Archive for January, 2011

January 15, 2011


It’s a new year. That means I get to buy myself a treat right?

Yes. It does.

I just bought The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. I have been lusting after it ever since Christmas, when my brother asked me to pick up a copy at the bookstore as a present. I wished and hoped that he was secretly giving to to me (although that would be a lame way to give a present I guess), but instead it was for my bread-baking machine step-dad, Tom.

I tried to steal borrow it over break. No such luck.

So I bought it. And I am going to learn to make bread.

This bread is not from that book. It is a simple and yummy-looking recipe from Joy the Baker. Well, it was my first time, and several things went awry (I am refraining from a rye bread pun here. you’re welcome.)

But it looks kind of nice, and it tasted okay!

Until I burned most of it trying to make garlic bread under the broiler.

That’s a story for another day.


January 8, 2011

Milk Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Its late.

I have no clever words in me right now.

Can these speak for themselves?

Milk Chocolate Shortbread Bars
Adapted from Prudence Pennywise
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup all purpose flour
milk chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with greased foil. In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugars until creamy. Add in salt and flour; blend well and add the milk chocolate chips. Press into prepared pan. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown at edges and bubbly in center. Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle milk chocolate chips over warm bars. Spread with knife until bars are evenly coated as chocolate melts, then add sprinkles.
January 5, 2011

Back to Basics

It’s been a rough week in the kitchen for me. You probably had no idea, right? Besides my unfortunate pizza post, I’ve been saving up some old goodies to share with you over the past few days.

But here’s the truth. It’s been a battle ground in here. It seems that everything that  goes in the oven comes out in a cloud of smoke. Literally. Chocolate burns. Bread doesn’t rise. Too salty. Too garlicky. Too scorched.

I was trying really hard to be well rounded, guys. I tried to make lunches and dinners, not just dessert. While I am not surrendering the war, I decided it was time to forfeit the battle.

So I scraped the last scorched piece of garlic bread into the trash and started cleaning. I washed, dried, and put away every last dish in a 10 foot radius of my kitchen. I scrubbed the counters until they where white and shiny. I cleared scarfs, papers, nail polish, cell phones, car keys, everything off the table. I swept the floors and took out the trash. I left one clean glass bowl on the counter.

Then I took out the flour. White and brown sugar. A stick of butter. One egg. Pure vanilla extract. Arm and Hammer baking soda. Salt.

I sifted dry ingredients. I creamed the sugar into the butter with a red-handled dinner fork. I stirred in the egg and vanilla. I carefully incorporated the dry into the wet. I preheated. I scooped. I baked for 9 minutes.

I made Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Recipe? On the back of any Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chip bag.

Back to basics. I needed to clear everything away and just get back to something I knew I could handle.

And then we went to Chili’s for dinner.

January 4, 2011

Christmas Cookie Nostalgia

I know I said that Christmas was over… but then I found these pictures on my computer and I am taking it back!

Mr. Christopher Jacobsen gave me a fancy cookie press for Christmas, and his family gave me this beautiful serving plate, so I immediately went home, whipped up some Spritz cookies, colored ’em up, and shot some cheery Christmas photos.  Thanks to the Jacobsens!!

Don’t you miss the holidays already? I kind of want to make Christmas cookies all year round.

Okay, enough with the 2010 Christmas nostalgia. On to 2011, folks!

Oh but first… the recipe!

Spritz Cookies
Recipe from Wilton

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Gradually add  flour mixture to butter  mixture; beat until combined. Do not chill. Add food coloring if desired, a few drops at a time. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool completely.

January 3, 2011


Maybe I should stick to cookies.

I was so excited about this pizza.

I lovingly kneaded the pizza dough, chopped and roasted the vegetables, slathered on sauce and cheese.

We plowed through two pieces each before realizing that this pizza was actually inedible. Salty. Soooo salty. I used a recipe that seemed quite beloved by two of my favorite food bloggers… and double checked the measurements… but man. Two pizzas, in the trash-ola.

I feel inexplicably sad at this failure…. and also like I need to bake some delicious cookies to repair my baker’s ego.



“Hello, could we order a large pizza please?”