butterfly trying to escape
first shot of our butterfly
Talking with the children about where they live?
Posing with Miss Tennessee
Chocolate Cream Tartlets -- Tuesdays with Dorie and Caramel Cashew Mini Cheesecakes -- Daring Bakers
First up...Daring Bakers -- The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. Thank you, Jenny!
I did mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin and they turned out lovely. One itty bitty problem I had with the recipe was that there is quite a bit of butter in the crust and that was kind of tricky to deal with after baking, it was kind of gooey at first, and then when the extra butter cooled, it hardened and stuck to the pan and cooling rack, not a big deal though.
My only substitution in the recipe was to use sour cream instead of heavy cream -- nothing against you heavy cream, please don't worry, sour cream will never replace you in alfredo, but I wanted that extra little tang from sour cream in the cheesecakes. For my topping I did a salted caramel sauce with cashews, I can't remember where I first saw a caramel cashew cheesecake, I think it was a Taste of Home recipe -- or possibly a restaurant menu...either way, it turned out delicious!
On to TWD... I was of course a little nervous about the chocolate pastry cream but it turned out lovely. My substitutions in this recipe include using skim milk instead of whole and to using semisweet chocolate. This was a wow dessert, I didn't expect to really like it, but when it's all put together -- the chocolate tart crust, the chocolate cream, the whipped cream on top -- this is one amazing little chocolate number!
I think I'm safe saying this is my favorite chocolate treat we've made with TWD. Wait, I forgot about those chocolate cupcakes last October, this might be a tie. Chocolate isn't my favorite 'flavor,' but I did completely fall in love with this tart, I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I used semisweet instead of bittersweet chocolate. I've tried quite a few recipes with bittersweet chocolate and it's just not for me, I guess I'm not 'grown-up' enough :) Below photo is the crust being prepared in the food processor, I found that I needed to add a few tablespoons of water to get the crust to a proper consistency.
My fridge was a hang-out for mini desserts waiting to be completed yesterday...
Yum! Thank you for visiting!
This week for Sweet Melissa Sundays, Jessica of A Singleton in the Kitchen picked Granola Breakfast Cookies for us to try. The recipe for these cookies uses another recipe in The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, Cherry Almond Granola. That granola sounds delicious but has a few ingredients that I could not find locally, so I decided to try a granola recipe I noticed at The Michigan Maply Syrup Association site for Maple Walnut Granola. I had been browsing maple syrup recipes since we have a TON of maple syrup and I wanted some new ideas to use it with. I like to make my own granola and am always up for a new recipe. Granola is a really simple snack to make, and to make it even easier I use a tabletop roaster oven -- those big ones that are for sale everywhere around Thanksgiving, that rarely get used after Thanksgiving. I love to use it for making double batches of Chex Mix for my husband (his favorite treat), granola, and anything else that needs to be baked at a low temperature for a long time and stirred throughout baking.
Maple Walnut Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sesame seeds (this was an interesting addition to granola for me, thank goodness I bought big jar of them from Sam's Club)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup oil (I used 1/4 cup canola oil)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup honey
Add oil and stir until evenly distributed. Pour in maple syrup, stirring well.
Add honey and mix until well moistened and mixture is crumbly and sticky. Spread in a large shallow pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally for even browning until mixture is golden brown and dry. Cool and store in airtight container.
That's it for the granola, really easy! You can find the cookie recipe on Jessica's beautiful site -- A Singleton in the Kitchen, give it a try, I hope you will love it as much as we did! My only change to the recipe was to add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Baking them on insulated cookie sheets will make sure they stay soft and chewy.
These cookies were really easy to make, but a little difficult to photograph, they aren't the prettiest cookies, but they sure are delicious! How could you go wrong with whole wheat flour, dried fruits, coconut, wheat germ, oats, walnuts, and sweetened by Mother Nature with molasses, honey, and lovely maple syrup?
I will be making these cookies again for sure and can't wait to experiment with different add-ins, although I must say I think they are perfect as is with the Maple Walnut granola, my favorite granola cookie for sure. This is a wonderful recipe and our whole family enjoyed these yummy cookies :)
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing rolls
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead five to six times until dough is smooth and elastic (do not overwork dough or rolls will be tough). Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place for approximately 1 hour until the dough had doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 (I did 350). Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the rolls with milk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a rack. Serve with butter.
Ms. Jaclyn showing the kids how to rub the crayon over their shoe to make the butterfly wings.
Their completed butterflies