Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TWD—Coconut Lemon Mini Tea Cakes and The Ultimate Cheesecake Throwdown


Our recipe this week, chosen by Carmen of Carmen Cooks, is the Coconut Tea Cake on pages 194-195 in Dorie’s book, Baking From My Home To Yours.  I made these with lemon as suggested in the Playing Around section and I halved the recipe.  I used lite canned coconut milk.  I omitted the rum and toasted the coconut.  How’s that for blunt and to the point?

I made these about three weeks ago.  I shared them with my “reality sisters”.  I love that term.  Some friends and I get together as often as we can on Thursday nights to watch Survivor together.  We usually don’t start watching the show until at least 9:30, then we talk and pause the show over and over and it often takes about 2 1/2 hours to watch the one hour program.  I always bring goodies to share and so do a couple others.  There’s usually 4-5 of us.  We are all true blue Survivor fans.  Definitely fun times that I’m REALLY going to miss when we move—sistas, you know who you are!


The halved recipe made 12 mini bunts and 12 mini cupcakes.  I doused them in a quick powdered sugar glaze that I made.  And sprinkled them with some more coconut.

Lemon Coconut Glaze, by Katrina Smith

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons coconut milk

juice from half a lemon (was about 2 tablespoons)

1/8 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

Whisk together until smooth and free of lumps.  Add the milk last in tablespoonfuls until desired consistency as you might not need all of it.


These were really good.  We all liked them.  I will make these again for sure sometime, they would be great for a shower or party or even if sometime I’m just not in a chocolate mood.  What?  It happens. ;)


Great pick, Carmen.  Check out the other cakes on the TWD Blogroll.


We had an Ultimate Cheesecake Throwdown with some friends again.  You may recall the throwdown we had in February for French Silk Pie.  (I lost.)  I can take it. 

This time we decided on cheesecake.  Our fearless judges, a couple of missionaries from our church and my friend, Marina, came ready to give it their all.  Did you know it’s hard to get some great pictures when everyone is anxious for the judges to pick a winner so they can all taste it, too?  And would you believe I forgot to take a picture of my completed Key Lime Cheesecake?  Sigh.  Dan and I were originally going to both just do plain cheesecake for the contest, but ultimately decided to each do whatever kind of cheesecake we wanted.




Dan’s cheesecake of choice was White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, the judges did not know whose was whose.


Dan’s big, beautiful cheesecake had a chocolate crust, a ribbon of raspberry puree throughout and some sliced almonds on the top for some great crunch.  Get a look at this---


I know, it looks like he went to the nearest bakery and picked up a cheesecake!  He definitely wins for the look of his cheesecake.  I’m so not a decorator.

I made my Key Lime Cheesecake the night before as I knew cheesecake takes on more flavor after it sits for a day or so.  Here’s my one lame picture of the cake fresh out of the oven.  I was happy it was perfectly smooth on top.


I baked the cheesecake in a 10 inch pan, so it was only about an inch thick, but served it with a blueberry compote and some whipped cream with each slice.  Whipped cream that I whisked by hand, thank you. ;)


I have to say, this Key Lime Cheesecake is really good.   It’s so creamy and is just perfect with the blueberries.  I’ve had it before.  It was one of the delicious desserts I had at one of Paige’s classes sometime last year.  And when Dan and I decided to go with any cheesecake we wanted, I knew this was the one I wanted to make.  Did I mention Chef Paige has a new blog?  I have a BIG  binder stuffed full of all the recipes I’ve gotten from Paige’s classes I’ve taken and they are all just wonderful.  If you haven’t yet, check out her new blog.


Here’s the recipe for the throwdown winning recipe.  Yep, two out of three went with the Key Lime Cheesecake!  But they all had a really hard time deciding.  The cheesecake was super creamy, smooth and perfectly tart.

Key Lime Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote, by Paige Vandegrift (I followed the recipe exactly!)

Graham Cracker Crust:

5 oz. graham crackers, finely ground (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with 2 criss-crossed sheets of foil, leaving an overhang. (I baked mine in a traditional 10-inch springform pan and lined the outside of the pan with foil.)  Butter or spray the pan.  Combine the crust ingredients until well mixed and press into the pan in a compact even layer.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until just beginning to brown—8 minutes.  Cool.

Key Lime Filling:

3  8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used the 1/3 less fat kind)

1 cup granulated sugar (Would you believe I was OUT of sugar when I set out to make this late Sunday night—all I could find in the house was some ultrafine sugar-so that is what I used!)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch)  I used flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup strained key lime juice (or bottled key lime juice, Nellie & Joe’s is a good brand)

3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly beat cream cheese to break it up.  Beat in the sugar until smooth; scrape the sides.  Beat in the flour and salt; scrape the sides.  Add the lime juice and vanilla and beat in.  Scrape the sides.  Beat in the eggs in two or three additions, just until smooth and fully incorporated.  Scrape the filling into the prepared pan.

Place the pan on a half-sheet pan and place on the oven rack in a preheated 325 degree oven.  Pour in hot water to come up at least half as high as the filling in the pan.  Bake until just set—40-45 minutes. (I did mine 40 minutes.)  Cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).  Chill, uncovered, until cold (at least 2 hours, but cheesecake may be baked a day or two ahead.)

To portion, lift cold cake out of the pan using the overhanging foil (or remove the sides of the springform pan).  Cut the cake using a sharp, thin knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry in between cuts.

Serve topped with a spoonful of blueberry compote and some whipped cream.

Blueberry Compote

2 3/4 cups blueberries (about 14 ounces) (I used frozen, thawed)

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice (I used lime)

4 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch (1/2 ounce)

zest of 1 lime or lemon (I used the zest of three key limes)

Combine the berries with the sugar and citrus juice and let macerate for 30 minutes.  Transfer the berries to a saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in a small amount of water and add to the berries with the zest.  Bring to a boil, stirring gently.  Let boil until the juices are clear and very thick—about 30 to 60 seconds.  Empty into a bowl and cool to room temperature without stirring.  Chill.  Makes a generous 2 cups.

*A couple notes I took in class--DO NOT overbeat cheesecake!  Flour protects it from curdling.  If your cheesecake doesn’t have flour, be sure to bake it in a water bath.  Add eggs last—it helps the cheesecake not rise then fall.  Once you start adding liquid to the cream cheese, you never get rid of lumps.


And for the record, Dan’s cheesecake was delicious.  The two judges who picked the Key Lime said they liked that it was more creamy and true cheesecake-like.  White chocolate, raspberry and chocolate crust—GOOD!  Thanks for playing, Dan.  We’re trying to decide what to do next for a throwdown.

Sorry to stick this in with TWD, it just won’t get done if I don’t do it all in one night.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Craze!

Over the last couple months, I’ve been making different recipes for chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been making all kinds of chocolate chip cookies forever.  What I was trying to say is that I’ve recently tried a number of recipes and haven’t blogged about them yet.  So here it is, my little two cents worth.  Let’s start with these---


My cookie-mad pal, Anna, at Cookie Madness made these about a month ago.  She liked the name so much that she decided she just had to make them.  This recipe is found at Allrecipes and they do have a very enticing name, Felix K’s ‘Don’t Even Try To Say These Aren’t The Best You’ve Ever Eaten, Because They Are’ Chocolate Chip Cookies.. 

Now don’t you hate it when you have a recipe printed somewhere, you’ve made it, have photos of the cookies, but can’t find the recipe you wrote all your notes on?  Yep, I hate that.  But this is one of those recipes.  Thanks to my comments on Anna’s blog, I do have some written recollection about these cookies. 

The cookies bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes, and are then supposed to sit on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Um, not for this girl.  I like a cookie baked at a higher temperature and 10 minutes is about all I can wait for them to bake.  I did follow the recipe and bake them for 15 minutes, but I only let them sit on the baking sheets for 10 minutes—I wanted to finish and needed my sheet!  I don’t think that really changed anything about the cookies.  I really liked the cookies, they look great and have a great texture.  I thought they were delicious a couple hours after baking them.  Kevin thought they were okay, he thought they tasted like they had molasses in them.  The cookies are made with all brown sugar—2 cups for one cup of butter, which is quite a lot.  So I was actually impressed that Kevin noticed that taste in them.  (I complain a lot that sometimes he just engulfs food and doesn’t even taste it.  That said, he didn’t love the cookies, but thought they were just okay.)

