Monday, May 16, 2011

TWD: Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits


Thank goodness I picked something that takes only 1 bowl, has only 8 ingredients, can be put together in 10 minutes and eaten 10 minutes after that. My choice rocks!

I am so happy to be part of a baking group that challenges me to bake things I might never otherwise make on my own. I love reading everyone's variations every week. Some stick to the recipe as written and more often than not...go way off the recipe and come up with modifications I would never think of. I read them and then of course, have to try them for myself. :)

So anyway, I chose these super easy Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits. I'm thinking chopped crisp bacon might be nice stirred into the dough. Ok, not really thinking...because I KNOW it would be great stirred into the dough. Or cheese...mmm, cheese.

These were served for breakfast this morning. I think I'll seve them tomorrow and Thursday as well...if they last that long. :)

Don't forget to check out what the other bakers' came up with here.

Go out and buy this awesome the meantime, here's the recipe:

Dorie says:

This is not the most well-behaved biscuit you'll ever come across-all that sticky maple syrup and slip-through-your-fingers cornmeal produce a dough that's too moist to roll out and cut into neat little rounds. Here you scoop the sweet mixture onto a baking sheet, count the minutes in the oven and enjoy the surprise: a biscuit that's a cross between a featherlight cornbread and a flaky scone, a breakfast or tea sweet that's outrageously good with butter and jam or honey and just as good eaten plain. In fact, if you ust tasty, gritty, stone-ground cornmeal, the odds are good you'll want nothing to come between you and its sweet, full flavor.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground (I used regular ground cornmeal)
1 TBSP. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

6 TBSP. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
1/2 cup cold whole milk (I used 1%)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your finger, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-and that's just right.

Stir the milk and maple syrup together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and toss and gently turn until the ingredients are mostly combined and you've got a very soft dough. Don't worry if the dough doesn't look evenly mixed.

Use a tablespoon to scoop 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown (these won't be straight or tall like traditional biscuite). Transfer them to a serving basket.

EAT!! (I added that part)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TWD: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

Subtle...that's what this cake is. Not in your face like a chocolate and espresso filled bundt cake...or unobtrusive like a plain-jane vanilla bundt cake...just subtle. :) Kinda sneaky, like you don't know what you're going to get with your first bite, but once you've had've just got to have more.

I like this cake. Perfect when you just want cake. Not frosting or filling, just cake.

I did use ground almonds for some of the regular flour and then of course, added some almond extract. No dried or fresh fruit. Like I said, just cake.

Thank you to Peggy at Pantry Revisited for choosing this cake for this week's cake. I'll be making it again.

Don't forget to check out the many variations here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TWD: Basic Marbled Loaf Cake this working full time thing is seriously cutting into my baking time. I can't seem to fit it in anymore and I think I'm going through withdrawals!

Many thanks to Carol at The Bake More for picking this week's TWD. This is a simple to put together loaf cake. I think I could bake a few of these in lots of different flavor combinations and just have them in the freezer for you know, whenever I might need one.

I chose to make the chocolate/orange combination. The zest of one orange and 1/2 tsp. of orange extract went into half of the batter and some melted dark chocolate into the other half. I just kind of layered the two into a loaf pan and didn't get all swirly.

If you look real can see the orange zest... :)

I love how each slice you cut looks different. And yes, I had this for breakfast too.

Don't forget to stop by here to see the many variations the other came up with. I can't wait to try one with different colors.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

A little sweet, a lot buttery, crunchy, and lemony. That pretty much sums up these little cookies. Perfect by themselves and even better with a cup of tea right about 3:00 in the afternoon.

I can picture these with lime, orange and even grapefruit zest added to the sugar.

Thank you to Valerie whom you can find over at Une Gamine dans la Cuisine for choosing this weeks TWD.

Don't forget to check out what the other bakers came up with.

Oh's last week's Tourtely Apple Tart...which my kids ate for breakfast all week. :) A big hit at my house.

