Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Well, I hate to say it, but my motivation is definitely decreasing. I have made almost all of the really yummy recipes in the book. So the ones that are left for me to bake, about 30 I would guess, I am not too excited about. Some of them have a TON of hard to find ingredients, and some are just plain weird! So I will probably forge ahead, just to finish what I started. But I will most likely only be making 1 recipe every week or two, especially with the holiday season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pecan Pie

Day 116 Recipe 62
This recipe has got to be the easiest thing that I have baked! You just stir all the ingredients together in 1 bowl and pour into your pie crust! It doesn't get much simpler than that!! I made this delicious pie for Thanksgiving. I will definitely have to find an excuse to make it again!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The holidays!!

Usually I can not wait for the holiday season so I can start baking. Well, this year I have been baking now for about 3 months already!! My mom, now more confident with my baking skills, has requested I bring several things for Thanksgiving this year. Unfortunately, only one thing will be "new" as far as my blog goes. I will be making the blueberry crumble pie, potato buttermilk rolls, and pecan pie. I can't wait for the pecan pie, because the picture in the cookbook looks amazing!!
I want to wish everyone happy baking this Thanksgiving!! I hope your dinner is delicious!!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Day 101 Recipe 61
This recipe was for Margarita Pizza, but there was no way my kids were going to eat that, so I just made the dough, and used my own toppings. The pizza crust was very good. It was also very easy to make. You could start this dough in the early afternoon and have homemade pizza for dinner. The recipe makes 2 pizzas so you could make a plain cheese for the kiddos and then jazz one up for you!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maple Pecan Squares

Day 94 Recipe 60
I have been staring at the picture of these in my cookbook since I bought it. They looked so delicious and gooey. So they had a lot of hype to live up to, and did not quite make it. I think the main problem was that you were supposed to make them in a 9 by 9 square pan and I made them in an 8 by 8 pan. When prebaking the crust I should have remembered this and baked it longer instead of talking on the phone (I know, I know... lesson learned!!). So they weren't as pretty as the picture but they still tasted pretty yummy. Who knows, if I make them again, maybe I will remember to cook them just a tad longer!!

Apple Crisp

Day 91 Recipe 59
This was actually a variation on the strawberry-rhubarb crisp, that I have yet to make. Apples just sounded way better and were a much better fit for our Halloween dessert!! This recipe was super, super easy and was super, super yummy! My dad, who loves apple pie, ate half of the pan in his first sitting!! This is a picture of what was left after my family enjoyed it, because I totally forgot to take a picture when it came out!! I also made a homemade whipped cream to go on top!! YUM!! Trust me, you are going to want to make this recipe for sure!!

Apple Crisp
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


For the filling:
6 cups (about 6 apples) chopped, peeled apples
(I used Granny Smith)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Have a 2 ½ quart baking dish ready.

To make filling, in a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon and stir until well mixed. Pour into the baking dish and set aside.

To make the topping, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, rolled oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until blended. Stir in the melted butter until evenly moistened crumbs form. Spoon the crumb mixture evenly over the filling.

Bake the crisp until the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm. The crisp can be cooled, covered with plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, then rewarmed at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Classic Focaccia

Day 85 Recipe 58
This recipe was very easy, with good results. It only took 3 hours from start to finish. I was so happy when it looked just like the focaccia that you purchase in the store!! I think next time I will put some herbs in the dough and some sliced tomatoes on top!! YUM!!

Apple Oven Pancake

Day 83 Recipe 57
This is basically 3 apples, chopped and sauteed baked with popover batter poured on top. I have to admit that the boys and I had this for dinner! My husband wasn't home and it is so hard to come up with stuff that my oldest will eat, and he loved this!! It probably didn't hurt that I dusted it with powdered sugar!! There were 2 small pieces left for my husband when he came home from work late... and he devoured it!!

