Friday, October 29, 2010

FFwD: Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

Nothing beats a great apple cake and this is just that... A great apple cake! It is simple to put together and uses 4 different types of apples. Definately a cake that I will make again and again!

Make sure to buy Around My French Table!!!

Short, sweet, and to the point... Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Surprise Streusel Muffins

Things are gonna get pretty pumpkin-y around here! Okay, so I realize that I have already posted a lot of pumpkin recipes (9 pumpkin posts -including this one- so far this month) but more are coming! I have 2 more pumpkin recipes in my draft folder and at least 20 more in my to-try folder. I know I don't have a chance of making the 20+ recipes before Thanksgiving but that doesn't mean I won't try! What does this mean for you? A TON of pumpkin posts! :)

These are a great pumpkin muffin! I love everything about them from the pumpkin flavor, the delicious struesel topping, and, of course, the hidden cream cheese in the center. Yum, yum, and yum!

Pumpkin Surprise Streusel Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 oz cream cheese, cut into 12 cubes

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP buter

Combine flour through nutmeg in bowl. In seperate bowl, combine egg through vegetable oil. Stir dry ingredients into wet just until combined. Fill muffin tins with batter and put one cube of cream cheese in center of each muffin.

Combine streusel ingredients and top muffins. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: DONUTS!

When I saw the challenge for this month I was super excited! Donuts have been on my "to try" list for as long as I can remember but I have never had that push to make them. I logged on to the Daring Bakers website on October 2nd to find out what the challenge was and made these October 3rd. Can you tell I was excited?

I decided to make a pumpkin cake donut coated with spiced sugar, pumpkin donut holes coated in powdered sugar, and yeasted donuts with a chocolate glaze. All of them were delicious but my favorite was the pumpkin with spiced sugar. SOOOOOOO good!

Everything was really easy to prepare and I think they turned out great. The only thing I would change next time is to let the yeast donuts rise a bit more before refrigerating them overnight. They were a little on the small side but still delicious!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Pumpkin Doughnuts
Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes

All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon
Table Salt 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Buttermilk ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon
Pumpkin 1 cup
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Spiced sugar

1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1.Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

2.Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

3.Using 1-inch diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

4.Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

5. Mix spiced sugar ingredients and roll donuts in mixture.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cookie Carnival: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

These didn't photgraph well but they sure do taste great! I love pumpkin with craisins and white chocolate (see here for an example) so I knew I would love these cookies! I had actually had them bookmarked when I got the email from Tami that these were chosen for the Cookie Carnival. I was excited to have that push to make them and I am glad I did!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from My Baking Addiction

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries; roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips and dried cherries.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

I've been wanting to make a pumpkin gingerbread trifle for a while now but haven't done it yet. Last week a friend wrote me on Facebook asking if I had a good recipe for a pumpkin trifle. I gave her the basics of what I had in mind (didn't have a recipe yet) and then she got to work on hers. She made a slightly different version and posted pictures and that sealed the deal for me. Less than an hour after she posted her pictures I had my gingerbread baking in the oven! :)

I knew I wanted 3 basic components in my trifle: gingerbread, pumpkin mousse, and some sort of cream cheese layer. I ended up keeping the cream cheese simple (cream cheese and powdered sugar thinned out with a little cream) and I love how it balanced out the gingerbread and pumpkin.

I enjoyed this trifle very much and am pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to make it again!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Cream Cheese Mixture:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Milk or cream for thinning

Pumpkin Mousse:

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the gingerbread:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.

In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature and then cut into 1" cubes.

For the cream cheese mixture:

Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add milk or cream until desired consistency is reached. (I preferred mine a little more pudding like, but you could leave it thicker if you wanted.)

For the pumpkin mousse:

Combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup cream, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in saucepan. Heat for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

Whip remaining cream until soft peaks form. Fold into cooled pumpkin mixture.

To assemble trifle:

Divide gingerbread cubes into 3 equal piles (save 2 or 3 cubes for crumbling on top). Assemble as follows:

1/3 gingerbread cubes
1/2 pumpkin mousse
1/3 gingerbread cubes
All of cream cheese mixture
1/3 gingerbread cubes
1/2 pumpkin mousse

Can decorate the top with whipped cream rosettes, if desired, or crumbled gingerbread.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorie Greenspan!

Surprise, Dorie! It's your birthday and we have a virtual birthday celebration for you! A little backstory first....

