Have you heard of BAKED in NYC? They've only been around since 2005, but have already made their mark on dessert-lovers and bakers across the country. They've been highlighted in numerous top-notch magazines, cookbooks, and television shows such as Oprah, Martha Stewart, The Today Show ... just to name a few. They also have two cookbooks out now that are VERY popular.
I know that my cooking expeditions with Dorie Greenspan already keep me quite busy, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join another blogging group that is working their way through the newest Baked cookbook, Baked Explorations. (You can still join, if you are interested!) The rules are simple: 1. Get your own copy of the cookbook (if you look around a bit online, you can get it with shipping for around $20) 2. Bake as much as you can. 3. Don't publish the recipe on your blog. They are only baking every other week, so it's not terribly demanding. And even though I'm not allowed to post the recipe on my blog, the blog where we all post our results will post the recipe each time, so if you see something you like on my blog, just hop over to get the recipe.
This week was my first opportunity to participate with BAKED Sunday Mornings. I made the Almond Joy Tart, a fairly easy dessert. I started by making the almond tart dough (when I ground up the toasted almonds in my food processor, the aroma was heavenly!) & white chocolate ganache one night after my kiddies were in bed. The dough and ganache went into the fridge overnight. The following night, I pulled the dough out of the fridge. It was very easy to roll-out, but I had a terrible time getting it into my tart shell without it ripping in several places ... so much that I rolled that dough out 4 times before I finally got it safely into my tart shell!! Bad, I know, but it had to be done. I used a tart pan that's probably about 8 inches and then I put the leftover dough into mini tart pans.
While my tart shells were baking in the oven, I whipped up my white chocolate ganache & added lots of coconut and then I decide to use vanilla extract instead of rum. Once the white chocolate ganache/coconut yumminess was into my tart shells, I spread a layer of chocolate ganache on top.
I served my Almond Joy Tarts on New Years Eve. They seemed to be a hit. I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, but I still enjoyed the dessert. My sisters both liked it a lot & at least one of them said it was good enough that they'd take the time to make the recipe themselves. They both seemed to like the filling a lot more than the crust though. One idea one of my sisters had was to leave the coconut out and use oreos for the crust and mix candy-canes &/or peppermint in with the white chocolate. Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe's O's would be fun to play with with this recipe!!