Monday, February 23, 2009

TWD Caramel Crunch Bars- Candy or Cookie?

I love these kinds of bars- or are they cookies- or are they candy? Probably a combination of all three. One thing I do know is that they are sooo yummy! I had to get them out of the house beofre I ate the whole batch, so I decided to take them to my students and let them be the judges. Now, just to bring them in for no reason and let them eat away; well I suppose I could have done that, but I thought it would be better to put it under the guise of a "prize" for a Quiz Bowl type of activity. They were given a group of questions, divided into groups and told that the first group to finish with the most correct answers would get the prize. OK, so I knew in advance that everyone was going to get them , but I didn't let them on to my plan.

Towards the end of class when everyone finished, I announced that not one team had won, but all of them. (Did they really think I was capable of handing out goodies to one and not the others?!) I explained to the class that I am a member of an online baking club and from now on they will be my "taste testers". ( Yeah, they were real upset about that news!) Great way to get my baking done and not leave it in the house, since my waistline is definitely suffering the consequences of my efforts.

The verdict was happily very clear this time. It was an overwhelming thumbs up! They just about finished the whole box ( I think they were all just a bit shy about being the one to take the last one or two!)

As far as the actual making of the bars, the base was very easy and Dorie's description of the bubbling in the oven was perfect. I found that pressing the dough down in the pan was a bit sticky and messy but nothing major that couldn't be dealt with. I don't get Heath Bar Bits or even Heath Bars themselves ( this country doesn't know what it is missing!!), so I had been looking for an alternative. Luckily I found some Heath Bars in a specialty store that brings a lot of imported foods, so I just crushed two candy bars and sprinkled them over the top. Worked super!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Devil's Food White Out Cake

I opted out of last week's recipe, Floating Islands- just not my thing and even though I am willing to try anything, in these times, preparing food that I know I have no customers for would be wasteful. I did enjoy reading other peoples comments on the recipe and seeing pics of the results. Maybe sometime the opportunity will arise for me to try this recipe.

On to this week's choice. I actually made this a few weeks ago for my husbands birthday ( I even remembered to take pictures of it- that's my weak area, the picture taking). I found the cake to be quite easy to make ,but I was a bit disappointed (with myself) at the appearance of the final product. I know I could have done it better and next time I will leave the top center portion of the cake white and just make a ring around the outer edge in chocolate crumbs. The cake itself was chocolatey and moist and the frosting was sooo yummy! I had two cakes that evening- also made a cheesecake with a tropical twist ( mango nectar inside) and a passionfruit topping. That way I could satisfy both the die hard chocolate lovers and the cheesecake/fruit lovers. Personally, I can handle both with absolutely no problem ( or maybe that IS my problem!). Both cakes were a success- definitely do agains.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

World Peace Cookies -TWD

I"m not sure these cookies would bring world peace, but they sure could put a smile on a lot of faces. These were easy to make and I didn't have the trouble of them breaking up when I cut them, as a few people had commented on Tuesdays with Dorie. The cookies have a deep chocolate taste and the fleur de sel ( I used organic grey sea salt and it was just fine) really brings out that extra zing of a chocolate flavor. I had planned on bringing these to work, but they never quite made it until the next day! Now, I am trying ( I emphasize "trying") to diet ( yeah , right- when I so love to bake , it's like mission impossible!), and I have been pretty good at just taking a small taste of the things I make lately. BUT- these- these cookies were addictive- so rich and a great texture- I'm not only a taste eater but a texture eater too. Does that make any sense? Oh well, if I am going to binge, it might as well be with something good like World Peace cookies rather than just any old junk! Definitely a "tabbed for return " recipe. Enjoy!