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Elizabeth of Cake or Death? chose Dorie‘s Apple Apple Bread Pudding for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. Thanks for a great selection, Elizabeth!

Much to my surprise, many of my fellow TWD bakers get the heebie jeebies at the mere mention of bread pudding. Being as I am very pro-bread pudding, I hope at least a few of the anti-bread pudding folks gave this recipe a try. And do I dare to hope for a few converts? Absolutely!

You may be wondering why it’s called “apple apple bread pudding”. Well, that’s because it has carmelized apples as well as apple butter. Apples have always been one of my favorite fruits. Unfortunately, I became allergic to apples and many other fruits last year. Strange how you can suddenly become allergic to foods you’ve eaten all your life. While I can no longer enjoy fresh apples, I can eat baked apples to my heart’s content. According to my doctor, heat denatures the protein that triggers the allergic reaction. Hooray for heat!

In keeping with my full disclosure policy, I will say that this is not a dessert to make when in a rush. Once you have assembled the bread pudding, it must soak for 30 minutes, then bake at 325 ° for 1 hour 25 minutes, and then cool for at least 20 minutes.

For some unkown reason, my inner optimist took control Sunday night and convinced me I could make my Daring Cooks challenge and this recipe at the same time. When will I ever learn? Well, we didn’t end up eating dinner until close to 9:30 and dessert after 11 o’clock. Oy!

After being “good” yesterday and having a meatless Monday, I couldn’t wait to dive in to a bowl of bread pudding. I was a little worried about how well it would reheat, so I made a whiskey sauce using this recipe from Cooks.com:

8 tbsp. butter (1 quarter lb. stick) cut into 1/2 inch bits
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. bourbon

Melt the butter bits in the top of a double boiler set over hot, not boiling, water. Stir 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg together in a small bowl and add the mixture to the butter. Stir for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves completely and the egg is cooked, but do not let the sauce come anywhere near a boil or the egg will curdle. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature before stirring in the bourbon.

Apples + bread + custard + whiskey = happiness in a bowl!

Be sure to visit Elizabeth for the recipe and check out the rest of the Tuesdays With Dorie bakers to see their takes on this week’s recipe – you’ll find everything from a cardamom/rhubard bread pudding to one made with cranberry egg bread, cherry butter, and served with Creme Anglaise.

And if you haven’t heard of the “How to Cook Real Food” e-course yet, check out this video. You can find out all the details here.

This week’s Tuesday With Dorie recipe, Sweet Cream Biscuits, was chosen by Melissa of Love At First Bite. Since my last attempt at made from scratch biscuits was such a huge success (not!), I was apprehensive about making these biscuits. While I gave it the good ol’ college try, I wouldn’t count this as one of my baking successes.

The recipe calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour or you can do as Dorie does and use 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup of cake flour. I used a combo of all-purpose and cake flours because when Dorie makes a recommendation, it pays to follow it.

As you can see, my biscuits didn’t rise all that much. I even used Alton Brown’s method of having the biscuits just touching which should allow just enough air between the biscuits for even heating, but not enough space for the biscuits spread out when they rise. Also, my biscuits were a tad on the dry side, but a little honey butter was just what the doctor baker ordered. As soon as I can muster some more courage, I’m going to try my hand at biscuit-making again using a tried and true recipe from my husband’s Aunt Shirley. Let’s hope her recipe is foolproof! 😉 Be sure to check out the rest of the awesome TWD baking gang to see their takes on this week’s recipe.

The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

If you’re anything like me, you may be asking yourself, “What the heck is mezze?”. Mezze (pronounced “mez-ay”, although many people seem to pronounce it as “mezz”) is more of a style of eating than a specific recipe or recipes. Mezze is a bunch of small dishes served all at once—sort of like the Middle Eastern version of Spanish Tapas. It can be served as appetizers before a meal, or as the meal itself.

Michele gave us a variety of recipes to choose from, but homemade hummus and pita bread were the required portions of this challenge. My mind immediately thought of the Mediterranean hummus from Zea’s. Roasted garlic, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and basil were calling my name.

I loved the hummus and the pita bread, although my pita didn’t puff up as I’d hoped. Hmm, that may be my excuse for making more. 😉 Click here for the recipes. Be sure to see what the rest of the creative and Daring Cooks concocted this go around and visit me on the 27th when I reveal this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Steph of Obsessed With Baking chose Dorie‘s Cocoa-Nana bread for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. After passing on Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben and the Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars, why, oh why, did I make cocoa-nana bread? I think it was the combination of two types of chocolate that lured me in.

Now, it’s not as if there’s a bad recipe in Baking: From My Home to Yours, but some recipes are better than others. This one is far from my favorite and it didn’t even impress my husband’s co-workers. I found it to be plain, a tad dry, and very heavy. It’s just not what I was looking for in a breakfast bread.

No matter, there is much more chocolatey goodness to be had next month. For now, spread some love to my fellow TWD bakers.

sweet potato biscuits

For this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Erin of Prudence Pennywise selected Dorie‘s sweet potato biscuits. I made the biscuit dough last night then popped them in the freezer so we could enjoy them this morning with some eggs and Canadian bacon. Do we know how to start the day off right, or what?

If you don’t already know this, trust Dorie implicitly. When will I learn that? As I transferred the biscuits to a rack to cool, I couldn’t help but eat one right then – nevermind that the recipe clearly states to let them cool 10-15 minutes. My first impression – “kinda bland.” Ever the supportive husband, Kevin gladly ate the rest of the unimpressive biscuit. Then, something magical happened in our kitchen in that 10-15 minute timeframe…the biscuits came to life! Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a tad, but seriously these biscuits are amazing once they’ve had a little “beauty rest”. Dorie, I bow down to your wise and wondrous ways.

Pay Erin a visit for the recipe and spread some love to the rest of the TWD bakers while you’re at it. Visit me next week when I’ll share my Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte…if you’re good. 😉

Pumpkin bread 3

Time to break out the cinnamon & nutmeg – my favorite season has arrived! I adore everything about Autumn – the cool, crisp air, the leaves changing colors, pumpkins and mums everywhere, Halloween…wait, did I forget to mention the tastes? It’s time for warm spices, hearty stews, and freshly baked bread. So, in honor of it being the first weekend of Autumn, I am making pumpkin bread. Oh, how I love pumpkin bread! And any day I get to use my Kitchen-Aid mixer is a great day 🙂 Since it makes 3 loaves, this is a great recipe to make if you want to take something to share with family, friends, or co-workers.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 can pumpkin (NOT pie filling)

3 teaspoons baking soda

2/3 cup water

Mix all ingredients. Pour mixture into 3 loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Enjoy!

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

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