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Showing posts from April, 2013

Flower Cookie Arrangement

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Yes, these cookies are cute, but they are also delicious. ME&A know that I am not big on crafts, you won't find fabulous family photos of adorable children in creative Halloween or Purim costumes. These cookies are one of the few instances of "cute" in my repertoire.  Choreography & How To: The cookies in the photo are actually 2 different cookies, a modified shortbread with currents and a sugar cookie flavored with vanilla and orange. The leaves are made of the basic sugar cookie dough with green food coloring.  I used a variety of cookie cutters for flowers and leaves. The larger cookies were made in a  Wilton Flower-Pop Cookie Pan , the smaller tulips are part of a set from Nordic Ware's  Flower Garden Cookie Cutters . The decorations are available in the baking aisle of the supermarket, or through  the   Cake Mate/Signature Brands LLC  website.  You can use any cookie recipe(s) you choose, as long as you can shape the dough by either rolling

Marble - Nut Cookies

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Delicious chocolate marble cookies with walnuts. These cookies are a bit time consuming to set up: the dough made and divided, chocolate is blended into a portion of the vanilla-orange flavored dough, it must be well chilled,  rolled out and then rolled up. Follow the instructions step by step,  the dough is formed  like a jelly roll. The good news: once set up, you can keep the cookie rolls in the freezer and slice and bake as needed. Ingredients: 4 oz shortening (margarine is my choice for these, but butter would make them richer if you are OK with a dairy cookie) 5.5 oz granulated sugar 1 large egg (extra large will make the vanilla portion of the dough too soft) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp orange extract (you can choose another flavor, I love orange and chocolate - the flavor is subtle in this cookie) 8 oz all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder large pinch kosher salt 3 Tbsp good quality unsweetened cocoa 1.5 Tbsp shortening (I used unrefined coconut oil) Equipmen

Pan de Sal (Filipino soft white rolls)

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Pan de Sal - "salt bread" is the ubiquitous breakfast roll found throughout the Philippines. "De Sal," meaning "of salt," is misleading - the rolls are slightly sweet, although not nearly as sweet or fluffy/airy as the familiar packaged Hawaiian rolls that are present on supermarket shelves. I've been informed by a friend that she ate a similar breakfast bread called " Pan de Agua, " when she visited her grandmother in Puerto Rico. Mexican grocery stores in our town sell a similar small white bread roll called " Bolilos ." These small bread rolls all probably evolved from Spanish culinary roots.  The distinctive feature of pan de sal are the bread crumbs that coat the individual rolls, yielding the interesting contrast of a soft white bread roll with a crunchy coating. I never considered baking pan de sal while living in Manila- every corner " Sari-Sari " store and bakery has warm rolls for sale in the morning.

Cheese - Veggie "Bacon" Biscuit Sandwiches

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These are dairy (cheese) biscuits and because I don't have a full array of dairy baking tools, there is a degree of "winging it" when I make dairy recipes. For example, I do not have a pastry blender for breaking up butter into the flour mixture and use the old fashioned two-fork method.  This time I discovered that using whipped butter made the two-fork blending process easier; however, the butter must be weighed so that it the recipe incorporates the same amount of butter that would be cut from a bar. The flour and grated cheese are weighed as well, it's best to organize all of this ahead of time. Making biscuits is a bit different than bread baking: leaving agents and salt need to distributed evenly into the flour prior to the addition of any other ingredient. Self rising flour does this for you, but as you'll see this recipe calls for part whole wheat, which makes it necessary to start with plain flour. The fat needs to incorporated into this mixt