Thursday, October 23, 2008

Melting Moments

Otherwise known as cornstarch cookies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Russian Tea Cakes! I wanted to make these as soon as I read about how easy it was, on Crazydeliciousfoods. She didn't provide a picture or recipe so I looked it up on google and got this recipe. It looked easy enough and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try this cookie myself! It was and wasn't what I was expecting. It did melt in your mouth, but it also had this weird texture. Not saying that it was a bad texture, but it was just new to me. My mom liked it which is good because if she doesn't like it, nobody eats it. It's a good cookie and it crumbles easily. But I can't describe the texture all too well. You have to try it for yourself!

Cornstarch Cookies; makes 3 dozen i got 22, maybe my cookies were too big?

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
When dough is firm, form into 1 inch (2.54 cm) balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle about half of the confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar onto the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Put the remaining sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies (or you can just roll the cookies in the sugar).
These cookies store very well. Place in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper and they will keep a couple of weeks.

Ready to be sugared!

Being sugared!

Another picture because they're so beauutiful!

-adapted from Joy of Baking -

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Butter Pecan Ice cream... sorta?

You know when you really look forward to something? Then you get something else? The something else isn't bad but it's not what you were looking forward to.. Butter Pecan is my favorite flavor of ice cream. I was looking forward to imitating the milk flavored, creamy, butter pecan ice cream of Ben and Jerry's but instead, I got coffee ice cream with pecans in it. I have no idea how this happened. Sure I messed up, tried again messed up again and had to strain the eggy out of the batter, but this should have nothing to do with converting a butter pecan ice cream into a coffe pecan ice cream.. right? ughh. Whatever, I mean, the coffee ice cream tastes good too, but if I was craving butter pecan ice cream, I would so go to Albertsons and just pay $4 for a pint instead of make this. So, I guess this recipe wasn't a success. But if you guys want to try this weird ice cream for yourself, please do! I want to see if I made a mistake or the recipe is weird (it's probably the first one..) Maybe it's because I kind of accidently added a few more drops of vanilla then it said.. I don't know. Well, now that I mention it.. maybe that is the reason... And oh yeah, the ice cream melted really fast..

1/3 cup chopped pecans I used 1/2 cup but it still wasn't alot.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup brown sugar I used 3/4 cup
2 eggs, beaten maybe I should have used 1 egg and 1 egg yolk like the allrecipes users adviced..
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream I used 1 cup
1/2 cup heavy cream I used 1 cup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small skillet over medium heat, saute pecans in butter until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together brown sugar, eggs and half and half until smooth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla and pecans.
Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers' directions.

First attempt=Disastrous! Had to throw away 2 eggs! :(

Second Attempt, still had to strain it. Look at all the eggy-mush left behind!

ice cream's still ice cream. yum.

-adapted from -

PS. Have any tips on how not to get eggy mush when simmering eggs in an ice cream recipe?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pita bread

Pita bread is simple and delicious. To me, it has this taste that's unforgetable and addicting. It's also easy to make! The process of making pita bread is hard work but its so rewarding. It's fun to mix the water, sugar, and yeast and watch it fertilize. It's fun to watch the dough rise in the oven. It's all so fun! Of course I recommend this recipe! I always have the ingredients on hand and it's just plain good. Even if you don't have a baking stone, it still tastes delicious.

1 package (0.25 ounce) of yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of lour and pur yeast water in depression.Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer stick and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size. Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to preheat your baking sheet also. Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes. Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.

-adapted from