Banana Cream Pie and Pastry Cream

Day 82 Recipes 55 & 56
Always follow directions!! ALWAYS!! I know this... but still I made the pastry cream first instead of the pie crust because I thought it would take longer. So instead of the pastry cream sitting to cool for 20 minutes, it sat for about 2 hours. I was hoping that it would thicken up in the refrigerator as it chilled overnight, but it did not. So it wasn't as thick as it was supposed to be, but the flavors were very good. And I cut open my first vanilla bean! I also have to admit that I did not make the homemade whipped cream to go on the top... I used Cool Whip!! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Back to it

I have had such a hard time getting motivated lately. I have been baking, just not from this book!! I have found the most wonderful oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe from a Mrs. Field's cookbook from 1994 that my mom gave me. I have made some other cookies, and a birthday cake for my son. The recipes in the book are now getting more complex, needing some ingredients that I am not entirely sure where to get or even what it is... what exactly is mace, and why is it in cinnamon rolls??

Some people are curious how much this is costing me. So far I have used 2- 25 lb bags of flour from Costco, which only cost about 10 bucks. I go through at least a dozen eggs a week, and about 3 lbs of butter (If I am making my 3-4 recipes). Those are the ingredients that I find I am using the most of. It is just so neat how you can take the same stuff over and over and just mix it in different quantities and different ways and you get completely different results!!

So I am trying to get back into the swing of things!! Next week I am hoping to make banana cream pie, apple oven pancake, and oat scones! YUM!!

Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins

Day 75 Recipe 54
Yes, you read that correctly... blueberry muffins with cornmeal. I thought it sounded a little weird, but so far all the recipes in this book have been so yummy that I went ahead and made them. It was pretty much a basic blueberry muffin recipe with the addition of 1/2 cup of cornmeal. This gave the muffins a slight crunch, and made them a little heavier than your average fluffy muffin. I had made these for a friend, so my boys only got a couple of mini ones, and they were begging... I mean absolutely begging for more. So apparently they were good!! I will have to keep this recipe for a unique muffin in the future.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Last week I only made one recipe and just blogged about it now. My family was so busy last week, my baking kind of went the wayside. It was my son's 5th birthday on Thursday and then on Saturday we had a big party. Then Monday was my 8th anniversary. My husband is also on vacation this week, so I will only be making 1 recipe because we have a ton of stuff planned!! Even though the recipe is not from my cookbook, I have to post this picture of the adorable cake I made for my son's party!

Baking Powder Biscuits

Day 74 Recipe 43
I have made drop biscuits several times before. They always come out slightly burned on the top and okay tasting on the inside. But these biscuits were delicious. If I would have added a little cheese and some seasoning, they would have tasted just like the Red Lobster biscuits. They were very easy to pull together quickly and baked up nicely. I will definitely be making these again!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pain au Chocolat

Day 70 Recipe 42
Basically these are a croissant filled with bittersweet chocolate... enough said.

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

Day 69 Recipe 41
This bread was very good! And even more importantly it was easy to make. It only took 3 hours start to finish and it made 2 loaves! I am thinking Christmas presents... :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Day 68 Recipe 40
As I have previously said, if I am in a bakery I will more than likely order a cookie with chocolate in it. I would never order an oatmeal raisin cookie... not in a million years. But these were delicious. With 2 cups of raisins in the recipe, they were nice and soft in the middle. My husband, again, loved these cookies!! And so did my kids. I didn't even mind then having a couple since I knew they were filled with raisins and oatmeal!!

Gingery Gingersnaps

Day 64 Recipe 39
I am not a huge gingersnap fan. I like my cookies to have chocolate in them and be soft and gooey. So I was not hugely looking forward to making these cookies. But I have to say, they turned out pretty darn good! My husband, who is not a sweet eater at all, at 6 in one sitting! My kids even liked them. The thing that was a little different about this recipe was that they had 1/2 cup of chopped crystallized ginger in them. I don't know if regular gingersnaps have molasses in them, but these did. The cookies were not hard, but soft in the center. Apparently, as far as gingersnaps go, these were delicious!! The crystallized ginger

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Day 62 Recipe 38
Okay, this recipe scared me just a little because it started with a sponge, just like the sourdough bread. And we all know how wonderful the sourdough turned out! :) The difference was that this sponge had yeast in it, so I was pretty sure that it was going to work. Overall this recipe was pretty easy, I just had to make the sponge the night before. And it rose like a champ, overflowing the largest bowl that I have. If I made it again, I would cook it less, because the crust is very stiff. I am hoping that it will soften over time, but we shall see.

