Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TWD: Translucent Maple Tuiles

I had a feeling that this week's TWD recipe would give me fits, and my feeling was correct. Clivia from Bubie's Little Baker chose the Translucent Maple Tuiles -- those beautiful, delicate, paper thin cookies that I'd previously only seen atop elegant desserts in fancy restaurants. But as soon as I saw this was the pick, I knew I had to make them (to further my baking education and all).

The batter itself is so easy to mix up that it almost compensates for the ordeal that ensues once these come out of the oven. Mix together butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and flour -- no need to even haul out the Kitchen Aid; you can just use a sturdy spatula or hand mixer for this. The dough needs to chill well; I let mine refrigerate over night. I figured I'd bake them up first thing in the morning and then snap a few shots in that pretty 8 a.m. light -- you know, while the sun's golden rays illuminated the intricate patterns of my translucent honeycomb cookies.

Reality quickly jolted me out of that daydream. These are supposed to get baked on an unbuttered cookie sheet. They spread extremely thin, and then after they set for just a second, you're supposed to quickly get them off the sheet with a spatula and transfer them to a rolling pin, which will mold them into their traditional curved form. But when I went to slide the spatula under mine, the cookie completely crumpled into itself and dissolved into a pitiful pile of maplebuttersugarflour. I tried with a few other cookies and got the same result. There was NO way these babies were coming off with a spatula, at least not in my kitchen. I scraped the cookie remains into the trash and proceeded with the non-cookie aspects of my day, still undecided about whether I would try again with the rest of the dough.

But as good fortune would have it, when I was in carpool line this afternoon I jumped onto Facebook (carpool line is my favorite time to Facebook, which may explain why a disproportionate amount of my Facebook activity involves complaining about carpool line) and saw Tracey's post on these tuiles, in which she mentions Nancy's suggestion to make the cookies on individual squares of parchment to make for easier handling. That sounded like a brilliant idea, so I rounded up the children, took a quick detour to paint pottery with Santa:

and hurried home to try the tuiles again using the parchment trick. And it worked perfectly! I never had to touch a spatula; I simply transferred the cookies directly from the parchment square onto the rolling pin. Nancy, you are the best!

Note the incandescent light illuminating the intricate patterns of my translucent honeycomb cookies

I know he needs a haircut and plan to make it a top priority very soon

I only baked two of these cookies (successfully) so far, so I have a bunch of dough in the fridge to bake up later. David, while in the midst of enjoying his cookie, asked innocently "so you have to bake these one at a time?" I explained that others could probably bake several of these at a time, but yes, *I* need to bake them one at a time (well, I can probably work up to two or three eventually).

I don't know if I'll ever think of these as a stand-alone dessert or even a stand-alone cookie, but they are totally delicious, and a really lovely accompaniment to just about any dessert. What a fun pick - thanks Clivia! You can find her terrific post about these cookies here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TWD: Cranberry Orange Galette

This week's TWD recipe is the wonderfully seasonal Cranberry Lime Galette. When I saw that this was on the calendar, I initially thought that I'd make it for our wedding anniversary, which happened to fall on the weekend before the galette was due. It never occurred to me in the first 10 years of our marriage to bake pies to celebrate our anniversary, but then I started baking, and when you bake as much as I do, you make the dessert fit whatever occasion happens to pop up (and you actually invent whole new occasions so that you have an excuse to eat the dessert). As I read the recipe through when still thinking it would be the anniversary pie, I decided to go with the cranberry orange version, which Dorie describes as "a little less edgy but no less enticing" -- that seemed to fit a 12th anniversary just perfectly. But then we were invited to attend the Thanksgiving feast at David's grandmother's retirement home, and the "Baked Good Foisting Opportunity" bells just started blaring furiously in my head; we'd have to find another way to celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss, because this Cranberry Orange Galette would be taking its rightful place on the retirement home dessert table.

I made Dorie's pie crust again, and I think this was my best/most successful pie crust ever. I even rolled something approximating a circle. But I must have been spending too much time congratulating myself on the crust and not enough time concentrating on the filling, because I forgot the fresh ginger (which I think would have added a nice dimension to the other flavors). The rest of the filling was easy - cranberries, apples, dried cranberries, brown sugar, orange zest, orange marmalade.

Top the crust with a ground nut/bread crumb mix and then the filling, fold the edges up, then bake.

This baked up beautifully and was a rustic, yet attractive (in a homely way), dessert. We (the extended family) decided that David and his brother would attend the feast, because we knew the energy level at the party would be high enough without my 8, 5 and 3 year old running around. I packed it up carefully for David and made sure that he knew to tell the person in charge that there were nuts in the dessert (in case of nut allergies) and also sugar, fat, gluten, etc. -- basically, this pie was one big, delicious dietary violation. I also told him that he had to eat a piece and report back to me, and with that, I sent him on his way. When he got back later that evening, he gave me some general positive reviews about the galette, which was fine at the time, but when I sat down to write this post I told him that I needed descriptive adjectives, and "the galette was good" wouldn't cut it. So he told me it was "tart." And then he added "I figured you'd just say that it baked up well. The crust was perfect. All the old people loved it, and there was none left. It was a nice departure from the sea of pecan pies."

Whitney, April and Elizabeth of Celestial Confections chose this galette. Thanks for the crowd-pleading pick, ladies!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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

This week's TWD recipe is for the Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread cake, chosen my one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica of Singleton in the Kitchen. Any child who watched cartoons in the early 80s could tell you that Orange Juice is Not Just for Breakfast Anymore, but the fact that Cranberry Shortbread Cake is not just for Thanksgiving anymore has not been as widely known -- until now. Because thanks to Dorie (for creating this recipe) and Jessica (for choosing it) I have no doubt that TWDers everywhere are spreading the word about this cake and its late October/early November/anytime fabulousness.

The recipe begins with a cranberry/orange jam filling. Dorie's recipes are famously clear and easy to follow, and this one is really no exception, yet for some reason all the talk here about orange segments/orange membranes sort of confused me.

