Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TWD: Flip-Over Peach Cake

This is one terrific dessert! Although the recipe calls for plums, I chose to use peaches, fresh from the farmers market. I'm picky about my plums and really only like the ones with a dark, purple-red flesh, and those plums are nearly impossible to find. Hence, the peaches.

My peaches were as large as softballs, and perfectly ripe. (Yay, farmers markets!)

I didn't change any of the spices, and I got to use my oval Pyrex baking dish.

This has to be one of my all-time favorite desserts from Dorie's cookbook. I literally could have eaten it all at once. But I didn't. I did share some with my neighbor so I wouldn't fall victim to its peachy charms.

This week's hostess was Becky of Project Domestication. She will have the recipe posted on her blog.

I suspect most of the other bakers used plums, so head over to the Tuesdays with Dorie site to find out for sure. (Use the LYL section to access the other blogs.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BBB: Soft Pretzels

Last week I treated myself to yet another cookbook, Ruhlman's Twenty.

(While collecting cookbooks appears to be a long-standing addiction [500 and counting], I'm not ready for any interventions. I still have empty rooms to fill!)

The first tool/technique in the book is Thinking.

I do a lot of that, all the time. I'm experienced at thinking. I make my living by thinking.

I'm usually well-prepared when I cook or bake, but I believe there is always something to learn.

So, when I participated in this month's Bread Baking Buddy event, I decided to test my thinking abilities.

Making soft pretzels requires a variety of steps -- making the dough, letting it rise and rest, shaping the pretzels, giving them a bath, brushing them with an egg wash, then baking them. To do this successfully, you need to be efficient and coordinated, having your mise en place and equipment ready to go.

For the water bath part, each time I put in a pretzel, I thought about how to improve the process. By the end, I would place a pretzel up-side down, by hand, in the simmering soda water, push the 15-second button on my timer, then flip it over with the spider, count another 15 seconds, then fish it out and place it neatly on the rack.

The process went very smoothly, thanks to extra thinking. All pretzels were made and baked in slightly over two hours. I sprinkled half of them with Kosher salt, and the other half with cinnamon sugar. Twelve hand-sized soft pretzels, just perfect for a snack.

September's Babe hostess was Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms. Check out her blog for the recipe and to find the links to the other Babes.

It's time to munch a fresh, soft pretzel.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TWD: Salt and Pepper Cocoa Shortbreads

As I write this, I'm munching away on these delicious cookies. I like to think of these as on-demand cookies. I keep the roll of dough in the fridge, then slice off a few and bake them in the toaster oven while I'm eating dinner.

No fuss, no muss.

I sprinkled the first batch with a little extra sea salt for that crunchy, salty, chocolatey, sweet experience.

A few of the almond slice & bakes came to the party, too.

If someone doesn't like that hint of pepper, you could substitute another spice. Either way, these are tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

This week's hostess was Tia of Buttercream Barbie. She'll have the recipe available on her blog.

On the Tuesdays with Dorie site, there wasn't too much chatter about these. Tune in to see what everyone thought.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TWD: Classic Brownies

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie offering is a classic chocolate brownie, chock full of walnuts, moist and chewy. This baking group has tried more varieties of brownies than I can count, each one delicious and each one suiting different types of brownie eaters.

This particular recipe comes close to my normal brownie recipe. Usually, I omit the nuts and substitute chocolate chips or mint chocolate chips. I could have done that this time, but wanted the full experience of the original recipe. It was a nice, substantial, delicious brownie.

In the future, either recipe will do.

Our hostess this week was Anne of Anne Strawberry. Check out her blog for the recipe. It's also a really cute and informative blog.

More brownie renditions will be found on the TWD website, so head on over there after you've baked your brownies.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Spice Quickies

Back to cookies this week -- a good thing. Especially, when they are slice and bake cookies, meaning I can bake them when I feel like it.

These treats are full of almond bits and have a hint of spice. I increased the amount of spice (allspice and cloves) in the dough, so I ended up with a 1/4 teaspoon of each one. Not too overpowering, but a nice background note to the chocolate and almonds.

They didn't spread noticeably during baking, another good thing. All in all, they are a nice cookie for snacking and eating with tea or coffee or the beverage of your choice.

This week's hostess was Jessica of My Baking Heart. You'll find the recipe on her website.

Pop over to the Tuesdays with Dorie blog to read about more cookies.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bread Baking Day #43: Onion Breads -- Roundup

Welcome to the Bread Baking Day #43 Roundup! There are some mighty delicious onion bread entries, no crying necessary. A big thanks to Zorra for giving me the opportunity to host one of my favorite events.

Next month, instead of the usual BBD,
Zorra, the creator of the event, will be hosting the 6th World Bread Day 2011 on October 16, so stay tuned for more information.

Now, on with the roundup.

Connie, from my discovery of Bread, sent in some Onion Garlic Bialy, all the way from Thailand.

Sarah, from Winged Snail, in Ottawa (Canada), offered a Sourdough Onion Bread.

Heather, from Girlichef, in Indiana (USA), combined some terrific flavors for her Bacon, Green Onion, and Blue Cheese Bread.

Verena, from Mangia che te fa bene, in Brazil, baked a
Dilly Onion Rye Amish Bread.

CurryLeaf, from TastyCurryLeaf, made an Onion and Olive Fougasse.

Natashya, from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, in Canada, submitted Kossar's bialys.

Manuela, from Cravo e Canela – Uma Cozinha no Brasil, in São Paulo (Brazil), shared her Dried Tomato and Onion Minipizza.

Palmira, from Come Conmigo el blog de Palmira, in Spain, created Fried Onion Brioches. (For the Spanish version, check here.)

Lien, from
Notitie van Lien, in the Netherlands, sent over Spring Onion and Dried Tomato Rolls.

Zorra, our fearless creator from
1x umrühren bitte aka kochtopf, in Spain, shared Fried Onion Bread with Caraway.

Finally, as hostess, my entry is an Onion Deli Rye.

Thanks to everyone who bravely baked bread with onions this month. Please mark World Bread Day (October 16th) on your calendars -- check Zorra's blog for details in the coming weeks.