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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

 

cookie carnival :: march round-up!


it's round-up time! this month we made Gourmet Magazine's CARROT CAKE INSIDE-OUT COOKIES. and they were totally delicious. i loved everything about these little beauties. they were cakey, moist, flavorful, snack-sized. i'm thinking of making them in May for my son's school bake sale. he devoured them.

my only complaint about mine was that i wished they were a liiiiiitle flatter. but i know others found theirs spread too much, so who knows what that's about. i did make a couple of modifications. i cut the white sugar out completely and omitted the nuts. i knew the nut factor would freak about the boys in the family.

if you want to try the recipe. here's a pdf for you. or go to epicurious.com.

onto the round-up! thanks again, everyone for participating and making the Carnival a fun ride. the photo (if one was provided) appears above the blurb about the baker. if
anyone finds an error, please let me know!


jackie at Food Wanderlust had this to say, "I'm thinking next time I would make them as standalone cookies instead of sandwich cookies with the cream cheese filling as a topping." i think she is not alone in that assessment! read her post here.

tami of Tami's Kitchen Table Talk decided to do some of hers naked and found them better that way! read her post here.


laura of This That and a Whole Lot of Food had this to say, "They are quite pretty little balls of sugar. I like that. I may make them for a pot luck sometime." she read my mind. i'm thinking "bake sale." read the rest of her post here.


linda of Baking Foodie played along this month. read her post here for more precious pup pics!


jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes topped hers with the filling, rather than sandwiching. i admit i did the same....or rather let the 4 year old do it. sloppy! but tasty!. Read jacque's post here!

pam of Cookies with Boys had this to say, "Let me tell you, they flew off the plate so fast, I barely had a chance to sample one." Read the rest of her post here.


karen of Shortbread South is posting about cookies all month! wheee! read her Carnival post here.


christine of Whimsical Bakery made the cookies--twice, but did not post about them. she had some trouble getting them to bake properly. anyone else have trouble? got any advice for cristine? you can comment here if you like.


mary ann of Meet Me in The Kitchen had this to report, "These little guys were good.. I had to put some in a plastic container and hide them in the fridge."
read the rest of her post here.


tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy had this to say, "there is something about these ones which makes you want to keep eating them."
something goooood! read the rest of her post here.



holly of Phemomenon had this to say, "The good news is, these cookies are pretty simple to put together and extremely tasty."
read the rest of her post here. holly will also be the first-ever Carnival Guest Host. thanks, holly!


natalie of Snooky Doodle cakes is the first to monkey with the recipe at all. she used almonds rather than walnuts. read her post here.


cristine of Cooking With Cristine got creative when her cookies spread. she used cookie cutters to cute-i-fy them! read her post here.


rachelle of Mommy, I'm Hungry had this to report, "
We thought these were great. Perfect little bite sizes of cake!" read the rest of her post here.



lauren of Fried Pickles & Ice cream has a super-cute blog. and she had this to say about these cookies, "
I liked them best when they were stored in the refrigerator and eaten cold." read the rest of her post here.



katy of Alphabet Soup gets right to the point, "
I'll just cut to the chase -- these are good!!" i think we're all on the same page with that sentiment! read her post here.



jin of Smell & Taste are My Memory enjoyed this with pecans rather than walnuts. it's what she had on hand. i love how "what you have on hand" can transform recipes. read her post here.


anissa of Anissa's Kitchen played along for the first time this month said, "
I found this to be a big hit with my family." read her post here.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

 

the chicken and the egg :: springtime is here! (pt.1)

i know that spring is really here (or nearly really here) when i show up at bb's school and there. on the front stoop. are the cartons of fresh eggs. can it be?? yes, the chickens are out and about clucking and scratching and i get to take home their amazing, fresh, springtime-is-upon-us eggs. this is the best thing to come my way since those crazy-good Trophy Cupcakes. only this is better because these eggs are a promise of what is to come. sunshine. flowers. WARMTH. and delicious breakfasts.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

 

seattle treats :: Trophy Cupcakes!


when we decided to take a trip to Seattle this spring, one of the first places on my mind to visit was Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford Center.

