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Pfefferneusse

8 Dec

pfefferneusseI have always loved to say, “Pfefferneusse”! As a child, I never knew what it meant or what pfefferneusse cookies were, but I loved the word.

As I wait for the cookies to finish baking, I’m looking outside my kitchen window at snow flurries that, while other parts of the country occur often and this year with great fervor, in Portland, OR, are a rarity – especially in December. When this storm was predicted last weekend, I decided I would purposefully wait until today to bake them – now if feels and smells like Christmas!

I used a #60 scoop and didn’t bother with rolling them in my hands to smooth the ball. The result is they’re a little rougher (I prefer “rustic”) than Dorie’s and I ended up with 36-cookies rather than the 40 she predicted. I also am not particularly fond of icing, so I merely sprinkled them with powdered sugar with great satisfaction.

Now, I’ve never knowingly eaten pfefferneusse, so this was a first taste for me. And, I rather liked them! I like that they’re crunchy but not hard as a nut, as Dorie described some recipes making. I’ve said it before, I believe people are (for the most part) either chewy or crunchy, and I’m definitely crunchy! I also liked that they were not overly sweet. The perfect accompaniment for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea!

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Peanut Butter Change Ups

15 Nov

peanut-butter-change-ups

Ahhh…peanut butter…a staple of my youth, a staple of my children’s youths. And, I love peanut butter cookies. (Hmmm…upon reviewing my last post, perhaps I simply love cookies?) Honestly, my mother made, what I believed, was the best peanut butter cookie ever and I’ve never been able to recreate it (even using her recipe!). But, I’m about to reassess – this is may be the best peanut butter cookie, ever!

My complaint about peanut butter cookies has always been they weren’t “peanutty”enough. These are! I think the addition of the chopped peanuts really helped. (And, while Dorie’s peanut butter of choice is Skippy’s, mine is Jif, extra crunchy – I think it’s a regional thing!)

Now to the texture – it is heavenly. If I have a complaint it is that the sandy texture makes me want another…and another…and another…well, you get the idea.

Oh, and how much fun was it to see this recipe featured last week in our local newspaper. Dorie wrote about her #cookiesandkindness project.

Dorie’s Cookie Book arrived!

26 Oct

I am so excited: I got Dorie’s Cookies yesterday! I’ve looked at every gorgeous picture and decided that I would definitely participate in the next online baking parties. But, I’m also going to work through it on my own – it’s my birthday today, so the first bake is coming today! Happy birthday to me and let’s bake some cookies!

Fluted Carrot-Tangerine Cake

12 Jan

OK, so I’ve been away awhile. But, I’m back! (Christmas knitting pretty much ate up all my time – baking had to wait.)

quiche pan
This recipe excited me – a lot! First, it seemed relatively easy and quick to assemble (I’m notorious for not planning ahead!). Secondly, it gave me the chance to use a pan I’ve had for over 30-years (well, I’ve had it only about 25-years, but my mother had it for many years before), that to my knowledge, has never before been used. My sister-in-law made this quiche pan for my mother long ago and mama never used it. She gave it to me, and I always thought it too pretty to use. Dorie’s recipe seemed the exact right one to christen it!

I was right – relatively easy to assemble. If I have a bug-a-boo with this recipe it’s the “one medium carrot”. I hate that measurement – what does medium mean? Medium to a rabbit? Medium to a dieter? (Trust me, a medium carrot to a dieter is very large, indeed!) I would have preferred to have read “1/2-cup finely shredded carrot” – but I digress.

Fluted Carrot CakeAs always, Dorie’s description was spot on, “…an inch high.” I’ll let it rest over night and serve it tomorrow as dessert – won’t my family be surprised to find that Sunday dinner’s dessert has returned?!?

By the way – it is delicious! I passed on the glaze and opted for a relatively heavy dusting of powdered sugar instead. I’m not a real dessert fan – and this was spot on – not too sweet and delicately moist.

Tiger Cakes

13 Oct

Tiger Cakes

Decided that I needed a quick, easy dessert for this evening’s dinner – and this recipe filled the bill.

An easy mix-up. An easy bake! And boy, are they tasty! (Oh, and an added bonus: they look just like Dorie’s photo!)

Rewind: Bubble Eclairs

9 Sep

Bubble Eclairs w/chocolate pastry creamSo, I’ve done my rewind early – surprising, since I’m usually late on most of these things! I wanted a relatively easy dessert for this past Sunday, and I’ve never found paté choux particularly difficult. I filled them with chocolate pastry cream, and might I say, Dorie’s pastry cream is delicious!

I did have difficulty making the little “siamese triplets” staying connected. I’m not sure if I didn’t smush them together enough or they just weren’t sticky enough, regardless, all except about four of them split apart as “mini” cream puffs. Did not effect the taste, however! I’ll try again another time. Or, maybe just make cream puffs or long, thin eclairs!

My only “whine” is that I gave myself a blister on my little finger, stirring the bejeezus out of the paté choux. (Can’t whine too much – it earned me a kiss on the finger from my husband!)

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

29 Jul

Vanilla Mango Panna CottaWho knew panna cotta was really this easy? I needed a quick dessert for this evening; friends coming over on a Monday – now there’s a novelty – and this one just fell into my lap. The fact that I don’t have to heat the kitchen to make it is just an added bonus.

So, I don’t have the cute jar/bowls that Dorie has, but you know what works? 1/2-pint canning jars! Practical and inexpensive!

I loved the creamy top, not so much the mango puree. I’d like to try it again – this time with peaches.