Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

There is the endless debate between fans of fudge-like brownies and cake-like brownies. This is the first time I’ve baked cake-like blondies, which make them pretty much cake. A delicious snack cake with a tight crumb, but nonetheless, still cake.

The recipe comes from the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email (another one!) for April 22. I baked as directed and after tasting it (again and again and again) I decided it is the perfect vehicle for other flavors. Maybe add some cinnamon to the batter or use a flavored cream cheese or make it boozy and add Frangelico or Kahlúa to the swirl. Since the blondies use simple ingredients that we tend to have on-hand and Paul thought they were great, I’ll make them again as to not break his heart. ;)

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies Recipe

(For the record, I prefer fudge-like brownies but I have no problem eating cake-like brownies.)

photo by paulrus

{twd} hungarian shortbread

Hungarian Shortbread? What the heck is Hungarian Shortbread? I had visions of a smoky, spicy version of the buttery, sandy cookie. As it turns out, this week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is a shortbread sandwich cookie filled with jam.

I made a quarter of the dough recipe and only used half of what I made. Once made, the dough is formed into balls and frozen. Then it’s grated directly into the pan (in my version I used round cookie cutters to bake the cookies), spread with jam (I didn’t attempt the rhubarb jam recipe instead used mango butter from Trader Joe’s as the filling), and then topped with more grated dough.

This created a light airy buttery cookie (or my case 4 cookies total) that was a winner here and enjoyed by all (okay, only Paul and I because there wasn’t enough cookies to share.)

You can find the recipe for Hungarian Shortbread in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or with these week’s hosts:  Lynette of 1smallkitchen and Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler…

Mudslide Cookies (I’m back to baking!)

Yes. I’m back to baking. :) Although in a very limited capacity and not anything too complicated or anything that requires too much standing. No baking marathons of the past where I would bake all day and through the night.

Sitting at home, In between TV shows and naps, I have plenty of time to read emails that I used to just delete unread. One type is the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email. Mudslide Cookies were the featured cookie on April 16.

Reviewing the ingredients and having everything on hand (very important as I can’t drive or walk anywhere) I decided to make these. I’m glad I did.

They are a chocolate lover’s dream and I knew Paul would love them. Made with 3 types of chocolate and barely any flour, they melt in your mouth. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Like a perfectly under-baked brownie.

You can find the recipe here: Mudslide Cookies.

(by the way 23 days until our wedding.)

photo by paulrus

Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

Is this another recipe that’s going to break my heart?

What?! What do you mean?

Further conversation ensues and Paul elucidates his love of my baking and that he gets a little sad when I bake an outrageously tasty treat knowing that I most likely will never bake it again. Through the years (I’ve only been baking since 2008), there is an elite group of recipes I’ve made multiple times.

Homemade Biscoff Cookies with Biscoff Cream Cheese Filling most definitely meet the criteria for entry into this group.

I saw the recipe on pinterest and I immediately knew I would make them as Biscoff Spread has replaced Nutella as the top choice for toast, apples, sandwiches, spoons, crumpets…you get the picture. This was another recipe I baked and then stuck in the freezer pre-patellar fracture.

The recipe comes from Creative Culinary and you can find the recipe HERE. I plan on making these again and again. Once I’m allowed to bake again. ;)

And this is what happens when Paul is left alone while taking pictures for you:

photos by paulrus

Some bakings

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It turns out I need surgery. On the follow-up x-ray you can see my patella fragments shifted around. The type of surgery I’m having is called open reduction internal fixation, which means my orthopedic surgeon slashes open my knee, repositions the pieces of my bone in the correct places, and then uses screws to pin everything together. The outpatient surgery lasts about an hour and a half. I’ll probably spend more time at the hospital waiting for the surgery to happen than actual time in surgery.

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I spent yesterday afternoon traversing the medical clinic for my orthopedic appointment and pre-surgery work-up–blood draw, EKG, chest x-ray. Based on my google research, I should be out of my splint in six weeks. Just in time for our wedding. :) We were joking yesterday that we may have Paul walk down the aisle instead of me.

Even though my surgery is not scheduled until 5pm I haven’t been able to eat since midnight. So what do I decide to do? Spend time writing a blog post about things I can’t eat. ;)

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1. Napoleons with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Dairy Milk Chocolate Ganache–I used my homemade puff pastry again, my vanilla beans I bought in Tahiti, and Paul’s supply of Dairy Milk Chocolate to make these for Paul for his return home from a week-long work trip.

2. Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares–these are crunchy chewy cookies out of Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchycookbook. They’re a bit of work , in that you have to roll the dough and cut the squaresThe recipe calls for the use of any dried fruit and any flavor combination. I used dried cranberries and lemon zest. I really enjoyed the fresh, light taste and the crunchy yet chewy texture of these. If you have this cookbook, I encourage you to bake these. I think they are a great spring cookie and different from the usual sugar cookie. If you don’t have this cookbook, I encourage you to buy it. I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet. You can find the recipe online:pebbly beach fruit squares.

3. Tarte Fine– I made this the same day as the Parisian Apple Tartlet because it uses almost the same ingredients and is another recipe to cross-off my Tuesdays with Dorie v1.0 list. I used my homemade puff pastry again (!) and vanilla bean sugar. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe on her site.

4. Irish Soda Bread (again)–Paul suggested slow-cooked scrambled eggs and Irish Soda Bread for his first meal home. In a highly unusual move, this marks the third time I’ve made this recipe from Baking with Julia.

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This post is 100% produced on my iPhone–pictures, links, etc. I apologize in advance if some things don’t work. My lap top is broken, Paul’s camera is out on loan to his sister, and I can’t sit at a computer these days.