Bake your own bread – May: Roundup
The 10th recipe I made from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake!” was Cream Cheese Scones. Wow, these were really quick to put together. Only problem – I didn’t have cream cheese, but I DID have cottage cheese and thought I’d give it a try. Worked out perfect ;-). These scones were heavy, but so delicious! We served them with homemade jam – YUM! Others who made these scones: Abby and Phyl.
The 9th recipe I made from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake!” was the Best & Easiest Carrot Cake. Phyl picked this recipe, you can find his take on this cake here. I am still not sure what to think about this cake: yes, it was very easy, but is it the best carrot cake? I can’t really compare because I haven’t had much carrot cake yet, and the little I had I can’t remember to compare. The recipe for the cream cheese frosting is a little off, it does taste wonderful, but is way too runny and does not look like in the book at all. Phyl noticed the same thing. Less cream cheese? More confectioners’ sugar? I don’t know why it was so runny… I followed the recipe to the T. As I said, the frosting was yummy. The cake was weird. Maybe it was the combination of lots of cinnamon and carrots which already SOUNDS weird to me? My family loved it, though.
The 8th recipe I made from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake!” was Danish Apricot Pinwheels. It was my turn to pick a recipe, and as I had been so successful with the Danish Cheese Pockets, I thought I’d try another, more sophisticated Danish version. I decided, though, to use Christel’s Danish Pastry Dough (page 111, with ricotta and baking powder, and without sugar) instead of the Quick Danish Pastry Dough (page 110, with milk, sugar and yeast). Making the ricotta/ baking powder version was much quicker than making the yeasted version, but I DID wonder what the layers would result from because there was no giving the dough a turn involved. The recipe for the almond filling made way more than 12 heaping teaspoons, more like 12 heaping tablespoons, but everything fit into the pinwheels nicely. Instead of apricots (no apricots here yet) I used red plums, a variation Malgieri mentions, too. Folding the pinwheels was not really that difficult because the instructions and pictures in the book are very detailed. Into the oven they went and were dusted with some powdered sugar after baking. My verdict: they looked really nice, and they tasted fine, but there were no layers at all as in the Danish Cheese Pockets. I’m sure this is due to the different dough. I’ll definitely make the pinwheels again, but will try the yeasted dough then to see if it makes a difference.
It was Marthe‘s turn to pick the next recipe from Nick Malgieri’s Bake! – she chose Empanadas. This recipe involved making puff pastry – I’ve made it before, so I wasn’t that nervous anymore. I have no idea which recipe was easier, don’t really remember the process for the elephant ears anymore, I just know that both recipes are really easy and the results were very good. I decided to go for the chicken variation because I’m not a big fan of ground meat. Making the filling was a bit time-consuming, but it was so worth it. This filling makes a nice stew when you don’t let the liquid evaporate completely – try it, it’s so yummy! Btw, I did NOT shred the chicken and I didn’t use chicken thighs but chicken breasts. The empanadas were extremely flaky – too flaky for my little girl: she said “I don’t like these crunchy thingies”- but everybody else loved the them! The leftover scraps I used for cheese sticks: I cut strips, sprinkled them with parmesan cheese and baked them for approximately 10 minutes at 350°F.
Check here for Abby’s post about her empanadas.
It was Abby‘s turn to pick the next recipe from Nick Malgieri’s Bake! – she chose Golden Almond Bars. To be honest – this recipe drove me crazy! Mixing the dough together was no problem at all, but rolling it out was a pain in the butt. It was sticky, sticky, sticky – and yes, it had chilled in the fridge for a looong time (24 hours). I was about to throw it out and call it quits, but for some reason I continued sticking the dough into the pan and covered it with the topping which in my case consisted of pecans (instead of almonds), butter, sugar, golden syrup, salt, and whipping cream. Into the oven it went for 35 minutes.
My pecan bars didn’t look very appetizing (see above), but tastewise, they were heavenly! Will I make them again? Not sure, because the rolling-out procedure was REALLY annoying!