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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best Resources

Some favorite websites for bakers and cake makers: for cookie cutters and cool kitchen gadgets for character pans and novelty items as well as cupcake stands for fondant (use Satin Ice!) and basically everything else for molds for hard-to-find ingredients for hard-to-find flours (gluten-free, almond flour, spelt, etc.) a great all-in-one for hard to find gumpaste cutters for advice and recipes to chat with other baking enthusiasts

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cookbook of the Year

I just opened up my fresh new hard copy of "The Country Cooking of Ireland" by Colman Andrews and I have to say that I am beyond impressed. Andrews won two of the top 2010 James Beard Awards for this comprehensive cookbook: Cookbook of the Year and Best International Cookbook. And now I know why.

Many of the recipes open with interesting stories about ingredients, histories, and local traditions. The photographs are both breathtaking and mouth-watering at the same time. This book has everything from country soups to wholesome yet decadent desserts. The first thing I am going to make is "The Best Shepherd's Pie".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recipe: The Ultimate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

This is an old recipe (no, David Cheng was not the first person to throw unusual ingredients into baked goods) adapted from James Beard Award winning baker Maida Heatter. Very few people can resist these cookies (and those that do likely lead joyless lives).

The Ultimate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (get an oven thermometer).
Line Cookie sheets with parchment paper.

4 ounces potato chips (I like Wise or Lays Original)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp Vanilla
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs sized "large"
2 cups Old fashioned (not instant or quick-cooking) rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup raisins

Crush potato chips with your hands. Put in small bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl combine flour and baking soda, whisk, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Add vanilla.
Slowly add the flour mixture.
Add the oats, cherries, walnuts and raisins. Mix until just combined.
Remove from mixer and add in the crushed potato chips using a wooden spoon (this will be a little tough because the batter will be very thick at this point).

Using an ice-cream scoop (about an inch and a half diameter), scoop dough and set them on a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Wet your hands and lightly/gently form round balls (don't pack tightly) and place them on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart from each other (these cookies need room to spread).

Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cupcakes are over, we're onto cookies now

It's official: we are over cupcakes (finally, it's only been 10 years...). The new portable confection is the cookie. Here in Manhattan we run all over town to inhale our favorites.
Most sought-after cookies are:
The Compost Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar
The Chocolate Chocolate Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar (a little salt is added to give this sweet cookie a tangy after taste)
The Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie from Levain Bakery (my personal favorite)
The Chocolate Chip Cookie and Milk and Cookies Bakery

I recommend trying one of each!

And for gifts (to yourself or friends) the always delectable French Macaroon is expertly baked and assembled at Mad Mac NYC

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chocolate with a "K"

As an additional treat to myself today, I stopped by K Chocolatier, the unique chocolate shoppe on 69th and Madison to purchase K Bears and "highballs" (scotch-filled chocolates). The quality of the chocolate is pretty good, but the fun in sampling K Chocolatier's unusual confections is fantastic. My 2 year-old son loves the K bears (little rice-crispy bears covered in white, milk, or dark chocolate). I love the chocolate-covered pomegranates (very addicting - be warned!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First Blog

I decided to write about my adventures in eating, baking, shopping and life as a busy mom in New York City. If no one ever reads this, fine by me - it's still a cheaper alternative to therapy.

First up, my excellent day! I flew back home to NYC this AM (from DC) and came home to find that my mother (who slept over my place to watch my son) had left 3 cupcakes from Butter Cup Bake Shop on the counter. Half a red velvet later I realized it wasn't worth the calories. (My red velvet is MUCH Better - happy to share the recipe, just email me).

After the snack, I took my son to go shopping for a birthday present and when we spotted Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger! He laughed as my son threw all of the shoes in the store onto the ground. (Why didn't I ask him to take a photo!?!?) Walking back home to well-dressed salesmen LEAPED out of Christian Louboutain to tell me that my heels were "amazing, girl!" and that they had to come out of the store to inspect them! Yey!!!
Now THAT was better than any cupcake.