Pinterest Challenge: Plan B, no wait, Plan C

So Sherry from Young House Love hosts a quarterly Pinterest Challenge, where you stop just pinning things and actually follow through on the inspiration. (ok, it’s not just YHL, but that’s the blog I read where I found out about it, so they get all the credit).

I wanted to make a cinnamon stick wreath like this but I haven’t yet found a cheap-enough source of cinnamon sticks to attempt it.:

Source: via sheilac31 on Pinterest

I also wanted to make paint-swatch artwork for my room, but sick kids have kept me from getting out to pick up an assortment of paint swatches (I seriously JUST pitched the pile I had, because we were moving and I was sick of them constantly falling out of the container where I kept them, and darn it I would just start over with collecting them as we picked colors for the new house.)

Source: via sheilac31 on Pinterest

So, no artwork.

Instead I went to my “Baking Dreams” and “Cooking Dreams” pinboards since I knew I’d be able to find something doable there. That is, until I stumbled across a picture of some delectable-sounding bar cookies and they vaulted themselves to the top of the MAKE THIS NOW list.

I give you, Dorie’s Chewy Chunky Blondies.

Source: via sheilac31 on Pinterest

Like most bars, these are super easy to make. Maybe too easy, because oh-my-word they are delicious. They’ve got a fantastic crispy cruncy top, and a lusciously gooey center (might have underbaked them a tad, but I prefer my bars to be on the gooey side of things so when in doubt, I err on the underbaking side of things).

The picture I have does not begin to do justice to these treats. Love love love them.

Picture of Dorie Greenspan's Chewy Chunky Blondies

Changes I made? Used a half cup of toffee pieces and a half cup of milk chocolate-covered toffee pieces in place of the butterscotch chips. Used pecans instead of walnuts. Used a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips. Baked it at 350. I can’t say that I did much to make them my own or anything, but they were so fantastic.

See what others have done for the Pinterest Challenge!

Baking Plans

I started working on this list last month. Then Cookie Baker Lynn started her ungroup I Did It!. Perfect timing!

I’ve got more recipes to try than I’ll probably ever get to in my life, but I still have some general ones that I’m pretty determined to get to.

Nut Brittle
English muffins
Bagels (maybe even some Asiago Bagels?)
Cinnamon rolls
Soft pretzels
Sourdough bread
Yeasted waffles
Yeasted coffee cake
Crackers (maybe graham crackers, maybe something else)
Braided loaf of bread
Multi-layer cake (as in, where I have to split the layers)
Lattice-topped pie
Cut-out cookies
Panna Cotta
Creme Brulee
Coconut Cake made with fresh coconut a la Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode.
Lemon Curd
Pita Bread
Carrot Cake

Ok, so there are more than 10. It gives me plenty to work with! And I’m set for next year too apparently if it continues for another year.

For My Valentine

My husband doesn’t like chocolate that much. He’ll eat it occasionally, but overall he’d generally have something else, especially when the “else” is something lemon or cherry.

This makes it obvious that a Valentine’s gift should not be the chocolate item that I would like, but lemon instead. Or cherry. Or even lime which is enough of another favorite to pass muster (particularly if it’s key lime).

This Valentine’s day, I went with lemon. Specifically, the lemon buns from King Arthur Flour’s website.

They were very easy to make, although I did have to add more flour in order to get a workable dough. The hearts ended up being more heart-like but I imagine that with additional practice I could get the buns to look more like hearts.

They had a very nice lemon flavor – it was definitely noticeable, but wasn’t overwhelming by any means. They were also at a great level of sweetness – the big sugar crystals on the top were the main hits of sweet as the dough itself is only just barely sweet.

They do seem to be going stale pretty quickly; I made them yesterday and already they don’t taste as good as they did. I froze half of the batch since I knew we’d never eat them all quickly enough. And yes, I said “we.” I’m helping myself to the buns I baked just for him. Bakers privilege. ;)