|I would say it's a little known fact that Alton Brown is one of my celebrity crushes. Yeah, yeah I know what you're thinking.."Alton Brown?? But he's so nerdy and goofy!". Yes, he is nerdy and goofy, but come on - that's part of his charm!! And besides that, the man can throw down in the kitchen, what woman doesn't love a man who can cook AND bake?? |
But crush factor aside, Alton has let me down today! Or maybe I've let myself down? At this moment I have no idea, which it is. I probably screwed something up, but it feels so much better to blame a man for it. HAHA, just kidding guys!
No but seriously, I just finished baking a batch of Alton's chocolate chip cookies known as "The Chewy" and while they taste good, they look sooo not cute. I've consulted with my dear Anna, the cookie queen herself, and possibly I didn't have the dough chilled well enough, and that's why the cookies basically flattened out as they cooled. The very dark brown-ness I would say is because the recipe called for such a large amount of brown sugar in comparison to the amount of granulated sugar called for. They definitely aren't burnt or even overdone. They just look like it..lol I have another chocolate chip cookie recipe or two that I want to try out, but I will give these another shot sometime to see if next time I can get them to turn out thicker. And I hope more visually appealing, as my Big Bad Dad nicknamed them "Chocolate Chip Cowpatties" because, yes, apparently they resemble the aforementioned. I have spent little to no time in a pasture, therefore I thankfully cannot confirm whether his observation is accurate or not. Ahh, clever guy that Big Bad Dad is.
yields: 2 1/2 dozen
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Source: Alton Brown
- Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie
- Good Tastin' and Good Lookin'
- Oven Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
- Culinarily Obsessed Pizza Kitchen Open For Busines...
- Wordless Wednesday - It's Naptime
- Nutty for Cookies
- Whaddya Know Joe
- Wordless Wednesday
- A Pearl Of A Snack
- Slow Cookin' Goodness
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Yeah, cheesy title I know..but ya luv me for it. Admit it! Well I've been wanting to make scones for a while, but hadn't quite found the recipe I wanted. All the recipes were full of eggs and HEAVY cream, which screams FAT!! Or they required fruit that I didn't have, and honestly didn't want in my scones, not at the moment anyway. I wanted a butter, slightly sweet scone with a nice flavor, that's still moderately healthy. Well me being me, when I don't find what I want, I make it up.
I took the recipe for Cranberry Scones from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and reworked it to get my perfect biscuits..errr I mean scones. I mean come on, let's be honest with ourselves here. Isn't a scone really just the British version of a biscuit?? YES!!!
But without further ado, Sugary Cinnamon Scones.
Sugary Cinnamon Scones
2c. all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
2/3c. fat-free half-and-half, plus 1 Tbsp reserved
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp Confectioner's Sugar
fat-free half-and-half, as needed
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl combine all ingredients for cinnamon filling. Mix until evenly blended. Set aside.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 c sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3c half-and-half until just moistened.
3. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough, 5-10 times. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick round or square. Evenly sprinkle half of dough with cinnamon filling mixture. Fold plain side over so that cinnamon filling is sandwiched in the middle. Cut into 8 evenly sized wedges; place on a baking sheet, approximately 5 inches apart. Brush tops with the reminaing 1 Tbsp half-and-half; sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
4. Mix Confectioner's sugar with enough half-and-half to make a glaze thin enough to drizzle. When scones are cooled drizzle with glaze.
I've chosen to use this recipe for this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. This month's challenge is to figure out what your winter comfort food is and why. Since I'm totally and completely food obsessed I have lots of foods that I find comforting. I don't eat alot of scones, and this is actually the first batch I've ever made. But they are chocked full of cinnamon goodness and cinnamon is definitely a comfort flavor for me. It has such a soothing homey taste and feel. Plus these scones taste EXACTLY like Bojangles cinnamon biscuits, and that in itself makes them a comfort food. Y'all know I live & was raised in the south, and Bojangles is only the king of Fried Chicken..forget that old colonel guy. Yup Bojangles is where you go when you're all out of sweet tea and too lazy to make any, or you're craving fried chicken and Nana's not fryin any. It's that good.
