Devoted to our culinary adventures!

Brownies you will ever make!!!!!! (or eat for that matter!)

This is actually a recipe for Brownie Bites from King Arthur Flour and they provide all sorts of fabulous ideas to really dress up your brownie bites. I made them for a dinner party and just added some confectioner’s sugar after cutting them in the traditional rectangles!

I did not make any changes to the recipe except for omitting the espresso powder which I was out of. (On a side note I’m still kicking myself for not restocking my pantry before Christmas when King Arthur had free shipping and then $3 shipping. I spent way too much yesterday, but that’s another story!). Making the brownies could not be any easier and cleanup was a breeze. The first step of the recipe is to melt the butter in a saucepan and then you end up adding everything to that saucepan before pouring the batter into a cake pan. Loved that! The biggest difference between this recipe and my “old” standby recipe is this recipe calls for the dutch processed cocoa (I used the Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa from KAF) and my “old” recipe requires melting the chocolate down. With this recipe you add chips to the batter which you can see in the photos. I used semisweet chips, a mix of the Nestle’s mini and regular size which is all I had on hand :-) You can see how dark the batter is here:

The brownies were moist, a little fudge like and completely delicious. Completely. I would make these again right now if I had more of the cocoa but alas, I am out and greatly anticipating the arrival of my KAF package. I also purchased this Black Cocoa and will add a little to the recipe next time. I can’t imagine how amazing the brownies will be then. :-)

 

 

I came across this recipe for Scali Bread while I was perusing the bread recipes on the King Arthur site and decided to give it a try. I was not familiar with scali bread but after some research found that it is an Italian bread commonly found in Boston. It’s an olive oil enriched Italian bread (which reminded me of my Grandpa’s recipe). After making this bread and nearly eating all of it before dinner, I can attest to the deliciousness of the bread- it completely reminded me of the Italian bread that my Mom would purchase at our local IGA. You have a choice with this recipe whether to make it as a loaf or individual rolls. I made rolls so that I could freeze them and pull out a couple for dinner as we need them! I will need to make this bread on a fairly regular basis to have it around!

So here is the baking adventure through photography:

First came the starter

Before Rising

After the first rising

After the first rising you have to decide whether you are going to make loaves or rolls. Since I opted for rolls, I took the risen dough and divided it into 6 equal pieces. I then rolled the 6 pieces into logs and waited 10 minutes. I then took 3 of the pieces and rolled them out to 28,” brushed them with an egg wash and rolled them in the sesame seeds before braiding them. I then repeated the process with the other remaining logs.

To make the rolls I cut the 2 braids into 6 pieces and tucked the braid ends underneath. This resulted in 12 rolls which then had to rise for the second time, took about 90 minutes.

After 20 minutes in the oven!

Deliciousness!!!!!!!!!

There is absolutely no doubt that this is one of my favorite purchases of all time from King Arthur Flour. It completely elevates any recipe that calls for cinnamon. It really is amazing and if you don’t already own it, click on the image, purchase it and then throw out whatever cinnamon you have at home. You’ll never go back!!!!
So the real reason I am singing the praises of this fabulous cinnamon is because it played a starring role in our New Year’s Day breakfast- cinnamon buns. The recipe that I have used (and linked) is for the King Arthur Now or Later Cinnamon Buns. I love this recipe because it allows you to make the buns in advance and then either store them in an air-tight container or freeze them, just to reheat the morning you eat them and then add the icing. It could not be a more perfect recipe because on New Year’s Day, I want to do as little as possible while also indulging in a yummy breakfast (which probably also includes a few blood orange pomegranate mimosas).

Aren’t you hungry just looking at the photo? Can’t you just smell the cinnamon through your computer? Simply fabulous. And really, you do need that cinnamon! :-)

My other New Year’s plans (apart from watching sports for 3 days) including making some hot chocolate and marshmallows. My friend Tara at Cookie Talk originally posted these recipes as part of her Baker’s Dozen Days of Christmas series so check out her reviews there! Both recipes were fairly easy to make (I omitted the cayenne pepper in the hot chocolate) and you definitely want to make sure you dust all parts of the marshmallow pan with the cornstarch/confectioners sugar mix. Good luck getting the marshmallows out of the pan otherwise! I had previously made a Martha Stewart marshmallow recipe which didn’t work out as well as the Alton Brown recipe did this time around. I made my marshmallows into snowflakes- they were a winner!

 

 


 

 

 

I didn’t realize just how long it has been since I posted on my blog. 2011 was a busy year indeed with plenty of ups and downs. I’m hopeful that I will be back to posting regularly in 2012!

I wrapped up December making no less than 30 dozen cookies. Seriously! 24 dozen were of 6 different Italian cookies that I was hired to make for a catered event- here’s to hoping that springboards into a new business venture! I made Venetians (rainbow cookies), Pignoli, Mostaciolli (chocolate spice cookies), Lemon, lime & pistachio Biscotti, Sesame Cookies and Anginetti (lemon knot cookies). Here are a few shots of those cookies:

Then I got to work on additional cookies for my own Christmas baking. This batch included: cranberry coins, cut outs, chocolate espresso cookies, another batch of pignoli and venetians and even took a stab at making cannoli: The biggest problem I had with the venetians was cutting them. It was especially difficult because I added a chocolate layer on the bottom which broke easily while trying to cut the cookies. The cannoli recipe that I used was from Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano. For a first timer, the recipe left out a lot of critical information- specifically with how to work with the ricotta. It made no mention of draining the ricotta overnight which other recipes I found later mentioned. That will help with the next attempt :-)

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Simply amazing!

And with two words that about wraps up this post!

This was my first time making gnocchi of any kind so I made the recipe over two days. Saturday, I made and formed the gnocchi and then froze them. Not really having a clue how to form gnocchi, I got some assistance from this video I watched on You Tube from Pham Fatale.

Then Sunday I prepared the rest of the recipe and used the parmesan/comté cheese combination.

Before!

The finished product!

This really was delicious!! Very, very rich but boy did it taste every bit like homemade deliciousness! The aroma alone was killer and I paired it with some homemade sourdough bread for good measure. It was a big day for me! :-)


This week’s recipe was selected by Margo of Effort to Deliciousness and you can find the recipe for these madeleines on her blog! Thanks to Margo this was my first madeleine recipe and I can’t wait to make more!!!

I made this recipe based on a few key factors this week:

1. Snow/ice days (Tuesday is snow day #2 so extra time allows for more baking! Yay! :-))

2. Newly purchased madeleine pan (many thanks to my Brother & Sister-in-law for the Williams Sonoma gift card for Christmas!)

3. The fact that I had all necessary ingredients (except the heavy cream) in the kitchen

So yes! Right now I’m a little snow/ice stranded here in Atlanta and I don’t mind it one bit since it allows for extra baking/cooking (seriously since Saturday I have made these madeleines, sourdough bread (starting with getting the starter going), pizza (with biga) and the French Fridays with Dorie recipe for the week. So it’s been an awesome weekend!!! And I’m also very grateful that I have a market right across the street that carried eggs & heavy cream to help!

I have to say, the madeleines came out beautifully! Very, very elegant looking and quite tasty. We had a couple and I decided to freeze the rest but I just know they won’t be as delicious as the freshly made ones! I had a little bit of difficulty trying to get the hazelnut spread into the madeleines- which also isn’t too much of a surprise given my limited experience with tips. The spread I used wasn’t Nutella- they had free samples of this other hazelnut spread that I ended up buying (who’s name escapes me!) but was just as yummy :-)

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