Monday, June 29, 2009


i LOVE coffee cakes...
i don't know about you , but i'm one of those that likes ma sweets in the morn. maybe i'm under the impression that i can enjoy it more knowing i'll work it off somehow during the day. does baking all day burn THAT many calories? well anyway, i'm usually just too full after dinner. it's kinda funny because i'll make some fabulous dessert and while everyone else is digging in, i just sit there and stare. i think it also builds up the anticipation (or the occasional let-down) for that first bite with breakfast.
so, in this house i can usually produce a winner if it has anything with apples,cinnamon, pecans and the word coffee cake in the mix. hence, this one is a winner.
this little number comes from the Savory Sweet Life. many thanks to Alice for posting this one.
the recipe is great. i 1/2'd the recipe and it was easy in an 8 x 8.
i made just a few slight substitutions because i try to cut down on the white flour and white sugar where ever possible. there's sooo many sweets flying in and out of this house lately that just for my own peace of mind i try to throw in a little whole wheat flour and or some sugar substitute if i don't think it will hurt the flavor or the texture or the experience.
so for 1/2 the recipe i used 1c. AP flour and 1/2c. wheat
1/8c. sugar and 1/8c. cooking splenda for the apples
1/2c. sugar and 1/2c. splenda for the batter.
know one knew the diff. i think by subbing just 1/2 in things it works out pretty good in most cases.
oh, i almost forgot, i added a bit of orange zest
and threw some pecans on top.
i know mine doesn't look like the original (kinda hoping i would get that crust look on top Alice has on there), but it turned out delicious...and was great this morning even though i baked it yesterday.

Friday, June 26, 2009


when i saw this over at smitten kitchen, i knew i had to try it...

i was shopping at Trader Joe's on weds night and saw this cute 6-pak of little red plums and they screamed dorie's cake. nobody else in the house was excited about the cake, but i wasn't gonna let it go. so now i bought my plums and no one was gonna get in my way. hmmph. i couldn't get the photo out of my mind that i saw at smitten's...the one with the crispy sharp corner. i wanted to create my own crispy sharp corner...
well, as you can see, i didn't get my crispy sharp corner. kinda bummed about that. i'm just about positive i used the same 8" square. also, how the heck does one fit 4 x 4 (12 halves) on that 8" square? my plums were of the small variety and as you can see....well, mine was 3 x 3. oh well, no harm no foul.

once i got past the fact that my little cake wasn't as cute as i had hoped, i cut in. things started lookin' up. i can see why this is a popular cake. the texture, colors and aromas settled my nerves a bit.
my only reservation about the whole situation is that i didn't listen to that little chef i have in my brain nagging me, "you're only as good as the ingredients you use!". i was all finished and ready to place the prettiest plum halves when i took a big bite of a leftover half. eeeerrrg! my cute little plums had no real flavor and were quite watery. i didn't even want to finish that piece. i had on hand blueberries, mangos, strawberries and nectarine to choose from...but, i had to go with the plums. i just had to. well, it wouldn't have been dorie's dimply PLUM cake had i not... now would it?
needless to say, this cake would be fabulous with the right plums. i was told to wait 'till plum season, but noooooooooo...i didn't listen. i just couldn't wait. lesson learned? maybe. i received mediocre reviews. actually the comment was, "oooh...too tart!...well, just eat around the plum. the cake part's okay...". well, that's not the kind of feedback i like to hear so i'll be back in the kitchen firing up that oven again in the morning.

so the story goes that this cake gets better and even more moist the next day,'s lookin' to tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


OK, OK, OK, yes! i believe now i am bordering on obsession with the shortbread cookie

i love the simplicity of the shortbread cookie

i love the aromas of the shortbread cookie

i'm inspired by the versitility of the shortbread cookie

most of all...i think it's the slightly guilty feeling when i dump the

2, yes TWO!, WHOLE STICKS OF BUTTER in the mixer

i must say, i'm a little intrigued by the addition of herbs into sweets. i've been thinking about it for a while now. it might have started with the white peach-rosemary friands i saw a while back. i'm going to try those maybe today or tomorrow.

