Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

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wish you a merry

December 24, 2010

Lebkuchen, most delicious of all the Christmas cookies.

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these are a few of our favorite things

October 24, 2010

Time to bake for the shelter again.  I was trying to focus on maple, but my brain kept getting distracted by the pile of pumpkins that was slowly growing on the dining room table, waiting to be put up for the winter.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Hmm.  Determined to ignore the gourds, I pulled out the maple syrup cookbook.  Yes, she has one.  We’ve discussed her addiction before.   Anyway.

We first spotted the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich last year while we were poking around a bookstore in Vermont.  It contains many delightful recipes for everything from maple butter to maple coffee cake to crispy maple spare ribs.  Yum.  Not wanting to make yet another impulse cookbook purchase, mrslovey took a picture of it and kept browsing.  We figured we’d put it on a wish list when we got home, and decide at a later date if we really wanted it.  Fast forward a year or so, and we’re in a different bookstore, different town, in Vermont.  Suddenly from halfway across the store I hear “This is the one!”  Confused, I hurry over to mrslovey, to see her with cookbook in hand.  She’s convinced that it’s the same one she wanted a year earlier, but to be honest, I’m skeptical.  You’re going to remember this glanced at and passed by item for that long?  Eager to prove me wrong, she pulls out her phone, skims through the photos, and I’ll be damned, it’s the same book.  Since we’ve now encountered and been interested in it twice, we decided it was a safe buy. Read the rest of this entry ?

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back in the saddle again

August 22, 2010

So I’m back from vacation, took a little time to recover from *that*, and now I’m truly itching to get my paws back into the oven.  We’ve also had an amazing abundance of fresh veggies and fruits from our CSA, so that provides an additional bushel of inspiration, to be sure.  I admit that the first recipe back doesn’t follow the reader request guidelines, but sometimes mrslovey gets to bend the rules and move to the head of the line.  I’m sure you understand.

For the last few summers, when the tomato bounty has been at its peak, mrslovey has made a delicious (if you like that kind of thing) creamless creamy tomato soup.  It has a garden-fresh unadulterated tomato flavor, and it freezes beautifully.  When I asked her to define, she just shrugged and said, “it tastes like summer.”    (9/2/10 edit: recipe for the soup is here)

Needless to say, she needed something to go along with the soup, hopefully something that also freezes well, so that a grab-and-go lunch or dinner later in the year would be simple and not require additional effort.  Knowing that she likes savory crispy/crunchy snacks, I decided to make cookies. Read the rest of this entry ?

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i’ll tell you what i want, what i really really want

July 25, 2010

Reader C sent in a request for a chewy molasses cookie.  She then clarified that the request was really for her mom, who had been trying for years to recreate her grandmother’s cookies.  Talk about a no-pressure request!  Research was a little frustrating, as it seemed like so many of the recipes I found ended up in crispy, not chewy cookies.  I for sure needed chewy, not only for C, but for myself.  I have memories of my mom taking me to a small bakery near our house, and I always thought it was a special treat when I was able to get a hermit cookie to munch on.  They were flavorful and chewy, packed with spices and raisins, and they were the biggest cookies in the display.  Who could resist?

While the cookie I ended up with isn’t a hermit (no raisins or nuts), it does have a deep molasses flavor, and the spices almost seem to sneak up on you before leaving a glowing aftertaste.  And the chew?  Oh my goodness, these are some of the most satisfyingly chewy cookies I’ve ever made.  Results were sent into work with mrslovey, with a portion set back specifically for C and her mom.  I’m hoping that even if they’re not exactly like Gram’s, they’re close enough to keep the memories fresh and bring a smile to her face. Read the rest of this entry ?

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not nearly as hard as I make it seem

July 12, 2010

I got some reader-request baking done on Sunday, during a short break in the heat wave.  K had requested Martha Stewart’s Lemon-Thyme Wafers, so I found the recipe online and got to work.  People, let me tell you, it was like an episode of I Love Lucy or something.  Anything that I could have messed up, I did.  (And of course, it wasn’t helped by the fact that I was working on two things at once for part of the time).

