Goodbye Tuesdays with Dorie….

Unfortunately, this will be the last time I post anything for/about Tuesdays With Dorie. That’s right- I’m leaving the group. It’s super sad- I’ve been a member for about 2 years now! I can’t possibly tell you just how much I’ve grown and learned since joining TWD back in April 2008…I’ve become more knowledgeable in the kitchen, as well as discovering one of my greatest passions – baking. Being a member of Tuesdays With Dorie has shown me just how much I love being in my kitchen and baking (and just how much I adore Dorie Greenspan!) – so much so, that I hope to be able to do it for a living someday (hopefully sooner, rather than later!). Our group leader, Laurie, never dreamed her idea of baking something from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours once a week would take off and inspire 300+ other food bloggers to join in…the group is awesome and I am honored to have been a part of it for 2 years.

I’ve taken all of my Tuesdays With Dorie posts (starting all the way back with my first ever TWD post- homemade marshmallows!) and put them in a special category so they’ll be easier to find from now on. Take a look – there are some DARN good recipes in there, let me tell ya! My absolute favorite TWD recipes are the World Peace Cookies (to this day, my favorite cookie of all time), the Honey Peach Ice Cream, the Banana Cream Pie (and no, not just because it was my pick!), the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake and who can forget…the Gooey Chocolate Cakes; this one changed my life…seriously, the most amazing, satisfying dessert I’ve ever made. The pictures are crap, but the cakes…ohhhh the cakes….sheer bliss. If you haven’t tried any of these recipes- give them a try this week, you’ll be really, really glad you did. These are the best of the best, in my opinion!

So, I guess now it’s time to say goodbye, Tuesdays With Dorie – thanks for a fantastic 2 years!

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Toasted Coconut Cream Tart…

This tart was last week’s Tuesdays with Dorie pick, but since my mother was coming to visit for her birthday, I wanted to wait and make it then. And let me tell you, this tart is worth the wait! I don’t even like coconut cream pie, but this….oh, this is something so delicious and special. I absolutely loved it. We all did. Something about the combination of that salty/sweet/buttery crust with the thick, rum-infused pastry cream and the whipped cream on top is just pure heaven! My mom (the honored guest) said it was better than any coconut cream pie she’d ever had. That’s all the acclaim I needed! This one will definitely be re-visited again and again! This was chosen by Beryl of Cinemon Girl – I owe you one, Beryl! Thanks for one heck of a pick!! (I’m posting the recipe here since I’m posting so late- just thought I’d save time!)

Toasted Coconut Custard Tart
-Dorie Greenspan

For the Custard:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted

1 9-inch sweet tart shell, baked and cooled (recipe below)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring milk to a boil. In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, yolks, cornstarch and salt until well blended. Whisk in 1/4 cup of hot milk to temper the yolks, then whisk in the rest of the milk. Continue whisking over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk an additional 1 or 2 minutes then remove from heat. Whisk in rum and vanilla and let sit for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the butter, stirring until custard is smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Transfer to a container, cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
To make the topping, use a stand mixture with whisk attachment or a hand mixer to whip the cream to medium peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to firm peaks. Whip in rum and vanilla.
To assemble the tart, whisk the custard vigorously to loosen it then scrape into the crust. Spoon the whipped cream over the tart and spread evenly to the edge of the custard. Sprinkle with additional toasted coconut.

Sweet Tart Dough
(makes one 9-inch crust)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

To make the dough:  Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.  Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely – you’ll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that’s just fine.  Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.  When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.  Just before your reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change – heads up.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface.

Very lightly and sparingly – make that very, very lightly and sparingly – knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To make a press-in crust:  Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Don’t be stingy – you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it.  Also, don’t be too heavy-handed – you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don’t want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbreadish texture.  Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially bake the crust:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust.  Bake the crust 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil.  If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.  Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack; keep it in its pan.

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Tuesdays With Dorie…Honey Wheat Cookies

This week’s TWD recipe, Honey Wheat Cookies, was chosen by Michelle of Flourchild. These are definitely some interesting cookies. And by interesting, I mean I don’t like them. Hey, it happens…not often, but still it happens. Perhaps it was because I used orange zest instead of lemon zest and it threw off the flavor balance, but I thought these cookies tasted a little like orange-y saw dust (thank you, wheat germ).

Anyway, these could’ve very well turned out beautifully for lots of other people, so don’t be thrown off by my opinion! If you’d like the recipe, head over to Michelle’s blog and she’ll have it posted.

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Tuesdays With Dorie…Coco-Nana Bread

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This week’s TWD recipe, Coco-Nana Bread was chosen by Steph of Obsessed With Baking. I was toying with the idea of skipping this week, but I heard so many great things about this bread, I decided to give it a shot. Really glad I did; it eats almost like cake- really moist and tender, and the banana is barely noticeable. The best part, though, is how chocolaty it is – the chocolate chunks throughout the bread make it super moist and gooey. Yum!

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This bread is pretty much more of a dessert than a breakfast food, but genius that she is, Dorie is trying her best to make all things chocolaty accepted as breakfast food. I vote yes. And I’m betting that this stuff will taste pretty darn good with your coffee in the morning. If you’d like the recipe, check out Steph’s blog – she’s got it posted.

