Monday, August 31, 2009




i know, long name for a little crispy chewy disc, but this recipe is a big winner. actually the recipe i'm talking about is a great base to anything you want. i found this recipe at

i was on the mad hunt one day to find a cookie that basically had a regular chocolate chip cookie flavor, but with a little oatmeal in it. why?..i don't know. in the back of my mind i was thinking a little oatmeal would make it a little healthy..right?... well, so many that i ran across were just oatmeal-chocolate chip. i wanted a chocolate chip with oatmeal...make sense?

i'll bet if you weren't told there was oatmeal in it you wouldn't even know...
well, maybe if you're a cookie expert.

so there's no need to really go on and on...i linked in the recipe (again) so please try it out. i found it to make about 90 cookies. maybe because i add so much/many extras. for this combo that i just made i added 1c. slightly chopped roasted macadamias, 1 c. white choc. chips, 3/4 c. dried cherries, and approx. 1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds. sounds like alot, but as you can see, this recipe can take it. also i didn't have quick oats so i just threw in regular oatmeal and that worked great, couldn't tell the diff. i think a while bake i did almonds and butterscotch chips. i think i might try something with apricot next.
so try it out, let me know what flavor combos you come up with...

Saturday, August 29, 2009



"why yes, i believe you have", i say to myself.

and they say that's the 1st sign ya know...talking to yourself...myself...

any-whoo...i have no idea what has gotten into me and why i just had to try me some pig's feet. last month i wanted to cook my own octopus, but as stated a few days ago, i found an easier way out of that obsession. i thought this would be a bit easier to find, so i called around and asked for pig's feet, but found out i would have to special order them and 5 lbs is the minimum. i knew i was all alone on this one so i thought 5 lbs might be just a bit much. one of the butchers at Bristol Farms suggested going to a Mexican market or a carniceria. so off i went. obsession going at full speed.

BINGO!..i hit up the 1st carniceria and WOW!...beautiful meats and poulty. i was like a kid in a candy to speak, but i was there for one thing so i stayed focused. i ran into a little language barrier (at first he was going to sell me a beef foot/HOOF the size of a small tree stump), but i walked out with a huge smile of sucess and 3 feet-1 whole and 4 halves. them....i googled and googled about the preparation. i found that you have to get friendly with your feet. wash them carefully and one REAL special thing you must do is get out a disposable razor and shave the stray hairs you will undoubtedly see. YIKES! after that i threw them in a large pot filled with water, 1/2 - 1/3 c. white vinegar, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, peppers, chili powder cayenne, cumin and red pepper flakes. basically a spicy stew. bring to a boil, then simmer for about 2 1/2 hrs or untill tender. i really didn't know what a tender pig foot was supposed to feel like, so i guessed. when i thought they were done, i drained them, stared at them, and decided to put them in the fridge overnight and deal with them later. (my insecurities about the whole ordeal were creeping back).

so the next day i gave them a little reheat and i'm thinkin' they don't look half bad. i'll bet if i was more "cheffie" or just more aquainted with pig's feet i could get creative with them at this point. newbie that i am, i had to play around a little.

i had to take this picture...sorry, but i started to feel like this was a 3rd grade science project. the yellow pointer is showing the exact area and, i might add, THE ONLY area that there is any real meat. oh, by the way, the feet are cut in half...i had the option to buy whole and half(the butcher cut them right then for me), but they usually are sold in halves. also, (the weak stomach people cover your eyes and ears) you'll notice, as most certainly DID I, the lovely toenail directely above the yellow pointer. yes, that was hard to deal with. i probably should have removed it, but i was unaware and will know better next time?...maybe

for this 1st time experience i decided to go the safe route...

now you're speakin' my language...slop some BBQ sauce on anything and i'll eat it...well, i couldn't reeeeally say that was true before..., but i sure can now. solid proof right here.

all i did was slather them with Stubb's Classic Sauce and stuck them in a 390 oven. i think in the end it was about 40 minutes total. i kept taking them out, inspecting, poking and turning them...

one more shot for a comparison of before and after BBQ sauce...this is the next day warmed up after being refrigerated over night, before the BBQ me, you didn't want to see them straight out of the cooker. REEEELLLY gelatinous!

let's face it, there is nothing pretty about feet.

here we have the finished product. i think i could have left them in the oven a bit longer or moved them up to the broiler. i'll bet they would have gotten a nice crispy pig skin effect.

in conclusion...

will i eat these again?

if faced with the situation, i will not be afraid..

will i cook them again?

if given the task...i will not run...

all kidding aside...YES, i just might give this another try and i challenge anyone else who is a bit adventurous to just give it a'll have fun and maybe find your new favorite delicacy.

