27 June 2012

bake 52: black and white cookies

In one of the description of this cookie it explained that it was "cake-like".  I was interested to see what they'd be like.  I'm not a huge fan of "cake-like" stuff... unless it's really moist.  But, it's a cookie.  With chocolate and vanilla icing.


Dry ingredients:  cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisked together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract.

Add the flour alternately with the milk.  Starting and ending with flour.

Here's the batter all mixed.  It really was more like a batter than a dough.  I was worried that maybe I had skipped something.  I was halving the recipe, so I was wondering if I had halved some but not others.

The dough is placed on a cookie sheet in 1/4 cup portions.

I did 6 to a tray.

The book said to smooth the tops of the cookies with the back of a spoon, or with wet fingertips.  So here's my "smoothing".  I was really starting to worry, and wonder how these would end up.

Out of the oven.

I felt like they looked okay, similar to the ones in the book, so some of my uneasiness started to diminish.

Powdered sugar, corn syrup, water, vanilla.

Split the glaze in half.  Leave half plain - vanilla.

The other half, add to the melted, unsweetened chocolate.

Frost half of each cookie with the chocolate icing, and allow to set up.

Then ice the other half with the vanilla icing.

I wasn't sure how runny or think the icings were supposed so be.  I'm thinking my chocolate was a little thick and maybe my vanilla was a little thin?  So we just scraped off the vanilla icing drips before serving.  No one had to know.  Well, except you, cause you've seen the pictures.

The sure were pretty cookies.  LOVE the brown and white.

The kids liked them okay.  They were a little too cakey for me, but I do really love the looks of them.  This technique would be fun to try on another cookie.

This was a fun pick.  Check out Janet's blog for the full recipe.

20 June 2012

bake 52: southern-style skillet cornbread

This was such a fun recipe.  Cornbread in a skillet.  So authentic.

Start off by heating oil in a skillet.  10-inch.  (This is a 12-inch.  It's what I had.)

Meanwhile, toast the cornmeal on a rimmed baking sheet.  The book said that toasting the cornmeal "deepens the flavor dramatically."  And who doesn't like dramatic deepening of flavor?

Remove the skillet from the oven, and add the butter.

Combine the cornmeal, buttermilk, all but 1 Tbls. of the oil/butter mixture, baking powder, baking soda, salt and eggs.

Baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Two eggs.

There's the 1 Tbls. of oil/butter mixture that was reserved and poured back into the skillet before adding the cornmeal mixture.

Quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet, and get it in the oven.

The crispy crust started to form immediately after being poured into the skillet.

What's cornbread without honey butter?

Here it is out of the oven.

Look at that crispy edge!

When I dumped it out, that's what stuck in the pan.  I'm sure it's the first bit that hit the pan.

Yep.  There's the spot.

Check out that crust.

Skillet cornbread, with a smathering of honey butter.

My kids said it looked like a piece of pie, or cake.

I liked this cornbread, but, being from Utah, I'm used to a little more sweet, and slightly more cakey texture.  I'm guessing this is probably more authentic.  Of course I LOVED baking it in the skillet.  Hey, wouldn't it be so cute to serve in small individual sized skillets?  Have to keep an eye out for something like that.

Great pick Jen!  Hop over here for the complete recipe.

13 June 2012

bake 52: cinnamon swirl bread

Cinnamon.  Bread.  Win.  Win.  I think I could eat this everyday.

Combine white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.  That's 4 tsp of cinnamon.  That's a lot of cinnamon.  mmmm.

Set aside 2 Tbls. of this mixture to sprinkle on top of the bread.

In a mixer bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar mixture.

Didn't get a picture of the milk mixture.  That's milk, melted butter and egg yolks.  You can just see it in this picture, being poured into the flour mixture.

The dough is kneaded until it comes together nicely.  Knead the ball on the counter until it forms a smooth round ball.  Place in a greased bowl.  Cover.  Let rise.


Press the dough into a rectangle.  Spray lightly with water.  I thought this was a good tip.  I've always used melted butter and then put the cinnamon sugar on top.  The "test kitchen" said that to keep the cinnamon sugar glued to the dough, water is the secret.

Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the water and dough.  Lightly spray with water again.

Roll-up and place in a greased loaf pan.

Let rise.  (I probably could have let it go longer, but I was getting anxious.

Brush lightly with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then spray lightly with water.  Bake.

Here it is just out of the oven.  Wish you could smell that cinnamon through the screen.  Heaven.

The recipe said to let it cool for 2 hours before serving.  We didn't wait that long.



We toasted it the next morning for breakfast.  So good.  My cinnamon swirls separated a bit, which was supposed to be remedied by the water spritzing, but I think that was probably my fault.  Maybe I didn't roll it tight enough?

Give it try!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Makes one 9-inch loaf

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees)
3 Tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
2 large egg yolks
3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt

1.  Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a small bowl.  Measure out 2 Tbls and reserve for the topping.  Whisk the milk, melted butter, and yolks together in a large liquid measuring cup.

2.  Combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt, and 1/4 cup of the cinnamon sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.  With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

3.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbls at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball.  Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl an cover with greased plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5.  Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 20 by 8-inch rectangle with the short side facing you.  Spray the dough lightly with water, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge.  Lightly spray the cinnamon sugar with water until it is damp but not wet.

6.  Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper (or metal spatula), then roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.  Place the loaf seam side down in the prepared pan.  Mist the loaf with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, 45 to 75 minutes.

7.  Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Brush the loaf lightly with melted butter, sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar, then spray lightly with water.  Bake until golden, 40 to 60 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking.  Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto  a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.