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.