About a month ago there was a request for volunteers for a super secret project. I had no idea what that project would be but I was up for it. Laurie and Holly wanted to put together a surprise birthday dinner for Dorie with some members of TWD and FFwD. Each person would pick a dish from "Around My French Table" and we would post it today for Dorie's birthday.

I volunteered for the dessert section and had such a hard time choosing a recipe. I realize that Dorie wasn't going to actually eat this but there was a lot of pressure baking for her. I wanted it to be perfect!

After a lot of debate I decided on the Paris-Brest since Dorie calls it "truly a party dessert". The Paris-Brest was created to celebrate an annual amateur bike race in France from Paris to Brest. The dessert is circular to represent a bicycle wheel.

There are two parts to the ring: a pate-a-choux ring and a vanilla pastry cream (with caramelized almonds). Believe it or not, the carmelized almonds are what made me choose this recipe. Caramel used to get the best of me. I couldn't ever get it to come out right. Then, when making the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream with TWD, it just happened. The way Dorie explained it in that recipe made it just click for me and now I am confident in my caramel abilities. I wanted to pick a recipe that required me to do something that Dorie had a hand in helping me accomplish.
So, Dorie, this one's for you! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I have so enjoyed my journey with TWD and feel like I have learned so much from you. I am looking forward to this new journey with FFwD and I know I will learn just as much from this group, too!

Make sure to stop by Holly's blog, Phe-MOM-enon, to get the links for the rest of the party!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

I don't usually post on the weekend but had to get this post up for you! This morning the kids asked for French Toast but I was in the mood for pumpkin. What is a girl to do? Combine the two and make Pumpkin French Toast.

I loved this one!!! So good and just the right amount of pumpkin and spices! I hope you'll give it a try this weekend!


Pumpkin French Toast

3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 TBSP pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 slices bread

Mix all ingredients (minus bread) in a bowl. Dip bread in pumpkin mixture and cook on griddle until browned on both sides.

Serve with powdered sugar or syrup (or both!).

Friday, October 22, 2010

FFwD: Hachis Parmentier

Hachis Parmentier (ah-she pahr-men-tee-ay) is basically a Shepherd's Pie. Well, a French Shepherd's Pie, so that means it is fancier. :) Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorite meals and I was excited to try out this version.

It starts with this lovely mixture of onions, carrots, celery, beef, and spices in a big pot and it cooks for 1 1/2 hours. Holy moly, it smelled AMAZING! After it has cooked, the meat is cut up small and put into a casserole dish. And if that isn't enough, you brown sausage and add it to the beef mixture. Then you top it with delicious, creamy mashed potatoes and grated gruyere cheese. Seriously??? Comfort food doesn't get any better than this!

Once it is baked, it has a nice golden brown top and, if you are anything like me, you will burn your tongue tasting it because you just can't wait to eat it!

It was amazing!!! I will definitely be making it over and over again. It is totally worth the time and effort! SOOOOOO GOOD!!!! Now go buy Around My French Table so you can serve Hachis Parmentier to your family. They will love you forever!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cheeseburger Macaroni

I know this doesn't look like much but it tastes great so hear me out. :)

When Nathan is gone I like to find easier meals for me and the kids. It's not that they don't like "fancier" foods... It's actually quite the opposite. I like to think of them as my little foodies and they enjoy a variety of different foods. I would have to say they are less picky than I am! (Well, Anya definitely is... Eric and I probably have the same level of pickiness!)

Back to the point of this post... While the kids enjoy eating meals that take me forever to make, they also enjoy meals that take me 5 minutes to make. Since time is precious when Nathan is away and I would much rather spend time playing with them, I tend to gravitate towards easier/quicker meals.

This meal is just that. Quick, easy, and the ingredients are what you would usually have in your pantry/fridge. The best part is that it is incredibly delicious! I loved it and the kids loved it and I will definitely be making it again!


Cheeseburger Macaroni

2 cups elbow noodles
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBSP ketchup
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar

Boil noodles; drain and set aside. Brown beef and onion in a skillet; set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and mix well. Add salt through worcestershire and mix. Add the milk and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese.

