Friday, December 4, 2009

Sugar Cookies!!!

Today I baked sugar cookies for a Christmas Party that my housemates and I are holding. I baked and decorated them. And by bake, i mean, i rolled out the dough, cut them with cookie cutters and put them in the oven. I did not make the dough, it was ready-made. NOT the store-bought ready-made, but wrote out the recipe, left it in the kitchen for my boyfriend to make- ready made. The best kind! Homemade taste, without the hassle - well for me, at least! I've been working alot, so I didn't have time. I got to the do the fun parts - baking and decorating.
Even though I didn't make the dough, I did write it out, and it is my sugar cookie stand by, so I will post the recipe.

Sugar Cookies

3 cups flour
1/12 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room-temp
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients in med bowl.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the egg, and extracts. Add the dry ingredients, slowly incorporating.

Roll into two disks, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.

After chilled, roll out to 1/4 inch, and cut shapes, place on non-stick baking tray, or one covered with baking paper, and bake for 10 min at 170C or until edges start to brown.

Let cool completely before you start to decorate.

I thought it would fun to make the cookies on sticks, like lollypops! I also thought it would be nice to make them with the first initial of all the guests that are coming. So here they are:

I made a few decorated ones in case some Randos show-up. (Randos - (ran + doh's) random people) You never know. I also really wanted to bake gingerbread men, but I won't have time. I'm thinking Sunday when I get a day off.

To make the lolly pops, I bought candy sticks from a bulk food store. I pressed them part way onto the cookie, and then i took a bit of extra dough, and 'patched' a bit on top to cover the stick. I then baked the cookies with the patch part down. When I decorated the cookies, I decorated them with the patch side up, because it was the smoothest side. Also the icing covered the patch, so it looks seamless.

For the icing I used 3 tbs. of meringue powder, 500g of icing sugar and slowly incorporated warm water until I got the the consistency I wanted. For tips of decorating with icing sugar check out Sweetopia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Navettes Sucrees

Fun Fact #6: J2O makes me really really hyper, especially the Apple Melon flavour. (no it isn't alcoholic)

I know it has been a while, but I have legit excuse. I have been working on projects, its just that most of the recent projects have been Christmas presents, and I know some of the recipients follow my blog, so I couldn't spoil it for them!

My recent adventures in the kitchen included another batch of the Browned Butter Chocolate Chip and these babys:

Navettes Sucrees - Sugar Shuttles

I have to admit, they kinda look like battered chicken wings!!! hahaha, only realized now! But I assure you they taste nothing like them!

These cookies taste simply delectable! I found this recipe on Gourmet's website. They compiled the best cookie recipes from 1941-2008. The Navettes Sucrees are the favourite of 1951, my mom wasn't even born then!! ;)

They are reminiscent a sugar cookie. They are cakey inside and have a crisp delicate outer shell. They seem to have a 'rustic' look about them. The shape of them is to resemble a shuttle in a sewing machine. I have to admit, I didn't really know what a sewing shuttle looked like, but thanks to google images, I was soon educated. Anyways, its cigar shaped and that's all you really need to know.

Navettes Sucrees
adapted from the original Gourmet recipe
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond essence
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
small bowl of granulated sugar
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, mix in the sugar and salt. Add the butter, vanilla, almond and yolks, and knead. (I mixed it with my hands)
  • Wrap the dough in cling film and put into the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
  • Preheat over at 350F/175C. (Actually I preheated mine to 160C because I have a fan oven)
  • Prepare two bowls, one with about a cup of granulated sugar, and one with lightly whisked egg whites. Break off some dough (about the size a small ping pong ball) and form into into the sewing shuttle or cigar shape with your hands. You should get around 16-18.
  • Line your baking tray with baking paper, and spaced them out. Then dip each one in the lightly whisked egg whites, and then roll them around in the sugar, and place back on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the over for about 12 minutes, or until they just start to turn lightly brown.

They are really really good warm, so i recommend eating one asap! The outside will have a delicate crisp sweet shell and the inside will be soft, dense and cakey. A good juxtaposition of textures!

I hope you like them as much as I did, but then again I love anything covered in sugar!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretty Pendants

Fun Fact #5: I loved horseradish when I was about 6 years old.

A few nights ago, I tried my hand at making pendants. I wanted them to look pretty, not cute, like th cupcakes.

I've been experimenting with miniature flowers. I think they are a bit messy, but I hope with practice they will look better.

Is a Rose, Is a Rose, Is a Rose

This rose was actually VERY simple. I just rolled a strip of polymers clay.

Purple Spaz and PurpPetals

Next are two yellow and purple pendents. I don't know how I feel about the shade of yellow I used....

Starfish Corsage corsage

This one I made by layering the spiky petals! Again with the dodgy yellow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cupcakes! But not the edible kind!

Fun Fact # 4: I like fruit and I like chocolate, but I'm not a fan of fruit flavoured chocolate. No Terry's Chocolate Orange for me!

I've been busy with polymers clay.

And unfortunately as with the edible baked goods, these cupcake can burn as well. And burn they did! It's a sad tale, but I think some of them can be salvaged. I just have to change their descriptive names of these little charms.

