Friday, December 31, 2010


This week's TWD is a rewind....thank goodness.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. My family sure did and now my brother, his wife and their 2 kids are here for a week long visit from Atlanta. We are all headed to Bass Lake for the week along with my two boys and my parents. Skiing, sledding and snowboarding will be on the agenda for the week.

Before Christmas, I received a request for a lemon tart. The person requesting also loves meringue so I combined 2 recipes into 1.

Dorie's The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart topped with meringue from Dorie's Creamiest Lime Cream Pie.

Under the broiler for a few minutes and there you have it. I hear it was a hit.
Don't forget to check out what the other bakers came up with.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a safe and happy New Year celebration!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TWD: Cardamom Crumb Cake

Thanks Jill for choosing this week's "perfect for Christmas morning" crumb cake. I love cardamom and I love cake so the two together is pretty much perfection. A little fyi...cardamom is a common ingredient found in Indian and Scandinavian cooking and a nice change from the typical cinnamon found in coffee cakes.

I'm not saying I would pass up a cinnamon flavored coffee cake...but if it was sitting next to this cardamom one....I think I would choose this one.

This cake was so easy to put together. Mix up the topping, set aside. Mix the dry ingredients, rub the fresh orange zest into the sugar and then pour the wet ingredient over. Pour into the pan and top with the crumbs. 35 minutes later you can be digging in.

I did have a few substitutions and omissions. I left out the walnuts in the topping because both my kids and my parents would be eating this Christmas morning. My kids can't stand nuts and walnuts make my mom's lips swell. :) Not a good start to present time.

The only thing different with the cake batter was to substitute half and half for the whole milk..simply because I had no milk in the house. I have buttermilk, whipping cream and half and half in my fridge....but no regular milk. Somehow that seems so wrong.

I can't comment on the taste as this is going into the freezer for Saturday morning. But with the combination of orange zest, espresso powder and cardamom...I can only imagine it will taste exceptional!!!

I'll let you know.

Don't forget to stop by here to check out the other bakers' creations.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TWD: Apple Coconut Family Cake

Oh yum!

Good thing my kids liked this cake...or I would have eaten the whole thing myself. And no, I didn't cut the recipe down. I made the full deal!

First off...I used sweetened coconut and toasted it. I like the flavor of toasted coconut better than the super sweet of untoasted.

I also omitted the rum, simply because I didn't have any. :)

Oh, and I used Granny Smith apples. No glaze on the top...just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

There's not a huge coconut flavor in this cake..just a hint. Which is just enough.

Thanks Amber for your.....easy to put together in this crazy month...pick!

Stop by here to see the many variations.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 25, 2010!

My friend Monica sent me some photographs from the pumpkin themed baby shower she threw for her sister-in-law.

Look how creative she is! She made the pumpkin mobile and the leaves on the branches had "mommy" quotes written on them.

Monica's daughter L.C. liked the pumpkin cupcakes.

She also gave out pumpkin spice playdough in plastic containers to all the kids at the shower. Can you tell she's a pre-school teacher?

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How cute are these?!?!

So, here's the 2nd half of the baby shower order. The theme was fall and I was given free reign.

An order for a dozen pumpkin cupcakes that I could decorate however I wanted. How lucky is that?

I think these fit the bill perfectly.

I used the Pumpkin Browned Butter Cupcake recipe from here and then just frosted them with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

A coating of orange sugar sprinkles...a little pretzel stem, some vines and leaves and they were good to go.

They fit in perfectly at the shower. My very creative friend gave out pumpkin playdough as favors to the kids at the shower. Isn't that cute?

Ok...and just so you know...this was my first time making browned butter. Definitely not my last. I might have a little problem with that browned butter....just saying.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TWD: Rewind...or Fast Forward?

So...I skipped the Cranberry Lime Galette because I didn't want to have to eat it myself and my freezer is so jam packed with baked goods that I couldn't stuff one more thing in there.

