Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garlic Scape Bread

I've gotten a fair amount of garlic scapes - a stalk from the garlic plant that is harvested when it is young, tender and full of flavor- from the farm share this year:

My friend Sam pointed me toward this garlic bread recipe that he thought scapes might be good in, so I gave it a try. I mixed together my spices with the huge amount of yeast specified, spices, cheese and garlic scapes:
And then I set the bread for a quick rise. There is a ton of yeast and sugar in the recipe so the bread really does gain volume quite quickly.

Here's the bread after the first and only rise:

After this the bread is shaped and sprinkled with more cheese, it is placed into a cool oven while it pre-heats to both rise and bake:

The resulting loaves are pretty, but not the tastiest I've made - when you cut short rising time by using heat and a lot of yeast, you sacrifice a lot of flavor that comes from your flour.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie:
This recipe was published in The New York Times a while ago and I kept meaning to make it. The pesky pound and a quarter of expensive chocolate kept stopping me.

Then Mom brought me a present:
Yes. 5 pounds of chocolate.

And I found myself mixing together dough to sit in the fridge for 24 hours:

These are balls of cookie dough made with a regular sized ice cream scoop. I should have put a quarter in the picture:

And yes, do pay attention when Jacques Torres tells you to arrange the chocolate in your lumps of dough - there is so much chocolate that it makes a big difference!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemon, Thyme and Olive Oil Cookies

These pale, delicate cookies and rather easy to make, and have lots of surprising flavor:

All you need to do to make them is whisk together flour, sugar and spices, including plenty of thyme:
And then add in olive oil, milk (I used soymilk, easily turning this into a vegan treat) and lemon juice and zest.

Scoop out and bake!
Many thanks to Bex for finding this delicious recipe!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Popovers are a special treat for me:
Mom made these only on special occasions when I was growing up, such as for a particularly fancy dinner. She still makes them for Christmas dinner every year.

As this was my first attempt at popovers, I didn't realize that they were...almost deceptively easy. Although there are a number of variants on the recipe, the basic formula is very similar to a quickbread - mix together milk, egg and melted butter, and then stir that into flour and leavening, taking care not to overmix:

Although my popovers looked tasty and had the proper interior structure they weren't as good as Mom's recipe - so I'll be trying again soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sour Cherry Buttermilk Cake

Last weekend I got some beautiful sour cherries in the fruit share from my CSA:
I had seen this post, a raspberry buttermilk cake from the June issue of Gourmet, and decided that it would be the perfect recipe to adapt to sour cherries, and I had just enough fruit for the cake.

My first step was the pit my cherries. My favorite local cookware shop was out of cherry pitters, but they gave me some great advice - a piping tip will work just as well! I used my #4 Ateco:

Then, on to the cake. This was a straightforward creaming of butter, sugar, eggs following by alternating additions of flour and buttermilk:

Once the batter was done I poured it into a single cake pan, dotted the top with chopped cherries and sprinkled the cherries with sugar:

And after a quick 25 minutes in the oven, yum!

*any vegans out there can check out a great vegan adaptation of this recipe here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome to my Kitchen: Cupcake Aftermath

Sometimes the complications in complicated recipes don't really involve the food, but the mess that I make.

Welcome to my kitchen. This is my sink partway through frosting two fresh batches of cupcakes:
The two cupcakes of the two previous posts were made over one 24 hour period!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A simple tray of chocolate cupcakes is almost always appropriate, especially with a thick, rich batter:

This particular batter resembled a traditional cake batter, until the sour cream...

was swirled in and made it richer and lighter:

To complement the rich cake, I made a rich buttercream consisting of confectioners sugar sifted with cocoa:

Which was then blended with butter and vanilla before melted chocolate was added:

As I recently purchased a new pastry tube, I had lots of fun with the decorations!

Lemon Poppyseed Butterfly Cupcakes

I wanted to have some fun with a lemon flavored cupcake, so I found a recipe that was a bit more involved to bring to a recent book club meeting. These basic cupcakes...

start with a fairly standard cake recipe - butter creamed with sugar, to which you add eggs, lemon and a fair number of poppyseeds, and then alternately add the dry and wet ingredients:

Then, the fun begins. Some homemade lemon curd is set aside, and more is mixed into freshly whipped cream:

The top of the cupcake is sliced off, and then the cupcake is frosted with the lemon-whipped cream mixture:

Then, the tops are placed back on with a bit of piped lemon curd - butterflies!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Biscuit Dogs

When I think of hot dogs, I don't always think about the big eating contest that's held every July Fourth, or about the grill. I think about biscuit dogs!
A biscuit dog is a pig in a blanket wrapped in biscuit dough made from my grandmother's recipe. 

The first time I made biscuits, my father helped. Pops and I pulled out the recipe, gathered ingredients and heated the oven. We looked at the faded card and realized, then, that a crucial direction was missing: we weren't sure whether we should grease our cookie sheets. Since the biscuits were a surprise for Mom, we couldn't ask her, so we played it safe and buttered the pans before we baked. When Mom tasted the biscuits she paused for a moment as she tried to figure it out, and then told us that no, ungreased cookie sheets are the way to go when making biscuits.

Here's everything you need to make biscuits: flour mixed with leavening, milk, and shortening:

The key to biscuits, like any quickbread of muffin, is to not overmix the dough. In this case, you don't want to mix the shortening into the flour too well:
Once the shortening is mixed in, all that is left is to add milk and roll out the dough.

I like to wrap my hot dogs slightly messily wrapped in dough so the end result has a few crispy bits. I think my brother likes them this way so that the mustard is less of a mess: