An Unexpected Surprise…

I had our mail held while we were away for the holidays. We arrived home last night, and our mail was delivered this morning. I had several packages I was expecting, however, I was not expecting a gift from all of you. Now, if you guys have learned anything about me in the past 4 years, I am not an overly emotional person. Cynical, yes, sarcastic, definitely, an emotional sap, no way. The book you sent me had me sobbing within a few pages. I so enjoyed putting faces with names. I truly love it.  Thank you so very much. It means more to me than I can tell you. And I am hoping that you will continue the baking journey with us.

Jules and I, along with a few others, have been discussing the details for Baking with Julia for a few months now. We will be making some visual changes to the site over the next month. We should have all the details up by mid-January, so that everyone is ready to go for our first TWD: Baking with Julia recipe on February 7, 2012.

2nd Annual Epilepsy Foundation Fundraiser

It’s that time again! I am asking that the bakers and cooks from Tuesdays with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie ban together for a good cause.

As most of you know, my youngest son Colby, has epilepsy. He has been seizure free with the help of medication for almost a year now. Which is amazing! The Epilepsy Foundation is a resource I turned to when Colby was first diagnosed and they have been a valued source of information since. For that reason, I would like to give back to them.

We will be participating in the Family Fun Run/Walk on June 25th. We will run the fundraiser on both blogs from now through the end of May. Last year, with your help, we were able to raise over $1,500. Let’s try to beat that this year!

Click here to donate to our Fun Run/Walk Team.

As a thank you to all who donate, I will be holding a raffle in June. Anyone who donates to this fundraiser will have a chance to win a prize. It will include various cookbooks and a few other goodies. I am still putting the prizes together, so more info on that later this month.

Thank you! Bake on!

Laurie

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesdays with Dorie is 3 years old this week. THREE YEARS! I can hardly believe it. When I posted about doing a weekly recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours, it was basically to get myself blogging more. Which is still an issue for me. I asked for one or two people to join in, to keep me accountable. I never imagined that so many people would love the idea and jump on board. I certainly never imagined that three years later, the core of the group would be the very same. People have come and gone, but the core of the group remains the same. I thank you for that. Where I have slacked off because of personal circumstances, you have kept baking along week after week. You have kept the group going all this time. Now, I am not an emotional person. But, as I write this, I am tearing up a bit. Tuesdays with Dorie changed my life. Seriously. It did. I thank you for that, too. Quick shout out to my twitter pals. You know who you are. Love ya!

To Julie– You stepped up to help me when all the other staffers had fallen by the wayside. Thank you! I never would have been able to start French Fridays with Dorie without your help on this blog. It means more to me than you know. There are not many people who would help maintain a blog like this in their spare time. You have to be a special brand of crazy. I know. You are amazing and I appreciate all you do. Thank you. xo

To Dorie– Thank you for your continued support of this group. Not many authors would have been as involved with a group like this. I know we all appreciate you taking time to comment on this blog, and our personal blogs. As well as my many emails. Thank you, thank you.

Since Julie has been maintaining the weekly posts for me, I would like to give her an opportunity to say whatever she would like as well. xo~ Laurie

Wow, I am a bit speechless and tearing up myself.  It has been such fun just being part of the group and a real pleasure to be able to step in and help out a bit on the site.  And yes, I am certainly that special brand of crazy.  ;-)  We’ve all had the chance to stretch and grow a bit in terms of our kitchen comfort level (caramel, anyone?)  I’m excited for what 2011 has in store for me and my kitchen. — Julie

On to the recipe!

Midnight Crackles

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1 1/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs

Put the butter, sugar and chocolate, in that order, into a 2-quart saucepan. Set the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.

Working with the stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer on low speed, add the eggs to the chocolate mixture one at a time, beating until they are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or for up to 3 days. (If the dough is solid, leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding.)

Getting Ready to Bake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms into firm, shiny balls (if the dough breaks as you work, squeeze and knead it a bit, then reroll it between your palms) and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Lightly press each one down a tad with your fingertips.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and cracked across the top. (It’s better to under- than overbake.) Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide metal spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack. Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Makes about 50 cookies.

