Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gingerbread Buche de Noel—Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi

Gingerbread Buche de Noel

Wait—before the year is over, I must post about this Tuesdays With Dorie recipe we made in the group over Christmas!  I’m a little late on posting it.  The date was for the Tuesday before Christmas, but I wanted to make it for Christmas Eve, so didn’t get it posted—until now—all the sudden it’s New Year’s Eve!  I did make this for Christmas Eve and I must say, though it was a huge labor of love and there were many steps to follow, I have learned that with Dorie’s recipes, if I do just that—follow all directions, the recipes always turn out great.  That said, I followed all the steps perfectly, except I decided to try making it gluten free and used organic cane sugars. 

Gingerbread Buche de Noel, cut off ends

Oh, look, two skinny little ends cut off.  I had to taste them for quality control!

I had high hopes that since the cake only called for 3/4 cup of flour that changing it to a gluten free flour blend would probably be okay.  I was going to retype the recipe as I made it, but I really didn’t change anything except the flour (I happened to have some Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix, so that is what I used) and I used organic cane sugar and organic brown sugar.  All the many involved steps to the recipe were not changed at all.  And though I say it was a labor of love and there were what seemed like many steps involved, it was SO worth it.  I would certainly make this cake again for a special occasion.

The gingerbread flavor was not too strong, so I think this cake could be made year round.  And even if it was a strong ginger flavor, I would not be against making this in the summer if I really felt like it.  ; )

The cake roll worked perfectly—that’s always a worry that it will not roll up nicely.  This rolled perfectly with not even any cracking.  The filling is a nice cream cheese/butter filling that isn’t sweet at all and then the delicious egg white/sugar syrup frosting is a perfectly sweet addition to the cake.  Also loved the pecan praline crunch that was in the filling and on the top of the cake. 

TWD--Gingerbread Buche de NoelThis cake was my big holiday splurge and I won’t tell you how many pieces of it I ate (not all in one sitting).  I took the cake to a family Christmas Eve celebration and it was well liked by everyone who ate some of it.  Nice thing about those big family get-togethers—so many desserts that I was able to bring a little bit of the cake home to enjoy later.

Gingerbread Buche de Noel

I wish you all a wonderful, Happy New year!  Thanks for still sticking around here with me.  It’s almost been seven years since I started my blog and while I’m not in it for the fame and money, I love sharing with my readers the happiness I get from baking and sharing with all those around me.  While how often I blog has changed over the years and even the kinds of things I blog, I’m happy you’re still here.  I wish you all health and happiness in the new year!

You are in luck if you want this recipe, it can be found on the internet from some of the promotions done with Dorie’s new book.  You can find the recipe HERE.  I think you should just get Baking Chez Moi!  My link at the top for Tuesdays With Dorie has everyone else in the groups’ posts for their Buche de Noel cakes.  Check them out!  We’ll be starting the year out more healthy with some granola bars, coming soon! 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gingerbread Buche de Noel—Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi

Just a quick note—Today for Tuesdays With Dorie  the recipe is Gingerbread Buche de Noel.  I plan to make it tomorrow for Christmas Eve, so my post won’t be up today, but I’m looking forward to making it! 

Stay tuned and in the meantime, check out the link for others in the group who have already made and posted about their cake!

Tuesdays With Dorie--Baking Chez Moi--Gingerbread Buche de Noel links




Saturday, December 20, 2014

Salted Mixed Nut Brittle

Best Salted Mixed Nut Brittle

I’m here!  I know I haven’t been blogging as much and it makes me sad, but one can only do what they can do, right?  Before Christmas is here (it’s almost here!), I wanted to share this perfectly crispy, but not tooth-breaking-hard mixed nut brittle.  That’s right—mixed nuts.  Why not use other nuts and not just peanuts in a brittle?  I’ll never go back to just peanuts again.  In fact, this brittle doesn’t even have peanuts.  I used a mix that is peanut-free. 

My friend, Paige (chef extraordinaire), who blogs at For Love of the Table first introduced me to this brittle (the link to her blog is the recipe!) and I’ve made it numerous times since.  I used some Planters mixed nuts that have lots of pistachios as well as the usual cashews, almonds, pecans and some Brazil nuts.  Hazelnuts would be so good, too!

This brittle is easy (the stove does all the work).  Some sugar and water, a little corn syrup and butter are dissolved, then brought to a medium boil.  The only difference for me compared to Paige’s instructions is that she says it should take about 10 minutes to come to hard crack temperature and mine took almost 20 minutes.  Just make this when you have some time to hang around the kitchen and babysit it a bit, but you can plan to easily get a few other things done while it’s cooking away.  Check out Paige’s blog post for not only the recipe, but I love that her posts are always so full of the best instructions.  I have never had a “recipe fail” when I follow the directions in her recipes. 

