Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Once in a while I like to pretend that cookies can be good for me. In reality, this means "less bad." Here, I've mixed peanut butter into my creamed butter and sugar for a hit of protein in an old classic:

A lot of peanut butter:

That wasn't quite enough, so oats, too, went into these cookies:

The cookies, pre-baking:

After, they had a little bit of a healthy look with the oatmeal texture, but it was entirely erased by the delicious taste (and the chocolate).

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cookie Project: December 2009

I made a LOT of Christmas Cookies this year:
The table above has about a thousand cookies, of a dozen varieties.

I started a week before I was planning on baking, by mixing up cookies and wrapping the dough in plastic to be stored in the fridge:
For cookies I hadn't made before, I wrapped them with the recipe.

For simpler cookies, I made a note of the cookie type, and how they needed to be baked:

Here's a video of the process when it was finally underway:

It took two days of baking, but cookies were shipped far and wide, and brought to many friends locally.

When Christmas got bit closer, I pulled the remaining cookies out of my fridge and added a few varieties that my family always makes, including Rugelach!

And a classic sugar cookies - Sand Tarts, from my grandmother's recipe:

On Christmas morning, I also made cinnamon rolls. Here they are, ready to be flipped out of the pan:

To really celebrate December, I also made time to make latkes. It was my first attempt, but fried potato tends to be well received...especially when you add a little sour cream and applesauce!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

White Bread

I always go back to a basic white bread once in a while. Just unbleached bread flour, yeast and salt:

This simple but slightly rough mass kneaded up well, though it looks a bit lumpy here:

And rose beautifully:

Split into loaves:

And a few magical hours later...

Fresh bread:

Just waiting to be toasted:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Normandy Tart

This fall, I got a little bit behind in both using all the apples I had, and in writing about it. These apples were destined to be homemade applesauce:

Once they were peeled and chopped, I added a bit of water and let them cook until they were mashable:

Next up? A shortbread cookie-like tart crust:

I filled the crust with the cooled applesauce:

And layered thinly sliced apples above the applesauce, using a firmer cooking apple that would hold shape through baking:

After a quick glaze, the tart was baked...and eaten.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Food Fail: Disney World

Trust me:
This is not a delicious brownie, despite the delicious-looking Mickey Sprinkles.

It was overpriced.

It was dry without being the slightest bit cakey, and the scant frosting lent it no fudginess.

Disney World food just isn't nearly as good as I remember from childhood (and the characters aren't as friendly as at Disneyland!).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Light Wheat Brioche

This is a healthy improvement on a rich a delicious brioche:

I used a mix of whole wheat and regular flour in both the sponge:

And the resulting dough, pictures just before the butter was worked in:

It takes a bit of kneading to get the butter absorbed and distributed:

Once the butter was in and the dough fully kneaded, I set it to rise:

A few hours later, I took this dough and set it for a second rise in the loaf pans:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

I sometimes ask myself what could be better than a good oatmeal bread. I don't have an answer, really. It's continually been my favorite to bake and eat. This time, when I was steeping my oats, I substituted a bit of the white flour for whole wheat:

I ad my doubts - the dough was looking pretty ragged pre-kneading:

But it smoothed out...

And rose beautifully:

The second rise in the loaf pan was also encouraging:

And the finished loaf was light, hearty and delicious!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pumpkin Corn Muffins

This is another magazine recipe:
I can't resist fall issues of any magazine that involves food, really. What else would I do with all of my pumpkin?

This is a quickbread, which means a three step recipe - 1. prepare dry ingredients:

2. Prepare wet ingredients. 3. Add wet ingredients to dry:

And then pour into prepared tins (or pan, if you follow the recipe more closely than I did) and bake!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coconut Macadamia Cake

I love coconut, and I love making cakes:
This elaborate recipe seemed to be just the ticket for a recent celebration.

The first step was to melt sugar in a skillet and coat the macadamia nuts:

Once those were cooling, I moved on:

The pastry cream was next. I cooked together egg yolks, sugar, milk and cornstarch until it was thickened, and then whisked in vanilla and set it in the fridge to chill. To the side, you can see the egg whites, soon to be beaten into the cake batter, and behind that, a covered bowl where butter is softening, ready to be creamed:

The next step was the cake batter. This mixture below was almost ready...

Once it was lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites, off to the oven:

I chopped my macadamia praline rather than grind it while my cake layer cooled:

I was all set for the most fun part...