Friday, November 21, 2008
He was a wonderful dad and a loving grandfather and I'm sure he wouldn't want us to be so sad. But I am sad and I will miss him as I have never missed anyone before. I'll get back to blogging in a little while, but for now, I hope you'll understand, my heart's just not into it.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday night, I made the kugelhopf dough with my KitchenAid (really, I couldn't deny my best friend its little happy dance!), put it in the fridge, slapped it down a few times and went to bed. On Sunday morning I let it rise to the top of the pan, baked it, soaked it in butter (butter!) sprinkled sugar over it and then it was all we could do to wait for it to cool to room temperature before digging in. It was simply fabulous. Light, airy, buttery, delicious. Only problem is I got no pics. Not one. It was raining, I had no light and no desire to wait for it! So I decided to make another kugelhopf. I gave the remainder of the first one to Mom so she could take some to my Dad so, really, what was stopping me?
Martin suggested I add some orange zest and a few more golden raisins and I agreed it would be a nice addition. So, Sunday night, I started on another batch of dough. Easy-peasy, right? Oh, no, not easy at all. The dough just wouldn't come together in my KitchenAid. It was slippery, like there wasn't enough flour. I'm thinking now that maybe my butter was too soft. Could it be? Anyways, I added a few tablespoons of flour to get the dough together. Then it just climbed up around the top part of the hook and didn't slap the sides of the bowl at all. I just stopped the mixer, kneaded it by hand a few minutes and put it in a bowl to rise. The first rise went fine, the dough was then refrigerated and slapped down a few times and let to rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I put it in the pan, left it to rise and... it didn't. Well, it did, a little but not nearly as much as my first. And then it didn't rise AT ALL in the oven. Not one bit! That's never happened before, never. Hmpf. Anyhoo, I ended up with a way shorter second kugelhopf.
It tastes fine, although it's not as light and airy as the first (probably because of those few tablespoons of flour I added). The orange zest is a great idea though, I'm keeping that. I haven't said my last word. I have the pan, I'll be baking another kugelhopf sometime soon. If you'd like to make a kugelhopf, Yolanda has the recipe on her blog. And please, if you do try it, come back and tell me how it went, OK? In the meantime, check out the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie gang, they all made the kugelhopf too. I for one can't wait to see everyone's!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Since I have no food processor (Santa, if you're reading this, hint, hint!) I got out my trusty pastry cutter, gathered my ingredients and 15 minutes later my 2 little discs of dough were ready and waiting in the refrigerator. Another 5 minutes and the dishes were washed and put away! w00t! My dough was definitely crumbly, but still workable. OK with me! The next day, I had to decide what I was going to use as a filling. I decided on two different fillings. One batch was filled with some homemade spiced plum jam, chopped hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips. And the other batch was a bit more traditional: orange marmelade, chopped pecans, dried blueberries and mini chocolate chips. I had a little trouble rolling the dough into a circle. It looked more like lace than a smooth pastry!
But the end result is so worth the work! These cookies are fantastic! I have to say, I preferred the spiced plum jam version. The chocolate and the plums go surprisingly well together. And it was a little less sweet than the marmelade version. I'm sure these would work with pretty much any good jam or preserve. And I'm sure the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie gang tried out a lot of different versions of these fabulous little crescent cookies, so go check out the blogroll, won't you! For the recipe you can read this article on NPR, about Dorie's rugelach secrets or check out Grace's blog.
For those of you who are interested, here's the spiced plum jam recipe. It's really good!
Spiced Plum Jam
from What's For Dinner
Makes 8 cups of jam
3 pounds plums (weight with pits removed)
6 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Prepare 8 8-ounce jars for canning.
Put chopped, pitted plums in food processor or blender and puree.
Pour plum puree into large stockpot. Stir in sugar and spices, then bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir constantly to avoid burning the jam.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Store in cool dark place until ready to use; when opened, store in refrigerator.
Plain Plum Jam Alternative
Follow all instructions as above, but leave out spices.