Best Salted Mixed Nut Brittle I love Paige’s tip to have the nuts on a baking sheet in a low temperature oven to warm them while the brittle is cooking.  Once the mixture is at the right temperature, you need to quickly add the nuts, stir and spread it on a buttered sheet.  It begins hardening quickly, so to have the nuts warm, it helps the process, rather than if you add colds/room temperature nuts, it brings the brittle to a cooler temperature faster and makes it start hardening before you can even spread it on the baking sheet!  Here’s where I forgot (waaaahhh!) to salt the brittle while it was still soft enough to keep the salt on top, but definitely add it as soon as you spread it because the salt is a great addition, even if you’re already using roasted, salted nuts.  And it looks great with those little white specks on top.  Even though mine was a bit hardened when I remembered, there is still a little finer salt on the top.  I hurried and ground my pink Himalayan sea salt over it, so it wasn’t as course as it should be.  But this brittle sure tastes great!

You know how when you break it in to pieces and smaller bits and chunks break off?  I might have tasted a few of those, but only if there was a healthy nut in them.  ;  )

Here’s the link to the recipe again on Paige’s blog.  If you like or love brittle—make this!  It’s fun and perfect to give as gifts, too.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Apple Pie with Lucky Leaf Pie Filling and Pampered Chef Pie Plate (Giveaway)


Apple Pie with Lucky Leaf

Who would like a slice of Apple Pie?  ME!  I think apple pie is my favorite kind of pie.  Too bad I didn’t make this one gluten free.  I will admit to having snitched a bite.  (Living on the edge.)  My favorite pie filling folks at Lucky Leaf sent me a fun package with some pie filling and this awesome Pampered Chef pie plate.  My family convinced me to make a cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  They love nothing more than opening cans of pie filling, especially cherry and blueberry (which Lucky Leaf also sent me) and having it with cheesecake.  But even though I can’t and didn’t eat the pie, I had to make apple pie with the apple filling. 

Lucky Leaf’s canned pie filling is full to the top with apples. 


I love that and wish I’d had two cans of it for the pie, but since I didn’t, I cooked some apples and added it to the filling to make a fuller pie.  Another thing I love about Lucky Leaf premium pie fillings—no high fructose corn syrup.  Not only that, but there are just minimal ingredients, basically the same as you’d make at home—fruit, sugar, cornstarch, and spices.  Sure comes in handy in a pinch.

I chopped up 4 apples, added a little sugar, a touch of lemon and some cinnamon and cooked them in a pot for about 10 minutes.   Then I folded the Lucky Leaf filling in with the cooked apples.  I put that in my prepared pie crust in the awesome Pampered Chef pie plate, added a crust top and baked it for 35 minutes.

Apple Pie ready for top crust

I think the pie turned out great!  I really like the already fluted edge of the pie plate. 

Apple Pie ready to bake

I have always had a hard time fluting the edge of pie and this really did make it easier for me.  And it’s a pretty plate!

Apple Pie with Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Filling, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 can Lucky Leaf Premium Apple Pie Filling

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (use your favorite apple)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Homemade pie crust, ready for top and bottom of pie (I used Dorie Greenspan's Galette Dough recipe), chilled for at least 30 minutes

2 tablespoons cream, for brushing on the crust

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling over the pie

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

Put the prepared apples in a saucepan, along with the lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

While the apples are cooking, roll out the bottom crust and put it in the pie plate.  Fold the pie filling into the cooked apples and put them in the prepared pie plate.  Roll out the top crust and cover the apples with it.  Tuck the top crust around  the edges slightly over the bottom crust and flute the edges.  Vent the top of the pie making slits with a knife.  (I always make a little pie crust cutout of whatever kind of pie I’m making to put in the center of the crust.) Bake for 35-40 minutes, if the crust is browning too much during baking, cover lightly with foil.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Apple Pie (I didn’t check the browning of my crust in time and would have covered it with foil a little sooner, it was almost done when I looked.  It was still definitely not too dark though.  It sliced nicely, too.

Apple Pie slice

A couple of the boys had a slice of the pie, but Kevin wouldn’t want me to tell you he has eaten about 3/4 of it over a couple of days.  Every time he’s in the kitchen and wonders what he can eat, I keep telling him to eat the pie.  He’d want you to know he’s doing it just for me.  Besides that, it’s really good!

Did I mention a giveaway?  Yes—Lucky Leaf wants to give one of my lucky, randomly chosen readers a Pampered Chef pie plate and some of their premium pie filling, too!  I want to make it simple for you—just leave me a comment here about one of your favorite holiday family traditions.  The giveaway will be open to US residents only and will go until 12:00 p.m., Friday, December 12.  A winner will be announced on Facebook and other social media, so make sure you’re following Baking and Boys and Lucky Leaf!  Thanks and thank you Lucky Leaf!

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