Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking Chez Moi: Palets de Dames, Lille Style


And we’re off! Or welcome back?! Take your pick.

First things first, you are probably here because you are baking your way through Dorie Greenspan‘s brilliant new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi, with Tuesdays with Dorie. For those who have been here before, welcome back, nice to see you! There are so many familiar faces baking with TWD again, that its like the gang is all back together. I am so excited about that. For those who are new, welcome! I am Laurie, I started TWD in 2008 thinking no one would bake through Baking From My Home to Yours with me. Little did I know that everyone would bake with me and we would still be willing to tackle new projects together 6 years later. Its shocking and wonderful all at the same time.


Now, I haven’t blogged in a long while. Two and a half years worth of a while. Things have been hectic here. I have 3 boys, ages 12, 10 and 7. The youngest who has various special needs in epilepsy and autism. It keeps things extremely interesting, and fun and sometimes exhausting and frustrating but its a very full life. And I adore it. However, its kept me from this space for too long. I hope that TWD will get me back to regular blogging again.

Now, I am posting late for a Tuesday, which really is not unusual for me. I’m a procrastinator. But, this time, my middle boy, Bro, has stomach flu and it threw the schedule off. I, also, didn’t feel like it was kind to be baking cookies while he was unable to keep anything down. Today, he was finally able to eat again, so I got the dough going and baked them up. This recipe is so simple and easy. Just with a small hours rest in the middle. I did add more vanilla than called for, well, because I always do. I, also, added lemon zest to the glaze and topped with some coconut sugar that I was gifted at some point. My resident tester, Liam, deemed them “good” but added “They get all their flavor from the glaze.” I concur. A good simple cookie, that will be perfect with my coffee tomorrow.

I say we are off to a good start.

Special thanks to Jules and Steph for helping get TWD:BCM started! MUAH!


Random Slush


I baked up cupcakes yesterday for Liam and his friend. I used a mix. Yes, yes, I know, but mixes can be SO cheap! I churched them up with funfetti sprinkles in the cake and I made my own cream cheese frosting.

I finished a hat earlier in the week and it was just chilly enough to rock it a few days this week. I love the colorway. Its beautiful. I am so sad that the dyer has decided to call it quits.

It hailed in the middle of this week and Colby was fascinated. He stared out the front door until it stopped. Its very cool watching your child discover something new.

Lastly, after finishing my hat, I picked up a shawl I had started a year ago. The rows are getting so very long and I think I am only about half way done. I am determined to finish it though. Even if it takes me another year.

That’s all for my Sunday Random Slush. Maybe I will remember to come back next week with another update. 😉 Happy April to you all!

Baking with Julia: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets


I almost did not get this one done. I forced myself into it yesterday, as I was determined to make it through the first month of TWD. I used a combination of bittersweet and milk chocolate to make the batter, chips ahoy, milk chocolate and white chocolate for the mix-ins and put Cadbury mini eggs on top. This could not have been easier to throw together. My children loved this tart. I call that success!

Check out the recipe on our hosts blogs. Steph, Spike, Jessica and Jaime. If you want to see hundreds of tarts, see the LYL post on the TWD website.

Next up: Rugelach

TWD: Baking with Julia: White Loaves


Its that time again! I couldn’t be more excited about the start of TWD: Baking with Julia. I have been thinking about, planning out and anxious for this next round of TWD for over a year now. Many emails have flown between myself, Jules, Dorie and a slew of my favorite TWD bakers about how we wanted to tweak this go round. I think we did a handsome job of it. If you have not joined our baking army yet, what are you waiting for? We are 300+ members strong and would love to have you.

Here we go!

The book, Baking with Julia, by the brilliant and ever so sweet Dorie Greenspan. The recipe for this week is White Loaves.

I have bad luck with white bread. I have given it a go several times and always with lackluster results. In fact, I gave it up, until now. I was forced to make this recipe and I am so glad that I was strong armed. This recipe changed my mind. It came out so well on my first try, I made 2 more loaves the following day. I did tweak the recipe the 2nd day by adding a cinnamon swirl* to the dough. To do this, after you have rolled the dough out, put a thin layer of butter on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then roll up as instructed. Easy as pie. 🙂

*Old School TWDers- I used the cinnamon swirl recipe from the Raisin Swirl Bread in BFMHTY.

If you are afraid of yeast, or of making your own white bread, don’t be. This recipe is easy to follow and has wonderful results. Jump right in.

Jules is my co-host for the week, please go check out how the bread came out for her. She also has the recipe posted.  And if you are interested in what the TWD Baking Army thought, check out the LYL post on the TWD site. I cannot wait to see all the golden loaves.

