Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Milano Cookies

If you've ever reached for the iconic, white package of any Pepperidge Farm cookies, you know what a delight they can be. My hands-down favorite has to be Chessmen, but I would never turn down a good Milano. Or one of those rolled wafer things. Or a Tahiti cookie. Ok, I never turn down a cookie. Except if they have nuts. The point is - I made Milanos! At home!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Triumphant Victory: Chocolate Babke

Things don't always go my way - and certainly not always in the kitchen. People ask me often what the biggest disaster I've had in the kitchen is. And while there is that time where I boiled eggs and forgot about them for an hour, leaving pieces of egg and shell in all corners of the kitchen, and the multiple times I've dropped cakes and cookies, I'd still probably say chocolate babke. After being asked by my mother to make chocolate babke for her birthday, I spent hours whipping up a recipe I'd found only to find it...inedible. Hard a rock, dry, tasteless, completely awful. I'm not sure if it was the yeast or the recipe that was at fault, but I'm inclined to believe both.

And then - I returned triumphant, with my crowning glory, a dessert that could only be termed complete bliss - a successful chocolate babke.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Double Apple Bundt Drop

I drop things. I break things. I forget things. I lose things. Sometimes I break things and then lose them. I'm looking at you, one earring.
Anyway, it was just one of those days, and I made a cake. And it smelled delicious. And I was pretty sure it was going to taste delicious. And then I dropped it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Giant Marble Cookies

Here's a riddle for you. What's better than a cookie? A giant cookie! And this thought pattern was all the logic and incentive behind these giant marble cookies. Welcome inside my head. It's a strange place.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mini Fruit Tarts

The last time I made a dessert at my brother's request, it was to replace something he'd eaten. (Guard your food!) Well this time, it was another story entirely. See, I have one major fear. Bugs. Flies, ants, spiders, cockroaches, beetles - I am terrified. It has long been established practice in my house that upon sight of an offending creature, I scream for help. In high school, I would offer my brother $1 to kill anything that I spied late at night. These days though, I'll call his name for exterminator duty and he'll ask "What will you make me?"

After a particular insect removal incident, (one lady bug and one spider) the bill was settled with these mini fruit tarts. They're filled with pastry cream and topped with slices of fresh fruit.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cop Out Cake

I'm not good at decorating cakes. Cookies, I seem to have figured out, but cakes still elude me. Unless they include copious amounts of fondant that is. But since I generally value taste over aesthetic, I opted out. I seem to even be better at shaped cakes, but a frosted-covered canvas is what scares me the most.

But, I think I've discovered something that even I can master, so I'm sharing it with you today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Butter, Jelly and Chocolate Bars

Since it's been well-documented here that I like to eat with my hands, it should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of the sandwich. Endlessly adaptable, the sandwich has an infinite variation - but there is one that has attained almost iconic status. Yes, I'm talking about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Cookies

Google instant search is messing with my head. It tells me what it thinks I should think, but it assumes my mind is wondering - what I should be wondering since everyone else is wondering it. Are you with me? Didn't think so.

Type in "Why do my cookies..." and the four suggestions that come up are "come out flat," "go flat," "spread" and "flatten." Well google, shows how much you know. Turns out, I want to know just the opposite! I love thin, flat, spread out cookies. Always have. But mine always end up lumpy, uneven thick blobs. Sounds appetizing. In truth they usually taste pretty good, but that is not what I'm going for.

So I set out to find the perfect chewy chocolate cookies, with high hopes. They were soon dashed. Many piles of dirty dishes later, I think part of my problem lies in generally using margarine, instead of butter. I'll have to think about that one. I also got to thinking that I should check my own recipe archives first, because now I'm dreaming about these and these.

The first cookies I tried were called Chocolate Brownie Cookies, which sounded pretty good to me.