Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No TWD Post This Week

It is with a heavy heart that I skip this week's baking adventure with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. A heavy heart, and....a very heavy stomach. The month of August has been rather food friendly (or not, depending on my diet-mindset) and has featured 4 (yes, 4) birthday celebrations. Cake, ice cream, special dinners, and I have enjoyed every bite. However, when I realized that this week's recipe fell on my birthday....well...something had to budge, and I'm not giving up my special birthday food :)
Check out the blogroll to see what others whipped up this week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 10: Granola Grabbers

This week's recipe "Granola Grabbers" was chosen by Michelle of Bad Girl Baking. If you would like the recipe for these cookies, be sure to check out her blog as it will be posted there.
School starts this month, and this is the perfect recipe for an after school snack. My kitchen smelled fabulous while these little gems were baking, and I didn't feel too bad about nibbling on them as they are full of good-for-you stuff! (I'm beginning to think of butter as its own dairy food group....)
Be sure to check out the other blogs from Tuesdays with Dorie!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oreo Inspired Cupcakes

Butterbur's Bistro is going retro today! I have had "The Family Circle Cake and Cooky Cookbook" on my shelf for a few months now, and haven't gotten around to trying anything from it. The book was published in 1953, and is chock full of recipes, ideas and nifty retro photos.
I made the Family Circle Cupcakes, however, I have been wanting to make cupcakes that were "Oreo inspired". I used the base recipe, but added melted chocolate to part of the batter and layered the cupcakes. If I try this again, I will be more careful with the proportions...I didn't quite have as much vanilla batter as I would have liked.
I also used a butter icing recipe from this cookbook. The recipe called for heavy cream, and I think it may be my new "go to" recipe for butter cream. It was so good!
I topped the cupcakes with crushed Oreos. The picture shows Oreos on top of the cupcakes, but that didn't work as well as I had hoped.
Here are the recipes:

Family Circle Cupcakes

1 cup sifted cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk

1. Grease 12 medium-size muffin-pan cups (or use fluted-paper baking cups placed in muffin pan).
2. Measure cake flour, baking powder and salt into sifter.
3. Cream shortening until soft in medium-size bowl; add sugar gradually, creaming after each addition until mixture is well blended.
4. Stir in egg and vanilla.
5. Sift and add dry ingredients, alternating with milk; blend until smooth after each addition.
6. Pour batter into prepared baking cups, filling half full.
7. Bake in in moderate oven (350 degrees) about 20 minutes, or until centers spring back when lightly pressed with fingertip.
8. Cool cupcakes completely in pan on wire cake rack; loosen around edges with knife, remove from pan.

**I found 20 minutes to be a little too much time in the oven.
**I melted 2 0z of bittersweet baking chocolate, and added it to about 2/3 of the batter.

Butter Frosting:
1/3 cup butter or margarine
4 cups (1 pound) sifted confectioners' (powdered) sugar
5 Tablespoons cream or undiluted evaporated milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cream butter or margarine until soft in medium size bowl with spoon or with electric mixer set at "cream".
2. Add sugar gradually, alternating with cream or evaporated milk, creaming well after each addition.
3. Stir in salt and vanilla; beat frosting until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 9: Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

Well, the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for this week was true summertime bliss: Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream. Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity chose this week's recipe, and if you would like to try making this fab ice cream, the recipe will be posted on her blog.
I used frozen blueberries for this recipe, trying to make sure that I drained the excess liquid from the bag. The recipe also called for lemon juice and lemon zest, which added a delicious flavor to the finished ice cream.
I doubled the recipe, so when I put it in the blender, I had this lovely moment where I thought "I wonder if the lid will stay on?" It did, but I was glad that I held the lid in place... The custard was rich and creamy, and I let it chill in the fridge over night. It set up nicely into a thick custard.
The ice cream was put in an ice cream freezer the next day, and turned out a delicious batch of blueberry happiness. I have never made ice cream from a recipe before, and if not for Tuesdays with Dorie, this probably would have been another one of those recipes that I looked at longingly, but never made. Hurray for blueberries!

Be sure to check out all the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll for lots more blueberry madness!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Corn Massacre 2008

Ah to be an unsuspecting ear of corn, happily nestled in your husk in a sunny field, enjoying the sun, the water, and fresh air. And then one day, when the sky is blue and the birds are singing, you are mercilessly ripped from your home and thrust into the blinding light of day. To add injury to insult, you are callously tossed into a box with many others of your kind and bounced to and fro to an unknown destination.
It is a long journey, and a crowded one. You finally stop and are taken inside a structure that is not as warm as the air of the field. There are strange sounds all around you.

To think, up until this very moment, the only threat you were truly afraid of came in the form of the small corn worms that are so common in the field. You have learned that are greater threats in this world then the squirmy, smooth creatures of the fields.
And now begins the medieval torture chamber. You are boiled in hot water.
And then immersed in freezing water. Just when you think you can't stand any more temperature extremes....
You are nestled on a soft towel and allowed to sit for awhile. The worst is yet to come however....
No words can express.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie Post Number 8: Black and White Banana Loaf

This week's recipe selection "Black and White Banana Loaf" was chosen by Ashlee of A Year in the Kitchen. If you would like the recipe, it will be available at Ashlee's blog.

I was excited about the recipe for this week for two reasons: 1) I have a brand new bread pan purchased a couple of weeks ago and 2) I had some bananas in a rather sad state that found new life in this cake. My oven does not like cakes, having a tendency to brown and burn the sides of the cake and to leave the middle doughy, so I baked this in my little toaster oven.
I haven't used a marbling technique in a very long time, and enjoyed mixing the banana batter with the chocolate and alternating blops of dough in the bread pan. The flavor of the chocolate is wonderful....melting bakers chocolate is truly a wonderful thing!
This cake is rich, delicious and well worth making!