baking boys cookies Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Translucent Maple Tuiles

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipes was Translucent Maple Tuiles, chosen for us by Clivia of Bubie’s Little Baker. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for as long as I’ve had Baking: From My Home to Yours, so I was very happy to have an excuse to bring cookies into our increasingly low-carb life.

Most of my tuiles had nothing in common with the picture in the book, except color. The color was spot on.

I baked two sets of cookies. In the first set I put 12 little balls of dough on an unlined, ungreased cookie sheet. Six minutes later, they’d baked into one large tuile. I waited the few seconds specified in the recipe and tried to pick one up with a metal spatula. No. Almost the whole batch wound up smooshed up into miniature cigars — delicious cigars, mind you, but not what I was after.

I didn’t take any pictures of those, because Ben and I ate them too fast. They were essentially candy, like toffee. Yum.

For my second try I put six little balls of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Six minutes later they’d baked into lovely tuiles, looking very much like the picture in the book.

I followed Ben’s brilliant suggestion to leave them on the cookie sheet longer this time, and it worked! They still weren’t perfect — the edge nearest the spatula wound up thicker than the rest of the cookie — but I put them over a marble rolling pin for about 10 seconds, and they set!

We crumbled them to eat over vanilla ice cream, and the combination was absolutely delicious. Highly recommended.

So go visit the other TWD bakers to see how their tuiles turned out. And if you want to try your hand at making some delectable tuiles yourself, buy the book or visit Bubie’s Little Baker for the recipe. See you next week!

boys Dorie

French Fridays With Dorie: Hachis Parmentier

Oh, this was good. This was really good.

We love shepherd’s pie around here, and I’ve made a lot of different versions. This was definitely up there with the best of them.

That probably had something to do with the whole milk and half-and-half and butter in the mashed potatoes, and the two kinds of cheese and more butter on top. But never mind.

This recipe was a ton of work, though: cooking the meat and vegetables, draining and chopping the meat (after separating it from the vegetables!), chopping and cooking the sausage, cooking the potatoes, mashing the potatoes, seasoning the potatoes, putting it all together …

Ben mashed the potatoes, and added all kinds of yummy things, including garlic and a super-secret assortment of other herbs and spices. He did good.

I put it together and put it in the refrigerator, because I had to take Ben to the other side of Philadelphia for play rehearsal. (At 4 p.m. every Friday. Who thought that was a good idea?)

boys grilling recipes

Bacon Cheese Pork Roulades

We went away a couple of weeks ago (yay Tim!), and right before we left Ben and I were at the library. (Stay with me; there’s a point.) Ben grabbed a book called Planet Barbecue!: 309 Recipes, 60 Countries by Steven Raichlen.

I said, “Ben, we’re never going to use that.” And he said, “I will.” (Dialog re-created by an extremely unreliable memory.)

Fast-forward almost two weeks. Ben spends most of a Sunday afternoon paging through the book, waxing rhapsodic over recipe after recipe. (Including South African Springbok or Pork Kebabs with Monkey Gland Sauce, but we won’t go there.)

And then he hits on Bacon Cheese Pork Roulade, on page 255 of this more-than-600-page tome. That was the one.

By Tuesday evening we had acquired the necessary foodstuffs, and the boy could begin to work his magic.

baking boys Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Coffee-Break Muffins

I really, really loved the batter for these. I always love batters and doughs, usually more than the finished product, but this was special. Really good.

The muffins? Eh. Not so much.

They were wonderful warm, but at room temperature they were kind of blah. (Which, oddly, is the opposite of what Dorie says in the recipe.)

Luckily, I made them for my mother’s surprise birthday party, for which Ben made a chocolate birthday cake with peanut butter icing. Spread some peanut butter icing on these things and they’re golden.

I also chopped some milk chocolate and threw that into one batch, and that was pretty amazing — although still not great at room temperature.

I made them as minis and baked for 12 minutes.

And that’s really all I have to say. Sorry! Go see what all the other Tuesdays With Dorie bakers did with these, and if you want to try them yourselves, Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous, who chose these for us all to make this week, will have the recipe for you.

