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"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 1)


rjwong
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Allspice Crumb Muffins :wub: . I love allspice - so I decided this would be the first recipe I tried in the book. Good choice.

As I was getting everything together I wondered if there would be enough allspice (I really love allspice), but I went ahead and used the specified amount. The note on the side said to let the muffins cool before tasting, as the flavour will be stronger. Of course I couldn't wait - I had to compare warm and cooled didn't I? (and they smelled so good!) They were good hot but they were great cooled - perfect amount of spice. Definitely worth the time it took to brew some coffee to go with them.

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Would you let me know how they work?  The thought of using skippy is making me really squirmy, but since it gave me nice rich peanut butter cookies...I guess I have to keep a jar handy.

Definitely. By the way, when you say they were like Sandies, how do you mean? Because mine came out quite flat and crispy, with an almost melt-in-your mouth texture. They're delicious, so I wouldn't mind if they always turned out this way, but I'd like to know why they didn't turn out as expected.

They were very crumbly like peacan sandies. I like peanut butter to have a bit of gooey-ness to it. A bit of bite, I guess.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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The Allspice Muffins look awesome, Pam!

I just finished drizzling the glaze on the Applesauce Spice Bars. DO NOT skip the glaze if you make them. Or, if you really don't want the glaze on the bars, just eat it with a spoon. Can't wait to cut, but guess I will have to.

Let me add my raves to all the other raves on this recipe. I think I may add it to the Thanksgiving dessert tray, which will consist of smallish things like mini cheesecakes with morello cherry sauce, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, chocolate truffles.

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I too chose the applesauce spice bars as my inaugural recipe from this book. Add me to the list of fans! Besides their delicious homey-ness, they were fun to make. I agree that the glaze is super, in fact I may double it next time. One question for Patrick: how did you achieve such a clean cut on these bars? I tried all sorts of knives but couldn't make anything but a rough and rustic edge.

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Allspice Crumb Muffins  :wub: .  I love allspice - so I decided this would be the first recipe I tried in the book.  Good choice.

As I was getting everything together I wondered if there would be enough allspice (I really love allspice), but I went ahead and used the specified amount.  The note on the side said to let the muffins cool before tasting, as the flavour will be stronger.  Of course I couldn't wait - I had to compare warm and cooled didn't I? (and they smelled so good!)  They were good hot but they were great cooled - perfect amount of spice.  Definitely worth the time it took to brew some coffee to go with them.

I'm happy to hear a second opinion on these muffins. They look wonderful!

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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I was looking to Dorie's new book and contemplating the pumpkin marshmallows for one of the Thanksgiving sweets.  Then it occured to me, what about gingerbread marshmallows too?  Take a look at Dorie's recipe and the variations and let me know how you think you would make gingerbread marshmallows.

There is a GREAT gingerbread marshmallow recipe already on egullet on the marshmallow thread...sorry, I am in a rush and cannot post it, but look there. Made with brown sugar Karo syrup..which by the way, I use in the pumpkin one too now.

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One question for Patrick: how did you achieve such a clean cut on these bars?  I tried all sorts of knives but couldn't make anything but a rough and rustic edge.

I used a very thin, very sharp, very cheap chefs knife. I cut the bars up after they were well-chilled, and I wiped the blade clean between cuts.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Hi all - the Lenox Almond Biscotti (with the addition of dried cherries flamed with brandy) are cooling as I type. The aroma is heavenly. My husband -"Do they really have to cool to room temperature?" Me- "Yes. Delayed gratification will only make them taste better". :rolleyes:

If I can figure out the procedure I'll post a photo later.

Since I last posted I've made the Coconut Tea Cake, the Apple Spice Bars and the Cream Scones.

The Apple Spice Bars, as expected, were a winner. A bit sweet for my personal taste; but, man, did they go over big at the office.

I guess that I'm like Dorie's friend who prefers "dry" cakes. The Coconut Tea Cake (in its unaltered form) was awesome. "Just one more slice" and, can you believe it, it's all gone. This is a definite repeater.

