Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TWD- Coconut Tea Cake

Well, after trying to convert people to dulce de leche last week, this week's object is converting people to coconut. I'll admit, I hated coconut for a long time when I was younger. Then I had a coconut macaroon. Then Girl Scout Samoas. Then Almond Joy. I know the texture can be icky, but oh, the taste is so wonderful.
This week's pick, from Carmen Cooks is for Coconut Tea Cake. This cake is really moist, but pretty plain. No chocolate. No icing. No filling.
But Dorie suggests serving it toasted, which sounded pretty good to me. So I toasted slices in the oven and served it with vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Check out Carmen's blog for the recipe!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fabulous 40 Cake

So, a little Real Housewives of Orange County, but I like the way it turned out. I love the black, pink and gold colors.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Cake

A cake for Spencer, who turned 2. Only now do I look at the upslide and realize it looks a little obscene. Oops.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD-Dulce de Leche Duos

Well, after joining Tuesdays with Dorie over a year and a half ago, it's my turn to pick the recipe!!
I chose Dulce de Leche Duos. Dulce de leche means "candied milk" in Spanish. Those of you not familiar with it, it's really just sweetened condensed milk boiled for a long time until it's thick, dark and caramel-y. I made it once in the oven for a gelato recipe, but I prefer buying it in the can.

This recipe is dulce de leche sandwiched between two dulce de leche flavored cookies. The cookies are straight forward and come together in a few minutes.
After I dropped them all on the pans and started baking them, I realized I made them too big. They flattened out quite a bit (I baked them while I was out of town in a MUCH higher elevation).

So there was quite a bit more surface area to spread the dulce de leche. Can't complain about that.
These are so yummy if you like dulce de leche. The cookies are soft and warm with caramel flavor, and the smooth, creamy dulce de leche filling is great little surprise in the middle. In the "Playing Around" section, Dorie suggests using chocolate ganache filling or dipping the cookie bottoms in chocolate before spreading the dulce de leche. I think this would make them ultra-sweet, as dulce de leche could give you a toothache by itself.
This girl loved them. After this picture was taken, I spent 5 minutes scrubbing dulce de leche off her face.
Dulce de Leche Duos
by Dorie Greenspan from Baking From My Home to Yours

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups store-bought dulce de leche, plus more for filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
 Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft. Add the 3/4 cup of dulce de leche and both sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks a little curdled- it will smooth out when the flour mixture goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.
Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets, using a heaping teaspoon of dough for each cookie and leaving 2 inches between them.
Bake the cookies 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front the back at the midway point. The cookies should be honey brown with a light sugar crust, but they will still be soft, so remove the sheets from the oven but don't touch the cookies for another minute or two. Then, using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure you cool the baking sheets before spooning the dough onto them.
When the cookies are completely cool, spread the flat bottoms of half the cookies with a small amount of dulce de leche, and sandwich with the flat sides of the remaining cookies.
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Golf Cake Take 2

Another golf cake, Two in one day!

Golf Cake Take 1

A golf cake for Alex, who turned the big 5:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TWD- Thumbprints for Us Big Guys

Ok, so the thing that made me most excited about this week's TWD was the host's (Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude) response on the email stating his pick- "I think I'll go with "Thumbprints For Us Big Guys," since...er...well, there's gotta be something for us big guys." Every time I flip through the book, I always kind of cringe at the name of this recipe. I love Mike's response.
Anyway, not being a fan of jam, I subbed some chocolate. I also used ground almonds instead of hazelnuts. Mine were a little crumbly, hence the ugliness of the cookies. So fitting for Mike. Definitely not as pretty as the pic in the book!
These are so buttery and nutty. I loved how the bottoms of mine were a little browned and crispy. They come together in a couple minutes- I just sprinkled some chopped bittersweet chocolate on them while they were still hot and spread it after a couple minutes. Check out Mike's blog for the recipe!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Patriotic Cake and Cupcakes

A patriotic cake and cupcakes for my very talented and superstar mom friend Tammy, who organized a meet and greet with a local Senate candidate:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TWD- Toasted Coconut-Custard Pie

I loved toasted coconut. Girl Scout Samoas are about the greatest thing ever. My mom makes truffles covered in toasted coconut and I could eat a million of them. So I was excited to make this recipe. I don't have a tart pan so I made a 9" pie.
A word of caution: don't leave coconut unattended under the broiler. Fire in my mom's oven. My brave brother took the on fire coconut an threw it in the snow. Take two was toasted in a pan on the stove.
This is a great, quick recipe that yields a creamy, smooth custard filling. You could omit the coconut and use bananas for a great banana cream.
You can check out Beryl's blog for the recipe!