BWD: Cherry Apple Cobbler

 

Happy 4th of July!  I hope everyone had as nice a holiday weekend as we did.  We were constantly on the go, but it was so much fun!  This was a great dessert recipe to cap off our long weekend.  The original recipe called for rhubarb, but I couldn’t find it at our store, and we aren’t big fans of it anyway, so I substituted Granny Smith apples for the rhubarb as did many of the other BWD bakers.  I also got to try out my new cherry pitter, which worked so well and made quick work out of preparing the cherries for this cobbler.  Overall this was a delicious cobbler, perfect for summer; however, if I were to make it again, I would omit the ground ginger from the filling.  I’m not a huge fan of the flavor and I felt it was a bit overpowering for me. 

A big thanks to Ryan from The Behr Necessities for picking this yummy cobbler.  To get the recipe, check out her blog here, or you can find it on page 415 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  You can check out the BWD blogroll to see the numerous variations everyone came up with…they all look delicious!  Next month’s recipe is for Creme Brulee..cannot wait!!

BWD: Big Bill’s Carrot Cupcakes

Pretty?  No.  Amazingly delicious?  Yes!  I opted to cut the recipe in half and make cupcakes as I knew a big three layer cake would go to waste in our house.  I LOVED these, although next time (because there will most certainly be a next time), I will make the cake rather than the cupcakes.  The cupcakes turned out wonderfully, but they sunk in the middle and poofed out on the sides, making a pretty icing job a bit difficult.  The cake is chalk full of carrots, coconut and walnuts (should have raisins too…forgot to buy them at the store!), and is so moist and flavorful.  The cream cheese icing was the best I’ve ever had…the hint of lemon flavor really took it over the edge.

To get the recipe for this fantastic cake, check out Rebecca’s blog, beurrista.  You can also find it on page 254 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Thanks, Rebecca, for such a great pick!  Check out the BWD blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed these.  Up next, Great Grains Muffins.  YUM!

BWD: Brrr-ownies

It’s always a hard decision when it’s your turn to select the Baking with Dorie recipe.  Her cookbook is so full of amazing looking recipes!  This is the third recipe I’ve chosen for our group, and each time I’ve chosen, this recipe for Brrr-ownies has always been my second choice.  Well, it was time for it to be my first choice, and I’m so glad that it was! 

I had planned to make these in advance since I’m currently on vacation with the toddler visiting my mom in Florida (hooray for warmth and sunshine!).  Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but thankfully my mom was up for some yummy brownies, so we made them this evening.  We both absolutely loved them, and that’s saying a lot for me since sweets have been my nemesis since I found out I was pregnant three months ago.  These brownies are fudgey and full of chocolate mint deliciousness.  They aren’t overly sweet or rich, so it is easy to eat more than one, or two, or three, or…(what can I say, the baby loved them!!).

See below for the recipe for these fantastic brownies.  You can also find the recipe on page 103 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  To see how everyone else enjoyed these tasty treats, head on over to the BWD page and check out the blogroll.  Next up, we’re making Bill Bill’s Carrot Cake.  YUM!

Brrr-ownies

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) York Peppermint Patties, chopped into bits

Getting Ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet. 

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.  Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates.  Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar.  Don’t be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy.  Whisk in the eggs one by one.  Add the vanilla and whisk vigorously to bring the batter together and give it a shine before gently stirring in the salt and flour; stir only until incorporated.  Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the peppermint pieces.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  (The tip of the knife may be a touch streaky.)  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature. 

When they are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.

Source:  From Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 103

BWD: Brownie Buttons

First, happy one year anniversary to the Baking with Dorie group!  I’ve been a member since June, and I’ve really enjoyed all of the baking challenges thus far, especially because most of the recipes I’ve done are things I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.  A big thank you to everyone in our little group for continuing to challenge me in the kitchen!  The entire group chose this recipe to celebrate the one year anniversary of our group.  Our founder, Grapefruit over at Needful Things, has the recipe posted on her blog.  You can also find it on pages 106-107 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Second, I’m so glad to be back in the kitchen with BWD and baking some goodies!  I think the boys have definitely missed having sweet treats around the house.  These little bite size brownies were so easy to make, and so easy for them to snack on throughout the day.  They both loved them!  Unfortunately, sweets and I have not gotten along at all since the morning sickenss stareted, so I didn’t try these, but I will definitely make them again once I’m feeling better.

Up next, we’re making Honey Nut Scones.  Can’t wait to try that one!