And then, something strange happened with the cookies.  Remember I said they were fantastic a few hours after they baked.  They really were.  And then, the next day, we thought they were way too crispy and almost stale.  Not sure why that was.  That said, no offense to Felix K, but I’ll have to say they aren’t the best I’ve ever eaten.  Good though and I do love that they look like the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Maybe baking them a few minutes less or a little higher oven temperature or something would be fun to try another time, because I kind of liked the brown sugar taste.  But stay tuned—there are more chocolate chip cookies coming up!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Orange Almond Cake Recipe (Marmalade Cake from Food Network)


On our long, long car ride home from Utah, I had lots of magazines to catch up on.  While flipping through the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I saw a recipe for Marmalade Cake and was intrigued by it having semolina flour in it.  I had just recently purchased some semolina flour and had been looking for recipes to use it in.

The recipe also has ground almonds as well as fresh orange and lemon juice and orange marmalade.  I really thought I’d make the recipe just as it was written (surprise), but I’d remembered a French Yogurt Cake I’d made for TWD a while back and I put orange marmalade on top of slices of the cake and didn’t really care for the bites of orange peel.  So (surprise) I did change the way the cake was made.  And I was happy it still turned out really good.  This cake is super moist, since it is doused in an orange syrup and left to sit overnight.  The cake is made with egg whites that are beaten to a stiff peak as well as with the yolks.  Here’s where I made just a tiny mistake.

I love putting zest in with sugar and rubbing it in with my fingers and I knew I wanted to add zest to the cake, but leave out the bigger chunks of orange peel  from the marmalade.  So I rubbed the zest in the sugar, THEN read the directions that say to beat the whites to a stiff peak with the sugar.  And I knew there probably shouldn’t be anything else in with the eggs and sugar so they would stiffen.  Well, beat I did.  The recipe says to bean the egg whites for 8 minutes.  About 15 minutes later, and with still egg whites that did not stiffen, but did become pale and slightly fluffy, I gave up and called it as good as it was going to get.  I knew the cake just wouldn’t rise up as nice and fluffy.  But I’d hoped it would still taste good.  And it does!

The recipe says to bake in an 8 inch square pan, but I wanted to try little cupcakes, so I made 12 cupcakes and put the rest of the batter in an 8 inch round pan.  And I ended up with 12 nice little cupcakes that the boys devoured and an 8 inch round cake.  The cake tastes great.  It IS very moist, as I mentioned and has a great orange flavor and that little bit of crunchy-nuttiness from the semolina and ground almonds.  If you DO really like marmalade, you could dollop some on top of slices of the cake, or whipped cream would be good, too.  I went with just a little bit of powdered sugar and some chopped almonds as the original recipe suggested.   The recipe called for golden raisins, but I left those out. 


I was surprised (and happy) that the boys ate two of these each in one sitting.  The boys ate the cupcakes the evening I made these and they were still great even without their overnight rest.  So here’s my adapted version of the Food Network cake.

Orange Almond Cake, adapted by Katrina Smith from Food Network Magazine’s Marmalade Cake, April 2010

For the cake:

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pan

3 large eggs, separated (room temperature)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

zest of half a large orange (1 tablespoon)

3/4 cup (3 oz.) all purpose flour

1  1/4 cups semolina flour

1/4 cup ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (the original recipe didn’t have salt, I added some)

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 1/2 large oranges)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1/2 cup orange marmalade (heated and strained, orange peel removed)

Powdered sugar and/or chopped almonds for topping

For the syrup:

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 an orange (juice about 1/4 cup) and strips of the peel with as little pith as possible)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners and lightly grease an 8 inch round pan with oil.  Set aside.

Beat the eggs whites and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes.  In the meantime, in another bowl, whisk together to sift the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and orange zest.  Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl (this can all be done by hand after beating the egg whites).  Add the oil, orange and lemon juices and the strained marmalade to the yolks and mix to combine.  Stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the beaten egg whites until just combined. 

Fill the cupcakes liners and pan with batter (you could do all cupcakes, they’d be perfect for a shower or party).  Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched.  The cupcakes took 12 minutes and the 8 inch round cake took 17 minutes.  (The original recipes says an 8 inch square pan should take about 30 minutes.)

While the cake is baking, make the syrup.  Bring 3/4 cup water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Squeeze in the orange juice and add the peel.  Simmer until syrupy, about 20 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Pour the syrup over the cake while both are still warm.  Cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight.  Top with powdered sugar and/or almonds.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD—Dulce De Leche Duos and A Great New Blog

I want to start off my post today letting you know about a great new blog by a wonderful local chef I’ve been taking classes from, Paige Vandegrift.  This lady can cook! ;)  She’s a Le Cordon Bleu in London, professionally trained chef and I’ve had the pleasure of attending many of her cooking classes over the last year or so.  She has started a blog and I love it!  I’m lucky enough to be able to take her classes, now she’s sharing her knowledge in a blog.  Check it out and follow along!  Her blog is called A Cooking Life.  She’s just getting started, but has already shared a wealth of knowledge pertinent to anyone interested in cooking/baking and doing it well.

