Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin is good. In anything. With anything. In any form. That's just me though. Th earthy flavor goes so well with the spices- cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger. 

I'm not sure exactly what the issue is, but these come together a bit too soft for proper rolling. I had to use a lot of flour to be able to get it out of the bowl and then roll it on a heavily floured surface. Not that it affected the taste. They are scrumptious! Next time (which there definitely will be), I will do a few things differently than called for in the recipe. One; I think using a dough hook instead of the paddle attachment might be better- we'll see. Two; bake it a bit longer than I did- the middle was JUST done, but could have been even more so. It was hard to tell until I cut into it.

waiting to go in the oven

Hot out of the oven!

pouring on the icing

wish I knew how do make a gif file

Worth the effort! Give them a try; the recipe's here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes


Ok, so I think there are times when some things are better left unsaid. Like the name of these cupcakes. It's fine for the baker to know, but the eater? Well, I can tell you that every person I mentioned the name to, made that scrunchy nose face. You know, the one that says "eych, what did you say? Not for me, thanks."  I have cooked and baked many a dish with odd combinations of food and when asked about the ingredients , I make out like it's some big secret that I prefer not to reveal. Yeah, right, like since when do I hold back on recipes? There's the chicken drenched in maple syrup 
(for some that might not be appalling at all but there are those that can't imagine sweet with their chicken)- I mean, maple syrup's for pancakes and french toast , right? I have a few others like that which don't come to mind at  the moment, but this cupcake recipe definitely falls into the same category. 

Not to worry though. These can be presented simply as chocolate cupcakes- or rather the BEST chocolate cupcakes EVER! If you think about it, mayo is simply eggs and oil. So in this recipe, thats where the eggs and oil come from. The consistency of the mayonnaise makes for a moist, delicious cake that doesn't crumble and just melts in your mouth. Nice and chocolatey with a simple, yet delicious chocolate frosting. So good!! (as I write, the hubby just inhaled one and said he has never eaten such a delicious chocolate cupcake!!)

Couldn't resist the adorable cupcake plates. Too perfect... so me!

You can find the easy recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings. Two more recipes to go before we finish book number 3. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of book number 4 ,"Baked Occasions" ,which promises to be just as amazing as the previous 3!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Harvest Dunking Cookies

MIA- missing in action.... that's what I've been lately as far as this blog is concerned I couldn't believe it when I saw the date of my last post! Actually, I've made a lot of the recipes from the list, just never had time to photograph  or write a post. Vacation, school starting, blah, blah , blah.....

Fall seems to finally be finding it's way to Israel (slowly and with many days of sharp reminders of the hot summer) and that cool evening breeze makes me long for the falling leaves and autumn colors of Upstate New York. None of that here.

So these cookies, called Pumpkin Harvest Dunking Cookies ( in my opinion, a long name for pumpkin oatmeal cookies) were just the thing to get back into the swing of writing. Simple, quick to prepare (I used canned pumpkin- not the pie filling, just pure pureed pumpkin) and delicious enough to eat unbaked (for me that is!)

The addition of chocolate chips was an option but .. hello, who would leave out chocolate chips when they are an option!?
Not the most elegant looking cookies in the world but just right alongside of a cup of tea or coffee- to dunk in, of course!

You can find the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Easy Candy Bar Tart

Weight Watchers always says "keep enemies out of the house". This is DEFINITELY  an enemy, but to keep it out of the house would be a crime! The recipe calls for making it into a regular round tart, but it really is a candy bar so I decided to wrap each little piece individually and keep them in the freezer. Anything frozen is better!

The process is very easy- 15 minutes and the whole thing was ready to go. I just chilled it in the fridge, cut it into bars, then in half and wrapped each little gem.

 Freeze 'em, eat 'em and ask for more.

 Instead of a chocolate cookie base, I used Biscoff cookies-I'm hooked on those little things!
 I also substituted pecans and pistachios( that's what I had) and the taste is just great.

 You can find the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Banana Whoopie Pies

"Whoopie Pie"- strange name for a dessert- or anything for that matter. The word whoopie reminds me of either:
Whoopie Goldberg  

                                     or the "whoopie cushion" 

But whoopie, in this case, means pies(or cookies or cakes or cookie cakes- whichever suits your description). The official definition of a whoopie pie according to Wikipedia:

The whoopie pie (alternatively called a black moon, gob (term indigenous to the Pittsburgh region), black-and-white, bob, or "BFO" for Big Fat Oreo. (Also recorded as "Devel Dogs," and "Twins" in 1835[1]) is a US baked good that may be considered either a cookie, pie, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.[2]

There is a lot of controversy as to the true origin and history of the whoopie pie, but whatever the case is, the basic whoopie pie has been developed into a variety of flavors and combinations. 
I love the texture of the soft cake but in a cookie form. 
The recipe here calls for a swiss meringue chocolate filling, which I'm sure is delicious. I had so many fillings and frosting leftover from previous projects that I decided to combine a few and use that instead. I ended up with a vanilla-cinnamon filling that worked beautifully with the lightly banana flavored cake. I also reduced the amount of bananas in the recipe since I didn't want an overwhelming banana bread taste. It all worked really well.

Nice and puffy like they should be
not the epitome of elegance- but damn good!
the lone leftovers (consumed shortly after this was taken!)