BWD: World Peace Cookies

Check out that picture!  The husband got me a new fabulous camera for Christmas that takes phenominal food photos!  I am in love and can’t wait to play around with it some more.  Enough about that though, let’s move on to these delcious, decadent, chocolate cookies!  Rebecca from beurrista chose these World Peace Cookies for this week’s Baking with Dorie recipe, and what a great choice she made.  You can find the recipe on her blog, or on pages 138-139 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I had a heck of a time getting these cookies ready for baking.  The dough itself comes togther easily and chills in the refrigerator for 3 hours before you can slice and bake these.  That is where my trouble started.  The bittersweet chocolate chips I bought were big, and only after I got home did I realize Dorie said chopped bittersweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips.  Whoops!  Every time I cut a cookie from the dough log, it fell apart, unless I was lucky enough to cut somewhere without a chocolate chip (which happened maybe twice).  Thankfully, the cookies are easily put back togther, and after 12 minutes in the oven, we had delicous, chocolate cookies that if handed out around the world, could go a long way to contributing to world peace as their name suggests.  These are GOOD.

To see how the other BWD bakers enjoyed these, check out the blogroll here.  Up next is the Apple Coconut Family Cake on page 214.

BWD: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

Well, it’s not the most gorgeous photo, but I can assure you that the picture doesn’t do this fabulous cheesecake justice!  I got to choose this week’s Baking with Dorie challenge, and had originally chosen the apple pie.  However, since I knew this was going to coincide with Thanksgiving, and my in-laws always bring some form of pie, I decided to switch it up and bring something different. 

I’ve only made cheesecake once, and it wasn’t from scratch either.  When the husband and I first started dating, I attempted to make us a nice dinner, even though I had no cooking ability whatsoever.  For dessert, I bought one of those Jello No-Bake Cheesecake kits, and it was awful.  At least I was able to charm him with my good looks and witty personality!  Thankfully my cooking ability has improved over the years. 

Anyway, onto this cheesecake.  I was a bit nervous about making a cheesecake from scratch, but it really was rather simple, just a big time consuming.  The crust is a mixture of gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, and comes together easily in the food processor.  The cheesecake itself comes togther quickly in the stand mixer with cream cheese, brown and white sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, apple cider, eggs, sour cream, and heavy cream.  The standout of this cheesecake is the apple  layer.  After placing about 1/3 of the cheesecake batter in the pan, you layer in sliced apples sauteed in butter and brown sugar and top with the remaining batter.  Bake in water bath for awhile, let it cool, refrigerate overnight, and you can have some cheesecake for breakfast the next morning (I may have done that this morning…maybe….). 

I actually made this twice and it turned out much better the second time, which says a lot considering this was the only dessert fully demolished at the in-laws Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago.  I had multiple requests for the recipe.  Guess they’ll never ask me to just bring a relish tray again!  I made this again last night so I could get some pictures, and eat it again.  Because it was that good.  Trust me, you need to make this!  To see how the other bakers enjoyed this, check out the BWD blogroll.  You can find this recipe on pages 238-239 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (which you should go buy right now, or add to your Christmas list, because this is a phenomenal book).  I’ve also posted it below.

Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

For the Crust:

30 gingersnap cookies (or a scant 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the Apples:

1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eights
2 Tbsp (packed) light brown sugar

For the Filling:

1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp apple cider
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream

Apple jelly, for glazing, or confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

To Make the Crust:

Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups. (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the processor).  Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you’re using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.  Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they’ll go.  Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.  (The crust can be covered and frozenfor up to 2 months).

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned.  Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and filling.  Leave the oven at 350 degrees.

To Make the Apples:

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the apples with 1 Tbsp of the sugar and cook them, turning just until coated, another minute or so.  Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet, and repeat with the remaining apples.  Let the apples cool while you make the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake:

Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand.  Put a kettle of water on to boil.

To Make the Filling:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it it velvety smooth.  Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes.  Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.  Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.

Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust.  Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan.  Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top.  Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark.  The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possibly, in the very center – if the center shimmies, that’s just fine.  Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight would be better.

Run a blunt knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan’s latch and release and remove the sides.

BWD: Applesauce Spice Bars

YUM!  These were fantastic!  I could probably eat the entire pan in one sitting, they were that good.  These are basically similar to a spice cake with apples, and are very moist.  The glaze was also delicious and really complemented the flavor of the cake.  I would absolutely make these again, especially since they were so easy to make!  A big thanks to Chaya over at Chaya’s Comfy Cooking for picking such a great fall recipe.  If you want to give these a try (and you know you do!), head on over to Chaya’s blog for the recipe, or better yet, go out and buy yourself Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours where you’ll find this great recipe on pages 116-117 along with many other yummy desserts. 

To see how the other bakers enjoyed this, check out the blogroll over on the BWD site.  I am very excited about our December 6th recipe for Apple-Brown Sugar Cheesecake, which is on pages 238-239.  I got to choose this one and will be making it for Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws.  Can’t wait!!