Feed a fever, starve a cold??
|Tag, I'm it!! Thanx to the cookie crazed Anna who tagged me for this meme that couldn't come at a more perfect time of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I have NO idea where this meme started, but my guess is it was started by someone either nursing a sick child or suffering from a cold themselves. |
The meme says to relay your best cold remedy. I have to be honest, when posed with this question, I realized I don't really have a cold remedy. None were ever passed down thru my family and I never developed one myself. Thankfully I guess my family has always for the most part been blessed with one heck of a strong immune system, which keeps us from getting any kinda cold, flu or virus very often. KNOCK ON WOOD!!
It seems that without fail whenever I'm down with a cold I always always crave apple juice and Campbell's chicken noodle soup. I can remember being home sick from school as a little girl and my daddy waking me from naps feeding me mugs of warm chicken noodle soup and glasses of ice cold apple juice. Something about that has always been so soothing. So the soup and juice along with lots of sitting around resting is pretty much my remedy. If the sickies get me bad enough I'll drag myself to the doctor and beg for some antibiotics or I'll take some nyquil and try to sleep it off.
I'm tagging: Chan, Alice, and Strawberry
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Love is in the air..
Nope, it has nothing, and I mean nothin' to do with a man. It's all about the cookies. "Cookies?" you ask. Yes, colorful, sugary, heart-shaped ones to be exact.
With a name like "No Fail Sugar Cookies" I had my doubts. But they are everything the name claims them to be and more. I've got a drawer FULL of under-used cookie cutters and I just ordered some new ones, so expect more great things outta this recipe, which can be found at KitchenGifts.com. When you try this recipe, I HIGHLY recommend that you follow her hints about dividing the dough into about 3-4 parts and rolling each part between wax paper before chilling. It's so not nearly as messy and it's so much easier.
No-Fail Sugar Cookies
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
1 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)
Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.
HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.
The cookies are decorated with Royal Icing.
3 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
3 T meringue powder
6 T warm water
Beat 4 to 5 minutes.
By hand, stir in optional flavorings and desired tints.
Friday, January 13, 2006
That's the question The Well Fed Network is asking. The Well Fed Network is a recently launched site, officially opened on 1/2/06 to be exact. Well Fed is a blog network that resembles a cross between a trade journal, a personal food diary and an online food magazine. Well Fed features food, restaurant and book/magazine reviews, along with recipes, and tasting notes. Pretty much the skies the limit, if it involves food some how you will possibly find it on Well Fed.
The Well Fed Network definitely seems to be setting the pace for something new and different in the realm of food, and I anticipate it will go above and beyond the internet.
I encourage you to go check it out, and check back frequently for my writings as I am a contributor to Sugar Savvy, the Well Fed blog all about chocolate and candy. If you've been to my blog before, you know I should be nearly expert in this area due to my enormous sweet tooth, so The Well Fed Network should be loads of fun and a wonderful experience.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
|Yaaay I've been tagged for another meme!! I luv these things =) Thanx to my sweet sweet Alicat over at Something So Clever for tagging me.|
This tag is a little different, until Ali I hadn't seen this Meme yet..so maybe it's a new one?? Oh yeah, Sammy & Stumpy found out that Alicat let Piggy & Letta help her with her answers so they were both dying to put in their 2 cents over here. In order to keep peace in la casa and because I'm a sucker for a cute face I gave in. Their answers are in blue.
Stumpy & Sammy, just wanted to say hi to all their adoring fans..and to give ya'll a little eye candy. I know, my boys are so modest aren't they? lol
Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
1. Get married & have a little baby girl.
2. Have a yorkie terrier, one of the tiny fit in my purse puppies.
3. Host a Martha Stewart worthy dinner party.
4. Make every effort to grow my bakery into a real live BUSINESS.
5. Write a cookbook & have it published.
6. Sammy: Show Stumpy I run this house.
7. Stumpy: Seek treatment for my doggy anxiety.
Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. See a snake - even on tv without freaking out.
2. Find MY perfect pair of jeans.
3. Dance, I'm with Alicat on this one.
4. Touch someone elses feet.
5. Leave the house without a cellphone, eventho nobody is gonna call lol.
6. Sammy: Take my toys back from Stumpy.
7. Stumpy: Be nice to Sammy.
Seven Things That Attract Me to Blogging:
1. I get to say what I want, and about food..what could be better?
2. Meeting so many cool people who share my obsession with food.
3. Having a blog motivates me to keep sharpening my skills.
4. Blogging is just such a great creative outlet!
5. Foodporn. Lots of foodporn. I'm totally agreeing with Alicat on this one again.
6. Sammy: It makes Mommy happy.
7. Stumpy: (with a bewildered look on his cute little face) Uhh, mommy, what's bloggin'??
Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. Stumpy get in here!
