Saturday, March 26, 2011

Malted Krispie Tart with Diplomat Cream

SNAP. CRACKLE. OR POP. I'm not sure which one was my favorite. While not my childhood cereal of choice, they help put a sparkling touch on a candy-filled decadent tart, from BAKED Explorations. Make sure to catch all the Malted Tarts, along with more krispies, and the recipe, over at Baked Sunday Mornings!

Malt is the "word of the day" here. That old Carnation standby is used in the tart crust, as well as the fancy-pants cream filling, which the BAKED boys call "Diplomat Cream" - a vanilla pastry cream lightened with whipping cream and a touch of rum. The three elves lend their breakfast treat with cooked and caramelized Rice Krispies, along with chopped Whoppers - sprinkled over a rich, milk chocolate ganache. Definitely not for breakfast. Definitely worth making. Definitely Diplomatic & Delicious.

I was always a Toucan Sam fan, along with his Froot Loops cereal. The Snap, Crackle & Pop didn't seem to last very long, and who likes soggy cereal.  WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE?
   – mike 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunshine Citrus Muffins

T U E S D A Y S   W I T H   D O R I E
Special thanks to this week's host: Lauren of Bella Baker

A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE.  Or is that a day without orange juice? Anita Bryant is lurking here somewhere. I envisioned making these sunshine muffins when the sun flooded the kitchen window. Unfortunately I'm still waiting. But there's enough citrus in these little gems to make even the darkest of days somewhat brighter.
Made with lots of orange zest, lemon juice and with a cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice, they live up to their citrus name. Currants are mixed in (I soaked them in some grand marnier - any excuse to raid the liqueur cabinet), which give them just the right amount of dried fruit texture and flavor. Just before heading for the oven, I sprinkled some sanding sugar *sparkle sparkle* - to give them a little crunchy and sugary coat. These delightfully citrusy muffins have a light, almost spongy texture. Anita would approve.

marie: little mary sunshine
SPEAKING OF SUNSHINE.  I can't help but think of Little Mary Sunshine. "Mary" Marie Osborne (1911-2010) was a silent film child star - starring in her namesake film "Little Mary Sunshine" in 1916. She amassed a small fortune but by the time she turned 10, was penniless. Seemed her loving foster parents & managers "managed" to swindle and spend every last cent of their child's earnings. She passed away last year, at the grand old age of 90.

   – mike

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lucky Shamrock Salt 'n Pepper Sandwich Cookies

LUCK. After this week's catastrophic event in Japan, one can't help but feel lucky. It's times like these that simple things mean so much. Like this wonderful little cream-filled Salt & Pepper Sandwich Cooky. Make sure to catch all the S&P Sandwich Cookies, along with the great recipe, over at Baked Sunday Mornings!

The authors of Baked Explorations must have had luck on their side with this sandwich cooky. The dough itself is a winner - a sharp, peppery-chocolate dough, rolled, cutout and sprinkled with a healthy dose (IS there such a thing?) of fleur de sel. I was pretty lucky that these sandwich cookies saw the light of day. My personal method for cutout cookies is:  1) make dough  2) chill  3) forget. Actually, it's not forgetfulness, just loss of interest. I like the measuring, mixing and pouring - just not the cutting, decorating and sprinkling.
such a saint.
Luckily, the filling was easy to prepare - I think tinting it green took me longer. And who doesn't love that Oreo-esque filling of Crisco, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and (just for luck) - a swig of rum? Happy Saint Patrick's Day.
   – mike o'shaughnessy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creamy Corn Muffins

T U E S D A Y S   W I T H   D O R I E
Special thanks to this week's host: Jill of My Next Life

I truly thought I had hit the jackpot at the end of the Keebler Elve's rainbow when I put this MEXICORN can in my shopping basket. Corn bread or corn muffins and chili are perfect companions. Even better with chopped red & green peppers - courtesy of the Green Giant.

On muffin-making day, I stared down at the opened can of semi-crushed, semi-whole corn kernels. And cream. Lots of watery cream. I looked at the label - and plain as day - was the word "cream". It's times like these I swear my mother is standing right next to me saying things like, "you weren't listening", "you weren't paying attention" - and in this case - "you didn't look".

I REALLY wanted the Mexicorn - really. After realizing there wasn't one dish that I would want by saving this opened can, I dumped it into the muffin batter. The one saving grace (ironically) of creamed corn in Dorie's Corniest Corn Muffins, is the "cream". Moist, wonderful corn-flavored muffins - with  a hint of a kernel or two - perfect for those that shy away from corn-infested baked goods. I might not have been in Mexicorn-land, but was truly "In the Valley of the Jolly (Ho, Ho, Ho) Green Giant."

   – mike