Our recipe for TWD this week was chosen by Jodie from Beansy Loves Cake.  Check out all her awesome cakes, you can also get this recipe on her blog!  For our TWD baking group, she chose Dulce De Leche Duos. These cookies are found on page 161 in Dorie’s book, Baking From My Home to Yours.


Is this what they’re supposed to look like?  I thought that Dorie’s description of these cookies was interesting—“round and flatish, crisp on the outside and soft, almost cakey and just a little chewy in their skinny centers.”  ???


This WAS good, but I’d have preferred a more crisp cookie.  I actually only filled this one cookie.  Sam is loving the plain cookies.  He ate four in one sitting.  I think they do have an interesting taste with the dulce de leche in the dough.

My cookies were mostly soft and a little chewy.  I think I was afraid to overbake them, so they weren’t crispy at all.  I did bake them for 10 minutes though.  I baked off 18 cookies or so, then decided to do my “playing around”.  I wanted a thicker cookie and I for sure wanted chocolate involved.  So I added 1/2 cup flour, some pecans and chocolate chips to the rest of the dough and baked off more cookies.  Then I drizzled them with some of the dulce de leche and some melted chocolate AND I sprinkled some with more chopped pecans.



The cookies were good.  That said, I don’t think I’ll make this recipe again.  For some reason, I don’t love dulce de leche, there’s something about it.  I love caramel.  Is there no salt or not enough in the dulce?  It just doesn’t taste quite right to me.   But I love trying new cookies and recipes, so thanks to Jodie for picking this one.  And I ALWAYS have fun playing around.  So of course, I' wasn’t done there!

This recipe made a lot of dough.  I got to where I didn’t feel like baking any more cookies, so I stuck the rest of the dough in my three little cake pans.  I sprinkled one of them with more chopped pecans.  I had turtles on my mind.


I purposely baked these slightly underbaked.  These came out with more of a texture I wanted.  Thick, with a crispy outside and chewy-gooey inside.  And you had to know, perfect for building a sundae on top!


A little chocolate ice cream on top, how about some more of that melted chocolate, more pecans and that dulce de leche.  '


Sorry, no inside picture, Kevin ate the thing before I could get one of those shots.  (I forced him in to it.)


Now, go check out Paige’s blog, A Cooking Life

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Recap, Utah, and Happy Spring???? and My Adaptation of the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Let’s start with Happy Spring everyone!  Here’s what we woke up to this morning!


I must say, rather annoying!  It rainy/icy/slushed Friday afternoon, then by the evening, it began snowing.  When I went to bed, there was already a few inches on the ground.  It was windy all night, so it’s hard to tell how much snow fell.  About 8 inches at our doorstep, which always seems to pile up.  Some places of the driveway had a good inch of slush under the snow, it’s was heavy and a great workout for me.  It has been snowing all day.  Good thing is, it hasn’t stuck to the driveway much, yet.  It’s still snowing late into Saturday night.  Sigh!  And I think it’s supposed to be in the 60’s by Monday. 

The good thing is we were in Utah, saw on the news that the storm was coming, decided to leave a day early and drove straight through (21 hours!---ahhh!)  We usually stay a night in Denver, but knew if we did that the storm would be in Wyoming and Colorado and we could get stuck there.  We left Thursday at 4 a.m. and got home just before 1 a.m. the next day.  Sigh.  Poor little Sammie was not a happy camper.  He kept crying, “I want to walk,” as he’d struggle in his car seat.  We persevered and are glad we got home before the snow!

Before we left, Sam got a few more birthday presents.


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While we were in Utah, we had a Smith gathering with lots of family.  It was Emilee’s birthday (one of Kevin’s nieces) on the 15th and Sam’s on the 16th, so we had a yummy dinner that Cindy prepared and I made cake.

Since Sam loves the zoo and animals so much, I went with a cute paw print on some rainbow cupcakes.  (I made these with a box mix.  It’s hard to bake from scratch when you’re not in your own home!)


The paws are made with some devil’s food cookies, and Junior Caramels.  I thought they were pretty cute.

