Tag Archives: baking

in which I learn that flour makes a difference in baking

I know baking allegedly requires precise measurements and attention to detail, but I have such a hard time believing those rules apply to drop cookies.  I mean, come on.  Combine, drop, and bake.  What could be so hard about that? (Other than the clean-up of course.)

I planned to make these (favorite) cookies this weekend for the boyfriend, who is under the weather.  But when I started mixing things together, I realized I didn’t exactly have all the ingredients.

The ingredients – actual, and what I had on hand:

  • 2 c. flour 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 c. rolled oats 1 1/2 c. oats to make up for lack of flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. canola oil 1/3 c. cinnamon applesauce, 1/3 c. oil1
  • 2 T. molasses 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
  • 1 t. vanilla whoops, forgot to add vanilla
  • 1 c. walnuts, finely chopped, 1/2 c. raisins chocolate chunks FTW!

Did you know what happens to cookies that don’t have enough flour? Nothing good, that’s what. They puddle out and don’t really get crispy.

What’s the solution?  Eat those suckers as fast as possible, of course!

1 The applesauce substitution wasn’t born of necessity – I usually swap half of the oil out for applesauce, but I usually don’t have only cinnamon applesauce on hand.


dyed eggs and Easter dinner

I love dying Easter eggs. We made a late night trip to Pathmark on Saturday night to procure our egg-dyeing-kit, and we dyed our eggs late last night. We used the same brand of kit, but our eggs didn’t turn out nearly as bright as they did last year! (That bright orange one is an exception, and that one rested in the dye for about ten minutes while we took a cake break.)

We dyed our eggs after we had our Easter dinner. We’re not typically much for “meat and potatoes” meals around here, but, it being Easter, we wanted a more traditional holiday meal. We picked up some lamb and braised it with caramelized onions and red wine (in a only slightly modified version of a Bon Appetit recipe), and it turned out so good. I didn’t even know that I liked lamb. We were pretty impressed with ourselves. We also roasted some tiny little potatoes with quartered baby artichokes.

And … as alluded to earlier, we baked a cake! We made lemon pudding cake, and, although it was more than a little messy since we don’t have a stand mixer, it turned out so incredibly well. The top gets cakey and the bottom part gets puddingy, and the whole thing tastes like a lighter, fluffier topping from a lemon bar. I’m surprised that we were able to make something that delicious.

I hope everyone else had a good Easter weekend. We had a lovely day yesterday (aside from a brief late afternoon shower and the evening thunderstorm), but today it’s bleak and foggy again. At least it’s starting to feel like spring!

Update: Marc has examined the photographic evidence and determined that we did not use the same brand of Easter egg dye. This year we used Paas; last year it looks like we used Dudley. We’ll have to remember next year that Dudley is the way to go!

Christmas cookie Sunday!

It may have been 55 and rainy in New York on Sunday, but it was festive inside our apartment!

First, I got out the rest of the Christmas decorations …

Then, we made some Christmas cookies …

Chocolate-Coffee Snowcap Cookies

Next, we made more Christmas cookies …

Pfeffernussen Cookies

Finally, we watched White Christmas!

banana bread!

I know the saying is that one bad apple spoils the bunch, but, man, what they really mean is that one bad banana spoils the bunch. I happened to set some fresh bananas down on the counter next to a banana that was almost past its prime, and, before I could even blink, they were all brown and smushy.

The silver lining here is that I got to make banana bread!

I made cherry walnut banana bread from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I’ve made this bread before, and I think it is tasty! It’s obviously much lighter than normal banana bread, but I like it that way.


This is what happened in my kitchen tonight:

I was about to roast a chicken breast, and I had set the Pyrex baking dish on the oven to spray it with cooking spray. Admittedly, the oven was hot, but the baking dish was room temperature and is designed to withstand such heat. In fact, I did this exact same thing last night (and many other nights). I coated the dish with cooking spray and paused to grab a piece of cauliflower to munch on while the chicken finished browning – the dish sat on the oven for maybe one minute and then … POW! BAM! EXPLOSION!

The dish had quite literally exploded. As you can see from the picture, it didn’t just crack or break, the thing shattered and had some serious lateral movement. I will probably be afraid of Pyrex for the rest of my life.

Harvest Pear Crisp

Marc returned from a trip recently with a bonanza of pears. They lived on our counter for a while, and today a number of them met their destiny in Harvest Pear Crisp.

I, of course, made a disastrous mess of the kitchen. It’s as though the flour was so excited to be part of the dessert that it leapt energetically from its bag. My inability to control the ingredients aside, it was easy and delicious. Yum!