Orange Cinnamon Buns

Bakery, Pastry

still have some hazelnut macarons, and made myself stupid sick on eating fistfuls of caramel, so I figured that if I made a breakfast thing this time, I’d at least eat it slowly enough that I wouldn’t end up feeling like death.


It wasn’t as cinnamon-y as I’d hoped, but I was happy with the addition of pecans and raisins. I figured that it would make it a slightly healthy breakfast .


I mean….There’s orange (extract) in the icing. That’s Vitamin C, right?

I wasn’t super-thrilled with the icing though. I mean, yes, it’s good, but it’s basically a buttercream with orange extract, and overrides the flavor a bit. I suspect if I’d had a heavier cinnamon filling it might’ve paired well, especially if I’d made an orange icing that wasn’t just….sugar and butter.

Overall it’s good, but definitely not quite as cinnamon-y as I’m used to with baked goods.



Lemon Meringue Pie

Pastry, Sweets, Uncategorized

Last week I made a lemon meringue pie – the first I’d ever made! Rather than the classic meringue, however, I substituted Italian, which turned out quite nice.

The only issue I ran into was when I made a mistake with the meringue, and had to run to the store to grab more eggs. While the recipe said to keep the filling warm, I didn’t think anything of storing it in the fridge while I did so – and ran into the issue of the pie becoming watery as the days went on.

From what I read online, if the filling is kept warm, the heat will filter through the meringue easily, as opposed to re-heating it from cold.

On the plus side, the large star tip I used added a nice flair to the finished pie.


Beer Cheese Macarons

Cookies, Sweets

This was…not the greatest thing I’ve done, I’ll be up front on that.

These were based off a link a buddy of mine sent regarding Cheeto Macarons – something I balked at. At first.


However, my wife had bought me a pair of slipmats, and blue powder food dye (as opposed to the gel that I normally use) that I’d been dying to try out, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any.

The beer cheese was the easiest part, and the fact that we have a specialty beer store nearby helped. What probably would’ve helped more would’ve been had I checked with a German friend first as to the brand – apparently I’d, by sheer accident, bought a rather poor choice from the wall of German beer I’d been looking at.


The cheese spread tasted just fine regardless, which led to my second slip-up: egg whites from a carton are not great for this. I’d had some left over from when I last made royal icing, and thought it was clever to avoid having to crack open 4 eggs instead. Rather, I was left with a meringue that would absolutely not whip up, and rather than attempt to salvage it,  I baked off the shells as they were, and made a second batch with fresh eggs.


The difference was obvious, though I still suspect that I over-whipped the meringue by a tad, and/or didn’t bang them hard enough on the table (by this point it was about 10 p.m., and I really didn’t want to wake everyone around me). The other thought I had (afterwards, of course) was that I could’ve worked the tip of the icing bag a bit when piping the shells to try and get the nubs to go away.

In addition, I had the idea to add applewood rub to the shells, to give it a BBQ-cheddar flavor. As far as taste, it was exactly what I’d hoped for, and after a day of settling, the flavors blended together quite nicely.

As for the “mouth feel”, it was…less admirable. The miscellaneous bits and pieces of the rub made it for a rather gritty, awkward experience. While overall it was quite tasty, should I ever do this again, I think I’ll leave out the extra bits.

Umbrella Cheesecake

Cake, Sweets

This time I used the recipe from the Better Homes cookbook, and I suspect not using lime juice resulted in the cheesecake being much fluffier, like I’m used to. Of course, the experiment this week was more for decoration than flavor.


My intent was to replicate the look of the Umbrella Corporation logo from the Resident Evil series. Offhand I’d say it was a success – though I need to remember than when using the mini-springform pans, the cake will puff up a lot. Also, though I cut the time while baking (as the original recipe was meant for a 9″ pan), it was clear that the cakes were over-baked.


They still taste just fine, but I made a few extra notes in the cookbook, should I do this again. Also, to use a measured scoop when filling the pans, as it was clear that I wasn’t able to get an even height when eyeballing.


To be honest, I’d had to toss some of the remaining whipped cream the past couple times I’d made it, so I held off this time. What I figured I’d do in the future is arrange them as needed, and have the whipped cream and/or fruit in the middle to hide any gaps.

As a final note, I had the slices arranged on a plate prior to setting up, and I realized that the mini-slices would make for excellent, festive/celebratory desserts. It’d be simple enough to have a variety of colors, and to arrange them like dessert canape, essentially.

Almond Biscotti


This week I made an almond biscotti , something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now. Of course, the first thing I had to do was cut the recipe in half, as there’s only so much that’ll be eaten, between me, my friends, and the neighborhood raccoons that hide in the dumpsters. In doing so, it made me realize another reason why many recipes call for grams or ounces, rather than cups – it’s far easier to cut grams in half than 1 and 3/4 cups.


It was easy enough to mix together, though I was frustrated once I reached the kneading section. Rather than a firm dough, it was akin to a cookie dough, and my wife ended up suggesting adding a bit of gluten to the mix. It firmed up quickly after that, but I still switched to a dough hook on the mixer, rather than my hands.

The biscotti puffed up in the middle nicely during the back. I’d been worried when I was shaping the loaves that it’d end up more of a rectangle. After letting it cool for about 20 minutes, it was simple enough to slice up, and let toast in the oven for a bit longer. It was particularly nice the next morning with coffee, as I’m rather indecisive during breakfast. Being able to simply open a bag was far preferable to the usual “coffee with coffee” I have on my days off.