The kids all devoured these.  There were ump-teen kids there.



For the adults and whoever else didn’t want cupcakes, I made my Divine Carrot Cake.  I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9x13 pan.  I left out the coconut, because some people don’t like coconut (whatever! ;))  I used pecans instead of walnuts.

I made cream cheese frosting to go with it, which is also what I frosted the cupcakes with.  The carrot cake is so good and moist and flavorful.  I used white whole wheat flour, so it was healthy!  ahem.


And I think I did a not-too-shabby job with the lettering, which is not one of my strong points.  At least I don’t think this would be Cake Wrecks worthy!


This photo of the carrot cake is from my original post.  If you like carrot cake, this is certainly one to try.  I’ve even made cupcakes with it and you could do two 8-inch round cakes and layer it.

I fried an egg for Taylor for breakfast one morning while we were in Utah.  I know double yolks are pretty common, but have you ever seen a quadruple?


That is not 2 eggs or four.  Okay, it’s one egg and four yolks.  (I had some extra after making the white cake mix for the rainbow cupcakes.  Taylor loves the yolk, especially when he can dip his toast in it.  This was A LOT of yolk.  His plate was just a swimmin’ in it.  But he ate a lot of it (I’m happy about any fat and protein I can get in this kid!)

While in Utah, staying at Kevin’s sister Cindy’s (Thanks for letting us stay with you Clydes!), I wanted to make them some of the New York Times chocolate chip cookies that I love so much, I even bought some cake flour and bread flour and good chocolate chips.  Then I got back to their house and realized they only had margarine!  What to do?  So just to experiment and see what would happen, I made half a batch with the margarine. 


They weren’t half bad!  I was afraid using an oven I’m not familiar with that I’d overbake them, so I slightly underbaked them.  They were still good and got eaten up.  I have actually adapted the recipe quite a bit from the fabulous and “fancy” New York Times recipe, so here is the recipe as I make them.  One big thing is I almost never chill the dough.  And I don’t put extra salt on the cookies.  But I will stand by the using of cake flour and bread flour in the recipe and I gotta say, way better with good chocolate chips (I often use Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips) and butta!  ;)

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted by Katrina Smith

8 ½ ounces cake flour (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)

8 ½ ounces bread flour (1 and 2/3 cups)

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

10 ounces (1 ¼ cups) light brown sugar

8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ¼ pounds chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until very light, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate with rubber spatula. Optional--Put dough in a plastic container and refrigerate for at least a couple hours, but ideally 24 to 36 hours! (You think it won’t make a difference, but it’s really good! Although, I often only chill for a couple hours and these are still excellent cookies.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop dough into balls on sheet. Bake 9-15 minutes depending on size. ½ ounce cookies baked 9 minutes. Regular sized cookies are about 1 ½ ounces and baked 11-13 minutes. (Made 9 ½ dozen ½ ounce cookies!)  2-3 oz. cookies are huge and delicious and more like NYT.

Eagle Mountain, Utah.  Our new house is one of those out there in the distance.  You can see it from Cindy’s house where the picture was taken.



For Sam’s birthday, we went to the SLC Hogle Zoo.  It was a perfect day.  But for some reason that morning, Sam was walking with a limp and said his leg hurt.  We think he must have got up in the night and fallen in the room we were sleeping in.  So he had to sit in a stroller through the whole zoo. 


He hobbled around a bit for a couple days, but is fine now.

See the monkeys?

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My almost-12-year-old monkey refuses to be on camera!

How cute is this baby elephant?!


And this baby giraffe?


The baby is already 7 feet tall!

How about them Cougars?  Uh, let’s not talk about that tonight!  (BYU reference, while we’re on the subject, let’s not talk about Jayhawks either.  Sigh.)


And now just a few more random photos.  I made pancakes for breakfast yesterday.  Parker LOVES to play with his food, sometimes he’s still messing around with it after everyone else is done eating.  But he was pretty proud of his Picachu from Pokemon.


Taylor and Sam were playing with a box of diapers yesterday.  Hey, when you’ve packed most of the toys, you gotta make due, right!


And this morning, Sam came in our room while we were still asleep (he often does!), but I let him climb in bed with us about 7:45.  We got up shortly after that, and Sam slept all comfy in our bed until after 11 a.m.!


Ahh, how would that be?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TWD—Soft Chocolate Pistachio Tart and Sam’s Third Birthday!