BUT, back to these darn cookies...

so shoot me...i didn't use organic or "cooking" lavender.

and guess what?...I DIDN'T DIE!

i really have no idea how to properly cook with lavender, but i'll tell ya what i did do and it turnd out just fine, great in fact..i went over to walk the next door neighbors' dog, casey the airdale, and there in my face was some beautiful lavender...hmmm....i stole a few sprigs (haven't confessed yet) and i shall pay-back with a few cookies, of course.

i pulled the little tiny buds off (about 2 T.) and as i was doing this the yummy oils were wafting around and i could tell this was gonna be deelish.

i added the 2 T. to the butter mixture. then..i had another idea to infuse some reg. white sugar for dusting the top. i pulled a bunch more buds and put in a bowl with about 3 T. sugar and smashed it around with a flat bottomed glass. mortar n' pestle would break it up too much. i let that sit, then sifted the buds out and spinkled that sugar over each cookie right before baking. i also kept the leftover, with the buds still in, and put it in a little jar for some other use...even that use is to just open the jar every now and then to take a whiff...mmmm....

so, once again, i used an adaption of smittenkitchen's dorie adaption of the shortbread cookie
i used this as my base recipe
added the lavender and zest of 1 lemon (with a squeeze of juice) to the butter/sugar mixture and proceeded with the recipe. i used the ziploc baggie trick again and it worked out great. with the cut-out reminents i balled up and put into a small ziploc, flattened out, refridged and just cut again. love the ziploc trick.
then i dusted the cut cookies right before the oven...
don't forget to RE-refridgerate the cut cookies before the oven. it really helps retain the shape. next time i think i'm goin to try putting them it at 380-400 degrees for the 1st 5 min, then lowering it to 320. (i cook in a convection so i always take off 5-10 degrees)

so welcome to my new obsession. if you don't hear anymore from me maybe i really shouldn't be just picking any ol' thing out of the garden and cooking with it...
haven't died YET.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

PALMIERS-easy simple elephant ears

palmiers, or elephant ears..whatever ya wanna call 'em..i'm in love with 'em. they are each so cute you almost don't want to..... SHOVE THE WHOLE THING IN YOUR MOUTH!?...crunch crunch crunch munch...gone....MORE!...

i've been wanting to make these for a really long time, and i finally got to it today. i bought the ready made pastry dough about a month ago and have been visualizing these puppies ever since. so easy!...but, i must say, a bit time consuming and potentially messy.
if you google palmier, there's all kinds of sites to check out. i found my guideline for success here. many thanks to "on my plate" for the step by step info. i went for the cinnamon sugar variety and i did add just a bit of brown sugar...just a bit, 1 T-ish.
my suggestion to those who want to give it a go is to give yourself a large area for rolling...this is where the potential mess can happen. you know how sugar can escape and soon you're doing the slippery shuffle sugar dance.
the time consuming part is the initial thawing, the rolling, the back in the freezer 15 min., the cutting and dipping BOTH sides...ok then...the oven 10 min, out and flip, back in 6-7 min, AND i chose to flip one more time and back in 4-5 min...WHEW !!! maybe it just seemed time consuming b'cuz i was dying to taste the crunchie finished product. in retrospect, it's allll worth it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


my first try at making friands...
yeah...that's me...just makin' friends with friands.
okay..i'll stop there. you just know there's all kinds of lame puns at the tip of my tongue. sometimes i just have to stop myself 'cuz i'm the only one laughing...hmmmm... it's a good thing i cook alone. (well, i DO catch Ruby with a smirk every now and then).

to the unawares out there, this might look like your ordinary mini pound cake...
au contraire mon cheri...
this is just about the tastiest little cake i have had in a loooonnng time...maybe EVER !
i think it was the name and the cute factor that caught my eye first. they are quite versatile, in that the flavor can go all different directions and the cooking vessel seems to change to what ever is on hand (however, there is an actual financier shape mold). i used mini loaf tins, but you can use muffin tins, madeleine molds or anything small and cute would work. just watch your cooking time.

