im baking cookies and then some more cookies and then perhaps some scones and
brownies? brownies are always a good idea
im gonna cover the kitchen
and most likely myself and Stan
there will be sugar on the floor.
of the brown and white variety
and butter on the fridge door handle.
vanilla extract stains will dot the counter tops
and rogue chocolate chips will find their way under the fridge
cookie pans will liter the counters
and center island
as will the cooling racks.
the sink, will overflow with teaspoons, measuring cups, and stand mixer attachments.
cookbooks will be upstairs, downstairs…
and every where in between
open to the final chapter…
i will forever be grateful for 2 KitchenAid stand mixing bowls.
allows me to procrastinate
in the dishwashing department
and make a much larger mess than originally thought possible
this is my favorite season of the year.
the space of time that connects thanksgiving to
a time of year where excessive baking is
expected and accepted
with open arms and mouths
even though i am contemplating not putting up a Christmas tree
i am concerned about the resident cat
taking up residence in said tree
but maybe a small live table top tree
out of jumping/climbing/leaping range of Stan
i have yet to find such location
my penguin ornaments need a chance to wobble
in the glow of twinkle lights
while i think of a decent evergreen locale
cookies are baking…
my first cookie of the season
they make me feel like the 87 year old that I am
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable shortening ( aka Crisco)
- ¼ cup molasses (unsulphured)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar – for rolling dough
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, vegetable shortening, molasses, and egg, until well combined.
- With mixer on low, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Remember to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with spatula.
- Scoop out walnut sized balls of dough and roll into balls between your palms and then roll in granulated sugar, coating it well in sugar.
- Place on cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper will ensure easy removal) and place in preheated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 5 to 7 minutes and then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
- Store in air tight container on counter – will keep and stay soft and chewy for several days. These should freeze well, however I have never had the chance to do so!
I have done gone and did it again.
ok, ok, ok…the improper English and the horrid grammar is pretty par for me and my blog. Or is it my blog and I? I don’t know. I have never known. No matter the amount of teaching done by countless English teachers in my education or the hours spent
banging my head against the kitchen table studying grammar, very little if any ( and I stress the words any and little) actually sank in and can be recalled.
Trust me, I have tried. Like, really tried. I like proper grammar…or, I like the idea of proper grammar…because I wouldn’t recognize it in broad daylight, that I know for sure, yo.
But besides absolutely bad grammar and the improper use of verbs and the creating of new words…
I have made banana bread…again.
I tried eating and thus, adoring banana bread…again.
I took one bite (that was heavily/heavenly slathered with peanut butter) and I simply could not muster another…again.
I left it on my favorite green saucer, wishing it were pumpkin bread or cranberry walnut, or pistachio pound…really anything besides banana.
It was Saturday morning, coffee was brewing, Jeff Corwin was on TV chasing sting rays in the Caribbean (I don’t have Cable), there was a definite chill in the air…
All fine scenarios in which to enjoy freshly baked bread…
I so wanted to like it.
But I just couldn’t.
I had oatmeal with cranberries and maple syrup instead. It was ok.
However, don’t go thinking this banana bread isn’t the bomb diggity, because while I didn’t enjoy it, it was devoured one thick slice after another all weekend long and come Sunday evening, as the last light of the weekend was starting to dim… one lonely chocolate chipped studded slice remained.
So, I suppose this bread would be considered a victory in the kitchen…just a failure of my taste buds and olfactory senses. Why does it have to smell so banana-ey
Like I have mentioned here before…I like bananas. Just not banana things.
And bananas slathered in peanut butter = the best after school/work snack ever. So it only makes sense that peanut butter should/would end up in a loaf of banana bread from time to time…And then why leave out chocolate in this shindig of a banana party… (I even tried digging just chocolate chips out of the bread, leaving empty chocolate coated craters behind – I am that person, I can not be trusted - and they even tasted like bananas…ACK!)
So…next up…well, there is this coconut rum browned butter banana bread in the oven as I type…Not sure why there are sooo many bananas in my freezer….
Can’t say I never gave banana bread a chance…
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, well shaken
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan (9x5in) with parchment paper or butter all sides, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, peanut butter, both sugars, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, scraping the bottom of the bowl to pop any pockets of flour.
- Fold in chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of batter. Place in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and a toothpick, when inserted to middle, comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to toothpick – about 60 to 75 minutes. (if top begins to darken beyond golden, tent with tinfoil).
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
- Store at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.
Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
My counter is full of squash. Acorn. Butternut. Spaghetti. All rolling around and teeter-tottering about like vegetable weeble wobbles. Squash was not meant to lay about on a countertop. I fear that they will eventually end up cracked and splattered on the floor before I find the time and energy to create a dish that would be eatable …
I don’t mind the squash on my countertop as they are my only fall decorations…I bet my CSA didn’t know they were providing a bedecking service once they started harvesting squash. Perishable decorations however at some point in time need to be eaten. I don’t have many dishes to hide squash in…and yes, I hide squash. There is the ever so popular mac and cheese or the fancy schmancy butternut squash risotto, both of which claim to be crowd pleasers. I am not sure about just eating it roasted because I have this misconception that it should be as sweet as a sweet potato, but it isn’t and it never will be. And therefore, I need to load up the vegetable with butter and brown sugar, and while I see very little wrong with this picture, I feel like I am pushing squash to be something it isn’t. A sweet potato. You see, they may have similar color…but no go on the level of sugar. If the vegetable is bright orange, I have a level of sweetness that I inherently connect with it…sweet potatoes, sweet. Carrots, sweet. Yams, sweet. Butternut squash, not sweet. So upsetting! So, over the years I have had quite a few of so-called failed dishes because they missed the flavor bullseye in my brain because I was hoping for a bit of sweetness when I should have been striving and expecting a savory end result…my mistake. I am in the midst of reshaping my thinking. Altering my taste buds. Maturing if you will.
So, with this in mind…and more squash expected in this weeks CSA and a lack of any more counter space for fall decorations, and a craving for comfort in a bowl…I went in search of a decent soup recipe. I knew going in, the basics of a butternut squash soup. I knew how to roast the squash. I knew how to saute my onion and garlic. I knew how to add chicken stock and bring it to a boil. I knew how to puree until smooth. I knew to add cream at the end. I knew to top with chopped chives and a dollop of crème fraîche. I, however, needed help with the spices. Deb of Smitten Kitchen to the rescue. And come to find out…cumin, ginger, thyme, and sage are exactly what you need. Que Simon and Garfunkel. She is genius. But I already knew that and I am betting you did too.
So with the right spices on board and a change in mind-set from sweet to savory…I made a bowl of roasted butternut squash soup that was quite enjoyable and necessary on Saturday as the cold rain fell and we curled up on the couch and settled in for a day of sweatpants and Netflix.
And seriously, the parmesan crisps are a must and take literally 6 minutes to whip up…maybe 8 if you are grating your own cheese, which huge props to you…I have a tendency to buy pre-shredded parmesan cheese because I abhor shredding cheese of any kind and plus I like to snack on parmesan cheese throughout the day…a pinch here and a pinch there…talk about salty goodness.
- 1 Butternut Squash – medium in size
- 1 Acorn Squash
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Sweet Onion, small dice
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2½ to 3 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1+1/2 Teaspoon Sage finely chopped
- 1+1/2 Teaspoon Thyme finely chopped
- 1+1/2 Teaspoon ground Cumin
- ½ Teaspoon ground Ginger
- ¼ Cup Heavy Cream (or half and half)
- chives (optional)
- Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream (optional)
- Parmesan Crisps
- 2 Tablespoons Freshly grated Parmesan per crisp.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut butternut squash and acorn squash in half, length wise. With a sturdy knife, slice off top of squash close to stem. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Lay face up on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, scoop out the squash flesh and place in bowl, set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. About 10 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, cooled squash flesh, sage, thyme, cumin, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Working in small batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth, transferring pureed soup back into original pan. Once all the soup is pureed, stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste. (if the soup is too thick, stir in a bit more broth until desired consistency is reached…I like a thicker soup, so I used only 2 +1/2 cups) Bring soup to a simmer over low heat and prepare parmesan crisps.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Neatly mound 2 tablespoonfuls of grated parmesan cheese per crisp on lined baking sheet 3 inches apart. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until edges are browned and centers are bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool. These are best slightly warm or at room temperature.
- Serve soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, chopped chives, and a parmesan crisp or two.
Holy October. Or mid-October. Or, Holy, I just ate an entire fun sized bag of Halloween candy-ober and now I am sick to my stomach-ober.
Wish the stomachache was fun-sized.
I am not sure I know what to say…and whatever I do say, I am going to sound like our mothers.
How much is too much Candy Corn? And hiding it in my car’s glove compartment for sugar attacks on my commute to and from work is totally normal right? I might have a problem with Halloween candy. Can I schedule my own intervention?
And well, to ease the pain of the months flying by …( I have heard an ugly rumor that Christmas supplies are able to be purchased at Kohls, wwwhhhaaattt?) aaannnddd to curve those sugar cravings like an adult…I made you some pumpkin pie biscotti…because what goes better with that warm cup of coffee than a cookie? A dunking cookie at that….
Nothing. That is the answer you were looking for. Nothing goes better with a cup of coffee than a cookie…well, perhaps a doughnut (donut?), but I don’t fry things ( it’s a toss up of being afraid of a large pan of hot oil and a dozen+ warm donuts (doughnuts?) in my kitchen, at my fingertips… in combo with very little self control) …so biscotti is what you are getting. And please don’t tell me about baked donuts (doughnuts?)…I have tried them and well, they aren’t the same. Perhaps it is a mind thing – I don’t doubt it, placebo would totally work on me, but I want my doughnuts (donut?) fried. It is a splurge anyways…so might as well go all out, yo.