Friday, August 28, 2009


ahhh... the Portuguese Custard Tart. they are quite cute and really not that hard to make, although i AM wondering why they are "donned" Portuguese. they seem kinda country French or you might think the same thing in a pie crust dough would be English?...anyway, thanks to the Portuguese for these little babies AND many thanks to almostbourdain where i found this recipe.

the recipe does make 12 in a regular size muffin tin and i must say, these should be eaten the day of baking. i'm saying this only because due to HOT weather, i had to refridgerate some and it's just not the same(well, no different than anything with pastry dough). BUT don't let this deter you because they probably won't make it through the just doesn't seem to be enough.

the most time consuming part of the recipe is the handling of the dough. i know, you look at the recipe and sigh relief taht you can use frozen dough, BUT the rolling it up and rolling it out, then pressing into the cups takes a bit more effort. i'll cut the whining...because as you can see in this photo of the bottom, it becomes an important part of the tart cup. i think it makes it much better than some of the recipes that just say to form the dough straight into the tin.

i don't quite know what i would serve with these. just one on a plate looks kinda lonely...besides, they are definitely one of those things you just have to pick up and take a bite. no utensil would do it justice
anyhow..try them yourself. i think they would be great for a brunch.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


well, i'm pretty sure this is my favorite PB cookie recipe so far. good ol' Betty Crocker. i found this old school cookie recipe book among my moms library of cook books, ranging from her original Good Housekeeping 3 ring binder to Jaques Pepin's le Technique. it looks like a childrens picture book, only the pictures are awful. some of them almost unappitizing, but i knew i couldn't go wrong with something basic and something Betty.

oh yeah...i forgot...i was also surprized by Betty's recipe in the fact that she gives the option of whole wheat flour. imagine that. who'd of thought Betty would be bringing up whole wheat so early in the game?...

i think my 1st try, i used 3/4 c. whole wheat and 1/2 c. reg. and the second time i used all whole wheat and they were still just as crisp/chewy and yummy.

the recipe's not so huge that you're making cookies for hours and they keep really well in a tupperware for days

one of the things that really makes this cookie is that i used HUGE salted Virgina peanuts and barely chopped them. when you bite into one of the chunks you really get the peanutty thing going on. also i used mini chocolate chips because i didn't want the choc. to overpower the peanut in flavor, texture AND looks.

1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 c. all purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
mix sugars, butter, shortening, peanut butter and egg
stir in remaining ingredients
cover and refridgerate for at least 3 hours
heat oven to 375
shape dough into 1 1/4 in balls and place 3 in. apart on ungreased cookie sheet. flaten in criss-cross pattern with fork dipped in flour.
bake untill light brown 9-10 min.
makes about 3 dz.
as i said, i added mini choc chips and huge pieces of peanuts...i have also tried it with craisins and they were even a PPJ on whole wheat toast?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


easy sashimi?
well, of coarse it's easy. what is it? sliced raw fish made pretty on a plate. how hard can that be? so, i have no real secrets for ya, but i can tell you a real quick cheater way to have some dee-lish octopus sashimi at home and you can impress your friends with this as a starter or a side to a great meal.

so what's my big secret?...

1st. don't try to deal with this eight legged bugger and think you're going to cook it to proper sashimi texture yourself..unless your an octopologist of some sort.

2nd..."you're only as good as your tools" this case, i let my fingers do the walkin'. i googled all the Japanese markets in the area and chose the best one.

i found this beautiful octopus at Mitstuwa. funny thing is...i was on the hunt for chicken feet!!! octopus obsession was last month, hence the reasoning for my suggestion of not trying to cook this yourself. cleaning the thing alone, i mean with a BEAK and all, didn't sound fun, let alone the fact that i couldn't find a whole, fresh octopus anywhere. they were all frozen. then there's the fact that cooking it so that it's buttery tender enough for sashimi, might be a different cooking technique than just the normal instructions i found.

so long story short, go to a Japanese market and pick out a perfectly cooked octopus tentacled leg. i bought one that was a little less than 1/2 lb and it would have been great for 4-5 people to enjoy a few slices (kinda all you need for an app.). while you're there look at the dressings...good luck!'s really hard to pick out something when you can't read the lable. instead i went to Bristol Farms and asked how they make thier yummy chili oil they use on thier spicy poki.

sesame oil, chili oil, cayenne, sea salt, seaweed, white and black sesame seeds and ground pepper. you could, of course just go traditional and serve with soy, ginger and wasabi.

so that's it...go and have fun investigating your local Japanese/Asian market. some of the stuff you'll find is definitely and eye-opening experience. i wouldn't do my shopping there, but i will go back for sushi grade goods.

