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December 15, 2009

{MSC} Gingerbread Cupcakes


Kayte from Grandma's Kitchen Table chose this month's MSCupcake -- gingerbread cupcakes -- which was an easy recipe to put together. I cut the recipe in half and came out with 8. The one thing I didnt like about the recipe was all the butter in it, even at half recipe, 1.5 sticks was used. I should have went with my gut and just used 1 stick of butter because out of the oven, these were oily. The taste was sort of there but they were too dense.... not fluffy at all.

I didnt even bother with the cookies cutouts that were supposed to go on top. Instead of vanilla frosting, I used some cream cheese frosting that I had. Sorry to say but this was a disappointing recipe from Martha. I hope the other MSC Bakers had better luck than me.
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December 13, 2009

::SMS Rewind:: Honey Beescotti

This Sunday the rest of the gang is taking a break so I decided to make the very first SMS Recipe I missed — Honey Beescotti (page 70-71), which was chosen & hosted by SMS Founder, Lorelei of Mermaid Sweets. The recipe can be found here.

I reviewed the P&Q section for the biscotti and here are some of my notes:
◊ Make your own candied orange peel by following Giada De Laurentiis' recipe, which can be found here.
◊ The caraway seeds are preferential: they may or may not make or break your biscotti. I left them out because I dont have any and I didnt feel like buying it, especially since they taste like licorice.
◊ Freeze your dough (bowl and all) for 20 minutes before shaping into logs because a lot of the bakers' complained about really sticky dough); then refrigerate.

I've never made biscotti but always wanted to. I ate at least 3 of these when they were out of the oven. I am so glad I made these because they were easy to make and delicious!

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December 06, 2009

::SMS:: Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

Our last SMS recipe for 2009 was chosen by Shandy of Pastry Heaven.

I rather make a cheesecake than eat it. Odd, right? I hope not. I think cheesecakes are an acquired taste. My brother loves cheesecake, but he's not too fond of chocolate! So what in the world do I do in this situation? Go for it? Take a pass? I missed last Sunday's recipe and I almost bowed out of this one but I went for it and I made the chocolate espresso cheesecake... but into minis.

I've made quite a few cheesecakes in my time but I never made a chocolate one because my family prefers a plain one. Melissa's cheesecake was interesting one: you've got a chocolate crust covered with a layer of melted chocolate. Then you have cream cheese, add in some more melted chocolate, then add in some cream made with instant espresso AND more chocolate. How can you go wrong?

Melissa's recipe yields one 8-inch cheesecake. I made three minis — approx. 4.75-inches each. My bake times varied: 300° for 40 minutes, then 30 minutes at 250°. Then I turned off the oven and left them in for another 45 minutes.

Thanks, Shandy for a luscious recipe! This was great. I didnt go for the blackberry glaze cause I thought this was enough work for a cheesecake. Melissa Murphy says in her cookbook, this is a very rich dessert -- it's SO TRUE!

The SMS Bakers are taking a break for the rest of 2009... but I will remake a few of the recipes I missed, so come back next Sunday for a make-up recipes.
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