets cut in half.  One half gets put back in the fridge.

The other half gets ready to be rolled....out....

and then cut.....


I went with a daisy shape cut out for these cookies.  Once cut out, I put them on a cookie pan and then threw them in the promptly pull them out of the oven.
Yeah, read the recipe and I'm supposed to chill them in the fridge for five minutes before baking.  Look at me reading the recipe!

Ten minutes in the oven and they have puffed up nicely, but not too much.  Goldilocks would want these cookies...'cause they're just right.

What the Alfajor?
The dulce de leche seems thicker now that it has been in the fridge.  Scratch that.  Dulce to let down.

Okay, going to pull out the jar of nutella.  That has a great consistency and would be wonderful on these cookies.  (It was a discussion we had at Baked Sunday Mornings.)  You can also go there to see how everyone else did with these cookies.

As for this household, the cookies weren't spot on.  But they do look pretty and sometimes looking pretty is important.  The flavour of the cookies were good.  Loved the lemon in the cookie dough.

Happy Anniversary to my hubbie. Yes, it is also our wedding anniversary.  There really is a lot going on today.  Love you more than gum drops, hon.   

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Rhubarb upside down cake

This cake sounds awesome.  But I don't know if I'm going to be able to find rhubarb.  It has been a cold spring up until last week and I don't think the rhubarb is ready yet.  I will have to look around and see if any growers have it yet.  If not, I wonder if I'll be able to find it in the freezer section of a grocery store??

It isn't very often that I bake with rhubarb.  I love it, but it generally requires so much sugar to sweeten it up!  I do hope that I can find some, as I would like to make this recipe as written.

Well, no such luck finding rhubarb.  But I am still making the cake.  I am going to use mango, as suggested in the forward of the recipe.  I am only going to make a half recipe, as I really don't know that I need all that cake in the I only have four mini cake pans. 

So Mango it is.  And I have a bag in the freezer!  Score.  (As a side note, this is my first bag of frozen mango, and I really like it.  I like that it is already cut, as I don't enjoy peeling and cutting mangos.  Plus the fruit is perfect and was much cheaper frozen than fresh.  I honestly think I waste a lot of mango fruit when I cut it myself.)

Mango always makes me think of the character on Saturday Night Live. (giggle)

And rather than the bourbon as called for, I am going to use rum.  After all, rum is a perfect compliment for Mango.  Plus I love rum....though I don't imagine the flavour of the rum will really come through as it is a small amount.

The caramel is ready to be spooned into the mini cake pans. 

And then the mango pieces are added.  Doesn't seem like much caramel in the bottom of the pans.   

The cake batter gets made next....butter, sugar, dry ingredients and sour cream (and a cast of other minor characters ingredients) and then spooned over caramel and mango.
And then into the oven for 20 minutes or so.  I went with 20 minutes plus another 10...or so.

It would seem that my caramel was trying to run away.  Dang it!

Out of the oven and out of the pans.

Well the little cakes look good with some whipped cream.  And tastes good!  I liked the mango, but look forward to trying it with rhubarb when it is finally in season here.  I love the mini cake version.  I think it makes for a lovely presentation.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Today's Baked Sunday Morning recipe is for homemade Hazelnut Spread. 

What we have here are hazelnuts....toasted.

 Hazelnut skins.

 Skinned hazelnuts.

 I have decided not to make this week's recipe  What?  What??  But the hazelnuts?  The skinned hazelnuts!!  Well, as I have a big jar of nutella in the cupboard I figured I'd skip this week's recipe.

Instead, I thought it would be a great opportunity to make those Nutella Scones (that I missed making as I joined this group late).  Yay, Nutella Scones!!!  Hence the toasting and skinning of hazelnuts.

I do like Nutella, but it isn't something I normally eat.  I just don't really think about it.  I believe this may be my 2nd jar of nutella that I've ever had in the house.  Probably a good thing, as I just took a spoonful out of the jar and damn.......this stuff is good. 

Nutella Scones you say?  Yep, these ain't your grandma's scones.   After mixing the dry and wet ingredients together, the dough is flattened into a rectangle and then a quarter cup of the nutella is poured onto the dough.  I heated the nutella so that it was pourable.
Then the recipe says to roll the dough into a cylinder....not an easy feat with scone dough.  But I struggled through and then turned that cylinder into a disk of dough.  (Trust me, you do not want to see that was messy.)

The disk of dough is put on the baking sheet.   Now it just needs to be made into 6-8 scones.  Please note, the recipe did not indicate scones were to be of equal size.  I like to call it freestyle cutting. (Don't judge!)

I went with 6 scones, probably should have made them into 8 smaller scones. 
Or made them into equal size scones.

And here are the scones fresh out of the oven.  Looking and smelling wonderful.  Just have to let them cool now, as they require one last embellishment.

They needed more nutella!!!!  This time, poured over the top.....yep over the top is a good way to describe these scones. 

And after consuming one, I realize I really, really should have made these into smaller scones.  These are crazy rich and not a scone you could eat regularly.  Hubbie said they are more like a dessert....and I can't disagree.  They were good.  And if you love hazelnuts, you will love these scones.  And if you love nutella....well what are you waiting for, make these scones!!!   Head over to Baked Sunday Mornings to search for the recipe and to see if I was the only one who went Rogue this week. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Almond Freezer Protein Balls

The theme for this month's NaBloPoMo is all about Comfort.  So I thought I'd start with some comfort food....but with a twist.  What if I could find a new (and healthier) comfort food?  Don't get me wrong, I am not going to turn my back on my true comfort foods, but I might be willing to reach for something healthier if it were available. 

So, I made Almond Freezer Protein Balls from Om Nom Ally.  These look really interesting.  They are a no bake treat that gets made and then put in the freezer.  It seems quick and easy enough....and is probably better for me than brownies and still gives me a taste of chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.  (win-win)

Now, instead of Almond butter as indicated in the recipe, I am using peanut butter.  I am not a fan of almond butter....but I do love peanut butter.  The recipe makes 12 protein balls.  I thought I'd make mini bite size balls instead. (More than 12 less than 100.....yeah....I didn't count.)

Verdict?  They're good!!  (Even the hubbie likes them.)  Thanks to Ally from Om Nom Ally for sharing this recipe.