Hungarian Shortbread


This recipe was actually easier to execute than I expected. I made it over 3 days, and began by making the jam from rhubarb growing in our garden. The jam-making was a snap, and the results — more like a sauce than a typical jam, and delicious!

Making the dough was a simple process in the mixer. The hardest part was working it into a ball, because it was very sticky.

The dough chilled for a couple days until I had time to assemble. Grating dough??? I never heard of such a thing! But it worked well, and I baked the lower layer of shortbread for between 15 & 20 minutes, until it looked brown around the edges.

It was easy to spread the jam and grate the rest of the dough over the jam, and then bake for 40 minutes. And I omitted dusting the finished shortbread with confectioner’s sugar, thinking it would be plenty sweet enough.

I eagerly anticipated the result, waiting for the shortbread to cool. Finally, cutting a small slice and biting into it, I was … slightly underwhelmed. I mean, it’s good, just not knock-my-socks-off great.

I think the natural tartness of the rhubarb was lost somewhere between the sugar in the jam and the sugar in the shortbread and that tartness would have made this treat much more interesting to my palette.

Next time I will add less sugar in the rhubarb jam and less sugar in the shortbread.  Tweaks will happen!

To see the complete recipe, visit hosts Lynette at http://1smallkitchen.blogspot.com/ and Cher at http://crazyworldofcher.blogspot.com/

Lemon Loaf Cake


This cake is like a light lemony pound cake. It came together easily with a whisk — no mixer or beaters to mess with.

While the recipe called for the zest of 3 large lemons, large is somewhat open to interpretation. I used what I thought were large lemons, but I would add more zest next time. More lemony is better!

Directions were to bake 50 – 60 minutes, but mine took 10 minutes or so longer. I started to get nervous since the cake browned and crowned, but was still pretty wet in the middle. I managed to pull it from the oven without burning it, fully cooked in the middle.

The end result for me is a tasty and dense, but slightly too dry cake. I look forward to see how other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers’ experiences were similar or different from mine.

For the complete recipe, visit hosts Truc at http://www.treats-sf.com/ or Michelle at http://www.ladystiles.blogspot.com/

Pizza Rustica

This dish is not really a pizza, but a beautiful pie filled with ricotta and other cheeses and zing-y prosciutto.

When using a new recipe, I try follow it closely the first time. I should have followed my better judgement in this case, as the recipe calls for a rather sweet crust. For this recipe, a savory crust would have suited my taste buds better. The crust came together nicely in the processor and rolled out easily. It was delicious and flakey — successful in crust terms, but I would use it for a rhubarb or other fruit pie next time.

Making the filling was easy. A note I appreciated on P & Q: Pizza Rustica at http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/p-q-pizza-rustica/#comments suggested draining the ricotta through cheesecloth along with making sure all ingredients are as dry as possible to ensure against a soggy filling.

The results were good, but for me, something was lacking – maybe some red bell pepper and/or mushrooms…I look forward to other “Tuesdays with Dorie” posts for creative suggestions.

I enjoyed the process of making this dish. It was fun and there was some challenge – for me particularly making the lattice top crust.

If you want to make this dish in your kitchen, see the recipe hosts’ blogs – Emily at http://capitalregiondiningblog.blogspot.com/ or Raelynn at http://tptch.com/ starting Tuesday when the links for this recipe go live.

Irish Soda Bread

After the rugelach, this recipe was a breeze. I followed the traditional recipe in the book, except for substituting 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour in place of the unbleached white. The bread turned out nicely-textured, moist, and delicious.
Next time, maybe some rolled oats or currants…

If you’d like to try this recipe yourself, see it at this recipe’s hosts’ pages, Cathy at http://myculinarymission.blogspot.com/ or Carla at http://chocolatemoosey.blogspot.com/.

Rugelach

After reading all the comments from “Tuesdays with Dorie” bakers over the last week or so I was pleasantly pleased with how smoothly my multi-day Rugelach undertaking went — not to say I didn’t have some mishaps. But the final products turned out delicious and wonderful.

I made the crust on Thursday. Chilled it. Rolled it out and filled it with a store-bought fig-hazelnut spread and figs, prunes, walnuts and hazelnuts on Saturday.ImageImageImage

Then I rolled the filled dough like a jelly roll, and when I thought about slicing the rolls, I realized I had a problem — I had started the roll along the short end of the dough, resulting in very short, fat rolls. The slices would have been over 3″ in diameter. I’m so glad I rerolled along the long side even though it was pretty messy.Image

I chilled the 2 rolls over night and on Sunday I sliced and baked. We’re happy at our house and at work where rugelach has been sampled and declared a success.Image

If you’d like to try this recipe yourself, follow the link to Jessica one of the Rugelach hosts at “My Baking Heart” http://mybakingheart.com/.

Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

Very rich and delicious, these tartlets were fun to make. The dough came together nicely in the processor and was easy to fit into the tartlet rings. The filling was quick and easy, with melted bittersweet chocolate, small chunks of milk and white chocolate, and little crunches of almond cookies giving a texture that is melt-on-your-tongue smooth with a little toothiness.

In an accommodation to my husband, who prefers fruity desserts, I filled 2 of the crusts (as suggested in the crust recipe) with creme fraiche and topped that with berries and little slices of candied ginger.

To see the recipe visit http://cookbookhabit.blogspot.com/

White Loaves (kind of)

I have to admit up front that I cheated a bit. I didn’t have enough white flour, and had plenty of a 7-grain bread flour that I bought in a burst of optimism months ago. So that is what I used for my inaugural “Baking with Julia” recipe. Results? Not bad, I would say, for my first bread in eons. I didn’t kill the yeast (hooray!) and the dough rose nicely. The recipe was easy to follow until the “Shaping the dough” section, and I did manage to turn out decent-looking loaves.

That said, I do not love this bread. It is a bit heavy and next time I would add more salt. All-in-all, I am proud of my bread and have been enjoying it slathered with butter and apricot jam.

If you’d like to try the White Loaves, follow the link to the host for this recipe http://someonekitchen.blogspot.com/

Berry Galette

I couldn’t wait to get started on the “bake along” using the book “Baking with Julia.” Last weekend I made what I consider to be a rather decadent Chocolate Chess pie. It is from Jennifer Perillo’s blog “In Jennie’s Kitchen.” http://www.injennieskitchen.com/

I loved its very chocolatyness and the very flakiness of the crust. But alas, my health-conscious husband thought it was too sweet. Well, we all have our opinions…

So today I made the Berry Galette from “Baking with Julia.” I used the leftover dough from the Chess Pie to make the crust. The results were a wonderful contrast to the Chess Pie — just a little sweet, a little tart and all in all, quite delightful.

Next time I would like to remember to take the pic when the finished dish is at it’s most beautiful, but you get the idea.

I’m a blogger!

OK – I’m going for it! Since I enjoy cooking and eating (not necessarily in that order), I read a number of food blogs. On “Tuesdays with Dorie” they are having a bake along using Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking with Julia” cook book, so I signed up.
One of the requirements was to have a blog so that baking adventures can be posted and shared.
So here I am! And you could be, too. If you’re interested, check out this blog and sign up.
http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/

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