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Anna N

Meeting-friendly snacks to bake

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I have been a little lax in providing meeting snacks recently because I threw myself 100 percent into the Modernist Bread books. Today I decided I had better get back on track. I had oats and I had raisuns so oatmeal raisin cookies it is. 

 

@lindag sent me a very interesting recipe that uses Skor bars.  I bought them. I ate them. 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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I am trying to spread my wings just a little. Somebody who shall remain nameless,  oh wait,  I think it was @MelissaH, enabled me to purchase the Kindle edition of  The Artful Baker.  It is the first baking book that has managed to get my pulse loping if not racing. 

 

 Having said that, today’s offering is not from that book. I seem to be missing one vital ingredient from each recipe that I wanted to attempt (simple, ordinary pantry items). And so I turned to Maximum Flavor by AKI KAMOZAWA & H. ALEXANDER TALBOT for inspiration. 

 

These are the Bordeaux-style cookies from that book.  There is no illustration of the cookie and I was not familiar with it at all.  It is a Pepperidge Farms cookie apparently.  I live a very sheltered life. 

 

The mixing was a little unusual and I’m not sure what purpose it served.   The butter is creamed with the salt and the baking soda before the sugar is added gradually and the recipe proceeds in the normal fashion. 

 

 Further research suggests that I should probably have baked these longer although I still exceeded the recommended time by 20 percent or so.  They seemed reluctant to turn the deep golden brown that they are supposed to be. I wondered if it had anything to do with the sugar that I used to garnish them. I only had turbinado. 

 

 Regardless, they are my kind of cookie. Perfect with a cup of coffee or even without.  We shall see how the gang responds. 

 

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Um...did someone call me? I think I might hear my mother calling me....

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13 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

Um...did someone call me? I think I might hear my mother calling me....

 Take two on these cookies.  I still had dough leftover in the refrigerator even after sending some off with the meeting boy and more off with my number two son. Yesterday while I was out I picked up some raw sugar which is much more finely ground than the stuff I have. This morning I repeated my exercise with these cookies and believe I got a much better colour.  Everyone who has tried these very plain cookies raves about them. If I didn’t know better, because I made them, I would swear they contained coconut. 

 

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 Next time I bake them I will do better on shaping the roll. I suspect I will make it rectangular because the cylindrical one flattens out on the bottom.  I seem to remember someway of overcoming this flattening problem but I don’t recall what it was. 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 Take two on these cookies.  I still had dough leftover in the refrigerator even after sending some off with the meeting boy and more off with my number two son. Yesterday while I was out I picked up some raw sugar which is much more finely ground than the stuff I have. This morning I repeated my exercise with these cookies and believe I got a much better colour.  Everyone who has tried these very plain cookies raves about them. If I didn’t know better, because I made them, I would swear they contained coconut. 

 

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 Next time I bake them I will do better on shaping the roll. I suspect I will make it rectangular because the cylindrical one flattens out on the bottom.  I seem to remember someway of overcoming this flattening problem but I don’t recall what it was. 

 

 

What I do: save a paper towel roll. Slit it open down the side. Use it as a cradle for your cookie dough cylinder in the fridge, to keep it from developing a flat side while it firms up. Then, when you slice the cylinder into cookies, roll the cylinder about an eighth to a quarter turn after each cut, so the same side doesn't constantly get pushed on.

 

Or instead of making a cylinder, make a square prism, with sides that are supposed to be flat. You still need to turn the dough after each cut so your squares don't get squooshed into rectangles, though.

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18 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

What I do: save a paper towel roll. Slit it open down the side. Use it as a cradle for your cookie dough cylinder in the fridge, to keep it from developing a flat side while it firms up. Then, when you slice the cylinder into cookies, roll the cylinder about an eighth to a quarter turn after each cut, so the same side doesn't constantly get pushed on.

 

Genius!!!  I'm using this idea the next time that I make World Peace cookies!  Now, I just have to remember to save a paper towel roll next time I have an empty one!

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You convinced me....just went on Amazon to buy a Kindle  version.  But, all it says is download a sample......?   

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@RobertM

 

 Sorry I cannot help you with your Amazon question. 

 

 Vanilla Meltaways, the recipe that drew me to the book, The Artful Baker. 

 

 At too many points during the production of these cookies I came within seconds of dumping everything into the bin and forgetting the whole idea.

 

 First, my treasured vanilla beans, which I had carefully vacuumed packed when I received them, had lost their vacuum and were now as brittle as tinder. I tossed one into the microwave with a bowl of water and was able to make it at least pliable enough to scrape out the seeds. 