Check back in 2 weeks when we make Chocolate Tartlets.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Kids’ Thumbprints


In keeping with tradition of the past 4 years, I woke up early this morning, on Tuesday, to hurriedly make this week’s recipe. The LAST recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours. There are a lot of things I would like to say, many that I have said before. When I started this crazy trip, my children were ages 10 months, 3 and 5. As a stay-at-home Mom, baking is a way for me to stay sane. I go into the kitchen, sometimes when the house is at its most insane and start to bake. Following a recipe is a way for me to relax and at the end, I have something wonderful to share with my family. This still holds true. I continue to bake 3 or more times a week. My boys have become total bakery snobs. They do not hold back in any way from telling me what they think of what I have baked up. Liam, our oldest, grades on a A-F scale. And I have received quite a few F’s along the way. 😉

I considered myself an ‘okay’ home baker when I started my way through BFMHTY. Now, I am very comfortable tweaking recipes and swapping out ingredients. (Almost to a fault.) I have made some of the best online friends a girl could have through TWD. That is the very best thing that has come out of this 4 year journey for me. The friendships I have made, I have no doubt, will last my lifetime.

Thank you to Jules for helping me out when life got so tough for me 2 years ago, and for continuing to be a source of support and endless humor.  To the rest of my TWD family- Thanks for sticking it out with me. Love you all.

Dorie, sweet, sweet, Dorie– thank you, again for all of your support, encouragement and enthusiasm. I truly value your friendship. And I will forever be grateful to you for writing this book, that brought so many of us together. It was a life changer, not only for me, but for a good many of us in TWD.

Dorie hosted this week, you can check out the recipe on her blog.   Check out the rest of the TWD folks cookies from the TWD blog.

For those joining us for the next round of TWD. We will begin to tackle Baking with Julia starting in February of 2012. If you have not bought your book yet, go buy it now!

Bake on! 🙂

Tuesdays with Dorie: Unbelievably Good Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream



So, Jules called me way back in October. We talked about how TWD: BFMHTY was quickly wrapping up. We needed to sort out the recipes left and who was going to make what. I contacted Dorie, so she could pick one, and I told Jules, “Just tell me what I am supposed to make.” Again, this was back in October.

I knew the date was coming up, I needed to get on the horn with the ice cream. Right, make the ice cream. So, I set out to make it last weekend. Alas, I was missing the blueberry jam. I could have subbed cherry or raspberry, but I was making a great attempt at not messing with the recipe. Over the past 4 years, I have become very comfortable with substituting ingredients. I don’t think twice before doing so. But, since this is the last time I would be hosting TWD for this book, I wanted to stick to the recipe. 2 store trips later and still no jam. What the hell, Laurie?

Fast forward this past Saturday, I had a list for the store, but had been procrastinating going to the store. I am a professional procrastinator. Finally, my good friend Peabody said “Go buy ice cream stuff!!” And I did. The end.

Okay, not the end. I think I should say a little something about TWD now. Almost 4 years ago, on this very little blog, I asked if anyone would want to join me in baking once a week from Baking From My Home to Yours, by the lovely Dorie Greenspan. At the time, I thought nothing of it. I figured I would get 2-3 people who read my blog to do it with me. TWD quickly grew and grew. It was quite overwhelming. Then, over the 4 years it took to complete this book, we have dwindled down to a very hardcore group of members. I want to thank each and every one of you for going on this journey. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I have. I hope you will all consider joining the next phase, with Baking with Julia, which starts in February 2012.

Back to the ice cream. We froze it. We tried it. I love homemade ice cream, I just wish my ice cream maker would allow me to make more in a batch. This one got mixed bag of reviews. That is the norm in this household, though. I say give it a shot and see what you think. You may just be a chocolate blueberry kind of person, you never know until you try.

Unbelievably Good Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream

5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons premium-quality blueberry preserves

Put the chocolate in a 1-quart glass measuring cup or heatproof bow.
Bring the milk and heavy cream to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid– this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they don’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the back of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard over the chopped chocolate.
Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then, using a rubber spatula, starting in the center of the measuring cup and working in ever-wider concentric circles, stir until the custard is smooth.
Refrigerate the custard until the chilled before churning it into ice cream.
Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is thickened and just about ready, spoon in the blueberry preserves and churn to blend. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Serving: If the ice cream is very firm, allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping, or warm it in the microwave using 5-second spurts of heat. Serve the ice cream on its own or over the equally luscious Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie.

Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the ice cream will keep in the freezer for about 2 weeks.

Go check out the Tuesdays with Dorie site for more reviews on this week’s ice cream.

