Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thick & Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies

Week 51

This week it was Janet"s turn to host. She choose Thick & Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies. Recipe on page 156 of our book.

Last week of our Bake 52. It's a bittersweet feeling. It really should be week 52 but we took a break on the week of July 4th. Odd to take a break on America's birthday but not on Christ's birthday. This is why my post is up so late. I apologize but the holiday took precedence. Happy to be back and ready to start are next     cook challenge called Table Talk. As for now lets talk about the chocolate cookies we made...

Yummy! Chocolate and more chocolate! These cookies are all for the chocolate lover. Which is me! They were soft, chewy, and very chocolaty.  I remember baking a cookie very similar from an ATK magazine a couple years ago. Trying to remember which was was better...I think it was the one in the magazine. These were very good and very expensive withe 16 ounces of baking chocolate, but they did make a lot. They lasted the whole holidays, which was good.

If your interested in this recipe please visit HERE.

ATip & A Question
  1. Take cookies out right before they are fully baked. This will keep them chewy and after cooled and stored. (Tip from book)
  2. N/A

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Almond Biscotti

Week 50

This week it was Emily's turn to host. She choose Almond Biscotti. Recipe on page 200 of our book. I am sure every on can agree about finding to bake and post this week. It's a miracle that I am finding time right now to record this weeks baking. I will warn you that I will be brief. Non the less I was excited to be a European baker this week. I love their baking and my husband is not a fan. Oh, well...more for me.

This picture tells me to sit down with a hot cup of tea and enjoy. The taste was crunchy with a delightful flavor of almond and the perfect amount of sweetness. I really enjoyed them, but if your like my husband you would just think they were dry.

If your interested in European baking click HERE for the recipe.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. The recipe calls for double baking. Under bake the first time to ensure a nice color and crunch on the second round of baking. (I burnt mine a little on the first baking and because of this they might of been a bit over done.)
  2. N/A

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Glazed Chocolate Cream Roll

Week 49

This week it was Michelle's turn to host. She choose the Glazed Chocolate Cream Roll. Recipe on page 258 of our book.

 A cake roll which am sure I have when young. It was never chocolate but a jam roll which is the recipe before this one in the book. I can't lie but wish that we were baking the jam one instead. Reading through the ingredients and seeing the the base of the cream was marshmallow cream gave me a negative attitude about the filling. Oh well, the rest was chocolate so it couldn't be that bad, eh.

Here it is! I am sure glad we had a glaze to put on top. Mostly just to cover up the cake that didn't look so pretty, also the glaze looks much more chocolaty. :) It turned out good I thought. Everything went smoothly. The only thing was the cream was a bit grainy from the extra sugar added. Not sure if that was me or not. All and all it was good except for the cream...was not a fan of marshmallow cream. I think it would of been divine with a whipped cream in the middle.

Rolling the cake was pretty easy other then it keep sticking to my greased parchment paper. The cake might of been a bit to cool for rolling which is my guess for why it stuck to the paper.

We all had a piece for dessert last night. Everyone liked it, but no one loved it. The rest went with my husband to work today. We'll see what they think of it. Next time I would love to try the jam roll.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. The book is right when they tell you to roll and spread cream while the cake is still warm. That really makes a difference in the end result of the cake.
  2. What other kind of cream could you use for the swirls?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Large Danish Braid

Week 48

It's my last week to host. It is really a bittersweet feeling. I have enjoyed baking this year and have learned so much. My husband even said I am turning into a cook like my Oma! If you know my Oma then you know how big of a compliment that was. On the bitter side it will be a relief to not have to bake every week. Now I can enjoy going back through everything we have baked and re-baking my favorites of just trying it again.

This week I decided to choose something that is not up alley. I flipped to the pastry section because that is one of my husbands favorite treats. I had three in mind and he choose the Large Danish Braid. Recipe on page 446 of our book.

