Winter Storms – do not have names.

This is just so annoying. Tropical storms have names. Too many names to recall ….

Hurricanes have names. We have had Ivan, Dennis, & Katrina,  since we have been in hurricane alley.

Winter storms – no. names. ever.

I think it is just something the Weather Channel does to increase ratings. People, it is called winter and, guess what – that means you in the north get snow in February and those of us in north Florida are in the low 70’s with polo shirts and jeans. Until we get two good days of cold, which for us, is winter. Suck it.

Granted, you northerns get your revenge when we said hurricanes make landfall and we are miserable in August or September or October. Turn about is fair play, non?

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A real hurricane – Ivan

 

No-Roll Butter Pie Crust 

Not sure about how this recipe is going to work. I have my fingers crossed.

1/3 cup unsalted butter
4 Tbs water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Melt butter in the microwave [or brown the butter in a sauce pan].  Let cool slightly. Add  water.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in butter & water mixture. Mix together but do not over mix. If the dough seems dry, add a little extra water, but do that judicially.

Dump dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate and press until an even layer over bottom and sides of the plate.

Dough can be pre-baked at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 30 minutes, for a no bake filling.

Or in my case refrigerate for 30 minutes and fill with America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie.


I have found that having experience in clay, which I have in spades, makes making pastry a lot easier. It really is, pretty much, the same thing. You just have to get a feel for it and trust your hands but not necessarily your eyes.  And the more often you do it, making pastry dough, the easier it gets.

Source: Baking Bites

Well, for all the finger crossing this crust just did not work. And I am not entirely sure why. This is going to bother me for a while, but I will get to the bottom of it. I think David Lebowitz and version of a French press in pie crust that I will give a shot next time. It is all just science after all. Or something like it. Or maybe it just simply is baking and trying new things that sometime work and sometimes do not.

Sour Cream Pecan Sandies 

How do you write about a recipe that you followed to the letter that totally did not work? Sorry to say, this is one of those. And I know, given scientific method, I should do this again, but I will not throw good pecans after bad. Will not do it.

I will tell you what I said to a friend yesterday, “these would be communion wafers except that I put raw sugar on top.” And still they tasted like nothing. So sad. It might be that I have tried my total best pecan sandies recipe recently, and then another recipe that looked pretty good, it really was, but no where near as good as the original from Food & Wine.

There is an ease and simplicity that somehow defies logic for the Food & Wine Pecan Sandies recipe that I cannot praise enough. And to top if off this sour cream pecan sandie involves the step of rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters. Blech.

There are no pictures because there do not to need to be any. Harsh, but true.

1/2 pecan pieces
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

Grind pecans in the food processor. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt over a piece of waxed paper. Whisk in pecans.

Cream together butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide dough in half and shape into disks, wrap in cling film. Chill dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough a quarter turn, using flour as needed until 1/8 inch. Dough is sticky, but use a light hand with the flour. Cut dough with your favorite cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 – 9 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


I normally attribute the source but will refrain this time. Just make these pecan sandies instead.

Butter Usage – by month – May 2016

11 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Pretzel Toffee – Did not work – need to use a thermometer for the temp of toffee. Damnation

12 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Shortbread with mini chocolate chips & Heath pieces – just saying damn skippy – And my birthday – the 50th. So where do we go from here? Being old that’s where I go anyway. Just something I have to do. I have always said it is better than the alternative.

21 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Pretzel Toffee – again. This time I got it right. It is stupidly good. Yep. Stupid. D&D_1465

This was not the best month for me. My Fred died and I miss him so. But I also miss my Mom and my little Bering and my big dog Duke. I am kind of tired of people and dogs I love dying.  Yep tired of all this.

Will do better next month – really need to get back into the kitchen and do something useful.

The kitchen always makes me feel better.

Butter usage – by month – April 2016

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – yep

2 April –  8 Tbs – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars (for Heather)

9 April – 8 Tbs – Salted Crispy Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

11 April – 2 Tbs – Everyday Orzo (once again amazing!)

13 April – 8 Tbs – Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

16 April – 12 Tbs – Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze – don’t do this

17 April – 7 Tbs – Italian Cream Cake

21 April – 8 Tbs – Lemon Ricotta Cookies – don’t do that either, do this

28 April – 12 Tbs – Brown Sugar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

30 April – 5 Tbs – Mac and Cheese My Mom’s recipe, as such which I will say again – just do it. Really. Not kidding.

30 April – 8 Tbs – Brown Sugar Pecan Scones

78 Tbs = 9.75 sticks = 39 ozs = 2.4375 pounds

Not great, but not a ringing endorsement either. And from what I can gather my May does not start out any better. Crap.

 

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Yes, once again with a lemon cookie, but this time we can say it is a Meyer Lemon cookie to make is sound strange and wonderful – which Meyer Lemons are.

So I am going to compare this recipe to my Lemon Sour Cream Cookies with Lemon Glaze because I love the cake-like texture and I think this cookie will have a similar texture – cake-like.

Caveat – read this whole post before deciding to make this – no, really. Then make this.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Over waxed paper sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer,  combine the butter and the sugar until light. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Add in the dry ingredients, a little at a time.
Spoon the dough –  I use a cookie scoop –  onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes – turn half way through the baking, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet a few minutes.

Glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

Notes: This came together really easily, but I have to say, I was disappointed in this recipe. The cookie was sticky and lacked flavor. It makes me sad. I will be going back to my Lemon Sour Cream Cookies with Lemon Glaze.

I am not sure how to deal with recipes that just do not work out for me, but this is one of those.   Do you keep it in the cookie binder with a big “Hell No” on it? I would like to depend on my memory, but I am not sure I can. Maybe my visual memory will work that way, but I am not sure the rest of me can work that way. – Ugh.

Will not go into sources, because that does not seem fair. This just did not work for me – hence no picture, but at least a warning in case you see something similar. The Lemon Sour Cream Cookies, those, I can totally vouch for and have been making for years.

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Best (?) Blueberry Cookies

I’m not really sure where to start with this. I have actually (some how hate that word) started this post three times already, but have deleted it each time. So here goes … I so very much wanted this to work because the blueberries this year have been amazing and it will not be too much longer and then they will be done. They may be already. That is sad because then the wait begins again.
So here’s the deal: this recipe, for me, did not work at all. Though the dough did taste great – who does not eat raw cookie dough?? Um, yeah.

I went back, thank goodness I keep up (mostly) where a recipe or inspiration comes from, and looked at the comments for this recipe and scrolled through them. At first I was just depressed because everyone was raving. Then I double checked to make sure I used all the correct ingredients – check. I had chilled dough – check. Then I scrolled further down the comments, and there, exactly, was the problem I was having. Thank goodness, I was not crazy, at least, not on this occasion.
From what I’ve read, it is the baking soda that was the issue or lack of baking powder. Either way! I’m going to get into that science this winter and plan to try again next year because I so want this to work. But please, do not try this until I get a better handle on it.

This is the original recipe. I so hoped it would work. But for me, it did not.

Makes about 30 cookies Note: I’ve had people ask me if you really have to chill cookie dough before baking. [Hello, duh] The answer is that you can get away with skipping it in some recipes, but with these cookies, it is absolutely necessary. The dough will be too soft to bake before a good two hours in the fridge, so plan accordingly. Carrie Vasios

2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup blueberries

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and eggs until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to gently mix in blueberries. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let chill for at least two hours and up to overnight.

Adjust oven racks to middle and upper positions and preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by the rounded tablespoon onto baking sheet. Bake until golden, 13-15 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

So do you post a recipe that does not work for you? Is it just a warning? I’m still not sure what to do with this. Ugh.