January 10, 2009

Gingerbread Biscotti...a new x-mas fave!

Okay so I am a bad person...I only have a pic of my chopped crystallized ginger but hey you know what biscotti look like and you know what gingerbread looks like so you can do the math...Anyway, I have made these twice and now and they are sooo good. First I made them for my mother's bunko night and I dipped them halfway in dark chocolate, and they got rave reviews. The second time I made them was as one of our Christmas cookies this year and all my cousins, brothers, and the rest of the gang gobbled them up. Needless to say I will be making these sweet and spicy little cookies again next year. RECIPE!

PUMPKIN PIE like never before!

I always thought that I really liked our same old pumpkin pie recipe but Cook's Illustrated proved me wrong. They improved upon their already improved upon recipe and made the silkiest, most perfectly spiced pumpkin pie ever. It is like when you come across the perfect consistency of cheese cake but with pumpkin pie. Fortunately for us Smitten Kitchen also tried out this recipe so if you click here you can find it on her blog. Ok so this pie may be a little more involved than your plain old pumpkin pie but it is so much better that you must at least try. You will not go back to your old recipe if you do! The good thing about this recipe is that, though it takes a little bit longer to prepare, nothing about the recipe is hard. You basically sautee your pureed pumpkin with the spices, maple syrup, and here is the kicker some pureed yams, and then you push it through a seive to make it extra smooth and less pulpy. Then you mix in the cream, pour, and bake! This is a must recipe and is now going to be my turkey day family tradition.

Molto Squisito e Basta!

   I made these Sweet and Sour Cippoline for thanksgiving as a fun different side dish and boy were they good. I ended up using just small onions that I got from a North Union Farmer's Market, farmer, and they were perfect. They were very easy to make, you pretty much sautee them in butter for awhile and then simmer them with balsamic vinegar (among a few other things) and voila you have sticky little orbs of sweet and sour goodness! This recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, so click here if you want it!

November 15, 2008

Black and White Cookies! (Obama cookies...lol)

So I was craving Black and White cookies for God knows why because I have only had them like once or twice...but anyway I definitely recommend you try to make these because they were way easier than I expected. First I searched for a bunch of recipes to see what was out there that sounded good and to just compare everything. I did find a good recipe on Smitten Kitchen but I still chose to do it my way. I decided to use a boxed white cake mix and then fudge with it from there. I chose to do this because originally delis used up their left over cake batter by adding extra flour and making these cookies. So I made the boxed mix and slowly added flour until it was thick enough to retain its shape when placed on a cookie sheet but far from being as thick as regular cookie batter (remember these are really supposed to be more like cake texture than cookie texture). The only other thing I added to the batter after the flour was lemon extract. I doled them out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and used an ice-cream scoop and flattened them a bit with the back of it. Now be careful because these bake up pretty fast...about 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven was all they needed to be perfectly golden on the bottom but still white on top. On to the icing, this was one place where many recipes differed but most seemed to use a simple powdered sugar, corn syrup and water icing, where the corn syrup and water are boiled together in the microwave. So I just made the white icing a good spreading consistency and spread that on with a butter knife. And for the "black" icing I added melted butter and semisweet chocolate (which i made in a double boiler) and mixed it in with the white icing. They really turned out well, my little brother praised me for them every time he took one from the plate. The one sad thing about these cookies is that they really are only good 1 day and maybe the day after you bake them and only if you keep them very tightly packaged. So if you plan on making these cookies keep that in mind.

October 11, 2008

Mmm...Chocolate Sea Creatures!

Whats the best thing to do when there is nothing to do...make sweet treats of course! For some reason I have been wanting to make chocolate turtles, so today I made a few...since I am the only one here I didn't make a whole batch or I would eat the whole batch. These were the most stupid easy things to make and my favorite thing about them is that they are blank canvases. You can go so many places with these cute little chocolates. You can change the type of nut used...I was thinking cashews would be delish. Also for the holidays colored chocolate or sprinkles would make these guys very festive! Imagine bringing these to your next cookie exchange instead of those same old cut-out cookies!
All you need to make these is a bag of pecan halves, which you arrange on some parchment paper or a greased cookie sheet. Then some soft caramel candy and chocolate chips or wafers in dark or milk chocolate (I used milk chocolate wafers). Then you pour some melted caramel over your nuts and then the melted chocolate...chill for a bit....voila chocolate turtles...Easy as Pie! (an odd saying by the way because an actually good pie is really not that easy?)
Enjoy the pics...I used some white chocolate with green food coloring to make them look more turtley!

October 8, 2008

Inspired Birthday Cake...1st official post!

So I made this cake for my boyfriend's birthday and I was inspired by a cake I saw on smitten kitchen. My cake was a peanut butter cake with peanut butter cheesecake filling between the layers and then more peanut butter buttercream and then a dark chocolate ganache topping. This was my first time topping a cake with ganache and I think it came out rather well. This is definitely something I would like to work more on but there will be time for that later.

A New Blog and Daring Bakers

Hey there...
My name is Rachael and this is my new blog! I have started it so that I can participate in as a member of The Daring Bakers. Plus I am a food blog junkie so I guess to further my addiction I might as well start my own, right? Well more later, wish me luck while I try and figure this site out!