 

The next issue to crop up was mine and mine alone. I knew these cookies required icing sugar and in fact had just purchased some to make the recipe. But when it came time to weigh out the sugar I weighed out granulated sugar and dumped it into the bowl with the softened butter. I was largely able to recover from this mistake and didn’t think the few granules of ordinary white sugar would matter too much.

 

 After the ingredients are mixed to a course crumb stage recipe instructs one to gather them into a ball.  Ha ha Ha.  It was like trying to make a snowball out of dry sand. 

 

 Then one is instructed to roll out this ball of crumbs between two sheets of parchment paper and to flip it frequently to avoid creases. Ha ha Ha.  At least a quarter

of the crumbs hit the floor as I attempted this maneuver.

 

Then one is instructed to put the dough and the parchment paper into the refrigerator. There was no mention of wrapping it properly to prevent it from drying out but that should’ve been common sense. My sense returned about an hour into the chilling stage when I shoved everything into a plastic bag. 

 

 The following morning as per instructions I removed the dough from the refrigerator in order to cut out cookie shapes.  Yet another Ha ha ha Ha.  I would’ve needed a sledgehammer to drive a cookie cutter into this dough. 

 

I left it alone for a while and when it eventually warmed up and became reasonably malleable,  I cut out 12 or so cookies and managed to move them to a prepared sheet pan without them crumbling completely apart.

 

But now I am instructed to gather up the remaining dough and once again, between two sheets of parchment paper, attempt to roll it out.

 

NO! NO! NO!  Not going to happen a second time.

 

I tore off two good pieces of plastic wrap, used one to gather together the crumbly mixture and press it into a cohesive mass before rolling it out between the two sheets. Ah.  So much easier. Perhaps plastic wrap is not available in the author’s home country of Turkey? Perhaps I should learn to trust my own instincts?

 

We have had a huge outdoor freezer for what seems like weeks but of course when I decide to make these cookies, which need to be frozen before they are baked,  the temperature is above freezing outside!   Ha ha ha ha.   So I have to scramble to make enough room in my freezer drawer for a sheet pan. 

At this point I can’t believe I am still optimistic enough to believe that anything edible will come out of this exercise. 

 

 But it did. Not nearly as pretty as the ones pictured in the book but I don’t have to deliver them in a plain brown paper bag and they are tasty. 

 

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Cenk’s House Cookies from  The Artful Baker. These are lovely cookies but not in my opinion at all like Danish butter cookies that are packaged in the blue tin as he claims. 

This time I was not slavishly faithful to the recipe.  I allowed my common sense room to breath. I did not attempt to roll out the dough between pieces of parchment paper. I used plastic wrap.  I did not freeze the ready to bake cookies as he suggested. First of all I couldn’t possibly find room in my freezer to do so and secondly I couldn’t understand the need to do so.  I am wondering if the fact that he lives in Turkey has anything to do with his propensity to put everything into the freezer. 

 I am amused by the idea of having a house cookie as one might have a house wine, his argument being that you always have cookie dough in the freezer ready to bake should company arrive.  Not such a bad idea but I don’t get a lot of company.  I do like the idea of developing a cookie that is so uniquely one’s own that it could become one’s signature cookie. 

 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Lime & Ginger Cookies from The Artful Baker. 

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 Classic brownies from The Artful Baker.  I have little doubt these will go over well with the brownie lovers. 

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On 1/29/2018 at 1:26 PM, Anna N said:

Classic brownies from The Artful Baker.  I have little doubt these will go over well with the brownie lovers. 

Those look like marvelous brownies. I'll have to try making them myself, to see how they compare to my normal recipe.

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2 hours ago, MelissaH said:

Those look like marvelous brownies. I'll have to try making them myself, to see how they compare to my normal recipe.

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 Texts between my granddaughter and me. 

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Snickerdoodles were on my mind but when I checked my supply of cream of tartar I had to move to Plan B!

 

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Oatmeal Scotchies from the book Cookie Love.  The cookies I like;  the book raises my ire!    Even if the author, Mindy Segal, thought it was a great idea to use volume measurements, how hard would it have been to give a simple weight conversion chart indicating her weight of 1 cup of flour using the scoop and level method.  GRRRRR

 

Edited to add

Yeah. I know. It’s the publisher.


Edited by Anna N (log)
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 Tomorrow’s offering is the batch of snickerdoodles that got sidetracked last week when I had no cream of tartar. 

