Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mint cookies

Yess!! Finals and regents are finally over! No more homework, or my icky uniform! What better way to celebrate than with cookies? I was going to make chocolate chip cookies, but we had no chocolate chips. So all I could find was some mint chips. It actually turned out really good! They had a really nice flavor, and the mint was a nice addition.You have to be careful because they brown really quickly, and after that, they turn black really quickly. lol. This dough also makes some crazy good chocolate chip cookies.
The day after I made the cookies, I made some challah. I posted about it a wile ago, actually I think that it was my first post ever. I make it all the time, but this time I braided it with a four braid! I thought it looked so cool that I had to show you guys!

Mint Cookies
Adapted from chocolate chip cookies
Baking Bites

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup mint chips (or chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda and salt.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Blend in vanilla extract and egg. Slowly add in the flour mixture until nearly combined. Add in chocolate chips and stir until dough is uniform in color and chip distribution.Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.Bake at 350F for 11-13 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.Makes 40 cookies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meringues Chantilly

**Phew** It worked!
You see, I have never really had any problems with merangue. It always worked out perfectly, sort of. Except for last time me and Liz were bored. We were going to make these merangue cookies, that I have made countless times. I thought they were fool proof! Except they weren't. I couldn't get the merangue to a stiff peak, even though I had beaten it for like...forever. So We gave up, and tried to bake them. Lets just say that we nicknamed them "moon craters" Bleh. They were nastly. lol.

But then I watched Barefoot Contessa. I had to make these merangue things. They were just so cute and elegant! It was decided then. But, I was really scared to make the merangue, especially because it used 6 egg whites. If this dessert took a nose dive, my mom would be none to happy. But thats the perils of baking I guess. Luckily it all worked out great. I made the merangues the night ahead, because they have to sit it the oven for at least 4 hours. I thought that they looked like little bumper boats. Haha.
I was smooth sailing after that. Until a I had to get the berries. My mom flipped when she rung everything out. Berries are expensive! But it was definitly worth it! This dessert was searously good. The contrase of textures between the merange and whipped cream was awesome, and the berries balanced out everything nicely.

Meringues Chantilly

6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur, recipe follows

Stewed berries, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.

Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur:

2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll end up with butter!
Yield: 4 cups

Stewed berries:

1 half-pint fresh blueberries

3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy)

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.
Yield: 8 servings

Monday, June 9, 2008

Banana cookies

Do you remember your first blog experience? I do. It all started with an extra bunch of bananas. Yes, bananas. It was like two years ago that I firse stumbled upon a blog. I had extra bananas around, and I didn't feel like making banana bread. I wanted cookes. Who ever heard of banana cookes? Not me. But you know how you can find almost anything on the web! So I went into google, and did a search on banana cookies, and found a link for them in the blog baking bites. I was so utterly amazed at the blog, never having seen one before. It was like a huge cookbook, free for the looking! It was full of recipes, then I found links to other amazing blogs. It was like my eyes were opened for the first time!
So anyways, back to the cookies. These are amazing. Not only are they the most delicious amazing *awesome* cookies ever, they are somewhat almost not that bad for you. Since bananas give them that extra moistness, you dont have to add that much butter. But oh geeze are these cookies good.

I like these cookies best with chocolate chips, but if your crazy like my mom you can add raisins, or nuts, or anything else that makes you happy.
In regards to my camera delima, I think that it has found a round-about solution. My dad has struck up a deal with me. He will buy me a nice camera if I give him X amount of dollars, and do 7 hours of hard labor. . . bleh. Anything for a new shiny camera!

Banana oatmeal cookies
Baking Bites

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 small/medium)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in egg and banana, followed by the vanilla extract. Gradually, on low speed or by hand, add in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats (either whole rolled oats or “quick cooking”) and chocolate chips.Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350F, until set and lightly browned.Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.Makes 2 dozen cookies.