Thursday, June 18, 2009
Okay, okay, so I've been gone. And I've been here but not posting regularly. That's because the farmers market booth has taken up quite a bit more of my former blogging time than I'd like to admit, though it's calming some now. The good news is that I've been experimenting like mad in the kitchen and I've baked some really great things. A few of them can be found in the following books, which I thank the library for loaning me. Yay! So, good things and bad things I've tested recently. . .
Rocket Rolls from "The Pastry Queen" Rebecca Rather are a delicious break from the usual dinner rolls. They're a bit sugary, yes, but the hint of cinnamon twirled throughout elevates them to pretty special ground. Rather doesn't seem to adjust her recipes well for non-commercial use. I used the amount of yeast inferred from her packaging reference (2-1/4 tsp x 4 pkgs), which was a far cry more than the tablespoon she suggests right alongside. I also reduced the salt by a teaspoon as the first batch of these rolls was overpoweringly salty. I swear these are worth the minor effort of two adjustments and a few minutes mixing time — no kneading!
These Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Heidi Swanson were so impossibly tiny, I tried them immediately. Nothing better, I swear. Do yourself a favor and give up the Hershey's for these. Nab a $4 bar of good chocolate and you will be happily clothed in sweatpants and berating yourself for eating all six dozen of these beauties. (Even better, add 2 tsp of ground espresso to the batter and use them to fuel your next workout!)
The "Baked" Brownie is crowd-pleasing and easy to assemble, thanks to Matt Lewis' breezy writing style and down-to-earth ingredients list. I've also got their Malted Milk Ball Cake on my list of upcoming birthday cake musts.
Save your butter
Sadly, the Sticky Fingers Bars, also from "The Pastry Queen" were a disappointment to me. I do love the PB + Chocolate combo and was expecting much more from these. They turned out beautifully, but the flavors were disappointing.
Unlike the things I generally make from Heidi Swanson, this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe was something that looked like it would taste horrible and I made it anyway. I wanted her to be right, that PB-laden goodies can be healthfully concocted. Ummmm, no.
Cute, cuter mini bagels from delicious days suckered me in with their cutey cuteness. Really, teensy weensy bagels can be bad? Well, no, but they can certainly not be that good. This shortcut is bland and loses the chewy, bagel essence. Take a little extra time and a good bagel dough, one with potato-laden starch, and if you need to shape 'em tiny and make a doughy ring for your finger, I say go ahead.
I admit to never having tried anything else from this blog, but when Bakerella posted these sweet Cupcake Pops, I had to make them. They are a huge pain. It will take you at least one batch of them in order to even make things that resemble her beautiful pops, so get used to failure. Now that you're comfortable with that, you might like that even the mistakes taste good. So if you take a look and decide to try it anyway, there's comfort in that.