This bread gets its name because it looks like a crocodile. I would totally have to agree! My neighbor, Libby, was daring enough to try a piece of the bread. As I cut into it, and tore her off a piece, she said she felt like she was eating Jesus bread!! (I told you I was going to put that on here!!)
The sponge.

Tarte Tatin

Day 61 Recipe 37
What is a tarte tatin you ask?? It is an upside down caramel apple tart. First you start with butter and sugar in the bottom of an oven proof frying pan. Then you stand cut up apples in the pan, squeezing in as many as you can. Cooking it on the oven, the butter and the sugar bubble up in between the apples and essentially caramelizing. Then you top with a pie crust and bake in the oven. The tricky part was flipping it over onto a plate!! This recipe was created by 2 sisters when they were all ready to make an apple pie and realized that they only had one crust. Not wanting to waste the apples, they made this tart instead.

My apples didn't turn out as caramelized as in the picture in the cookbook, but it was still a very yummy alternative to the traditional apple pie!

I took a picture before I flipped it out of the pan, just in case it ended up all over my counter!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Classic Chocolate Cake

Day 58 Recipe 36
Instead of classic this recipe should be called the chocolate cake. For the rest of my life, if I need to make a chocolate cake I will be using this recipe! This cake was so good. I was surprised to find, that I had to whip up the egg whites separately for this recipe. But it definitely paid off in the end. The cake is baked in 2 layers, which are then cut in half to make 4 layers with delicious chocolate frosting in between. The cake was so tall when I was finished that when I went to put the glass dome over my cake stand, it did not fit!! The only complaint is that this recipe used a lot of dishes. And I had to wash my stand mixer bowl and attachment half way through to use for another step. But even if this cake had taken every dish in my kitchen to make... I am pretty sure that I would still make it again!! ;)

Lattice-Top Peach Pie

Day 55 Recipe 35
On Monday I made peach pie. I had never made a peach pie before and it was a lot of work. It took me about 30-40 mins just to boil the peaches, remove the skins and then cut them up. But the pie was totally worth it. It wasn't too sweet, and you could really taste the flavor of the peaches. I also made my own pie crust. It would have been much easier to just buy one, but since I always have the simple ingredients on hand, it is so much cheaper just to make one from scratch!! The only thing that annoyed me about this recipe was that it called for quick-cooking tapioca, as the thickening agent. This apparently is used a lot in fruit pies. So I tried not to wince to much at the $5 price tag. But when I came home and discovered that this was the only recipe in the entire cookbook that used this ingredient, it irritated me. Oh well... anyone want some tapioca pudding??

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Day 54 Recipe 34
I can not believe that I just made croissants!! YIPEE!! They came out so flaky and yummy I just can not believe it. There are several recipes in this cookbook that are called Master Recipes and croissants are one of them. The book says, "Mastering the making of croissant pastry is considered a great achievement in the baking world." I was so excited when they came out of the oven!! I was a little surprised by the recipe. I thought it would be pretty similar to the puff pastry, but the croissant dough had yeast in it. They were very time consuming to make... I started at 10 this morning and we had hot croissants at 7 tonight. But they were worth the wait!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chocolate Pound Cake

Day 51 Recipe 33
So yesterday, when I wasn't sure whether or not the torte was going to make it, I had to make something else as back up. My friend, Libby, assured me that the torte would be fine, but I can never leave my day with a baking fatality (Even though I should have listened because it turned out fine!!) So I opted to make something else.... just in case. And I am I glad I did!! This was a variation of the Classic Pound Cake recipe and it was super yummy. Libby had some strawberries that we pureed and served over the top with some cool whip. Very yummy and a definite keeper!!