I'm sure I'll regret it, because I love, love, love cranberries!

Anyway....this week's TWD is a Rewind....which basically meant, I could bake something that had already been chosen by the group or a recipe I happened to miss one week. I did neither. I chose the fast forward route and I baked something completely new. Luckily for me...I had an order for a dozen mini pumpkin tarts and a dozen pumpkin cupcakes to be served at a baby shower.

I wouldn't have to eat anything I baked!!! :)

So..I chose to make Dorie's Sour Cream Pumpkin Tart (page 324) in a bunch of mini versions. The filling is super easy to whip up. Throw everything into the food processor. Process for 2 minutes, pour it into a partially baked tart shell, or in my case...12 tart shells, and bake.

FYI...the recipe says to bake the mini tarts for 10 - 15 minutes, mine took more like 25 minutes.

A little drizzle of chocolate on the top and some lightly sweetened real whipped cream. YUM!

Oh yeah, I sprinkled a little pumpkin pie spice over the tops of them. I did eat 1. But it was in the name of research. I couldn't deliver the goods without checking to make sure they were edible. :)

Check here to see what the others chose for their Rewind.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TWD: Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

So....this weekend in Northern California...Saturday was sunny, a warm 79 degrees and I was wearing shorts to my sons' soccer games. Sunday rolls around and it's rainy, gray and a cool 53 degrees. How does that happen? I guess I shouldn't sound happens every year here and every year we act like it's the weirdest thing.

Perfect weather for baking though. Especially something reminding me of fall...something with cranberries baked right in. Even though I would much rather be snuggled on the couch in front of a warm fire... :) I had to make do with the oven warming the house.

Let me just start by telling you that the cranberry jam is so very good. Just cranberries, orange zest, oranges and sugar. I could have just made the jam and stopped there. Jarred it and given it away as Christmas gifts. I just might make another batch and do that.

I didn't add any extra sugar to the mixture. I thought it was just right with the 1 cup of sugar added at the beginning.

I also didn't roll the dough. I froze the discs and grated one into the bottom of the pan. Spread the cranberry jam on top and then grated the other frozen disc onto the top. Anytime I can avoid rolling dough...I gladly do just that.

Oh yeah, I did double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13 pan. I thought the PTC would like something other than a bundt cake this month. So this is what they get...hope they like it. :)

However, let me tell you, when you double the recipe...that's a lot of grating...a lot.

And as you can see...I should have pressed the dough together a little more. The top looks a little spaetzle-y. Oh well, it sure tastes good. Not too sweet, very tangy and tart. A big hit in my house. I'll be making this again for sure.

Thank you, thank you to Jessica over at Singleton in the Kitchen. Your choice this week was great.

Don't forget to stop by the TWD site to see what the others have created.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh yeah!

It's here......the red cup.

Now, I can go get a Peppermint Mocha.

Because...I can only drink one out of a red cup, anyone else have this problem? Anyone?

See ya. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TWD: Peanuttiest Blondies

It's Tuesday and I'm on time for TWD!

Miracle of miracles...

Ok, these Blondies were really easy to mix up and dump into a pan. I did it the day after Halloween...with KitKats, Almond Joys and Snickers bars...all calling my name. I didn't think the kids picked up enough sweets while trick-or-treating so I decided to bake something more!

I'll let you in on something...I make blondies a lot. My oldest does not like full on chocolate, hence, he does not like brownies. WHOSE KID IS HE???

I switched a few things up. I used dark brown sugar instead of light, because that's what I had.

I used mostly natural peanut butter with maybe an 1/8 of a cup of regular peanut butter, because I wanted to use the last of the jar.

I also didn't put the salted peanuts in...otherwise no kid of mine would have eaten them...and you know what happens there.

Dumped in a cup of mini chocolate chips. Oh yeah...I also baked them in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Baker's Joy. No problems there.

The result?

