Parisian Apple Tartlet

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With a broken knee, I’m housebound. I can’t drive and I can’t walk. I went from an insane activity level to zero.  I now have a total love and appreciation for streaming NetFlix, my iPhone, and pain medication.

Baking is something that has always relaxed me and now it can help me take my mind off not being able to run, hike, bike for weeks. I needed to bake something, anything, but it had to be something I had all the ingredients on hand and it had to be something small. My main eater, Paul, is out of town for work and I also don’t have access to my co-workers.

The Tuesdays with Dorie group baked the Parisian Apple Tartlet in June 2009. It’s very easy to assemble,  makes only one serving, and it’s one more recipe to cross off my list of unbaked recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. Perfect. It’s a circle of puff pastry topped with apple slices and sprinkled with sugar (I used vanilla sugar). I made it a bit more complicated by making my own puff pastry using my go-to recipe from The Art & Soul of Baking.  Jessica of My Baking Heart was the host way-back-then and you can find the recipe on her blog.

{twd} pizza rustica

I have talent. I’ve been told it takes real talent to break your patella (kneecap) and that’s what I did. I fractured and dislocated my right patella. I’d love to tell you I did it rappelling off the side of a mountain while rescuing cute endangered animals or while executing  a bicycle kick to score the winning goal in a soccer match. The truth is I did it by tripping over my own feet while walking my dog.

Yeah. I return to the orthopedist next week for more x-rays and to see if I’m properly healing. I hope so, because I don’t want surgery. I especially don’t want surgery in the weeks before our wedding (6 weeks from Saturday for those counting). Yikes.

On a more happy note, I’m pleased to present this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection: Pizza Rustica. It’s not the kind of pizza I was thinking it would be when I read the title. It’s more of an Italian quiche-like pizza, with a mixed up filling made with eggs, cheese, and in my version sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The dough is sweetened and again in my case, baked in 6-inch tartlet pans.

I liked the contrast between the sweet dough and the savory filling, but I know it wasn’t popular with a few of the TWD bakers. Paul liked the taste too, but didn’t like the sun-dried tomatoes. I knew the tomatoes were iffy with him and I thought I was pulling a jar of roasted red peppers out of the pantry. He’s requested I make the recipe again but this time with the prosciutto or regular ham.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or at either of the wonderful hosts of this week’s selection:  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home.

my fractured patella

honey nut scones

Of all the tasty treats I bake, scones are my favorite. I often bake them right before my kick-ass group cycling class on Saturday mornings. A time when I wake up a little too early, but not super early.  They’re perfect, because, with scones you don’t have to wait for room-temperature butter, the ingredients come together quickly, and they’re unfussy.

Honey Nut Scones were baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers in November of 2011. Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake was the host and you can find the recipe HERE or in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours.

a trip of cookies

What do you call a group of cookies? A gaggle, a cache, a bunch of goodness? A group of goats is called a trip. I learned that from a Snapple Fact. Another cool Snapple Fact: Snails have teeth.

Over the past several weeks I’ve baked a bunch of cookies for baptismal parties, for birthday parties, or for just plain eating.

Bittersweet Brownies–A plain, simple brownie with a wallop of amazing chocolate flavor.  Made without nuts because sometimes I don’t feel like a nut. The Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made these in November 2011. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe HERE.

Drunk Cherry Chip Cookies–A delicious twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie made with white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries soaked in cherry liquor. I’ve blogged about these cookies twice before , baked them multiple times, and now I’ve renamed them again. You can find the recipe HERE.

Earl Grey Madeleines–I had some Earl Grey tea bag samples from a conference I attended and decided to bake these traditional French butter cookie. I liked the infused flavor of the tea and bought a tin of Earl Grey the next time I was at the tea shop.  Baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group in December 2011 and hosted by Nichi of Bakeologie. You can find the recipe HERE.

Homemade Thin Mints–An easy recipe for the Girl Scout classic. Tasty, crunchy, and minty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Homemade Samoas–Another Girl Scout classic. Coconut, caramel, and chocolate on a shortbread cookie base. Taste better than the door-to-door variety. You can find the recipe HERE.

Peanuttiest Blondies–Made with both peanut butter and peanuts, they really are peanutty. The addition of chocolate chips and cinnamon make them out of this world delicious. Perfect on their own or with vanilla ice cream. Baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group in December 2010 and hosted by Nichi of Bakeologie. (I had no idea I baked two recipes hosted by the same blogger until I started writing this post!). You can find the recipe HERE.

photos by paulrus

Dairy Milk Cupcakes

In pursuit of the perfect English chocolate cupcake, I present to you my third attempt. Although not perfect, I now know the next few tweaks that will get me closer to my goal. The frosting on this version is still the whipped ganache I used for version #2. We really like it. It’s not too sweet and it’s simple: melted chocolate and heavy cream. Unfortunately, I over-whipped this batch.  The base cupcake is Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes with Dairy Milk substitutions. My first attempt at English chocolate cupcakes also used Dorie’s recipe and that has been our favorite over this course.

In the time since baking these, I baked a 4th version using a “perfected” chocolate cupcake recipe I pulled out of Food & Wine magazine  a few years ago and relegated to my magazine stack until now. I am sparing you all not sharing that version because although tasty, it wasn’t close to perfect. Until next time…

Photos by Paulrus