The Cream Scones are classic. A beautiful Sunday morning breakfast with a strong cup of Assam tea. After making the Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones and these I'm really beginning to believe that I can make scones reliably. Thanks for instilling the confidence, Dorie.

I don't think that I've ever had another cookbook that has inspired me to make so many of the recipes (9 and counting); and, ALL of them have been very successful.

Thanks again, Dorie.

Kathy

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Kathy, all of your accolades over the coconut tea cake has inspired me to tackle that recipe next. Looking forward to seeing what the fuss is all about.

This weekend, I've been baking for my mother who has been visiting. Tonight, I made the chipster-topped brownies (p.94). They were enjoyed still warm from the oven. I think these brownies would have paired well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I found that my cookie layer top to the brownies got a little too brown. I should have tented with some foil as Dorie has suggested with other recipes.

Earlier in the week, I made the classic banana bundt cake (p. 190). Very moist and enjoyed by all of my co-workers. My crummy photography doesn't do it justice.

I've made the dough for the chocolate chunkers (p.70) and will probably bake them off tonight. Then onto the coconut cake!

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Has anyway made the marshmallows from Dorie? Was reading the recipe and it is very different from nightscotsman...the one I use. Plus, Dorie, if you can respond..the recipe seems to be missing a sentence on when to fold in the egg whites...I know it is at the end, but does not say specifically. Also, you fold whatever flavoring in at the end, too..different than in nightscotsman. So, looking for reviews!! Thanks.

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I made the peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies again today, this time using regular crunchy peanut butter, and the results were pretty much the same (kinda flat and spread out). I tried using my insulated cookie sheet this time, and the only thing it accomplished was a longer baking time. I did, however, also try not flattening the cookie dough balls before baking them, and that helped.

Oh well, like I said they're still delicious. I guess I'll just have to learn to live with the flatness. :hmmm:

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Hi all,

I'm sorry to have been away for so long, but between traveling -- I'm still on the road and will be until December 10 -- and the eG Spotlight Conversation -- which was soooooooooo interesting -- I couldn't be active on the thread. I'll try to catch up.

I don't have much time now, but I want to respond to Joni and the marshmallow question. Joni, I'm confused -- there are no egg whites to fold in! The whites are beaten at the beginning and then the hot sugar syrup is added.

Emmalish, I'm not sure about the problem with your cookies. When I make them, they are not particularly puffy, so it's hard for me to know what "kinda flat and spread out" is for you. I would have blamed your insulated baking sheet, but you said they were pretty much the same with a regular baking sheet.

In general, I don't recommend baking cookies on insulated sheets because the cookies don't get enough bottom heat with those kinds of sheets, so spreading is common. (There isn't enough initial heat to really set the cookies, so they spread an extra amount before they set and bake through.) Also, I find that cookies on insulated sheets don't get as brown as I like my cookies.

Sugar Plum. you're sweets are looking really good.

And, Kathy, I'm delighted that you continue to be happy.

Thanks to everyone who has made and loved the Applesauce Spice Bars, they are now the first recipe I suggest when people ask me where they should start in the book.

Pam, your Allspice Muffins look great. I'm so glad you like them -- as I think I said in the intro, allspice is not an ingredient you often get to see, or taste, solo, so it can be an unexpected flavor. Loved your line about the muffins being worth the time it took to brew coffee to go with them!

About gingerbread marshmallows for JFL-- I'm 3,000 miles from my kitchen, so i can't do any experimenting, but I'd try making a spice extract by mixing ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a teensy bit of clove into a little boiling water. I'd go heavy on the ginger, medium on the cinnamon and light on the nutmeg and allspice -- wish I could test the proportions for you, but it's impossible. Beat in the flavoring extract as you would other extracts. I'm out on a limb on this one because I'm not near a kitchen, but it's certainly play-aroundable. Let us know if you make them.