I may have done better if I'd had charts and graphs and the steady hand of a surgeon, but lacking all of those things, the process of removing the segments from the membranes went poorly for me, as my segments never completely released from my membranes, and my segments contained leftover pith (which required additional sugar later to offset the bitterness). Basically it was an orange train wreck. Dorie then says to try to squeeze some juice from the membranes, and if you could get 1/4 cup, great! I could not even get 1/4 teaspoon. (Seriously, did anybody out there get any measurable amount of juice out of the membranes?) No matter, water or additional orange juice worked just fine. I added the cranberries and sugar (and extra sugar to taste, per Dorie's suggestion) and the jam cooked up beautifully.

The cake is a shortbread cake {as the recipe name would indicate} and the batter tastes EXACTLY like super awesome sugar cookie dough. Cranberry filling between sugar cookies? Sign me up! As it turned out, the cake definitely baked into a cake, not a cookie - the texture was a little on the dense and chewy side (in a good way!), and the sugary/buttery flavor paired so well with the tart filling. We loved this one!

Jessica, thanks so much for the fantastic pick! Hurry over to Jessica's blog for fun narratives, beautiful pictures, and the recipe!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TWD: Peanuttiest Blondies

I intended to make this week's TWD selection, Peanuttiest Blondies, to serve for dessert after Halloween (pre-trick or treating) dinner. It may seem insane to serve dessert before heading off to collect candy, but it always seemed to me that enjoying a quality dessert after dinner may actually reduce the impulse to pour grape-flavored Nerds into one's mouth before bed. In the end it didn't matter, as I woke up sick as a dog on Halloween, and was not able to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, much less bake blondies (or make my kids Halloween pancakes using my new Halloween pancake molds, which I'm still pretty bummed about. I plan to make them for breakfast tomorrow (11/2) but they're no fools - they know that eating a bat shaped pancake in November is not the same). Anyway, as soon as I was certain that the plague had indeed left me, I went ahead and made these blondies. And what a great way to reenter the world of eating food!

The one ingredient I wasn't sure of here was the cinnamon. I'm funny about cinnamon - I love it, but I generally don't like to be surprised by it. If it's in something I'd expect it to be in (pumpkin-spiced things, oatmeal raisin cookies, apple pie), I'm fully on board with it. But when it shows up in something unexpected (like chocolate), I find myself wishing it wasn't there. I almost skipped the cinnamon here because I didn't see why it needed to be here, but OH MY, am I glad I listened to Dorie. The cinnamon MAKES these blondies. It's subtle, but it's there, and it just works.

Dorie calls hers the peanuttiest blondies, but I believe mine are even peanuttier, as I added peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips so that my husband would eat them. Every ounce of my being wanted to add chocolate chips, but the peanut butter chips really worked well as a distant second choice. My dream peanuttiest blondie would probably skip the peanuts and add both chocolate and peanut butter chips - oh yeah.

I will make these again and again - no doubt about it. We all loved these, and I'll take one over a fun-size Milk Dud any day of the week. Nicole of Bakeologie chose these blondies. You can find the recipe here. Thanks for the great pick, Nicole!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TWD: All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie

I haven't ever tallied up my posting average for the time I've been in TWD. I figure I post at least 50% of the time -- I'll go stretches when I post every week, and then I'll go two months without a post {which is a flagrant violation of TWD rules by the way, and (justifiably) grounds for being cleaned off the blogroll when housecleaning occurs}. That said, even when I go through a posting drought, I still bake the vast majority of the TWD recipes. How I can't manage to throw up a bad picture and a "loved the cake!" sentence those weeks is beyond me, but oh, crazy life, it just gets in the way sometimes. But one thing I've never ever done is post on a day other than Tuesday. If I miss the Tuesday deadline, I just don't post. Because this is Tuesdays with Dorie. But this apple pie was so delicious that it warrants the unthinkable - a Wednesday Tuesdays with Dorie post.

I went ahead and used Dorie's good for everything pie dough this week (after using the Cook's Illustrated pie crust for the pear torte and the caramel pumpkin pie). I think that both crusts are equally delicious. The Cook's Illustrated crust may be a tad easier to roll, but I've never had to drain and wring out Dorie's pie dough the way that I did with the CI recipe, a stressful process that I'd rather avoid. So I'll probably stick with Dorie's going forward.

The apple pie filling here contains the usual suspects -- apples (I used a mix of honeycrisp, gala, granny smith and golden delicious), cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, lemon zest as well as the unexpected, quick cooking tapioca, which is used as a thickener. I lost my quick cooking tapioca, which forced me to wander around the house asking "has anyone seen my quick cooking tapioca?" over and over again. If there is anything worse than having to make a special trip to the store to buy quick cooking tapioca, it's having to make a second special trip to the store to buy quick cooking tapioca to replace the quick cooking tapioca you bought two hours ago and lost. Fortunately, I found the quick cooking tapioca under the passenger seat in my car, next to a can of canellini beans I lost two weeks ago. (I'm sure you could use corn starch or something else as a thickener, or skip the thickener -- my grandmother never used anything to thicken her apple pie and it will always be my favorite pie ever).

This pie baked up just beautifully. It was all-American and all-delicious alright! It is pretty much the quintessential apple pie, and if you like apple pie, you'll have a hard time doing better than this one.

