Archive for December, 2008

No Excuses

December 23, 2008

Finals, holiday shopping, coming home to friends I haven’t seen since summer…excuses, but not valid.

The fact is, I have been baking, but not very successfully.

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Delicious caramel brownies…but very, very messy. Impossible to serve unless your guests are like mine and interested in scooping chocolatey, caramely goo from the pan.

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A cranberry-almond spiced bundt cake that I made with my boyfriend. It took most of an afternoon and was really fun. The cake went in the oven beautifully and smelled heavenly while baking…

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…but due to my impatience, it fell apart because I tried to turn it out of a poorly greased pan when it was too warm. It was still yummy!

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And of course, there’s holiday rugelach. Pretty, but nothing new. I added some milk chocolate chips and holiday swirl white chocolate chips to the filling this time.

Here are links to the recipes:

http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=28703

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spiced-Cranberry-Bundt-Cake-350418

I’m sure if I’d followed them properly by using the right sized pans, and allowing the cake to cool before turning it out the deliciousness would’ve looked lovely too.

 

My next baking attempts will look good, I promise! I am now armed with a secret weapon…hehehe.

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Baking in Vegas

December 2, 2008

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Rugelach: pastry made with a cream cheese dough and different fillings (as raisins and walnuts and cinnamon or chocolate and walnut and apricot preserves)

http://www.answers.com/topic/rugelach

 

The first time I tried these delicious cookies at the bakery where I work I fell in love. The savory cream cheese dough, the sticky-sweet cranberries, the toasty pecans, a hint of brown sugar…

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I knew my mother would adore them, so I found a dough recipe online and made a batch. This past weekend, my family drove nine hours to Las Vegas and my mother insisted that I make a few batches for her friend. The night before we left home I whipped up three batches of cream cheese dough and packed them in a cooler for the ride.

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The nice thing about rugelach is its flexibility. Basically you make a big log, and whenever the craving hits, you slice off a piece, pop it in the toaster oven for a bit, and enjoy a freshly baked goodie. The filling isn’t limited to just the ingredients I used, though those happen to be my mother’s favorites. Chocolate chips are an addition I can’t wait to try.

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Rugelach

4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/2 cup pecans (toasted and chopped)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg white

In a food processor, cut together butter and cream cheese. Add flour and process until dough forms into a ball.

Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 15 minutes to overnight.

Mix together pecans, cranberries, brown sugar, and egg white.

Roll dough between two pieces of wax paper into a 9″x12″ rectangle.

Spread filling on dough in an even layer. Starting from a long edge, roll into a log.

Wrap log in aluminum foil. Store in refrigerator for up to a week. 

When ready to bake, slice log into 12-16 slices depending on desired crispness. Thicker slices will result in chewier cookies.

Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes or until edges of dough begin to brown.

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