Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Onion Buns For Slider-Loving Life Forms

Something has happened to my onion-hating husband. I think he may be a replicant. The other night he brought home some ground beef... so I made burger buns since we haven't had cheeseburgers in an age.

These weren't just any burger buns though. These were Whole Wheat Onion Buns. Now, my good ol' hubster hates onions, and won't hesitate to let that fact be known. The other night as the buns were baking though, this impostor man walks through the kitchen and says to me, "Ooh, something smells really good! What are you making?". 

It's uncanny how much like my husband this alien interloper is. But I guess that's the whole point of replication isn't it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peep Cake: A Tutorial

Peep Cake
...or Why Baking Is My Hobby And Not My Profession

1.  Take one easy chocolate cupcake recipe and bake it in round cake pans. Pour the extra chocolate glaze you made over each layer and hope it sets up faster than you know it will.

2.  Plan on piping a sentiment on top of the frosted cake. Fold parchment paper into a small cornet and fill with remaining glaze. Set aside in a small glass.

3.  Transfer the glazed cake layers to a pretty vintage cake plate, breaking the top layer in half while maneuvering it into place. Make sure to get lots of cake and glaze stuck to your fingers in an attempt to reunite the two halves.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tassenkuchen a.k.a. Coffecake

Tassenkuchen
Tassenkuchen. A cake that's not too sweet. A cake that goes great with a cup of coffee or a pot of hot tea. Coffeecake in other words. Tea cake, maybe. Or just do as I do and call it... Breakfast Cake.

Using Cosby-esque logic, this cake has milk and eggs and wheat and fruit in it... why wouldn't it be good for breakfast? I dare say, it's healthier than the plates of greasy beige food at the local Lenny's. Or the box of vitamin-enriched sawdust and food coloring that passes for cereal. As a bonus, kids will think you are epically awesome. Or even awesomely epic.

We've had this cake as breakfast for the last three days and it's actually a pretty darn pleasant way to begin the day. Besides, it makes a nice change from our usual porridge. Of course, if you are in the habit of taking tea in the afternoon, or coffee with friends, by all means have this cake later in the day. It's not very sweet or moist, but has a really nice eggy-buttery-ness to it with a subtle lemon peel scent. Come to think of it, it's probably fine at any time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You’re the cream in my coffee, 
You’re the salt in my stew; 
You will always be my necessity— 
I’d be lost without you. 

You give life savor, Bring out its flavor; 
So this is clear, dear, 
You’re my Worcestershire, dear.

—From the show "Hold Everything" (1929)B.G. DeSylva / Lew Brown / Ray Henderson
PS...Happy Birthday Honey! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Popovers Filled with Beef and Leek Stew

Popovers filled with Beef & Leek Stew
I'll sometimes describe a dish as being much more than the sum of its parts. That can be said about lots of foods really, though it's most impressive when there are very few parts to the equation in the first place.

Last night I made one of our favorite budget-friendly dinners, a three-ingredient wonder that never fails to render us both into silent, ravenous reverie. Just three ingredients, including the roast. That's right, including the roast. There's a pinch of flour, a splash of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, but really it all comes down to three ingredients... chuck, leeks, and balsamic vinegar. That's all.

A Stew From A Few
What else is remarkable about this stew? Besides the fact that one of the three ingredients is leeks and my onion-hating husband wanted seconds? Or besides how it's terribly cheap to make and yet tastes rich and complex? Well, yeah, other than that, I guess it is pretty unremarkable (she said with tongue planted firmly in cheek). Truly, it's nothing less than kitchen-alchemy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cocoa Almond Meringues

As we make our way through Spring wishing we could put away the cold-weather gear (and the wet-weather gear) and fling open the doors and windows to warm sunny days... sigh... we are naturally going to be drawn to bright vibrant colors and flavors. Soon enough, everything colorful and petal-bedecked will find itself center-stage. And it's about time.

It's always the quiet ones
But here is a cookie of humble appearance that will show up all the fancier cookies. It's the kind of cookie that won't be reached for first in an assortment, but once it's tasted, well, there won't be any left on the tray at the end of the evening. Heck, even before I baked these up I just knew they were going to be great. How could I tell? Well for one thing, I wanted to just sit undisturbed and just eat the batter by the spoonful*.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dorie's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are not Ultimate or Superior or even Great chocolate chip cookies. They are not even The Best. No, they are humbly named My Best, which says a lot about their creator. Sidestepping the chocolate chip cookie naming oneupmanship, these cookies are a little more personal and a lot more wonderful. If you've ever made any of Dorie Greenspan's recipes, you'll know that when she says "My Best", not only does she mean it, but it's going to be ultimately superior to any other merely great chocolate chip cookie you may have made before. These are thin, crispy and buttery*... everything a chocolate chip cookie should be. Make some and see if you don't agree with me...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Confession time. I've made delicious treats and not shared. Cookies... really good cookies too. But I never posted them. One was the victim of pre-holiday schedule-flurry, the other was simply toyed with during a seemingly never-ending gray winter. I made a third type of cookie the other day and realized that all three of the cookies came from the same cookbook and I'd be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins if I didn't share them asap.  First up...
Exactly what you'd imagine them to be like. Full of anything and everything. I couldn't remember their name once and called them "kitchen sink cookies". It's apt. If you can think of it, it's in there. They don't look like much, but they taste fantastic and are a great way to use up any random dried fruits and nuts and such that you might have hanging around. They've got molasses and oats, nuts and fruits, chocolate and coconut too. If you love a cookie with lots of texture and flavor, as I do, this is it.