 

 As an aside, the Oatmeal Scotchies seem to have shot to the top of my granddaughter’s list of favourite cookies.  They went over very well grownups also.  

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Shrewsbury Biscuits. They are a shortbready cookie with currants. Probably too plain to amuse my usual audience. In a pique of nostalgia I decided to do a little digging into my British past and see if I could re-create or more truthfully re-invent something of my childhood since I don’t remember anything about most of the sweets that I have come across. xD

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@Anna N are your biscuits the ones with egg or without? If you can, please point me to your recipe as the one I have has no egg in it and they tend to crumble very easily. I have never tried to experiment with trying to add eggs - I think that points to a bit of lazyness on my side:rolleyes:  

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3 minutes ago, JohnT said:

@Anna N are your biscuits the ones with egg or without? If you can, please point me to your recipe as the one I have has no egg in it and they tend to crumble very easily. I have never tried to experiment with trying to add eggs - I think that points to a bit of lazyness on my side:rolleyes:  

 I can’t link you to a recipe because this is from a book – – Paul Hollywood’s British Bakes.  But I believe I can give you the ingredient list without any issues of copyright infringement:

 

100 g of butter

100 g of sugar

Zest of one lemon

200 g of all purpose flour (plain flour)

50 g of currants 

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Thanks @Anna N that is the exact same recipe I have except mine has a teaspoon rose water added.  And in place of currants, mine has the option of finely chopped glasé fruit. I wonder why my ones crumbled too easily. I will experiment again over the weekend and see where I messed up.

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7 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Thanks @Anna N that is the exact same recipe I have except mine has a teaspoon rose water added.  And in place of currants, mine has the option of finely chopped glasé fruit. I wonder why my ones crumbled too easily. I will experiment again over the weekend and see where I messed up.

 I have to tell you that I am a Huge cheat and almost always roll things out between two pieces of plastic wrap.  I don’t know how much of a difference it makes but it required no additional flour. 

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An interesting old recipe found on Wikipedia:

"To make Shrewsbury Cakes - Take two pound of floure dryed in the oven and weighed after it is dryed, then put to it one pound of butter that must be layd an hour or two in rose-water, so done poure the water from the butter, and put the butter to the flowre with the yolks and whites of five eggs, two races of ginger, and three quarters of a pound of sugar, a little salt, grate your spice, and it well be the better, knead all these together till you may rowle the past, then roule it forth with the top of a bowle, then prick them with a pin made of wood, or if you have a comb that hath not been used, that will do them quickly, and is best to that purpose, so bake them upon pye plates, but not too much in the oven, for the heat of the plates will dry them very much, after they come forth of the oven, you may cut them without the bowles of what bignesse or what fashion you please.”

— The Compleat Cook of 1658

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2 hours ago, cakewalk said:

 

An interesting old recipe found on Wikipedia

 

“No matter the decade, it seemed there was a Shrewsbury Cake recipe of some description almost everywhere I looked. After a more organised search I found no fewer than 74 recipes for these English shortbread biscuits, ranging in date from 1621 to 1865.”  

From  Great British Bakes by Mary-Ann Boermans.

 

She gives 4 different recipes in the book for these cakes/biscuits/cookies. 

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

12F6E2F1-D0C5-4A3D-AF6C-356CFFEC3F70.thumb.jpeg.b91afdeb110e00327ab51e9db7497c97.jpeg

 

Shrewsbury Biscuits. They are a shortbready cookie with currants. Probably too plain to amuse my usual audience. In a pique of nostalgia I decided to do a little digging into my British past and see if I could re-create or more truthfully re-invent something of my childhood since I don’t remember anything about most of the sweets that I have come across. xD

 

 

Well, they would totally amuse me! :D   They are now on my to-bake list. Thank you Anna N

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39 minutes ago, demiglace said:

 

 

Well, they would totally amuse me! :D   They are now on my to-bake list. Thank you Anna N

To me they are definitely for grown-ups.

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 From the King Arthur Flour site. Key Lime Sparkler Cookies. No key limes and no sparkles were harmed in the making of these cookies. I had lime juice frozen in an ice cube tray but I’m afraid it did not come from key limes. As for the  sparkles even my grandkids are too old for me to keep those in the house.  These are very much like meltaways.  I am sure they will go over well with the meeting crowd. I will also send along the Cornish Fairings that I made.  Might make up for the lack of goodies last week.  I could not bring myself to send the boring Shrewsbury  biscuits. 

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