Saturday, January 2, 2010

"I-apologize-for-being-drunk-and-stupid" strawberry-filled sugar cookies

A few weeks ago I made my neighbor sugar cookies. I didn't do it for any of the sweet generous reasons that one normally makes sugar cookies. Instead, I did it because I went on a date with my neighbor, and then another. He invited me to come to his dinner party. I was hosting a rival dinner party. So in the end, my lingering friends made it to his party which was swell. Eventually, though they went to bed. I escorted out the very last one of him and texted him with this message: "meet me in the stairwell in 5 mins." He should have been expecting some sort of booty-call. Instead I told him " I think this is a very bad idea and we should never do this again. But, you should kiss me one more time." So, he kissed me. I feel asleep on his knee. He told me that I was very bad at this whole break it off thing. I got up and left. The fall-out? I needed apology cookies that were relatively fast and relatively perfect. So the choice of the day: strawberry jam filled gingerbread man shaped sugar cookies.


1/4 pound butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cream or milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, beating until light. Add the egg, vanilla, and cream or milk, and beat thoroughly.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together, add to the first mixture, and blend well. Refrigerate for 1 day (or stick in the freezer for an hour). Role out, cut into gingerbread men. Place one gingerbread man on the cookie sheet, drop a 1/2 teaspoonful or more of strawberry jam, place the other gingerbread man cookie on top and seal edges. Repeat.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Put in a box, give to your neighbor with heartfelt apology letter. Call them in the letter"I-apologize-for-being-drunk-and-stupid" strawberry-filled sugar cookies . Smile. Relax. Send flirtatious meaningless text messages continue search for Mr. Right. Place post-its on all the recipes you want to make from the amazing cookbook your best friend gave you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gorgonzola Tart

My lovely friend McLean forwarded along the following recipe. In response to her, email I shot back that this recipe would be great if I decided to never wear skinny jeans again. Her response, "pole dancing classes start on Monday". So what does someone wear to pole dancing class after just eating Gorgonzola Tarts? Basically, anything inspired by Miley Cyrus will do.....

And in some ways, this tart is exactly her--- a little sassy, a little bootlilicious, not exactly good for you and all around home spun Americana.

Gorgonzola Tart Recipe

6-8 Servings
1 Refrigerated pie crust
7 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
4 large egg yolks
1 tab. all purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 9 inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom with pie crust, trimming edges if necessary. Bake according to package directions until crust is golden brown - about 10 min.
Cool crust completely--I bought the Pillsbury crust in a box.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place Gorgonzola, 4 egg yolks and 1 tab. flour in processor and puree until almost smooth. Add whipping cream and process just to blend. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust and smooth top Sprinkle tart filling with pepper. (I used the blender).
Bake tart until golden brown and just set in center, about 25 minutes. Cool at least 1 hour but can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temp. Cut into wedges. Serve with salad or as an appetizer.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crema Cataluna and Spanish Fashion

When I think Spanish fashion, I often get confused between traditional Spanish clothing and anything that Penelope Cruz wears. The truth though is that often
Spanish fashion is on the cutting edge-- Barcelona is itself a city of the advant-garde.

This recipe, I apologize, is not of my own creation but instead from a Spanish cooking class that I recently took. It is funny though how well it complimented this image that I have been waiting for the perfect moment to release.

Creme Cataluna, much like its French cousin the Creme Brulee, is sexy, sheer and deliciously sweet. However, the Spanish version adds a bit more spice and can easily be enhanced with lemon zest, almond oil, or any other flavor combination that fits your particular fetish....mmmmm.... enjoy!

Creme Cataluna


* 1 cup sugar
* 4 egg yolks
* 1 tbsp cornstarch
* 1 stick cinnamon
* grated rind of 1 lemon
* 2 cups milk


This easy Catalan Cream recipe makes 4 servings.

This is a great dessert to make ahead of time, since it is very easy and requires 2-3 hours of refrigeration before serving. Make it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then, heat the broiler, carmelize the sugar and serve!

In a pot, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Pour in the milk and cornstarch. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until thickened. Remove pot from heat immediately.

Tip: As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate! The texture of the finished crema will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.

Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4-6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.

Before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove ramekins with the crema catalana from refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize, turning gold and brown. This may take 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Remove and serve immediately.

If you'd like, you can serve the crema catalana chilled, but we think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fantasy Bread

I love all the fashion trends around fantasy things lately. After all, I wore a midsummer night's dream inspired mask on Halloween.... So, given our emerging theme of connecting fashion and food, I decided to create the sort of food this mask made me think of. Technically, i should have baked a 10 layer fairy cake (my initial thought). Instead I baked a warm cinnamon raisin bread because it represented the fantasy of my childhood: of cinnamon raisin french toast, of fall mornings hanging out with my dad, and of the fantastical way in which a big gooey blob can grow to become a beautiful delicious bread.

Fantasy Bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 raw turbindo white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 4 cups whole wheat baking flour
  • 1 1/3 cup white flour
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon butter

  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter, almond extract salt, and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
  4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough. Roll up tightly; the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again for 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cranberry Lemon Sugar Cookies

This weekend I went to NYC to do a bit of shopping, to visit an old friend, and to sway the heart of a beautiful boy a tiny bit more in my favor. Lately, I've taken a turn towards 1950s housewife (a really unprecedented turn) and in doing so, I baked cookies for said boy and said friend.

Inspired by my cozy wintry outfit, vaguely resembling something crossed between this and this:

I made something both beautifully sweet and wholesome and fresh and frankly perfect. When telling said NYC boy about cooking cookies for my neighbors, he said "Watch out, they will fall in love with you." Yes, I thought, handing him another cookie-- point exactly.

Cranberry Lemon Sugar Cookies


3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 c. cranberries

2 tsbps. lemon extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) .
2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
3. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in lightly beaten egg, vanilla and cream. Add cranberries and lemon extract.
4. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake for 6 - 8 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

My neighbors and I only meet each other when drunk in the elevator. I always promise to make cookies. This time I came through. They are from California. So I decided to make the most New England cookie possible.

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 3/4 c oatmeal
1/4 c. almonds
1 apple, peeled and diced

Preheat oven the to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Arrange by teaspoonfuls on an unbuttered cookie sheet and bake until the edges are brown 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Entire Whole Wheat Almond Bread

I really want to create a whole wheat bread recipes that is amazing and fortified with good yummy things because (as previously discussed) I like wholesomeness. Its sort of like how I would always choose the lead actor from Glee over Johnny Deep-- I just can't help it. It's how I was raised. So, this week I tried a new super easy bread recipe and then modified it a little because, well, that's what I do.

2 c. hot milk
1/3 c. tamarind sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
2 eggs
1 tbs. almond extract
1/3 c. almonds
5 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax-seeds, milled

Heat the milk and sugar in a sauce pot until hot. Transfer to a large bowl, add salt, and let cool until lukewarm. At the same time, mix the yeast with the water and let double in bulk. (I add a little sugar to my yeast to help it grow). Mix in 2 eggs beaten and the almond extract.

Finally add the chopped almonds, flour and flaxseed. Stir, cover and let double in bulk.

Remove from the bowl, punch down and put into two small greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise again to not quite double in bulk.

Preheat over to 375 and bake bread for approximately 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the bread comes out clean. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Enjoy a slice warm and then save the rest for sandwiches during the week. Yum!