Modern Baker Challenge

One good thing, among many, about visiting family and friends is that I have the chance to make a full-sized dessert rather than a mini. This was true for this past weekend when we visited family down south and I made Malgiere’s….

    Perfect Pound Cake

With a slight hint of lemon it is a perfect not-as-sweet cake that goes perfectly with a good cup of coffee (or tea).

I had just gone to the store and was absolutely positive I had everything I needed for this goodie until I searched for my lemon extract and found I had none. NONE!! Almond, yes. Orange, yes. Eggnog, yes. but no lemon. I was afraid I would dilute the batter too much with lemon juice so I used 3/4 tsp of lemon oil. It gave just a hint of lemon to the flavor. Next time I will use a full teaspoon. The cake was moist and light. Light because of the unique method of mixing the batter. Malgieri’s aunt, from whom the recipe originated seperated the eggs, beat the whites, folded them back into the batter and then beat the batter again. This resulted than a lighter pound cake than I am used to. Well worth the many bowls it took to put it together!! Thank you, Aunt Rachel!!

Nick’s Perfect Pound Cake is on page 226 of the Modern Baker


Today was TwitterBake Day. Actually it was a Rolling TwitterBake which means several of us baked the same thing, just not at the same town! Still a fun way to bake – with friends.

On the menu today….

      Rum Scented Marble Cake

And it was delicious. Moist. Tender. Light. I only made one mini-bundt from 1/2 of the recipe and it was just right!

The cake is a mix of yellow cake with a chocolate swirl both of which have the scent and slight taste of RUM!! And making a swirl in a cake is always fun!

A layer of plain batter with a layer of chocolate batter followed by a last later of plain. Swirl!! Fun to see what patterns result. I made this with Phyl and Kayte and all of our swirls are different!!

Come by The Modern Baker Challenge and join in the fun. SEVEN months of CAKE!!!

BTW – Kayte found the recipe HERE!!

It is Malgierei Monday. And since today is the First Monday in June it is also the first day of the last section of The Modern Baker ChallengeCAKES!!

I had to really think about which one to start with as there are 17 I really want to try out of the 25 total. Chocolate came to mind. But which one – there are 6 chocolate cakes to choose from. And then we were invited to a Crawfish Boil. Cupcakes would be sooo easy to eat so the choice was now easy.

      Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

And they WERE – moist – and very delicious. They were very easy to put together and they did not last past the trip home!! I made only 1/2 the recipe and ended up with 19 cupcakes. Perfect number!! Only 18 made it to The Boil. I HAD to test one!!! PERFECTION!!

Malgieri suggests chocolate fudge icing. I made it but it never ‘set’ so I iced with a Peanut Butter Frosting and used the chocolate fudge as a drizzle. Chocolate and PB – Heaven!!

The frosting is from Two Peas and their Pod and was a filler for Oatmeal PB cookies. It was the perfect texture for frosting.

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    3 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy.

Malgieri’s chocolate fudge is really good. But then, it IS Chocolate!! I am not sure what I did wrong so that it remained too soft to use as a frosting. But it does make a good drizzle.

If you want to join us just visit The Modern Baker Challenge Website – Cakes – And let Phyl – our fearless leader – know you want to Bake-along with us!

This cake is on page 263 of Malgieri’s the Modern

Cakes will be here thru’ the end of December. And then….. well, we are still working on THAT one!!

I needed cookies for a cook-out. What better ones than Malgierie’s Sandwich cookies? Easy to carry. Easy to make. Fun to eat!!

There are four sandwich cookies in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker but I only had time for two of them before the end of the Cookie Phase of The Modern Baker Challenge. And, of course, there were a few setbacks along the way.

These are supposed to be Blackberry Jam Cookies. But either my Jam has not been out in the sun or it isn’t jam! Did you know you cannot thicken SUGAR FREE Jam? Do you want an answer to that? I did not know I had picked up the sugar free (meh!!) until I poured it into the saucepan to thicken. I ended up with Blackberry SOUP!! The only sub I had was some home-made lemon curd I had made with GAARP a few days back. So what we have here is a triple lemon sandwich cookie. Lemony cookie. Lemon Curd. Lemony Drizzle. Good combo.

