Thursday, February 18, 2010
Now before we get started I will warn you, our fortune cookies did not turn out- they looked fabulous but well... the taste part was lacking. The recipe was suppose to make 24 and we ended up with 9- I'm gonna call that Problem A. Problem B- these things seemed relatively healthy- I mean, how can you succeed when you use egg whites- I think the kitchen gods were against us. Or maybe it's my obvious lack of Chinesseness, maybe we'll try again later, maybe I hate writing fortunes and don't plan on repeating this ever again, or maybe you'll make these despite my obvious bias against them (sorry Kenz). Either way it was fun and that's why I bake (I got over that baking for boys thing months ago, such an obvious fail). I bake to hang out with my girl friends, beat the shit out of some eggs and consume large quantities of chocolate. And I achieved all so I'm gonna call it a success.
If you so choose to make fortune cookies you can be all cute and write little personalized notes and dip them in chocolate and add sprinkles and pretty much full fill every ten year-olds dream. The cookies are super easy (but then again mine were a total flop, haha). Make sure you give yourself time to let the batter chill for an hour in the fridge before you get started or you may consume half a bag of Sweedish Fish (don't judge- there were 3 of us). The decorating is the best part but i like to dip things in chocolate and after the fortune fail began dipping pretzels which was fabulous- I love sweet and salty, it's down right addictive.
Homemade Fortune Cookies
(adapted from Cooking Light and www.ourbestbites.com)
1/2 C flour- If you have bread flour, use it.
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine. Place in a container and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°.Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper*. Draw 3-4 (3-inch) circles on paper. Turn paper over (If you don't the pencil will be on your cookie). Spoon 1 teaspoon batter into center of each of the drawn circles; spread evenly to fill circle.
Bake at 400° for 5-6 minutes or until the cookies are brown just around the edges and a little toward the centers. Remove from the oven. Let sit for a few seconds before removing from pan. Working quickly, loosen edges of cookies with a spatula, and turn over
Place fortune along the center of 1 cookie. Fold cookie over so the edges meet ; press edges together. Gently pull the ends of the cookie down over the rim of a small bowl (or jar); hold for a few seconds or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies. Makes about 24 cookies.
For some really fun dip them in melted chocolate and add sprinkles!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
2 c. sliced almonds
1¾ c. sugar
3 T. water
½ c. unsalted butter
1 t. Blackstrap or other dark molasses
¼ t. sea salt, plus another 2-3 generous pinches for finishing
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ t. baking soda
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner, and evenly spread half of the almonds on top. There should be no visible parchment paper between the almonds. Reserve the remaining almonds for topping.
Combine the sugar, water, butter, molasses, and salt in a medium, heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture registers 295 degrees – no more, no less – on a candy thermometer. Depending on your heat and your pot, it will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Stir well, until fully incorporated. The mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda, so take care.
Pour the hot mixture evenly over the almonds. Work quickly, as it will begin setting up immediately. If necessary, use a lightly-oiled rubber spatula to spread the toffee. When the toffee is just cool enough to touch, spread the chopped chocolate over top. As the chocolate melts from the warmth, use a spatula to spread it across the toffee. Sprinkle the rest of the almonds, and then a couple of pinches of sea salt over the chocolate to finish. Let cool completely. (I’ve been known to speed things up by sliding the pan into the refrigerator.)
Break the cooled sheet into pieces. The toffee will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for several weeks. Do not freeze.
Yield: About 1½ pounds.