Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pretty Blueberry Muffins

I hated blueberries as a kid. Fresh blueberries were the worst, but followed closely by blueberry pies, muffins and tarts. It was not for lack of desire. I always wanted the idyllic experience of picking and savouring fresh blueberries from the rocky hills at our cottage, but it was not to be. Yet my distaste for the dainty little berry dissolved and was replaced by a love of all things blueberry.

These light, airy, slightly sweet muffins studded with blue jewels were a perfect addition to our sunny Saturday morning. My grocery store sold blueberries for a premium today and yet they were very sad looking, so I opted to buy mine frozen. I defrosted them a little and sprinkled them with flour before I put them in the batter but their purple colour still swirled through the muffins giving them a very nice marbled top. There is a lot of sifting involved in this recipe but my beloved old sifter that
I inherited from my great aunt made the job quite nostalgic and enoyable.
I just barely managed to get a picture of them before they vanished but I have a feeling it won't be long until I make these again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What is a nightcap?

1. a drink taken just before bedtime
2. a soft cap formerly worn in bed

Yah, I googled nightcap...and found these cookies fit both definitions. (sort of) The little swirls of chocolate icing on top of the spongy cookie should look a bit like the old fashioned night cap and, I suppose, it would be quite deleciously indulgant to 'take' one cookie just before bed each eve. (Who me?)

The batter for these cookies was quite simple to whip up but different than any I remember working with. It's wet, almost like a thick icing rather than a cookie dough. I ran out of parchment paper, so I scooped my teaspoons of deliciousness onto well greased cookie sheets. The cookies did slide around on the sheet a bit as they cooked, leaving a little tail of cookie behind a few of them, but I trimmed them off and ate there is no evidence of that anymore. (Perhaps the parchment would have remedied that, Tina?)

Of course Clara got in on the making of these. (She simply cannot resist a good cookie baking challenge. And, I might add, did a better job than I at making perfectly round cookies mounds.)

I accidentally used all my heavy cream in a soup the day before I made these so I do not have a fully assembled cookie picture to show you - yet. Hopefully I will post one later today after I sneak out to the store for some more cream. The pretty little chocolate pillows were quite nice on their own, however, I cannot wait to try one oozing with chocolaty goodness.

***Oops, We ate them up too fast to get a picture of them...but oh my were they ever delicious!***

Thursday, March 12, 2009

X Cookies - Better late than never...

The week of X cookies flew past and left me with nothing but good intentions. The week after, however, proved to be much more productive. A pile of figs, raisins, candied peel, chocolate and almonds kept taunting me with their lack of order, so I rolled up my sleeves and got out the food processor. The dough was easy to make. I didn't find it quite as easy to work with as Tina but it really was not too bad. The filling was another story.

I can think of a few reasons why my deliciously fragrant, luscious looking filling was gooey and not at all roll-able. (The recipe simply says roll 1/12th of the filling into a long tube to place on the long thin bit of dough and roll into a tube....sure.

So, a few potential reasons why my filling would not roll. First, because I did my cookies a week late and read the abundance of cookies the full recipe made, I halved my recipe. I think that sometimes while I'm halving a recipe things go wrong. Second, I think my heavy handed pour of rum..."a little more wont hurt" attitude may have been another good reason.

Regardless of my struggle, the cookies turned out beautifully and were completely delicious Clara did not care for them. "I don't like figs!" she declared. Jim loved the cookies once I told him they were indeed fig cookies and not "some weird chocolate", his assumption on first consumption. Personally, I could not get enough of them and happily pigged out with my friend Becky's daughter Brennah (my food pal).

I will make these again someday...maybe next year.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Gallant Galette

This weeks challenge was a perfect delight to make and especially to eat! I must admit that when I read through the list of recipes for this month, this one seemed particularly scary. What a pleasant surprise to have it come together so quickly and beautifully. The dough was a breeze to work with and altogether not intimidating at all. For the topping I used Pepper Jack cheese (Jim's favourite) and the mozzarella along with tomato and basil. We ate the whole thing in about 5 minutes...(managing to only save a small slice for my Mum).

Because the dough was enough for two galettes, I made a sweet one the next day for dessert, adding pear and raspberries to a sugar and cinnamon mixture dotted with butter. It was, again, perfectly delicious, and devoured instantly with ice cream.

The Gallant Galette has become a new family favourite! I am eager to make it again.