October 31, 2009

Apple "pie" Cupcakes

I miss the pie crust. Here's my picture.

More later.

October 29, 2009

Apple Pie Cupcakes

The Dynamic Baking Duo ate the middles out of 24 cupcakes and lived to tell about it. Read all about it here!

Apple Pie Cupcakes

It's a cool, rainy, fall day in Kansas today. Seems like perfect apple pie weather, so Jonathan and I decided to try the Apple Pie cupcakes. We followed the recipe with only minor variations. The batter seemed pretty simple and straight forward. When it came to making the "pie filing" we backed off some of the butter since there was already so much in the cake itself. I also added a small handful of fresh blueberries to add some color. And because apples and blueberries are a happy combination in my mouth. I only had two Granny Smiths on hand, but I do think a third would be ideal. When it came to assembling, I decided to use a small scoop of ice cream instead of the icing. I also think it would be great with whipped cream too - maybe with some pumpkin pie spice mixed in. As I cut out the cones a piece of my mother came out in me. It's a shame to not have a use for the cones. I suppose they could be worked into the final assembly/display some how. However, if the cupcakes were chocolate they could make very cute little witch's hats for Halloween. Which brings me to my final thought, the combination of ingredients for this cupcake idea seem endless.....strawberries & cream, pumpkin pie filling, fresh peaches, all chocolate, cream cheese filling with raspberries...

October 24, 2009

October - Molasses Cookies

Hope you all had a good time with both recipes. I chose just to make the cookies. Can't wait to see all of your posts!

Check out my full post at The Lovely Lady Baker

October 9, 2009

Rolly Polly Pretzels

These were a real hit with our family. We love Auntie Ann’s pretzels and so that was the recipe of choice for me. The recipe did not seem overly fussy. I got the dough ready during the day and finally got around to the shaping in the evening. This was the trickiest part for me. I didn’t know about rolling them in mid-air. (Those of you who figured this out early – you are crafty!) I was trying to roll them out on our kitchen counter – and they kept shrinking. I rolled, they shrank. I rolled, they shrank. I gave up. Needless to say, I ended up with pleasingly plumb pretzels: Auntie Ann’s distant, fat relatives. Their deliciousness made up for their chunky character. I only made four that evening and I put the rest of the dough in the freezer for a future treat.

I chose the cinnamon/sugar mixture for our sprinkle. I loved them. David loved them. Jacob loved them. Emma loved them. Emma is asking me to take out another batch from the freezer so that we can have some more deliciousness this weekend. Hmmm, I think I will...in fact, I hear my daughter poking through the freezer right now...

October 6, 2009

Sweet & Savory

I finally made my pretzels this past weekend. Better late than never, right?

I have to admit, I've never been a big fan of the plain pretzel. It just seems so boring. The only one that ever stole my heart was the cinnamon sugar version from Auntie Annie's. So... I figured I should give that one a try (you can refer to Christina's blog for that recipe), but even that sounded a little bland for the easy bake cOven. There's a lot of pressure to be at least a little gourmet here. Hence, the need to try out a second, more savory flavor. I took a pizza crust recipe from my favorite cookbook, From the Earth to the Table by John Ash, and adapted it to a pretzel. I added sun dried tomatoes, and a mix of fresh herbs including basil, thyme, and chives, to the original recipe and then topped them with goat cheese (because goat cheese makes everything better), some cherry tomatoes, and a few more sprigs of thyme. I think they turned out quite well!


Oops. Well, at least I am not the only one who didn't know what a pretzel looks like. Unfortunately, I was the only one who didn't know I didn't know what a pretzel looks like until all the pretzels were made. (Thanks, Jay, for pointing out my misshapen knots of buttery bread.) Whatever. They tasted delicious.

Since I was short on time this month, I was forced to make these on a week night. So we had pretzels for dinner! Three courses: salted ones as an appetizer; cheesey, peppery ones for the entree, and cinnamon sugar ones for dessert. Jay tried one with raspberry frosting left over from a cake I made recently--not so good, apparently.

I chose to make the Auntie Anne's recipe with 1 cup of wheat flour subbed in for 1 cup of the all purpose flour. It made a slightly heartier, nuttier pretzel. Right out of the oven--YUM. I will definitely make these again.

October 5, 2009

What Does a Pretzel Look Like?

H.C. loves pretzels. We go through at least a 1 lb bag a week and I don’t eat them. Pretzels are brown so they look “natural” and “healthy” but they are 100% white flour and a lot of sodium. Contrary to what this might sound like, I am really not the food police…ask anyone how many jelly beans I can put down. But, I sometimes feel guilty about buying that many pretzels for H.C. to consume.

So, I decided to play with the Alton Brown's recipe and come up with a whole wheat version. I chickened out trying 100% whole wheat but 2 cups of WW flour and the rest bread dough made for wonderful dough that held together well. They baked up well, were chewy in the center, had a nice crust, and were a robust color. I heartily recommend this adaptation.

I confess, there was a touch of smugness as I worked the dough by hand (no dough hook for this yeasty person!) And then I rolled out the first rope and it dawned on me, “What does a pretzel look like?” I think I shaped the first one 4-5 times before it came close. It took 2 more “trials” to master sealing the ends of the rope to the bottom of the arc so it didn’t unravel in the boiling water. Then 3 more trials to figure out that the dough needed to be shaped on a cookie sheet and then turned upside down on a wide spatula that had to be submerged in the boiling water before the pretzel dough would release from the utensil. I started to sweat. I only had two more blobs of dough. I needed one good one for a picture. I had already reneged on my commitment to the group by not making the chocolate cake. Would eCoven vote me out with strike two? Would I bring shame to the Lovely Lady Baker and to the Townsend family as a whole? (Overdramatic perhaps,but similar thoughts filtered through the flour dust in my head.)

In the end, I posed my best effort, camouflaged the rejects in a mound and attempted angle shots in an effort to replicate some of the artistic pictures some of you have produced. The woman who lives with us sat and watched me for over a half hour and finally commented, “I have never seen you act like this.” Then she wrote down, “Dana taking pictures of pretzels on the deck” and dated it. The heading of her list: “Dana having fun.”

October 4, 2009

Cinnamon & Sugar

Not actually being a fan of pretzels, I only opted to try the Auntie Ann's recipe. I've never used yeast before, so I wasn't sure what I was looking for when I went to the store. It comes in such a cute little package-not intimidating at all! My dough came out very sticky so I used a lot of flour when rolling out the long ropes. I found that I liked the thiner robes/smaller pretzels better since they were easier to eat in a couple of bites. Needless to say, they were so delicious once just fresh from the oven that I probably ate about seven of them. I will definitely be making these again.

October 3, 2009

Dynamic Baking Duo does Pretzels

We're starting our own blog. It'll be a little bit Easy Bake Coven, a little bit music, a lot movies, and some books and things. It's not that we don't love you, it's just that I'm trying not to work at home so much so need some hobbies. Knitting isn't cutting it. So our pretzel post is our very first post over there at our new blog. Visit if you'd like. Happy baking to all and to all a good night!