i found a bunch of different recipes for these little babies, but i decided on the one i found HERE .
after one bite and the look on my co-taste-tester's face...i know i'll be making these alot. i just can't decide what flavor accent to bring to the table. it was suggested that i just go plain or au natural and i might just do that. i noticed the blueberries were just a slight add-on, but totally not necessary. the texture alone is overwhelming, let alone the just perfect sweetness with the almond flaire. i even get a bit tongue tied describing these...

anyway...these are a MUST TRY!
you can go with the recipe i found here
or google around like i originally did. this recipe seemed easiest. i didn't change a thing and they came out GREAT!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


so simple...why didn't i know about this ziploc trick before...? check out this recipe here
see....i told you smittenkitchen had some good stuff...

i was going to make this exact recipe, but my instant espresso was finally found in the back of the spice drawer and when something is covered in cob webs, you have to question how old is it???...i mean i know the powdered stuff can take a fews years, but....can't tell ya when this stuff was purchased..i hate it when that happens. anyway, i went ahead and made plain, i mean pure shortbread with the added mini chocolate chips.
i also read elsewhere that it is important to chill dough after cutting and right before oven to help keep whatever shape you've chosen...definitely will do everytime from now on.

OH...and you have to try this ziploc trick...i can't wait to try it with other recipies...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


i was so intrigued when i saw this cake recipe. not only did it have no flour and sugar, BUT it has 2 WHOLE valencia oranges in it. i found the recipe here...

many thanks to comfybelly for introducing me to this cake and a little about it's origin. i didn't change a thing so please check out the link. i mean, what's to change?...being that it's ancient and worked for eons... thing i DID do that comfybelly gave as an option....i whipped the egg whites and folded them in...i wasn't real worried about folding them in all professional-like since it wasn't a must in the first place...i think it did work well for this cake though.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


well, i thought this cake worthy of a birthday...MY BIRTHDAY !...and i was right. i loved it. actually i loved it even more this morning for breakfast. YUM!

many thanks to kitchen experiments. i didn't change a thing...

oh...well, i DID use canned whole bing cherries because she said it was okay to sub. i might have to break down and buy a cherry pitter. that's really the only reason i went with the canned goods. kinda feels like a sin while we're right in the middle of cherry season...duh !

Saturday, June 13, 2009


right outta the gates i knew this was a winner !!!
she mentioned she saw in gourmet, so i went there also. i don't think i changed a thing. this is perfect as-is !!!!! i know i will be making this again because i just bought more raspberries and i know it's now a family favorite...gone in sixty seconds...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


this is definitley a delicious crumb bar. i'm glad i chose blueberries for the first go 'round. just one full layer of little blue gems was perfect. i don't know how many things i can make with blueberries, but i'm sure gonna try to make 'em ALL!

i added big handful of toasted almonds. i think it adds just a little extra crunch.

found these little gems at smittenkitchen...

i love smittenkitchen. check it out...good stuff.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Friday, June 5, 2009


the snickerdoodle has to be known as one of the favorite among the classics.

look at these can just taste the cinnamon-ie sweet sugar-ie goodness.
i got a big smile on my face as i saw them deflate as they cooled and get those quintesential snickerdoodle cracks and crevasses.

this was my first try with the snicker...AND i got rave reviews all around...YIPPEEE !

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


wham !!!...right back to my lunchbox, i think it was a partrige family one with a matching thermos, 2nd grade, mrs. rabbit was my teacher and my pixie haircut

this is what you'd call a "SIDE-BAR"!!!...sorry i had to...just had to...

as you can see, the sides get quite not be afraid, . it's just the jam carmelizing. i think i might have even taken mine out just a touch early b'cuz the base layer could have had more time. i looked at it today and it's really moist. it could just be the oils in all the peanut butter relaxing it's way through the dense dough.

i always get the best ideas from might say i was addicted...i would say, "I AM ADDICTED!". i found this one @

even though it's a Martha Stewart recipe, it's nice to see that someone other that the perfection queen has tried it and they liked it. i didn't change a thing so the recipe is at cocobeanandme if you're interested.
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