Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snickerdoodle dandy...

I guess I have always associated "Snickerdoodle" with "boring cookie for kids"...how wrong was I? I have a new found appreciation for snickerdoodles, and have realized that they do not live up to the bad reputation that surrounds them. I made these cookies this weekend, and I loved them. My family on the other hand didn't know what to do with them, they were confused by a cookie that had no chocolate or oats in them...they were weary to commit, but in the end they helped me polish them off.

The thing that sets these cookies apart from all others is that slight but distinct tang flavor you get with each bite. This unique flavor come from the addition of Cream of Tartar. What is Cream of Tartar you ask? Well, I just found out what it is, and it is slightly disturbing. It is a byproduct on wine making. Cream of Tartar is also known as "Potassium bitartrate", this substance crystallizes in the wine casks during the fermentation of the grape juices. So basically it is the crud that forms on the barrels while wine is being made. Cream of tartar is also known as "beeswing"...interesting. All I can say is that someone must have been really hungry if they decided one day to eat the crud growing on a wine barrel...I'm just saying. : ) The only other thing I use cream of tartar for is to make homemade play dough, it is fun, but it doesn't taste good. Now that you know where cream of tartar comes from I hope you haven't lost you appetite and still want to make these cookies.

Snickerdoodle Dandy

adapted from Martha Stewart

Sift together in medium bowl:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream in separate large bowl with mixer until smooth:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar

Add to creamed butter and sugar and mix until combined:

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Then add the dry to the wet and mix until combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough with small ice cream scoop and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture (2 TBS cinnamon/1/4 cup sugar). Place on parchment lined pan, and bake 8-10 minutes until they begin to crackle. Do not over bake.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Apple Crisp with Mascarpone Maple Cream

Okay my peeps, hot off the press this one is...I mean...hot out of the oven. A sure sign that something I made is good is if the room is silent while people are eating...I take pride and joy in the fact that I helped create a little moment of bliss for someone. Tonight for dinner I made chicken soup with my cheddar scones...if you haven't made those scones yet I highly suggest you scroll through my archived posts and find it and then make it...you will be very happy. For dessert I made a yummy apple crisp with Pink Lady apples, and topped it off with a smooth mascarpone maple cream...oh heaven I have found you. Thanks goes out to Ina Garten for once again providing me with a yummy recipe, that woman has a true gift. I left out the zests in my recipe because I am an anti zest person for the most part...so sue me for not wanting to eat wax...and also because I was too lazy to do that one extra step. I often make this mascarpone maple cream to top my sweet potato pancakes or gingerbread waffles, but wanted another excuse to use mascarpone again.

Apple Crisp
adapted from Ina Garten

Combine in bowl, coat apples, and then layer in 9x13 cake pan.
5 lbs pink lady apples...or another semi tart apple peeled, cored, and sliced
2 TBS orange juice

2 TBS lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Mix together in mixer and then crumble over apples.
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old school oats

1/2 lb butter diced

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until toasted golden.

Mascarpone Maple Cream

8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/8 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together until smooth and then chill before using.

If you want to learn more about the wonderful gift from God known as "Mascarpone cheese" read this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mascarpone