March 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Yeasted Merigue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

This was my first time baking a cake like this. I have made cinnamon buns, which are similar in that they are yeasted, and have the same cinnamon-sugar-chocolate chip (and nut) filling, but what makes this different is the meringue and the shape.

I think it came out well and since I am typing this while they bake, I can only tell that they smell delicious already! The Daring Bakers also offered a different filling, one that used saffron and other spices. I stuck to the typical filling since this was my first time to make it, and those ingredients are just a bit cheaper.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Twist

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I like using ingredients that I’ve had leftover. I was also in the mood to make cookies with all of the talk about them on other blogs for the holidays. Therefore, I made whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. The twist in these cookies is the whole wheat flour, along with cinnamon-sugar and semi-sweet baker’s chocolate—all ingredients I had leftover from previous baking adventures. (Including, but not limited to, doughnuts and corn-stalk rolls.)

All week long, I’ve been eating the dough out of the fridge, and just baked off a few today. Both ways of consuming the dough are really great, but of course you have to wait longer for the baked ones. :)

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November Daring Bakers’ Challenge

Yes, I am posting this late, but I did not have time nor internet connection to post this on Saturday. Since there’s only, on average, five people that read this blog, I am not worried that this lateness will matter much. I would also like to take this time to apologize for my lack of baking/posting as I would love to be doing more of both. I look forward to December to be full of happy baking and therefore happy blogging.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I made my crostata with blood orange marmalade. It was really easy to make the dough, especially in the food processor. It is a sticky dough to roll out, but I am assuming it would have been easier to handle if I let it chill longer. The overall tart was very tasty.

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Time To Make The Doughnuts!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

The yeast doughnut is from Alton Brown:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/yeast-doughnuts-recipe/in…

The cake doughnut is a Nancy Silverton recipe:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/06/cook-the-book-oldfashioned-bu…

The raspberry jam bomboloni recipe is a Kate Neumann recipe:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/raspberry-jam-bomboloni

The pumpkin doughnuts are from Bon Appétit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Doughnuts-with-Powd…

I made the Yeast Doughnuts from Alton Brown since I have made cake doughnuts before and I also did not want to make the jam filled or the pumpkin flavored. The recipe is quite simple, and the mixing method is like any other yeast dough recipe.

I think the most challenging part of this recipe is the frying of the doughnuts. I have a candy thermometer, so it is easy for me to read the temperature of the oil. This is important because if the temperature is too cold, they will be oily. If it is too hot they will just burn on the outside and be raw in the middle. The recipe I followed said around 363ºF is ideal. I have a gas range and it is hard to keep a consistent temperature. Also, the temperature drops after each batch, so you need to watch it carefully.

I kept it simple and covered the doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar. Some people might want to make a glaze, while others might like powdered sugar. What ever you desire, I hope you have plenty of friends and family to share these doughnuts with!

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Baking Powder Biscuits

I just bought a new cookbook, Baking With Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. It is a collection of recipes from many bakers, including Julia Child. I love the book so far-and just made the baking soda biscuits from Marion Cunningham. It is a simple recipe of only flour, baking powder, salt, shortening (or butter), and milk. I also brushed the tops with olive oil before baking to add a bit of flavor. They are great out-of-the-oven hot, or at room temperature, or reheated.

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What September Means To Me…

…was the theme of this month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge.

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Since sugar cookies should not really be a challenge for anyone to make, the challenger set it up so that we had to bake/decorate the cookies with the theme of what September means to us.

The Jewish High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, and Yom Kippor, the day of atonement) both fall in September, so I made shofar, torah, and Jewish star (star of David) shaped cookies. I made them with just white royal icing because:

1) I did not have time to go out and buy food coloring

2) It was Yom Kippor when I made them, so I thought that white was appropriate, since it is the color that you wear to show your respect for the day of reflection…or something like that.

Anyway, I brought the cookies to the Break-the-fast dinner I went to and they seemed to be well-received since they were gone by the end of the night. (Not sure if they were all eaten that night, or someone took them home.)

Although they were simple, and easy to make, I enjoyed this challenge. It was a nice way to celebrate the holidays. Continue reading

Biscuits

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about baking, or even at all, except for the weekly links. I apologize for my absence but my head was all jumbled with everything that happened in my life last month. But now I am better, and ready to spend time in the kitchen and baking again. And, of course, sharing that baking with you. I have baked some things; I made cinnamon rolls with peanuts, and I made chocolate chip-banana-oatmeal cookies, and even some bread. However, was just not in the blogging mood last month. If those items sound good to you, I have the recipes on their own pages, just no blog post about them.

Anyway, this post is not about anything in the past (sorta). This is about the biscuits that I made. Which, of course, are from today, but the recipe I adapted is from long ago (at least according to the article). I adapted the recipe just slightly, adding some gluten-free flour blend (pre-packaged) and some water, simply because I ran out of milk. They just came out of the oven and the warm piece that I had was really buttery and good!

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