Emily of Sandmuffin chose this pie, and be sure to check out her post here. Thanks for the perfect October pick, Emily!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and if that is true, Albert would have been the first one to tell me that I would not enjoy this pumpkin pie, and that I was insane for even thinking that I might like it. As is well documented on this blog, I do not enjoy boozy desserts. And if I happen to like a boozy dessert okay, I always think that I would have liked it more if it hadn't been boozy. For those of you keeping score at home, that is over two years' worth of boozy desserts; over two years of not liking boozy desserts; and/or over two years of thinking thoughts like "that dessert wasn't bad, but a little too boozy for me -- I think it would have been great without the booze." And yet what do I do every. single. time a boozy dessert shows up on my calendar? I use the full amount of booze called for in the recipe, while thinking "I bet this rum will complement the fall spices nicely." Why would I think that? Because I'm insane, that's why. That is not to say that the rum does not complement the fall spices nicely; it very well might, it's a matter of personal taste -- *I* will just never think that it does. I will just think that it is too boozy. And that is what I thought about this pumpkin pie.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan to begin with. I love pumpkin flavored baked goods and pumpkin spices, but the texture of pumpkin pie is not my favorite. This pie offers a fun spin on the classic pumpkin pie with the addition of a very dark caramel. The caramel begins with sugar in a skillet, and after it turns a dark amber color and starts bubbling furiously, cream, butter, and dark rum, cognac, or apple cider get added to the mix. Had I been sane, I would have opted for the apple cider since I know/should know what my personal preferences are by this point, but instead I decided to prove Albert right by going with the 2T rum (although in fairness to my inner sane person, I know that a lot of people in my world like boozy desserts way more than I do, and I don't bake to eat it all myself, anyway). I actually think I nailed the caramel for once, without setting off the fire alarms or frightening small children.

This pie? Really not the pie for me. I felt like the rum was simply overpowering. I did not taste caramel at all - rum, just rum (and a slightly bitter aftertaste). The next night, I served a piece to David, who had been on a haunted camp out with Jacob the day I made this, and I issued a warning before I served it. And David liked it WAY more than I did. That is why I want to be clear that this might be -- heck, probably is! -- an incredible pie - but it is not your pie if you don't like pumpkin pie or boozy desserts. If you do like pumpkin pie and boozy desserts, you should absolutely try this pie, because it's a Dorie dessert - i.e., money in the bank - and therefore without a doubt the best boozy pumpkin pie ever.

Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs chose this pie. Janell made the pie twice because she did not enjoy it the first time, and voila! -- the second time was a charm. Janell suggests not cooking the caramel quite as long as the recipe calls for. This is an interesting point, and it makes me wonder if that was part of my issue - my caramel was definitely deep amber (I thought the perfect color), but perhaps if I hadn't cooked it as long I would have tasted more "caramel" and wouldn't have gotten that bitter aftertaste. Anyway, food for thought. Janell, thanks for the great seasonal pick!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TWD: Foldover Pear Torte

I made this week's TWD recipe, Foldover Pear Torte, late last week. But you'll just have to take my word for it, as I have no pictures to share of it, since I forgot to take pictures. It's as if I was baking pear tortes on a random Thursday without some underlying blogging purpose or something! I forgot, just plain forgot, even after my husband (as he's been conditioned to do) asked me on two or three separate occasions if he could eat the torte. You'd think that at least one of those times before granting permission I would have done the whole "do I need anything more from that torte, like a picture?" analysis, but I did not. I told him to eat it, and then it was gone, and I had no pictures to prove that I made it. I'm thinking that might have been divine intervention though, as my torte was not pretty, and it's probably best that anyone who may stumble upon this post be spared the ugly evidence.

I did snap a picture of the pear/apricot/nut mixture, which will hopefully suffice as proof that I made the torte:

This torte has three major components - fruit/nut mixture, a cream/egg custard filling, and pie crust. I've made Dorie's Good for Anything Pie Dough numerous times, and it is fabulous. But I've long been intrigued by the Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Dough, so I decided to try that recipe this time. And I can report that it is indeed foolproof, because never has a pie crust been so abused and mangled yet still managed to bake up so flaky and delicious. I still cringe when I think about what this poor pie crust endured -- after I added the liquid (water/vodka), it was simply drowning. No amount of mixing would incorporate that much liquid (and of course, everyone knows that overmixing pie dough is the death of it, so I faced an impossible dilemma). I finally ended up pouring off the excess liquid, ringing out the dough the best I could, and sticking it in the fridge. I called out to my baking friends who've made this crust before, and nobody could recall having had excess water issues. Once again, I'm making good on my promise to put any recipe writer's claim of foolproofedness to the test. I was shocked, truly and utterly shocked, that the crust ended up being delicious. The process was so traumatic that I will probably stick with Dorie's pie dough from now on; on the other hand, if I could not ruin the Cook's Illustrated crust, I believe that it simply cannot be ruined -- i.e., is foolproof -- and therefore I have to recommend it as an excellent option for any pie crustaphobes out there.

But of course with a dessert like this the crust is simply a vehicle for the torte filling. The recipe calls for a fruit/nut mixture of pears, dried apricots or raisins, and walnuts, topped with a custard filling. Pears tend to be pretty unassertive, especially when baked, but I think they were perfect in this recipe, since the real star here is the custard. It'a made of eggs, sugar, rum, vanilla and almond extracts, butter and cream, and it is simply fabulous. I think Dorie made a great call pairing it with a mild fruit like pear, which will not compete with the custard (that said, I'm very eager to see what other TWD bakers used in this torte!) The dried apricots were kind of distracting to me -- perhaps because I didn't cut them small enough -- and next time I'll be sure to dice them really fine, use golden raisins, or skip the dried fruit altogether.

The result? We thought this torte was great -- definitely a perfect "seasonal transition" dessert, as Dorie describes in her notes. Somehow this one seemed like a whole lot of work to me. I think that was my fault, as I kind of started out unorganized, and in a train-wreck of a kitchen, and then there was the Waterlogged Pie Crust Incident that kind of flustered me out of the gate; and it seemed like there were bowls and knives and zesters and extracts and small kitchen appliances everywhere, etc. I'm not sure how that was any different from any other baking session, but for whatever reason I emerged from this one in need of a {insert nap/massage/drink/break/maid/online shopping session here}.

Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen chose this fantastic torte. Cakelaw is an Aussie lawyer with a fun food blog -- you can find the pear torte at her blog right here. Thanks for the great pick, Cakelaw!

