Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chipster-Topped Brownies

Isn't this someone's dream recipe? A layer of fudgy brownies topped with a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough? This is like the answer to your worst day ever, come home and devour one of these and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and have all your worries melt away. The base of these were brownies made with bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, a la Dorie's French Chocolate Brownies. I omitted the walnuts because the pantry was bare of them. Also I made the brownie layer first and stuck it in the oven for 12 minutes or so before I added the cookie layer. The brownie base alone would have been fine but the addition of the cookie dough made it sublime.
Dorie's instructions call for you to dollop the cookie dough over the top of the brownies and then lightly spread it across. This was the part I had problems with. The cookie dough kind of sunk into the brownies and didn't want to be spread. I stuck the whole thing into the oven hoping a few minutes in there would make the cookie dough easier to spread but all it did was melt the chocolate chips and smear them across the dough. So I gave up and figured they would still taste good. And my yes did they. Even though they weren't quite what I pictured they were still REALLY, REALLY good. Decadent. I wish I had a picture to show you but they were distributed to friends and they were gone within a matter of hours and all I had left were crumbs. Thank you to Beth of Supplicious for this selection. So.good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More pictures than words

I've fallen down on the job of posting. I have things to say, just not enough time to say them. Also I skipped out on TWD this week. The selection was Mango Bread and I just wasn't feeling it.
Until I have time to write out more coherent thoughts here are some pictures to distract you.

Lovely egg cups (a birthday gift, lucky me!) from my sweet friend Melissa. The giant eraser was .25 cents at an estate sale last weekend, a vintage copy of my favorite book ever "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" - $1.00 at an estate sale down the street from me two weekends ago and another vintage book - a Nancy Drew book I've had forever. My mom brought it to me Mother's Day weekend, my great-uncle sent me that book when I was a tween and really into Nancy Drew. A little collection of things I'm starting on the living room wall. I bought the 'B' at a big box craft store and painted it brown, the skeleton key and small framed print I bought at yet another estate sale last weekend and the embroidered 'Do Not Want' was made for me (birthday gift) by one of my awesome friends, Christiana. More estate sale find, lace trim, rick-rack, needles and some little embroidered squares "To Mother." When I saw those it made me a little sad and I had to buy them. A baking handbook from my other awesome friend Lynsey, recipes for all sorts of fabulous classic desserts in there. Oh and they spell cookie 'cooky'. Love!Finally, my knit group (Memphis Knit Mafia, we're on Facebook!) installed our first piece of knit 'graffiti' last week at our favorite hangout, Cafe Eclectic. It was so fun, this is me taking my turn at securing the pole cozy to the old telephone pole we put it on. These women are the best and they've Tuesdays my favorite day of the week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tartest Lemon Tart

The name says is all, although I don't think my tart was as tart as some of my fellow TWD'ers. I used Meyer Lemons, boiled them first, then peeled them, it was much easier to remove the pith that way.
For the tart dough I used ground almonds in the flour and a sprinkling of ground pistachios. I am actually not a fan of the shortbread-style tart dough. I like shortbread cookies but for some reason I just don't love the tart base. It always seems overcooked and too crumbly. (see below of evidence) But that's probably my fault. Plus I need to invest in a proper tart pan.I did enjoy using the blender for the filling. Waaay easier than trying to jam everything into my tiny food processor. Once the dough was done the filling was simple to do. Since my oven tends to run a little hot I baked this at 350 degrees the entire 40 minutes. It still was a little to brown on the edges and it spilled over but I think a lot of other people had that problem too.

All in all it wasn't bad, it was a little more tart than say lemon bars, but the consistency was similar. Like Dorie said the filling had a jelly-like quality to it, not quite lemon curd but not really marmalade either. I usually like lemon desserts but I think this was just a little too lemony for my tastes. But I still enjoyed making it! Thank you to Babette of Babette Feasts for this week's selection!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Garden: Week (I lost count...)

My posting has been crappy lately because I've been busy with lots of things but everything should be quiet for awhile now. My garden is coming along, I still have a few more things to plant but we've had so much rain lately it's been hard to get out there. Doug built me three more raised beds but I still have to dig the area where they're going and lay the brick between them. Last Sunday it rained but I went out anyway and planted tomatoes I had bought at the Farmer's Market (from Whitton Farms), fennel, peppers, eggplant and a few other herbs my mom got me. When the rain got really heavy I took a break and caught up on my This American Life podcasts.
I'm not doing as many things from seed this year mainly because I got busy and a lot of my things just do better right in the ground instead of growing early seedlings. I rotated crops this year too, except for the herb bed, I kept them in the same spot. These are purple podded pole beans, a heirloom variety discovered in the Ozarks in the 1930's. I did plant these as seeds, ordered from Seed Savers.
This is Yugoslavian Red lettuce I planted as seed last year and it never came up. Then, out of the blue, it poked out of the bed sometime in late March.
Serrano chiles, bronze fennel and tomatoes in this bedThe herb bed, the golden sage, chocolate mint, parsley and lemon thyme all survived the entire winter out there. The rest of the plantings are new. The tiniest beginnings of Scarlet Nantes carrots, also from Seed SaversAnd three of the established beds, you can see the new beds in the back. My fingers are crossed that it will be dry this weekend so I can plant those few things.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tiramisu Cake

Mmm, some of my favorite things, coffee, cake, Italian cream cheese, chocolate...
Such a delicious cake. I opted to divide the recipe and make it in my jumbo cupcake pan. Half of the batter made six over sized cupcakes. The only thing that I didn't have quite enough of was the filling/frosting. I probably shouldn't have divided that because honestly is there ever enough frosting? This was a great recipe, there were a lot of steps but the taste was well worth it. Thanks to Megan of My Baking Adventures for this week's selection!