Sunday, November 30, 2008

Linzer Sables - TWD

You say sables -- I say I love Linzer tarts. My love goes back to my student days in Switzerland and Germany and being introduced to Linzer torts. Those lovely hazelnuts and raspberry jam and the interlaced crust -- what's not to like! And Linzer tarts are a great reminder.

If you had to grind nuts for the dough, this recipe would take more effort. A few years ago, I was introduced to buying ground nuts and I generally keep a supply of them in my pantry. I used some ground almonds for this recipe -- although ground hazelnuts would have been my preference. This was definately a shortcut to whip up these cookies.

I want to share another great baking short-cut. I recently bought an add-on for my stand mixer. This is in the form of a flat paddle beater with little wings. What this incredible item provides is scraping the bowl as it turns -- eliminating the need to stop and scrape down the side of the bowl. I found mine on the internet.

Here it is in action.

Here are my maple leaf Linzer sables. Dusted two and the reminder are in the freezer waiting for the holidays. Check out Living the Life for the recipe.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wow - Twofer Pie - TWD

With everyone watching their calorie intake, it's not unusual to see people eat the pie filling and pick away at the crust and leave most of it behind. Dorie's Good for Everything Pie Crust is not like that -- and my TG guests ate the whole pie (or at least their piece of pie). One of them said, this was the best pie they had ever eaten and I have to agree. This is a keeper!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kugelhopf Tastes Like Grandma's Coffee Cake

At first glance, the kugelhopf recipe scared me and I decided I would skip this week's posting. On Sunday, I gave the recipe a second look and changed my mind. I'm not home this week and took Dorie's advice about the kugelhopf making great toast so from the start planned to bake it in a loaf pan. I finished baking it late Sunday, tried a "few" slices (not toasted), wrapped the remaining loaf and threw it in the freezer. Given my compressed schedule and less than dramatic load pan presentation, there are no photographs of the finished cake for my posting.

My reaction, this tasted great and, even more, it reminded me of my Grandma Arps' coffee cake. She made coffee cakes for holidays -- especially Christmas. She rolled her coffee cakes much thinner (one or two inches thick) and they were sized to fit in a baking pan. She soaked the just baked cakes in butter and sugar just like the kugelhopf but also added cinnamon to the mixture. This would no doubt be a nice adaptation for the kugelhopf. Grandma Arps lived to be 92 and her parents emigrated from Wittorf in northern Germany to northwestern Ohio where many families from the same community landed. She was a great baker and made lots of cakes (one of my favorites was white hickory nut cake), cookies and homemade noodles. Grandma, thanks for the love of baking.