Soft Salted-Butter Caramels


The key word here is “SOFT”….I do not know what happened, other than I must have over cooked these,  but mine were not soft!  I did everything the recipe told us too.  Ugh!!  No problems whatsoever.  I even commented to myself that Dorie was so right in describing the mixture as “seething” when you add the cream and butter.  So imagine my surprise when I went to cut these and they were not soft…at all.  I was able to cut them with quite a bit of pressure but knew right away these didn’t turn out the way they were suppose to.  (I have since found out from other blogs, that a lot of people had the same problem!! 🙂

I almost threw them out but decided to try one anyway.  I thought, well maybe mine will be more like a caramel hard candy.  Much to my surprise, it softened pretty readily in my mouth and tasted fantastic!!  The salted caramel flavor was right on..just not the consistency.  The caramel reminded me of an old candy bar I loved when I was growing up.  Anyone remember the Marathon Bar???…chocolate covered caramel?  I loved those.  That caramel was a little hard, not quite gooey or sticky like some caramel. That is what these were like.

These really were a  failure given the name of the recipe, but it turned out everyone loved them haha!  It just goes to show you, don’t throw it out!!  Always taste the creation first because although it might not look right, the flavor might be perfect and you can salvage your efforts.


Cocoa Linzer Cookies


In the overview, Dorie tells us that she hasn’t met a Linzer she didn’t like…and I say…I have never had a Linzer!  I know, right…how does this even happen?  I recognize the cookie!  I just haven’t had one,  probably because traditionally they have jam in them and I steer away and find something more chocolatey.  So here is the perfect opportunity…a chocolate linzer with the option to fill it with chocolate!  Win-Win!

I was pretty interested to see what these would taste like with the spice and chocolate combination that they had going on…pepper, allspice, cinnamon and clove, that is a lot.  I had no trouble making the dough or with the cutting out which can sometimes be a sticky mess. I had planned on using a plain circle but….I happened to be at Bed Bath and Beyond looking for something else and there it was…a Linzer cookie cutter. Who knew!??   Not me!  🙂  I don’t buy many gadgets to participate in this blog but this is one I just couldn’t resist…kind of like when I bought my Madeleine pan.  It just makes it all that much more fun.  I actually really liked the cookie cutter.  It had a mechanism that allowed you to push out the cut dough!  I wish all my cookie cutters had this feature.  It made it all so easy!

All in all, super easy.  I couldn’t wait to try them.  Perhaps I had high hopes with the chocolate and chocolate filling but I found these to be a little bland. Bummer!  I was lacking in the richness factor.  They were good, but not great.  My husband said he thought people who drink coffee or tea would probably love them.  They seemed more like that kind of biscuit cookie.  I am not a huge dessert eater but if I am going to have something I want it to be rich and this left me unfulfilled.  I may not make these again but I feel like I am going to find a use for my new linzer cookie cutter!!…that thing was awesome!! 🙂

Moka Dupont


The intro to our recipe lets us in on the behind the scenes story of how Dorie received this recipe from a friend, who had always requested this as a birthday cake.  She tells us it is a simple cake…”It was an icebox cake constructed of store-bought cookies, dunked in sweetened espresso and layered with quickly made butter cream.” We are told to properly make the cake, we should use The Brun cookies but that here in the states Petit Beurre cookies would be the ones we would find.

I set out ready to make this one and immediately had to make some accommodations.

  • I was the one on my phone in the grocery aisle trying to see if “Leibniz Biscuit au Beurre” were the same type of cookie…and thankfully it was a yes.
  • I used strong instant coffee instead of espresso to dunk the cookies
  • I omitted the raw egg…I know, I know most people use them and never have a problem but I just couldn’t do it.  I figured it would still taste good, maybe just not as fluffy or creamy.
  • I made one 2×3 cake and two 2 cookie cakes.  I figured that would make it easier for getting it to my tasters instead of cutting up the big one.

Everyone really liked this, a keeper for sure…and so easy!  It is rather rich, or actually very sweet,  which is something for me to say!  You don’t need a very big piece, it packs a big punch.  Maybe that would have been toned down a bit with the whipped egg whites and yolk mixed in.  I will be curious to see what other bakers thought of it.