Jules made Double Puffed Plum Tart for this week. Go check her review out!


French Fridays with Dorie: michel rostang’s double chocolate mousse cake


Liam and Brody had a snow day today. Colby did not. But, I was able to whip this cake up due to not having to run around first thing in the morning. The batter was so easy to put together. I was unsure which option to pick, since this recipe has several options. Cold versus warm. I chose warm.

We haven’t actually cut into it yet. The cake is still hot from the oven. I snapped photos as soon as the middle sank. If the batter is any indication, it is going to be fan-freaking-tastic. I was eating the batter straight from the bowl. Yum!

As I was making this, my son Brody said, “So, its a cake shaped like a moose?” Love that boy.

Go check out all the other moose shaped cakes on the FFWD blog. There were lots of variations for this recipe, so there should be lots of different cakes. Check them out!

Edited to add: Oh my is this cake so good. I mean like seriously, blow your mind good. Its so chocolatey and light. You’d think its going to be dense, but its not. The cake almost melts in your mouth. This recipe is a definite keeper. Brody delcared, ” These are the best brownies ever!” and are they ever.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins


They are muffins. Albeit muffins without lemon or poppyseeds. But, they are still indeed muffins.

When I went to make them, it hit me that I had no lemons. Nor did we have poppyseeds. So, they became blood orange muffins. We liked them all the same. Colby ate 2 before they were even done cooling. I’d say that means they were a success.

Check out the TWD LYL post for all the rest of what should be lemon poppyseed muffins.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Midnight Crackles


Happy Anniversary Tuesdays with Dorie! TWD turns 3 this week. When I posted about TWD for the first time, I never ever imaged we would still be at it 3 years later. It seriously changed my life. I am a totally different baker. I have made some of the best online friends a girl could have. My tweetie ladies are the best, the BEST! And it pushed me to start French Fridays with Dorie as well. I am ever so thankful to the members of TWD for continuing to bake along week after week without fail. You have pushed me to become a better baker. Thank you! Lastly, thank you to Dorie for her continued support of both me and the group. It means the world to me.

To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary, Julie, my TWD sidekick and I decided on Midnight Crackles. We both wanted something on the easy side for right after Christmas. I have been wanting to make these cookies for a long time, so I was uber stoked.

I baked them up just today. I followed the original recipe exactly. They were easy to whip up. The texture seemed really sandy to me, even after chilling. I rolled a few in powdered sugar before baking, just for fun.The finished product came out kind of like the World Peace Cookies, but softer. We all liked them, but I think I will up the cinnamon next time and maybe nix the clove. Overall, good cookie.

You can find the recipe for Midnight Crackles on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog.

Happy Anniversary Tuesdays with Dorie’ers! Here is to another three years! xoxo

Happy 2011!


Okay, first things first. Happy New Year! 2011. Wow! Where does the time go? Really, where does it go?

Last year, my blogging was somewhat.. lacking. Alright, it was awful. Down right, awful. In my defense, 2010 was the hardest year for me that I can remember. It was a mentally and emotionally exhausting. At some points, I did not know how I would get through the year. So, blogging took the back burner. So be it. My family comes first. The end. But, its 2011 now. And I am truly hoping to start blogging more again. I miss it. I really do. Hopefully, I still have a few readers out there. Hi there, nice to see you!

To kick things off, I decided to bake something yeasty today. I love the smell of a yeasty treat in the oven. One of Liam’s favorite breakfasts is cinnamon rolls. With that in mind, I decided to make monkey bread. If you don’t know what that is, you must have been living in a hole the past few years. Its been everywhere. Or maybe you are new to the interwebs. If so, hi there! Nice to see you!

I should have started this project earlier in the morning. It takes several hours to proof and put together. It worked out in the end, since we ended up having a monster brunch to start the New Year.

New Year, new stuff, yada yada. Liam rates all my baked goods. I am totally raising a pastry snob. He is harsh with his ratings. I figured it makes for good entertainment value. This is how he rated the monkey bread.

Liam’s Rating: Bread nice and soft, not too crunchy. Cinnamon really good, but I like a little more cinnamon, a tiny bit more, but otherwise, really good. Overall rating– A

I do not like publishing recipes on my blog. Maybe its my loyalty to Dorie that started it, but its expanded. If you want the recipe for Monkey Bubble Bread in BAKED Explorations, buy the book. Come on, do it. Its a great book with phenomenal photos, and you won’t regret it.

Happy 2011 to everyone! Hope it turns out to be a fabulous year! xoxo- Laurie

Total sidenote: The Pens play in the Winter Classic tonight. Go Pens!