Ground almonds in the crust and the filling along with soft cooked apples....Hey! It's way better than cereal!

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

TWD: Strawberry-minus the Rhubarb Double Crisp "T" up there in TWD is going to stand for Thursday this week. I hope no one minds. It's baseball season and I do have my priorities. :)

I had a few issues with this one. Nothing that can't be rectified with a few tweaks. First off, no rhubarb...well, I could find it but I draw the line at buying bright green stalks of rhubarb. This is California!!! It should be plentiful...not this year. It is still in the 30's in the mornings and I can hear the heater kicking on. IT'S THE MIDDLE OF APRIL!!! I should be in shorts and flip-flops by now! Working on my flip-flop tan! Oh well...I'm sure it will be here soon enough and then I'll be complaining about it being 108 in the shade. Never happy.... :)

Ok, let me start off by saying I had no problem finding strawberries. Big, red strawberries for super cheap in the grocery store. Strawberry crisp it was going to be. Add in some lemon zest because I always have a ton of lemons...leave out the nuts and I'm good to go.

This becomes that....mmmm....lemon sugar.

It's still a little sweet for me. I love the crisp topping but the thick, sweet filling is a little too much. Maybe it's the cornstarch added? I think I would prefer just the unadorned berries and the topping. Maybe with some homemade vanilla bean ice cream....oh yeah....

I'll have to try this again when I find some red rhubarb. I like the sour with the sweet and that might just do the trick.

Thanks to Sarah at Teapots and Cake Stands for her pick this week. I enjoyed having this for breakfast. :)

Don't forget to have a look here to see what the others have come up with.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD: Pecan Powder Puffs

I look at that title and immediately think Power Puff Girls. I don't know why...I have two boys and neither of them has ever once watched, played with or talked about Power Puff Girls. At any rate..that's what I see. :)

This week's TWD selection was chosen by Tia over at Buttercream Barbie. And these cookies are anything but puffs. Made with nuts (I chose pecans) and just a little cinnamon, they resemble Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes. I said resemble because these are so much better than either of the others I have made before. Got that? :)

These are good with or without the powdered sugar. I of course, made a whole batch and took half of them to a friend for his birthday. His favorite cookies are Mexican Wedding Cakes so I had to share.

I just want to remind everyone to remember to let go of some of the little things during the day that maybe weren’t so great....and to find something good in everyday.

Here's mine for today:

Spring is finally here in Northern California and not a minute too soon. With 223" of snow falling up at Squaw Valley in March...I can honestly say...I am ready for some sunshine and warm weather.

Have a look over here for lots of variations on these cookies and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 14, 2011

TWD: Citrus Cranberry Sunshine Muffins

So...this is what happens when I make a half batch of something:

And...this is what happens when I make the full batch of something:

Guess what I did this week....yep. Exactly....the half.

Northern California needs a little sunshine right now...we've got plenty of citrus, that's super's the sunshine we're lacking. These little muffins taste like sunshine. :)

They're bright and cheerful and light with just the right amount of sweet.

I'll tell you what I did. First off, halved the recipe (never again), used dried cranberries instead of currants. I didn't have any lemon extract so I just left it out. Oh yeah, the one thing I didn't cut in half was the lemon zest. I just threw it all in with the sugar. I'm really glad I can definitely taste the, I mean lemon.

You can even see the lemon zest in there! healthy them up a bit :) I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. This kind that I get from Trader Joe's.

My kids came home from school and each had 2. 6-4=2. 2 left for me to eat....or save for the boys...or eat...or save. I can't decide. Maybe I'll just go make another FULL batch. We'll see.

Thanks to Lauryn over at Bella Baker for this week's choice. Certainly a hit at my house.

Stop by the TWD site to see what great combinations of dried fruit/nuts/chocolate the other bakers thought to put in their muffins.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Corniest (Not so much) Corn Muffins

I made these, had a story to tell, and then never got around to it. Something about not doing so much and having lots of free time.

My apologies.