Bonus shot: The birthday cake Ben made — all by himself — for my mother!

boys recipes

Pancakes! (And a Special Guest Blogger!)

Ben did something cool this morning, and I made him write about it. I’m such a mean mom.

Herewith, my second-born:

I’m writing this post because this morning, I made pancakes. But not just any pancakes — special pancakes. They feel like popovers, but they aren’t.

I made one with toasted coconut, the flavor of which was overpowered by the pancake flavor. The next one that I made didn’t work, because it had freeze-dried strawberries in it. It didn’t work because the strawberries absorbed the moisture from the pancake batter, and it didn’t brown.

The sad strawberry pancake

I then chopped up a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and put that in one of them. It was gone shortly after it finished cooking.

The very happy Reese’s pancake

Then, I made some with cinnamon chips and chocolate chips in them. I still have two of these, simply because I had already eaten half a batch of pancakes, and figured I shouldn’t have any more.

The equally happy cinnamon-chocolate chip pancake

The strawberry one and some of the second Reese’s I made are going to have strawberry butter put on them fairly soon. Oh, right, and I’m also making the strawberry butter.

Basic Pancakes (from How to Cook Everything®, Simple Recipes for Great Food, by Mark Bittman)

Makes 4 to 6 servings [fewer if you’re a 13-year-old boy]

Time: 20 minutes

Americans must have been sadly alienated from the kitchen for pancake mixes to ever have gained a foothold in the market, for these are ridiculously easy to make.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1½ to 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter [optional, but I used it]
  • unmelted butter for the griddle, if you don’t have nonstick

1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat the egg(s) into 1½ cups of the milk, then stir in the 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter (if you are using it). Gently stir this into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten the flour; don’t worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems thick, add a little more milk.

3. If your skillet or griddle is nonstick, you can cook the pancakes without any butter. Otherwise, use a teaspoon or two of butter or oil each time you add batter. When the butter foam subsides, or the oil shimmers, ladle batter onto the griddle or skillet, making any size pancakes you want. Adjust the heat as necessary; usually, the first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. The idea is to brown the bottom in 2 to 4 minutes, without burning it. Flip when the pancakes are cooked on the bottom; they won’t hold together well until they’re ready.

4. Cook until the second side is lightly browned and serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200ºF oven for up to 15 minutes.

And remember, you can do anything with this recipe, but I do recommend Reese’s.

baking boys Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chockablock Cookies

And now, a very special guest blogger!

Hi, I’m Ben. This week, I made the Chockablock Cookies, and everyone who tried them (except my mom) liked them. I didn’t have many takers because a lot of people don’t like molasses, but those who do liked them. We didn’t have any coconut or regular molasses, so I left the coconut out, and I used 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses.

Comments on the dough:

Alex: It was good, more molasses-y than the baked cookies.
Mom: Too molasses-y.

Comments on the cookies:

Alex: They were good but essentially identical to the other four or five cookies full of nuts and dried fruit that are in the book.
Mom: I was really surprised to like them as much as I did, because I don’t like raisins  and molasses.

Me again. Ben made the cookies to take to his first ever gathering of local homeschooled teens. Today is his birthday — my baby is 13 today.

Lots of other bloggers made these too, and you can no doubt find much more detailed descriptions and tons of creative variations at their blogs, so check them out. Bye!

baking boys Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

It’s my week! I’ve been baking along with the Tuesdays With Dorie group — most weeks — for about a year and a half, and the day has finally come for me to choose this week’s recipe. I went through the book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, and put sticky notes on the pages with recipes I wanted to try, most of which were cookies. There were a lot of sticky notes. Then I handed the book over to my culinary consultants and had them go through and pick the ones they liked best. Both of them settled on this recipe, so the choice was easy.

oatmeal candy bars 1

Having the privilege of choosing this week’s recipe is perfect timing, because #1 Son, my firstborn, Alex, turned 18 on Sunday. This post is just the last part of a multi-week celebration that started with his admission to Duke in early December and continued through Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s and now his joining the ranks of adulthood. It’s been an eventful month and a half.

So, I made these bars. Oatmeal-cookie base, chocolate-peanut layer in the middle, then oatmeal-cookie topping. They looked and sounded delicious.

