Tuesday, September 29, 2009
You guys all know how much I loooooove caramel, right? And chocolate, well that goes without saying. But peanuts, eh, they're not my thing. Since the recipe calls for honey roasted peanuts I always thought I might use pecans, almonds or cashews in the tart, but then on one trip to the grocery store, I came across a bag of honey roasted cashews. Honey Roasted Cashews! I couldn't believe my luck! This was going to be one great tart.
I had really, really high expectations of this tart and it lived up to them and then some! The silky ganache, the perfectly sweet and salty caramel, the crunchy contrast of the honey roasted cashews and the crispy cookie-like crust, all come together into one perfect dessert! It couldn't even be wrecked by the fact that I forgot to buy some unsalted butter last weekend and had only half of what was needed for the ganache. Even if it really was worth the wait, I would recommend you not to wait as long as I did to make this tart. If you don't have THE book (and you should!) visit Carla over at Chocolate Moosey and get thee that recipe right now! You will not regret it! And be sure to pay a visit to the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers for a massive dose of baking inspiration!
Friday, September 25, 2009
The Whoopie Pies were to be of the traditional chocolate with marshmallow filling variety. The cookies came out really well, but the filling, not so much. They were quite tasty but a little too sticky and gooey, so to speak. So, LP and I each set out to find the perfect filling recipe for Whoopie Pies. I went the homemade Fluff route, which was a great success, but sadly, since I have no photos as proof of that, you'll have to take my word for it until I decide to make some again. LP went the cream cheese frosting route and, I have to say, she won the Whoopie Pie filling challenge hands down. She came up with this Orange Almond Cream variation and I just had to steal it from her. I'm sure she won't mind, right LP?
Orange Almond Cream Whoopie Pies
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 1 to 2 oranges (depending on their size and how orangey you want the cookies)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
For the Almond Cream filling:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
5 tbsp butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, mix the egg, oil, orange zest, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the buttermilk, until all the ingredients are well combined.
Drop the dough, a teaspoonful at a time, onto the prepared baking sheet, taking care to leave enough space between the cookies as they expand a little while baking, but not too much. Also try to keep the shape as round and even as possible, it makes it easier to match the cookies after they are baked. Bake the cookies about 8 minutes, until they are slightly golden around the edges, but do not over bake them, you want them to be tender, not hard. Once the cookies are done baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl of your mixer of choice, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and the butter until light and well blended. Add the sifted powdered sugar, in batches, until the filling is perfectly smooth. Add the almond extract, mix well.
To fill the cookies, you can use a spoon or a pastry bag to spread some of the filling onto one of the cookies and then sandwich another cookie on top. Fill and sandwich cookies until all the cookies are matched. You might have some filling leftover, it makes a nice frosting on cupcakes or muffins.
Friday, September 18, 2009
With that, I decided I would not be too hard on myself, always trying to come up with original and never before seen recipes and photos. I will blog for fun again and enjoy myself in the process. Because frankly, I haven't been doing nearly enough fun stuff since the kids started school. Routine has hit me harder than ever and I don't like it.
So in the spirit of blogging for fun, here is the recipe for the muffins I made this morning, just because it was an off day from school and it was raining and I just felt like it. These are my go-to buttermilk muffins. I found it on a day I was looking for a recipe to use up the buttermilk I had in the fridge that was about to go bad. They were so tender and comforting that now, I buy buttermilk just to make these muffins.
I'm not promising a post a day, but I'll do my best to update regularly, and I will remember to make it fun. Oh, and thanks Darling for the unintended swift kick in the a**. I needed it. :)
Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins (adapted from Sweet Savory Southern)
Makes 16 muffins
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Handful of chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.
In a bowl, soak oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes. Stir in eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into oat mixture just until moistened. Fill prepared muffin tin three-fourths full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.