this shop was not there when i lived in Seattle and i learned on our trip that this is a mighty good thing. had it been there, i do not know if i would have had the power to resist the cakey goodness that resides inside. (sorry for the blurry photos. i was so excited, i couldn't seem to focus. literally!)

i first read about it on the Cakespy blog. good ol' jesse over there, in addition to her supercute cuppie drawings, also keeps us looped on good bakeries, not only in seattle, but all over the place. i highly recommend checking out her blog.

the trophy menu works on a bit of a rotating schedule. they have same 4 flavors everyday, but then each day, they have different flavors just on that day. so, if you become a fan of, say, the chai cardamom you cannot have it any day of the week (which perhaps is a good thing), you have to know what day they bake them on in order to satisfy your craving. i was there on a thursday and so i indulged in the Triple Coconut. choco cupcake, coconut buttercream, coconut on top.


it was soooooo sooooo very delicious. i kept saying, "this is so good!" as i munched on it in between sips of some equally as good coffee. hubby had Triple Chocolate and bb and cm shared a yellow cake with choco frosting. the best part of the chocolate frosting is that the chocolate was really high-quality and it wasn't too sweet. they score big points with me for that.

so, in short, if you are ever in seattle do yourself a favor and head on over there. it's good eats.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

 

away


i've not been posting much because we are across the country visiting friends in seattle. a major impetus for the trip was to get our nearly-the-same-age kids together. so, of course, i had to get them in the kitchen.

blueberry buttermilk pancakes.

o yes.

:  )


Monday, March 9, 2009

 

mud season.


it's here....or at least it was yesterday.....it's currently snowing.

one of the things i enjoy most about being a parent right now is celebrating the seasons with my kids.


we really do celebrate and sink our teeth into every one of them. even when the season has been dragging on and on like this winter has seemed to do.

so, yesterday we began to celebrate the mud. it's the unofficial 5th season in new england and it brings MUCH joy with it. all of a sudden people are out! walking! skipping! smiling. children are running and splashing in mud puddles. it is truly a spring fever.

i watched as my son and his friend just BOUNDED from one puddle to the next, riding scooters, being silly. sun in their faces and it was like witnessing pure joy. i wanted to cringe at the muddy pants and wetness of it all, but i couldn't it was too much fun watching them laugh. laundry. schmaundry.

spring is, indeed coming.

thank goodness.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

 

profiteroles are my friend.

whenever i go out to a nice place for dinner (which is extremely rare, mind you) i always look for profiteroles on the dessert menu. they are one of my favorite sweet treats. i've always been a vanilla and chocolate kind of gal. whenever i get ice cream, it's just about always chocolate chip. there's just somethin' about it!

so, the last time i went out to a nice dinner (several months ago, for my birthday) myself and my pals decided to get a few desserts and split them. yum! a forkful of a few things is such a good way to dessert yourself. i'm a big fan of grazing! but the tragic part is the profiteroles were sub-par. way sub. and it was then that i knew i had to make some of these bad boys myself. and so i did. a few weeks ago we had those same pals over for dinner and i decided to rock the profiteroles since they so totally fizzled the previous time.

and dude. i DID rock the rolls. i was totally surprised and pleased that they were really really great. after 3 bites, hubby said, "babe, i think this might be the best dessert i have ever eaten. for real."

score!

the funny thing is my son had some the next day and without any coaching from dad he said, "mommy, these are like, my BEST dessert!"

double score.

and the best part is they are super easy to make. i was intimidated for big-fat-nothing. .

try them! here is the recipe from Gourmet.

PROFITEROLES

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 1/4 hr

INGREDIENTS
1 quart coffee ice cream (i used a store bought high-quality vanilla and i think that the only thing that could elevate this dessert to truly heavenly heights is home made ice cream. o yes. the decadence will someday be mine.)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

INSTRUCTIONS
Equipment: a small (about 1 1/2-inch) ice cream scoop; a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip (i had no such tip, so i used the bag tipless and it was just fine.)

Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 18 ice cream balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster). (i didn't do this, i just scooped at serving time.)

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Butter a large baking sheet.

Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total. Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.


Make chocolate sauce:

Heat sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Remove from heat, then add cream and a pinch of salt (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until caramel has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted, then whisk in vanilla and Cognac (if using). Keep warm, covered.