Monday, October 11, 2010

TWD: Foldover Pear Torte

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TWD: Double Apple Bundt Cake

I'm sure if you gave my husband truth serum he'd tell you that I have a whole host of annoying habits, but the only one I know of that really really bugs him is when I buy myself presents in the month before my birthday. I was trying REALLY hard to be good this year, and was doing so well until Dorie Greenspan's highly-anticipated book, Around My French Table, was released a month earlier than planned. I tried to ignore it -- added it to my Amazon cart and then deleted it, added it again and deleted it -- but in the end my pointer finger was powerless against the Place Order button. Sorry honey. The good news is that as a recreational baker/wannabe photographer/book collector/clothes lover/handbag hoarder, I've got to be right up there in the top 10 Easiest People In The World To Buy For. The other good news is that we won't have to wait until late October to start enjoying regular dinners out of Around My French Table -- I've already made the gourgeres and the roast chicken for les paresseux -- and they were both fabulous. But to make it up to my hubs for violating the sacrosanct "no self-gifting in the 30 days prior to gift-giving occasion" rule, I figured I better bake him a bundt cake.

As luck would have it, this week's TWD recipe is Double Apple Bundt cake, and the timing of this cake is perfect, as we've finally seen a hint of real fall weather around here. I've made this bundt cake before -- I don't remember exactly why or when -- but I do remember it being delicious. I made a full bundt the first time I made it, but this time, I went with a loaf cake and a dozen mini bundts (because my 5 year old was having a friend over, and 5 year old girls appreciate cute food).

The "double" in this double apple bundt refers to shredded apple and apple butter. The cake also calls for a nice assortment of fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger), nuts, and raisins. I did not ice it, and served it our favorite way -- in a domed cake stand on the kitchen island with a knife next to it -- and we helped ourselves to slices and/or mini cakes for several days (this one is a good keeper). The cake has a great texture and hearty fall flavors - definitely a perfect fall snack cake. Our little houseguest chose a mini cake over pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast. This was a hit around here for sure.

Lynne of Honey Muffin chose this week's Double Apple Bundt Cake. Be sure to visit her blog for the recipe. Thanks for a great pick, Lynne!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TWD: Tarte Fine

The only thing that has gotten me through the twenty-three (23) days of 90+ degree weather in September has been the appearance of apple desserts on the TWD schedule. I'm a fall/spring lover, winter/summer hater, which means I have never lived in the right place in any of my almost 38 years (Connecticut: winters too long/cold. Alabama: summers too long/hot). But I won't dwell on that, and will instead thank Leslie for picking this week's fabulous recipe, Tarte Fine. I've actually made the tarte fine before, because it's one of those delicious and impressive desserts that is super easy, thanks to the miracle product that is frozen puff pastry.

When I started baking/blogging, I had no idea what frozen puff pastry ("FPP") even was. I remember googling "frozen puff pastry" and printing out a picture of the Pepperidge Farm package so I would know what to look for at the store. And now two years later, not only am I a regular consumer of FPP, but I have brand preferences and everything! I first tried Dufour Pastry Kitchen's all-butter FPP after reading Dorie's recommendation -- she claims that it is so good that she stopped making her own puff pastry. Other accolades: winner of the International Fancy Food Show, and called "The most buttery and flaky pastry you will ever find" by Details Magazine {as an aside, I always thought of Details as more of a "Jessica Alba reviews the iPhone 4" kind of magazine -- but I may be mixing them up with Maxim}.

In any event, this dessert would be wonderful with just about any kind of FPP. Roll out the defrosted FPP, top with lemon juice soaked apples, top with sugar, brush the pastry edge with milk or cream and the apples with an egg wash, and bake. Easy!

My daughter just picked it up and ate it like pizza.

I may not have defrosted my pastry quite long enough, and may not have achieved optimal puffage as a result. No matter, it was still delicious. I served this with David Lebovitz's cinnamon ice cream, my favorite. The cinnamon sticks seeped in my milk for two hours rather than the prescribed one hour, because I never seem to be home for an hour straight. So it was very cinnamony, and so delicious, especially with this scrumptious tarte!

Leslie, thanks for the fabulous fall pick! Please run, don't walk, to Leslie's great blog, Lethally Delicious, for the recipe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TWD: Cranberry Upside Downer

One of my mother's favorite sayings has always been "everything in moderation." While it induced major eye rolls when I was in high school (but then, what didn't?) something about that message sunk in, because now that I am indisputably an adult, I am extreme in my moderation. I sleep not too much, not too little. I drink a glass or two of wine a week. I will never be a workaholic. I get regular, non-compulsive exercise. I try to eat healthy most of the time, with all of the food groups represented. My midlife crisis car will probably be a Maxima. I have a strong preference for those glorious, moderate seasons, spring and fall (and really want to live somewhere where it is spring and fall all the time -- suggestions?) and tend to get winter/summer fatigue in a hurry. Yup, I am pretty much a moderate by every measure except for Cranberry Upside-Downer consumption, as evidenced by the fact that I ate 90% of this by myself in hourly, 1/8th inch slice increments over the course of a couple of days. And what can I say? -- extreme behavior never tasted so good!

I bought a bunch of cranberries during cranberry season last year, and they've been taking up awkward space in my freezer ever since. I was thrilled to get to use them a little bit earlier than planned; with more room in the freezer and an upside down cake on the counter, everybody wins! This was an easy cake to make. Melt some butter and sugar on the stovetop, mix in walnuts and cranberries, and spread the mixture into an 8" round pan:

Top with batter and bake.

This came out of the pan nicely and made for a festive presentation. I l-l-l-loved this cake! It has the perfect texture, and the tart cranberries and the cinnamon cake make for a heavenly combination. I We treated this as a breakfast/snack cake, but it would totally work as a true dessert with ice cream or whipped cream. David, who luckily got the first slice before I ate the rest of it, noted that while he is not usually a cranberry fan or an upside down cake fan (Really? Who thinks about upside down cakes as a distinct genre of cake, and then forms an opinion about whether to be a fan or not? Apparently my husband does.), he thought the cake was delicious. I have no idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving this year, but if I am anywhere near an oven and willing eaters -- strike that, I don't need the willing eaters; I can handle this baby myself -- I am making this cake.

