Friday, December 18, 2009

Posy of Roses

Its Friday at last! I leave you with a simple posy of roses. Happy Weekend!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brioche Buttons

I made these little brioche buttons over the weekend and served them as mini lobster rolls. After they had baked I simply sliced their hats off, scooped out the doughy insides, and then dropped a tablespoon of lobster salad into each button and replaced the cap. The recipe below yields 24 buttons. One pound of lobster salad was the perfect amount for 24 buttons.

9 oz warm milk
1 packet dry active yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup cooled, melted butter (plus a little more for brushing on top)
zest of half a lemon

Sift flour in a large bowl. Make a hollow hole in the center and pour in the milk. Add the yeast to the milk with 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes (until bubbly). Mix the milky yeast and the flour together. Add the beaten eggs, lemon zest, salt, butter, and sugar. Mix the dough and then begin to knead. If the dough is sticky add some more sifted flour. Once kneaded well and cover the bowl in plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm room for 1 hour.....When the dough has doubled in size punch it down and knead it for 2 minutes. Place the dough on a floured surface to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Roll the dough into little balls and drop into a mini muffin tin. Brush each of the buttons with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are beginning to turn golden. As soon as they come out of the oven brush them again with melted butter. Enjoy!

Woodland Cupcakes

Yesterday we had some friends over to celebrate the holidays before we all disperse to be with our families. I baked mini chocolate cupcakes topped with these winter woodland toppers I found at Layer Cake Shop. There is something about garden gnomes that just make me smile.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Je Sais Cuisiner

Cover Image

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a book event for I Know How to Cook, which has been "the bible of French home cooking" since the 1930's. The cookbook was recently translated into English by one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors, Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini. Aside from the 1400 plus recipes, the book is full of darling illustrations by the French illustrator Blexbolex.

7. I_Know_How_Cook_ CAKES

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Birdies, Bunnies, and Squirrels... Oh My!

Here is an advent calendar that I made last year.

Each little stocking is decorated with a different woodland animal.

Someday I will fill the stockings with goodies....

but for now it will serve as a cute decoration on my mantel.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brown Butter Pound Cake

On the heels of my recent lemon curd craze, I set about looking for a pound cake recipe. My dear friend at 337 Greenwich suggested hers', and I love it!! I've never browned butter before and it creates the most delicious, nutty flavor you can imagine. I bought a bunch of mini paper loaf pans so that I could give them as holiday gifts. This recipe yields one large pound cake, or 2 mini loaves.

2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat the oven to 325F. If you are using paper baking molds as I did, you don't need to butter your pan. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan until the solids on the bottom of your pan turn to a dark chocolate brown. Transfer to a bowl and cool in the fridge for 15 minutes.Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together the brown butter and sugars until fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time and continue to beat until fully mixed. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest and mix at low speed. Transfer the batter into the pans and bake. If using paper pans you only need to bake for an hour. However, if you are using a regular pan you may need to bake for up to 1.5 hours. The loaf should be golden brown and a wooden pick should come out clean. Cool for 30 minutes. Wrap in parchment paper and tie with bakers string. Give to loved ones along with a jar of lemon curd. ♥

Friday, December 4, 2009

Its Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas...

We got our tree this week! I decorated it with Russian Nesting Dolls made out of leftover scraps of fabric. Here are a few of my favorites.....