Serve profiteroles:

Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.


Cooks' notes:
·Ice cream balls can be frozen up to 1 day (cover with plastic wrap after 1 hour).
·Profiteroles can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven 5 minutes. Cool before filling.

Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total. Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.

Serve profiteroles:

Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.

Cooks' notes:
·Ice cream balls can be frozen up to 1 day (cover with plastic wrap after 1 hour).
·Profiteroles can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven 5 minutes. Cool before filling.

the chocolate sauce is key. i just melted some good quality chocolate with a bit of heavy cream. easy! but tasty! get the good chocolate. it's worth it.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

 

cookie carnival :: february round-up!


it's round-up time! thanks to everyone for a GREAT turn-out for February.




february's cookies were in a word: delicious. i loved the flavors and textures in this cookie. so much, so that i made them TWICE. yes. once wasn't enough. and the funny thing is that both times they got inhaled so fast, that i never got a photo of them. but you can see the crumbs as my evidence of their realness.

the key to this cookie for me was in the baking time. if they baked a minute too long they got dry and crunchy. but if you time it right and take them out before they really seem done, then they are fudgy perfection. the recipe comes from Regan Daley's book In The Sweet Kitchen. just trust me and go get a copy now. you'll thank me later. i adore this book and cannot understand why she hasn't authored another one.

anyway, on to the round-up!

remember the photo appears ABOVE the blurb about the baker...if they sent me one, that is...

claire of Claire Loves Baking went all rum raisin, white chocolate on these bad boys! read her post here.


natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies made ice cream sandwiches with hers! oh! what a great idea. read her post here.

juliana of horneAndo Algo participated this month for the first time. read her post here. in Spanish!


sarah at Celestial Confections had this to say, "This is definitely a "grown-up" cookie with so much rich bittersweet chocolate." read the rest of her post here.


tami of Tami's Kichen Table Talk. read her post here.


amanda of Amanda's Cookin' chose to shake it up with some Craisins: "The flavor is unique, very chocolatey, a hint of toffee, tasty chocolate chips and an occasional chewy craisin makes these a really great cookie." read her post here.



cristine of Cooking with Cristine tried hers toffee-less. read her post here.


jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes puts it simply, "Try them, you won't be disappointed."
read her post here.


laura of This, That and A Whole Lot of Food has some good process pics up and more importantly, CUTE KITTENS! go here!


stacey at Simply Tasty changed the recipe ALL up! check out her post to see what she did with this recipe.



debbie at Let Them Eat Cake. . . and All Things Baked had this to say, " I am surprised to report that we enjoyed them the most totally cooled … you could really distinguish the individual flavors." i found the same to be true, but truly it was hard to wait til they cooled! read her (1st Cookie Carnival!) post here.



arika of My Yummy Life had this to say, "they were very Valentines Day appropriate. If cookies can be sexy, well, this one is a centerfold." i like the way she thinks. read the rest of her post here and you'll love her great process photos!

lesley of Cherub's Food and Craft had this to say: "it's a little tricky in Australia to get the dried cherries and toffee bits." read the rest of her post here.


carrie of Carrie's Sweet Life decided to omit the cherries and add white chocolate. read her post here to find out how that went!



giz at Equal Opportunity Kitchen had this to say, "My neighbours could smell them down the hall and came over to see what was in the oven and how soon they could have some." read the rest of her post here.


tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy had this to say, "These are excellent cookies – they have the perfect combination of fudginess with crispness." read the rest of her post here.



katy of Alphabet Soup joined up this month and had this to say, "I couldn't even wait for one to finish cooling down before taste-testing it, so the chocolate chunks were all warm and gooey in the middle. Yum!!" i couldn't agree more. read the rest of her post here.


jin of Smell and Taste are My Memory. read her post here.


julie of Someone's in the Kitchen, like me had to make a second batch. they were just that good. read her post here.


christine at Whimsical Bakery played along this month. read her post here. and while you are there, check out her awesome superbowl cake!


pam at Cookies with Boys not only baked up a bunch for her family, but also made a batch for inclusion into her Operation Baking Gals care package, which is an awesome thing to do. read her post here.

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