The first step of the recipe is to warm up some cream and then add lemon zest and thyme springs, to let the flavors infuse the cream, ooh la la fancy fancy.  I did this no problem, let it sit for a while infusing, and then strained the now-flavorful cream into a glass coffee mug for later use.  Step into the other room for a few minutes while I wait for the oven to be free.  Come back into the kitchen to talk to mrslovey who is using the break to do some dishes*, and I see a soapy sponge – wiping out a glass coffee mug.  Seems I need to label things better.  Out comes more cream, more zest, and more thyme from the herb garden.  I strain it into a measuring cup and say very slowly and loudly, like I’m talking to a toddler, or a dinosaur, or something, “I’M PUTTING THIS OVER HERE, WITH THE INGREDIENTS,BECAUSE IT IS AN INGREDIENT.  WHICH I AM GOING TO USE.  WHEN I MAKE THESE COOKIES, WITH THESE OTHER INGREDIENTS. OVER HERE.”  I’m lucky she didn’t crack me in the head with a glass coffee mug.

Next step was mixing a bunch of stuff together to make the batter, no biggie.  But then, THEN, was the first circus act of the day.  Imagine, if you will, that you are holding in one hand a stainless steel mixer bowl, and are trying to pour and scrape the contents into the open end of a big zippy bag, that is perched in a(nother) glass mug, with a piping tip that is way too big for the thickness of the batter, so everything seems to be either flowing right out of the tip, or trying to pull the bag out of the mug and onto the counter.  Not saying that’s what happened, but just imagine the frustration if that were the case.  Then start piping your cookies out, and realize your piping skills still suck, so you’re dripping batter everywhere and this bag is too big and now the tip is coming out of the bag and batter is leaking out of THAT new hole and OMG is this really this hard????   Read the rest of this entry ?

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dinner schminner, sometimes you just need to make cookies NOW

April 27, 2010

Several weeks ago, before cookie month even started, I was trying to decide what to bake when a blog post from King Arthur Flour appeared on my Facebook wall.  The recipe was for their Kids’ Choice Chip & Fruit Oatmeal Cookies.  The name was a little unwieldy, but the recipe itself looked delicious (as most KAF recipes do), and the feedback from bakers across the country was coming in at warp speed – they ARE delicious!  I was intrigued by the fact that they used oatmeal and white whole wheat flour, making them vaguely healthy, and also that they encouraged you to use whatever add-in combination you desired.  Mrslovey and I started throwing out combination ideas for when I’d make these at some point in the future.  After several minutes of back and forth, I mentioned that we had some dried sour cherries left over from another recipe.  Oooh, you know what would go good with those?  Dark chocolate chips!  Yep, we’ve got those, too.  But what about the nuts?  And then it hit us both at the same time – PISTACHIOS – and we nearly fell over each other racing for the kitchen.  Who cares about dinner, we have to make these cookies NOW!!!!! Read the rest of this entry ?

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serious cookies for serious people, seriously

April 21, 2010

The other day we were hit with a serious chocolate craving.  I’m talking capital “S” Serious.  Chew-your-own-face-off serious.  So serious that serious recipe consideration would be needed.  This wouldn’t be satisfied by any half-assed wannabe somewhat thinking about chocolate recipe.  We needed something overwhelmingly chocolate.  The chocolatelyest chocolate cookie that could be found, no holds barred.

I think the results were successful.  These cookies are deeply, darkly chocolate.  They’re a little crisp around the edges, but have a fudgy, chewy interior.  I used one of my new favorite ingredients, Bensdorp Dutch-Process Cocoa.  Between the Dutch-processing  and the full-fat, it gives it a darker, more chocolate flavor, with a beautiful mouthfeel (you can use regular non-Dutched cocoa, but you’ll lose some of the extreme chocolate flavor). Next, chocolate chunks were added.  If you stole a cookie moments after they came out of the oven (not that we would ever do that), then the chunks were hot pockets of molten chocolate goo.  If you waited until they were fully cooled (of course we did), then you’d chomp into a big nugget of pure chocolate.  I also added toffee pieces to give a little more depth of flavor, and the ones on the bottom of the cookies were a little caramelized and crunchy.  Yum.

Altogether, an exquisite cookie, and just what was needed to chase away the chocolate fiend that had taken up temporary residence.  Another benefit is that since the recipe made so many (5 dozen) we were able to send samples to both workplaces, avoiding potential rioting.  I knew I had a good thing when one of my coworkers, who normally doesn’t praise beyond ‘good cookies, thanks,’ stopped at my desk, and tried to tell me how much she liked them, but wasn’t able to finish her sentences due to the groaning and twitching and eye rolling (all in a good way) that accompanied each bite.  Seriously.  You’ve been warned.   Read the rest of this entry ?