Can't write more now, but I'll continue to try to catch up.

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Plus, Dorie, if you can respond..the recipe seems to be missing a sentence on when to fold in the egg whites...I know it is at the end, but does not say specifically. Also, you fold whatever flavoring in at the end, too..different than in nightscotsman.  So, looking for reviews!!  Thanks.

To expand on what Dorie said, just whip the whites to firm, glossy peaks while the syrup is coming up to temp. When the syrup is ready, beat it into the already-beaten whites.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I wanted chocolate chip cookies. I don't have a stand mixer (at home), so I had to resort to the old wooden spoon to mix the dough. I was a little concerned. I also had no pecans, but I can totally get how great the cookies would have been with them - especially with the saltiness which I loved.

My picture doesn't do the cookies justice. I think chocolate chip cookies are a good test. When I gave somebody a couple of cookies to try, the response I got was "These are chocolate chip cookies!"

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I don't understand the questions about puffy cookies. These were perfect - a little crispy on the edges, soft and chewy in the center.

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On November 5 I made a batch of the Rum-Soaked Vanilla Cakes (using cream, the way the recipe was written, and soaking the cakes with the rum syrup after baking and depanning). We ate one of the cakes. The other, I wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and left on the counter. Until yesterday.

The second cake, now a week and a half old, is still quite delicious. It doesn't taste stale in the least, and it's certainly not getting fuzzy or blue. It slices well without crumbling, either thickly or thinly, and this morning it made a terrific breakfast.

If you're looking for a good keeper that doesn't necessarily need to be frozen, possibly something that would be suitable for mailing if you wrapped and padded it appropriately, this is one cake to keep in mind.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Reading Pam's post about her perfect chocolate chip cookies gave me an idea about what might be happening with the flat-cookie club members. Pam beat her cookie dough by hand, so, assuming Pam is not an Olympic bodybuilder, my guess is that she didn't beat the butter as much as a mixer would, nor -- and I think this is more to the point -- did she whip as much air into the eggs as a mixer would. Is it possible that the flat-cookie-ers are beating the butter and particularly the eggs at too high a speed and whipping too much air into them??? With a whipped-up dough, the cookies would puff in the oven, then, because the baking time isn't very long (and shouldn't be), they'd collapse as they cooled. Just another thought.

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Melissa, I've never kept the Rum-Soaked Vanilla Cakes for as long as you did, but I'm glad to hear they held up. Of course, it's thanks to the rum -- it acts as both a humidifier and a yummy preservative.

You're right that it would make a good sweet to pack and send, but it's also a good sweet for the holidays -- you can make it when you've got some time and it will stay, and stay and stay. Thanks for the keen observation.

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Melissa, I've never kept the Rum-Soaked Vanilla Cakes for as long as you did, but I'm glad to hear they held up.  Of course, it's thanks to the rum -- it acts as both a humidifier and a yummy preservative. 

You're right that it would make a good sweet to pack and send, but it's also a good sweet for the holidays -- you can make it when you've got some time and it will stay, and stay and stay.  Thanks for the keen observation.

To be honest, I didn't plan to keep them quite that long. In fact, I don't know how that happened! Usually, sweet stuff either gets eaten or given away long before getting old enough to grow fuzzy. This one cake somehow managed to get buried on the countertop in a corner, under a couple of printouts of other recipes. I unearthed it yesterday, decided that it looked non-toxic, :raz: and then had to make sure. I'm still here, so it must be fine, right?

It definitely won't last another ten days!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I'm on a bit of a muffin kick right now, so this weekend it was the Great Grain Muffins. Like the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers, this recipe is another instance of a pretty complex mix of elements (oatmeal, whole wheat flour, corn meal) coming together beautifully and resulting in something that tastes and feels familiar yet completely new at the same time. Best part -- these are sweetened with maple syrup, so I've redubbed them Maple Syrup Muffins for the kids (gotta know your audience! :wink:). They are disappearing fast into the school snack bags this week.