For example,

Exhibit A: Cappuccino Froth Cupcake
It was intended to have vanilla and chocolate (white and brown) swirled icing, with a mint leaf. However, due to the burnt nature of this cupcake, it is now a cappuccino flavoured icing with the coffee and froth flavours!

Exhibit B: Behold! The Barney Barf Cupcake!

This was suppose to be a toxic goo halloween cupcake. The 'toxic' green was a florescent green, that almost glowed! And now... the green is a darker green, a grass green. Kinda reminds me of Barney. Hense my name. Not the proposed effect!

Exhibit C: Muddy Moldy Blueberry.
Suppose to be a piped blueberry icing with red sprinkles. The burnt blue makes a muddy blue. It wasn't the bright bluetac colour i hoped for. But the red sprinkles were vibrant!

Exhibit D: Rancid Cherry Marshmallow

This one looked really really cute before I baked it. It was to be vanilla icing with a bright cherry on top! The white turned a little brown, so I covered it with white sparkles (helps if you squint). But my cherry still looks a little rotten with a brown leaf (once green)

Exhibit E: Grape Crush Gumball
This one worked out the best, in my opinion. The colours stayed the similar to the the pre-baked version. Its a Grape Crush with a pink Gumball! No need to alter that title!

I hope these tasty bits inspired you to go to the kitchen and bake yourself a batch. I was also contemplating making a photo tutorial oh how to make one yourself.... Something to consider

I will leave you for the night with this. My all-time favourite Tim Horton's Doughnut:


Fun Fact Number 3: I am a stellar whistler! I has the skillz!

Well, I'm a believer! I actually finished a project last night! I finished the orange crocheted scarf! Believe it or not, I tied in all the lose ends as well! I'm almost a professional.

Soooo, here it is. My first project posting. Me and the orange scarf.

Pretty simple pattern.
1. in third from hook, dc. and continue dc across (22st)
2. ch2 then (4fpdc 4bpdc)twice then 4fpdc, and dc in last stitch
3. ch1 then (4fpdc 4bpdc) twice, then 4fpdc, and dc in last stitch
Repeat line 3 over and over again, until you think your magnificent scarf is long enough

ch - chain
dc - double crochet
fpdc - front post double crochet
bpdc - back post double crochet

Here is a link to show you how to fpdc and bpdc

Note: This scarf is very warm!

I have to admit, I did pick up another ball of yarn an begin a new project instead of going back to another UFP (unfinished project). It's a sickness...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beloved Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Don't you love how the title has so many alliterations)

Fun Fact # 2: My favourite type of pasta is conchiglie...the shells. (Also, if you turn them inside out after they are cooked, they look like little helmets, perfectly sized for your thumb!)

This browned butter chocolate chip cookie recipe has replaced my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe. Permanently!

Now, I was partial to the regular type of chocolate chip cookies for years. My old recipe was from an ancient Laura Secord baking book that was my grandmothers passed down to my mother. It was a decent recipe, but sometimes the cookies would turn out puffy and cakey and the next they would spread-out thin and crispy. And I was fine with that! I never questioned it....until! The day I stumbled upon the notion of browned butter chocolate chip cookies!

My Beloved Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

The recipe can be found at Slice of Sueshe. A wonderful food blog that inspires me.

One thing I did differently: I added white chocolate chips along with my milk chocolate chips. But I definitely should have put more!

My own notes reguarding the recipe:
I have made these cookies three time since I found them at Slice of Sueshe, and I think the first time I burnt the browned butter (having no experience in browning butter). But, I was not disappointed! Being a lover a creme brulee, the burnt butter was reminiscent of the burnt sugar! Since then I have learned to brown my butter without burning it, but I must say, I might try it again ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The First But Not Last....

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!
I thought it would start the first few posts with an entertaining fact about myself. That way, if you don't care about the rest of the post, you can at least be amused by a silly fact, before you skip the rest.

Fun Fact #1: Pippy Longstocking is my idol. (I have included a handy dandy wiki link for those who are unfamiliar)

Ok onto the next bit. You know how when some people have a project to do, they start it and persevere until it is finished before they start the next?
Well that is definately not me. I'm probably the complete opposite. I like to start multiple projects, and juggle them over long periods of time. This results in endless UFP's: Unfinished projects.

For example: I have been working on a knitted vest. (In a really pretty lavender colour!) Well, the knitted part was done in about a week and a half. I was very dedicated to getting that done. But it sat, unfinished and alone for over a month, because I avoided the boring part of sewing up the sides, and started other projects in the meantime.

Perhaps by recording and sharing my projects I will be more motivated to complete my UFP.

To give you an idea of what I am up to at the moment, I have compiled a list, of said UFP.

UFP's (unfinished projects)

- bright orange crocheted scarf
- polymer cupcake charms
- cat in poppy's cross stitch
- embroidered image on a t-shirt
- christmas cards
There are more, hiding in drawers, boxes and closets.

Some things I would like to accomplish with the blog

- to finish my projects, so I can share them with you
- make tutorials and/or explain the process that I used to make these crafts
- to inspire others, and in turn be inspired by others
- and to share my sugary adventures in the kitchen