Martha Mondays ……Its a Good Thing

This is my first entry to a new event called Martha Mondays which was created & hosted by Mimi of Mimi on the Move.

The premise of this group is to make Martha Stewart recipes twice a month. At this time there is no joining or participation requirements, if you choose to participate just email Mimi with the details and she will include you in the roundup on her blog. Initially all recipes were going to taken from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, but that is not the case. The recipes chosen for this event are open to all food categories, not just baking and desserts, and this is a welcome change is it seems everything i make lately needs sugar, butter, eggs and flour.

The first challenge is Coconut-Pecan-Caramel sandwhich cookies. Now i have to tell you, that while i love to bake cookies are not my thing. Not even the slice and bake cookies. Something always goes wrong. BUT this recipe went really smoothly (at least for me). It was a very simple recipe, which i cut in 1/2 to avoid 1 dz cookies by myself. The dough had a crumbly texture which made a crumbly/sandy cookie, which i love. I may have cooked it too long but the caramel was not sweet enough for me.

All in all i would have to say that this recipe was success, especially since the final product is edible.

I cant wait until we find out what the next recipe is.

For printable recipe click here.

Master Bakers – Cinnamon

So it seems that I have caught the food blogging event bug. This is my fourth within less than a month, and I have a whole laundry list of others that I want to participate in.

Master Baker is a new event created by Nikki of Crazy Delicious. Every month she will pick an ingredient we bake whatever we wish as long as it has that ingredient and it’s a baked good. At the end of the even she will bake off some goods and pick a winner.

This month’s theme is Cinnamon – which is great because I love cinnamon. I decided to make Nick Malgieri’s Cinnamon Shells from his Cookies Unlimited Cookbook. I should have known that these cookies were doomed based on the morning I was having. I added too many egg yolks to the batter. I forgot the butter when creaming the eggs and sugar together, so I just melted it and added it at the end. The dough was kind of thick, not sure if it was supposed to be like that or because of my goof ups. You are supposed to pipe the cookie dough into shells, but the dough was so thick that the tail of the shell never came out correctly. I tried other shapes and they didn’t really work out either. So I decided to do a drop star shape. These came out fine.

I put the cookies into the oven and set the timer for 8 mins. My house starts to smell like cinnamon, I am thinking “wow those cookies smell good; they should be done any minute”. No sooner than I think that, the timer goes off and then I smell something burning. When I open the oven the top rack of cookies are just starting to get a little brown and crisp around the edges. The bottom rack: BURNT!!!. I look at my oven 350’F, I look at the thermometer inside the oven 450”F. WTF!!! So I had to scrap that whole sheet of cookies.

After letting the remaining cookies cool, I tasted one. Pretty good. Tasted another one. Then I tasted a couple more. I have to say with everything that happened to these cookies they came out pretty tasty. They are so simple that I would definitely make them again, and I will probably add them to my cookie basket for the holidays.

For recipe click here:

For other Cinnamonny entries this month – click here

Weekend CookBook Challenge #25 – Nigella Lawson

This month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge is hosted by Foodiechickie and the theme is – Nigella Lawson . I admit I am a fan of Nigella’s show, I’ve never heard anyone describe food the way she does, but I only have one of her cookbooks and have never tried any of her recipes. I wanted to try something simple, so I chose the RoseBud Madelienes from her cookbook How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

The recipe says that this should make 48 mini Madeleines, but since I only have a full size pan I decided to use that. I am not sure how small mini Madeleines are, but I have to say I was quite shocked when the batter made just about one cup. I filled each cavity with one tablespoon of batter – which gave me 10 full sized Madeleines. The recipe states to cook for 5 minutes but start checking after 3 minutes, but since these are full sized they took a little longer – about 11 minutes in my oven.

The texture of the cookie was quite nice and was really light – but i wasnt too crazy about the taste, I felt it was missing something. I would make these again in the spring – doubling the recipe of course. But I don’t think I would use the rosewater flavor, I would either use vanilla or maybe some lemon zest.

ROSEBUD MADELEINES ( from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson)

- ¼ cup (50g) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp (40g) caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup (45g) plain flour
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
- icing sugar for dusting
- 24-bun mini-Madeleine tin

-Melt all the butter over a low heat, then leave to cool.
-Beat the egg, caster sugar and salt in a bowl for about 5 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer of some sort, until it’s as thick as mayonnaise.
-Then sprinkle in the flour; I hold a sieve above the egg and sugar mixture, put the flour in and shake it through.
-Fold in the flour with a wooden spoon and then set aside a scant tablespoon of the cold, melted butter for greasing the tins and fold in the rest along with the rosewater.
-Mix well, but not too vigorously. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then take out and leave at room temperature for half an hour.
-Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC)
-Generously brush the insides of the Madeleine tins with the tablespoon of butter (melting more if you feel you need it) before filling them with half the cake mixture (this amount does 2 batches).
-About 1 teaspoonful in each should do: don’t worry about covering the molded indentations; in the heat of the oven the mixture will spread before it rises.
-Bake for 5 minutes, though check after 3.
-Turn out and let cool on a rack, then arrange on a plate and dust with icing sugar.
-Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture.
Makes 48 mini or about 10 full sized.