Monday, April 27, 2009

Near miss, Crispy Cocoa Cookies

These are some of the most fragrant cookies I have baked.  At about 5 minutes in the oven, the house filled with a sweet, rich cocoa scent.  Moments earlier I was ready to give up on them but I'm glad I persisted.  

The dough was really quick to make and included the most basic ingredients of mainly flour, sugar, cocoa, and butter mixed together and then chilled in bricks.  I refrigerated half and froze half as the recipe estimated 5.5 dozen...more cookies than my family of 3 (4) could eat.  I did the prep a day earlier and decided to roll and bake the cookies the next day.   When I took the dough out of the fridge and tried to roll it out it cracked and crumbled into 4 large pieces and about 15 little shards and bits.  Oh dear, I thought, this is not going to end well.  However, I persisted and worked the dough a little and finally got it rolled out the the required 1/16 of an inch, cut in lovely 3 inch circles and onto parchment laden cookie sheets.  

Ahhh.  It was a delightful sight. 

The cookies look really pretty all lined up in their thin, chocolaty perfection.  
Clara happily ate two when I turned my head for a moment, and a third shortly there after.  Perfectly paired with a glass of milk, a book and a sunny corner of the house.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Scone Love

Friday morning just before 8am the phone rang. "So, are you still making those scones?" my dad asks. "Yes..." I say. "Great, Mum and I will be over in a little while!" I opened the book, ground some coffee, rolled up my sleeves and began.

The name buttermilk scones is quite a humble title for these beauties. It is a very basic and classic recipe for scones which allows for imagination and creative little twists. They're a blank canvas, really, just waiting to be transformed into genius.

I love cutting the butter into the flour mixture, it's very relaxing and enjoyable. To that the buttermilk is gradually added and worked into a very soft dough.

Because I always make triangular scones, I opted to make the rolled variety instead. Each half of the dough gets rolled into a long, thickish strip- it gets brushed with butter and then spread with fruit, nuts and/or preserves. Jim and Clara love strawberry jam, so one of the rolls was thus spread. My mum and I love marmalade, so the other was filled with orange peel and jelly. Both were then rolled up into a long log, brushed with butter and sprinkled with a little coarse sugar.

With little else than a cup of coffee, these scones did not disappoint. It could have been a dessert if topped with ice cream. Alone and flakey, hot from the oven is how we enjoyed them...all. A perfect easter friday breakfast.