Sabrina of Superflous chose this Upside Downer, and you can find her post here. Sabrina, awesome pick!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is have a cup of coffee. If I plan to run that morning, I have the coffee before I run, which I'm sure violates all sorts of fitness rules. It is very important that I have my coffee before I speak to any human beings. My children know that I do not make/find/reach/feed/retrieve/help/turn on/turn off/mediate until I have the first sip of coffee, which has led to some pointed questions about the limits of my rule: "What if someone is bleeding?" "What if there is a fire?" "What if there is a lizard in the house?" I think I've helped them understand that I will rise to the occasion in case of a true emergency {as defined by me}, but that the house default rule is that nearly everything can wait the approximately 3.5 minutes between when I get out of bed and when the first splash of java hits my mouth.

But while coffee is a vitally important element of my morning ritual, it is only a part of my morning ritual. I have one cup in the morning, and then no interest in it -- in fact, kind of an aversion to it -- the rest of the day. Except for that one morning cup that is so essential to my sunny disposition, I rarely drink the stuff. And, more relevant to this week's post {not that I have ever been constrained by relevancy when writing blog posts}, I don't really care for coffee flavored food. So I wasn't sure how I'd like this week's TWD recipe, Espresso Chocolate Shortbread cookies, chosen by Donna of Life's Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First. {Amen!} They sounded interesting though, and I have enjoyed many of Dorie's shortbread recipes, so I was eager to try them.

I just celebrated my two year blogiversary by . . . actually writing a blog post for the first time in two months! It's funny to think about the things that help us mark time. My baby was an infant when I joined TWD two years ago. I would wait for her to go down for her nap, or fall asleep at night, and then start baking {sometimes recruiting my two older children to be my helpers}. Well, these two years in TWD have flown by, as evidenced by the fact that my baby is now a chair climbing, kitchen-aid monitoring, bowl-scraping, rolling pin-wielding helper in her own right:

The dough is made with confectioner's sugar and a tablespoon of espresso powder, in addition to the usual suspects -- lots and lots {and lots} of butter, flour, vanilla. Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate get folded into the dough, and then the {extremely soft} dough gets rolled out in a ziploc bag. It then needs a good stint in the refrigerator in order to be properly cuttable. I let mine stay there overnight. Then cut off the bag, slice the dough into little rectangles, and bake.

The verdict? Well, my older two children would not try these, and my youngest spit it out {which is hardly a reliable commentary about the quality of the cookies - I don't think that espresso cookies are likely to be embraced by the preschool set any time soon}. My husband did not eat these because they contain chocolate. Which leaves me. I like most things that contain copious amounts of butter and sugar, and these cookies are no exception. Will they go down as my favorite cookie ever? No. This may be the first recipe I've baked with confectioner's sugar (as opposed to white or brown) and I'm not sure I cared for the resulting texture {if the texture was in fact sugar-related}. But I think folks who like coffee-flavored desserts will enjoy these immensely, so I'm filing this one away in my "coffee-flavored dessert" arsenal. Thanks for the pick, Donna!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TWD: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

For some reason, baking in the summer is a challenge for me. The kids are out of school and we're running around a lot. It is hotter than Hades here (we're going on 50+ straight days of temperatures near or above 100 degrees). Air conditioning does not work (I mean, it technically works, but I keep waving my hands over the vent to make sure cold air is really coming out -- it is, but is no match for what nature is dishing out). In these circumstances, I sometimes balk at the thought of cranking up the oven for mere recreational purposes. That said, my favorite dessert of all time may very well be the Summer Fruit Gallette, which was covered by TWD right before I joined. So I know that summer baking (baking in the summer and/or the baking of summer fruit) can be so very worth it.

I've had my eye on this tart, to put it mildly. In fact, I initially picked it for my TWD selection when I was up back in June. But then I started fretting that the peaches would not be in prime form in as early as late May, when TWDers would actually be making it. I polled friends who are more familiar with the peach cycle than I am, determined that late May/early June was indeed too early to count on great peaches, and emailed Laurie back with Plan B. Then I prayed that someone with a July or August pick would come through with the Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart. Thankfully, Rachel did. Rachel, you are my hero.

The tart begins with Dorie's trusty sweet tart dough. Top with peaches, an easy custard, and an almond struesel topping. Try not to burn the almond streusel topping, as I did, but know that even if you do, the tart will still be wonderful. Such is the magic of a Dorie dessert -- it's so otherwordly delicious that a few minor (or major) mistakes can't hurt it!

Thanks for the perfect summer pick, Rachel!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TWD: Lemon-Drenched Vanilla(ish) Cakes

The really awesome Wendy of pinkstripes chose this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes. Both "rum-drenched" and "vanilla cakes" sounded great to me in a vacuum, but after years of trying, really trying, to like boozy desserts, I've finally accepted that I'm just destined to be a dessert teetotaler. If I like a cake with rum in it, you can be sure that would like the cake without rum in it even better. Therefore, I decided to skip the rum and instead go with the lemon variation suggested by Dorie.

I was so happy to see that this was a loaf cake, and a simple one at that. My other baking project over the weekend was to try to make a chocolate swiss roll cake that looked like a lightsaber - a test run for my son's birthday in a couple of weeks. I'd never made a roll cake before, or used rolled fondant for that matter. Suffice it to say that after my practice round I am not brimming with confidence about my ability to pull off the edible lightsaber under pressure. I've got the bakery on speed dial, just in case. But a loaf cake? That I could do.

This cake is hand mixed -- no mixer required. That endeared the cake to me immediately, especially because my beloved Kitchen Aid started to make some ugly squeaking noises during the lightsaber batter mixing. I don't even want to think about My Precious conking out on me, and since this cake was mixed by hand, for five minutes I didn't have to. This is a straight up mixing process -- combine the dry ingredients, whisk eggs into sugar (since I was doing the lemon version, I first rubbed lemon zest into the sugar), add vanilla (Dorie says that the rum/vanilla version depends on the "very best vanilla you could find" - presumably vanilla beans from Tahiti or Madagascar, but since I was just doing the modified lemon version, I went with the very best vanilla I could find in my pantry - Kirkland Signature Pure Vanilla Extract from Costco), then whisk in heavy cream. Finally, add in the dry ingredients and fold in melted and cooled butter. Pour into a loaf pan and bake.