Peanut buttery goodness with some chocolate thrown in for good measure. Because everything is better with chocolate....wait that's bacon. Bacon or chocolate? Bacon AND chocolate! I can't decide.

Thanks go to Nicole from Bakeologie for this week's recipe.

Don't forget to stop by here to see the other baked up blondies.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week if I can keep this up. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's been forever....

Hi there...It's been a while. My apologies. I've just had a lot going on but hope to be back on a more regular basis starting.....NOW!

Let me just post a few catch up photos. See, I have been baking along with TWD..and taking pictures. I just haven't had the time to actually sit down and post. So, here you go!

First up...TWD Coffee Break Muffins.

I still have 2 left in the freezer. I love them with my morning coffee.

Next, Double Apple Bundt Cake. I did post this however, I put the cake into the freezer without taking pictures. A week later, after defrosting the cake, I added this thick and yummy brown sugar frosting. Unfortunately, the frosting was the best part of this cake.

I must have done something incorrectly as you can see the denseness in the middle. I don't know what happened as I have made this cake before with beautiful results. Oh well...that just means I need to make it again to get it right.

On to...Fold-Over Pear Torte

My crust was not quite big enough...and I added dried cherries to the pears. Yum. This too was put into the freezer but I managed to actually photograph and taste it prior to being wrapped up for later.

Be prepared for Peanuttiest Blondies this Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TWD: Double Apple Bundt Cake, let me tell you what I did.

I made this beautiful, fall, apple cake thinking that I was taking it to the PTC meeting Tuesday night. Well, the meeting isn't until NEXT Tuesday night. Don't ask me how I got the dates wrong...I'm on the board for heaven's sake!

At any rate, I wrapped my beautiful cake up tight and tossed it into the freezer....without taking any pictures of it first. So, I will post the pictures next week, after it defrosts and I ice it with the lovely brown sugar frosting Liz from Cake or Death used. :)

For the record, I used 2 Granny Smith apples and 1 Honeycrisp apple grated up. As well as apple butter purchased from the store. I really wanted to use dried cranberries or cherries but didn't have any, so I used raisins and omitted the nuts.

Not sure how it tastes yet but if the smell coming from the kitchen is any will taste heavenly.

Thanks to Lynne over at Honey Muffin for this nice choice.

Don't forget to stop by the TWD site to check out the variety of Double Apple Bundt Cakes!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

Ok...I'll be honest. I made these twice. The first time I made a mistake and used reduced-fat peanut butter. (I know, the horror!!!) That's not to say they didn't turn out good. They did, just flat, crispy and not at all what I was looking forward to. But it's ok...because I ended up dipping them in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkling some chopped nuts on the chocolate. Took them to a Labor Day BBQ and they were a huge hit.

The second time, I wised up and used regular creamy peanut butter. Much better this time around. Chewy in the middle, crispy on the edges. Half of the dough I made without any mix-ins and the second half I threw in half a bag of milk chocolate chips.

I didn't bother with the crisscrosses on the pb and chocolate cookies. Even on the plain peanut butter cookies, my crosses didn't show up too much.

These are perfect little cookies to have on hand for anything, anything at all. And dipped, take them to a party!

Thank you Jasmine over at Jasmine Cuisine for picking this recipe.

Head on over to the TWD website to see what the others baked up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TWD: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies...and then some.

Thanks Donna from Life's too short not to eat dessert first, for picking this coffee and chocolate packed cookie!

The smell of the shortbread itself is enough to make me want to eat the whole batch. But I didn't. I put them in the freezer. Out of sight means hopefully out of mind. (Sure...)

I made the Oatmeal Spice version as well. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg.

Perfect to have on hand when someone drops by.

Perfect with a cup of coffee for an afternoon pick me up...or a morning pick me up...or just breakfast.

I used mini chocolate chips in the original version. Chilled my dough for a couple of days and baked them when I had a chance.


Don't forget to stop by here to see the other bakers' creations.

Thanks for stopping by.