What this dessert reminded of, was a treat I used to make my kids when they were little.  I would put frosting between graham crackers and make our own cookie sandwiches.  They were the best the next day as they became slightly softened from the frosting.  🙂

Brown Butter-Peach Tourte


I figured this one would be a hit before I even baked it.  We have used this sweet tart dough quite a few times now and it doesn’t seem to matter what we put in it, everyone always loves it…and this time was no exception.


“You hit a home run”

“One of my favorites of all the recipes you have baked”

and my personal favorite….

“this is really delicious BUT…” and I am thinking what ?? you just said it was delicious …but then my husband finished his sentence and says “BUT it would be AMAZING if you made it with apples!!!”

I have to agree with my husband.  I think I will try this sometime with apples and cinnamon….like an apple pie but a tart.  Instead of a homerun it might just be a grand slam!! 🙂



Double-Corn Tea Cake

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This is how Dorie describes her recipe…

“The color of this plain looking cake is sunshine yellow; the crumb tight and fine; the texture almost melt in your mouth, with a surprisingly pleasant roughness on the tongue; and the taste bursting with the true flavor of sweet corn.”  

Sounds like summer in a loaf pan to me.  We are told this recipe uses “corn flour” not corn meal or masa harina and that it is easily found in supermarkets.  Well, last recipe I had no problem finding the lavender which I thought was going to be a problem and this corn flour proved to be a little more elusive that I had thought.  It took me 3 stores to find it…which is a good thing I finally found it because I think that third store was going to be my last haha.

I had high hopes for this one since I do love a good corn bread.  Even though this wasn’t suppose to be corn bread, I figured it would be similar.  The recipe came together easily and baked up golden.

I have to say my initial response was that I didn’t quite care for this cake.  I don’t know what it was about it but I was actually thinking I might not send it off to my tasters….but then I thought, well isn’t that what being a taster is all about??

I sent it off telling them I wasn’t sure what they would think of it…not quite corn bread, but corn bread….

I started getting reviews back and they were ALL very positive….they loved it.   Whoa, who knew?  It seemed like most of them still thought of it as corn bread…maybe a sweet corn bread, even saying it would taste great with chili or soup.  I don’t think that is what Dorie intended for this recipe…more of a tea and jam sort of cake but you know, it was a success nonetheless.

Their enjoyment of it had me go back and try it again.  This time it had cooled and sat for a while.  I don’t know if that changed the flavor and consistency, but surprisingly I liked it much better when I tried it the second time.  I could really taste the sweetness and liked the almost sugar crust.  I could see myself making these again, but I think as mini muffins rather than as a loaf.

Lavender Galettes

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I was excited to make these.  These sounded so usual and I have never tried anything made with lavender…it is one of my favorite scents, but I have never eaten it.  I wasn’t sure where to buy the lavender, but surprisingly it was easy to find at my local produce store.  I love when that happens. 🙂

These cookies are described as so thin and crunchy they are really more like a cracker.  They are not very sweet using very little sugar and flavored with olive oil, lavender, vanilla, and orange zest.

They are also usual in the way you make them.  The dough is difficult to work with so we are told to roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and then between two pieces of parchment roll it out into a pressed cookie.  The result is a rustic, simple cookie which I loved the look of.  You finish it off by brushing whipped egg whites onto the surface and sprinkling sugar over the top.

We thought these were delicious and very different than anything we had ever tried!  Not sure I tasted the seemed to be more orange zest dominant but whatever the flavoring was, it was great!!  They are a keeper!


Martine’s Gâteau de Savoie


Our recipe is described as the “simplest of sweets…a classic sponge cake that is light, satisfying and beautiful in it’s plainness”.

I learned in reading the intro to our recipe that the Savoy cake is one of the oldest in the French repertoire, and maybe in the Italian too.  Today we would think of this cake as simple but back in 1358 it was considered a marvel. It was unusual for its lightness which is achieved by beating yolks and sugar until thick and pale and then beating in whipped egg whites to create a cake that rose and had a springy interior.  Think of doing all of that without our electric whisks! 🙂

This cake WAS beautiful and delicious in its simpleness.

We are told it is fine just plain, or that we can add jam, lemon curd, or cherries cooked in wine.  Since it is berry season here in California where I live, I went with simple, cut up strawberries.  We all loved it…we all declared it a keeper!