Chocolate-Raspberry Torte

Day 51 Recipe 31 & 32
Nothing irritates me more, than when I follow a recipe perfectly and it isn't cooked or doesn't come out right. Well, this torte irritated me big time! It was especially annoying because I was going to be bringing it to my bunco group so other people could enjoy it. I followed the recipe perfectly, and baked it according to directions. It still looked soupy, so I added on 5 more minutes... just like it said. Then I took it out, removed the springform pan sides and put it on a tray to cool. Then I glanced at it, and it was sinking in the middle because the bottom was FALLING OUT!!! So I flipped it over and put it back on the pan and had to cook it for 15 more minutes!! I was so annoyed. Then I noticed this time while it was cooling that the top was cracked. But I knew that was fixable. So I let the torte cool. Then I put the raspberry jam in between and knew that this would "glue" it all together. Once the chocolate glaze (Recipe 32) was on top of the cake... no one knew the wiser. So I guess the moral of the story is, don't give up and keep moving forward. Even if it doesn't look the prettiest, it will still taste yummy!! I ended up taking it to bunco and the girls just loved it!!

While I was separating the eggs for the torte, I came across the oddest of the eggs had 2 yolks in it!! So bizarre! So of course I had to take a picture!! ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Day 50 Recipe 30
Since the puff pastry recipe makes 2 lbs, and the cheese straws only use 1 lb, I also used the dough to make Palmiers. Palmiers are "a french puff pastry treat." Most commonly called elephant ears when they are large. It is essentially just puff pastry coated in sugar and folded a certain way. During baking, mine unfolded, so instead of ears, they look more like hearts... which is fine by me!!

From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


1 lb puff pastry dough (This can be found in the freezer section)
1 cup sugar for dusting
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


1. On a lightly sugared work surface, roll out the pastry dough into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Move the pastry to the side and sprinkle the work surface with more sugar.

2. Return the pastry to the work surface and toll it out into a rectangle 18 inches long, 9 inches wide and ¼ inch thick. (I would recommend doing it more like 10 inches wide.) Turn it once or twice as you roll and dust with more sugar.

3. Position the pastry so that the long side is in front of you. Fold one long end over onto itself halfway across the pastry. Fold the opposite end onto itself so that the 2 ends meet in the center of the rectangle. Sprinkle with more sugar. Roll the pin across the pastry lightly and sprinkle again with sugar. Fold each side lengthwise again onto itself so that they meet in the center again, and roll the pin across the pastry lightly.

4. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg mixture lightly over half of the folded pastry rectangle. You will not use all of the egg mixture. Fold the egg brushed half onto the other half of the pastry to form a long, thick rectangle. Roll the pin across the pastry to seal. Place the rectangle on a half-sheet pan, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 45 minutes.

5. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper (Or a silicone baking sheet works fine!)

6. Place the pastry on a cutting board and cut crosswise into slices ¼ inch thick. (I did mine ½ inch thick and they turned out much better!!) Dust the work surface with sugar. Lay a cut side of a slice on the sugared surface and then flip it over to coat the other cut side. Place the slices cut side down on the prepared pan, spacing them 2 inches apart.

7. Bake the cookies until they are caramelized and brown, 13-17 minutes, turning halfway through baking to ensure even caramelization. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely in pans. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Puff Pastry and Cheese Straws

Day 49 Recipes 28 & 29
When I graduated 8th grade, my family moved from Phoenix to East Mesa. I moved away from all of my friends, some of which I had known since that first day of Kindergarten. Through the miracles of Facebook I have been able to reconnect with some of my old friends. One friend, Kelsey, also has a cooking blog. She has the same Williams-Sonoma cookbook that I have, and we thought it would be fun if we both made the same recipe and then blogged about it!! So we chose cheese straws.

In order to make the cheese straws we had to make homemade classic puff pastry. This recipe made me a little nervous. It wasn't that it was hard, it just made me nervous for some reason. I followed the directions carefully and what resulted was perfect! It was very time consuming, because you had to refrigerate the dough in between rolling it out, to insure the butter stayed nice and cold. Using the puff pastry I made the cheese straws, which were also very simple to make. For the recipe check out Kelsey's blog, Kelsey's Apple a Day!

My big block of puff pastry

Can you see all the flaky layers??

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Orange-Poppy Seed Muffins

Day 48 Recipe 27
Yesterday, I felt like total crud, but I had a lot of stuff I wanted to bake this week, so the cooking continued. I was originally going to make these muffins on Friday, but they sounded like nice warm comfort food! They were very good! My mom always makes lemon poppy seed bread during the holidays, so this was a little different with the orange. They were very easy to pull together quickly, and were very yummy! A definite keeper!!