Monday, August 24, 2009


seen before...I KNOW !...but it was my 1st time solo with puff pastry (store bought, of course) and i know there are a few more dinosaurs out there who have yet to experience the wonder and amaze themselves with the instant gratification one can get from that small thin frozen box of ready-made dough.

i don't see a time where i would ever want to make pastry dough from scratch...WAIT...scratch that...i never thought i'd be making my own candy either !!!...

anyway, go out and buy a box and try some variations on the old tired fruit tart.
WAIT !...that didn't come out right, did it...!?

my 1st try started with seeing the strawberry black pepper tyme tart recipe that kevin found (Kevin's blog at closetcooking) and he in turn found it at the hungry mouse. both sites are great and i can always find something interesting and yummy. (check 'em out!).

so...use any variation(s) of fruit, being that we are still blessed with beautiful summer goods right now and play with spices and herbs and nuts. just follow these easy prep and cooking instructions . i decided i really liked the strawberry and thyme tart because i liked the fact that it had cardamom in it, and i hadn't worked with that either. come to find that in a regular market it's kinda expensive. i found a really good price at World Market (FYI) . now i've used cardamom quite a few times and love it.
also...these are best eaten same day, otherwise, of course, it tastes like a day old danish. anyway, they are so quick to whip up, why not have fresh all the time. keep some frozen pastry in the freezer at all times...i do now....

Sunday, August 23, 2009


i don't quite remember how or why i fell upon the Eagle Brand recipes, but i'm so happy i did. everything is so "retro". it all reminds me of going to a bake sale in the 60's or a holiday gathering at someone's grandma's house. it's amazing what you can create with that little can of condensed milk. i absolutly love the fudge recipes. a few weeks back i posted the CARAMEL BACON DIPPED FUDGE...and i've recently made the good ol' dolce de leche in the can...yummm! OH, and don't for get the easy peezy chocolate glaze i found that works for a ton of things, AND keeps well for late night chocolate dip or spread(oh yeah...)'s this recipe...i think you'll find these to be a winner. warning that they ARE reeeally really sweet. most of the recipes are. check out the other stuff. it's all really easy and alot of the things are right from your pantry for quick gotta bring something to the party desserts. just remember to always keep a can of the stuff in the cupboard.

Saturday, August 22, 2009



if i could just put a touch of bacon in everything, i think i'd be happy...

well, let me rethink that...i'm already pretty happy!
AND, i already DO try to put a little bacon in everything!

oh, and don't forget the spice. i have to have a bit of (who am i kidding)...ALOT of spicy heat in everything i eat. my breakfast usually has 3 kinds of peppers in it. lunch? pepperocini and Sarachi, and dinner? Tapatio and jalapenos on the side.

do they make a flamin' hot toothpaste?

i found this brittle recipe at
i did, however, add some vanilla. i read in a Betty Crocker recipe to...
liquify the 1 tsp baking soda with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp water.
i think it makes it easier this way.
also this recipe calles for 2 c. chopped peanuts (i prefer wholes and halves) AND, i think it needs more than 2 c.
use thick bacon cooked however you do it best, but make it CRISPY.
for the spice i used red pepper flakes (use at your discretion)
add all your extras when you add the peanuts according to the recipe
oh...and i used good large roasted salted Virginia peanuts
always use a GOOD candy thermometer. i learned the hard way. a few recipes down the drain and a few lame thermometers melted and/or returned.
have fun...

Thursday, August 20, 2009


oooh, fancy...?
hot chocolate...
no, not Swiss Miss hot chocolate.

i talkin' muey caliente cayenne HOT...

well...not too hot but just the right amount to counter balance the sweetness of the chocolate and sugar.

this starts out with my good ol' go-to recipe for shortbread cookies i found from Smittenkitchen who adapted it from Dorie G.
from this recipe you can add just about anything...and i have and will continue to do so.
for the Chocolate Chocolate Cayenne cookies i added 2 Tsp cocoa powder, 3/4 c. mini chips and 3/4 tsp cayenne. you might want to start with 1/2 tsp because, as you know, you can always heat things up, but ya can't cool 'em down..
a trick i learned to keep the shape crisp is i add about 1 T. extra flour to the recipe and after cutting shapes i put them back in the fridge for about 10 min....then straight into the oven and bump up the temp about 20-30 degrees for the first 4-5 mins (but DON'T forget to lower it again).
i love these cookies #1 they are kinda fancy (haute, ha ha), and #2 people don't know what that little kick is at the end(if you don't tell)...they'll just ask for more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


well, 1st let me say...