After the cake is out of the oven, poke a bunch of holes in it with a skewer or something similar, and then brush the cake with a simple syrup of sugar, water, and, (for the lemon version I did) lemon juice. I've never drenched a cake before - it was tons of fun!

The results? Wow, we really love this cake. The crumb is exactly as Dorie describes - tight, compact and sturdy, but still soft and moist. The lemon flavor here was fabulous - I LOVED how the lemon syrup infused the cake with extra tartness. This cake is delicious enough to stand on its own, but it would also be great with berries and cream, lemon curd, etc. It's been a while since I made the French Yogurt Cake, another lemon cake that we adored around here, so I can't really say which is better. But it would be hard to beat this one for the total "simplicity and pure deliciousness" package.

Run, don't walk, to Wendy's blog to read more about this cake (and tons of other fabulous creations) and for a daily dose of fun and adventure. Great pick, Pink!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD: Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake

Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake - Take 1

I first made this week's TWD recipe, Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake, on a whim one day after Amanda and I decided to bring Heather lunch. Heather is on bed rest with baby #4, and by gosh, Heather deserves some chocolate cake. Plus, the baby likes my baked goods, and we all want the baby to fatten up over the next few weeks, so any way you slice it, this chocolate cake had Heather's name all over it. I wanted the cake to be fresh as possible, so I baked it the morning of our lunch date, but I didn't really have time to do that, so the cake ended up ugly. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Close your eyes:

Okay, you can open them now. If you did sneak a peek, I will tell you that the photo captured the cake at its absolute prettiest. It went downhill from there as it survived multiple car rides, elevator rides, the take out window at La Paz, the 40% off sale at Grandmother's Joy Children's Clothing Boutique, and temperature swings of 50 degrees depending on whether it was inside or outside. When Amanda and I finally got to Heather's, I quickly hid the cake in the refrigerator and hoped that I'd be able to sneak into the kitchen to cut it without anyone having the misfortune of seeing it. Because it's one thing to bake an ugly cake, it's another thing to bake an ugly cake when you've been baking cakes for two years straight. It is bruised and battered by now, but I do have my pride.

Fortunately, once it was sliced it pretty much looked like any sliced chocolate loaf cake, so my "ugly cake" secret was safe for another day. And it was delicious! We all enjoyed it, and it was the perfect way to cap off a light ladies' lunch of cheese dip and burritos.

Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake - Take 2

Much as I liked the cake, I almost didn't blog about it because of the ugly picture. So instead of doing the sane thing and posting about it in spite of the ugly picture, I decided to bake it again. Just a half recipe this time, in mini loaf pans. I rationalized my bizarre behavior by telling myself that I could keep it in the freezer so that I'd have something on hand if unexpected guests arrived. The prospect of "having dessert in the freezer for unexpected guests" never fails to persuade me to go ahead and bake that unnecessary dessert, notwithstanding the fact that in the 19.5 years since I've reached adulthood, I have never once had an unexpected guest. If my doorbell rings unexpectedly it is either (1) the UPS man, or (2) a guy in a pickup truck asking if I want to buy pine straw. But I think I inherited my freezer-stocking compulsion from my grandmother, who regularly kept things in her freezer for unexpected guests (although she actually had unexpected guests -- so many, in fact, that at some point I imagine it ceased to be unexpected). I frequently watched her pull a pie out of nowhere when Uncle Bill and Aunt Theresa stopped by to play pinochle, or turn out some tea and cookies in two minutes flat for Rosie and Adeline, the sisters renowned for their housekeeping prowess - legend had it that they "cleaned on top of clean" (the highest compliment my grandmother could bestow on someone.)

So despite my historic dearth of unexpected guests, I now have one and a half mini dressy chocolate loaf cakes in my freezer at the ready, just in case. Thanks to the fabulous Amy Ruth from Amy Ruth Bakes for picking this wonderful, crowd-pleasing, freezer-friendly cake. Be sure to visit Amy Ruth and the TWD blogroll to see some beautiful cakes (and obtain actual relevant information about the cake!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD: Tender Shortcakes {my pick!!}

I know that many people know well ahead of time which recipe they will choose when their turn comes up in Tuesdays with Dorie. But there must be others like me, who really have no idea which recipe they'll pick, and then end up having a kind of out of body experience that involves typing "I choose the Tender Shortcakes" in response to Laurie's "Your turn to pick for June!" email. And who wake up the next day thinking "did I really pick the Tender Shortcakes over a gazillion other amazing-looking desserts in Baking? Let me check my sent items folder. Yes I did." Now, don't get me wrong -- I like strawberry shortcakes. But my sister has always been the real strawberry shortcake lover in the family - she'll choose it for her birthday dessert and order it in restaurants, and my mother will always serve it for dessert if she knows Diane is coming over for dinner. I, on the other hand, can usually be found rummaging through the pantry to see if there is anything in there that can be turned into chocolate cake.

But I was never going to pick anything chocolate, because I needed David, who has been my most faithful and loyal taster for the nearly two years I've been in TWD, to eat and review whatever I chose. And once I knew that I had a June pick, I started zoning in on seasonal recipes. Dorie calls these tender shortcakes "the quintessential shortcakes" and, well, I think of strawberry shortcakes as the quintessential summer dessert. So Tender Shortcakes it was!!

Some desserts/techniques have a reputation of being somewhat difficult or fussy (e.g., meringue, custard, caramel), and generally speaking, if they are difficult for anybody, they are difficult for me as well. Then there are the desserts that do not have a reputation for being difficult (e.g, brownies) but which manage to be difficult for me anyway (chronic underbaker here).

