Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cookies Cutters & Ribbons: Green Tea Cookies Part II

I've fallen again.

Fallen prey to these gleaming metallic, sturdy stainless steel cookie cutters with Japanese motifs.

Fallen in love with a roll of beautiful ribbon. It is printed on both sides!!!!!!!!! (Yes, it's almost impossible to find consumer-available, double-side printed ribbons these days!) Sorry to sound like such a creep, but I look out for details like these.

At the point of purchase, I haven't figured when I would have a chance to use this lovely piece (I wanted to use "precious" but the word took on a whole new meaning after watching Lord of the Rings). But having a weak spot for ribbons (and paper, fabric, stationery by and large), my approach is to buy when in doubt. Hee hee :)

Things started to piece up slowly: a sakura cookie cutter, green tea powder (leftover from the previous bake), a ribbon which seems a perfect match to package green tea cookies.

I got on to more baking again, and packaging, and eating.

Actually there is one overlooked point about packaging baked goodies in pretty, small sealed bags: It delays gratification! I absolutely love these cookies, but I can't bear to tear the little pyramids apart! The calories accumulate still, just more slowly... ^_^

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nostalgia with the Coming of X'mas - Green Tea Tree Cookies Part I

Had recently gotten some very likeable X'mas tree cookie cutters from Cuisipro . I almost ran out of ideas on how to make a green cookie without any colour additives (even contemplated grinding some fresh herbs and puree-ing avocado), green tea powder appeared on the supermarket shelf just in time to save me from some making some cookies which probably just looked green and just aren't too edible. Relief.

The fun part of making rolled cookies is really the cutting part. I subsequently bought more cutters, expressing no signs of restraint for my (over-)spending habit on baking supplies (gasp). I personally prefer metal cutters to plastic ones, but the great shapes and ascending sizes from Cuisipro's are irresistible (words from a baking-gear-fallen-prey).

Just some small tips on making rolled cookies:

1) Metal cutters tend to have a smoother "release" than most plastic ones, but take note to get good stiff stainless steel ones, it's frustrating to work with flimsy malleable cutters (imagine your round cookies turning oval-ish after some tough handling).

2) If your dough isn't sweet enough, dip them in granulated sugar before baking. They will bake beautifully. I did that for this batch of cookies, and the sugar coat adds a crunchy crust.

3) Chill. Chill. Chill. Chill till firm before rolling. Chill again if dough turns soft during handling. You can bake trays of chilled dough, just adjust baking time accordingly (usually 1-3 min more, depending on oven).

I can't believe X'mas is so near. It's often a love-hate relationship with X'mas. Whilst I enjoy the festiveness, shopping, spirit of giving, warmth, good company from old friends, I often can't bear to see the end of the year coming. I hope time could pass a little less quickly! There's so much more to do, so much to bake, so many more things on the 2007 to-do list that haven't been striked out yet!

The turquoise tea towel probably isn't too X'mas-y, but imagine a weekend morning, with tea in your favorite teacup, your little journal with the year's resolutions (and probably 2006's), and some cookies. Probably a good time to look back on things, in anticipation for the year's end. ^___^

To Christmas~~~~

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gooey Gooey...

It would be fun to called these blobby cookies little brownies, except it is fudgier, gooey-ier and probably walnutier. (pardon the blunt non-existent adjectives!). I can't think of a better description than the author's.

Adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet Decadence Cookies, these little treats are "ultrachocolatey and richer than sin, slightly crunchy on the outside with a divinely soft center..." True to every word and more, this cookie delivers a lovely jolt of bittersweetness and an intense (not to mention instant) chocolate fix.

Nothing subtle, and definitely not for the cocoa-neutral, the batch of 700g dough comprises of 300g-400g (depending on cocoa content percentage) and only 35g of flour. Ahhhhh... if you are a nut-lover, you would be pleased to know that there is 200g of walnuts in the batter as well. So, really, it's actually chocolates and nuts baked with some eggs and a tiny dust of flour.

Exciting proportions, a good sunny Saturday afternoon, ample chocolate and some fresh nuts = these gooey treats.

Baking these was not hard (except loads of cleaning up because of such a wet batter), but photographing them was a total nightmare! I never really know how to make dark brown little things look pretty, and it's getting harder with each post (if you notice I made loads of truffles and different chocolate cookies). I have decided to jar them up, so there is a little gloss. It turns out to be a great packaging size. Yeahhhh, my little cookie business seems to be shaping up! (unrealistically optimistic.. haha...)