Tuesday, January 1, 2008

We all Started the New Year in the Kitchen

Romans 12:10 

"Be devoted to one another
--- in brotherly love.
Honor one another
--- above yourselves."

We cooked all kinds of things today. I started off by making my own version of the snickerdoodle muffins that many Daring Bakers like. I was going to make the original recipe until I read the 2 sticks of butter. At that my daughters and I decided that some modifications were in order. Now I'm not meaning to dis on the original, I bet it's fabulous, but we just weren't ready for it.

Molly's Snickerdoodle Muffins

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a nice medium sized bowl cream:

1 stick of butter, softened a bit
1/2 cup sugar


1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Combine the dry ingredients:

10 ounces of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Add to the creamed mixture using a fork so that you don't over mix it. It wants to be just mixed, no smushing.

In a bowl combine:

1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, scoop out muffin dough an put it into the cinnamon and sugar mixture, maybe 6 at a time. Gently roll the blobs of dough in the mixture, and then into nice balls. Place in a muffin tin. Bake for about 10 minutes.

I also made tiny muffins using the 1 tablespoon scoop. This cook for a slightly shorter period of time.

Yield: 33 two tablespoon muffins, or 33 one tablespoon muffins, or various combinations thereof.

When I make this recipe again I think that I will add 2/3 cup buttermilk instead of 1/2 cup. I think it just needs to be a bit moister and that's how I would try this change.

I had previously scheduled to have a casual New Years Day dinner. I had invited my parents because they could come at Christmas. Well the family wasn't exactly up for this and we had some very difficult moments for a while. But fortunately everything was righted, and my son-in-law Zac was particularly understanding and gave me a much needed hug. The plan was to have a barbecued turkey as sandwiches. I made the bread and Riley made the turkey, and it was absolutely stupendous. I often feel that he is the better cook because he makes such fantastic barbecued turkey and chateaubriand.

For dessert I made tarte tatin and Russian apple cake. the tarte tatin was a big success and the cake was liked but it was puzzling. I've made that cake so many times but it never looked like it did this time. After a lot of thinking about it we decided it was because I made using a hand held mixer, when I usually use the kitchenaid mixer which is so much more powerful. I know that I did not do anything wrong with the ingredients.

Russian Apple Cake

This is a delicious yet wonderfully simple recipe. It always succeeds.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1/2 of small lemon, optional
2 to 3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced/sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a flat bundt pan, with spring-form edge.
Put the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, soda and cinnamon into an electric mixing bowl and beat until light in color.
Peel and cored and quarter the apples.
Take each quarter, cut in half the long way, and slice the short way.
Toss apple slices in lemon juice if desired for tartness.
Fold apples into the batter and spoon mixture into the pan.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. This depends on how much apples you have used and how wide your pan is. The cake should spring back when touched if it is done.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Tarte Tatin

• 250 g de pâte brisée 
• 1 kg de pommes  
• 100 g de beurre 
• 100 g de sucre blanc  

Eplucher et couper chaque pomme en quatre morceaux bien réguliers. Dans un moule à bord haut, faire fondre le beurre, puis verser le sucre et laisser caraméliser. Posez les morceaux de pomme côté bombé tourné vers le fond du moule, puis faire cuire environ 25 min en faisant sauter légèrement de temps en temps.
Préchauffer le four à 375°F. Recouvrir les pommes avec la pâte en repliant bien les bords et enfourner jusqu’à ce que la tarte soit bien dorée, 30-35 min environ.
Laisser reposer 10 min avant de retourner et de retirer le moule. Servir tiède avec de la crème fraîche.

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