These corn muffins were great. The only thing I did was to omit the can of corn and throw in some shredded smoked cheddar cheese. YUM!

As you can see...I ate them warm with butter. Like there's any other way to eat them? I mean, COME ON!

Thank you Jill. Sorry I'm late. You can find Jill's muffins over at My Next Life and everyone else's here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And then I made these...

Ok, so...I skipped TWD this week. I'm sure you can guess as to the reason. Pots of dark chocolate and cream sitting in front of my two boys and oldest looking at it and grimacing. (It's a texture thing.) My youngest looking at it and asking for leftover lasagna...and you know what would happen next. There would be 3 empty pots and only one dirty spoon. Yeah...not what I needed.

So...why not make cookies instead? That way I can spread the love. I started out just wanting chocolate chip cookies made from the ATC Baking Book. Then I saw the homemade marshmallows on the counter that needed to be used. Why not just chop them up add them to the cookies? And oh yeah, why not just brown the butter for the cookies before adding it to the dough...and forget the chips, let me just throw in semi-sweet chunks.

So these happened....

Really good, really gooey, really chocolaty.

You can go look at all of the other gorgeous Chocolate Pots de Creme here. And you can find the recipe on Christine's blog Black Cat Cooking.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 18, 2011

TWD: Toasted Almond Scones

Ok, so my 9..almost 10 yr. old boy got an iPod Touch for an early birthday present. I made a rule that he can't download any app or game without asking me first. So now...every 15 minutes he's bugging me about a game or an app that farts at time-set intervals....or a DNA app that tells him he's only 30% related to himself. Don't get me wrong...I have a few games on my iPhone...Angry Birds just MIGHT be one of them...but I might just be re-thinking the rule I made when he got the thing. between the asking and the farting...I made these scones. Triple the almonds with almond flour, almond extract and well...just almonds. These were a big hit with the younger boy. He doesn't have a huge sweet tooth like the older one and I do. These are perfect for him when he rolls out of bed 15 minutes before he's supposed to be at school. Grab and go...that's what it's all about around here.

Let me just tell you what I did. I toasted some slivered almonds to be used in the dough. I ALSO toasted some almond meal I had lurking in the freezer. I thought the toasting might bring out the flavor a little. Pretty sure it worked. I also upped the almond extract to a little more than 1/4 tsp. Sprinkle the tops with some turbinado sugar and you're good to go!

Ok...just a short post as I'm off to LAS VEGAS for a couple of days for the WPPI trade show. I am also going to meet KARI from RETRO BAKERY! I really can't wait. :) (You might remember how excited I got when my friend Michele brought me back some Retro cupcakes last year here.)

Thanks Mike who is over at LivingOutWest. He has the recipe posted on his page. Or better yet, go buy the book!

Have a look here to see what everyone else came up with.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

Let me just start off by saying....I took the easy way out.

I baked these in a 9" square dish and a loaf pan....kinda like really chocolaty oatmeal brownies...with some cinnamon poking through.

After making 80 rolled, cut and decorated sugar cookies and 3 dozen cupcakes over the weekend...I just didn't feel like scooping and baking an cooling any more cookies. So basically, I was being lazy, but I think it worked for me.

I made a full batch of these. Melted the butter, chocolate and brown sugar together with a little water thrown in. Mix in the eggs, one at a time then combine with the flour/cocoa mixture and stir in the oatmeal.

I had no problem with the chocolate and butter separating as some did. My mixture came together and stayed together just fine.

I dumped half into an ungreased 9" square pan and the other half into a loaf pan. I baked them like brownies. Meaning, still soft in the center. I cut them really small because the batter that I ate straight out of the bowl was super rich.

These are like little chocolate oatmeal cakes. I think I expected them to be fudgier with the way the batter was behaving. Pleasantly surprising...perfect when you need some chocolate and you need it right away. These will be in my freezer. :)

A big thanks to both Caroline and Claire from Bake with Us for choosing this week's TWD.

