February 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Last month, Streusel kindly took on the Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet, so it was only fair that this month’s challenge belongs to me (although she did admit that she won’t be able to help herself and plans on Panna Cotta-ing soon!)

wait! there’s more, and it includes a lovely panna cotta


Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

I’m a total sucker for my nieces and nephews (proudly so!). As an aunt, I understand that my job is involves (but is not limited to): boring people with stories, showing photos, marveling at their intelligence, and gushing over anything that any of them has drawn. Of course, part of my sucker-ness includes buying anything they’re selling.

The kids are all still pretty young (ranging in age from 4 through 8), so my oldest niece, Maddie, is the first to start in her retail career. I got the Phone Call the other day, with Maddie hocking 2011 Girl Scout Cookies. Obviously, I bought 4 boxes.

Certainly, I have a lot of affection for the nostalgic and slightly plastic taste of the GSC (I swear, Hoedowns are really covered in chocolate-colored saran). That being said, GSCs are not where I go for an authentic cookie experience. Brandon loves himself the mint and chocolate combo, and despite ordering enough Thin Mints to last us through a 2019, I decided to see what I could make happen, plastic-free, in my own kitchen.

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Dulce de Leche Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Ingrid Hoffmann, these cookies are delicious!

It’s a quick recipe once the dulce de leche is made. 

I made my own dulce de leche by completely submersing and boiling two cans of condensed milk (unopened, low boil) for 4 hours.  I didn’t need that much dulce de leche for this recipe but had plans for the other can.  No – I didn’t eat it with a spoon while watching Dexter on Netflix although I seriously considered it!

Don’t stop here…

Porter Pizza

OK.  So this recipe should really be called Porter Spent Grain Pizza Dough but that certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue well or sound catchy, right?

Give it up for my friend Sam.  Not only did he and his honey, Nicole, give me the spent grains from a porter they are making BUT he also gave me the idea of creating a pizza dough out of them.  Genius.

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Cosmo Cupcakes

A local bakery here in Denver, Happy Cakes, makes these wonderful cupcakes ever Friday and they inspired me to make some at home.

I printed this cupcake recipe over a year ago and have no idea where it came from. If this looks familiar to anyone out there I apologize!

This is my alcohol-free, kid-friendly version of the Cosmopolitan Cupcake. In parentheses I’ve added where alcohol can be placed for a nice adult treat.

Wait! there’s more…


There are people in the world who can do things; you know, things like skiing, or geometry. Others know how to sail or can tie fancy knots. I’ve even come across people who know how to parallel park!

Being me, not one of these activities are skills I can claim. As someone who is still scared of the ball (all that “keep your eye on the ball” stuff from PE in junior high still terrorizes me), there’s not a whole lot that I claim that I can “do.”

Until now.

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