Mix beef and noodles into cheese sauce and serve.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cooking with Anya: Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkin

Even though it has been almost 2 months since Anya started kindergarten I am still not used to her being gone all day. I miss having her around the house and I miss not having a lot of time to do special projects with her. Yesterday while she was at school this idea popped into my head and I thought it would be a great cooking craft for her when she got home. You can't really get much easier than rice krispie treats! Quick, easy, and super cute!!!

What Anya had to say:

This was a tasty treat. It was fun. The part that was the most fun was when my mommy sprayed Pam on my hands and it was so funny because the rice krispies stuck to my hands and I ate my hands. It was a very fun activity and the part that was even funner was when I decorated it and put the chocolate bar on the top for the stem. And then I decorated the eyes, hair, ears, nose and mouth with black rectangle licorices. It was the funnest food baking ever. My favorite part was when I ate it. The end.

Rice Krispie Pumpkin
3 TBSP butter
4 cups mini-marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
Orange Food Coloring
Candy or frosting for decorating

Melt butter and marshmallows in pan. Mix in food coloring until desired color is reached. Stir in Rice Krispies and mix to combine.

Spray a bowl with cooking spray and press krispie mix into bowl. Let sit until cool and molded.

Turn out onto plate and decorate!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Pie

There were two reasons why I wasn't going to sit out TWD this week:

#1 - It's pumpkin pie. I think we all know that I love pumpkin and I think pumpkin pie is my all time favorite pumpkin dessert. Well... maybe there is a tie between pumpkin pie and pumpkin roll!

#2- I actually know the host for this week in real life. :) Janell and I met in Germany when both of our husbands were stationed there so I knew that I wouldn't be missing her hosting week!

This pie is different than the traditional pumpkin pie since it has the addition of caramel. I used to be afraid of caramel, but I am pretty sure I have conquered it and I no longer wince at the thought of a recipe with caramel!

The caramel adds a nice depth to the pumpkin filling and it was a very, very good pie! Oh, and if you are wondering about the odd shaped slice above it is because I quartered the recipe and was using my mini-pie tins for a tart and had to use an oval dish for the pie. :)

Thanks to Janell for hosting this week! The recipe can be found at her blog or on page 322 of BFMHTY.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spiderweb Brownies

You can't go wrong with brownies and cheesecake! Put it all in a round pan and pipe the cheesecake on top in the shape of a spiderweb and now you have a delicious and fun Halloween treat! Enjoy!

Spiderweb Brownies
Recipe idea from King Arthur Flour


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Mixture:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp orange extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8" round cake pan or springform pan.

Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Pour into prepared pan.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Add in yolk and extract. Put mixture into piping bag and pipe circles about 1" apart starting from the center. Once circles are drawn, take a knife and run it through the circles. Trace the lines with remaining cream cheese mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies pull away from the side of the pan.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bars

I don't often dabble in creating my own recipes. I tweak recipes a lot, but get nervous about doing my own thing. My husband is always encouraging me to give it a go and create something. He definately has more faith in me than I have in myself and I am so thankful to be married to a man who believes that I can do anything!

I was in the mood for pumpkin (big surprise!) and decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin bars. I thought it would be a good time to just let the creative juices flow and see what I could come up with. What could go wrong with pumpkin, cinnamon chips, and white chocolate?

These bars were fantastic! They were a cross between cake and blondie. If left at room temperature, they are more cake-like and once refrigerated turn a little more blondie-like. I enjoyed them both ways and am looking forward to trying them again!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
White chocolate, melted (for top)

Cream butter and sugar together. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and egg; mix well. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix dry into wet until just combined. Stir in cinnamon chips.

Spread batter into greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Once cooled, drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies

I feel like I am going through a bit of writers block right now. Not that I've ever been super long winded here, but this week I can't seem to figure out anything to write. I don't know why it is, but I have a pile of recipes to be posted and don't want to take a week off because I can't write! :)

I love coconut so when I saw these cookies I knew that I would be making them. They were absolutely fantastic the way they were but when I make them again I will add in a little lime zest. I think it would just jazz them up a little!


Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies
Recipe from Once Upon a Plate

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut
⅔ cups white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and coconut and mix with a rubber spatula or butter knife until a soft dough forms. Add the chocolate.

With your hands, or a food scoop mold 2 tablespoons of cookie mixture into a flat round. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper or silpat silicone liner. Leave 1" space between each cookie to allow for cookies to spread. , leaving room to spread. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden. Allow to cool on trays.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pineapple Zucchini Cake

Seriously one of the best desserts I've ever eaten! YUM, YUM, YUM!

