Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chockablock Cookies

There are moments in our lives that present an opportunity for growth; a chance to stretch beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone, if only we would take the risk. The making of this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe (Chockablock Cookies, chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet), despite my intentions, was not one of those moments.

You see, I know that I don't like dried fruit in cookies. I never have. Oatmeal raisin cookies? No, thanks - those stayed in the cookie jar when I was a kid. Fig newtons? Nope, not my style. But I occasionally dip my toes into the dried-fruit-in-cookies pond, just to see if my opinion has changed.

Unfortunately, it hasn't. Which is a shame, because this cookie was so promising. Coconut, chocolate chips, molasses - what's not to love about that? But then, that dastardly dried fruit - in my case, dried cranberries.

If anyone could convert me, it's Dorie. So I think it's time to put the nail in this particular coffin - dried fruit in baked goods is just not for me. Sigh.

Thank you, Mary, for choosing a recipe that convinced me to give dried fruit another chance! If you are a dried fruit fan, visit her blog for the recipe, which I'm sure you'll love.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Strawberry-Cranberry Cobbler

This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe was an exercise in flexibility. It was supposed to be Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler Pie, as chosen by Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures.I was so excited to make the recipe, as strawberry-rhubarb is one of my favourite fruit combinations. The problem? I have yet to find rhubarb at any grocery stores or farmers' markets. Boo.

I was also out of lemons, the zest of which was supposed to add flavour to the cobbler topping. I used freshly ground cardamom instead, which worked well.

I thought I'd try an equally tart fruit, so I substituted cranberries, which ended up being an incredible pairing. I've never had the two berries together, but they complemented each other perfectly. I'm thinking about making strawberry-cranberry jam this summer.

The other key ingredient I was missing? Energy. I just ran out of the time and motivation to make a pie crust, and so I didn't, making this cobbler pie just a plain old cobbler.

But it really was a fantastic dessert, with a double dose of bright berry flavour and sweet flaky biscuits on top. The filling was sweeter than it needed to be and never really set up properly, but a bit less sugar and a bit more corn starch ought to fix that. The flavour of this one makes it worth trying again.

Thanks for the great choice, Tracey! Visit her blog for the recipe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm back with a...whimper (Tuesdays With Dorie: Sweet Cream Biscuits)

Hello? Is anyone still out there? It's me, Kait, sheepishly returning to my blog after a much-needed but much-guilt-inducing month off. And what a month it's been. A new apartment, the end of school (well, in two days, anyway), job application after job application. I love our apartment, although there are still many boxes to unpack. I can't wait for school to be done (hopefully forever). And the job situation? Well, it's a work in progress.

I was hoping to come back with a bang, but my attempt at today's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Sweet Cream Biscuits chosen by Melissa of Love At First Bite, was decidedly lackluster.

I'm positive it wasn't the recipe itself (flour, cream, baking powder, salt - no butter!), as I snuck a few bites of the raw dough scraps and they were heavenly - creamy, slightly salty.

I know for a fact that I handled the dough too much, a big no-no when it comes to biscuit making. I got a bit too overzealous when I rolled out the dough, despite Dorie's express warning against this very mistake. The dough ended up about 1/4 of an inch thick, half of the thickness I was aiming for. So I decided to fold the dough upon itself and roll it together. That didn't work (the two halves separated). So I smushed the whole thing back into a ball and started from scratch.

I knew I was doomed when the dough kept springing back after being rolled. It was way too elastic. The result: biscuit hockey pucks. Such a shame.

Still, I'm intrigued by the concept of this recipe, and think it would be a great recipe to try again the next time I need to use up a ton of heavy cream quickly. But next time, I'll use a lighter hand. For the recipe, visit Melissa's blog.

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