Chocolate Souffle

Day 45 Recipe 26
Last Friday, I made chocolate souffle. I was a little worried about making this because it had said as a sidebar to the recipe that people are scared of making souffles because they can be tricky. But I followed the directions and only had a small snag in the plan. The directions said to cook for 8-10 minutes, so I started with 8 minutes... but they didn't look quite set, so I added 2 more minutes. Then I took them out, dusted them with powdered sugar, took a picture, and took a bite. Only to find that the middle was still a little soupy. I didn't know if they were supposed to be like this or not... I had never eaten a chocolate souffle before!! So I called my trusty neighbor, Libby, and she said that it should be baked all through out. So I put it back in, and it had to cook for like 5 more minutes. I figured that it had to be done. It tasted pretty good. I have a couple of more souffles to make in the cookbook, so hopefully I will have more success with those!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Raspberry Jam Sandwich Hearts

Day 42 Recipe 25
I hate making sugar cookies! They always come out too thin or too thick making them underdone or too brown. So I had been putting off making these cookies. A couple weeks ago I was at Williams-Sonoma and found the coolest thing...Even Dough Bands ($9). The pack has 4 different thicknesses of bands, and you place them on the end of your rolling pin, and your dough will be the desired thickness!! (Check out the pic below) They worked like a charm!! (Macy's also sells them, for about $10) I highly recommend them for your holiday baking!

I am not a huge sugar cookie fan... I prefer my cookies soft and chewy. But the sandwich cookies with the raspberry jam were really yummy! The cookies aren't too sweet so the powdered sugar on top and the tartness of the raspberry jam is a great combination! The kiddos totally loved the the little hearts that were left from the cutouts!! So even though I most likely won't be making these again, I am glad that I did, and I got to test out a new gadget!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Potato Buttermilk Rolls

Day 40 Recipe 24
I am getting pretty confident now in my bread making abilities. Yeast no longer scares me. The dough for these rolls rose very quickly and they are completely delicious. The recipe said that you could make them bigger and use them for hamburger buns, which I will totally be doing in the future!! I also liked the fact that for a yeast roll they weren't too time consuming. I started making them at 4 and they were done by 6:30. Very, very good!! I think I will be making these for Thanksgiving instead of the Classic Dinner Rolls. I will post the recipe soon, because you are going to want to make these for sure!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Classic Cornbread

Day 35 Recipe 23
I was attempting to just lay low today, but the cookbook was calling my name!! So I flipped through the pages and found a recipe I could make with ingredients that I already had. So corn bread it was. While making this, I kept thinking... is this really any better than the Jiffy Cornbread Mix that you can buy for like 39 cents. Any boy was it! It was very moist, and so yummy with a big dollop of honey butter on top!
Classic Corn Bread
From Williams-Sonoma
Essentials of Baking


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn kernels (Optional, and I left them out)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey or firmly packed brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and then enough milk to equal 1 cup, then let sit for 5 minutes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Butter an 8 inch cast iron frying pan or 8 inch square baking pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the corn kernels (if using). Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the honey (Or brown sugar), buttermilk, and butter. Whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I highly recommend serving with honey butter!!

Currant Bread Pudding

Day 34 Recipe 22
For the last couple of days, I have not been feeling the best. I have been fighting a cold and yesterday, felt completely awful. But I still had to make this bread pudding recipe before the brioche I made on Thursday became stale. This was a great recipe to make when you are sick. It was very comforting and very easy to make. I again did not bother to look for currants and just used dried cranberries. The bread pudding would have been good without the addition of any sort of fruit, but I think if I ever make it again, I will put some chocolate chips in it!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Month...

