Archive for December, 2011

December 20, 2011

The Tipsiest of Kitchens

Everyone knows that the holiday season brings everyone together to celebrate health, happiness, and life. We find ourselves gathering with friends, dressing in our most festive fashions, and dancing to Bing Crosby Christmas classics. We fill our kitchens with nostalgic aromas and indulge in extra delectable fare, all the while sipping on bubbling champagne and cocktails.

This was NOT one of those times. Phewww!

True, I had an apartment full of friends, my kitchen smelled like warm cookies and there was something sparkling to drink…

Too bad it was Four Loko.

It has the caffeine!


All of these factors put together and all of the ingredients in the pantry led to the tipsiest of kitchens! Luckily, I had a great assistant and featured baker, Alex. As an apron wearing superforce we made sure to add all the precise ingredients, bake the cookies at the exact amounted time, and decorate with impeccable taste.

However, just like this photo, things did get a bit blurry.

Tipsiest

To be honest we kind of threw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, adding anything we came across during the process, and put them into the oven until one of us remembered they were still in there. To our serious surprise, they were curiously commendable.

Maybe it just was the Four Loko.

Tipsiest Kitchen-Sink Cookies

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (softened)

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup White Sugar

2 1/4 Cup AP Flour

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

2 Large Eggs

WE ADDED (OPTIONAL):

Big handful of chopped chocolate, slivered almonds, crumbled bacon that was hanging around the stove.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl beat together the butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture. Add the vanilla (we may have added a little extra.) Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda. Take this mixture and add in small batches to the wet ingredients. Beat just until dough has formed. With a wooden spoon stir in any ingredients you see lying in arms length of you. We had some great options. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

We even toasted some almonds to make this cookies even flashier.

But really, be careful when you drink and bake.

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December 3, 2011

Molto Elegante!

Well, ’tis the season for cookies!

What a wonderful wintry welcome to this mild December. It is as cool as a cucumber out there! However, though they are not required, it is the appropriate time to wear your over-sized knit sweaters and indulge in sumptuous sweets. Pairing this mind set with another indulgence, I allowed myself the expensive baking supply SILPAT, non-stick rubber mat-thing, and I made the rather fussy Florentine.

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It is very important to maintain a voluptuous figure during the later months because it is also very important to keep warm and you need a little extra butter and chocolate to fill in the gaps. Plus, how can a treat this lovingly luminous be so terrible?

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I think not my friends, have 6.

Anyhow, the Italian Florentine is a love child between a cookie and a candy so, it is particularly perfect for this time of year. It seems a tad bit daunting, but you will be a stronger person after the anxiety allows absolute appeasement. As per usual, it also seems like a very careless, yet carefully curated recipe after a Prosecco or two. It seemed only right to keep in the Italian family. Capishe?

Almond Floretines

2 Cups sliced, almonds (after chopping, about 6 oz. before)

3 Tbsp. AP flour

Zest of 1 medium sized orange

1/2 Tsp. table salt

3/4 Cup white sugar

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

1/2 Stick unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (or almond if you are a devout lover)

Don’t worry about Pre-heating your oven, there’s a wait time!

First, chop, (or if you are a real person with appliances, pulse almonds in food processor until fine, be careful not to go too far, you are looking for particles not butter!).  In a medium sized bowl combine almonds, flour, zest, and salt. Create a little dip in the center.

In a small saucepan combine butter, sugar,corn syrup, and cream and set at medium heat. Let this mixture come to a boil and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. This is the daunting part because it seems as if at any second it will burn, but you will be just fine. Next, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Then, add this molten sugar to the center of your dry ingredients. Stir to combine and let set for 30 minutes while you drink another Prosecco and watch the Pomegranate seeds float around in there.

Now, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

After you have waited this eternity, take half Tbsp. scoops, roll in your hands and set on PARCHMENT PAPER PREPARED BAKING SHEETS OR SILPAT. THIS RECIPE WILL DISAPPOINT AND BRUISE THE BAKER WITHIN. Bake for 11 minutes, rotating the pan at the 5 minute half point. Let rest about 2 minutes and then easily slip the beauts onto a cooling rack.

I made a simple chocolate sauce by melting some semi-sweet baking squares to splash on top. Then, some optional Florentine and chocolate sandwiches happened which were absurd, but mostly I just drizzled the sauce to add a little bit of a softer texture.

Buono Appetito!

The recipe is from Food Network, although I’ve made them a few times and made a few changes.

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