Check out what the other bakers came up with over at the TWD site.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TWD: Great Grains Muffins

"Nice job mom, this is one of the best things I ever ate."

So....I guess I'll be making these again.

My youngest wants more dried cranberries...the oldest, less. Either way, they both ate them for breakfast and anytime I can get both of them to like the same thing at 7:00am is a win in my book.

I had no cornmeal in the pantry.....what??? I just used additional whole wheat flour in place of the missing ingredient. I used the white whole wheat flour I found at Trader Joes and it seemed to do the trick.

No nuts of course, but dried cranberries. I think next time I'll try fresh blueberries. Actually, I think pretty much anything added in might just do the trick.

Ok, so I'm a day late...sorry about that. But I'm glad I baked these up...they obviously were a hit. So a big thank you to Christine from Happy Tummy. :)

Don't forget to have a look over here for these yummy muffins!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Oh yum!

I'm just going to tell you straight up that I ate 4 pieces of this cake. Right after I cut it...and one right after another. No breaks in between. Then I had to stop myself because I needed something to take to the brunch I was headed to. As it was, I showed up with pretty much half a cake. I really don't think anyone noticed. :)

A lot of bakers had problems with the cake sticking to the bundt pan. I super-sprayed mine with Baker's Joy and kept the filling away from the sides. No problem with sticking. Mine came out intact.

I also had to kind of use my fingers to spread the batter over the filling at the end. I didn't want the fall out some had a problem with, It seemed to work. Nothing came out when I unmolded.

The one substitution I made was to use lemon zest instead of orange zest. Simply because I had lemons in the house. And oh yeah, left the raisins out of the swirl....that just didn't seem right.

And I got to use nuts in the filling!!! Since this cake was destined to be consumed outside my home...I was able to use nuts. And I used pecans. So the combination of pecans, cinnamon, mini chocolate chips and fresh nutmeg....made for a tasty swirl.

A big thank you to Jennifer over at Cooking for Comfort for choosing this week's TWD.

Don't forget to have a look over here for the rest of the bakers' beautiful cakes.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Let's make this short and sweet.

Betsy from A Cup of Sweetness chose this week's TWD.

I have so many lemons....I don't know what to do with them all. I have a lemon tree in my yard...friends drop big bags of lemons at my front parents bring them to me...This recipe helped out a little. :)

I substituted nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream because that's what I had in the fridge. I also left off the glaze because I'm keeping them in the freezer. At least one of my boys likes to eat these for breakfast so he'll be in muffins for days.

Bright and lemony with a crunch of poppyseeds. Very nice.

Don't forget to stop by the TWD website to catch up with the other bakers.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TWD: Fluff-Filled (Minus the fluff) Chocolate Madeleines

No filling...but a really yummy chocolate spongy cake dipped in bittersweet chocolate ganache.

This week's TWD tasted really good but was lacking in the looks department.

I don't know what happened with my madeleines. I had my new madeleine pan buttered and floured. I had my madeleine batter chilling in the fridge. I portioned out the batter into the 12 wells of the pan. Pre-heated the oven to 400 then lowered to 350 when I put them in. Baked them for 14 minutes and ended up with smooth chocolate blob looking things.

Each one overran the mold it was in and not one gave me the "hump" or the "ridges" characteristic of the MADELEINE!!!!

Oh well, maybe I just need to try again. This was my first time using a madeleine pan and certainly not my last. I think I'll play around a bit and see what happens.

So...I bypassed filling them with fluff. I did not, however, bypass dipping them in the chocolate ganache. Chocolate dipped in more chocolate? Of course. Why not? And the ganache kind of hid the lack my madeleines.

Thank you to Margo over at Effort to Deliciousness for this week's choice. Go to her blog for the recipe and have a look at her beautiful photographs to see how these are supposed to look. Absolutely perfect. :)

Stop by here to see what the others came up with. I saw peanut butter ganache, nutella filling, mini muffins and vanilla cakes. Lots of variations.

Thanks for stopping by.