Traditional Linzer Cookies

These Traditional Linzer Cookies were lovely.  My mom makes wonderful strawberry jam in the summer, and this was a great way to show it off.

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The only difficulty I had was in rolling out my dough, not through any fault of the recipe, but because I tried to make these in the middle of a string of 90+ degree days. Our air conditioner struggled, our house was uncomfortably warm, and my dough went from fridge cooled to room temperature very quickly. If I had thought ahead I would have put my rolling pin in the freezer to help keep the dough chilled.  I froze half of my dough for another, more temperate,  day.

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Despite some stickiness, I did managed to put together some tasty cookies.   With the powdered sugar on top this recipe really does make a very picturesque treat. Pretty tasty too. IMG_7357
Baked Sunday Mornings

Cheesy Bastille Day Beer Bread

This Cheesy Bastille Day Beer Bread was a big hit in our house. My local Trader Joe’s had Comté cheese, but I had no luck with a “Pyrenees Brebis cheese or other semisoft sheep’s-milk cheese.” The only sheep’s milk cheese available was a hard cheese with black olives, which wasn’t all that appealing to me.  So I went with fontina instead, which I think was very tasty. 

IMG_7181I used Mothership Wit by New Belgium, which is a very mild beer great for baking. I would love to make this bread again with different cheeses, like smoked gouda or sharp cheddar. My husband said the bread reminded him of the Cheddar Biscuits they serve at Red Lobster. The texture was very light and probably too crumbly for sandwiches, but we ate it dipped in marinara sauce with sliced pepperoni.
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Baked Sunday Mornings

Derby Cookies

It’s that time of year again, when ladies break out the ridiculous head gear, bars serve mint juleps in frosted pewter mugs, and Baked Sunday Mornings tries out Derby Cookies. They are walnut butter cookies, rolled in sugar, and flavored with whiskey and vanilla.  I honestly don’t think that combination could turn out poorly.

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This is the second time I’ve made them and I loved them both times.  The exterior is delightfully crunchy after being rolled in demerara sugar, while the inside remained soft and buttery. I also like that it makes a lot of cookies so it’s great if you’re taking it to a party or to share with coworkers.

On a side note, I accidently watched the Kentucky Derby yesterday. We went out to watch the Capitals/Penguins game, and the Derby was dominating NBC coverage before the game.  The bar was disappointingly light on derby hats, though I can understand why people would find it clashing with their hockey jerseys.

 

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Whipped Shortbread

0123688e9443f4e8b86b4a1be60add7e7a2962c286This recipe for Whipped Shortbread was super easy and the results delicious. While the recipe called for adding chopped pecans, I decided to go with some festive sugar sprinkles. A drizzle or dip into melted chocolate would also be a great addition. While the base recipe highlights the simple pleasures of butter, sugar and salt, you could easily add other flavors like lemon, vanilla, almond or herbs.
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I cut the recipe in half (since Thanksgiving wiped out my stock of butter, I was amazingly down to my last two sticks) and I still had more than enough cookies to share.

Baked Sunday Mornings

Individual Baked Alaskas with Vanilla and Coffee Ice Cream

IMG_5924I loved these Individual Baked Alaskas. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’ve had baked Alaska once, about fifteen years ago, and I only have a vague memory of it. IMG_5908From the recipe it sounded a lot like making ice cream cupcakes, basically slicing chocolate cupcakes in half and then layering them in muffin tins with ice cream. IMG_5914Then you top the whole thing with meringue and either bake it (which sounded like an alarming thing to do to an ice cream dessert), or in my case, you break out your new pastry torch and toast the meringue the fun way.
IMG_5918The recipe takes a bit of planning, but the technique is excellent. Friday evening, I made the Red Wine and Chocolate cupcake recipe we made back in May. Saturday I started layering the ice cream with the cake and then let everything freeze. Sunday morning I made the meringue and everything was ready to torch for some friends I had over on Sunday night.
IMG_5920And I have to tell you, letting people light their food on fire makes for great dessert conversation.