2. Mommy luvs you!!
3. Ugh I feel so fat.
4. Eh..not so much
5. Dude! what the hell??.
6. Sammy: Ruff Ruff!! Mommy, Stumpy's being a bastard again!
7. Stumpy: Food! More food!!
Seven Books I Love:
1. Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
2. A Walk To Remember - Nicholas Sparks
3. Modern Classics 2 - Donna Hay
4. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
5. Disappearing Acts - Terri McMillan
Eh..I've only got 5, sue me..no not really please don't =)
Seven Movies/DVDs That I Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Steele Magnolias
2. Sweet Home Alabama
3. Brown Sugar
4. Forrest, Forrest Gump
5. Smoky And The Bandit
7. Dirty Dancing
Seven People (or Dogs!) I Want To Join In Too:
1. Lisa over at In A Nutshell
2. Jasmine, the Cardamom Addict
3. Heather over at Eating for One
4. Rorie over at Milk & Honey
5. Vanessa, when she's feeling better
6. Eric, my faithful worshipper lol
7. Peanut Butter & Purple Onions because the combo really does sound crazy..lol
If any of you aren't into the whole "tag you're it" my apologizies..but I do luv my memes!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
|I absolutely LOVE bread..I'm a carb addict, honestly. I swear to you I could never do the Atkin's Diet, I wouldn't last a day without carbs. Breakfast/lunch usually consists of bagels, waffles, homemade muffins or something along those lines.|
And, with that said..I made bread! From scratch, with yeast and everything. My goal is to learn the art of bread making. And I will be honest, that seems like no small feat to me. Bread baking has always been a bit intimidating to me. All that kneading, and rising..scary.
I used a recipe from The Weekend Baker, which by the way is a fantastic book. It seems to have lots of great recipes. The book is broken down into 3 sections, based on the amount of time you are able to devote to the recipes. The only thing I don't like about the book is there aren't a lot of photos. I'm super visual so great color photos are a HUGE must for me when it comes to cookbooks!
Makes 1 round loaf
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cups very warm water (between 115 & 125 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Optional: 2/3 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs
(recipe can be prepared by hand, however instructions are for using a stand mixer, as that's the method I used)
1. To mix in a stand mixer
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk until well blended.
2. Check water temp; should register about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. In order for the yeast to grow, the liquid needs to be between 115-125 degrees.
3. Fit mixer with dough hook. With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the warm water into the flour mixture and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Add the chopped herbs (if using). Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. If the dough clumbs up the hook, stop the mixer and scrape the dough back into the bowl. Don't venture too far away while the dough is mixing, as the mixer might dance around on the counter because of the large amoutn of dough.
4. Let the dough rise
Scoop up the dough & shape into a ball. Lightly grease the bowl & pop the dough back into it. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
5. Generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto clean work surface (no need to flour; the dough is soft, but not sticky) and press down gently to deflate it. Shape dough into a rough 7 inches wide & place it, smooth side up, in the prepared pan. Generously brush with some of the melted butter. You may not need all the butter.
6. Let dough rise (no need to cover it) in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 25 minutes. It will fill the pan and will be light and airy to the touch.
7. Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush dough with remaining butter.
8. Bake until the boule is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped, abuot 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack, tip the baked bread onto the rack, and remove the pan. Set the loaf right side up and let cool completely.
I was pretty pleased with the outcome. This is just a good basic crusty white bread. Definitely a good beginner recipe for others like myself who want to start baking bread. I was afraid of over kneading the dough and actually I think I should have kneaded it more because it was a bit sticky. So I'll try the recipe again and be sure to knead the dough more. The only other thing I'm not sure about is why the bread softened up after it had been sitting overnight. It's by no means soggy, but initially it was fairly hard and when tapped the loaf sounded hollow. I put the loaf in a large ziploc bag on the counter overnight and the next morning I noticed it seemed to have softened up. My muffins often do this too. I guess something to do with moisture, does anyone have any clues or suggestions? If so I would love to hear from you, please let me know.