Sunday, October 27, 2013

Devil Dogs with Malted Buttercream Filling

Hey Punkin 

 I'm new to devil dogs...the name makes me think of  a mash up of deviled eggs and hot dogs.  I didn't say it was a good mash up.  (Guess I should have warned ya, before I continued...well too late now!)  Apparently, these devil dogs are like Hostess cupcakes or Ho-Hos.  That sounds way better than my mash up!

Everybody dance now!

Sorry, this song has been stuck in my head (all week), and I just had to get it out.  Whew, now I feel better. (To be honest, I think it has been stuck in there since the early '90's.)  I'm in no way, trying to divert your attention from the fact that I'm going rogue today.  What?  Who said that? But she put Devil Dogs right in the title!! 
It isn't that I don't want to make these Devil Dogs...I do...I really do. (Just not today.)  They sound very interesting and yummy.  It's just's October and I need to get a pumpkin injection.  Umm, excuse me?  I want some pumpkin in me?  Uh, I think you need to go bake something now and for the love of pumpkin; stop talking. I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Pumpkin!(Or was it cowbell?)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TWD-Danish Braid

Chunky Bits

So I'm feeling a bit like a broken record...but I wasn't going to make this recipe.  I feel like these Tuesdays just sneak up on me...I know, I've said that before too.
But then I looked at the recipe and decided I should indeed make it.  Besides, it is a long weekend here in I have an extra day for baking.  Woot-Woot!!

The pastry dough seems easy enough.  Though as I started making the dough, I thought to myself, 'hey stupid, ya should have watched the video first.'  I decided to ignore the comment and/or suggestion and floundered on.  (Who does she think she's calling Stupid!)

Pastry dough is I'll watch the video.(Thank you very much!)  I think I've done it right so far.  Granted, all I've done is make the dough.  But so much can go wrong in those few minutes that it takes to make the dough.

Butter and flour get pulsed about a dozen times in the food processor.

Butter is broken down into smaller bits...but not too small...chunky bits.

Flour mixture is then added to the wet mixture.

This is stirred together just until the flour mixture is moistened.  Then, the bowl is covered with saran wrap and put in the fridge overnight.
It seemed strange to just stir the ingredients until the flour was combined.  I'm used to having to roll the dough into a ball and then put in the fridge.  But the video confirmed it was correct.  And why would sweet Julia and Beatrice lie?

After the night in the fridge, the dough is ready to be rolled.  The dough first gets patted out with my hands.  (The chunks of butter are still apparent...I think this is going to be a good pastry because of these butter chunks.)  That's right, chunky is good.

This dough was super easy to roll out.  And it was interesting to roll out.  It is a super chunky dough, with all the butter bits in it.  A few times rolling it out and folding it into thirds...and then back in the fridge for another rest.  Sort of like a croissant dough, but 100 times quicker and easier!




...and one last fold before being cut in half.  Look at those layers!  Yep, I predict this is going to be a good pastry dough.  Mark my words, sonny!  Yup!
And this dough then goes back in the fridge for another half hour or so.

So, I made neither the pastry cream filling nor the fruit filling.  Rather, I made a cream cheese filling, adapted from an Ina Garten recipe and used an apricot spread I had in the cupboard (that I was saving to make Rugelach-an Ina recipe).
I thought the cream cheese might help to offset the sweetness of the apricot spread I planned on using.

 Time for another roll.  But this time is the last (famous last words...but true this time).

Now to spread the apricot filling down the centre of the dough. 

Next, the cream cheese filling tops the apricots.  Then, strips are cut using a pizza cutter.  I should have cut my strips smaller as the recipe says 12-14 strips.  I just read cut into strips...then after cutting, I read just how many I should have cut...yep, seems pretty normal for me.  Sigh.

It seemed to work out all right...I think.  I've never been a fantastic braider.  I think I had problems with braiding in this post too.

Next, just need to brush some egg white wash and sprinkle some sugar onto the top.  I didn't have pearl sugar, so I just used some raw sugar.

This is then covered and left at room temperature for 30 minutes.

