Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Croissants

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

This is not only my first Julia Child recipe, but also my first time making croissants. Yes, before this week I was a croissant-making virgin.

.... Err, I don't think that one came out right :)

Any who, I need to apologize to all of you for the quality of my post this week. I had no idea croissants would be such a devil to make! Not because it was overly difficult (though technique is required for sure), but rather they took forever to complete. I am talking a good day and a half when all was said and done. Granted, I could have knocked a lot of the time off the clock had I not had a million things going on, but it never happens that way. Instead, I had to squeeze steps in here and there throughout the weekend. As a result, I was not able to get many of the photos I had hoped to for all of the required steps. Sorry all!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday Baked: Honey Corn Muffins

The year was 1998. I was in graduate school for a degree I would never end up using, a good fifteen pounds heavier and chock full of that youthful optimism we all possessed in our earlier twenties. On one particular night, my girlfriend and I were making our rounds at a required school function when what did I come across at the potluck table, but a magical concoction that would forever change my views on corn muffins (and potlucks for that matter). There in front of me sat a vintage Corningware plate, and on that plate was something that I could only describe as being thrown together last minute in the backseat of someone's car (assuming that car was equipped with an oven). Now, why would I try something so unappealing? Simple. It was the smell. Those muffins pulled me right in... buttery, sweet and loaded with whole corn kernels. They made my toes curl. I helped myself to seconds and probably thirds and fourths after the alcohol started to kick in... well, there's probably no need to get into that part of the story.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday Baked: Caramel Apple Cake

... Cue the music

Yup. That about sums it up for me this week. Pure heaven. Matt & Renato's little dandy of a  cake represents everything I love about this time of year. The perfect blend of spice and sweet and all the flavors of the season. With a single bite, I wanted to throw on my favorite sweater, watch football and go rake some leaves. It is the perfect dessert to usher in the fall and an instant all-time favorite. Yes, it is that good!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way I've become a snob. A complete and total baking snob. I admit it. I came to this realization not too long ago after I found myself turning my nose up at some birthday cake being served at a friend's party. Before you get all huffy with me, no, I didn't ask them if it was a "boxed cake" and then refuse when asked if I would like some. That would have just been rude. Rather, I accepted a piece knowing it wasn't from scratch and politely ate a bite. I proceeded to eat a second bite merely to confirm that I really didn't like the first bite. Yup, total snob. I couldn't eat it.