Been doing some of this, some of that.  After the great Pie-xtravaganza (20 pies in two days), I didn’t feel like doing much of substance, but ended up taking too many desserts to Thanksgiving anyways (five people don’t really need a full 8″ bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, 6″ x 6″ carrot cake, and 6 mini-chocolate peanut butter mousse tarts).

First up, the carrot cake.  I decided to go with a recipe found on Epicurious, the Triple Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I’d had an order for a carrot cake, promised four layers, so I figured that if I made two full-sized layers and split them, I’d be good.  But I had batter left over!  So I made another 6″ layer, figuring I’d get to try it.

Well, none of the layers rose much at all in this cake (it is incredibly moist and sort of dense, almost like a fruitcake, and I mean that as someone who loves good fruitcake), so I ended up having to make another batch (should’ve just stuck with 3 layers originally), and ended up with two lovely carrot cakes as a result.  Here’s the little one:

Festive Carrot Cake

Festive Carrot Cake

The raisins in this came out tasting as though I’d soaked them in Grand Marnier for a month.  But I hadn’t!  Straight up out of the bag.  This is a tasty, tasty cake and makes an excellent breakfast (ahem) as well as dessert.  Oh, I spiced the frosting up with a little orange extract, it seemed to want it.

(And a shout-out to KnittingHarpy‘s light box and notions!  I’ll have you know that I’ve acquired my own large cardboard box – fabulous pictures are only a few steps away!)

Next up, a picture of the mini versions of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart:

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tartlets.

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tartlets.

Tasty, as always.

I’ve also made some Pecan Pralines recently – no great pictures of those yet, but here you get an idea:

Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines

Nothing there but sugar, water, butter, cream, and pecans (and a little corn syrup).  Swoony yummy.  The recipe I use for these came from Greweling’s chocolate confections, a book I cannot recommend highly enough if you ever intend to take making confections seriously.  It’s amazing.

Hmm, what else is lurking about….

Oh, I tried making some chocolate tartlets a while back, but although they were tasty, they were very dark, and I think most people would find them too dark for enjoyment.

Chocolate Oblivious Tartlette

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte-let

This recipe came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible, another must-have.

I had an extra tartlette shell or two when I made this, and some apple-cider caramels, so I ended up throwing together a little Caramel Apple Tart:

Caramel Apple Tart

Caramel Apple Tart

Recipe:

1 blind-baked tartlet (normal pie crust dough)
1 baking apple, sliced (I used one of the fabulous winesap apples we got from the same orchard as the apple cider)
2 apple-cider caramels, sliced

Place sliced caramels in crust.  Place sliced apples over it.  Bake at 350F until done (apples are softish and caramel is bubbly), about 20 minutes?  Tasty as all get-out.

And that’s what I’ve been up to – oh, other than trying some gingerbread cookies using my old springerle molds (although I didn’t find that they kept the impressions after they baked – any ideas?), but I didn’t get pictures of that.  Tasty, though!

What are all of you up to?

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