Howdy Ya’ll!  It’s the birthday boy!

We’re in Utah right now.  We got to see “our” house today.  (I say “our” in quotes, because technically, we haven’t completed the purchase yet, but I’ll let ya’ll know more soon!)  The home we are buying is in Eagle Mountain.  We LOVE it.  We drove out with the boys over the weekend and will be here during spring break.  It’s great to be back “home” in Utah. 

I knew we’d be out of town this week, so I made the tart(s) early last week before we left. I halved the tart dough and divided it between two 4 inch mini tart pans and had a little leftover, so I made a yummy shortbread cookie.  I used ground pistachios in the dough.  I was trying to “go green” for St. Patrick’s Day.  Great flavored dough!  I would make the sweet tart dough with pistachios again just to make shortbread cookies.  And I’d definitely do this again----


Dipped in melted bittersweet chocolate, it was delicious.


Since this was supposed to be soft chocolate pudding-like, I decided to make the full recipe for the chocolate and just put some in a pan without the crust.  I was thinking it would have been scoopable like pudding and I’d make little parfaits out of it.

I baked off the two tarts and forgot to photograph the rest of the chocolate I put in a bread pan.


They looked nice and pudding-y before they baked.


But I thought they were almost brownie-like after they baked.  It was not the consistency I really wanted.  Is this how it’s supposed to be?  Oh, by the way, I didn’t use raspberries because they are outrageously priced right now and although I really like the fruity-chocolate combo, Kevin really doesn’t.  I don’t know why I worry so much about that sometimes, as I’m pretty sure he didn’t even taste this.  He was gone the evening I made them.  The boys had some and liked it.  Not sure they would have really liked the raspberries with the chocolate.  But the pistachios were really good, so besides in the dough, I sprinkled some on top.

Then to stick with my green thinking, I decided to tint some whipped topping with some green food coloring (too lazy to whip my own again this time).  It’s a very pale green, but festive anyway.


I think Scott ate half a tart and wanted more, but I wouldn’t let him.


Parker ate a little.  Taylor took a bite and didn’t want any.  I think Sam ate a cookie instead.  Overall, I thought it tasted okay.  I probably wouldn’t make it again, I like (love) a chocolate ganache tart more.  Like that one we made with the caramel---Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart from TWD a few months ago.


So here’s what I did with the bread pan full of the “soft chocolate”--


I made a S’mores Rocky Road “Parfait”.  It was pretty good.  Then I put the rest of the chocolate and half a tart in the fridge and we got busy doing lots of things and I threw it out before we headed for Utah after it sat for 3-4 days.  I know, crazy me.  We just got to getting ready for our road trip and it kinda got put by the wayside in the fridge. 


So to wrap it up, thanks, Rachelle from Mommy?  I'm Hungry! because I do like to try all these different recipes and have fun with them and it WAS chocolate, so that worked for me! ;)  You can get the recipe on Rachelle’s blog.  Hey, check out all the other TWD blogger's tarts, too. 

It’s Sammie’s birthday!  I can’t believe he’s three.  He was just sitting on the couch earlier singing so cute out of nowhere, “Jingle bells, jingle all the way, how I wonder what you are.”  And he’s been walking around singing, “Hap Birtday, Hap Birtday.”  So darn cute.  I’ll post more about his birthday soon.  Here’s a quick preview of more to come as my parents are here in Utah and brought him a little gift.


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Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!  Grandma knew that one of Sam’s favorite books is Dinosaurs Love Underpants, so they gave him some dinosaurs.  He loves them.


We are staying at Aunt Cindy’s while we’re here in Utah and I was sitting out on the front porch with Sam.  He picked up a little push broom and said, “This is a wittle broom for wittle people like me.”  Taylor came outside a few minutes later and wanted to use the broom, Sam looked at him with extreme seriousness and said, “Are you wittle enough to use this wittle broom?”  DADGUM CUTE!  You know I usually write up these posts on Monday night, so Sam’s birthday is really tomorrow (or today, Tuesday, however you want to look at it).  So tomorrow/today/Tuesday we’re going to the SLC Hogle Zoo.  Sam is quite excited.  He wuvs the zoo!  So am I, it’s supposed to be in the 60’s.  The day we got here on Saturday it was literally blizzard with 50 mph winds!  It blew right out of here on Sunday and today/Monday has been beautiful in the 50’s.  Spring is sprunging!