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Anna N

Meeting-friendly snacks to bake

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38 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

Now if you had put a very,very thin slice of aged cheddar on those while still hot...........

reminds me of my great grandmother's spicy molasses cookies

I’m not feeling the love. :)

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36 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I’m not feeling the love. :)

but I love you anyway................

 

grew up with spicy and sweet and fat and salty

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AD695699-65D8-4EB7-8664-86CD8E4B260A.thumb.jpeg.b6e5732f82c7d19794cf1685c1d42443.jpeg

 

Hermits with raisins, dates and walnuts (recipe can be found online on joy of baking website).

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On 10/25/2017 at 9:20 AM, Anna N said:

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 Just a selection of the batch of cookies I made today. Thank heaven I opted to make only half the recipe.

 

I don’t expect these will get kudos from my usual audience.  They are a little too plain and probably not nearly sweet enough.

 

They came about because @Kerry Beal returned from her trip to Belgium with a jar of speculaas spice for me.  I knew I needed to put it to good use. 

 

Googling suggested that I really needed a special mold (springerle) to make these cookies but that was not going to happen. And having had a look at these molds online I don’t think this dough would have worked very well with them.   There was too much spreading and expansion that would obliterate any fine lines.   Still I wish I had at least had a windmill cutter.:) 

 

 These are really my kind of cookies to enjoy with a cup of coffee. 

 

 

 

I think you might be thinking of the Dutch speculaas (think windmill cookies), as opposed to the Belgian speculoos (Biscoff). The two are similar, but definitely not the same. Stella Parks, aka Bravetart, did a Biscoff clone that your spice mix will be exactly right for: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/06/homemade-biscoff-recipe.html If you don't have a homebrew store nearby to get the Belgian brown sugar, go with what you've got, and you'll still make a really good cookie.

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 You may be right. They were enjoyed by all and nobody questioned their authenticity.:) 

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Re:  the Belgian brown sugar, the brew place where we make our wine advertised Belgian brown sugar on their web site but when i went there to get some, they only had it in liquid form.  They claimed never to have seem it in granulated form.  I only mention it because it might be wise to call a brew-your-own place and ask them before you go round to visit them.  We have a number of places in the city but i havent checked any further as yet.

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 Date squares. Don’t judge. They are delicious. Quality control evidence in bottom left corner. 

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 Text from my son-in-law after he picked up the date squares.  Much more quality control and there will be nothing left to take to the office. :laugh:

 

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Edited by Anna N (log)
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I always forget how much I like dates until I eat something made with them. They aren't sexy, or beautiful, but oh man they're delicious. Bonus: they're so sweet that you don't usually need to add as much sugar to whatever they're going into.

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2 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

I always forget how much I like dates until I eat something made with them. They aren't sexy, or beautiful, but oh man they're delicious. Bonus: they're so sweet that you don't usually need to add as much sugar to whatever they're going into.

Double bonus. These were organic medjool dates on sale. Yes I had to pit them but it didn’t take that long.  And then I took the scissors to them because I find that easier than attempting to chop them. 

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34 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Double bonus. These were organic medjool dates on sale. Yes I had to pit them but it didn’t take that long.  And then I took the scissors to them because I find that easier than attempting to chop them. 

I, too, use scissors to snip my dates into pieces. I've also learned that spraying the blades with non-stick spray, or wiping them with a light coating of oil, before I start can help keep the dates from sticking to the scissors.

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Ah, a date chopper/snipper! I go thru around a kilo of dates a week and have to chop them all. I used to use a knife and ended up with blisters after about 500g. Then I reverted to Anna's favourite food "chopper" - a good South African biltong cutter - works brilliantly to chop dates! The blade is a wood plane one - just need to ensure a date is under it and not a finger!

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Edited by JohnT (log)

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 How does that work @JohnT?  Do you bunch the dates up and push the mass through hoping to miss your fingers?  

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9 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 How does that work @JohnT?  Do you bunch the dates up and push the mass through hoping to miss your fingers?  

In my hands, that would be an easy way to make any dish no longer vegetarian-friendly!

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Bunch a few together, stay sober and a short prayer . . . . . Chop . . . . . and repeat if you are not in pain! It's the African way of doing things! I tried chopping the sticky little buggers with my food processor and found that does not work - the dates just spin with the blade. I now have gone off using the biltong slicer (and still have all my fingers) and just mince the things in an electric mincer with a 6mm plate, which gets the job done quickly but then takes ages to clean the mincing machine.

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56 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Bunch a few together, stay sober and a short prayer . . . . . Chop . . . . . and repeat if you are not in pain! It's the African way of doing things! I tried chopping the sticky little buggers with my food processor and found that does not work - the dates just spin with the blade. I now have gone off using the biltong slicer (and still have all my fingers) and just mince the things in an electric mincer with a 6mm plate, which gets the job done quickly but then takes ages to clean the mincing machine.

 Yes I tried the food processor route and that just made more work in the long run. 

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7 hours ago, Anna N said:

 Yes I tried the food processor route and that just made more work in the long run. 


The processor works if you're using the dates in a recipe that allows you to toss some of the sugar in with the dates while processing. I actually discovered that while trying to use the processor with dried figs but that led to trying it with dates and with candied ginger and it worked great for all of them.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)
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15 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

The processor works if you're using the dates in a recipe that allows you to toss some of the sugar in with the dates while processing

Thanks for this. Will give it a try next time. Note added to recipe. Now all I have to do is read it at the appropriate time.  What are the chances of that I wonder. xD 

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11 hours ago, Anna N said:

Thanks for this. Will give it a try next time. Note added to recipe. Now all I have to do is read it at the appropriate time.  What are the chances of that I wonder. xD 

When it happens, be sure to buy a lottery ticket that day!

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3 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

When it happens, be sure to buy a lottery ticket that day!

Chances are not good. I initially entered it as “try using the word processor to chop the dates”. :D

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13 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Chances are not good. I initially entered it as “try using the word processor to chop the dates”. :D

That'd be a pretty spectacular formatting error. 

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I am now convinced without a shadow of a doubt that my oven is punishing me for some sin I’ve committed but am unaware of.  Somewhere along the line I have offended the kitchen gods that’s for sure. 

 

The grand child has to make a presentation in class on Friday and has been asked to bring snacks.  I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. I would make her snacks for the presentation and snacks for her dad’s meeting.  I offered her some choices and she settled on chocolate chip cookies. 

 

 I don’t even want to count the number of times I’ve made these cookies using this recipe. 

 

Today I checked to make sure my oven had reached the recommended 375°F temperature.  The thermometer read 400°F. I turned it down to 365°F and without checking, a few minutes later I loaded two half sheet pans of cookies. After 10 minutes they looked as pale and wan  as Sleeping Beauty.  The oven thermometer read 300°F. (There’s a reason I keep neither a gun nor a slingshot in the house). 

I cranked the heat back up to 375°F and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally the thermometer read somewhere between 350 and 400. 

 

I baked the rest of the cookies. So now I have a mix of thin, pale, sad looking cookies and a very few that turned out the way I had expected. Grrrrrrr. 

 

 Oh well both parties are easy to satisfy. These contain high-end chocolate pistoles and I have no doubt they will disappear in a flash. 

 

 Making a batch of cookie should not be this complicated. 

 

 

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Edited by Anna N (log)
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Well, they sure look good to me.  I wouldn't have known that the God's were angry.......

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 I like a cookie now and then. So I buy Schwan's cookie dough and bake up a handful whenever I want some.  Their dough is wonderful, I love the oatmeal raisin and the choc. chunk.  

Not for you guys who bake big batches.

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