And they are.

They weren’t the simplest cookies in the world, what with the three layers and all. But at least the bottom and top layers were the same batter, which helped a little. (And that batter? Marvelous. Check it out.)

oatmeal candy bars 4

So I made the cookie batter, which was really more of a dough, then pressed it into a pan, reserving some for topping. Then I melted some chocolate chips and butter and poured it on top, then covered it with the reserved cookie dough. At the special request of my now-adult son, I added raisins to a quarter of the filling, leaving the rest blissfully fruit-free. (See the toothpick marking the nasty part?)

oatmeal candy bars 2

And then I baked it. I was rushing to get this into the oven before taking Ben (previously known as #2 Son) to karate, so Alex was in charge of getting it out. I think he said it took about 10 or 15 minutes longer than the recipe indicated, but my oven’s been behaving badly lately.

They cooled for the specified two hours in the pan, then went into the fridge on a cooling rack overnight. The next morning we sliced them up and packed them up to take along on our annual New Year’s visit to friends in Virginia.

They were good. Not too sweet, and so not too rich. The raisin version proved surprisingly popular. There’s no accounting for taste.

They spent the day on an unheated screen porch in Northern Virginia, so they were cold when we ate them. They were a hit:

Alex: One of my favorite Dories. Totally made up for the Cocoa-Nana Bread [tune in next week!].

Ben: Om nom nom good. [Please supply your own lip-smacking sounds.]

[And where, you may be asking, is Tim, heretofore referred to as Husband? He’s off carbs. May God have mercy on his soul.]

oatmeal candy bars 3

If you’d like to see what the other TWD bakers thought about these, check out the blogroll. And instead of sending you to someone else’s blog for the recipe, I can include it here!

Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars, from Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the oatmeal layer:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the chocolate layer:

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
¾ cup coarsely chopped peanuts, preferably salted

Getting ready:
Center a rack in the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, and place the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the oatmeal layer:

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg goes in. Beat in the vanilla. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear. Still on low speed, or working by hand with a rubber spatula, stir in the oats and chopped peanuts.

Set aside 1½ to 2 cups of the mixture, then turn the remaining dough into the buttered pan. Gently and evenly press the dough over the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the next layer.

To make the chocolate layer:

Set a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and salt in the bowl and stir occasionally until the milk is warm and the chocolate and butter are melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and stir in the vanilla, raisins (if using), and peanuts.

Pour the warm chocolate over the oatmeal crust, then scatter the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top. Don’t try to spread the oatmeal, and don’t worry about getting the topping even — this is fun, remember?

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is dull and starting to come away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool for about 2 hours.

Run a blunt knife between the edges of the cake and the pan, and carefully turn the cake out onto a rack. Turn right side up, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Cut into 32 rectangles, each roughly 2¼ by 1½ inches. Makes 32 bars.

Serving: I think these are best served cold from the fridge, although my husband likes them straight from the freezer, cut into slivers. Before you chill the bars, though, have one — you might find you like them best at room temperature, in which case you’re lucky: You can start enjoying them sooner.

Storing: Wrapped well, these will keep for about four days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer.

baking boys Daring Bakers gingerbread houses

Daring Bakers: Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

We’ve been making gingerbread houses for years, since the now-very-nearly-18-year-old #1 Son (hereafter known as Alex) was a wee lad. We started out with the standard cottage, but there’s a limit to how many years in a row we could do that. We’re, um, quirky around here.

Over the past 15 years or so we’ve made a haunted tower, a ruined castle (the year we tried a new recipe and it didn’t work), a spaceship, a sunken pirate ship, the chocolate room from Willy Wonka (my personal favorite), Stonehenge, and a fairy-tale cottage with a torture chamber in the basement. Last year it was a goblin dungeon (courtesy of the boys; parental discretion advised). The tradition is that we decide on the structure together, then I figure out how to make it happen, and they decorate it. Works for me.

We started discussing this year’s house (er, structure) in November, and we tossed around a lot of ideas. And then Alex got into Duke University, and our lives began to revolve around his future alma mater.