It has officially been a month since I have started baking through the cookbook. I have really enjoyed all of the recipes I have made so far, and have even made a couple of things again since they were so good the first time. The thing that amazes me the most is that the ingredients that most of my recipes use are: flour, sugar, butter and salt. It all just depends on what order and how much you use and you get totally different results. I have made some things that I would never have even attempted to make, like bagels, and am so proud of myself when they turn out so yummy!! Hopefully coming this next month, I would like to try to make some more difficult recipes like croissants and maybe even tackle the sourdough bread again.... maybe!! ;)


Day 31 Recipe 21
Yesterday I made brioche, a rich egg bread. You are supposed to make it in individual molds, but I opted to make the dough into 2 loaves. It was very time consuming to make. I started the bread at 8:30 in the morning and we had hot bread at around 7 that night. After I had made the dough, it sits in the refrigerator for 6 hours. And to my amazement, it actually rises in the refrigerator! Then you form it into balls and each loaf is made up of 8 balls. The dough then has to rise again for 2 hours and then bake for 30 minutes. I was all out of aluminum foil, so the top of the bread is a bit more brown than I would have liked, but it still tastes yummy! I will be using some of this bread to make bread pudding on Monday!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Currant Cream Scones

Day 29 Recipe 20
I have to admit, that I wasn't even to sure what a currant was. I even googled it!! It is an English berry similar to a raisin....I guess. I couldn't find them. I didn't really look very hard, and they don't carry them at Fry's! So as a substitute I used dried sweetened cranberries and they worked just fine. Overall the scones turned out very good. They were very moist and delicious. I am not too sure about the cinnamon sugar on the top, but I would definitely make these again!! The other complaint I have is that the recipe only makes 6... maybe I will double it next time!! ;)
From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


For the dough
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup dried currants (Or dried cranberries)
¾ cup heavy cream

For the topping
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons whole milk or heavy cream


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper (I used a silicone liner).

2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms large coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Stir in the currants. Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press together gently until the dough clings together in a ball. Pat out into a round about ½ inch thick and 6 ½ inches in diameter. Cut the round into 6 wedges, or use a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place the wedges 1 inch apart on the prepare pan.

4. To make the topping, in a small bowl stir together the sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the wedges with the milk and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar.

5. Bake until golden brown, 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Orange Madeleines

Day 28 Recipe 19
I had never even eaten one of these cookies before, until I made them yesterday. I thought they were more of a crispy cookie when I would see them sold at stores. They are actually more of a spongy cookie, almost cake-like. I had to buy a special shell shaped pan to make them, but it was well worth it. The kids and my husband had eaten the entire first batch before the second batch was even in the oven!! They were very light, and bite-size, which was perfect!! This is definitely one of those recipes that I would have flipped past if I was not baking every recipe, so I am glad that I am broadening my horizons!! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Day 26 Recipe 18
For those of you that are unfamiliar, challah is a cake-like bread, that can be specially braided and is traditionally served on Jewish holidays. I didn't really think it was cake-like, but it was super yummy. Mu husband said he could have eaten the whole loaf!! I could not quite grasp the 4 strand braid, and after trying for about 10 minutes, I gave up and just did a 3 strand braid. I was kind of unsure about this bread, but I think I will definitely keep it in mind and make it again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brown Butter Blondies & Quiche Lorraine

Day 24 Recipe 16 & 17
Today I made 2 recipes! The brown butter brownies are so good! The recipe is pretty basic except for browning the clarified butter. My husband took one bite and said, "Oh man, that is good!" If you like blondies, you have got to make this recipe!! Most of the recipes in the book are desserts, but the quiche lorraine actually worked good for dinner. I have another recipe for a quiche lorraine that incorporates cheese, and my husband and I both agreed that we prefer that recipe. I think I might make this again in the future and just add a little swiss!!

Brown Butter Blondies
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup clarified unsalted butter (recipe below)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained

(To make clarified butter: Slowly melt at least 1 cup unsalted butter in a small frying pan over low heat until it is foamy on the surface. Pour the melted butter into a small glass bowl and let stand for a minute or tow. You should see 3 distinct layers: milk solids on the bottom, clear yellow liquid in the middle and foam on top. Using a tablespoon, remove the foam from the surface. Pour the clear liquid into a clean container being careful to leave the milk solids in the bowl. Be sure to use more butter to begin with than calls for in the recipe, as you end up with less once it is clarified.)


1. Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 325 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan.

2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a frying pan over low heat, heat the clarified butter until light brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes (mine took more like 15 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.

4. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, brown sugar, and the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

6. If desired, using a sieve, dust with powdered sugar. Cut into 2 inch squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Day 22 Recipe 15
Today I made a very moist and delicious coffee cake. The boys kept asking what I was making, and when I told them coffee cake they kept lookin' at me funny. Pat has a cup of coffee every morning, so they are well aware of what coffee is!! Sawyer was even a little hesitant to lick the spoon! It turned out very yummy! I can't wait to have a big slice for breakfast in the morning!!

