Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TWD - Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

Oh, how I love cheesecake!! A big thank you to Anne Strawberry for this weeks selection of Tall and Creamy Cheesecake. Be sure and check out her blog!

This recipe was really wonderful. I like a good cheesecake and usually don't add any extra ingredients to my cakes. This week I decided to step out of my cheesecake box and add some Reese's Peanut Butter cups. These are the mini cups and I quarted them. I folded them into the batter just before pouring into the springform pan.
Now of course I said I don't usually add any extras into my cheesecake batter. I failed to mention that I don't use graham crackers for my crust. I have found that I like to use a box of the 100 Calorie pack of Oreos. It does take the who box crushed up, but it is really good. In the past, I have also used regular Oreos as the crust!! Wow is it good!
This is a recipe I will use again. It was really light and had a wonderful texture.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve - TWD, update #1

Okay folks....I've got my cheesecake in the oven. This is a TWD recipe, so I won't post any pics or go into details just yet. I'll wait until next Tuesday and actually be on the regular TWD schedule for once this month.

The cheesecake will have my ovens undivided attention for the next 2 1/2 hours, so I think I'll go and throw together either my breakfast casserole or the sausage balls.

Christmas Eve - TWD

Today, Christmas Eve, will be a busy day for me in the kitchen. I have a long to-do list and hope that all of it will be done before I go to bed tonight. I've already crossed one item off the list. My Tuesday with Dorie recipe, Real Butterscotch pudding. This recipe was chosen by Donna and can be found on page 386 in Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I whipped it up fairly easy this morning, but didn't exactly follow the directions. After reading lots of comments about small food processors making a mess of this recipe, I opted to leave it out. Instead, I whipped everything by hand until the very end. At the point of adding the butter, vanilla and scotch, I poured it all into my blender and used it to smooth out the consistency. I have to say that the smell of the pudding was wonderful and very hard to resist as I was pouring it into my individual bowls. The pudding is now resting in the fridge until later tonight when I will dig in.

I hope to be back later today with updates on how my baking and cooking is going. I plan to make a cheese cake (another TWD recipe), Cookies, Sausage balls or Sausage Pinwheels (or perhaps both) a Turkey if the crazy thing will ever thaw, a breakfast casserole for tomorrow morning and of course dinner for tonight!! I hope that's all, but I'm thinking I've forgotten something along the way. hmmmm......

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TWD - Grandmas All Occasion Sugar Cookies

A big thank you to K├╝chenlatein for this weeks selection. This is a great recipe for December. I realize it's now Wednesday, but....here is my Tuesday with Dorie blog anyway...

I usually shy away from sugar cookies because rolling and cutting just isn't my thing. I'm not good at it and it frustrates me (perhaps I just need more practice). Anyway, I opted for the slice and bake method. I made the dough several days ago and placed it in the freezer. One suggestion on keeping the dough in a nice round log, is to save a paper towel roll and cut it open and put in inside. This way, you don't end up with a flat side. Once I was done with my dough and had 2 nice cookie logs, I realized I had NO empty paper towel rolls. It was time to improvise...lol. I had plenty of paper towels, so I used a full roll. It was kind of funny to watch me trying to stuff the dough into the full paper towel roll. Luckily I had the logs skinny enough to just fit. My dough stayed nice and round in the freezer and my paper towels are no worse off for being frozen.
Yesterday, I pulled out my logs and decided I would do the first half with colored sugar. I rolled the log in green sugar, sliced the cookies and then sprinked red sugar on top and baked. These turned out really well. I liked them so much that I almost did the same with the second batch. However, I resisted the urge to use the same route and opted for colored icing on the next batch. I sliced the cookies again and baked them plain. Once they had cooled, I made green Sugar Cookie Icing and spooned it onto the cookies. I then added colored sugar or bits of candy canes to some of the cookies and left others with only the frosting. I think they turned out great. I'm going to be making more of these this holiday season.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

TWD - Linzer Sables

This weeks recipe can be found on page 134 or visit Dennis at his blog to view the recipe. I know it's not Tuesday, but I'm adding my December TWD baking blogs as I have time this month. It is a rather busy month you know.

The recipe was easy to put together and the end result was good. I did decrease the amount of cinnamon and ground cloves that the recipe calls for. Dorie said she liked hers spicy, but I don't like when cookies have too strong of those spices. I played safe and opted for less. The recipe calls for either Almonds, Walnuts or Hazelnuts (finely ground). I opted for Almonds and ground them up in my food processor. After adding all the ingredients in my mixer, the dough was rather dry, but I resisted the urge to add some additional liquid. Instead, I kept on with the recipe and rolled out the dough. After reading lots of comments on TWD about many bakers not being able to get enough cookies with the dough being 1/4 of an inch thick, I rolled mine out a little more.
Of course, some are thicker than others. I'm not good at rolling out the dough evenly yet. The edges are always a lot thinner.In the end, I was able to get 23 sandwich cookies. This is only 2 fewer than Dorie said she had. So, I think I did pretty well. I put raspberry jam in my cookies and the girls and I had lots of fun adding the powdered sugar to the cookies.
I think my cookies look very similar to Dorie's. What do you think??