Monday, March 26, 2012

Slutty Brownies, Anyone?

I read about something called Slutty Brownies a couple of weeks ago on The Frisky and I had to do a double-take. (And then I had to text my grandma, but that's a whole other story.) Seriously? Slutty brownies? Color me intrigued.

Why are they called slutty brownies you ask? The oldest recipe I can find (which I assume is the original) says it's because "they're oh so easy, and more than a little bit filthy." Duncan Hines' website describes them as a "gooey brownie-cookie hybrid that is a little bit dirty, but oh-so-sinful" and I won't repeat what Jessica Simpson's answer was, although it did crack me up.

However it got it's name, what we're talking about here is a layer of cookie dough topped with Oreos, smothered with brownie batter, and baked up into something insanely delicious. With vanilla ice cream? I don't even have words. I guess that's what pictures are for.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWD #4 - Irish Soda Bread

To put it plainly, making bread makes me happy. I've made bread every single week since I made the white loaves for the first Tuesdays With Dorie post and it's something I look forward to all week long. Still, I wasn't terribly excited to make the Irish Soda Bread for this week's TWD post, although with only 4 ingredients it couldn't have been easier.

I don't like raisins or dried fruit in general so I left it out and stuck to the original recipe. And I didn't have buttermilk on hand so I used regular milk. It was skim so the dough was a bit thinner than I imagine it would have been if I'd used buttermilk, but it baked up all the same.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Progression of an Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

So I had this internal monologue one day week before last:
Is it kind of weird that I'm not that into chocolate chip cookies?
Yeah, that's weird.
Jake LOVES them, but not me.
I hardly even like his favorite: the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie.
I wonder if I could make one that we both like.
How does one even go about starting a recipe like that?
Apparently, one starts with a recipe and just changes it from there. At least one does if one is me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Testing Out Gluten-Free What IiF Flour

One of the blogs I follow is Alex and Aki's Ideas in Food. It's not like the other blogs I follow in that, while it is about food, it doesn't always feature recipes. Although I don't think I have the time, creativity or drive to do the things they do (like make my own vinegar) I still find myself regularly inspired by their posts.

A couple of weeks ago they posted a recipe for gluten-free (GF) What IiF Flour, a concoction that they put together to replace expensive store-bought versions and since my stepmother and stepsister can't tolerate gluten I immediately bookmarked it. Coincidentally I'd just sent off gluten-free brownies and biscotti THAT MORNING, and although they were good, I wasn't overly impressed with the brownies (I don't think brownies should be flat and extra-dense). Perhaps I'm spoiled, but I decided to test out the What Iif Flour with my favorite brownie recipe: Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies. Since I'm typing this can I still say this left me absolutely speechless?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD #3 - Rugelach

I wasn't really sure what to make of this recipe in the beginning. Neither prunes nor apricots (the suggested fruit fillings for this recipe) sounded at all appealing, and I'm not sure I've ever tasted rugelach before. If I have tried it I don't remember it, so it's not going to be at all helpful.

My original thought was to try cherry and strawberry versions instead of the recommended prune and apricot, but somehow I ended up going the chocolate and cinnamon route(s). I halved the recipe for the first go-round and spread one piece of dough with Nutella (using almonds and hazelnuts) and the other with a butter-raw sugar-cinnamon mixture (using just almonds) that I got from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert (and spread on everything you can imagine--toast, pretzels, you name it).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

French Pastry Workshop at Sur la Table

After some issues last month, I finally got to attend my first cooking class yesterday at Sur la Table, and for my first class, I chose the French Pastry Workshop.

Fifteen of us showed up on a Saturday morning to learn to make caramel apple tarte tatin, eclairs and madeleines, and it was so much fun. Out of the five people in my group I had the most experience baking so the others would often want me to do something first (like folding in an ingredient). I wasn't expecting that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

An Exploration of Biscotti

For the last Tuesdays with Dorie - Baking With Julia challenge (Chocolate Truffle Tartlets) one of the ingredients for the filling was biscotti, and like so many of the other Doristas, I chose to make my own. But being me, I didn't stop at one biscotti recipe. I started with 2 and ended up with 4. And of course, still being me--because who else would I be?--I've now made a total of 8 different biscotti varieties over the last 12 days.
Citrus almond. Four-chocolate. Cinnamon espresso. Espresso hazelnut. Cherry lime. Strawberry lemon. Gluten-free four-chocolate. Savory pine-nut & sunflower seed.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to make mini versions or smaller batches when testing out new recipes, but that's still a lot of biscotti. The cinnamon-espresso, cherry-lime and strawberry-lemon were a bit heavy. I found the espresso with hazelnuts and chocolate chips missing something, but not so lacking that I didn't eat the entire batch anyway.