At Duke, all freshmen live on East Campus, a lovely collection of Georgian buildings built along a long, narrow green. It’s lovely. So I thought, “Hey, let’s make East Campus!”

east campus

Foolish, foolish woman.

Let’s just say that this looked very different in my head. I wanted to make the whole green: eight identical buildings with two different ones in the middle, plus a round auditorium at the end. Plus, every year during orientation the new freshman class gets together for a photo of their graduation year.


I’d do that too!

Well, scale’s a bitch. That’s a huge green, let me tell you. I spent days gathering photographs and taking measurements in Google Earth. (Did you know there’s a ruler in Google Earth? It’s awesome for obsessive-compulsives like me.)

And then I started drawing and realized it was impossible.

I would have needed a five-foot-long board to do it to the smallest scale I thought was feasible for building the houses. That’s just silly. And there are supposed to be trees, but the cones we bought to make the trees are about 50 percent taller than the buildings. (Please don’t ask why I had to keep it to scale. Please.)

So, regroup. I went with the six center buildings, which is four of the identical ones plus the Lilly Library and the Marketplace. I drew templates. I baked pieces, just a few, to test the recipes (more on that later).

And then I realized that there was no way I could do the fancy roofline on such a small scale. It just wasn’t going to happen.

Regroup again. Two-story buildings instead of three. (See how calm I’m staying? Breathe in, breathe out.)

And then those freshman making numbers? (You can buy baby gummy bears now!) Didn’t fit in the center circle. I punted yet again.

So here you have it. I did what I could. The construction is not up to our usual standards. There’s not much room for decoration. And the gingerbread doesn’t taste all that good. But Alex got into Duke, and that’s all that matters.

East Campus 1

After it was built, I let the boys decorate it. Alex added snow on the building and a lovely nonpareil border, plus a Blue Devil up there on the roof. Sadly, it took me so long to get this whole thing done that we’d eaten most of the candy we bought for it, so it’s a minimalist house this year. But it’s ours, and Alex got into Duke. We are very happy.

East Campus 3

East Campus 2

East Campus 4

So, this month’s challenge offered a choice of two doughs, one very simple and the other a bit more complex. I made both, just to see. Both of them (Anna’s dough, from Good Housekeeping, and Y’s dough, a more traditional Scandinavian recipe) mixed fine (although I left out the baking soda and used much less flour than they called for, because a lot of the Daring Bakers had trouble with the doughs being too dry; the recipes below have the amounts I used). They rolled out fine. They baked fine. But they didn’t look all that good as finished pieces, and they don’t taste like much.

For years I’ve used Teresa Layman’s recipe from her amazing Gingerbread for All Seasons (sadly out of print and insanely expensive used; check your library!). If you want to see the amazing things that can at least theoretically be done by normal people, check out that book. I’ve learned a lot of techniques from it over the years, but I couldn’t make anything near as gorgeous as she does. Her recipe bakes up flat and pretty and builds lovely structures, and it tastes pretty good (especially with royal icing on it!).

And it lasts — I found some of last year’s dough in the back of my freezer, thawed it out, and baked it up.

So the six buildings in our little tableau are made up of pieces made of three different doughs. All the roofs are Teresa Layman’s dough; see how pretty they are?

(Oh, and speaking of roofs, wanna hear a funny story? I built one of those little C-shaped buildings and very carefully measured it, so I could make the roof template. I very carefully drew the template (using a T-square!). I very carefully cut out the template. I very carefully baked the pieces. I very carefully cooled the pieces. I very carefully laid a roof on top of my finished building. And I discovered that I had somehow — very carefully, no doubt — cut my lovely C into a T. Isn’t that funny?)


The recipes below include a sugar syrup for putting the houses together. I loved this idea; it seemed so much neater than having to pipe royal icing along all the walls. I cannot tell you how much sugar I wasted trying to get this to work. My first test batch seemed OK, and held the walls together nicely until my husband, marveling at how secure they were, picked up the building and waved it around; they were not that secure. So I tried again. I tried melting the sugar dry. I tried adding a little water, remembering some recipe I once read that said that adding a little water made it easier to melt sugar without burning it. And I did use the sugar syrup to put the walls together. But I could only get a few walls out of each batch before it became too burned or too crystalized, and I added quite a few new specimens to my collection of scars. So next year, it’s back to the icing.

