French Frdays with Dorie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coffee-Break Muffins

I loved this recipe.  I don't know why I am so in love with the more simple recipes lately,but such is the case.  I am delighted with how easy this recipe was to mix together.  I forgot to set the timer when I put these in the oven and it seemed like seconds later when I smelled them, tested them, and found them to be perfectly baked.  They rose tall and proud in their little muffin papers.  I popped them out of the pan a heartbeat later and fiftee minutes later was eating my first one.  Okay, my first TWO.  Yum.  As I look at them I think, bran muffin - that is just what they looked like to me - but oh the flavor.  I don't think this one needs any add-ins - but if you tossed in some chunks of chocolate - I would catch them.  I think I would only want one then as an afternoon coffee break, but I would still want one.  The crumb was light and delicate - these are serious keepers.

Visit Chocoholic Anonymous to see Rhianna's take on this recipe - or buy the book NOW before we start French Fridays - if you wait until then you will be two books behind. That is no doubt a criminal offense.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cranberry Upside-Downer

Is this cake in the quick breads section of the cookbook?  It definitely has the best attributes of a quick bread - easy to mix, quick to bake, delicious to eat.  I snagged a fair amount of cranberries this past season and froze them.  I have been on pins and needles waiting for an excuse to use them.  Thanks so much Sabrina, you gave me the reason I have been wanting!

I'm so glad Dorie suggests cranberries for this upside-down cake.  I have never cared much for a pineapple upside-down cake.  I am not overly fond of cooked pineapple - I really only like fresh pineapple.  I sometimes used canned pineapple - carrot cake and coleslaw - but mostly I just avoid it!  At any rate, this is so much better than the pineapple version.

First of all, the cranberries make it so festive looking.  I dug mine out of the freezer and poured them into the pan atop the melted butter.  They looked so doggone festive!  I was a bit disappointed by how much they cook down - but such is life - cooked fruits are flatter than their raw counterparts.  I am learning to live with this staggering disappointment.  A few more slices of cake and you should be able to roll me right into a happy place.

I was worried a smidgen  because the recipe mentioned nothing about cooling the cake.  It just said, take it out of the oven, loosen it from the sides of the pan - and flip it.  If some berries come off the top, just scoop them back onto the cake.  If a few cranberries stick?  I think we have a slight typo here - surely it is supposed to say something more like this: "Loosen the cranberries that are stuck to the pan with a spatula and carefully place them back atop the cranberry upside-downer.

The entire bottom of my pan was covered with stuck-behind pieces of cranberries.  No worries - I scooped them up and lay them back on the cake - voila! - crisis avoided.  Not having any current jelly on-hand, I skipped the cake glazing step.  I am all about the natural look anyway, so I am satisfied with eliminating this step.

I let the cake cool completely before I tried it.  I would have loved to have tried it when it was still warm, but I was too full from my lunch at that moment.  It is quite tasty at room temperature. 

I was slightly worried about flipping the cake onto the plate without letting it cool for any length of time in the pan.  I was afraid it would be soggy.  Happily, it was not, it was light moist and delicious!  Excellent choice Sabrina.  You can see the recipe at her blog Superfluous or you could own them all by simply buying the book!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Criss Cross

Yeah, more cookies!  Love that.  I put together a half-batch of the dough this morning before I went to work.  It was very soft when it went into the refrigerator and it was firm, but by no means hard, this evening when I baked a few off.

I baked a small sampling of the cookies - a mere dozen!  I shall enjoy these for the next few days.  I plan to roll out the rest and flash freeze them.  They will then be placed in a Ziploc bag for future baking.  I think I need to flatten them with the forks before I freeze them.  I don't know if I will roll them into the sugar first or not.  I think it will be a waste of time to take that step as I would anticipate the dough absorbing the sugar while it is in the freezer.  I'll ponder that option deeply before proceeding.

After I bake them I plan to fill them with some chocolate ganache I have in the freezer. I think peanut butter chocolate ganache sandwiches will be indescribably delicious!

I liked these cookies quite a bit.  It is funny, isn't it?  I think that if a peanut butter cookie does not have a cross-hatch design on the top that it is less of a cookie.  Some traditions should never be ignored!

It took me about five minutes to pull together the dough - including peanut butter measurement - so I am quite pleased with this recipe.  Jasmine Cuisine selected this recipe and she has posted it here or you can find it in the Book on page 78.