Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TWD- Chocolate Tart

This week's TWD is for Chocolate Tartlets- 6 mini tarts. I only have a large tart pan, so I just made one big tart.
The recipe starts out with a chocolate pastry dough for the crust. It says to remove the bottom of the pan, but I didn't do that.
The filling is a made up whipped egg yolks (lots) and sugar folded into melted butter and chocolate.
The recipe calls for chopped biscotti for the filling, but I used cinnamon cookies sprinkled on top instead of folded in the filling batter.
The tart is delicious- it wasn't fudgey like I thought it would be. It was smooth and creamy and was a hit at home and with some friends!
 StephSpikeJaime and Jessica will have the recipe!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sports Cake

A cake for Cruz, who turned 1. The mom liked this cake and wanted something similar. The cake was vanilla with cream cheese buttercream. Covered in fondant with fondant and gumpaste decorations.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rainbow Sprinkles Cake

A cake for Frances, who turned 5. The inside of the cake was rainbow vanilla with vanilla buttercream.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Cups with Vanilla Yogurt

Last baby shower recipe! This was the surprise hit. I wasn't sure how yogurt and oatmeal cookie cups would be together, but it turned out to be one of the best dishes!
Oatmeal Cookie Cups with Vanilla Yogurt
adapted from kevinandamanda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1 quart vanilla yogurt
Fresh fruit for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two regular sized muffin tins with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugars in a stand or electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix until incorporated. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoons of dough into the muffin tins. Press the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are brown. Remove from oven and press the back of a teaspoon in the middle of each cookie cup to make an indent. Run a thin knife around the edge of each cookie cup to remove to a rack to cool. Once cool, fill the cookie cups with vanilla yogurt and top with desired fruit. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mini Quiches

I made mini quiches for this baby shower. Although these take more time than I would spend on any given morning, they are delicious for a special occasion. I used red onion, red bell pepper, black forest ham and a blend of shredded mozzarella and parmisan cheese.

Mini Quiches
adapted from bhg.com
1 recipe Pastry Dough
1/2 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped ham
3 tablespoons diced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape chilled Pastry Dough into twenty 1-1/2-inch balls. Place each ball into a 2-1/2-inch muffin cup. Press dough into bottoms and up sides of muffin cups. Set aside.

For filling, in a medium bowl combine cheese, sweet pepper, the 1/4 cup pancetta, the green onion, flour, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Divide mixture evenly among pastry shells.

In the same bowl beat together eggs and half-and-half. Pour egg mixture over filling in each pastry shell.

Bake about 20-25 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand in muffin cups for 5 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, gently loosen edges of the shells from the sides of muffin cups; remove from the cups. Cool slightly. Serve warm. 
Pastry Doughingredients
  • 2
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2
    teaspoon salt
  • 3/4
    cup cold butter
  • 1/4 - 1/3
    cup ice water

    In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice water over part of the flour mixture; toss gently with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat with additional ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Gather mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mini Pop-Tarts

For this baby shower, I made these mini pop-tarts. Inspired by these, I made lemon curd-filled pop tarts. These are easy and were a hit at the party. You just cut refrigerated pie crust into rectangles, fill with desired filling, crimp with a fork and bake!
Because the baby shower theme was yellow, I used white frosting and yellow sprinkles. These are delicious and I would love to try them with different fillings!

Lemon Curd
(adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 Tbs butter, cut into 3 pieces
juice of 3 lemons

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium heavy saucepan. Place over medium low heat and cook, stirring vigorously and constantly, until butter melts and mixture starts to thicken. The curd is done when you can make a track with your finger on a spoon or spatula and the curd doesn't run into the track. It will look thin, but thicken as it cools. If desired, for a smoother texture, strain curd while still warm through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press plastic wrap over the top so a skin doesn't form, and cool in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TWD- White Loaves

I'm back to Tuesdays With Dorie and a new book! We're now baking from Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. I'm really excited to bake from this new book, which is full of great recipes and some new things that I've always wanted to try like puff pastry! The book is based on the PBS series and has great contributors like Flo Braker, Nick Malgieri, Alice Medrich, Nancy Silverton, and Martha Stewart.
Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers
The first recipe from the book is White Loaves, chosen by the brains behind TWD Laurie and Jules. The recipe is just basic white bread- two 1 1/2 pound loaves to be exact. I LOVE homemade bread but I've always had a problem making it. I don't know why. I either kill the yeast, it doesn't rise properly, it's not salted enough... the list goes on.
This recipe is straightforward and really easy. I halved the recipe and (sorry) I used mostly whole wheat white flour (from Trader Joes) to make it a little healthier.
 I let it rise too long the second time; the resulting loaf did not have the height of a lovely loaf, but it did taste pretty yummy. My kids loved it with jam.
Jules and Laurie will have the recipe and check out the blogroll to see what others have baked up!
Next up: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets (whoo hoo!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Elephant Baby Shower

One of my best friends is having her first baby boy. To celebrate, we threw her an elephant baby shower this weekend. We based some of our ideas off this shower, which I adore. I obviously volunteered to do the food since I'm really not good at decorating.
 The shower was in the morning, so we had breakfast/brunch foods including cinnamon rolls, mini muffins, mini quiches, mini poptarts, oatmeal cookie yogurt cups, fruit kabobs, banana juliuses, and pastries.
And I made these elephant cookies for the favors:
I'll be posting the recipes for the food in the next couple of days. So stayed tuned!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Starfish and Sand Dollar Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for a beach themed bridal shower. I was pretty excited to be able to use my new airbrush that my dad bought me for Christmas. He's so awesome.
The cupcakes were vanilla and chocolate with vanilla italian meringue buttercream. The cupcake without starfish or sand dollars were sprinkled with sparkles.