But, hey…enough with the donuts (doughnut?) … I made biscotti. Totally not fried, but twice baked. Take that. Did you know that? Biscotti are twice baked. I bet you knew that. Y’all are no dummies… You probably also know that the origin of the word itself means twice baked/cooked. That second baking gets them nice and dunk-able…errr, crunchy. Errr…delicious.
The flavors of fall and a touch of pumpkin. All wrapped up in a cookie. These don’t have quite the ‘snap’ that traditional biscotti have, but I blame the pumpkin … It would make dirt moist and eatable. Man, I hate the word moist. And there I go saying it again. Even in my head, I don’t like the sound of the word.
And on a completely different note…Have you watched Derek on Netflix (a Netflix Original Series)? I think it might be one of the best shows I have seen in such a long time….such a great mix of heart warming comedy and heart breaking tragedy… I would highly recommend it …and if you aren’t a fan of Ricky Gervais, no worries…his role as Derek is so unlike anything I am personally familiar with him playing. Downside? Only 7 episodes. Upside? You can watch them all in one day …
- 1 + ¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ Cup Firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Ginger
- ⅛ Teaspoon Clove
- ⅛ Teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- ¾ Cup Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place butter in small saucepan over medium heat and melt. Add chopped walnuts. Cook, stirring constantly until nuts are browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing biscotti dough.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla.
- With mixer on low (or by hand, but easier using a mixer) beat pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients. Dough will initially be crumbly but will eventually become a moist and form into a ball.
- Stir cooled walnuts into dough.
- Empty dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a log that is 2 inches wide and about 10 inches long. Place log on a parchment paper covered baking sheet (or lightly greased) and bake for about 24 to 27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300F.
- When log has cooled enough to touch, transfer log to a cutting board, and using a sharp knife (bread knife is great for this) cut the log into ½ inch thick pieces on the diagonal. Place biscotti cut side down and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the biscotti so the other side is facing up and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer biscotti to wire rack and let cool completely before enjoying.
adapted from Cooking In an ApronRead More
It is September (oy!) and I have already pumped out a few pumpkin desserts. It doesn’t seem right. A pumpkin freakazoid, I am not. I am not one of those chicks just waiting for Starbucks to roll out their limited edition Pumpkin Spice latte (it is like Disney releasing Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King out of ‘the Disney vault’ every year around Christmas, real limited there Walt) – it is pumpkin flavored syrup, and I am a bit leery of flavored syrups, plus I prefer my coffee black. But I am one of those chicks waiting for pumpkin doughnuts (or donuts, I am never quite sure how to spell something so delicious) at Dunkin’. Because, seriously, they may not have an ounce of real pumpkin in them, however they are freaking amazeballs. Especially if you are eating them along with a hot cup of joe.
That past paragraph just proves I prefer to eat my calories versus drinking them…
But does flipping the calendar from August to September truly mean it is pumpkin season? Perhaps, in some corners of this world it does, or corners of our brains. Brains that are a tad bit fried from summer. Brains that have been deprived of cinnamon and sugar and bodies craving sweatshirts and chunky sweaters. However, I never crave pumpkin until about November.
Which means…It is still summer fruit season in this house – and I just got peaches in my CSA this week and it isn’t officially fall (and therefore time to break out all things pumpkin) until next week sometime. So, peaches it is. But don’t count these out as a summer only dessert…the browned butter adds a hint of fall, but doesn’t shout it from the roof tops. It is like the smell of the crisp morning air this week that made it feel almost like fall, but then you have the warm (seriously, downright hot) sunshine of the afternoon that makes you dream of sweet juicy peaches.
Oh, September, how you mess with my brain …
Who cares if you have fully swung into fall or grasping to the last rays of warm summer sunshine…find peaches, brown butter, and bake these bars…They are all sorts of loveliness.
Brown Butter Peach Raspberry Bars
Makes a 9x13in pan (12-16 bars)
- 1 cup White sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Raspberry Jam
Brown your butter: Over medium heat, place butter into a small/medium saucepan. Melt. Once melted, the butter will foam and then it will turn clear/golden, and finally begin to brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Keep a close eye on the pan, it will go from browned to burnt in a blink of an eye. Once brown, remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan (or line it with parchment paper). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry blender or a mixer with paddle attachment, cut chilled browned butter and egg into mixture. It will be crumbly, but will come together when pressed between thumb and pointer finger.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared 9x13inch pan. Evenly spread raspberry jam over crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch border without jam. In a single layer, tile peach slices over raspberry jam.
Scatter remaining crumbs over top of the peaches. Place bars in preheated oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the jam is bubbly around the edges and the crumb becomes golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.
Gentleman of the Road Tour : Troy Stopover. Photo purge.Read More