Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie - Caramel Crunch Bars

My friend Sandy looked at the recipe rotation for February and all she said was 'Make sure i get some of those Caramel Crunch Bars!'.  Most weeks she is part of my group of friends that taste and review my baking efforts, so I made sure some were put aside for her and her kids.  They loved them!

Whitney from What's left on the table chose this weeks recipe.  I'm not sure if i would make this typically but i'm so glad i did, they are delicious!  I love the cookie part, so moist and yummy!  I can't really handle dark or milk chocolate very well, i get headaches, so i have just taken my paracetamol (as i have just eaten a few of these).

My youngest son was watching me make these and was fascinated with the melted chocolate being spread across the base.  I didn't catch him in time and he dipped his finger into the chocolate!

I didn't have any adequate pans so i bought some disposable foil baking pans and used two 7x7 inch pans.  It worked really well and the base wasn't too thin.

As well as distributing some amongst friends and neighbours, i brought some to a playdate my kids and I were attending this afternoon.  One mum asked if she could take the whole plate home.  A successful baking attempt, yay!  My husband and I are really trying to lose weight and get fit so I really shouldn't be eating all this deliciousness but everything in moderation I say :)  I haven't that many I promise!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie - Devils Food White Out Cake

I haven't been a part of Tuesdays With Dorie for very long, and I've only had the book since i joined the group.  I have always thought the cake on the cover looks fantastic, and I couldn't wait to make it.

Well thankfully i don't have to wait anymore as Stephanie from Confessions of a City Eater picked it for this weeks challenge.  Hurrah!

I had thought of halving the recipe and using my 4 inch springform pans, again, but decided to make the full recipe.  I still used the 4 inch pans and made cupcakes with the leftover batter.  The only change i made to the recipe was to add white chocolate chips at the end instead of milk chocolate.  

This has been a good week for me, bakingwise.  The cake and the icing came out beautifully.  It looks and tastes fantastic.  The only thing i don't really like is the slight metallic aftertaste from the icing, but has that stopped me eating it......No!

So thank you Stephanie for this weeks pick, great choice :)

Oh and thanks are also due to my husband, Eric, who took the photos.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines Day - Butter Cut-out Cookies

My son loves these cookies, and he could eat the whole batch if he was allowed.  He also loves helping me to decorate them.  Cleaning up after isn't so great, sprinkles all over the floor, but its worth it.

I love this recipe, its so simple and quick to make, and there aren't that many ingredients!

Source: How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Makes anywhere between 40 and 60 biscuits, depending on the size you cut.

175g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

2 baking sheets, greased or lined

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.  In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix gently.

Lay two large pieces of clingfilm on the counter and divide the dough equally between each.  Press down lightly to form discs then wrap up tightly and refridgerate for at least one hour.  (You can freeze one of the discs of dough if you don’t want to bake a large amount of cookies. Defrost it overnight in the fridge before using.)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Lightly sprinkle the counter with flour, place a disc of dough on it, and sprinkle both the disc and a rolling pin with more flour.  Roll out to a thickness of about 5mm.  Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go and place the biscuits a little apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges.  Cool on a rack and continue with the rest of the dough.  The cooking time depends on what size of biscuits you’ve cut.

Ice however you’d like.  I use glacĂ© icing.

Simple glacé icing

300ml icing sugar, sieved
2 tablespoons boiling water
food colourings of your choice

Put the boiling water into a bowl and add the icing sugar, stirring well to make a thick paste.  Add a few drops more of water if you need to.  Colour however you’d like.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

White chocolate, peanut and pecan cookies

I decided against doing the Floating Islands from Tuesdays With Dorie this week.  It sounds delicious but I really needed to make something that someone else would eat, not just me.  I'm trying to get fit and lose weight!

So I made two batches of the cookie dough from Dorie's recipe for Chocolate chip cookies, my husband's favourite.  One batch i did make with chocolate chips, for him, and the other batch i added half a cup white chocolate chips, half a cup reese's peanut pieces, and chopped pecans.

Oh my goodness, these are soooooo goood!!  I gave some to a friend who is a real chocoholic and she loved these!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie - World Peace Cookies

I wasn't too sure about the recipe this week; i wasn't sure if i could handle that much chocolate in a cookie.  I know most of you will think I'm weird but i really can't eat a lot of chocolate, otherwise I'm in bed with a headache for the rest of the day.  I really had my fill of chocolate with last weeks Chocolate Gingerbread. Nevermind i thought, i'll still bake them and distribute them amongst my friends.

I followed the recipe and didn't have any problems, except for the almost overwhelming urge to put an egg into the batter.  I used Fleur de Sel, which my lovely friend Sandy brought back for me from her holiday in France.  After a couple of hours in the freezer, i tried to slice the cookies.  Ha ha, i ended up having to use a huge serrated knife, and i still ended up with crumbled dough and bits of chocolate everywhere.

I'm not sure if i left the cookies in the oven too long, or if my oven was a little too hot, but my cookies really spread and were very flat.  I had problems even trying to move the cookies to the rack as they just crumbled and broke.  Hmm.  So i just left them to cool on the baking sheet to cool.

I didn't like them.  I found them too rich and too chocolaty.  I portioned them off in preparation of handing them out to my friends.

This morning i thought i'd try it again to see if it would taste any different.  Well, i've already eaten two whilst writing this blog ;)

They are delicious, and light!  Ooh, i don't want to give them away now!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Both of my sons celebrate their birthdays in January.  My oldest turned four and my youngest turned two.  This is the first year we decided to hold a joint party for them (the first of many i think).  As we had lot's of kids and friends attending I wasn't brave enough to bake the cake myself so bought this gorgeous and delicious cake from food infinity.  Ramin and Haris were so excited when they saw the cake, it was perfect!

As well as the party with most of their friends, on their actual birthdays we had family over and had cake (which i did make).

My oldest son requested vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing, his favourite.  

For my youngest son i made the Pink Lady cake from Deb's fabulous blog, smittenkitchen.  This was so good.  The cake was light and the icing was so creamy and yummy.  I had to stop my oldest son, Ramin, from licking it off the cupcakes.  I used my mini springform to make the cake and also made cupcakes.