Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dorie and I are having a love affair...

(From Dorie Greenspan's "Banking from my home to yours")

If I weren't already married I would propose to her. This woman's genius knows no bounds. I love you Dorie, and I put out!

Today is my boss's birthday and as a token of appreciation/extra special birthday gift I decided I would bake some of his favorite treats for him. Then I'd have some goodies to post for my weekly TWD update. This weeks TWD recipe (Madeleines) was choosen by Tara of Smells Like Home and I can't begin to tell you how amazing they are and everything else was just as awesome. The pound cake was to die for; the madeleines are out of this world and the chocolate chip cookies....O.M.G. I think I need a cold shower because I'm excited at the mere mention of them. I'm serious. The sounds of pleasure that were emanating from my mouth were loud enough to have the neighbors thinking that I was gettin' some in the kitchen. They were so good I felt like I needed a cigarette after them and I don't even smoke. If you haven't purchased this book yet then your life is just an empty shell of existence. You can't possible go on without experiencing the phenomenon that is Dorie Greenspan. Just thinking about your poor soul saddens me. I'm telling you this book is the first step to world peace. So do it for the children! And now let's give each of these stars their five minutes of fame...

Here she is in all of her regal elegance. The madeleine is a pastry with grace and confidence. You may underestimate her because at first glance she appears lackluster, but as soon as you sample this amazing cake like cookie you are running back for another. She needs no adornments for she is comfortable in her own skin. In fact I know several women who would do well to take the example of madeleine. She's light and fluffy and absolutely delicious. You must make these If only to learn to love yourself as she does;)

Aaaaahhh the pound cake. Absolutely amazing buttery delicious goodness. I made 4 mini loafs, and only packed two for my boss. After the first bite I couldn't part with the other two. It was everything a pound cake should be. Firm yet soft and exceptional in flavor. Its better than Sara Lee (and I would cut someone for Sara lee. She's my peeps)!

Where do I even begin with these cookies. They are truly extraordinary. The texture and flavor are perfect. The combination of the crunchy edges and chewy center is outstanding as far as cookies go. These are worth the 10lbs I probably gained from eating a dozen of them before I even had a chance to pack any for my boss. These will have you saying OMG like you just had some amazing sex. Once cooled they are fabulous, but straight out of the oven they are borderline illegal. Make these NOW. You haven't had it this good in a loooooooog time. Trust me;)

My boss's favorite cookie is a traditional NYC black and white so this cookie was a must for me to make for him. I found this recipe on Phe/MoM/enon's kick ass blog (she is the bomb). It is the beloved outcast of the night (meaning not by Dorie). Not that is wasn't great. In fact it was quite possibly one of the most delicious black and white cookies I've ever had (and that is saying a lot because I'm from NY. Home of the black and white cookie), but when compared to the amazing masterpieces from Dorie's book. It was waaay out of its league. Give it a try if you like black and whites. Its a really, really good black and white cookie.

Don't forget to see what all the other TWDer's have been up to this week!


Stay Sweet;)

Traditional Madeleines
By Dorie Greenspan

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (you know i left this out)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick, and light, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the better form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines.(For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the Madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pan.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan, give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven's heat will take care of that. Bake large Madeleines for 11-13 minutes, and minis for 8-10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the mods by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter.

Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature. If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(Es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pans before baking. Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioner's sugar.

Perfection Pound Cake
by: Dorie Greenspan

2 Cups all-purpose flour or 2 1/4 Cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 Cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9X5 inch loaf pan or an 8 1/2X4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1-2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you're working, scrape down the bowl and the beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated-don't over mix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.

Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it's browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you're using a 9X5 pan, you'll need to bake the cake for 70-75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted keep into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.
Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Dorie Greenspan

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. (The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen. If you'd like, rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they're solid. There's no need to defrost the dough before baking-just add another minute or two to the baking time.)

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls. Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point- for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Black and White Cookies

For cookies:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

For icings:

2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (i left out this part. why ruin a good thing with fruit flavor)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Make cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet (or lined with parchment).Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Make icings while cookies cool:Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.


PheMom said...

Holy baking Vix! Look at all the goodies you made! Your boss needs to give you a raise. So glad you liked the Black and Whites! Thanks!

Bumblebutton said...

Well let's hope your boss gives you a raise!! Your posts are always funny...bake on!

Heather said...

Your boss must love you! What yummy goodies! Great job!

Melissa said...

Wow! You certainly baked this week and it all looks great!

Jacque said...

Wow, you've had a busy kitchen this week! Everything looks fantastic.

CB said...

Damn girl. Bake much? I'll take on of those... and those... Everything looks fabu! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

mimi said...

wow, look at all that dorie luvin! i need some of my staff to bring me in the dorie stuff (instead of the other way around!)

Dianne said...

Wow! You were busy! Everything looks great!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Look at all those wonderful treats! Glad you enjoyed them!

Christine said...

Boy you were busy this week! Everything looks delicious and I hope your boss enjoys!

Jayne said...

Well look at you go! Great job on everything - including the writing!

Garrett said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Your love affair with Dorie is getting me all worked up now. I feel a sudden urge to go buy 5 lbs. of butter, sugar, and flour, and just go to town with this book :-P

Aardvark Cakes said...

Aren't you the perfect employee? What a busy week of baking! By the way, I'll fight you for Dorie! Even though I'm married too! That woman is amazing! Hx

ostwestwind said...

OMG what a lot of baking! It looks good
Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Anonymous said...

You may be right about the World Peace thing... She does have a World Peace Cookie after all!

Anne said...

Wow, so much love coming from your kitchen! I love the mini pound cakes. Yum!

LyB said...

The only time I made pound cake it was a dense, greasy mess. Maybe it's time I gave Dorie's a try. All of your goodies look wonderful!

Jaime said...

wow! 3 for 1! everything looks great, esp the madeleines :) your poundcake wasn't too dry? must have been my oven then....i need to get an oven thermometer!

LOL at the comment you left on my blog!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I'm jealous you can get your boss to eat so many baked goods in one go, mine is continuously on a diet!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

Thank you all so much for all of your support;) He was really floored and told me it was the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for him.

Mara said...

wow you go girl...you and your multi-baking self!!!! i have been wanting to try the pound cake recipe soon, this is totally giving me the incentive! yum!

Madam Chow said...

Oh my gosh,what a great post, so loaded with successful recipes! And I LOVE your blog header. I am a big fan of shoes. And baked goods!

Susie Homemaker said...

thank GOD I don't have a boss, bc if I made all of those goodies, there is no way I could have parted with as much of it as you did!
swing by my blog and sign up for the round the world cooking we are doing- gonna be fun!

SiHaN said...


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Holy cow! You've certainly been a busy bee! Look at all those delicious treats! Your madeleines look beautiful! Hmmm. I'm kinda feeling that pound cake, though...

Anonymous said...

I started making the choc. chip cookies because they looked soo good, and part of the recipe is missing. There is no flour or anything in what's on your blog. I guess I will try to estimate :)

The Kitchen Vixen said...

Sorry about that! I just updated it with the proper amount of flour. I must have deleted that ingredient by accident. Please come again and let me know whether or not you loved them;)

Prudence - Cake Chica said...

Too funny! You are a baing fanatic!! Keep on cakin', sista!