Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I should have remembered Red Chief and left them there!
I thoroughly enjoyed this pie/cake. To me this is definitely a pie. We are topping it with and placing the apples into what I would define as a crust, not a batter. A damn tasty crust - and though I don't have the cookbook with me, if my memory serves, Dorie also calls it a crust - so I think she leans that way herself - well of course she does - she lists pie first. If she was leaning towards cake - cake would be first. Especially since cake comes first alphabetically. Surely I am not the only person who always alphabetizes everything if an order is needed and the alphabet is handy.
My only problem was folding the excess crust under. I believe the description was something like, "tuck in the crust as if you were making a bed". I don't know about you, but I found hospital corners nigh on to impossible with this dough! I did what I could, but my crust was way too thick on the ends. Thankfully the crust was really delicious, but there was an extreme paucity of apples on the ends.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
After gently melting this chocolate into a simmering puddle of chocolately goodness I added white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate buttons, pecans and raisins!
Remember to leave them in place for a few minutes after removing them from the oven. They will fall apart if you try to pick them up too soon.
A word of advice - don't use buttons in this recipe unless you chop them. When I tried to scoop these onto the stones I had a very hard time of it. The buttons were too big to fit into my small scoop. The cookies were not coordinated in their shapes - it was extremely trying but I survived and had to live with free-form cookies - who I ask you - told these cookies they could have their own lives?
The cookies are of course aptly named: Chocolate Chunkers and those of us old enough to remember the original Chunky candy bar will be reminded of it when we bite into these. At least I was reminded of that thicker-er candy. I went online to see if Chunkys are still sold and they are! But, and why this shocked me I do not know, they have been destroyed. What was once a really tasty treat of cashews, brazil nuts and raisins is now the annoying, boring and typical peanuts and raisins. For Pete's sake - if I wanted goobers and raisinets I would get them - what a wasted opportunity to keep a unique candy bar unique. Oh, well, their loss - I will stick with my memories and the chocolate chunkers!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I learned I do not have a revised edition. What I have is the memory of a mother whose answer to the question of what temperature should I use to bake this or cook that was always the same.
"350 is a good temperature."
And, it always was and apparently it still is. It is such a good temperature that when I don't see a temperature in a recipe I just automatically insert her old standby and just keep on going, with absolutely no break in my stride, whatsoever!
In fact, my my mother was so stuck on that temperature that after she died we found the knob on her oven was stuck on that number. She never moved it from that position and on her oven you controlled the power of the oven with one knob and the temperature of the oven with another. She would turn the oven off and on but she saw no reason to move the temperature gauge. After all, why should she? Everything she made turned out just like she wanted it to regardless of what the instructions said. She scoffed at me for following recipes and she was hard to learn from - ask her how she made something and she would take the dish from you, execute it flawlessly and then look at you guilelessly and say, "That's how I do it, I don't know why you want to measure everything." The mere fact that if I did not measure everything I could not get edible results twice in a row was unfathomable to her.
Mind you, my mother could not cook when she and my father first married. Somehow through the passage of time and lots of cooking (for lots of people) my mother managed to forget all of her trials and tribulations - well - she did remember learning how to make fried chicken, but I'll tell you about that some other day.
Rachel from "Confessions of a Tangerine Tart" chose this week's recipe of Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops. I forgot to look for malt powder while I was visiting Richmond's new Whole Foods grocery store on Saturday. I was too overwhelmed with excitement to remember everything I wanted! So, I ran up to the Kroger and grabbed some Ovaltine and Whoppers to make this recipe.
Since I think milk chocolate is barely fit for human consumption I was doubtful about liking these cookies. From my perspective they were just okay. I will make them again, but I will make them smaller and I will be sure to chop the Whoppers more coarsely.
One of the issues I had with the cookies is their appearance - they don't look like the ones pictured in Dorie's book. This is always a catch-22 for me. I want pictures in my cookbooks because I want to know what my items are supposed to look like, but if my items don't turn out just like the pictures, I consider them failures. If I can figure out why my things don't match the photos, I can usually deal with it. If, God forbid, the food actually doesn't taste good - well, let's not even go there (I have visions of Orange Cloud dancing in my head!) - another tale for another day! My cookies were smooth - boring - not rough and chunky looking - they were like smooth unshaven boys - not craggy interesting men!
To my taste, they were too milky - the bittersweet chunks did not cut through the sweetness of the malt and the milk chocolate coating (gag me). However, I had one person tell me that it was the kind of cookie he would pay money for at a bakery and two people told me they thought they were fantastic. (Of course, some people will say anything to keep home-made treats coming regularly!)
Everyone I work with has resigned themselves to eating treats on multiple days of the week until I catch up with the others in TWD. I just hope they can adjust once I am on the regular schedule!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Wanting to be a part of the Tuesday's with Dorie baking group I decided to start by baking their first recipe. Being the competitive twit that I am, I will have to make everything that the group has made or I won't consider myself a "true" member.
No doubt I will not continue in direct recipe order, but I wanted to start at the top. And, am I glad I did. This shortbread is delightful. It was extremely easy to work with, the dough came together very quickly, except for the pecan grinding. I was afraid my cheapo-coffee grinder was getting too hot and I would wind up with pecan butter instead of ground pecans, but they were all right. I did have to pick out the occasional chunk, but that just made for a nice snack!
I don't like to swap out the cookie sheets so I just made the shortbread in rounds. I baked the first sheet for the full length of time Dorie recommends and the second for the shortest. Personally, I prefer the darker cookies, but in general, I like a crisper product, must be from my Oreo dipping days.I've made a few of the other recipes from the cookbook as well,
the mixed berry cobbler is absolutely fabulous. I'm looking forward to finding out how good everything else tastes as well.