Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesdays with Dorie - Kids Thumbprint Cookies

I am a day late posting these.  Family just left yesterday from a fabulous holiday weekend.
This is the end to a wonderful journey through Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.   I started with the group three and a half years ago.  The first year I participated every week, but then had a few slack off periods.  I missed my first opportunity to host but was able to host later on.  Dorie has been very encouraging to our group along the way.   I have learned so much from all the other bakers, and wonderful friendships have grown along the way.  I'm not a fabulous baker by any stretch, and a worse photographer, but it has been a journey I am glad I took.
The kids thumprints were very easy.  I chose not to roll them in chopped peanuts and I added some chocolate morsels to the centers instead of jam.  I love peanut butter and chocolate so it was a no brainer for me to do that.  
Be sure to check out the other bakers at http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/
We will be starting a new book and group in February.  I received the book for Christmas and am anxious to flip through and check out the recipes.
Thank you to Laura and Julie for managing the group for four years!!  They did an excellent job.  And thank you to all the bakers in the group that encouraged me along the way with your sweet comments, emails and tweets.  Love you all!!  Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesdays with Dorie - Visiting Swedish Cake

As our TWD group is ending, and we are finishing up Dorie Greenspan's Baking with Dorie cookbook, I wanted to bake a few of the recipes that I missed along the way. 

Tonight, I am taking dinner to a sick friend and I wanted some sort of dessert.   My twitter friend Nancy hosted this Swedish Visiting Cake when it was her turn and she has made it several times since.  I have made a recipe similar to this years ago that I loved, so I decided to try Dorie's version today.  It will be the perfect dessert for our dinner tonight.

I did not have a cast iron skillet as it called for in the recipe, so I used a heavy duty square cake pan and sat on top of a cookie sheet.  It was a really easy recipe to whip up.  No mixer required.  Easy ingredients. 

My square pan made it thinner than I would have liked, so next time I will use a smaller round cake pan.  This is going to be my "go-to" cake this year.  I'm going to make several to share with my neighbors.

If you love almond flavor, you will love this.  I also added a little vanilla flavoring per Dorie's side instructions.  Dorie says this cake can be cut into small pieces and eaten with your fingers.  That is what I have done.  Will be perfect for my Christmas Day night appetizer buffet meal.

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.
Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  (I saw Dorie doing this on the Martha Stewart show yesterday and it tickled me because I learned this trick, among many others, from her.)
Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts.Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.
Finally, fold in the melted butter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar. If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.