Looks great! Of course it looks better in this photo then it did in real life. I love editing pictures it captures the moment and make it even better. :) All in all it went well and turned out looking really good considering that this was the longest recipe I have ever baked, EVER! Wow, I apologize to all my fellow bakers, I knew it was a long recipe but didn't realize it took 9 to 10 hours from start to finish. At least that is how long it took me. By the end I was really sick of my kitchen and the danish. So I am supper happy it was yummy and rich with creamy cream cheese, raspberries, and cherries, along a with flaky, buttery pastry bread. Topped with icing. It defiantly was a treat. Really good, but maybe a little to sweet for me to crave on a regular bases.

Now for the recipe:
Serves 6-8

If the dough becomes too warm and sticky to work with, cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator until firm. The Danish should be brushed with the glaze while hot, but drizzled with the icing after it has cooled.
  • 1 recipe Danish Dough
  • 1 recipe Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the Danish dough into a 14-inch square on a large sheet of parchment paper. Following the photos, spread the cooled filling down the center third of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the top and bottom edge. (As soon as I poured the filling on top of the dough I realized that my filling was way to running. I was really nervous at this point because it appeared that the danish was ruined but there was no going back now.)

Look at those cute little hands admiring my work.

2. Cut the dough on either side of the filling into diagonal strips about 3/4 inch thick. Discard the top corner of dough on either side, then, starting at the top of the Danish, crisscross the strips over the filling to form a braid. Slid the Danish, still on the parchment paper, onto a large baking sheet. (At this point I realized that the cream cheese was supposed to go on before the fruit filling. Crap...

It was a complete mess taking off the filling and putting the cream cheese on and the the fruit filling back on the pastry dough. The only good part of this step was it got rid of some fruit juice that wasn't supposed to be there.)

3.  Cover the Danish loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rises at room temperature until puffy, about 30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the Danish until golden brown, 22 to 26 minute, (I bake mine and 400 degrees for 22 minutes and then turned the oven to 375 degrees for the last 4 minutes.) rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

4.  FOR THE GLAZE:  Transfer the baked Danish to a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup.) Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and brush it over the hot Danish, Let the glazed Danish cool completely on the rack, about 1 hour.

5.  FOR THE ICING:  Whisk the icing ingredients together in a small bowl. When the Danish is completely cool, drizzle the icing attractively over the top. Let the icing set for 20 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead
Once Shaped and risen in step 3, the Danish can be frozen until firm, about 1 hour, then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Let the frozen Danish thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake as directed.


MAKES enough for 1 large braid or 9 individual Danish

When rolling the dough out, sprinkle extra flour over the counter and the rolling pin as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butte, cut into 3 equal pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1.  FOR THE DOUGH:  Mix the milk and egg together in a liquid measuring cup.

Combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and slat in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.

With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

2.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead the dough until it forms a sticky ball and becomes elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 5 minutes, the dough appears overly sticky and doesn't come together into a ball, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. (I added the full amount 1/4 cup of flour because my dough was really sticky.) 

Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

3.  FOR THE BUTTER SQUARE:  Lay the 3 pieces of butter side by side on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Gently pound the butter with a rolling pin until the butter is softened and the flour is fully incorporated, then roll it into a 5-inch square. 

Wrap the butter square in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and roll into a 9-inch square. 

Place the chilled butter square diagonally in the center of the dough. 

Fold the corners of the dough up over the butter square so that the corners meet in the middle and pinch the dough seams to seal.

5.  Using a rolling pin, gently tap the dough, starting from the center and working outward, until the square becomes larger and the butter begins to soften, Gently roll the dough into an 11-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle, then fold the rectangle in thirds to form a square. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

6.  Repeat step 5 and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 more hours before using.

To Make Ahead
The Danish dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let the dough thaw completely in the refrigerator, about 12 hours, before using.

You can substitute 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen raspberries for the cherries (eliminate the cornstarch).

  • 2 cups jarred or canned sour cherries, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

1.  Simmer the cherries, 1 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together in a medium sauce-pan over low heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl,cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, before using.

