Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits

This week was my week to host. I was reading through all the recipes trying to decide which to go for and M said she was just dying for biscuits and gravy (odd as I don't think any of us have ever had them much). I was first leaning towards the ciabatta bread (which I make all the time and it is fabulous!), then I thought about the cheese puffs (which sounded interesting), the chocolate chip cookies are a regular so I almost went with those (such as nice staple), and I could not get the coffee cake muffins off my radar either. In the end, I went with M's choice and chose the best buttermilk biscuits. Biscuits had the advantage of not being sweet and with Thanksgiving just done I thought we might all need a break from desserts this week :)

 The dough was great so right from the beginning I was excited. I like that they use a ton of buttermilk powder to get in the flavoring.  They baked up nice and non-lopsided as I followed the directions to cut them out without wiggling the cutter. I was not convinced about the baking upside down but I did it anyways. They looked pretty good but in the end, my mom's oven (a- she MUST get new ovens ASAP, they are messing up my baked goods, and b-I have to cook at my mom's presently as my house is under massive renovations, some by choice, some not y choice at all!) so back to the ovens-the oven totally burned the bottom of the biscuits!!! That was terrible. However, myself and my panel of 4 reviewers all agreed these are still the best buttermilk biscuits we have had. I will certainly try these again, next I'll double pan them (place two cookie sheets together, a great trick L learned at her Pen Court Class).

Here is the only pic I have courtesy of Mad (I'll get one of just the biscuits tomorrow-it is on M's phone). The pic looks pretty awful (not to offend you M, it is just the gravy did not photograph so well) so check out the wonderful bakers in my club (who also are great food photographers) for better visuals and their reviews! (I don't have the links yet so just look back at my old posts to see their blogs)
(yes, this looks so appetizing. additionally, it sure looks like a biscuit)

3 3/4 c flour
1/2 c powdered buttermilk (this allows lots of buttermilk flavor, as you can only add so much liquid)
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into pieces and chilled (no wonder these are good)
4 Tbsp shortening cut into pieces and chilled
1 1/4 c whole milk (and I actually followed the recipe and did not use skim here as my mom is always getting after me for switching things!)

1. Heat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Pulse dry ingredients with butter and shortening to resemble coarse meal, about 15 pulses
3. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in milk until dough forms using a spatula. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until uniform, about 30 seconds. Roll into a 10-inch round, 1 inch thick.
4. Using a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (or top of a cup if you are like me) stamp out 12 biscuits. Arrange the biscuits upside down on the baking sheet (I had to use two baking sheets). Don't wiggle the cutter, just stamp right down, otherwise you will get lopsided biscuits :)
5. Bake 5 min at 450 then turn oven down to 400 and rotate pan. Cook another 12-15 min or until golden. (Again, I would recommend double panning these so the bottoms don't burn)
6. Serve warm!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

This week we made pumpkin spice cheesecake.

We tried the pumpkin cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and compared it to this recipe and the results... 6 out of 6 reviewers said this recipe was as good as or better than the Cheesecake Factory!!!!! Very shocking, I must say! They actually tasted really similar and the texture of ours was just as great!

Another shock-O actually tried this baked item (as in he had one tsp full....) he said "I love it, it is the spirit of Halloween on a plate" So, take that how you will. And his review is in addition to the 6 above :)

I myself LOVE cheesecake. This was a little too reminiscent of pumpkin pie for me (which I really don't care for) but it was still pretty decent. I think a plain cheesecake would have been even better.

When I removed this from the oven I thought it was a total flop, the top looked strange and the whole thing looked  a little wobbly. However, the hours and hours and hours it required to sit were apparently important-it came together just fine in the end. I really liked the crust-I used all the spices and it was great. I also loved that the recipe was super easy-it took forever to cook, then sit on the counter, then sit in the fridge, but it was actually a simple recipe and only had a few ingredients which was nice.
My mom loved this so much she wanted to freeze it and take it to Thanksgiving, however, we ate it too fast for that, I guess I'll have to make it again!

TOTAL SUCCESS! You'll want to try this one for sure!
see Amanda's blog for the recipe:

and ps: Amanda said it was even better the next day-I did not try mine until day 2 but maybe it needs time to sit.

check out other reviews here:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Apple Dumplings

I'm a little late this week due to Halloween but here it is!


This week we made apple dumplings. I am not a fan of cooked fruit so I was not sure about these. However, they were met with rave reviews! I used less apple than called for (2 apples for 6 dumplings, and I think it would be even better with 2 apples for 8 dumplings, or maybe no apples at all...) and they turned out pretty fabulous. I loved that we used refrigerator rolls, they were so fast and easy! My family loved them, several told me they would not have minded a bit more apple. One thing I would change-I should have reduced the apple cider syrup more, mine was still very thin.

This is a recipe to try, perfect for fall!
see the recipe and other reviews here:

inlinkz codes for week 44! Happy Halloween!... Amanda Tatton 1:36am Oct 31 inlinkz codes for week 44! Happy Halloween!