It’s been a while since I have posted anything here, but I have a good excuse. I’ve been busy.
I was laid off last January from my job of 30 years; so needless to say, I’ve been searching for another one. But to tell the truth, it’s been nice not having the pressure of going to a stress-filled place everyday. It’s been nice not having to leave my house if I don’t want to. It’s been extremely nice to spend more time with my husband who works out of our house, as well.
But we need two incomes, so I’ve had to start shooting commercial jobs to help pay the bills. I have a new website to help drum up some business; so if you know of anyone needing any photography in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area (which includes parts of Georgia and Alabama) please send them my way.
Of course I would be willing to travel to any exotic location if I had to – if the client paid for it, of course.
Part of the wallpaper on the outside of the restaurant is a blown-up photo of a brownie recipe. Cool! It is hand-written on an index card just like my great grandmother’s. So I did what probably others have done – I took a photo of it and tried my hand at making them at home.
I think I made several mistakes.
I used semi-sweet chocolate and gluten-free flour. And even though I baked them close to an hour, they still did not get done. When I tried to get them out of the pan, they basically fell apart. And sadly, the gluten-free flour made them taste…..not so good.
I plan to re-do them with dark chocolate and regular flour – and a hotter oven. I’ll just have to risk getting a migraine.
Here you go if you want to try them.
I had never heard of a cocoa nibs, (bits similar to crushed coffee beans) so I had to look it up. And of course I did not have any, so I settled for the only thing I had – Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips. I also didn’t have any raisins, so I used craisins. So I have no idea if the cookies taste anything like what they are supposed to, but they’re pretty good. But then again, it’s hard to mess up a cookie.
Nibby Nut and Raisin Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter melted and still warm
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa nibs
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup dried currants or raisins
Mix flour and baking soda together and set aside.
In large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugars and salt. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened, then stir in the nibs, nuts and currants. If possible, cover and chill overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and let soften while the oven preheats to 375 degrees. Scoop up level tablespoons of dough and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake between 8 and 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top. Use a metal turner to transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Starting this project right at the beginning of bathing suit season might not have been such a hot idea. And that is why I took most of it to my in-laws’ house yesterday.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 whole egg plus one yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and yolk, vanilla and almond. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture, then almonds. Turn into a lightly greased 9-inch square pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for about 25 minutes. (it took my oven almost 45 minutes.) Cool. Frost with butter icing. Cut into bars.
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I used maple syrup. I didn’t have corn syrup)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)
I also added some vanilla. It tastes better that way.
Don’t pour the almond extract over the bowl you’re pouring it into. (I knew not to do that) Almond extract spilled all over, but it does taste good.
I chose this recipe out of my great grandmother’s collection because I thought it was going to be more like a turnover. I don’t know what I was thinking. They seem to be basically thumbprint cookies. But who am I to question a recipe?
And again, a basic instruction was left out. I suppose everyone knew what, “… bake in a slow oven until brown,” meant several decades ago. Time frames! I need time frames!
I think I baked them between 25 and 30 minutes. I lost track of time because I was also trying to get ready for work. I just kept checking them.
One more note: They are quite possibly the best cookies / tarts I’ve ever eaten! Recipe below:
3 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cups flour (I used all purpose)
Strawberry preserves ( I used raspberry preserves)
Pecan halves (I used sliced almonds)
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, salt, vanilla and flour. Mix well. Form into balls the size of walnuts and place on cookie sheet. Dent each ball in the center. Fill dents with small preserves. Top each with a pecan (or several almond slices) and bake in a slow oven 325 degrees until brown.
Tip: it takes about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven when the bottoms of the tarts begin to get crispy brown. Also, I halved the recipe, and only baked a few at a time. I am keeping the dough in the refrigerator so I can bake some fresh for my in-laws.
Brownie points for me!
And sugar. Got to have sugar to off-set all of that hot stuff.
Best muffins of my short cooking career so far.
Oh yeah, and I used almond milk again because I’m trying to avoid dairy right now.
They are really good, no kidding.
They are pretty good, and also pretty healthy. The only sugar in them is from maple syrup. Joe and his mom love them because they make them – how shall I say…….
Joe calls them “Poop cookies.”
I made tortellini last night for dinner and added lots of garlic and cheese to the dish.
Oh, and a couple of vegetables – just to add some nutrition.
I served apples, as well. Apples, as well as oat meal, absorb cholesterol. So it all evened out.