Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Spiced Honey Cake

This week I baked Dorie Greenspan's Spiced Honey Cake from Baking Chez Moi.    It's a loaf cake that begs to be tweaked and, since I had neither lavender flowers nor Szechuan peppercorns, I had to make do!  I used some regular peppercorns and upped the ginger.

The cake will be different every time, depending on the honey and spices.  This time, my honey was from a beekeeper, organic farmer near Portland, Oregon.  Next time, I'll use honey from a beekeeper and farmer in Ithaca, NY.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Spice Cookies

It's the right time of year for  Christmas Spice Cookies!  In Dorie's new book, Dorie's Cookies, she is clearly inviting and encouraging her baking fans to experiment.  For example, there is a basic recipe for "Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough" which is a lovely, soft dough to which various spices and flavorings can be added.  The Christmas Spice Cookie version has cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and all spice.

I mixed the spices into and the dough smelled (and tasted) terrific.  Once I baked the cookies, however, I wished I'd used even more of the spices.  I wanted more oomph.  Lucky for me, when I bake these again I'll be able to double or even triple the spices, tweaking the recipe until it is just perfect for me!

Here they are, ready to go into the oven.  Sorry, no pictures of them out of the oven since they were packed up and given away before I got my camera out!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Chocolate Truffles

I've never made truffles before and now I wonder "Why not?!"  Dorie Greenspan's recipe in Baking Chez Moi makes it an easy task.

I served these to folks attending a meeting at my house.  One person commented, "These are really good.  Are they chocolate and butter?"  To which I replied, ". . .and cream."  That's basically it.  I enjoyed cutting up the chocolate (notice my chocolate designated cutting board!)  The hard part, if there was a hard part, was rolling the truffles into  reasonably smooth spheres.  I ended up squishing and pinching them to form a sort-of ball, then rolling them in my palms.

Quite yummy and I'm sure I'll try some variations in the future.

Smushing the butter

Stirring the butter into the chocolate
Finished truffles, fancied up in their own little paper holders.

Check out what the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers baked this week.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's marathon cooking baking today as I promised to supply ten dozen cookies to an open house of a local conservatory tomorrow night!  How lucky that I have Dorie Greenspan's new book, Dorie's Cookies.   

One of the recipes I am making is Pfefferneusse, cute little rounded spicy cookies that are dipped in some slinky chocolate.

Here are three of them by the gingerbread house I made this year.