That brings us to biscuits, or members of the biscuit family (as these shortcakes are) which also have the reputation for being a tad tricky, yet which inexplicably have never given me any trouble. For whatever reason I am square with the biscuit/shortcake gods. I really hoped that this biscuit magic continued through these shortcakes, because I really didn't want to have to write a "fail" post for my week.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl:

Make sure your cold, unsalted butter is ready to go:

Drop the butter onto the flour mixture:

And then working quickly using your fingers (Dorie's preferred method) or a pastry cutter, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients:

At this point Dorie says you should have pieces the size of peas, the size of oatmeal flakes, and everything in between. {I also had many pieces the size of . . . flour, but (SPOILER ALERT) the finished product was fabulous anyway.}

Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you've got a very soft dough.

Spoon out about 1/3 of a cup of dough for each shortcake onto a baking sheet:

Pat each mound down until it is between 3/4 inch and 1 inch high:

At this point you can freeze the shortcakes on the baking sheet, and then wrap them airtight and keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months. I froze the dough for all of my shortcakes before baking them off, and the frozen shortcakes baked up perfectly after exactly 18 minutes in my oven. I love this "freeze the dough" technique -- it gives you the freedom to turn out fresh, delicious homemade shortcakes on a moment's notice.

With my shortcakes safely in the freezer, I set out to my favorite farmer's market to hunt down June's finest berries:

With my first round of shortcakes, I went with a combination of strawberries and blueberries. Top the berries with a little sugar to taste and let them sit for 10 minutes or so, until they are juicy. Once the shortcakes are baked and the cream is whipped, it's really just a matter of assembly.

Peach variation:

The verdict? One bite of these shortcakes and all second-guessing about my choice ceased immediately. David and I agreed that these are in a completely different universe from any other shortcake we've ever had. They are tender, flaky, and melt-in-your mouth delicious. They have just the right hint of sweetness while maintaining the buttery essence of a great biscuit. They are indeed the quintessential shortcake -- the perfect vehicle for the summer's bounty of fresh fruit and berries.

I hope that everyone enjoyed these shortcakes as much as we did. Thanks to my fellow TWD bakers for baking along with me this week! And thank you, Dorie, for another winner in the treasure trove that is Baking!

Tender Shortcakes, from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 10 shortcakes


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream


Berries (about 1/2 cup per shortcake), hulled and slice if using strawberries
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream


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


Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, 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 in between - and that's just right.

Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you've got a very soft dough. When the dough comes together, you'll probably still have dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl - just use a spatula or your hands to mix and knead the dough until it's evenly blended. Don't overdo it; it's better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. Even with all the flour mixed in, the dough will be soft and sticky.

Spoon out about 1/3 cup of dough for each shortcake onto the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between the mounts of dough. Pat each mound down until is is between 3/4 and 1 inch high. (The shortcakes can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake with out defrosting - just add at least 5 more minutes to the oven time.)

If you have more dough, repeat, cooling the baking sheet first.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back at the midway point, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a bit when prodded. Pull the sheet from the oven and transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack.


Put the berries in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar to taste and let sit for about 10 minutes, until they are juicy.

The cakes are tender and really pretty fragile, so go easy with them. Use a serrated knife and not much pressure to cut each cake in half horizontally. (Alternatively, you can use the tines of a fork to prick a ring around the middle of the shortcake, then use your fingers to gently pry the halves apart.) Put the bottom halves on plates, top with the berries - make sure to include some of the sweet juices - and spoon over some whipped cream. Put the tops on the shortcakes or lean them against the cream, my preference. If you decide to go for the open-faced shortcakes, you'll get two textures - moist and moister.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TWD: Banana-Coconut Ice Cream Pie

I feel like I am a much more adventurous eater since I started baking with TWD. I enjoy things I didn't used to like (coconut, custard), and I have come to appreciate certain flavor combos that I never would have expected. I trust Dorie, I do. She rarely leads us down the wrong road. That said, I have to draw the line somewhere, and a pie that involves banana, coconut, rum and CHOCOLATE ice cream seemed like as good a place as any. Swapping vanilla ice cream for the chocolate was pretty much a no-brainer for me, since my husband wouldn't eat the chocolate version anyway, and vanilla just seemed safer to boring, rule-following, never-did-a-single-crazy-thing-in-her-life me.


(1) I did not make my own ice cream for this recipe
(2) I did not make my own butter cookies for this recipe
(3) I used all "ripe but firm" bananas for the recipe, not some "very ripe" bananas and some "ripe but firm" bananas

I've never made a crust like this before - it's a no-bake crust that contains a stick of butter, a couple of cups of coconut, which get toasted in the melted butter, and crushed up butter cookies. After it's all mixed together, it gets pressed into a pie dish and then frozen. After the crust is ready, it gets topped with slices of "ripe but firm" bananas. The pie filling starts with making a puree of "very ripe" bananas (I used "ripe but firm"), lemon and dark rum in the food processor. Add vanilla ice cream to the puree and pulse to combine, but be careful not to melt the ice cream. My ice cream (which was very hard out of the carton) melted upon first or second pulse, so I'm not quite sure how to pull off that trick, but there was nothing do be done about that but pour it all into the pie crust and hope for the best.

My camera died, so the pie pictures here are iPhone photos taken by my 7 year old. I think he did a good job, even though he only took the pictures as a ploy to take my iPhone from me. Meanwhile, my camera is en route to Canon for fixing. Ever wonder what a shutter looks like when it won't close? It's that tiny bronze-ish dot in the lower right hand quadrant of the black box.

Incidentally, Canon customer service was awesome (so far - I don't have my camera back yet, of course). So awesome, that I almost forgot I was calling them because my 6 month old camera just conked out on me. The guy seemed almost as distressed as I was that my camera was broken, and by gosh, he was going to get to the bottom of it! We went through a whole battery of troubleshooting exercises. At one point he told me to hold down the picturetaking button (he didn't use the phrase "picturetaking button") and asked me to look into the hole (he didn't use the phrase "hole") and tell him if I saw a blue/green shade. I told him that I didn't think I saw blue/green, but more of a nailhead/pinhead against a black background, almost like the back of a small nail. It was at that point that he said: "Oh no. What you are seeing is your shutter. It's not closing" -- as if it personally pained him to have to tell me this. At that point there was really nothing left for us to talk about other than the instructions for sending my camera back to Canon.