Oh, and here’s the rest of my template, as actually used:

East campus template 1

Update: Within minutes of my taking those photos above, the campus was gone, demolished by two growing boys and their unfortunately growing father. We didn’t have a party to take it to this year, so this was a purely private achievement— except for all of you!

So, with no further ado, the recipes:

Anna’s Recipe:
Spicy Gingerbread Dough
(from Good Housekeeping)

2½ cups (500g) packed dark brown sugar
1½ cups (360mL) heavy cream or whipping cream
1¼ cups (425g) molasses or maple syrup
9½ cups (1140g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon(s) ground ginger


1. In very large bowl, with wire whisk (or with an electric mixer), beat brown sugar, cream, and molasses until sugar lumps dissolve and mixture is smooth. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and ginger. With spoon, stir flour mixture into cream mixture in 3 additions until dough is too stiff to stir, then knead with hands until flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; flatten each into a disk to speed chilling. Wrap each disk well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to roll.

3. Grease and flour large cookie sheets (17-inch by 14-inch/43x36cm)

4. Roll out dough, 1 disk at a time on each cookie sheet to about 3/16-inch thickness. (Placing 3/16-inch dowels or rulers on either side of dough to use as a guide will help roll dough to uniform thickness.)

5. Trim excess dough from cookie sheet; wrap and reserve in refrigerator. Chill rolled dough on cookie sheet in refrigerator or freezer at least 10 minutes or until firm enough to cut easily.

6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (149C)

7. Use chilled rolled dough, floured poster board patterns, and sharp paring knife to cut all house pieces on cookie sheet, making sure to leave at least 1 1/4 inches between pieces because dough will expand slightly during baking. Wrap and reserve trimmings in refrigerator. Combine and use trimmings as necessary to complete house and other decorative pieces. Cut and bake large pieces and small pieces separately.

8. Chill for 10 minutes before baking if the dough seems really soft after you cut it. This will discourage too much spreading/warping of the shapes you cut.

9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until pieces are firm to the touch. Do not overbake; pieces will be too crisp to trim to proper size.

10. Remove cookie sheet from oven. While house pieces are still warm, place poster-board patterns on top and use them as guides to trim shapes to match if necessary. Cool pieces completely before attempting to assemble the house.

Y’s Recipe:
Scandinavian Gingerbread
(Pepparkakstuga, from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

1 cup butter (226g), room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, well packed (220g)
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons allspice
½ cup boiling water
5 cups (625g) all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.

4. [I rolled out the dough between two pieces of parchment, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut the required shapes. Then I transferred the parchment to the cookie sheet, so I didn’t have to move the shapes and possibly distort them. I saved scraps and rerolled them at the end.]

5. Preheat the oven to 375’F (190’C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

Royal Icing:

1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.

Simple Syrup:
2 cups (400g) sugar

Place in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling and the sugar dissolves. Dredge or brush the edges of the pieces to glue them together. If the syrup crystallizes, remake it.

baking boys Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

I really haven’t been posting much lately; I just haven’t had time to cook anything interesting all summer (apart from my Tuesdays With Dorie recipes, of course). I will try to do better now that it’s cooling off out there.

I almost passed on this week’s TWD; I’m just not a huge fan of most pie, and I don’t particularly like lime (or lemon, or orange, or …). But the rest of my family loves lime everything, and there was a mini-rebellion when I suggested skipping this one.

So yesterday #2 Son and I went out and bought those baby graham crusts (thank you, Keebler) and made some pies.

He did the hard work, the zest grating and lime juicing and ingredient measuring.

lime pie 1

Isn’t it pretty?

lime pie 2

We took turns whisking the egg mixture over the simmering water; it took less than three minutes to get up to 180 degrees, so I guess our flame was a bit higher than Dorie’s suggestion, but it worked well. I’m not a patient person.

Straining didn’t work — the lime cream was just too thick to go through the holes, so I dumped it straight into the Vita-Mix and whirled it around. We used half the butter (thank you, P&Q), and boy, was that stuff tart.