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Dorie, I love the two books that I have by you so far. The Pierre Herme Desserts & Chocolate Desserts. So well written. So perfectly detailed. So many insights to achieving perfection, or getting closer each time anyway. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Wow, I'm on page three of this thread--that's as far as I can go right now without eating the computer. Since I cannot bake and eat like I used to, I will get this book for my kid for Christmas...and borrow it back...no no no of course that's never happened before!! :rolleyes: I might have to get three books, one for each of them & one for me. :biggrin:

Truly though I can hardly ever go into the what's for dessert thread without major carb carvings that will not be denied, but this one is somehow easier on my formerly celulite infested body. I love to bake! So I'm catching up on the thread and will soon get the book...

My opinion on scales: weighing is nice but overrated. Baking is so fickle, it can be as daunting as golf. There are so many thousand other factors than just the mere quantity of ingredients. Measure and sweep truly works wonderful. And I actually prefer the physical scale with the literal weights the best. It's much more fun than digital. You can see your thousandths and ten thousandths of an ounce or gram or whatever.

Umm, and I like to substitute toasted oatmeal for nuts sometimes.

Multiplied Kudos to you, Dorie, what a great thread and thrill for you, I'm sure.

edited to say: God help me that chocolate banana marbled business is going to haunt my brain allllll day!!! :raz:

And Patrick, how did you get the sides, the edges on that caramel peanut topped fudge cake sooo pretty??? You don't see any evidence of it being baked, y'know like most baked goods would look ~~ it looks so beautiful on the moist fudgey sides.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Reading Pam's post about her perfect chocolate chip cookies gave me an idea about what might be happening with the flat-cookie club members.  Pam beat her cookie dough by hand, so, assuming Pam is not an Olympic bodybuilder, my guess is that she didn't beat the butter as much as a mixer would, nor -- and I think this is more to the point -- did she whip as much air into the eggs as a mixer would.  Is it possible that the flat-cookie-ers are beating the butter and particularly the eggs at too high a speed and whipping too much air into them???  With a whipped-up dough, the cookies would puff in the oven, then, because the baking time isn't very long (and shouldn't be), they'd collapse as they cooled.  Just another thought.

My concern was that I was under-mixing. But you may be onto something. I should try a batch in a mixer and see if they are any different.

BTW, my mother returned from a short trip last night. On her first day away she came down with the flu and hasn't had anything to eat in 5 days. She didn't want anything to eat last night other than some toast, but I gave her some cookies and she loved them. Definitely a winner in my family.

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I had planned on making the coconut tea cake last night, but didn't have enough eggs. (Between butter & eggs, are we all keeping the dairy industry afloat, or what!)

I did have the ingredients for the Swedish visiting cake, so I gave that a try & it was an excellent choice. Once again, easy & a lot of fun to make. It has a different, but quite lovely texture & the bit of crunch at the edges makes it a little slice of heaven. It is pretty rich, so instead of devouring multiple giant pieces, we've been limiting ourselves to multiple medium pieces. (The second picture was taken last night, sadly there is now but a fraction of the cake remaining.)

pat w.

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I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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...

I did have the ingredients for the Swedish visiting cake, so I gave that a try & it was an excellent choice.  Once again, easy & a lot of fun to make.  It has a different, but quite lovely texture & the bit of crunch at the edges makes it a little slice of heaven.  It is pretty rich, so instead of devouring multiple giant pieces, we've been limiting ourselves to multiple medium pieces.  (The second picture was taken last night, sadly there is now but a fraction of the cake remaining.)

pat w.

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...

Thanks for posting this, PatW. It looks very inviting. I may make this to bring to my sister and brother in law's later this week. It looks like it would be great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

The book is on my Christmas list, but for those like me that may want to bake something from it beforehand, here is a recipe for the Swedish Visiting Cake published in the Minneapolis Tribune: click

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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