2.  Whisk the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon zest together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until stiff, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, before using. Spoon the cherry mixture on top of the cheese filling when assembling the Danish.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. Plan a whole day to bake your Danish or use the make ahead options.
  2. Any tips for thickening the fruit filling. My guess is to drain and add more cornstarch.
I apologize for such a long post. I wanted to make sure all the recipes were posted so that anyone with-out the book could make the Danish. All pastries lovers should give this a try!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

Week 47

This week was Betsy's turn to host. She choose Buttermilk Biscuits. Recipe on page 29 of our book.

They may look a little deformed but don't let that deceive you. :)They were still good, with a crispy shell and a soft middle that fell apart. I am sure you wondering why the shape didn't turn out as planned by the book, or maybe your not because you don't own the book. Anyways...

It's been a really crazy week here trying to keep on top of things with any extra baby around. On Tuesday night I realized that my baking needed to get done. Cozy was being the great little helper she is, wanting to pour and stir all the ingredients. While cooking dinner, feeding the baby, and trying to keep everyone happy I miss read the amount of milk that was to be added. I added 1 1/2 cups instead on 1 1/4 cups.

As you can see kneading my dough wasn't working very well. What a mess! Oh, and by the way, that is homemade granola in the background. Added to my list of things that I was doing at the same time. 

It is the best granola ever! It's all my Mom made growing up. We ate it on top of yogurt.

I really couldn't throw away all those ingredients mixed together. Plus my husband had a taste of the dough and insisted I bake them anyway, so this was my solution. It worked really well other then my counter was a sticky mess.

Hot out of the oven with your choose of butter and jam or butter and honey. My kids have been eating them for every meal today. 

Click HERE for the recipe.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. Always double check your ingredients.
  2. N/A

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

Week 46

This week it was Talesha. She choose Sweet Potato Pie. Recipe on page 380 of our book.

I am sad to say that this is a pass week for me. Being in-charge of Thanksgiving dinner took up all my baking/cooking energy. Although, I did bake three recipes from our book. Some were my husband's request. 

Lunch Box Brownies for the kids, Dutch Apple Pie, and Pumpkin Cheese Cake. All turned out wonderful! In fact the Dutch Apple Pie was the best apple pie I have ever had. It could easily be eaten with no ice cream or whip cream which are usually a must for fruit pie.

I hope to try the Sweet Potato Pie in the future. I heard from my neighbor's family that it was kinda like a pumpkin pie. :) If you are interested in giving this recipe a try click HERE.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

Week 45

This week it was Amanda's turn to host. She choose Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake. Recipe on page 311 of our book.

First, I have to apologize for my late post this week. I kinda forgot about baking this week. Don't ask me how, but I was planning on making the cheese cake for a party on Saturday night. On Tuesday realized that the cheese cake was due the next day so that idea bombed. I decided to serve it to my guests on Wednesday night which left no time to do my blog because we were up late playing games.


How could you not be excited about this recipe. Our baking book has done an absolutely amazing job putting together pumpkin baked recipes. Every one that we have made so far has been delicious, so the cheesecake should be just as good. That is if the baker (me) does things right.

Oh, yes, I did a great job! Did you know that when I was a kid any baking with pumpkin in it was not something I would ever bite into. Kids have so much to I did.:) The cheese cake was perfectly smooth and creamy with just the right amount of spices. The crust was yummy but became a bit soggy from the cheese cake. I am not sure how to avoid that but think it would taste better with a bit more crunch from the crust. Whip cream to top it all off! Just as you would do for a pie.

Can't say that I have ever heard of this technique before. It was a good idea to suck the moisture out of the pumpkin using paper towels and a cookie sheet. No one likes runny cheese cake. The only thing was the pumpkin had endless moisture. You can see this by my many layers of paper towels in the picture above.

As I was beating all the ingredients together a helper appeared the in kitchen.

Cheese Cake, Cheese Cake, Cheese Cake!!! 

Our guests really enjoyed it and I sent half of it to work with my husband hoping that his employees would enjoy it as much. Thanks Amanda for hosting. Please click HERE if your a cheese cake lover. If your not it is still worth it.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. I think the book said them all.
  2. How do you keep the graham cracker crust crunchy?