"DOMO ARIGATO" to pepsakoy .

i fell upon her recipe while searching for and interesting cheesecake. and, i might add, this is an interesting cheesecake. it's not really a cheesecake at all. it has hardly any cream cheese (125g. - approx 1/3 c.?). the recipe sounded kind of involved and i'm not a master when it comes to folding in eggwhites and bain marie's let alone anything with the word "souffle" in i thought i would challenge myself to this one. pepsakoy's recipe explains every step so i decided to jump in yesterday.

this cake is actually quite a bit easier than i thought, just sounds like alot of trouble. there are a few other recipes out there like this one at Dianna's Desserts .
i think i might just try this one next time just to see if it does have more volume.

i am pleased to say my little challenge was fun. mostly because i always feel i succeed if my end result looks like the recipe (photo of full cake is what most others look like)
WELL.....i thought this little plain looking cake needed something. don't get me's a beautiful thing, and it was even better the next morning, but for a full-on dessert it needs something. i chose to make a light orange glaze (more like a sauce, it turns out).
my glaze was...
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/8 c. melted butter
1 T. lemon juice
scant 2 T orange juice
about 2 T. orange zest
i let that sit for a bit too long so i popped it in the microwave for about 15 sec.
i think this totaly intensified the orange flavor...and color
try it...
i must say...the glaze changed the whole cake..
made it asbsolutely fabulous.
now, as you can see, it looks like a fancy dessert to go along with it's fancy name...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


well, actually, i forgot about this batch. this was my first atempt so i know it looks a bit rugged. i, of course, made some real rookie candy makin' mistakes, but how can you really ruin something with 3 basic ingredients ?!...
my vision was long crispy strips of thick bacon, dipped in yummy chewy caramel, then dipped in chocolate...sounds cool, huh?
but they looked ugly 'cuz i had no idea what i was doing.
end result?...TASTY!!! definitely tasty...but have to work on the execution.
i won't bore you with a recipe, because what is it?...
get your favorite thick bacon and cook it up nice a crisp. i prefere the microwave method
make your carmel...i googled some recipes and just chose one (i'll try to find it)
dipp your bacon in the carmel and let cool on some buttered wax paper
***ok...this is where i made my 1st big WRONG!...i thought just wax paper would do...BUT APPARENETLY NOT !!! caramel stuck like glue. i had to pry each piece off, hence the reason for my bacon being in pieces.
anyway, after 2nd mistake...
i have no idea how to work with chocolate, so i just melted some chips and dunked the carmel bacon bits in...i know for a fact there is a better consistancy to be made for dipping, but i didn't research and i had a bee in my bonnet to get these done.
so, like i said, ugly buggers, but tasty and fun and a good conversation piece.
i'll try again. i kept some the way they look in the photo, but then i had a "fix-it-idea"

Saturday, August 15, 2009


as Paula Dean's husband calls it..
if you haven't tried oxtails, you're missing out. i was introduced to them when i was little by my fabulous grandma. as beautiful and reserved as she was, that never stopped her from gnawing on every bit of meat, sinew and cartilige she could get off those bones. needless to say, i was taught by the best. i really don't think i should ever eat these in public. these are home cookin' vittles anyway. doubtful you'll find these out anywhere. just fine with me. the slow cooking aroma throughout the house makes everything seem just right.
if you're feelin' up for it i'll tell ya, it's easy. cut some stuff up, put it in a pot and simmer just like you would a stew.
first timers don't be squimish...1st, trust your market and ask the butcher if they're fresh and maybe he'll pick them out for you. quite often they come packaged including a whole tail, big end to the tiny tip. these lil' nuggets shown above were a great example of some beautiful tail. bright red, white in the center and not surrounded by fat.

recipe ?...
well, like i said, it really IS just like making a good ol' stew. as a matter o' fact...just like your grandma used to make. this is the just one way of cooking them though. i think Paula Dean likes to throw them into a pyrex baking dish with some soy sauce and just a few other goodies. then cover them with tinfoil and in the oven they go for a while. hers come out finger lickin' good, of course, all sticky and tender. i have yet to try this method, but go ahead and google it, cuz i saw her make them on her show and they look fabulous.

oh,and i forgot to mention...the broth is wonderful and rich for soups and or gravies or what-not. just don't forget to let it cool after straining before putting in the fridge so that the fat will float to the top. then refridgerate and you'll be able to remove the fat easily before using again.

so...please give the ol' tail a try. it really is the most tender beef you'll be amazed
P.S. call me crazy, but i went to the Carniceria and came back with...
PIG'S FEET...1st time for everything
i'll keep ya posted. wish me luck.

