Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spotlight On: Baking: From My Home To Yours


When Sara contacted me last month, and asked if I'd like to be part of another "Spotlight On" event, you can guess exactly how long I thought about it before I wrote back with 'Yes!' for the body of the message.

Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours is massive. I'm talking smack an intruder upside the head, and he's out cold big.

My first thought, after receiving this book was: How in the world am I going to narrow down my choices to just two or three?

Despite not having much of a sweet tooth, I found myself drooling over just about every recipe. I ran through two pads of sticky tabs, marking things I wanted to try!

Because he was going to be doing the bulk of the eating, I then handed the book to Matt, along with the instruction to pick three things he'd like to try.

He, too, faced some difficulty narrowing the choices down to just three, but here's what he came up with:

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Allspice Crumb Muffins

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

The Chocolate Muffins: followed fairly standard muffin technique, although I was a bit confused, near the end, when I was left with two ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate, and everything was allegedly in the bowl already.
The direction weren't entirely clear, but I figured the chocolate was supposed to be in there, and added it.

These chocolate wonders exist under the alias 'muffins'. At breakfast this morning, Matt said 'that's too sweet to be a muffin!'.

He also said this: "The only possible justification for not labeling these
cupcakes is that they're denser and heavier than cake usually is. Very
good bittersweet chocolate flavor, and yummy chocolate chips."
. (actually chopped chocolate)

Allspice Crumb Muffins: again, very standard muffin recipe, using allspice instead of the more common cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Perhaps the only difference, that I noticed at least, was the instruction to press the crumb topping into the muffin batter.
I've never seen that in a muffin recipe (and believe me, I've made my share of muffins!), but it certainly made a lot of sense.

Both Alex and Matt had one of the Allspice Crumb Muffins for breakfast (I told Matt to try one of each), and while Alex gave his usual "it's ok" reply, here's Matt's thoughts: "Nice sweetness enhanced by a good allspice flavor
throughout the muffin, and a very good crunchy topping. Definitely a nice
change from the usual cinnamon-spiced muffin. I wonder what it'd taste
like with cardamom instead..."

I got to the cookies last (yes, I turned into insane lady, staying up all night to get this stuff baked...and yes, I did have almost a full month in which I could have accomplished this. Wanna take it outside?), and they gave me the most trouble.

Not trouble, per se, but confusion.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops: Butter and sugar, then egg and vanilla, are all creamed. Dry ingredients are sifted together, including both cocoa powder and malted milk powder (Matt's a big fan of the chocolate malt, as well as Whoppers, so this recipe was in the final three before he even saw the book). Lots of Whoppers and a very healthy amount of bittersweet chocolate are chopped up, as well.

Half the dry ingredients get added to the butter/eggs, then the milk (in this recipe, as in all, I had no choice but to use skim instead of the listed whole milk. we just don't buy whole milk), then the second half of the dry.

Once things are just combined, the candy and chocolate are mixed in. Spoonfuls of the batter are dropped onto parchment-lined trays, and into the oven they go until puffed and set.

Now here's the problem.

I admit I was pretty tired at this point...it was probably after five this morning...but I pulled my eyelids open and read, re-read, and re-re-read the directions.

The recipe failed to mention an oven temperature.

It's simply not there.

Now, I understand that with a book as large as this, the occasional typo or omission can occur. Fortunately, I've baked enough cookies in my time to guestimate a suitable baking temperature.

I thought my cookies didn't get as puffed as the ones in the book, but I could be mistaken.

I don't yet have a review for them: it was much too early for cookies (my rule) this morning, and while I made sure Matt packed up a large bag of them to take to work, I was simply too exhausted to remind him to take it with him.

So, after dinner, he will have cookies. I'll let you know what he thinks of them.

All in all, I like this book. Lots and lots of recipes...and not all of them chocolate...with many more to try.

It's also perfect for smooshing spiders!

Blogging by Mail, the Holiday Edition, is going on now! Sign-ups will be open until 16 November.

Blog Party#16 is coming, and this month, we're turning our favorite take-out foods into cocktail party fare! Browse those take-out menus, and get your entries to me by Thursday, 16 November...early is always good...by leaving a link here in the comments, or firing off an email to thehappysorceress at gmail dot com. Tell a friend, and hope to see you there!

Tagged with: + + + + + +

5 Thoughts for food:

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Brilynn said...

Those chocolate ones are calling my name... so is this book, is it wrong for me to send out early emailings making this a christmas request?

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No, I don't think it's at all wrong.

And what do you mean, 'early'? Christmas has been in the stores since Halloween!!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

So you liked the allspice muffins? Mine were pretty bland. Did you up the allspice?

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Rachel; what kind of allspice did you use? We ground ours from whole berries, which may have been the difference.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

We did too! That's why we were surprised!


Post a Comment

<< Home

[ Previous 5 Sites | Skip Previous | Previous | Next ]

This RingSurf Food~n~More Ring Net Ring
owned by Stephanie.

[ Skip Next | Next 5 Sites | Random Site | List Sites ]

eXTReMe Tracker