These were delicious! If you love chocolate with a delightful crunch of toasted nuts these cookies will make you very happy. They were very moist, so the slivered almonds that I used were a perfect complement. I’m sort of meh about hazelnuts, so I decided to substitute Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond spread instead. I’ve never tried it before, and I noticed that it doesn’t have a strong nut flavor (while Nutella is very hazelnutty). If you want a cookie that is more chocolate the TJ’s spread makes a good alternative.
I enjoyed these Chocolate Cinnamon Chipotle Cookies. Overall, I wish they had a stronger chocolate flavor. While I thought they were tasty, they mostly just tasted like sugar, likely the frosting overpowering any flavor from the cookie itself.
I don’t have Chipotle chili powder, but I do have frozen chipotle chilis in my freezer, so I defrosted and finely chopped one of those and mixed it in with the chocolate. I think it blended well with the cinnamon, though I don’t know if anyone would notice without knowing the name of the recipe.
Rolling them out was easy, and I got to use my new favorite octopus cookie cutter. This is the first time I’ve made royal icing and used a pastry bag, the results came out fairly well, but it does take a long time to wait for the different frostings to set! If I made them again I would probably spoon the first layer on instead of trying to pipe it, I think it would have gone a lot faster. Other than that, the frosting was my favorite part of these cookies. My husband was excited to help decorate, and I love the crunch the of the royal icing when you bite into a cookie.
These Milk Chocolate Malted Brownies with Chocolate Ganache were very tasty! What a great dessert for those who loves milk chocolate, the malt powder really compliments the extra sweetness. The middle was dense moist chocolate but the edges had a nice crispness from where they met the side of the pan. I skipped the decorating instructions and just tossed some chocolate chips on top.
I think my only critique would be to call for more ganache!
(Which is probably a good rule of thumb for almost any recipe, more ganache.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
I 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. From 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. Then 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.
The 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.
And 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.
This 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!I’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.
I 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.I 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.