Tag Archives: cookies

Cupcakes, Cakes, Cookies & Some Combination Thereof.

PeepsNo news this time. Just a little catching up.

So…there was an auction earlier this month for Social Media for Social Change and my baking lesson was won by a woman who had a birthday around the same time, so…long story short, I made some cupcakes to say thanks for bidding on me. She apparently really likes vanilla…but her husband already had a cake in the bag, so I ended up doing yellow cake with white frosting. And it was a convenient excuse to use up more of those heart-shaped decals from Auntie Leslie. (The winner, like, Auntie Leslie also happens to be a big Peeps fan…so I think we’re going to make Peeps pie during the lesson…even though it requires melting down some Peeps and I wasn’t sure how a diehard fan would feel about that.)

But! The Peeps don’t end there. On Friday, the biggest frosting fan I know and I (but mostly the frosting fan) put together a cake party at our very favorite restaurant at 27th & 3rd (like the pie ones…but instead with, you know, cake). I saw a recipe for a Peeps sunflower cake on Easter Sunday, so on Monday I hit up all the CVSes and Duane Reades and Rite Aides in the area…but all I could find were pink Peep chicks. So…I decided that maybe I could still do something floral? (You can see for yourself. It was a bit ridiculous. Though individually placing those chocolate chips in the center wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought it would be.)

I also brought along the cookie recipe I was hoping to enter in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I did an informal poll and it seems peanut butter is what a lot of people like in cookies…and so I tried to put a fun spin on chocolate-peanut butter cookies…but then one of the cake guests pointed out that the winner last year did a peanut butter cookie and so the odds of them picking *another* peanut butter cookie are probably slim…so I did some wild last-minute tweaking and created what I think is good combo of two of my favorite Epicurious recipes: Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies and Peanut Butter Pie. We’ll know in September whether I’m going to Orlando again!

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Mrs. Fields’ Big Secret?

So…I really, really wanted to make cookies the other night…and the last time I felt this compulsion, I had no eggs, so there was absolutely no way I could go through with it and it was a sad day. This time, however, I discovered I had no butter…but I *did* have one stick of margarine left over from my vegan baking escapades. But…I’m awfully partial to butter, so I wasn’t sure if I could actually go through with it. In the end, I cracked (obv). And…here’s the thing: they turned out to be really stout cookies that didn’t spread out much…and when they were right out of the oven, they were pretty fantastic. (I also went overboard with the chocolate chips as I was afraid they would taste weird…so that may also have something to do with it.) But the texture is what really got me — it was almost a Debbie Fields-type thickness. So…I wonder: is that one of her secrets? The margarine?

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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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