Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TWD: Kids' Thumbprints

In order to stay positive and motivate myself to get through the week, I try to think of little things to look forward to each day of the week. For example, Josh often picks me up from work on Mondays, and on Wednesdays we run six miles together, eat Chinese food, and watch “Top Chef.” Tuesday’s thing is obviously Tuesdays With Dorie and it makes me sad that this is the very last TWD with this incarnation of the group. In February 2012, we will start a new book, Baking with Julia, but Kids’ Thumbprints are the very last recipe in Baking.

I have always enjoyed baking, but since joining the group I have greatly expanded my repertoire and attempted many desserts I otherwise would not have tried. There was a point when I was so enthusiastic about the book that I thought I would bake every single recipe in it. Though I greatly admire those who have, I realized that was not a practical option for me at this point in my life. Josh (who has gone from boyfriend to fiance to husband since I began baking with TWD) would keep tabs on my baking to-do lists and help me edit based on time and his ability to consume the output. I do hope someday I have more time to take photographs and blog (I do seem to manage to bake plenty of treats). The very best part of TWD is definitely reading about the other bakers’ experiences each week. Not surprisingly, people who enjoy baking for others are incredibly nice and I am happy to have been introduced to such an amazing community.

So the thumbprints? I brought them to work and they disappeared before I had a chance to try one. Luckily I had left a few at home so I managed to have a taste and they are super-yummy, not to mention a perfect treat to make during the holidays. We rated them a 7.5 for Deliciousness and I gave them a 3 for Effort, for an EDR of 2.5. We are lucky enough to have the lovely Dorie herself hosting this week; I hope you enjoy reading her post as much as I did. Many thanks to her and all the other bakers for giving me something to look forward to on Tuesdays. I can’t wait for the fun to continue in February!

P.S. The cookie jar featured in this post was a gift passed on from Josh's mom shortly after Josh and I moved in together. Josh has since purchased a very cute retro-style owl cookie jar for me, but I love picturing Josh as a little towhead grabbing cookies from this one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TWD Rewind: World Peace Cookies

For the penultimate Tuesdays With Dorie, we were given a rewind option. Josh’s office had its annual cookie exchange last week. I had lofty plans to try a new recipe, but my limited spare time made me go with the more practical option of making a tried and true favorite: World Peace Cookies. World Peace Cookies were one of the few recipes I had made before I joined the group and I have probably made them more than any other recipe in Baking. Josh said they were a hit and several of his co-workers complimented my baking when I saw them at their Christmas party on Saturday. I didn’t get a chance to photograph them (and though I am too lazy to check for sure, I think I have erased my old photos), so that is why I am posting photos of my dog in a scarf. I don’t think I’ve ever posted them before and even if I had, I think it would be worth rewinding to. I promise I will manage to bake and post (hello, vacation!) our very last TWD recipe next week. To see what the other bakers rewound to, check out the TWD site.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TWD: Earl Grey Madeleines

Tuesdays With Dorie is doubling up on recipes this week and the one I made was Earl Grey Madeleines. My apologies to Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table for not getting to the Honey Almond Fig Tart. I had assumed I wouldn’t be able to find fresh figs. Since they were hard to come by in October, I assumed they would be impossible to find in December. Funnily enough, I did just see some at the store tonight, though well after the other recipe, Earl Grey Madeleines had been made and mostly consumed. We are not what you’d call tea drinkers in this house. We like coffee - strong black coffee. It’s one of the few things we buy in bulk at Costco, along with ten-pound bags of sugar (surprise!) and economy-size boxes of generic milk bones for our voracious eater. However, Josh was required to dress up as a mummy for his office’s Halloween party (he claims there are not any pictures of the mummy crew from the party, a fact I may be verifying when I see his co-workers at their Christmas party next week). He put a great effort into his costume, researching the best way to get the soiled look, and had bought Earl Grey tea to dye the mummy wrappings. Lucky for me, not all the bags got used and I was able to utilize them in this recipe.

I have now made all the Madeleine recipes in Baking, and they are all delicious and fairly easy to make. My one qualm was that when I strained the tea-infused butter through the recommended layers of cheesecloth, I think I lost more of the butter than I would have liked, because the Madeleines were not quite as buttery and tender as others. Many thanks to Nicole of Bakeologie for a lovely selection. You can find the recipe here on her site and visit the TWD site to see what the other bakers made this week.