Friday, August 14, 2009 me...!?

okay...let me just state for the fact...

lately, i'll admit, i've become a bit preoccupied with bacon. can't seem to get enough of it. i keep putting it in stuff or think about what i can add it to. i'd probably consider wearing eau de bacon if Kiehl's would come out with a new scent. stange, but i don't think my friends and taste testers are feeli' my obsession.

i think this idea started when i heard there was chocolate dipped bacon at the orange county fair. i was dying to go fight the traffic and parking JUST to try the darn bacon, but, alas, i couldn't get anyone to go with me so i thought i'd try my hand at it. of course, i had to one up the i came up with this...

i love that it accidently turned out looking like bacon


there's no real need for a recipe here. i mean, what you see is what you get. but i do have a few suggestions.

1st...start with good thick bacon. i like to trim some of the big chunks of fat off. (you know, like the ends sometimes have about an inch of plain fat). don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with bacon fat, but for this i like the meaty crispy parts.'s important to get your bacon good and crispy. i prefer the microwave method. it takes a while, but if tended to, it will come out nice and pretty with all the grease soaked up in the paper towels.
next, choose your favorite caramel recipe. i'm definitly a novice at this candy making so i have no pointers for this step. dip your bacon and let it cool and set on a silpat or buttered wax paper or what ever you recipe calls for.

now for the FUDGE...i have a new (new to me, but old school) quick recipe for chocolate fudge and i got it from the Eagle Brand recipe site for their fool proof chocolate fudge. i know there's all kinds of better fudge rcipes out there also known as fool proof (marshmallow cream is a good one), BUT THIS ONE IS NO FAIL !!! EASY and QUICK.
it kinda comes out like putty, so don't be alarmed AND don't try to continue melting it to ain't gonna happen...just make sure everything is incorperated. now would be a good time to add some HEAT...i forgot to add the red pepper flakes i wanted. a bit bummed about that but YOU try it. anyway...i lined my dish with foil instead of wax paper...i just find it easier to work with.
spread 1/2 the fudge in your dish. layer your caramel bacon down in pieces or chunks (whatever you have left....if you haven't eaten it all). press it down lightly so you think there will be no air between. then spead remainder of fudge. again making sure there's no air trapped. smooth out the top or make it however you want it to look, cuz, trust ain't gonna budge fudge...
okay...let's wrap this up...i don't know if my pieced together instructions help, but like i said...just try with this combo you'll love it.... however you put it together will be fabulous...

Monday, August 10, 2009


ahhh..finally, i think i got this one right...
the imfamous BAKEWELL TART
2nd try, but the first was so disapointing that i thought the English might have failed on this one...because, of course it just couldn't have been MY fault...right?
i definitely owe this one to Natilie @ Natilie's Killer Cuisine
for some reason her recipe, discription and photos caught my eye and made me want to try again. i also saw a ton of beautiful examples at for the daring baker's challenge. that reminds me...i still have to try to get into the daring bakers and sign up.
this little english nibble was so good i can't wait for the opportunity to try another combo of flavors. so many ideas from the challenge.
i do love this combo with the apricot jam. i used Bonn Maman. i think the key is to use really good jam, one that you really like AND my secret weapon was GOOD almond flour. the first time i used almond meal from Trader Joe's (absolutely NOTHING wrong with this, but just not for this recipe) Trader Joe's...anyway, i found some beautiful blanched almond flour/meal at a Persian store in Irvine. nice and white and finely ground. i have yet to try to grind it myself. i'm afraid i'll end up with almond butter.
i wont get into the recipe or discription, because it was explained all too well in all the challenge blogs. i DO suggest trying a bakewell tart of your choice. once you try FRANGIPANE ANYTHING i know you'll become obsessed with it and start searching out other recipes involving this yummy almondy rich goodness.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


ok, ok, ok...i'll be the first to admit that the base of this cake is from a BOX!!! but, it not really about this cake it's more about this easy peezy chocolate glaze using condensed milk, chocolate chips and a bit o'vanilla. that i've got that off my chest we can discuss...
i say,"don't be afraid to think INSIDE the box". i wanted to make a chocolate cake for my friend Edie's B-day. she loves chocolate so i googled double choc cake...then i thought why not triple?...quadruple?...well, i'll just make it quintuple then!