I loved the fact that these were easy to make, quick and didn't even need a mixer! Yay, less to wash!
Give these a try- you can find the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

"Potchky" is a Yiddish word I heard as a kid. I don't know if this is the correct meaning, but in my house, it referred to something that required a lot of small steps and fussing around to make. These cookies were a lot of  "potchkying" but worth every little second.
I made them for one of the many desserts for my granddaughter's 4th birthday and they went over really big! More with adults than children( this is the cake i made for the kiddies), but well received with the young ones as well.
The "potchkying" steps were making the dough, chilling, rolling into balls, dipping in egg whites, rolling in chopped pecans (had to toast them too, so that's another step), making a thumbprint indentation, after 8 minutes in the oven, making the indentation again, baking another 4 minutes, removing from the oven and making the last thumbprint impression to hold the filling. More "potchkying"- make the caramel filling, fill the thumbprint and top with a whole, roasted (another step!) pecan on each.
It may sound like I'm complaining, but understand- I'm not. I love the whole process. It's just not the same as mixing a batter, pouring into a pan and shoving in the oven. These babies require a bit extra attention and TLC, but are exquisite when done. Worth every second of effort!
You can find the recipe here, at Baked Sunday Mornings! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 I made this cake ahead of time since I knew I would be very busy for the few days before it was to be posted. Froze it; took it out this afternoon to thaw and make the glaze fresh tomorrow morning and shoot the pictures. Sitting out on the porch, surfing the net and suddenly I see him with a piece of cake in his hand ( a piece? more like half the frickin cake!) and mouth stuffed with his first bite. SCREAM!!!! What are you doing, who told you you could eat that? It's not ready, I haven't taken any photos yet.....scream again ( mainly out of complete and utter frustration). 
Calm down, relax, keep your cool ( after I screamed of course). At least he gave me something to write about.  Look at the glass half full- not half empty. There is always a positive side to things. Not the end of the world , I know, but frustrated and amazed at how something like that can go over someone's head; or through it; or around it- whatever.
the evidence- at least you can see the beautiful poppy seed filling lacing through the cake!
Anyhoo- on with the task. This cake is wonderful for afternoon tea (coffee) or a light after dinner dessert. I love the fragrant hint of orange , both in the cake and glaze. Worth the effort for sure!

You can find the recipe here, at Baked Sunday Mornings.
Some exciting news for Baked fans- Matt and Renato are coming out with their fourth book!
It promises to be as amazing as the previous three. I already have it on pre-order from Amazon and can't wait!
Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations
Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bananas Cake


The name of this cake definitely does not do it justice. It is so much more than a banana cake. A beautiful 3 layer cake that, although it has numerous steps, is well worth the effort. Filled with a creamy peanut butter filling and milk chocolate ganache, then covered with ganache and finally drenched in a chocolate glaze. Who could ask for more?

layer # 1 covered in peanut butter filling

layer # 2 with peanut butter filling and milk chocolate ganache

all three layers with the crumb coat

final frosting
roasted salted peanuts for that little extra crunch

This is a perfect cake for a special occasion and if you're willing to give yourself a little challenge, then go for it! If not- just give me a call- I love a challenge!!!

You can find the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Classic Carrot Cake- and we're back!


It's been a while, but I'm back!  Sometimes things get so busy that I find myself passing on the things that are most important to me- and that's not good. Like writing , photographing, baking, decorating-I'll have to work on that. If we give up on the things that make us feel good, then what's it all for?

 This week's selection on Bake Sunday Mornings is a classic carrot cake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Instead of one round cake, I made three little loaf cakes. I found these adorable little disposable pans just recently and bought a few to see how they acted in baking. I love the idea of baking and serving in the same container. I got three of these loaf cakes from the recipe but as usual, they disappeared before I had a chance to go click click. They come in a variety of colors, and I also made three mini challahs in them. So adorable and easy to give as gifts!
 Carrot cake is really a classic and there are hundreds of recipes out there. This one, for me, is the best I have tasted. Soft , but doesn't fall apart (contrary to what you see in the photo- really!), moist but not gooey and just the right amount and combination of spices. The frosting is- well let's just say that more than a spoonful was ingested before the cake was even frosted. The addition of the cinnamon is heavenly, not too strong and gives a perfect balance to the spices in the cake- or like I said, straight up!
 Moist and full of flavor
The recipe can be found at Baked Sunday Mornings. Give it a try!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baked Sunday Mornings-Bananas in a Blanket

I'm a morning person; early morning I would say. Even on that coveted Saturday morning, where sleeping in is the prize after a long work week, I'm awake and busy very early. I do my best work in the morning- no matter what it is I'm doing, I do it best in the morning. What I don't accomplish by, let's say noon at the latest, usually doesn't get done that day. 
So on Saturday mornings, while the rest of the house is still snoring, I bake. I usually bake a bread or two and then something sweet. It's become my special time and I love it!

This morning I made a bread that has become a household favorite and the reason you will no longer see a store-bought package of bread in my house--ever. But that is for another post, sometime soon I hope.
The sweet on the list this Saturday morning was the designated recipe from "Baked Sunday Mornings" from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. They call it "Bananas in a Blanket".......reminds me of "pigs in a blanket"- just the name I guess, but the title had me thinking something else entirely, before I read the recipe.  Basically, it's a chocolate jelly roll sponge cake filled with a chocolate banana cream, rolled around some bananas.
Some members of the group mentioned that this cake was a bit scary looking (the directions, that is) but I decided to take it on anyway. The cake base is the tricky part, but if you follow their instructions to a tee, then there should be no problem. The cream itself was easy to make and tasted yummy all on it's own. I spread the entire amount on the cake roll which in retrospect, was too much. After I placed the bananas, (which I sliced in half lengthwise) and started to roll, I could see that less would have been better. The cream and a few banana pieces oozed out the end, but that was fixable. 
Conclusions- less cream on the cake, delicious taste and nice presentation.

So that was my Saturday morning and by the time I knew it, the clock struck noon and it was time for a bit of a "late" Saturday morning sleep!
You can find the recipe here . Enjoy!