Pineapple Zucchini Cake
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of Ginger
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 whole Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Grated Zucchini
1 20 oz can Crushed Pineapple In Juice, Drained (reserve In Case You Need It For The Cake Batter Or The Frosting)


2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Splash Of Milk Or Pineapple Juice, If Necessary

Chopped Walnuts Or Pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated zucchini, and pineapple into flour mixture. Batter might be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. If it still seems too dry, just add a little splash of the pineapple juice.

Spoon batter into a 13 × 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 33-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Add a splash of milk or pineapple juice if necessary. Spread frosting over top of cake. You can garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.

*Note: I cut the recipe in half, used 1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, and baked in an 8x8 square pan.*

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Garlic Knots

I love homemade bread. From the mixing to the kneading to the smell of it in the oven. And warm bread or rolls straight from the oven??? You just can't beat that!

I must admit that I have never had garlic knots before, but I have heard wonderful things about them. I decided to give them a go and man were they delicious! My only complaint is that while they were cooked, I didn't let them brown enough so they are a little pale. Oh well... there is always next time!


Garlic Knot Recipe
Recipe from White on Rice Couple
Makes about 40 knots

1 3/4 c (415ml) Warm Water (@115°F)
1/4 c (55g) Olive Oil
1 t (5g) Sea Salt
1 T (15g) Sugar
1 1/2 T (20g) Active Dry Yeast
approx. 5 1/2 c (750 g) all-pupose, unbleached Flour

Garlic Coating
1/8 c (30ml) Olive Oil
2 T (30g) unsalted Butter
4 cloves Garlic, finely crushed
1/4 c (60ml) finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley

Sea Salt to taste

plus extra Olive Oil and Flour for making the knots

1. Combine water, 1/4c (55g) olive oil, sea salt, sugar, and active dry yeast in a large resealable container or bowl. Mix to dissolve yeast.

2. Add flour. Mix to incorporate flour, cover, and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in volume (usually 1-3 hrs depending on initial water temp and warmth of proofing area). (A sunny table outside on a warm summer day is perfect for proofing!)

3. Chill the dough for a bit (will keep fine in fridge for several days if you want to make the dough ahead of time) to make it easier to handle (this can be skipped if you don’t have the time) then set up your knotting station. Put out a large wooden cutting board and oil liberally. Grab a rolling dowel or pin and oil. Grab a pizza cutter or something similar to slice dough in strips. Put container of flour within easy reach. Line several sheet pans with parchment paper or silpats and place within easy reach.

4. Oil your hands to help keep dough from sticking to them. Divide the dough in two parts to make it easier to handle. Take the first half, slap it onto the oiled board several times to flatten. Using the dowel, spread into an even rectangle approx. 5″x16″ and 1/2″ thick. Slice the rectangle into 1/2″x5″ strips.

5. Rotate the board 90° and sprinkle dough strips and board with flour. Taking the strip nearest to you, roll it back and forth to create an even rope. Tie into a knot (over, under, and through) and place on lined sheet pan. Place knots about an 1 1/2″ apart. At first it may seem awkward making the knots but with a little practice it will become easy. Flour is your friend to help keep the dough from sticking to itself while forming the knots.

6. Continue making the rest of the knots with the second half of the dough. After each sheet pan fills up, cover with a dry sack towel, and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise.

Preheat oven to 400° F

7. After knots have doubled in size, take off dry sack towel and place sheet pans in the oven. Bake for approx. 12-15 min. or until golden.

8. While knots are baking, make garlic coating. Gently warm olive oil, butter, and garlic in a small saucepan (if you like your garlic with less of a bite, cook it for a few minutes in oil/butter mix until soft & slightly golden). Add chopped parsley and set aside.

9. After removing knots from oven, while still warm, either brush with garlic coating, or place knots in a large bowl and toss with garlic coating. Season with sea salt to taste.

Best served warm, but still good when at room temp.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Here is a delicious frosted pumpkin cookie that comes from my friend, Rebecca. Rebecca was Anya's dance teacher before the Army moved her to the other side of the country. Luckily for Facebook, we have been able to keep in touch with each other. Rebecca and I usually end up talking about food and I am so happy that she shared this recipe with me!

Another friend from dance class had told me about these cookies and that they were fantastic and that I had to try them. I immediately wrote Rebecca and asked for the recipe and made them as soon as she wrote back.

