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TBB - Caramel Buns

The past week had been a very hard week at work, lots of moving pieces, numerous changes on the fly created a slow moving tension headache that sort of came to fruition on Saturday.

Since this recipe needed at 2-day commitment I decided that I was going to just pass it by and leave it for our catch up day.  I was way to tired and not in the mode to deal with 7 pages of instructions.

But, I could not leave it alone and started to stalk our Facebook group to see how everyone was doing and then I started to see comments like these:

“I just sampled the sticky caramel. OH MY WORD!!!!”

“OMG, these buns are so good I had to make a second batch.”

”..made them this past weekend. YUMMY. They lasted about an hour”

“The caramel pairs so well with your brioche recipe. Everything is in perfect harmony! That said, I feel like having another one now!”

Nothing like a good push by my fellow bakers to get off my butt and into the kitchen.

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TBB - Hamantaschen

Before I discover the art of participating in a bake-a-long group, I would scout a cookbook book, mark all the recipes that I wanted to try and then would promptly put back the marked cookbook in the shelf and forget about it.

That is why I joined a bake-a-long. It gives me a push to finally do all of those recipes marked in a cookbook.

The other thing a bake-a-long has taught me is the art of trying something new, especially if I’m unfamiliar with the ingredients and/or cooking techniques.

Case in point – this week’s choice – the Hamantaschen.

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TBB - Lemon Posset Shortcakes

Tom and I are celebrating out second wedding anniversary this coming Tuesday.  I’m sitting writing those words, and I still cannot believe it’s been already two years since our wedding.

Tradition says that you should give something made out of cotton for your second anniversary, but seriously – whose husband would be excited about new pajamas or a bath robe or bed sheets? I know mine wouldn’t.

Instead of cotton, I knew that I needed to continue my trend and feed him – just like I been doing for the past seven years we been together.

Other than pie, Tom loves anything that has lemon in it.  His favorite candies are lemon drops and when I got this book and was reading through it, this recipe just had his name all over it – I needed to make it happen.

So when Marie mentioned that if we have any special occasions coming up and we are interested in certain recipes to mark them and let her know so she would put them on the list.

I been very excited with these and I could not wait to make them for him

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TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

Making this cake was a time for me to go back in time.

I was twenty-something years old, and it was the summer of 1990.  It was my first trip to Europe and my first trip to Italy.  I was going to finally meet my extended Italian family -  Great aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandparent’s siblings both set of grandparents had over 10 brothers and sisters, so it was a very, long visiting trip.

It was an exciting time for my twenty-year old self.

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TBB – Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

As a home baker, I think we all get comfortable with our baking, collecting those recipes that speak to your own flavor profiles and those of our family. Like a nice comfy blanket, no matter what, when you wrap yourself in it, you are safe.

I think one of the reasons that I joined a bake along in the first place was to expand on those comfortable recipes. I wanted to develop my flavor profiles and also my baking techniques. I wanted to feel afraid and experience those hit and misses. I truly believe that we learn the most with our failures rather than our successes.

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TBB - Gingersnaps

I think all the Alpha bakers gave a little prayer when Marie posted the next baking assignment and flagged it with the “Q&E”(quick and easy) stamp.

After the Golden Panettone, I think we were all looking for some breathing room. 

So this week it was a cookie recipe.

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TBB - Golden Orange Panettone

You all know my Italian roots, so it may come as a surprise that as an Italian family, none of us bakers in the family ever made Panettone at home. We all knew that baking this at home was time consuming and even my paternal nonna, who was a very serious baker, would leave it to the pros. Every holiday, she would simply place an order with our local Italian bakery and “voila” fresh, delicious Panettone would magically appear at our home in time for us to polish it off before it even left the pretty wrapping it came in.

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TBB - Black and Blueberry Pie

Men love Pie.

It’s a fact. Out of all the desserts that I have made in the past 6 years, Pie is by far my husband favorite dessert.  I don’t make it as often as he likes, because well, you know, cooked fruit!

The funny part of it his, is that when I do make pie, it has never failed me (keep this in mind for later) – not once.  Every single time, the pie is a success – I make my husband happy, he gets to stuff his face with a dessert that he is likes and I get to say that I made pie - in marriage is the little things.  Then, I go into hibernation for months before I make another one.

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TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake

This cake was never going to be made. I was to busy this past weekend, I was hosting my annual Hot Chocolate Party for my girlfriend and I was cooking up a storm and figure that Hot Chocolate + Chocolate cake was NOT a match made in heaven, so I put it on my list to skip it.

But then on Monday, actually late Sunday, the posts from my fellow bakers started to trickle in and words like “light as a feather and as soft as a whisper”, “EPIC”, “Everything a cake should be”, “the caramel whip cream is to die for”…were written all over the place, and the praises continue in our Baker Facebook group, where it seem this cake was the talk of the town. I was sucked in and posted that I was on my way to the kitchen to see if this cake was going to be the belle of the ball in Casa P.

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TBB - Frozen Pecan Tart

This tart almost did not get made.  There were so many issues that at one point I told myself to forget it and to move to the next recipe in the line up.


Beside the Key Lime pie, a Pecan pie is the only other pie that I would take the time to eat. The only issue I have with them, is that most of the pecan pies out there are a sugary mess. I usually cannot get pass the first bite, before I have my fill and the rest is forgotten and ends up in the trash.

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