Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bruin Blue Velvet Cake


It's that time of year to resurrect the crosstown rivalry between the UCLA Bruins and the Trojans of USC. No one can deny that it's been a pretty tough go for the Bruin football program these days. Being a diehard UCLA alum and fan, I'm hoping to witness another upset ala 2006 ---- sure, another upset is a longshot, but don't count us out! This afternoon, I'm armed with the remote in hand and a nice bottle of wine by my side to take the edge off.
My fellow food blogging Bruins Mary aka The Food Librarian and Clara of I Heart Food For Thought are hosting a virtual tailgating party to mark the occassion. Make sure to go check out what these two baking divas concocted to show their school spirit!

My contribution --- a Bruin Blue Velvet Cake. This is essentially my tried and true red velvet cake recipe, with blue food coloring substituting the traditional red.

BTW, sorry about the picture quality for this post...had some serious equipment issues, and the colors didn't come out as vibrant as they should. Trust me, the cake had a total unnatural blue hue!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Linzer Sables (TWD)

Tis the season...I LOVE this time of year! Yes, I'm one of those crazy lunatics that loves to decorate the house top to bottom, play holiday music every chance I get (and successfully drive my hubby crazy), shop til I drop, and bake to my heart's content for family and friends.

Linzer Sables are a perfect seasonal choice for this week's Tuesdays With Dorie. Selected by Noskos of Living The Life, these darling looking cookie gems are tender, nutty and so flavorful.I followed the recipe as written, with hazelnuts as my ground nut choice. I would definitely recommend freezing the rolled sheets of cookie dough before cutting, as the dough is really sticky and tough to work with otherwise. To get a nice golden brown color, I reduced the baking time to 9 minutes; at the recommended 11-13 minutes, the cookies were a bit well done.
I sandwiched the cookies with dollops of raspberry and blackberry jams. Dorie Greenspan's suggestion for a chocolate filling sounded divine (hazelnuts & chocolate --- how can you go wrong!), and I'll definitely keep that in mind for the next time.
This was the perfect recipe to kick off the holiday baking season. This was just a warm up --- I have quite the variety of cookies to make this month, and I definitely be sharing them with you in future posts.

If you'd like to make this yourself (which I highly recommend), Noskos has it available on his blog. To see the handiwork of 350+ TWD bakers, check out the blogroll.

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