TWD-Baking With Julia- Pecan Sticky Buns


Trust the recipe…I read that a lot when checking in with TWD before making this recipe. It was wonderful advice. This recipe had a lot of steps but none of them were difficult or too time consuming.

I enjoyed the process of making these sticky buns even more than I enjoyed eating them.  I am learning a lot with each recipe we make. This time the new process for me was laminating the dough. That is the process of folding butter into the dough and giving the dough at least two turns. This led to a beautiful dough with buttery layers.

I shared the finished product with my parents and my husband and kids on Mother’s Day. We ate the sticky buns with some berries and cream after a huge dinner of BBQ chicken and potato salad. While I enjoyed the sticky buns I look forward to eating the second batch that I have in roll form in the freezer on an empty stomach. At my daughters suggestion we will eat them warm!


TWD- Baking with Julia- Hungarian Shortbread


Rhubarb from my back yardI was so pleased when I read the Hungarian Shortbread recipe. I moved into my home eight years ago. Every April/May two beautiful bunches of rhubarb spring up from the ground and mark the change of seasons. Every year I swear I will make something delicious with them and most years I don’t.  This year I went down to the backyard with a purpose and cut this gorgeous bunch of rhubarb.

The rhubarb jam that sandwiches between the two layers of shortbread was easy to make and really tasty. I think I will harvest the rest of the rhubarb for more jam for toast or sauce for ice cream.


The dough went together easily in my mixer with the paddle attachment. I ran out of time to put the recipe together so I left the dough in the freezer for a few days. The night before cooking the shortbread I moved  the dough to the refrigerator as recommended

I loved shredding the frozen dough into the pan. This was yet another technique that was new to me. It really gave this heavy dough a light airy quality.

This recipe was delicious. The sweet shortbread and the tart rhubarb were a perfect combination. The only problem was that it did not have the consistency of shortbread.  It had a very soft cake like texture especially towards the center of the pan.


I shared a row of bars with my parents. They thought it was a wonderful treat. My mother had purchased rhubarb a few days earlier. She made a warm sauce and poured it over top and she and my father ate it for breakfast. She said if I hadn’t told her it was undercooked that she would have thought that was the way it was supposed to taste; more like a cake then a shortbread.

I will consider making this recipe again next spring but I will cook the bottom crust alone for 15-20 minutes before adding the jam and the top crust to ensure a crisper more shortbread like crunch.

TWD-Baking with Julia-Lemon Loaf Cake


Lemon Loaf CakeLemon Loaf Cake should have been as much of a pleasure to eat as it was to make…It was not.

This recipe was simple. Just a few basic steps but somewhere along the line I must have blundered because my Lemon Loaf Cake was not much of a treat. My daughter whose favorite flavor is lemon is a fan but there is something about the consistency of my cake that is disappointing.

I added a lemon glaze to the top of the cake. I poked small holes int the top to let the glaze ooze into the cake. It did not help much. I will look forward to new recipes in May.

TWD- Baking with Julia- Pizza Rustica


This is the fifth recipe in my Baking with Julia experience. Spring has sprung and so has my desire to share my cooking adventure. With this in mind I decided to sacrifice the timeliness of my blog (the blog was supposed to post on Tuesday and Easter was the following Sunday) and invite my parents for Easter dinner. My mother brought a delicious salad and I made Pizza Rustica.

I made the crust in my food processor. It came together easily and was a joy to roll out.

I had the advantage of reading my fellow Tuesday with Dorie bloggers’ comments about their own Pizza Rustica experiences before I made mine. Many bakers said that the cheesy inside of the pie was a little bland. I decided to add two sautéed  shallots, some mushrooms and half a red pepper to the cheese and prosciutto pie filling. It looked very pretty inside. The red pepper added nice color.

I was worried that the lattice top would be difficult and time-consuming. This dough continued to be malleable but strong and very simple to work with.

Everyone enjoyed the Pizza Rustica. My mother said she would vote for this meal over a traditional holiday ham or turkey anytime.  The savory flavors inside the pie complimented each other and the sweet crust offered a surprise for the taste buds. Over-all a success.

TWD- Baking with Julia – Irish Soda Bread


Irish Soda BreadI can not believe that I have never made this delightfully simple recipe. I’m almost annoyed with the bread makers in my life for not sharing with me the ease of baking Irish soda bread.

My loaf was a little bit (too) sticky when I took it out of the bowl. I think I could have kneeded in a little more flour to make it a smoother more rounded looking loaf.

I made the traditional recipe without any additions. We had an Irish/American meal on St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes and my simple delicious warm from the oven fresh-baked bread.

I look forward to making this again with some tasty additions. I think next time I will bake half the recipe and add some cinnamon, sugar and raisins.

This Tuesdays with Dorie baking experience is really taking me out of my baking comfort zone and introducing me to some wonderful recipes. My bread loving family is very impressed with my new adventure.

TWD-Baking with Julia-Rugelach


Ridiculously Rich RugelachI must agree with Dorie when she says, “These are the most abundantly stuffed, generously sized rugelach you’ll ever come across-the most delicious too.”

The dough was easy to make. It came together beautifully. I ran into a few snags wrapping my first two rugelach rolls. They were so stuffed I thought they might explode. I put less dried fruit filling in the second two. In hind site I would stuff them all to the limit. The dried fruit is delicious inside.

I ended up making two prune and one apricot roll with the dried fruit filling and one raspberry jam and mini chocolate chip roll.

My daughter ate the entire raspberry chocolate roll over a two-day period. I never tasted it. My husband didn’t seem to care what flavor he ate. He was just happy to try them all. My favorite are the prune.

I will make these again. Now that I know how much time they take I can plan for each step. I will also make the lekvar myself next time.

TWD- Chocolate Tarts Made with Love


A Good Start to a Great Tart!

What a tasty treat these tarts were for a Happy Valentine’s Day! They were easy to make and delicious.

I mixed the crust together in the food processor a day ahead of time. I was pleasantly surprised by the way it came together as I smushed it on the counter. This was a new technique I’ve never used before.

Valentine’s Day Morning I put the crusts into my six new tart pans. Four of the pans had removable bottoms and two did not.The two crusts in the oddball pans seemed to rise more than the ones with the removable bottoms.

Four tempting tarts- Two that took a tumble!

The filling was both smooth and chunky with pieces of chocolate and biscotti mixed throughout. I overfilled each of the chocolate crusts which made them even more sumptuous.

Unfortunately when I went to move the tarts off the counter to clean up two of them took a tumble onto the floor. They looked so good that I scooped then up and put them back in their tins. Luckily we are a family of four not six.

Both my husband and like chocolate but can usually take it or leave it. We loved these tarts and would definitely make them again.