Sunday, December 21, 2014

Greenstein's Bakery - BB - Coffee Crisps


These are, without a doubt, one of the most delightful cookies I've ever had. 

A fantastic, light texture with a full coffee-nuanced, buttery-smack-in-the-face. That said, next time I will probably cut down the sugar and put a bit more espresso powder in the dry ingredients, rather than on top (which just seemed to give a bitter flavor).

Mis en place:

I like these new super fine sugar containers. :)

Moral support. Everybody helped this time.

'The Caboose' mixing the dry ingredients.

I could imagine that this basic mixture could be a foundation for many other flavors other than coffee, (as long as it is added as a dry ingredient?).

Omi-girl helped 'smoosh em' for the toaster.

You can see the fragile texture of the 'shmooshed' batch. Mine did not spread too thin. I wonder if it has to do with the type of butter used and how it spreads when heated?

Then we tried a drop-cookie type batch...

...which turned out looking like normal cookies but lost a bit of the delicate texture.

My study with some of my, um, 'Bibles' (להבדיל).

On Chanukah it is customary to eat 'Sufganiot' - donuts and other foods fried in oil.
כ וּמִנְחָתָם--סֹלֶת, בְּלוּלָה בַשָּׁמֶן
'And their flour offerings -- mixed with oil...'
Numbers 28:20

And of course the Jelly ones...

'...נר ה' נשמת אדם'
'The candle of the the divine is the soul of man.'
Proverbs 20:27

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Greenstein's Bakery - BB - Ischler


I could not get Dr. Suess out mind while doing this. We kept calling it the 'The Once-ler'.

Mis en place.

The 'Ez Man' was with me for moral support.

I used ground almonds. 

Even with the egg etc this was still difficult to roll out. With more liquid/butter or other fat I think it would be easier to roll. I assume that the lack thereof makes it more flakey? Don't know.

Planes, trains, airplanes birdies, ice cream... :)

The toaster shot.

Baked. The cookies on their own had a lovely almond flavor and a nice soft texture.

 ’וַיֹּצֵא פֶרַח וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ, וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים...’ – "...Out came a bud that flowered and produced almonds."
Numbers 17:23

I used apricot preserves...

...and strained it. Next time, if I use preserves, I'll try raspberry.

I think I skimped on the chocolate a bit and ended up with a lot left over and a less pronounced chocolate flavor in the cookie.

Not all the cookies were evenly rolled but they were perfectly delicious. I'll have to try and use Rose's method of rolling evenly in the future.

For better or worse, the almond flavored cookies together with the preserves had a flavor that reminded me of a peanut-butter and Jelly sandwich. Perhaps, if I toned-up the chocolate and used the lekvar instead of the preserves, it would not have had that effect.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Greenstein's Bakery - English Fruit Cake


This fruit cake was very good. Its really an apple-cake with some dried fruit thrown in.

Mis en place. Someone wanted the apple... (and took a bite...)

'Omi Girl' was with me for moral support (despite the apple incident.)

Dried apples, prunes, apricots and medjul dates.

Some step or other...

I added some rum to the hot water when soaking the dried. 

The apple-cake part of the deal.

O.K. Here is my one complaint. The flour got in the nooks and crannies of the fruit and nuts and stayed there, even after baking. Thus, there were tiny flour pockets in the cake around some of the gemstones underneath the earth. It did not really affect the taste, however. Was there a reason to add these to the dry ingredients? If they were added to the wet ingredients it would probably not have happened.

The batter or some such.

 I could not bring myself to put rum on this perfectly decent cake.
 כַּאֲשֶׁר יִמָּצֵא הַתִּירוֹשׁ בָּאֶשְׁכּוֹל, וְאָמַר אַל-תַּשְׁחִיתֵהוּ, כִּי בְרָכָה בּוֹ
' you find the grape on its vine, and say, don't ruin it for it (already) great...'
Isiah 65:8

'The Mims' made a lovely pumpkin swirl cheesecake. When I asked her where she got the recipe, she said, "the internet." I'll have to send a thank you note to Al Gore.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Baking Bible - Kouign Amann


At first I was not so into these (when we first made them) but these were very good. They grew on me. Especially liked them warm, like Rose mentions.

'The Lulu' was with me for moral support.

'What has it got in its nasty little pocketsess?' (Butter!)
My interpretation of Roses' initial folding of the sides etc.

I don't have time to a wait an hour between each rolling. I waited 20 minutes. 
(But we have all the time in the world down here in the dark, don't we my precious?)

The dough was still perfectly workable. Except for the last two squares that really had to be put in for another five minutes after I rolled and folded the others. Next time I'll stick the whole divided rectangle in the fridge and take them out to roll and fold one at a time.

Reminded me of making kreplach.

I put two or three in each pan since they seemed a bit small.

After a toast in 'The Kafka Machine' (my toaster).

'Is it nice? Is it tasty? Is it scrumptiously crunchable? Yes, Yes.'

My father reading to the kids, brings back memories of him reading me the Hobbit as a little boy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ice Bath Brownies - Alice Medrich - Scharffen Berger


These were deep intensely flavored brownies. I think they called for too much sugar though.
It would have been just as good with half the sugar, or maybe even honey.

The ice bath was fun though! You put it in just as you take it out of the oven to an applause of sizzle.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Honey Cake from Baking Bible


This honey cake is based on Marcy Goldman's recipe, which we have made before. It's a good one!

This is slightly lighter than regular honey cake and has a more complex flavor.

Omi-girl was with me for moral support.

May I should not have filled it up to the top and maybe I should not have used double acting baking powder.

Right before Shabbat, at the end of the baking (before the 20 minutes at 325) it started bubbling over the top and spilling onto the baking sheet. 'My cup runneth over' (psalms 23). It was not the toasters fault.

After Shabbat I 'picked up all the pieces of my shattered dreams' and put them back in the pan and baked it further on 350 for 1/2 hour or so.
It came out slightly rubberier than I would have liked but I chalk it up to the re-baking and not the recipe. The flavor is still wonderful. I used Sabra instead of whisky.

For the coffe I used the aeropress, which is my coffee of choice in general now.

Um, it was difficult to get it out of the pan properly. It is rather sticky. That is probably why it is better to you a simple round pan.

 יב כבקרת רועה עדרו ביום-היותו בתוך-צאנו, נפרשות--כן, אבקר את-צאני; והצלתי אתהם, מכל-המקומות אשר נפוצו שם, ביום ענן, וערפל.
–like a Shepard who tends his flock on the day he is amongst his sheep when he separats them out from others, so to I will remember my flock and save them from all the places that there are spread out to, on a day of clouds of darkness.
-Eziekel 34:12

When we are all counted by the all the almighty on Rosh Hashana like sheep being inventoried, to be judged for the next year, me we be blessed with good, physically and spiritually with a sweet year.