Dec42012

TWD: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

gingerbread baby cakes

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Gingerbread Baby Cakes and is hosted by Karen, who has the recipe at her blog.

I was excited to try these because I love gingerbread, and because I had just gotten the awesome ramekins I used for the pot pies a couple of weeks ago. The ramekins worked perfectly for the cakes, and there was just enough batter for all six.

However… no one really liked these :( They smelled amazing while they were baking, and I couldn’t wait for them to cool enough to give them a try. I served them up for dessert night with some whipped cream, and only one kid finished hers (actually, I cut them all in half because each cake was pretty rich).

coffee extract

I really can’t say what it was that put us off. Maybe we’re used to overly-sugared gingerbread cookies? But it just tended too far on the bitter side of things.

I thought it might have been the coffee extract I used in place of the instant espresso powder (I have never been able to find instant espresso powder), but I only used 1-1/2 teaspoons for the whole batch, so I don’t think that was the problem.

Anyway, so I’ve got three cakes left that I can’t stand the thought of tossing. I’m thinking I might freeze them and add them to a batch of homemade ice cream — I think the ice cream could temper the richness of the cakes. I guess we’ll see!

Nov62012

TWD: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

buttermilk crumb muffins

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Buttermilk Crumb Muffins, and is hosted by Alisa.

These muffins were, by far, the easiest TWD project in the last little while! They took all of ten minutes to throw together, and even clean-up was a breeze. There was no mixer used, and I had everything on-hand to make them, aside from the buttermilk which I “made” by mixing milk and a splash of vinegar.

buttermilk crumb muffins

The muffin top was my favorite part. It crept up over the cup and onto the pan, and had a wonderful crunch. When I make these again (they’d be fantastic for breakfast — did I mention they’re quick?) I’ll add a little bit of cinnamon to the topping mixture instead of just the batter.

Oct162012

TWD: Bagels

Bagels

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is bagels, and I get to host! That means you’ll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

I’ve made bagels before and though I’ve always enjoyed it (it can be a bit of a process), they usually turned out kind of thin and wrinkly. These, however, turned out beautifully, and I got the ultimate seal of approval when the girls told me that they tasted better than Einstein’s bagels!

bagels

I did change a few minor things:

~ Instead of six cups of bread flour I used four cups of bread flour and two of whole wheat flour.

~ After the initial rise, I punched the dough down and put it in the fridge overnight (the recipe does say this is an option).

bagels

~ I only let the bagels boil for 30 seconds per side instead of the 90. In my experience, bagels that boil for too long get too chewy/tough.

~ For the first half-batch of five I sprinkled the tops with kosher salt and dried onion (the onion looks like it got a bit overdone, but they tasted fine. I obviously missed the part about soaking the onion in some water first), and for the second batch I sprinkled sea salt and onion powder. Both were delicious, and made excellent bagel sandwiches.

bagels

~ I didn’t bother with a flour-covered towel. I just put the formed bagels on the flour-dusted countertop without a problem.

~ Tossing water and ice into the bottom of the oven did freak me out a little, so I covered a pan with foil and tossed ice cubes onto that instead.

~ I used my stand mixer for the dough, and used the instructions for that in the recipe below.

Read More