We gave it three hours in the fridge — dinner was approaching, and as #2 Son pointed out, we had cut the recipe in half so it needed less time to cool. He did the shell-filling honors while I made the meringue (which I cooked a bit, following Peabody’s excellent suggestion; I used half a cup of sugar for two egg whites, which is slightly less sugar than Peabody calls for and more than Dorie calls for, but hey, I’m a rebel).

Then he applied the meringue artistically, six different ways, and I stuck them in the broiler, one at a time.

Turns out 30 seconds is too long.

lime pie 3

And 20 seconds is too short.

lime pie 4

But 25 seconds is just right.

lime pie 5

I was dubious about the broiler’s ability to set the meringue (which is one of the reasons I made Peabody’s version), but it was lovely. I actually liked the pie once all the components were together, and the rest of the family loved it:

Husband: I thought the marshmallowy meringue was a fantastic change. I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much with a more standard, chewier meringue. The lime flavor was spectacular, tart, deep, very pleasing. I could easily have eaten every single one of those little things.

#1 Son: The pie was delicious. The ginger in the lime filling made it bright and complex, and the marshmallowy meringue was a perfect companion.

#2 Son: I think the meringue could have been a little less sweet. The lime cream was good, but it had this weird aftertaste; I couldn’t figure out what it was. All in all, om-nom-nom, nom-nom, om-nom-nom. [Translation: That was quite delicious, Mother. May I have some more?]

There are sure to be many variations among the Tuesdays With Dorie bloggers, and Linda of Tender Crumb will have the recipe posted today. (Or buy the book!)

baking boys Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies

brownies 4

Tuesdays With Dorie has a new logo, a particularly snazzy one designed by Lisa of Surviving Oz. (And someday maybe I’ll manage to get it onto my blog.) As a reward, Lisa got to choose this week’s recipe, and she went with the very yummy-sounding Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies.

We had these a week and a half ago, at our last Friday dinner before #1 Son went off to work at a Civil Air Patrol encampment. As I was still editing 12 hours a day, I handed these off to him, as has become all too common lately. And he did them proud.

The batter for these brownies was absolutely magnificent. I love brownie batter so much. I’m not nearly as fond of actual brownies, but the batter? To die for.

So #1 Son made the brownies, following the recipe exactly. He doesn’t do that often, and I think it chafed. So to put his own inimitable touch on the dessert, he pulled some fudge ripple ice cream out of the freezer and made a cinnamon sauce to cascade gently over the whole mess. (He just warmed some half-and-half and poured it over some cinnamon chips. I’d give you the proportions he used, but he has no idea. Sorry.)

And the brownies were messy. When we cut them, they oozed everywhere. They were baked enough, I think, but gooey. (After being refrigerated all night, they were much more solid. I liked them better the next day.)

See? Gooey.

brownies 3

On their own, I wasn’t impressed by the brownies. (To be fair, as I said above, I’m not a big fan of brownies in general.) They were too dark and heavy and rich. But add the ice cream and — heaven help us — the cinnamon sauce, and the whole thing turned sublime. It was still really rich, but amazing. I loved it. Yum. Really good. Thank you, #1 Son. (And welcome home!)

The rest of the family liked them too.

Husband: I didn’t have the sauce. The little bit of cinnamon in them did add something, I have to admit as a non-fan of cinnamon; it gave them a little bit of depth that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. And the gooeyness quotient was fantastic. I like my brownies almost runny.

#1 Son: Due to my impatience, they were perhaps a wee bit gooey initially, but firmed up well overnight. On their own neither the ice cream nor the brownie was particularly impressive, but combined with the sauce it came together into a stellar dessert. I found the brownies a bit heavy and rich, but I generally prefer a lighter, more caramelly blondie, so I’m biased.

#2 Son: I really liked the brownies — they were all gooey and stuff. Gooey’s the best kind of brownie. The ice cream was really good with it, and the cinnamon sauce worked well.

And here’s the magic sauce:

brownies 2

Go read about the brownies created by all the other TWD bakers, and if you want to try them yourself, buy the book (Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan) or visit Surviving Oz.