Returned Triumphant (or not)

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My poor blog.  It’s been neglected and abandoned, left to whither.  I swear it is not something I did on purpose, but rather my blog was a victim of circumstance.

But I’m back.  I had planned on my very first entry being on macarons.  Macarons are the new cupcake.  Or rather, macarons are cupcakes’ cranky, fussy younger sister.  They are in vogue right now in all the foodie circles, with pictures all over FoodGawker whispering a challenge: make me.

I had seen a blogger dub the macaron the cookie that will make your hair go white.  Jesus, isn’t that the truth.  Until now, I never ran into anything I couldn’t bake to perfection.  This…this “cookie” has stumped me not once, but four times.  Hell, even Ray gave it a shot only to have the exact same problem as myself.

Look at this!

All of my macarons met similar fates.  Cracking, collapsing, no feet.  It was a disaster, and I seriously considered just giving up.

Ray convinced me to keep at it, because he’s positive I can get it.

So hopefully the next post I make is a triumphant picture of perfect macarons.

Also, Ray has apparently been whispering in Santa’s ear.  It means good things for this blog.  😀

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Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

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Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

 

I was perusing Joy the Baker’s website a while back when I stumbled on these beauties.  They looked so light and delicate.  Perfect for nibbling on while enjoying a nice cup of herbal tea.  So, I made them.  Let me tell you, they are amazing.  They are everything you’d dream them to be.  Light, airy, with just enough lemon flavor.  I didn’t put a cross-hatch pattern into the top of my cookies, rather I just let them puff up, but I can’t imagine it would affect the flavor if you do.

You can find the recipes here, over on Joy’s website.

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

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Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve mentioned in the “About Me” section that one of the things I got after my grandmother’s passing was her hand-written recipes, most of which are for cookies and bread.  It’s the cookie recipes I cherish the most, but for as long as I’ve had them, I’ve not made anything out of them.

I decided to change that.  Recipe to follow.

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Cottage Pie

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Cottage Pie

I live in West Virginia.  It’s February.  It is COLD out.  (Okay, I’m lying.  It was 50 degrees Fahrenheit today.  But it WAS cold.)  When it’s chilly, you tend to crave hearty food.  Stuff that sticks to your bones and warms the belly.  And carbs.  Lots of carbs.  Anyone who lives in areas that regularly get dumped on come Winter knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Cottage pie is the perfect meal for the freezing cold months of Winter.  It has everything you could ever want in a warm, savory dish.  And it is, by definition, man-friendly.  This is meat and potatoes at it’s finest.  It may even be proposal-inducing.  Read on.

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Pumpkin Week(s): Pumpkin Flan

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There are a lot of typical desserts you can make with pumpkin.  Pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, etc.  Sometimes, though, you need something a little different.  Something rich, something sweet, something that really showcases the taste of pumpkin without it being cloyed and masked by heaps of flour.

I have your answer.

Pumpkin Flan

Recipe after the jump!

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Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Roll

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So my plan for doing a post every day for a week was promptly shot in the butt by some unexpected stress that completely occupied me for several days. So, I’m going to call the rest of my posts “Pumpkin Week” and pretend I actually crammed it all into one week.

So.

On to my next scrumptious dessert.

Pumpkin Roll

Recipe behind the jump!

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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing

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Fall is here.

In my opinion, Fall is the best time of year for foodies.  It’s when you bust out the good stuff.  When the rich sauces, gravies, confectioneries, crock pot meals, and baking is not only okay to eat (now that it’s not hot) but it’s practically demanded.  When it gets cold, I put in my order at the local grocery for a pallet of butter, of flour, of sugar, and eggs because I am going to be doing a lot of baking.

Oddly enough, I’m not a sweets kind of person, but my grandmother taught me the art of baking when I was a girl.  I enjoy it immensely.  I just give it away when I’m done.  (I apologize to all my friends for the ten pounds they will undoubtedly gain this season.)

One of Mat’s favorite cookies was one I discovered long ago.  I had a can of pumpkin and no idea what to do with it.  A friend recommended a recipe for me, and I whipped it up.

Behold: cakey, pumpkin-ie goodness.

I mention these cookies, and Mat all but throws me into the car to take me to the grocery store so I can pick up the stuff to make them.  It contains an unholy amount of shortening, but that’s what gives these tasty morsels their fluffy, cake-y awesomeness.  They are awesome to make for Fall parties and get-togethers.  Be prepared for the stampede of people demanding to know the recipe.  Bring coffee to dip these babies in.  These cookies with a cup of warm coffee is a match made in heaven.

You can find the recipe here, over at AllRecipes.com.  Don’t change a thing.  As a Supporting Member of AllRecipes, I have access to “custom recipes” of individual recipes of the site.  You know how some people comment about things they did differently about recipes?  That’s what custom recipes are, neatly organized for your viewing pleasure.  The kicker?  This cookie recipe has no custom recipes attached.  That’s perfect how it is.  I would, however, recommend you use Crisco/pure veggie shortening instead of vegetable/animal blend shortening.  It makes the difference.

I drizzle my icing over top of my cookies with a spoon.  This can get sooooo messy, so I recommend you put your cooking on a baking rack and put paper towels or wax paper underneath to catch the drippings.  Some people suggest dipping the cooking into the frosting, but that’s difficult to do without accidentally dipping your fingers in too, so I just use a spoon.  Comes out fantastic.

Enjoy!

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