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Tuesdays With Dorie…Almost Candy Bars

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Yikes! It’s been WAY too long since my last TWD post…I apologize to the TWD gods! But here I am, back on the wagon, ready to sing Dorie Greenspan’s praises once more! And these cookies are the perfect way to start. Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars (doesn’t that sound amazing?), chosen by Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm. Oh man, let me tell you..these were outstanding! They start with a layer of oatmeal-peanut cookie dough (delish on it’s own!), then you top it off with a chocolate-sweetened condensed milk-peanut layer and crumble a little more of the cookie dough over the top of that. Bake it off and you have sticky, crunchy, chewy cookie/candy bars! YUM!

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Just look at that gooey chocolate center….oh man…. This was such a great recipe to get me back on the TWD wagon- a great treat! I can’t wait to take these babies to work with me sometime! If you’d like the recipe (trust me, you do), head on over to Lillian’s blog and she’ll have it posted for you.

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holidaybundt1

This is such a great cake – there’s pumpkin, pecans, fresh cranberries, and lots of spice. SO full of yummy holiday flavors! Dorie’s All In One Holiday Bundt Cake was chosen by Britin of The Nitty Britty. I absolutely loved it – this reminds me a lot of the Cranberry Orange Bread I make every year at Thanksgiving…in fact, now that I think of it, this cake would be delicious with a bit of orange zest/juice! Next time, definitely!

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The texture is nice and chunky, and the cranberries give so much extra flavor. I left out the apples because I just didn’t feel like apples in my cake that day. I will most definitely be making this cake again and again. It really is perfect for the holidays! Thanks, Britin, for a great pick!

All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake
-Dorie Greenspan

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground ginger
10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ginger, set aside.

Beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add pumpkin and chopped apple, don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 60 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Tuesdays With Dorie…I’m Still Here!

I know -I’ve been a terrible TWD member lately. I haven’t participated in weeks…bad, I know. And I’ve missed it a lot, too – it seems like every week, something got in the way of me baking that week’s recipe.  My students’ All-State Choir auditions have been going on for the past few weeks and that’s been distracting, not to mention my hubby starting a new job…not that I’m complaining or making excuses, even – I just felt I should at least let you know where I’ve been as far as TWD goes. But now I’m back, and that’s all that matters! And what a recipe to welcome me back on the wagon! Dorie’s Sweet Potato Biscuits…mmm, MMM!!

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These were DE-licious. They start out the way all normal biscuits start out; but then you add in mashed sweet potatoes (canned, even!) and a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon and you’ve got a slightly sweet, spicy, flaky biscuit that will knock your socks off!  I made a little maple compound butter (just a fancy way of saying “butter with stuff mixed in” – saying it that way makes me feel important…) to spread on these bad boys and WOW – we seriously gobbled them all up. They couldn’t have turned out better, in my opinion. A lot of other TWD bakers said they were having issues with the biscuits baking up totally flat like cookies – I guess the biscuit gods were smiling down on me because mine seemed to rise perfectly. Thanks to Erin of Prudence Pennywise (seriously love her blog!) for choosing these wonderful biscuits!  Go now and check out her blog – you’ll absolutely love her! Get the recipe for these babies while you’re there – make ‘em for Saturday breakfast this weekend!

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Tuesdays With Dorie…Flaky Apple Turnovers

This week’s pick is Flaky Apple Turnovers, chosen by Julie of  Someone’s In The Kitchen.  I love apple turnovers (honestly, my favorite kind is the store-bought frozen kind that comes with the little triangle of frosting….mmm…), so I was excited to see these on this month’s line-up.  Basically the filling is just chopped apples, sugar and cinnamon; but Dorie says you can also add a little jam, so I added some homemade peach preserves as well as homemade plum jam. I was really glad I did this because it added a lot of extra flavor.

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It was nice to have a dessert involving apples (I’m finding myself getting a little tired of chocolate lately…weird!) just as the weather has started getting a little cooler and “Fall-y”. If you’d like the recipe for these turnovers, check out Julie’s blog!  Go make you some flaky apple turnovers and enjoy the weather!!

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espressobrownies1

This week’s recipe was chosen by Melissa of Life In A Peanut Shell.  Unfortunately, I actually didn’t have a very memorable experience with these brownies.  It’s too bad, too, because they sounded fantastic.  Maybe I did something wrong…who knows.  They looked pretty, though! :-)

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These were supposed to be marbled, but my cheesecake batter was so runny, I thought it best to just leave it be.  I sort of liked seeing the two distinct layers, though.  The sour cream topping was really nice, too- I’ll probably use that for future cheesecake recipes.  I think what I didn’t like about these was the dense fudginess of the brownie layer – it was just too fudgy for me, believe it or not.  BUT – as always, I’m still really glad I tried these.  They were tasty overall….just not something I’d make again, probably. Better luck next time, though!  Head on over to Melissa’s blog and check out the recipe – these just might be your cup of tea!

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applebars1

This week’s dessert was certainly a nice change of pace from all the chocolate desserts and cakes I’ve been making lately.  Something with apples sounded perfect to me…I was really looking forward to making these bars.  Thanks to Karen of Something Sweet by Karen for choosing these Applesauce Spice Bars…they hit the spot!  The cake (or bars, I should probably say) itself is really moist and light with dark rum, pecans and chunks of apples baked in, and the glaze…oh man, the glaze…sweet, sticky and caramel-y; the glaze made these bars.  I followed a few fellow bakers’ advice and doubled it, and was very glad I did – that glaze was by far my favorite part!  My hubby really liked these;  needless to say, they didn’t last long! :-)

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See that glaze??? Oh boy….it’s just calling my name!!  And look at those nice, big chunks of apples and pecans…and the flecks of spice…beeeeautiful!!  If you’re looking for a nice change of pace – head on over to Karen’s blog and get the recipe; you’ll love ‘em, I promise!

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