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


For the filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

For the batter:
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sour cream


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. (I used a tube pan)

2. To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, nuts, and the cinnamon. Using a fork, mix until crumbly. Set aside.

3. To make the batter, in a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed with your mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is blended and almost smooth.

5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with half the filling. Cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining filling.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. (Mine took 47 mins.) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pound Cake with Berry Coulis and Whipped Cream

Day 20 Recipes 12, 13 & 14
Yesterday I made 3 recipes! Whoo Hoo! I made pound cake and to serve with it, berry coulis and whipped cream. Holy cow was it yummy!! The berry coulis is basically just strawberries that are pureed and then strained with a little sugar and lemon juice. And the homemade whipped cream was delicious. I have to admit that I had 2 pieces of this terrific dessert! Definitely a keeper!! I will post the recipe soon!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How many??

Earlier today I sat down and counted how many recipes are actually in this book. There are 129 recipes, which includes the 6 all-purpose pie fillings and the 15 sauces,toppings, fillings in the back (which will be made as part of the 129 recipes.) My problem is, there are also 54 variations on some of these recipes. I am wondering... should I make them all??? All 184 recipes!! I think I just gained 15 pounds just thinking about it!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Day 17, Recipe 11
I have always heard of this cake and how good it tasted. I have never had a piece, so I was anxious to try this recipe. There is only one word to describe this cake.... decadent. It was so good! It was very rich, but not heavy. It was almost like you baked chocolate pudding. If you like chocolate, you have to make this cake for sure!!

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


½ cup walnuts
½ cup sugar
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 300 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit

2. In a food processor, process together the walnuts and the sugar until powdery.

3. Melt the butter and the chocolates using a double-boiler. (I melted the butter in the microwave, then added the chocolate and continued to heat in the microwave in 15 second increments in order to be careful not to scorch the chocolate.)

4. Using a stand mixer with the whip attachment beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

5. Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the ground nut mixture. Add the remaining egg whites, folding gently and thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake the cake until it puffs up a little and jiggles only very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, 30-35 minutes. If the center looks soupy, bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then release and lift off the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cardboard cake circle very carefully. The cake is very fragile when it is warm. Remove the parchment paper. Place on a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover the cake with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel so that the outside does not dry out as it cools.

7. Using a fine sieve, dust the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Classic Dinner Rolls

Day 16, Recipe 10
There is nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread. It always reminds me of my Grandma Fanny's house. She has always made her own bread, and her house smells so yummy! So last night at like 5, I decided to make some dinner rolls. My first attempt did not rise, but I tried again and they came out terrific... even though we ate them while watching a movie at like 9!! I think my mistake was putting the salt to close to the yeast. So here is the recipe for the yummy dinner rolls. Make sure you copy it down for Thanksgiving!!
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 egg beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons salt


1. In a mixer, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the milk (I heated mine just slightly), sugar, 2 eggs, butter, flour, and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook and knead on low speed. Add a little more flour only if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl. *If you do not have a mixer all of this can be done by hand, first incorporating the ingredients with a whisk and then using a wooden spoon until a mass forms. Then scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes.

2. Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (I also cover with a towel). Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free spot until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. (I used my silicone baking sheets)

4. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a clean work surface. Cut it in half. Cut each half into 8 pieces (16 rolls total). Roll each piece against the work surface into a round ball. Place the balls onto the prepared pans, spacing evenly, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let them rise until puffy and pillow-soft when gently squeezed, 30-40 minutes.

5. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.

6. Brush the rolls lightly with the beaten egg. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm. (I baked mine 20 minutes and they would have been fine at 18)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Classic Dark Chocolate Brownies

Day 15, Recipe 9
These brownies were very easy to make, everything just mixed up together by hand and only required 2 bowls, which was nice for clean-up. I have several excellent brownie recipes that I like to make, and this one was just ok. I over baked them slightly so next time I need to keep a better ear out for the timer!! Oh well, at least the ones in the center taste yummy!!