To go along with those I made the Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

No trouble with the filling here. I ALWAYS have chocolate of some kind in the house!!! But I did use a German Chocolate rather than Milk Chocolate as Nick calls for. Chocolate cookie. Chocolate Filling. Powdered sugar dusting. And, just for good measure, some with added Cocoa dusting!!

Too much? I. Don’t. Think. So!! NEVER too much chocolate!! (Sorry, Kayte!)The only sandwich cookies left were the Raspberry Linzer Disks and the Viennese Punch Cookies. Maybe another day.

I made 1/2 of each recipe which gave me eight sandwiches of each type. The only trouble I had was that the dough was crumbly dry. I had to wait for it to reach room temp before I could really work with it. Gaarp had the same problem, as did others. But they baked up just fine.

The chocolate cookies are on page308 of Nick’s book. The lemon on page 306.

June is right around the corner which means CAKE for the next and last phase of The Modern Baker Challenge. It’s not too late to join in the fun. Visit the website and sign up for a cake. Or TWO!!

There are only two weeks left for COOKIES in the Modern Baker Challenge. Just two weeks. I want to know where all my Mondays for cookies went. I have at least 4 more I want to make. Guess I better get busy.

This past week I made two cookies – thinking it was the last week of May {I have been a week ahead in dates for the past month…..}

    Pine Nut Macaroons

Pine nuts are not something I usually bake with. They are the edible seeds of some pines and often harvested for food among many Amerindians of the Southwest. They are soft and delicious. It takes a lot of labor to harvest the nuts so they can be pricy. But they were good in this little almond cookie which only called for 4 ounces of the little seeds. I made 1/2 of the recipe which resulted in 16 cookies. They are very easy to make – nuts, almond paste, sugar and eggs are all you need. After only 18 minutes we were munching on this sweet little nugget.

Since I was in cookie mode I also made the Macadamia Shortbreads.

The great thing about shortbreads, at least Malgieri’s, is the fact that you don’t have to do anything except put the dough together (in a food processor), empty the mix into a pan and press down gently. That’s it. No rolling. No shaping. No scraping. I LOVE making his shortbread cookies. Oh, and they taste good, too!!! The cookies come out of the pan a little soft but Nick said to slice them and then let them cool and they would crisp up. And they did. Nice a crispy and buttery and nutty. Oh, Yeah!!

Now that I know I have another week left I can get some more of the cookies done. I tell you, this retirement thing is great – except sometimes you lose count of the days!!!

The Macaroons are on page 302 and the Shortbreads on page 292 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker. I also found the shortbread recipe HERE!!

One more week of cookies for Modern Baker Challenge then on to CAKES!!! Oh, My! Put the scales AWAY!!!!!

Check out the other cookies at The Modern Baker Challenge.

Tweeles! Yes, Tweeles. Or at least that is the pronunciation of the word. Tuiles are very thin wafer cookies named for and curved like the tuiles, or tiles, that line the rooftops of French country homes, particularly those in Provence. They can be sweet and served with ice cream or any custardy dessert or they can be savory made with cheese. Malgieri’s are sweet and made with almonds and lemon. Or, in my case, orange.

Malgieri calls for lemon zest but I had used my last in the Lemon Loaf. Orange was just fine with the almond. You can drop small teaspoonfuls on parchment or on a greased cookie sheet. There is a BIG difference in how they turn out.

The cookie on the right was on parchment, the left one on a greased sheet. AND the left one had a tad more dough than the right one. The plain cookie sheet gave me a thinner cookie.

If you want them curved you HAVE to place them HOT onto a curved object, such as a rolling pin, {if you want really curvy tuiles use a small round object, or shape them into small bowls for ice cream} or they will not curve without cracking. TRUST ME!! I ended up with lots of flat cookies and broken cookies. But the broken ones didn’t go to waste. On top of Lemon Curd Ice Cream they were just right!!!

The recipe for the TUILES is on page 288 of Nick Malgieri’s the Modern BakerAnd stop by the home of The Modern Baker Challenge for more cookies!

Cookies are easy. Easy to make. Easy to store. Easy to eat (sometimes too easy!). These little cookies are no exception

These little cookies have a slight orange taste, due to the orange extract and orange zest. It is faint but there. I think next time I will add a little orange oil to bring the taste out more.

These are on page 295 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker

Visit the other Challenge Bakers for their ‘moments’.

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