Monday, January 26, 2015

TBB - Gingersnaps

This cookie confused people. It confused my husband. He said, "a gingersnap cookie is supposed to "snap", it's supposed to be crunchy. This is not crunchy!" I asked him to put those prejudices and mental inhibitors aside, and taste and enjoy the cookie for what it is :o)

Today I took the cookies to work. It confused them too. After complementing me on how professional and perfectly round they looked (and me saying, it's not like I weighed them or anything.... and then admitting that I did), someone said, "I thought you were allergic to peanuts!" Obviously, the color threw them off. To not confuse them even further, I referred to them as "Ginger Cookies instead of Gingersnaps" (sorry Rose!!!).

At work, everyone (myself included) is participating in a company-assisted fitness program which is somewhat of a competition. I was afraid nobody would bite (pun intended) and I'd be stuck eating all of the cookies by myself (there's only so much room in the freezer). I had no such problem! I got rave reviews. One person even came back for seconds, while another came by to say how good they were, and that he really shouldn't have seconds, since they just gained two pounds when they're supposed to be losing weight.

As for me, I tried to keep an open mind, which allowed me to enjoy the cookies as-is just fine!! :o)

Beautiful deep cracks and an inviting golden brown color!

Monday, January 19, 2015

TBB - Golden Orange Panettone sans Chocolate Sauce

I was really looking forward to this week's challenge for Rose's Alpha Bakers. The Golden Orange Panettone, our first "bread" recipe of the bake-along. I baked my first Panettone a few years ago with Jenn, blogger behind Knitty Baker and also one of Rose's Alpha Bakers. We baked it together (virtually). It turned out really good. You can find my blog post and recipe here.

A couple weeks ago, Marie, our fearless group leader, referred to me as Miss I-Never-Met-a-Recipe-I-Couldn't-Change Hanaa. And so this week too, I didn't want to disappoint:

  • I "Hanaa-tized" the Panettone by applying a Moroccan twist. I added orange blossom water and 1 tsp crushed anise seeds. There's a sweet Moroccan roll called Krachel which has this flavor profile, and I really like it.
  • Since my dried fruit was very plump already, I skipped the soaking step, and used 1 Tbsp of orange blossom water to replace the "drained liquid" from the raisins.
  • Instead of candied orange peel, I used the zest of 2 oranges and 75 grams of dried cranberries. I also increased the amount of golden raising to 50 grams.
  • I also ended up baking the Panettone in a tube pan which reduced the baking time and the risk of the bread sinking after baking. I just could not afford any chances to have this bread fail after working on it for 5 days.
  • Some shortcuts were taken where necessary and applicable :o)

Both hubby and I were very pleased with the end result:

Panettone with golden raisins, dried cranberries, orange zest and anise seeds.

Monday, January 5, 2015

TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Rose's Alpha Bakers embarked on a wonderful chocolate chiffon cake this week with caramel whipped cream and chocolate ganache. Also known as Chocolate Cuddle Cake. I was a bit in a hurry so I ended up taking some shortcuts: I skipped the ganache and I used my own recipe for the caramel whipped cream. The cake itself I didn't make any changes to, except I baked it in a 2-piece tube pan.

The cake was served at a dinner party at our house. It was a huge hit. Everybody had seconds and left my house happy :o) I even got a birthday cake request for this cake!

(Half naked) Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Saturday, January 3, 2015

ABC - Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

It's a new year, so it's a new recipe source for the ABC bakers. We'll be baking from the Scientifically Sweet blog by Christina Marsigliese. I've been following her blog for a couple years now and really enjoy her scientific approach to baking. What else would you expect from a food scientist? So let's "get our geek on" :o)

Before I move on to this month's challenge, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the ABC bakers (past and present) for their active and enthusiastic participation in 2014. I enjoyed reading your posts, seeing your pictures, and learning from your experiences. Thank you for making the ABC baking group successful. I'm sending you all a virtual hug :o)

This month's challenge, Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, is one of my favorite things to bake anytime I have ripe bananas. And when I don't have time to bake while the bananas are ripe, I mash and measure them, put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. That way they're ready to go whenever the baking mood strikes!

Yummy chocolatey goodness with a hint of banana!

I've baked these at least a dozen times, got my sister addicted to them and now I'm trying to do the same to you (mwuaaah haa haa) :o) 

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

Monday, December 22, 2014

TBB - Almond Coffee Crisps

Another round of cookies for us, Rose's Alpha Bakers. And what a special cookie it was. The Almond Coffee Crisps looked so plain and casual, but boy, did it pack a lot of flavor. It has finely chopped almond, espresso powder and lots of butter.

Light as air, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth Almond Coffee Crisps