Not-So-Mini Madeleines (Rewind #2) – TWD

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I’m such a slacker.

The first “specialty” pan I bought when I first started baking was a madeleine pan. I have made madeleines a total of two times. TWO.

And I love madeleines. So much so that I named my kitty Madeleine. Not to be confused with MadeLINE.

Cute kitty name aside, madeleines are the perfect dessert for breakfast or to nibble alongside your afternoon tea. When made correctly, they are little melt in your mouth shells that have a delicate flavor and a slight sweetness that can warm anyone’s heart. (Way to sound like a Christmas commerical, Jeannette.)

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These were supposed to be mini madeleines but I don’t have a mini pan (and Tony would give me “the look” if I came home with a mini version of a pan I already have LOL) so I made these in a standard (non-stick) mad pan. I upped the salt a bit and added a bit more honey (I just can’t resist the flavor of honey!) I baked my mads with some help from Dorie (thanks for sharing Di!) and all was well πŸ™‚ I baked at 400 degrees in the bottom half of my oven to hopefully off-set them darkening quickly but 10 mins in the oven browned them pretty quickly either way. Still incredibly tasty and some even got the lovely humps πŸ™‚

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For the recipe, head on over to my good friend Di’s blog Di’s Kitchen Notebook.

Basic Biscuits (Rewind #1) – TWD

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I hope you all had a WONDERFUL turkey day.

I hope you gave thanks for a bunch of stuff you are thankful for.

I hope you ate turkey. With cranberry sauce from a can, just to make me feel better.

I hope you had homemade biscuits. Because clearly it balances out the totally NOT homemade cranberry sauce. I’m all about balance.

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I’m thankful for my hubby, my family, happy memories, and of course you.

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Here, have some biscuits.

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Click here for the recipe.

Bittersweet Brownies – TWD

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Today has been one hell of a day.

I spent my day at the DPS. (Literally) 5 Hours of waiting for (literally) 2 minutes of signing paper and taking a damn picture.

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I am no happy to say the least. I don’t normally like to complain but today is one of those days when you need a brownie.

I made these brownies a few weeks ago so I’m not 100% certain how I fared with these. I remember that they weren’t chocoaltey enough for me and that the texture was a bit off. BUT to be fair, it could have easily been user error (as I’m pretty sure my brain wanted to read the instructions for the brownies on the other page instead, oi.)

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Either way, these weren’t my favorite brownies but they weren’t disastrous enough to throw away. They rarely are, whew.

For the recipe, head on over to Leslie’s blog Lethally Delicious (or click here.)

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I didn’t get around to the Alsatian Apple Tart but I WILL make this. Heck, I might even hop into the kitchen NOW! head on over to Jessica of Cookbook Habit for the recipe!

Honey Nut Scones – TWD

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Happy Belated Halloween!!

Did you dress up? Did you throw a nifty party that only cool people could go to? Did you steal your kids’ candy? Did you buy a giant bag of different chocolates (because you know that’s what the kids REALLY want)? Did you turn off your porch light early so you could keep the rest of the chocolate for yourself? Are you most likely going to eat candy for breakfast?

If so, we could be great friends.

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But just in case you frown upon chocolate bars for breakfast, I made you scones. It has good for you things in it like whole wheat flour, nuts and honey. Have one of these babies warm out of the oven with a glass of milk (for calcium) or orange juice (for vitamin C) or tea (cus it’s warm and yummy and what goes better with warm scones than tea??)

And don’t forget to drench your scone in more honey. If your immediate thought after reading that was something along the lines of “Duh, Jeannette… way ahead of you,” then we could be besties. For serious.

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Scones are notorious for being fussy. You can’t overwork the dough or you’re guaranteed tough scones, and the dough is very easily overworked. The best advice that I have ever read regarding making scones (aside from work quickly) is this “Use your hands.” You hands are your best tool here: they are softer and gentler than any rubber spatula or wooden spoon could be; which means they will be gentler on your scone dough and agitate the dough less resulting in fluffy scones. Just be sure to have a napkin handy to turn on the faucet to wash your hands. Unless you think random bits of dough hanging out on your faucet handle-thingies (omg, what the heck are they called?!) is a decorative statement… in which case, I’d have to give you the look -_-

The only change I made to the original recipe was to use pecans instead of walnuts and I made 8 medium scones instead of 12 small-ish scones. That was a direct result of my laziness in not wanting to divide the scone dough so I just patted it into a larger circle and baked for about 2 minutes more. Next time I’ll brush with some cream and sprinkle some raw sugar on it for extra texture. There are a lot of good scone making tips here. Ya learn something new everyday πŸ™‚

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Honey-Nut Scones
from Baking: from My Home to Yours

Ingredients:

1 large egg
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup cold whole milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Stir the egg, honey and milk together.

Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Drop in butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between — and that’s just right.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork (or by hand) just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together. Don’t overdo it. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that’s about 5 inches in diameter, cut it into 6 wedges and place on the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, the wrapped airtight. Don’t defrost before baking — just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.)

Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are deeply golden and firmish to the touch. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature. Enjoy : )

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Head on over to the LYL page to see everyone that baked scones and Far Brenton with us this week. You can find the recipe for Far Brenton (which I sadly didn’t get a chance to make) on Nicole’s blog, Cookies on Friday.

Tuesdays with Dorie is sadly coming to an end. I joined a bit late in the game but I have learned so many things and made so many great friends through this experience. I’d like to thank you all for making this something to remember.

Dimply Plum Cake

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Today’s TWD post is supposed to be a delicious looking fig cake (head on over to Ursula of Cookie Rookie’s blog for the recipe).

I have figs. But I chose to save them for something else as you won’t find figs running rampant around here, so when I saw two packs of great looking mission figs, I nabbed them with a different project in mind. I’ll get to this cake eventually, but for right now please accept this equally delicious plum cake.

Serve it warm, loaded up with some vanilla ice cream or cinnamon-infused whipped cream for a wonderful Autumn dessert.

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Dimply Plum Cake
recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 plums (Italian prune plums, if you can find them), halved and pitted

Instructions:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degress F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom, if you’re using it, together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. On medium speed, beat in the oil, orange zest and vanilla. The batter will look very light and smooth, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.

Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter – I usually make 4 rows of 4 plum halves each – jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes – during which time the plums’ juice will return to the fruit – then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.

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Ginger Jazzed Brownies – TWD

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I don’t like to curse. Let’s be real: it happens, but I try to limit it.

Except when it comes to watching my football team.

I’m one of those crazy football fans that you see in tv commercials: jumping, screaming, cursing with the best of them. Don’t hand me a bowl of popcorn while I’m watching my Texans because chances are that it’ll end up all over the floor.

I’m pretty hardcore.

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Don’t mess with me and my Texans. Or me and my brownies.

These brownies intrigued me simply because of the process. It definitely doesn’t follow the normal brownie making pattern. I have made ginger brownies before so I already knew that I would like them. The texture was fudgy and the flavor was rich, slightly chocolatey and gingery. They were pretty tasty, but if I had to make ginger brownies again, I would make my go-to’s.

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Clivia of Bubie’s Little Baker chose these for this week’s TWD post. Head on over to her blog for the recipe. (Or click here)

Apple Nut Muffin Cake – TWD

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I need an extension cord.

You see, I live in Southern Texas were we don’t have Autumn. To prove my point: just a few days ago it was 96 degrees outside. But today, right now it is 66 degrees outside. SIXTY-SIX, people. I realize it’s only 9:30am. But one takes what one can get πŸ™‚

But instead of typing up this post, sitting indian-style on my “back porch” being enveloped in the cool morning air, I am sitting on the couch. No extension cord. I am positive that this is to be remedied.

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Extension cord is going on the shopping list πŸ™‚

This cake is a great choice for a Fall day (like today!!) so I couldn’t skip it. It is lightly sweet, filled with small bites of apple and perfectly spiced. The texture, for me, wasn’t that of a muffin but rather a soft, slightly dense cake… I guess that it what a muffin is supposed to be; but I’m not lucky enough to churn out muffins with this texuture.

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I halved the recipe, omitted the nuts, ramped up the cinnamon, added nutmeg, cloves and some ginger then baked it in an 8×4″ loaf pan and glazed with a simple icing (3/4 cup confectioners sugar + small splash of heavy cream + tiny bit of vanilla, real simple), sliced thick and enjoyed with a fork and a cup of tea. Today couldn’t get any better.

Unless, of course, I had that extension cord.

Thanks to Katrina of Baking and Boys for choosing this gem. Head on over to her blog for the recipe (or simply click here.)

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Happy Autumn (finally)!!!