Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blackberry Spice Bars

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Karen of Something Sweet by Karen. Technically, the recipe is called Applesauce Spice Bars, but realizing I had just finished off my applesauce before making the recipe, and being too lazy to go to the store, I substituted some blackberries and Chambord.

When they came out of the oven, they looked perfectly fine without a glaze or icing, so I skipped out. Had they needed something though, I was considering a thin layer of chocolate to pair with the blackberry and raspberry flavor - maybe next time? I was worried when I started pouring the batter that this wouldn't rise properly. It seemed a bit too wet, but I went ahead with it and baked away. I was pleasantly surprised when it raised nicely enough to cover the blackberries, and the inserted knife came out cleanly. The raspberries with the mix of spices play on each other nicely, giving these bars a great overall taste.

Unfortunately, my computer recently broke, so the quality of pictures are pretty low-quality. Only 5 years old, and it's already beyond repair...time to get a new one, I suppose.

Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, pp. 117-118

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brownie Buttons

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen. The recipe was for these mini-sized brownie buttons - a perfect bite-sized dessert. Optionally added is orange zest (something I skipped on, wanting to savor the chocolate) and a simple icing (something I skipped on, being lazy).

These follow closely to a basic brownie recipe, except when they are baked, teaspoon-fulls are scooped into mini-sized muffin tins. These allow them to rise slightly to gain a short mini-muffin shape, yet keep their brownie flavor in full. You could expand the recipe easily from 18 of the buttons to an even dozen, and make your buttons a bit more texturally exciting if you wanted to add some chocolate chips or nuts - something I think I'll do next time, finding this recipe a little bit on the plain side.

I also need to take a bit more care from now on when heating the butter/chocolate mixture. After the chocolate and butter had melted, I continued heating it, wanting all the brown sugar granules to dissolve into solution. I think I ended up actually separating my chocolate mixture with too much heat, because when I pulled these out of the oven there was oil bubbling on the tops. After cooling down, everything looked normal, but the taste was just slightly off. Did anyone else have problems with their brown sugar melting?

Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, pp. 106-107

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

I've been a bad, bad, Tuesdays with Dorie blogger. My month-long hiatus is finally up, but I left without any explanation. After going months without missing a single recipe, I suddenly went a full 4 weeks without updating! I just got so lost in a busy schedule that I didn't even think about it. But on the plus side, I've been very busy in a great way - took a roadtrip to San Francisco, got certified to SCUBA dive, had a lot of great nights with friends, a lot of weddings to go to.... Anyways, this very delayed Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu.

Dorie's actual recipe simply calls it Vanilla Ice Cream, but the flavor distinctly held onto the flavor of eggs to me, so I threw custard in there as well. It's a great ice cream, perfect for a vanilla lover like me! Throwing gobs of chocolate or strawberries, or any other sort of flavor into a simple dish like this is a good way to ruin it quickly.

I wasn't in my own kitchen to make this, so I didn't have my handy stand mixer ice cream attachment, so I had to just stick it in the freezer and stir it every couple hours until it began to get hard. This lent to larger ice crystal formation, so the mouth-feel of the ice cream isn't as soft as it could be, but the flavor is all packed in there nicely.

Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan pp. 428-429