Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colorful Spiral Cookies



Just try to be in a bad mood around one of these. Impossible!

I was naturally drawn to these because of the bright, eye-catching swirl, not to mention the jumbo sprinkles-encrusted edges!  If anything, these should be the SB mascot, because they are everything I love.  Bright, happy, buttery and delicious. Also versatile!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles


When I began working on these I had something else in mind altogether.  I wanted a simple red wine ganache that could be chilled, balled, frozen, and rolled in cocoa powder. I even found a recipe (on a blog that shall remain nameless) that laid claim to this possibility. Sounds simple right?
Well, it wasn't simple. Not with the recipes I had, and with the information I had collected.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Banana Upside-Down Cake




I'm taking just a slight detour from my planned chocolate route this week.  Lots of chocolate recipes are scattered about the office, and my desk is beginning to remind me of my purse: it is big and unorganized, but generally holds some useful and needed information. Unfortunately, I can't navigate it right now.  

The banana upside down cake came about out of necessity.  I really hate to waste food, and we always tend to have a couple of bananas quickly going south.  I'm always trying to salvage bananas by making banana bread, and although it is very good, we never seem to finish the entire loaf.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chocolate Chai Cups and a Tutorial: How to Make Chocolate Vessels




I've been waxing philosophical chocoholical lately, as you can tell.  It may be cliché, and it may be expected, but when Valentine's day rolls around I'm in a complete chocolate state of mind. And why not? Chocolate supposedly mimics the feeling of falling in love via some crazy stimulant that gets released into our bloodstream after eating it.

I always like to plan ahead and prepare early, but this recipe requires little of that.  It's great for those of you who have little time to bake or fuss over a special occasion dessert.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chocolate Soup for Two


Valentine's day is exactly one month away and I'm elbow deep in chocolate recipes. I've been searching for ideas and inspiration for sweet, edible tokens of affection.  Recently while watching a food show on TV, I saw chocolate soup being served at a popular chocolate bar/buffet.  Patrons were proclaiming their love (between slurps of soup) for the warm, velvety smoothness and rich chocolaty flavor.  I got out a pen and paper and wrote:


Monday, January 11, 2010

Macaron Mania!




It is clear that we are in the midst of a macaron craze.  Everywhere I look people are blogging about them, talking about them, eating them, making them, swooning (or frustrated) over "feet"...  The whole buzz has made me a little nervous about trying them myself. 



One thing is for certain, they are pretty.  I love the dainty frill (or foot) around the edge of the cookie and the colorful display is perfect for joyful celebrations. The time and effort put forth in baking them makes them truly special for gift-giving.  I've seen beautiful and elaborate packaging that appears to hold a diamond necklace or something of great value, but instead encases snugly packed macarons.

"I want that." I said to myself.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Walnut Chewies from The American Woman's Cookbook



All day we've been anticipating the impending snowfall and finally it has arrived.  Earlier when I stepped outside tiny ice pellets were bouncing off the pavement.  I stepped back inside, promptly put on a pot of tea and began browsing my new (old) favorite cookbook.  I realize it has only been a few days since my previous post referencing The American Woman's Cookbook, but I am just so smitten with it, and cannot put it down!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tiramisu + Sushi = Tiramisushi





Sushi and Tiramisu, what a beautiful hybrid.  I first saw this recipe in  Demolition Desserts, the cookbook by Elizabeth Faulkner.  If you are a sushi lover like me, and like to make sweets like this then you'll be as excited as I am about this dessert.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sponge Drops from The American Woman's Cookbook circa 1938


Several months ago I was rummaging through the book section at a local thrift store and came across The American Woman's Cookbook. It is a veritable tome of cooking that holds nearly 900 pages of recipes, meal plans, instructions, descriptions - everything you'd ever want to know.

Let me rephrase that.
Everything you'd ever want to know if you were cooking in the year 1938.



I looked at the $2 price tag, and decided to get it, if nothing else, for comedic value.  I had skimmed through and giggled at the section titled "Entertaining without a Maid" (mind you, this was years before Julia Child's book for "the servantless American cook").  Another thing that caught my attention was the boasting of "color plates".  Imagine color photography being a new technology.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Round 4 Cookie Challenge: Matcha Biscotti with Crystalized Ginger


At one time in my (single) life I subsisted on two things: biscotti and green tea.  I was barely making ends meet living in an apartment I couldn't afford and working at an art gallery that over promised and under delivered.  You would think that under those circumstances that I'd be miserable.  I wasn't. I was struggling but happy.  I found joy in the smallest of luxuries, one being Nonni's Biscotti, Cioccolati.  Nowadays, when I find myself with biscotti in hand, it takes me right back. 


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