The good news/bad news is that I'm not sure I would have done a whole lot better than this even if I had my camera.

David, his parents and I had this for dessert over the weekend. Everybody liked it. It's a nice warm-weather dessert with unquestionably tropical flavors. Tropical flavors tend not to be my favorite flavors, at least not in solid form (i.e., I'm more likely to be effusive in praise about a banana/rum/lemon/coconut/vanilla concoction that I'm supposed to drink) but again, this is a great dessert choice if you are looking for a tropical, cool dessert that requires teeth.

Spike of Spike Bakes chose this pie. You can find the recipe (and lots of other great things!) on Spike's blog. Thanks for the summery pick, Spike!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD: Quick Classic Berry Tart

I am going to take my inspiration from this week's TWD recipe, Quick Classic Berry Tart, and submit a Quick (non)Classic Post. As has been the case with all of Dorie's tarts, this one was amazingly good and deceptively easy to make. It involves three components, two of which can be made ahead of time, and the third of which is fruit placement. Even I can't mess that up (although I can make it look less aesthetically pleasing than you). Part one is the sweet tart dough, which I have made and discussed here many times. Same old story -- I think I'm overhandling the dough, I probably AM overhandling the dough, but the taste and texture is of the tart crust ends up wonderful anyway. I can only imagine how great it must be when it is not overhandled. The great thing about the crust is that it actually needs to be frozen for a bit before it is baked, and while the recipe only requires a short stint in the freezer, you can keep the unbaked crust in there for days, weeks, months ahead of time! Perfect for the tart maker on the go!

Dorie's pastry cream is to die for delicious. I can usually take or leave puddings, custards, etc., as I generally prefer for there to be flour somewhere in my desserts, yet whenever I taste this pastry cream I have this crazy urge to tuck the bowl under my arm like a football and protect it from people who might try to strip it away from me. Then I remember, "oh yeah, I bake as a way to show people that I love them!" and I put the bowl down. Anyway, I've made Dorie's pastry cream several times for various recipes and have never had any trouble with it. It thickens easily and is rich, smooth and delicious. And it can be made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated until it's time to assemble the tart. It's pretty much perfect -- I don't know why I'd ever want to make a different pastry cream.

The fruit placement segment of this dessert is our chance to flex our creative muscles. I went with randomly scattered berries, which seemed to suit my lifestyle more than some kind of orderly pattern.

Then brush the fruit with a jam glaze (I guess that's a fourth component), and you're done!

The result is a beautiful, impressive dessert that is really no more difficult to make than brownies (in fact, for me, it might be easier than brownies, since I'm riding a long streak of underbaking brownies). I made this when we had some friends over for dinner, and it was a huge hit. Dorie says that it's best the same day once it's assembled, but David and I enjoyed it the next day as well. This tart is now my go-to spring and summer dessert.

Cristine of Cooking with Cristine picked this tart. Great pick, Cristine!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD:Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

This week's TWD recipe, Burnt Sugar Ice Cream, combines two techniques that have caused me significant angst over the past two years: (1) making caramel, and (2) making custard. I knew this ice cream would be good if I got it right, but the chances of that seemed so remote that I almost skipped it.

My big problem with custard early on was that I didn't have any experience with it, so I really didn't know what it was supposed to look like when it was ready to come off the heat. Therefore, I was overly reliant on my (unreliable) thermometers, which consistently did me wrong. As I failed and failed again, I became an expert on what custard looked like right before the point of failure, so I felt more confident going into this that I would catch it in time and maybe, just maybe, not fail.

My main problem with caramel is that as soon as sugar starts boiling in my house, I think of one hundred other things that I need to be doing. Something about sugar boiling makes me ambitious (to do things other than watch the sugar). This time, I decided that if I needed to glue my feet on the floor in front of the stove, I would not walk away from the boiling sugar.

Keep your eyes on me. Yes, you.

Seriously? The laundry has been sitting in the dryer for two days! It can wait another ten minutes.

Do. Not. Go. Check. The. Mail.

How about you call and make that hair appointment AFTER you don't burn the caramel?

You know, I wouldn't worry as much about other people trying to take pictures while doing this, but you? You really need to put the camera down.

That's deep amber enough - next step!!

The next step is to lower the heat and add milk and cream, at which point Dorie warns us that things will get a little wild, what with all the bubbling and seething and hardening of caramel. All of the above did happen, but just as Dorie says it will, the hardened caramel smooths out as you continue to heat and stir. At that point you temper an egg yolk/salt mixture with the warm caramel/milk mixture, add the rest of the caramel/milk to the eggs, return all of it to the pan and cook over medium heat until the custard reaches between 170 and 180 degrees. I knew better than to rely on a thermometer to test for doneness, so I used the "spoon test" (the custard coated the back of a spoon); the "track test" (when I ran my finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard did not run into the track); and the "instinct denial test" (in which my instincts told me to cook the custard for a few more minutes, and I ignored them).

The results - perfect custard!! Woo hoo!! This ice cream base tasted incredible. I could barely wait for it to chill sufficiently so I could churn it. In fact, I probably churned it a little sooner than I should have - it just couldn't chill fast enough for me.

My husband likes a lot of the desserts I have made, but I think this ice cream might have been his all-time favorite. He just could not take a bite without offering up a new compliment. I bake for praise, so I was all over that. I loved the ice cream too -- I found it to be veeeeeerrrry sweet, so sweet that I added hot fudge to my bowl to cut the sweetness a bit:

You know something is sweet when hot fudge neutralizes the sweetness. Still, this was far and away the best ice cream I've ever made, and possibly the best I've ever tasted. I sure hope that the caramel/custard success wasn't a fluke, because I can't wait to make this again.

Becky of Project Domestication chose the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream. Great pick Becky!

Blog Design By: Sherbet Blossom Designs