Saturday, August 28, 2010

things to try

Still on the thought of things to make for this winter I am adding a few savory items to my list as well after seeing an episode where Ina Garten of Food Network fame, makes hollandaise sauce in a very simple fashion using the blender and had it over roasted asparagus tips. It sounds good and I don't even care for asparagus (at least not the way my bro makes it).

So I'm percolating an idea here, I'm thinking traditional eggs Benedict, the whole nine yards. Home made english muffins, hollandaise and poached eggs with a slice o' ham/Canadian Bacon. My initial leaning is to follow Alton Brown's recipe and method for everything except the sauce itself which I would use Ina's method for because it is infinitely easier and less time consuming. Though I do like Alton's idea for holding the sauce in a thermos so it doesn't break if you're running behind on assembling.  This is making me hungry. ::smack leeps:: This'll be a very snowy or drizzly winter day project no doubt.

I'd also like to make pate a choux (accent marks are missing on that) basically the dough for cream puffs, eclairs and other delightful French style pastries.
Boston Cream Pie if I can find a good recipe.
Something with Lemon Curd.
Some kind of sweet cheese muffin like one I had years ago at a place called "The Wagon Wheel" in Hereford, MD.
Avocado Pie from Pinch My Salt blog
Coconut Cake
and Gingerbread People

My actual list is longer than that, but those are the ones I want to make the most. If anyone has some good ideas I'm open for suggestions. They can be sweet or savory, challenging or not so much, but they need to be tasty above all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cookie Cravings

I don't know about you but I'm ready for some cool fall weather and days filled with the nummy smells of goodies baking in the oven. So when a 70ish degree day finally came by as a break in the blistering summer, I seized upon it with gusto. I've already begun making a list for this winter of desserts that I have never made before, some more challenging than others, some just sound sooo tasty. The first one I decided to do is the "$250 Dollar Cookie". Simple enough, but it was a HUGE batch making 112 cookies. I had to transfer the batter to one of those large tapered steel kitchen bowls that are like 1 and 1/2 feet across the top and use that with my stand mixer very carefully.  Here is the picture of the Urband Legend and recipe which was printed in a newspaper some years back among other places.

My only changes were that I had a few extra nuts, like 1/4 cup and added them along with an extra tsp of vanilla. I only had unsalted butter, so in addition to the 1 tsp of table salt, I added 1 tsp of Kosher Salt to make up for it. I liked it, as it added a nice salty nip here and there along with the chocolate morsels. I used walnuts as my nut choice, but I don't feel they stood up very well to the oatyness. I can't decide what nut would and I will have to think about that a bit, any suggestions are welcome. I found that the cookies were better the next day as well, and freeze nicely.
I managed to get exactly 112 cookies as the recipe suggested, by using a 1 & 3/8ths inch disher/ice cream scoop. They didn't spread a lot on me, so I managed to cram 16 onto my air bake cookie sheets and they just barely touched here and there, which was good because they took 15 minutes per sheet in my LP fired oven. They are a crisp texture, best had with a nice cup of milk but don't let not having milk stop you. Enjoy the tasty picture.