The cookie itself is cakey, full of pumpkin flavor and spices, and so good! It really is delicious on its own. The frosting is made with brown sugar and is the perfect compliment for the cookies. We really loved these and I will definately make them again!

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin
1.5 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
1 tsp cloves (heaping)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (Heaping)
1 tsp vanilla (heaping)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix oil, pumpkin and sugar. Add vanilla. Mix flour, spices, baking powder and soda then add to wet. Add flour, nuts and raisins. mix until blended (do not overmix).

Bake @ 350 for 10-12 minutes on greased cookie sheet.

Remove and cool completely. Frost.

3 TBSP softened butter
4 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients until smooth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

FFwD: Gerard's Mustard Tart

There is a huge difference between 'Tuesdays with Dorie' and 'French Fridays with Dorie'. Being a member of TWD has pushed me to try new recipes but as far as tastes go, it hasn't been a problem for me. Why would it be, though? Desserts are, for the most part, universally delicious and with the exception of an ingredient here or there that I am not particularly fond of, I haven't had to step out of my comfort zone.

FFwD is the exact opposite. I would say that I am a good cook and that I enjoy trying new recipes. However, I think I am a tad pickier about things and after looking through 'Around My French Table' (which is an AMAZING book- BUY IT!), I know I am going to be stretched not only in cooking techniques, but my tastes will be stretched, too. (Make no mistake... that is a good thing!)

Enter this weeks recipe: Gerard's Mustard Tart. This tart is made with two different types of mustard (a dijon and a grainy one). Now, I like plain yellow mustard on a sandwich, but strong mustards just aren't for me. I fully expected to hate this recipe but I knew I had to give it a try.

The two mustards are mixed in with eggs and cream (kind of quiche-like) and topped with carrots and leeks (I used green onions since my grocery store was out of leeks).

Surprise, surprise! It was DELICIOUS!!!! I scaled back the recipe and made two mini-tarts. I had one bite and before I could take another one, my 5 year old daughter and my husband had devoured them both. Guess that means they REALLY liked it!

I sound like a broken record, but here is yet another winner from Dorie. Do we expect anything different, though? :)

Happy French Friday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

I love cinnamon rolls and I love pumpkin. Put the two together and I am literally in breakfast treat heaven! I took what I liked from 2 recipes, added in my own twist on the filling, and ended up with what Nathan and I consider one of the best cinnamon rolls we have EVER tasted!

The pumpkin is noticible but not overwhelming. The filling is classic cinnamon with the addition of some pumpkin pie spice and a dash of cloves. And then there is the frosting. Oh my... the frosting! I considered going with a traditional cream cheese frosting (which you totally could do) but got the caramel idea in my head and couldn't get it out! The frosting is simple to make and pours right over the hot rolls (no spreading required!). After a few minutes, it firms up like a glaze. Oh so good!!!I made this recipe for 6 rolls since I have a family of four but could easily be doubled for a larger group. And you might just want to double it and share. People will seriously love you!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting
Makes 6 LARGE rolls

1 1/8 tsp or 1/2 envelope active dry yeast
1/8 cup warm water
1/2 tsp PLUS 2 TBSP granulated sugar (divided)
1 egg
2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
7.5 oz canned pumpkin
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt

4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Dash cloves

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 TBSP milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of the granulated sugar; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Mix in remaining 2 TBSP sugar, egg, butter and pumpkin. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt until soft dough forms. Continue to knead for 10 minutes, adding remaining flour as needed, until dough is smooth.

Place dough in large greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled.

Once doubled, roll dough out into a rectangle. Combine all filling ingredients and spread evenly over rectangle. Roll up dough and cut into 6 rolls.

Place rolls in greased 8" pan and allow to rise until doubled.

(At this point, you can either bake or refrigerate the rolls overnight and bake in the morning. If you are refrigerating the rolls, allow them to come to room temperature before baking.)

Bake the rolls at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and make frosting.

