baking beast

a suspicious creature has been lurking around the streets, leaving behind delights that dreams are made of. what's to become of this baking beast?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

SHF #10: Oh Honey, You Shouldn't Have!

so for this shf, (the first one i've been able to or remembered to participate in a long time!) i made these honey bunches from the foodnetwork site. they are extremely simple to make and in little time you get little bunches of honey, nutty goodness! we enjoyed these but i think it was a bit too sweet so maybe reduce the honey to just 1/2 cup or so. and my oats were a little tough still so maybe after adding the honey and butter let it sit for a while so the oats could become a bit softer.. other than that, these are easy to make and pretty tasty! the honey flavor really comes through, i think. i actually even forgot about the shf this time until this morning when i saw a post for it on esuriente's blog! so i quickly scrambled to find a recipe and made these.. and now here i am, posting. so although i participated in this all on saturday, hopefully it will still be able to be part of the shf fun that i have missed!! looking forward to future ones.. thanks for hosting nic! :)

SECOND DAY VERDICT: i tasted one of these again today... i think they are a lot better the next day! the sweetness has mellowed out to the right amount of sweet and the oat is a bit softer i think.. so now these bunches are delectable!

Honey Bunches
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies or more

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup honey
24 walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 mini muffin tins, or use 1 tin and bake in 2 batches. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, walnuts, and flour and mix. Stir the honey into the melted butter and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add chocolate chips and pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Press 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture into each mini muffin cup. Bake until just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press a walnut half on top of each honey bunch. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

savannah chocolate chewies

these were the chosen cookies for the fourth of july party my friend hosted. i have been wanting to make these for quite some time and, even though they have no blue red or white spirit, were happy additions to the party. they have a nice crispy skin, but on the inside is all moist fudginess with nut goodness. try them! they're easy to make (you dump everything in a bowl and beat for one minute) and they're very tasty. no exotic ingredients, but a great cookie. mine made more than just 12 cookies.. i toasted the pecans before using them but i didn't chop the pecans up as much as maida had indicated for. they were fine that way though.

oh and i was nervous about making these before because they are supposedly best the day they are baked. but i had a cookie today and it is still delicious. maybe even better. ;) so don't hesitate to make these! they come from gottlieb's bakery and it is their number one best-selling cookie.

Savannah Chocolate Chewies
Maida Heatter's Cookies
12 large cookies

The cookies are large, very dark, very chewy, and since they have egg whites and no yolks (and no butter) they are a sort of meringue; a decidedly chocolate meringue.

8 ounces (generous 2 cups) pecans
3 cups confectioners sugar
2/3 cup unsifted, unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch-process)
1 tsp powdered instant coffee or espresso
2 tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour
Pinc of salt
3 egg whites (they may be whites that were frozen and thawed)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Line cookie sheets with parchment or with aluminum foil shiny side up. Pecans should be chopped rather finely. No pieces should be larger than a green pea, set aside.
2. Place sugar, cocoa, coffee or espresso, flour, salt, egg whites, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat slowly at first until the dry ingredients are moistened, and then beat at high speed for 1 min. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the nuts.
3. It is important now to spoon out the cookies as soon as possible. Once they are spooned out they can wait before baking, but if they remain in the mixing bowl for any length of time, they will not be beautifully shiny when baked. Use a tablespoon for spooning out the cookies (not a measuring spoon) -- make each cookie one rounded tablespoon of the dough -- and use another spoon for pushing off the mounds of dough. Place the cookies at least 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets.
4. I think these bake best if you bake only one sheet at a time. Bake for 15 minutes, reversing the sheet front to back once during baking to ensure even baking. When done, the cookies should be dry and crisp on the outside, wet and chewy inside.
5. If you have used parchment paper the cookies may be removed from the paper with a wide metal spatula as soon as they are done, and transferred to a rack to cool. If you have used foil, the cookies will have to stand on the foil until they can be lifted easily with your fingers (or, if you have trouble, peel the foil away from the backs of the cookies). Store these airtight.