If I made them again, I would change two things. I would make the bottom layer a slice of cake. Every time I took the cakes out of the freezer the bottom layer would melt a bit until I was left with barely any ice cream. Also, I would try adding granulated sugar to top of meringue to crisp them like creme brulee. IMG_5927

Baked Sunday Mornings

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crumb Morning Muffins

Peanut Butter MuffinsI made these back in May, but I liked them so much I decided to make them again. This time I added a banana to the mix in place of the sour cream. They came out really well! However, I think when I make them again I will add a second banana and maybe cut back on the peanut butter a bit just to change the flavors around. I also wanted to try a pumpkin, apple butter, pecan version, but I ran out of time this week. I’m hoping to get to it soon. Peanut Butter Muffins
Baked Sunday Mornings

Nonnie’s Blueberry Buckle

01769da4f3a35ecc489263e9b6db7841dda8381106This blueberry cake is awesome! It’s like an an oversized, very moist blueberry muffin.  It seems like a ridiculous amount of blueberries when you are adding them to the cake batter, but the result is wonderful. So many blueberries!016f2a739371465ee69a8d8df9a86ec74279774010I’ve never used a tube pan for this kind of cake, so I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. The result was awesome, but getting it out of the pan was challenging. It says to let cool for twenty minutes, at which point the pan is still quite hot, and then to run a knife along the edges to loosen, and attempt to remove the sides and the bottom. I ended up doing a bit of cake acrobatics, where I lifted the tube out, then carefully ran a knife under the bottom, flipped the whole thing onto a plate, then flipped it again onto a wire rack to cool.  It all came out beautifully though, after all that juggling of hot cake.

I would definitely make this again. Next time I plan on adding more lemon, and some nuts, but otherwise it’s a fabulous cake. 012f69bfa327c435b804aff303f2fe43d5f3846ef8
Baked Sunday Mornings

St. Pat’s Drunk Cake

IMG_3000The St. Pat’s Drunk Cake from Baked Occasions is described as a Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake with Whiskey Bailey’s Glaze. I was pretty excited to try it!  I think dark chocolate and dark beer is a dynamite combination.  I used Innis and Gunn’s Irish Whiskey Stout, which has a molasses flavor, and tastes a lot more like whiskey than you would expect from a beer, even one with the word ‘whiskey’ in the name. I think a basic Guinness would work better, and is undoubtedly more widely available.   The cake came out well, it was very dense, rich and chocolatey without being overly sweet.  It didn’t have a pronounced stout flavor. I think the beer just blended in to enhance the chocolate. IMG_5139However I didn’t feel like the frosting fit the cake very well. Mixing cream cheese and boozy flavor was just odd. And the frosting I made wasn’t particularly attractive, too thin to spread but too creamy to pour.  I think having a simply powdered sugar glaze would have worked well, and skip the cream cheese altogether. Drizzle a bit of melted chocolate on top of that would be perfect. IMG_5142
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Orange Buttermilk Picnic Cake with Chocolate Chips

IMG_5338I thought this cake was delicious! If you are a fan of the combination of orange and chocolate you will adore this cake. It is easy to put together, very flavorful, and super moist.  IMG_5336It’s not the prettiest cake in the world, but the taste more than makes up for it.  I accidently carmelized my syrup the first time around, so I’d suggest keeping an eye on it. Luckily I had an extra orange so I just made it a second time. I would definitely make this recipe again. 
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Baked Sunday Mornings

Dad’s Black Cocoa Bundt with Butter Whiskey Glaze

IMG_5207I wasn’t crazy about this cake. To be fair, I couldn’t find black cocoa powder (so bummed about that), but I’m not sure if that would have made much of a difference. I’m curious to see what the other bakers think of it, as it’s not something I’ve ever used. The bundt cake turned out alright. It was chocolatey and moist, but I found the texture was a bit uneven, and overall the cake just seemed kind of boring.  The batter had a strong mocha flavor that unfortunately didn’t carry over to the the finished cake. The glaze was an ok powdered sugar glaze, but didn’t really add any flavor but extra sweetness.IMG_5208I thought the whole thing would have been tastier if you made a syrup with granulated sugar, melted butter and whiskey and poured that over the cake instead of using a frosting.

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