Happy New Year!

Well, well, well… 2 years ago today, I posted this on my blog….

“2008 January 1
by L W

After receiving Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan for Christmas, I thought I would try and make a recipe a week till Im through the book. Yes, I know, there are over 300 recipes. It will take me 5 years or more. ha! Nothing like setting a goal for myself, right? (I am horrible at follow through. AWFUL! Who knows how long this will last. Anyone wanna join me, keep me going in this task?? Id welcome a buddy!)

So, for this edition of “Tuesdays with Dorie”, I made Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies. They tasted fantastic. Very buttery, the pecans added a very pecan sandy taste. But they looked so poor. I mean bad, bad, bad looking cookies. NOTHING like the perfect cute little picture in the book. I didnt even bother to take a picture because they just were not at all photogenic cookies. (I dont think you would be able to tell they WERE cookies!) I think I will give them another try, maybe it was the temperature. Maybe they cooled off too much while I was cutting them. They spread WAY out. Did not stay in the cute squares they were supposed to.

I have my eye on many, many recipes from this book. Its more like a bible of baking. Im excited to try something else, and hopefully it will go a little better. Till next week… :)”

I had no idea how that bright idea would take off in such a big, big way. The past 2 years have been an absolute delight. I have loved reading all of your blogs and getting to know many of you in a personal way. I would also like to apologize for often dropping the ball in adding new members and being slow on the email replies. This hobby sometimes feels like a full time job! I vow to do better this year with communication and blog upkeep.

As we head into another year of Tuesdays with Dorie, I hope you will all stick with me. We have many recipes to go. I look forward to each and every one of them and reading about every success and failure.

Special thanks to Dorie herself. She has been ever so supportive of this ‘fan club’. I appreciate each and every comment she makes on here and on our personal blogs. She has kindly replied to every single email I have ever set to her, and quickly!  Dorie is quick on the email. ;) Thank you, thank you, thank you. BFMHTY has impacted my life in such an extreme way. I wouldn’t be the baker I am now without it.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

Much love. Bake on!

Laurie

Color me pink…

WOW! Just wow! To say that I am flattered doesn’t cut it. I am so totally overwhelmed. You guys are so very sweet. I can’t thank you enough for your kind thoughts. You made me cry, damn you!

When I started TWD, as you know, I thought I would get one or 2 people to join. I had NO idea that we would have 300+ in less than a year. It is a committment. Its intense, and a lot of work. But, I have made some of the best friends through TWD.  Michelle and April,  if not for you I would have quit after the first month. Thank you ladies for jumping in with me right from the start. I am sorry that you are not with us now!

To my current crew, I wish you all lived closer! I consider you all my good friends. Nikki, my drill sargeant, thank you so much for pushing me when I get lazy.  CB, you are such a loyal worker bee and sounding board. I seriously would not be pushing forward without you 2. I love you guys.  Holly, and Jaime, you are the sweetest ladies ever. I am grateful for your friendship. Shari, the one who keeps our bloglines running smooth as can be, thanks so much for all your hard work. I know its not easy with all the people who come and go. Thanks babe!  LT, I know you are no longer with us, but you were a big part of TWD behind the scenes, I wish you well with your blogging adventures. Erin and Caitlin, thanks for keeping track of participation with us. Thanks so much to you all for your help. I truly would not be able to maintain this group without you guys. And for that I am so very grateful.

To all the people who participate every week, thank you, thank you, thank you. TWD was always meant as a weekly group. Even though I have fallen off the wagon recently, I will try hard to get back to the weekly baking too. I am determined for us to keep chugging along. We will finish the book, we will!

Beth, the ring leader of this big surprise. How sweet you are to think of me. I am so very touched. I sat here speechless, unsure of what to say. I am so very socially awkward in these situations. Thank you, and thanks to all who contributed to my spa day! I have never had one, so this is a first for me.

And to Dorie, who has been such a huge supporter of our group. Thank you for this book. I love it so. You could tell just how much by the sticky worn pages.  I am so very appreciative that you have embraced TWD. It means the world to me.

Much love,

Laurie

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