Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dorie Knows Best

Posted by BAKE-EN at 4:47 PM
In order to make our first meeting as successful as possible we looked for a book that would appeal to everyone. Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan was the perfect book to get us started. Not only is the book beautiful; it has a nice range of recipes. The only problem with this book was choosing which recipes to make. They all look so good!

Here's what we discovered.

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits


The recipe for these biscuits is certainly a keeper. They are tender and the sour cream goes beautifully with the pecans.


Oatmeal Spice Shortbread Cookies



These cookies were good. There was some discussion about next time pulsing the oatmeal in a food processor, so they would be less "oatmealy." Overall though, it was a nice cookie.

Rugelach




This rugelach recipe is fantastic. Sharyn, the woman who made these, said the dough was very easy to work with. The contrast between the currants and the chocolate in the filling is delish. The dough itself is so good, that it would be fun to play with different fillings such as apricot or almond paste.


Black-And-White Banana Loaf



This recipe was okay. The loaf was moist, but we weren't very impressed with the flavors. It would be good to serve to kids or people that like bland food.


Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake



This cake is a real crowd pleaser. The cake itself is simple enough to make. Watch out for the caramel though, it can go from amber to "do you smell something burning?" in a matter of a few seconds. The best thing about this cake is that it tastes better the next day. The caramel soaks into the top of the cake at that point, and it's just ridiculously good.


Russian Grandmothers' Apple-Pie Cake

Apple lovers will flip for this nice, homey cake. I wish my grandmother had made this for me! There was some debate about cooking time. It seems that 65-80 minutes is about right. If the top starts getting dark too fast, just cover it in foil or else the filling inside won't cook all the way.
Michelle's side note.
I've made some other recipes from this cookbook, so I thought I would share my thoughts on those items as well.
Basic Biscuits
This recipe isn't the best, but it's certainly good! They puffed up great, and the texture was good. I cut them with a 1" biscuit cutter because I wanted to use them as a cute quick appetizer. I served them with cream cheese and garlic-onion jelly.
Bittersweet Brownies
Back in February I was recipe testing brownie recipes for my rehearsal dinner party (I made 3-tier brownie cakes for everyone-fun!). This recipe wasn't right for my cakes, but it was really good. My husband loved them.
Sables
I brought these to an Easter party, and both adults and children loved them. They're really pretty cookies, and easy to make. I love Dorie Greenspan's suggestion of using the cardboard from paper towel rolls to keep the cookie dough round. It worked great.
World Peace Cookies
These are so good, I can NEVER make them again. Way too tempting with a glass of milk.
Perfect Party Cake
I've made this cake recipe several times. My husband doesn't like lemon, so I usually substitute 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste instead of the zest and lemon extract. I recently made cupcakes with this cake recipe, and I fill the cupcakes with a walnut-chocolate filling and topped with a chocolate buttercream. They were so good.

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