Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cocoa Crunch Meringue Cookies

This week on Tuesdays with Dorie I made Cocoa Crunch Meringue Cookies from Baking Chez Moi on page 293.
This is my first attempt at a meringue type cookie and I was a bit nervous to get it right. My fellow bakers who had already made these commented that they had trouble getting the total recipe serving size of 8 so I was judicious in my portion control. I used a 2 inch cookie cutter to make my ring guides on the parchment paper and I piped the dough sparingly to make sure I got all 16 cookies. It worked well and I even went back and added more which is why my cookies are not smooth. I could improve on my piping skills. 

I came out with 8 sandwich cookies which was enough to feed my book club and family. The verdict, my husband and I loved them. Delicate and crunchy from the almonds with a rich chocolate flavor. My book club gave it thumbs up all around. I would say these were a hit.
To see what others made this week go to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bow-Tie Pasta with Corn, Thyme, and Parmesan

I love pasta in any way, shape or form. This bow-tie pasta caught my eye from Curtis Stone's What's For Dinner cookbook. Besides the obvious this recipe includes olive oil, shallots, garlic, dry white wine, thyme, corn, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. I enjoyed this pasta but my husband gave it a meh. I think that there is too much heavy cream in this recipe and it sort of drowns out all the other lovely flavors. The recipe also calls for chives which I did not have but I did put extra fresh thyme on top and that did help up the flavor. I would make this again but add less cream.

This recipe is available from The Recipe Link. 

To see what others made in the group go to I Heart Cooking Clubs

Monday, April 18, 2016

Oatmeal Coconut Butter Cookies

It has been a long time since I have had an epic baking failure so I guess I was do. I made these oatmeal coconut butter cookies from Curtis Stone's What's For Dinner.


My first batch cooked up as one big cookie, talk about spread. I think there were several factors to this cookie's failure. First the shredded coconut I used for this recipe was a really fine cut and I think it contributed to a lack of structure for this cookie. Also I made a mistake with the oven temperature and baked my first batch at 350 degrees when it should have been 300 degrees. The technique of mixing this recipe is also a bit different from traditional cookies. The sugar is added to the dry ingredients.  The butter and golden syrup are melted and boiling water and baking soda are added to the butter mixture. Then all ingredients are added together. My final mistake was the scoop size. My cookie scoop is about 1 1/2 tablespoons and this calls for 1 tablespoon. The additional dough made the cookies too big. But for all my foibles the cookies still tasted good.

Check out the IHCC website to see what others made this week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jammer Galette

It is Tuesdays with Dorie time again. One of our baking assignments this month is this Jammer Galette from Baking Chez Moi. My husband is a lover of jam so I knew he would like this one.
Dorie's crusts seem to always come out perfect. I used strawberry jam for the filling and who can resist a streusel topping? I served this galette for a dinner party and there was not a crumb left, always the ultimate compliment.

Tuesdays with Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Dorie's cookbooks. We do not publish the recipes instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others made this week head on over to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta, and Red Wine Vinaigrette

At I Heart Cooking Clubs we have a new featured chef, Curtis Stone. I have checked out a copy of What's For Dinner? from my local library and tagged several recipes to make. This week I chose Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta, and Red Wine Vinaigrette.

This recipe came together easy and would make a perfect weeknight meal. It is a colorful dish and my husband deemed it restaurant worthy. We did not take the time to turn on our BBQ to grill the salmon but poaching worked just fine. The orzo is cooked then added to the rest of the ingredients which helps wilt the spinach and cook the tomatoes a tad. We really enjoyed this and think you should make it too. I have linked the recipe to Curtis' website.
Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what others have made from Curtis.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Matcha Financiers

Financiers cooling in the morning sun.
According to Ito En: Matcha green tea is considered Japan's most classic and popular beverage. Matcha is the treasured powdered green tea traditionally used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony-Chado. The vibrant green tea is finely milled from high quality tea leaves. Matcha is made using the entire tea leaf, providing the vitality and full health benefits of green tea. 
Financiers are a new dessert for me. These mini cakes are delicious and I need to get more familiar with them. The technique of mixing the batter for these was also a bit different.

First butter was melted then brought to a boil for one minute. I am not sure of the reason for this, to separate the milk solids? Maybe one of the group members can enlighten me. The rest of the ingredients were flour, matcha green tea, sugar, almond flour and 6 egg whites at room temperature. I forgot to bring my egg whites to room temperature but since the dough needed to chill for one hour in the refrigerator I figured it was ok. The matcha green tea was supposed to color these pea-green but the tea I bought some how stayed tea leaves and did not dissolve. But no matter these were still buttery good and I could taste a hint of tea.

I will be making these again and look forward to other financiers in our baking assignments. Now what to do with 6 egg yolks (I never throw anything out) make Dorie's French Vanilla Ice Cream from Around My French Table of course.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I can't think of any better way to celebrate than with food. Last year I book marked this post from Mary at Lights on Bright No Brakes for Mrs.Frings’ Irish Soda Bread by Paul Vitale. I did not intend to wait an entire year before making it but that is how things worked out.
 
I followed the recipe ingredients but changed the procedures a bit. Instead of chopping the butter into 1/2 inch dice I froze the stick and then grated it into the dry ingredients. I also added the raisins to the dry ingredients instead of kneading them in after the wet ingredients. After the bread comes out of the oven the directions are to drape a damp towel over the bread until cool. That just seemed wrong to me, I like crusty bread. I have not made Irish Soda Bread before, the dough was a little scone like, but the result was delicious.

To get the recipe head over to Mary's website for Mrs. Frings' Irish Soda Bread.

And check out this year's post for Irish Soda Bread from Barefoot Contessa.