Wipocalypse – November 2015


Hey folks. It has been a while. I noticed from Paula’s feed that it is a Wipocalypse post day, so while I am soaking here in the tub, I thought I would make an update.

Between the packing and moving and then work travelling, I haven’t had a ton of time for stitching. On top of that I haven’t quite figured out the Ott light situation, so there isn’t much stitch going on at nights. I used to have a little ledge for my light, but now that out setup is different, I don’t anymore.

I did switch off of Tradewinds in order to get caught up on the Zodiac sampler. I realized I am now 3-4 months behind, and my goal was not to let it languish beyond the start of the year (it ends at year end), so that is my focus for now, when I do get to stitch. I will try to post an update next week, and get back to more weekly updates. I have missed it around here! Hoping to get some solid stitching time in over the next few days while we have a long weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you do want to see what I am up to more frequently, I am often on Instagram. Sometimes it is just easier in the moment than to write a post.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Apple Cinnamon Roll Up Tart


I can’t believe it! I nearly forgot to post this today! I guess that is what happens when you start to binge watch Jessica Jones on Netflix… 😉

Anyway, I went with the Bon Idee and used apples and raisins and cinnamon instead of the pears and cranberries. I had quite a time with the dough… it totally tore when I was rolling it up. It was everything I could do to patch up the tears, but I still had a massive gash on the side. Who needs venting? Venting is overrated. Not that it tastes any less delicious, mind you, but some of the “juices” did flow out in the baking.

I do so love this dough though. So flaky and delicious! And a delicious tart… perfect with a small scoop of Vanilla Bean Gelato.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Chocolate Covered Toffee Breakups


Is there anything more lovely than a Skor or Daïm bar? Ok. I am sure that is a gross generalization, and there are plenty of things more lovely, like fresh baked French boule, or brie, or…

However. Chocolate and toffee. So wonderful. I was so excited to have this chosen as the next recipe. It couldn’t have been easier, either, since I assembled it just after work.

I can be exceedingly impatient when it comes to waiting for caramelization to occur which is why I have a history of failed caramel attempts. I just want to stir something. So tonight I just let it bubble on it’s own.
It took a while for color to develop and I was convinced it was not going to happen… until it did. And then I was happy to not have to worry about having nothing to post about except for some pale sugar dregs. Instead I feel empowered to open a confectionary. What more do you need than to conquer toffee? Apparently not much in my mind.

I did not add nuts to the toffee, because sometimes too much is too much. With nuts sometimes a little goes a long way. Unless ground up. Or turned to marzipan.

Also, in the P&Q, someone mentioned using a silpat, so I borrowed my sister-in-law’s and it was a great alternative to using a lot more butter. Instead of using cutting boards I nested another half sheet pan on top of the toffee to flip it. It did crack in the flipping, but  nothing that couldn’t be put back together with some chocolate. Just long enough to break it up again!

Guys? This stuff is terribly addictive. There was me, finishing up dinner, picking here and there at this. I just Could. Not. Stop. Am I alone in this? Even one of the chihuahuas was hanging around under my feet waiting for a morsel to drop.

Will I be making this again? Hell yes.

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Nutella Babka


I am sure you are saying “Finally! Something NOT a Tuesdays With Dorie post!”

Yes. Finally. I am not falling asleep on the sofa, allowing me to do something else with my time.

This whole interviewing, packing, moving across the country, and travelling for work that has consumed my life for the last 5 months (! Wow has it really been that long?!) has finally caught up to me. And I am sure you are all wondering what took so long.

And so for the first time in a while I have baked on a non challenge weekend! I also seem to have caught up with the babka excitement that I have seen all around social media for the last year or so, which seems to be somewhere between a brioche and a challah on the bread scale.

I used Epicurious‘ recipe with some changes. I subbed out chocolate for Nutella. I thought I used an ungodly amount, but at the end of the day it wadn’t as impactful as I thought it would be so I don’t feel so bad using nearly a full small container of Nutella. 

I also chose not to make two loaf pans. Instead I rolled the entire dough out to about 1/4″ thickness-ish, spread the butter and Nutella, rolled it up, cut it down the middle (leaving one end intact), twisted the two pieces, and then rolled it up into a bun, baking it in a springform pan instead. The incredibly slack dough made this challenging but not impossible. Bake time was about 40 minutes too.