To make frosting, melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Add powdered sugar all at once and whisk until clumps disappear. Pour warm frosting over cinnamon rolls. Let set for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe adapted from Examiner and Tasty Kitchen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I love fall because it means that soups start reappearing. Of course, while the calendar says that it is fall, El Paso doesn't agree. Having lived in Phoenix, Arizona until I was 18, you'd think that I would be used to "desert fall". But, since I was in Germany for 7 years, I got used to a real fall. A fall with cooler temperatures and changing leaves. Even though our temperatures are still in the mid to high 80s, I am going to pretend that it is a real fall and I am going to make soup! :)

This baked potato soup is amazing! It tastes EXACTLY like a baked potato. There is even sour cream mixed in for that delicious tang. It reminded me a little of the Potato-Leek Chowder I make, and I am thrilled to now have 2 potato soups that I love!


Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Recipe from Mommy's Kitchen

4 - baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
4 - cups milk
2 - cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 - slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 - cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 - 8oz container sour cream

Bake potatoes in the oven or microwave. Scoop out the inside of the potato and set aside. Cook bacon in the oven while the potatoes bake at 350 degrees until crispy. Crumble and set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook about one minute stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the chicken broth and milk while stirring. Turn the heat to medium and cook the soup until it starts to thicken. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, bacon and cheese. Stir well and continue to heat for about 15 minutes allowing the flavors to blend. Mix in sour cream until well blended. Serve immediately. Garnish with green onions, additional bacon and shredded cheese.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TWD: Double Apple Bundt Cake

Yes, I realize this doesn't look like a Bundt cake. There are two reasons for that.

Reason #1- I quartered the recipe and used a mini cake tin.

Reason #2- The cake was really moist and didn't unmold well. I am blaming that on the fact that I used homemade apple butter instead of storebought. I don't know for certain if that is what caused it, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

So, what does one do when a cake doesn't unmold well? You crumble the cake, throw it in a pretty dish, and whip up some cream to top it all off. Oh, and maybe a little spoonful of homemade apple butter!

I want to say that the cake was absolutely delicious. Between the apple butter, the grated fresh apples, walnuts, and the raisins... YUM, YUM, and YUM!

Thanks to Lynne of Honey Muffin for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog or on page 184 of Baking:From My Home to Yours.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin Latte

A few days ago I posted on Facebook that October is the month that I go crazy with pumpkin. I tend to make as many things with pumpkin that I can. I buy a few cans of pumpkin plus a couple pumpkins that I roast and puree just so I can have some in the freezer. I don't know why I go crazy in October... all I know is that I do! :)

I was surprised at how many people were exicted to see what new pumpkin recipes I was going to post and a friend requested that I post about a pumpkin latte that is similar to a Starbuck's latte. I haven't had one from Starbucks so I can't if this is identical, but I can say that this is a FANTASTIC latte that I will be enjoying over and over again!


Pumpkin Latte
Recipe slightly adapted from DIY Recipe

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Brewed coffee (or hot chocolate)
Whipped cream

Warm milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla bean (scrape seeds out and add seeds AND pod) in pan. (If using extract, add once you remove from heat.) Once warm, add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract (if using). Beat with whisk until frothy. Pour some of the pumpkin mixture into coffee cup and the fill up the rest of the way with coffee. (Amount is up to you... I did 1 part coffee to 1 part pumpkin mixture. You may want to do more or less depending on how strong you like your lattes.)

Top with whipped cream and extra pumpkin pie spice.

Friday, October 1, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD) - Gougeres

It's here!!! French Fridays with Dorie has officially started! I have been baking along with Tuesdays with Dorie for over 2 years now and have been anxiously anticipating Dorie's new book "Around My French Table". When the book came in the mail a few weeks ago, I spent hours reading through each recipe and I am so stoked to finally start cooking/baking from this book. The best part about the new group? No participation requirements! Don't get me wrong... I am going to do my best to participate as much as possible but life gets crazy sometimes so I am grateful for the ablility to be a part of this group regardless of whether I post 1 recipe a month or 4.

The recipes for October were chosen by Dorie Greenspan herself and the first pick is Gougeres. It makes sense that the first recipe for FFwD is also the first recipe in the book.
Gougeres are basically a cream puff without pastry cream but with the addition of cheese. Dorie says that the easiest way to describe these is to call them "cheese puffs".

You start with a pate-a-choux dough and fold in grated cheese (I used cheddar). They are then spooned out onto a baking sheet and baked until browned and puffy. We LOVED these and they didn't last too long. I will definately make them again and again!

What a great way to kick off FFwD! Thanks to Dorie Greenspan for another awesome book and thanks to all the great minds who put together the new group!

Au revoir!

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