Saturday, 26 July 2008

World Peace - hopefully as easy as these cookies

Yes i know I am late to the party but here they are anyway. A colleague has got a promotion at work and will be leaving my office this week so i promised i would bake something for her last day. I had these bookmarked and as the weather was going to hot this weekend I didn't want anything too involved. I think I may need to get some variation in my cook books as i appear to be getting an addiction to Dorie Greenspan books and recipes, although this is no bad thing. I have to say these are great cookies and i think the small size is perfect (i dont feel so guilty eating them!!)

From Dorie Greenspans Paris Sweets and from Baking: from my Home to Yours - makes about 36 cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into little bits

1. Sift the Flour, Baking Soda and Cocoa together. In another large bowl beat the butter together until soft and creamy.

2. Add the Sugars, Vanilla and Salt to the butter and mix for a couple of minutes till well combined.

3. Add the Flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix, on slow at first, to combine and only just until combined. (at this stage i mix the butter into the flour with a spatula just a tiny bit first to stop it from flying everywhere before i use the mixer)

4. Add the Chocolate pieces and mix with a spatula again only till just distributed, as you want to keep them crumbly as possible.

5. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide in half. roll the dough into logs about 1 1/2 inches (mine were a little smaller) and then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, i left mine overnight. you can make this a couple of days ahead or even freeze the dough at this stage for up to a month.

6. Once ready to bake ake from the fridge and slice the los into 1/2 inch thick rounds. they make break up a bit when you cut them but they can be easily be put back together. place them on a lined baking sheet and place in a preheated oven set at 160c for 12 minutes.

7. When you take them from the oven they wont look done but the edges will be a little firm. let them them cool on a rack.

8. Try not eat them all in one go!!!

(note about oven temperature - i have a fan assisted oven and find they cook things faster than normal so i tested 3 cookies first at 1 minute intervals and found that 150c and 8 minutes was perfect)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

simple and delicious muffins from the bountiful "Baking From my Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan

2/3 cups Sugar
Zest of one Lemon
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Sour Cream
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp poppy seeds

preheat the oven to 200C and butter 12 muffin moulds or line with muffin papers

in a bowl rub the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers until fragrant and moist

whisk in the dry ingredients

in a separate bowl whisk all the other ingredients (except the seeds) and then pour over the dry ingredients - and then mix gently with a spatula making sure only to mix till combined - you dont want to over mix the batter.

gently mix in the poppy seeds again only until just combined.

divide into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 mins until golden and a thin knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre. remove from oven and let sit in pan for 5 mins before removing.

(these keep quite well so long as kept in an airtight container)