The braid is baked for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Lastly, it is glazed with a confectioner's sugar icing.  I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

 Yup!  It is good.  The pastry is nice and flaky.  The cream cheese and apricot spread compliment each other perfectly.  And what do you know, I'm glad I made this.  (broken record time)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin cheesecake bars

 Little Dip in the Rogue....but you can call me Sandra
Three exciting things right now...trifecta if you will...of things I love.  Granted they are all related...but I love them enough to give them their own space.  And if each of these things had ears, I would whisper 'I love you' in their ears.  (you're welcome, for the creepy visual)
1)  October
2)  Halloween
3)  Pumpkin

So, maybe I get excited when it's October and the Halloween decorations can finally come out of the closet.  It takes a lot to not bring them out much so, that some things need to come out before October (and some things just stay out all year).  Hey, I'm only human!  (A human that just happens to be Halloween inclined.)  And should I happen to get anything Halloween related for my birthday (in September) then I of course am obligated to leave it out.  It would be rude to put it away.  (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
But wait, there's is now mid October and I haven't had time to put out very much in the way of Halloween decorations...and it is causing me stress.  I'm pretty sure I have PHSD (Pre-Halloween Stress Disorder).  Maybe not, I'm sure it's normal for people to feel stressed out in mid October, to the point that it feels "too late" to put out Halloween decorations now.  (I'm not really sure why I put quotes around that...though I think it was a passive aggressive jab at myself...hmm.) PHSD it is.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

TWD-X Cookies

Today's Theme is Log

I almost didn't make today's recipe. (I feel like I say that a lot.)  Sometimes I feel so rushed to get the first recipe of the month done.  It may be because we get the recipes a week before the first one is due, so I feel rushed. (Plus, I also bake with another group--Baked Sunday Mornings.)  I had a recipe due for that group around the same time.  I made these, Brown Butter Snickerdoodles and loved them. 

Enough about my inability to manage my time!  Let's get these cookies rolling.  (Please note, cookies were indeed rolled in the making of this recipe...but none were harmed....unless you feel eating said cookies is harming them.) 

This recipe starts with the dry ingredients being pulsed in the food processor.  Okay, so far not to hard.  I like pushing buttons as much as the next person...but generally, it is the next person's buttons that I'm pushing.  (The pulse button will have to suffice for now.)

Next to be put in the food processor, is the butter.

And lastly, the eggs get  a turn in the whirly go-round (shh, don't tell them there's a metal blade at the bottom).

And here is the finished product.  I like the ease of this recipe so far.  (And imagine, I almost didn't make it!)

Log, Log, everyone loves a log...
All I have to do, is shape it into a log and set it aside....just set it aside...not in the fridge or the freezer or anything....and I can use it right away.  (No wait time?  Whoa!)  I feel like every recipe I make lately has wait times before I can actually finish the dish.  Now I wouldn't say I was an impatient person, I just don't like waiting.  What?  That's not one in the same!

Next, the filling needs to get mixed up.

Stems to the be left.
The figs get their stems removed and thrown into the same food processor bowl that the dough mixture was made (no cleaning of the bowl required...that there is some sweet words to a baker).

The rest of the filling ingredients get added to the bowl.  I couldn't find candied orange peel, only candied mixed citrus (close enough).  And because I was sure I had apricot preserves in the pantry, I am using orange marmalade....sigh.  I'm pretty sure the pantry ate the preserves.  (Video surveillance is being installed right now.)

Once all the filling ingredients got processed together, it was just a matter of rolling it into a log.  Log is the theme today. ('cause everyone loves a log...)  I then cut the...wait for it...log...into 12 pieces.  Thought it would look nicer than a shot of another log....not that there is anything wrong with log shots.  ('cause everyone loves a log...)

Next, the 12 sections of the filling get rolled into tiny logs, that then get rolled in one of the 12 little dough logs.  Seriously, I'm totally logged out.  And I can't share the pic of the filling log in the dough before it gets rolled up.  I just can't.  It isn't pretty.  It really looks like a log...of something.  

So, let's just move on to the filling already rolled up into the dough, pic...much more palatable shot.

Okay wait, I can share this shot of the dough being rolled around the filling.
And can I just say, that I used this Pastry scraper for a lot of the process.  (One of those kitchen tools I can't live without now.)
The little rolls then get cut on both ends.  Starting to look kinda cute.  But wait, there's more.

It gets cuter!

See!  Cute!  Super cute!

 And into the oven they go.

Cookies have been baked.  And I'm so glad I did make and bake these little cutie patooties! These cookies are going into my 'must make again' list. 

X Cookies and Brown Butter Snickerdoodles just hanging out on my new two tier serving tray. (Thanks, Lisa!)  It's better than bad, it's good!