Monthly Archives: December 2008

Shameless plug?

I have also been writing a lot about vegan baking lately:

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It’s Raining Todd English

So…I had never heard of Todd English before and now he’s all over the place. (It amuses to me to no end that one of the first hits you get in Google is his MySpace page.)

For example, my friend took me a networking event at Olives New York (I enjoy that the NY Mag review says he “has a genius for artful, HungryMan dishes). It just so happened that there was *another* event going on there with the folks from Nascar. (One of the Nascar security guard asked my friend and I if our event was a singles event. Which I would like to proudly point out it was NOT.) So…another friend and I were due at a music thing, so I had to bow out of networking early…and as we were leaving, one of the Nascar PR ladies said, “Oh! Do you want a goodie bag?” and my greediness got the best of me and I said, “Yes.” So…in addition to a wine tote and a big wooden paddle, I also got a copy of his book about Olives.

Fast forward about a week or so and I get an email from a friend about an event at The Libertine featuring — you guessed it — Mr. English and his line of pots and pans. I got to sit right next to him and try all sorts of dishes like his biscuits and lobster salad and sliders and bangers and mash and sticky toffee pudding. (No toad in the hole though.)

The *best* part is that his cookware is in the mail and I will get to try it out. (But I am really not sure what to do with his Flavor Perfections.)

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Filed under books, British foods, pudding

Lacy Nut Brittle

When I saw the recipe for Lacy Nut Cookies on Martha’s Web site, I knew I couldn’t *not* make them this holiday season.

(I especially enjoy the bit that says to “bake until golden brown and lacy” though for whatever reason, I am tempted to say, “Gordon Brown and Lacy.” Perhaps because I have names on the brain?)

These cookies are remarkably easy…though I was surprised they called for confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated. I also thought the measurements were kind of weird – always calling for X cups plus a fraction. This created a really dense log – one that kind of resembled nougat when all was said and done. (Fun fact: I got to use the paddle attachment on my mixer for what I believe was the first time.)

It says to refrigerate for “at least 30 minutes” so I took the liberty of letting them stay overnight as I had sugar cookie dough that was also in need of refrigeratin’. (I was also kind of excited I didn’t have to take out the battery in my fire alarm as nothing was bakin’ yet. And it’s always exciting to use corn syrup as that’s one of those things that sits in my pantry all year long and hardly ever gets touched.)

I was kind of a rebel in that I did not use bread flour…and so that may have contributed to the lack of cookie-ness in the end. Or…maybe it was that my friend and I kept talking and not hearing the timer and I left the cookies in too long time and time again. (True confession: I didn’t actually know for SURE that you could bake with parchment on a tray until now. I was always afraid it would burn or something…and at first I was scared that I smelled melting wax.)

The ½-inch pieces also seemed a bit generous – but I listened and even got out a ruler to make sure…but they were so huge, they all globbed together on my first wax-paper-covered pan. Oops. So…Lacy Nut Cookies, they were not. But I think I ended up with an interesting brittle.

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Cupcakes Really Do Take the Cake

It seems Twitter may be the end of this blog. But! It has been a loyal friend for almost two years now…so I return with my proverbial tail ‘tween my proverbial legs.

Here’s what you’ve missed:

Last week was the Cupcakes Take the Cake 4-year blogiversary party…in which the leading ladies of cupcakes celebrated their venture and handed out TONS of free stuff. I was too late to get an actual raffle ticket, but was nonetheless the lucky recipient of Santa and snowman cupcake toppers (disembodied heads!) and 500 cupcake liners. So…as soon as my vegan baking fervor diminishes, I shall have to make some cupcakes. Ideally before next Christmas so Santa and the snowmen get some action before it is entirely inappropriate…

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