Delicious, and perfect thing to make throughout the day since it doesn’t need constant attention with the double proofing. And those striations! The bread was so tender and yet so flaky at the same time (without the dryness of true pastry flakiness if that makes sense). And so flexible. I could see this being done as a savory bread as well, or with any variation of sweet fillings.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Apple Pielettes


To own the truth I am starting to want more cakes and chocolates and non-fruit pastries at this time of the year. I know that living in a warm climate makes that statement counterintuitive, but there it is. Biologically I am getting ready for the cold!

For now I made these apple pielettes. I grated some fresh cinnamon into these for a kick, and added some cloves. I left out the dried apricot (meh) but used apricot preserves (my favorite). I couldn’t quite figure out sealing these bad boys up, and hoped that if I smooshed the top and bottom together sufficiently that they would seal together in the baking. Not so much the case, leading to what Dorie annointed a “happy accident”, as sugar and preserves oozed out of the sides, resulting in some delicious caramelization.

I am a huge fan of the incredibly diverse galette dough, though I might err on the side of adding a little more sugar than was called for in this main recipe. Once baked, these little shells were flaky and crumbled under the slightest pressure from splitting a pielette in two for photos. I only wish I could have figured out the sealing a bit better to allow for a more fully stuffed dessert. At any rate, served with a scoop of Haagen Daas caramel ice cream, these sweet treats are a sure hit on anyone’s Thanksgiving dessert buffet!

If you would like the recipe for yourself, you may find a copy on Dorie’s website
Of course you can really add whatever you please, but if you are talking an enclosed pie, I really could only have it one way – with apple.

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Tiger Cakes


The nice thing about these Tiger Cakes was that I had everything in my pantry needed to make these… and after a cross country move where I had to clear out much of my pantry, that is saying alot. In fact, the tote that I had my dry goods in was practically obliterated due to a shoddy truck-packing job by the movers. Luckily IKEA makes some amazing glass jars that withstood the move.

One of the things that did not withstand the move was my Almond flour. I had a cooler that I was going to take my Passion Fruit puree in, as well as some Waffluv dough, some Plugra, some brie, almond flour, and some fig jam. Because priorities.

Somewhere along the way the cooler broke and the ice melted and the yeast in the dough… yeasted. We had a Waffluv hot air balloon in the cooler, which caused the puree and the butter to melt, and the brie to go bad. To make things worse, somewhere along the way the puree shifted and spilled into the broken cooler. It was a comedy of culinary errors in the middle of Nowhere, Missouri. And we had no perishable items left. Mostly I cried over the puree. The dough I will have to figure out in my spare time.

Anyway, my 10 lb bag of Callebaut white chocolate *did* make it, which is the whole reason I was packing the cooler in the first place. I figured I should break it out as a decorative element on these tea cakes. As Iris Apfel says, “more is more, and less is a bore”. Gilding the lilly. I will say that I couldn’t imagine these without the ganache. And as pretty as that little dab of white chocolate ganache is, it really did add a nice contrast of flavor.

Since I also needed almond flour, and I had a bag of blanched, slivered almonds, I toasted them up before grinding them to add some extra depth of flavor. And I didn’t grind them quite so fine for a bit of extra bite.

A few technical notes: I used approximately 3 tsp of batter per cake. Also, I thoroughly sprayed my mold and had no issues with getting the cakes out. I had three recalcitrant cakes, but a few solid raps with the mold on the counter per Dorie’s instructions took care of that.

Overall, not a lot of effort leading to a delicious reward. Easily elegant, with a complex flavor and texture that I couldn’t quite get enough of. I think browning the butter on top of it would have really worked too. Maybe next time. I am thinking also that a great riff on this would be with white chocolate and freeze dried strawberries. Yum!

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Jam Filled Sandwich Cookies (Makeup Post)


Sandwich cookies is a bit of a misnomer… more like jam filled, full stop. Hubby was confused why they weren’t Linzers! A little late to the game on this at any rate. This recipe was baked the weekend that we were moving in to our new place, and I am sure I don’t have to explain why I couldn’t make them then.

Nevertheless we are settling in. There are still a great many boxes to be unpacked, but then we are still figuring out furniture in many places too. But the kitchen is done, so there is that.

In any event, I really thought these were quite easy to make, and only wished the recipe yielded more – and mine did yield several more than the recipe yield despite using a slightly larger cutter. I might double or triple the batch next time. I was also a little sad that they weren’t more jammy. I did sieve the jam (Strawberry) so wondering if that played a part. What was everyone else’s experience here?

All told they were so buttery and flavorful. I added some crystal sugar to the top for a little sparkle and crunch. The flavor reminded me of those Royal Dansk butter cookies that people set out at Christmas, but softer and better. So easy to make (and eat!!).

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , | 7 Comments