the whole cake is sooo easy, but it looks sooo impressive and it's pretty much a no-fail kinda deal.
the cake is a fudge cake mix with added chocolate pudding mix and sour cream. then some mini chips folded in. so there's 3 outta 5. by the way...i found the recipe here at then i stumbled on this easy chocolate glaze at and i think it's a winner. i'm sure there are quite a few more involved and more decadent glazes out there, BUT this one really takes no time, few $'s and little thought AND it's pretty tasty

had to show the slice can almost count the 5 chococlates. chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, chocolate glaze AND chocolate shavings...mmmmm

it's all about this glaze...SOOO EASY !!!!

many thanks to

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Do not allow it to bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool slightly before drizzling over a cake. If you want to make this ahead, it can be cooled and reheated in the microwave.

Friday, August 7, 2009


well, once again this shortbread recipe has not failed me. it's pretty much my go-to for some quick standard shortbread base.

i just love the tight sharp corners and edges these cookies keep after baking. i think it has to do with the dough using the powdered sugar, and the dough should be chilled and kept cold right untill the oven. i even stick the whole sheet in the fridge for a few min, then put it straight into the oven. OH, and one more thing i did for this batch was upped the temp by 10-20 degrees for the first 4-5 mins then lowered back norm...i don't know if that helped, but the combo of everything kept a nice edge on the cookie.

i adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen's espresso chocolate chip cookies, who adapted it from Dorie G. if you haven't already, you should check out Smitten Kitchen's many gooood things!

Makes 32 cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract...maybe a tad more depending on the quality?

2 cups all-purpose flour

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.

Beat in the vanilla (or another flavor).

Then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.

Fold in what ever you want to add to the mix at this point.

Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares (you can, obviously cut into any shape. i used a cookie cutter a few times and had to RE-ROLL and they came out just fine).

Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color (check the bottom of on...take a peek).

Transfer the cookies to a rack.
If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.
oops...sorry ... i forgot to say i used 1/2 tsp maple extract and 1/4 vanilla
also i used about 1/2-3/4 c. toasted pecans

Thursday, August 6, 2009


these lil'pies are way too good. if you love crumbles and crisps, you'll love these. i don't know about you, but i'm the one that likes to eat most of the topping off leaving the rest of the guests with some crumbs and alot of sugary fruit. so shoot me! well, these are basically all crumble topping with a little fruit...YUM!

so i'm the first to admit i can get a little obsessed with something and just not let it go untill i've either run the idea into the ground OR found the perfect solution. stating this because i got a bit osessed with crumbles and crisps. we've been so lucky with all this beautiful fruit this summer and i couldn't help myself. well, on my search for the perfect recipe i came across this one. larissa called them mini cherry pies, but i gotta say, to me it's the perfect crumbly crisp combo. larissa's recipe is found here . many thanks to larissa for solving and ending my obsession...for now.

my only alteration was the filling. i had a few bing cherries and a handful of ranier cherries AND i happen to have a good ol' can of retro cherry pie filling in the pantry. so i improvised and used a bit of all three. i think the little spoonfull of pie filling really added a good "goo facter". actually kind of a good glue facter. they just might have been a bit too crumbly without it. who knows? you gould probably use a small spoonful of any flavor jam as well.

whatever you decide to put inside, these are fun and easy to make and would be great for a brunch party...hmmmm maybe dressed up with a bit of vanilla bean ice cream?...


that's right!...bacon, salt AND sugar !!!!!
1st and formost i must thank for this killer recipe
my only addition was the black salt idea. it works...and it looks cool. next time, and there WILL be a next time, i think i might add a bit of heat, like some cayenne or some red pepper flakes might be even more visually enticing. i passed these out to some friends and i must say, they had a hard time wrapping thier head around the idea of bacon in a candy, but after they wrapped thier lips around one, eyes lit up with surprize.
as for making these gems, well, that's another story...i am definitely a newbee to the candy making world. i proved that to myself when i tried making the bacon prailines i found on tastspotting.(i'll try to find the website, but you can do a search on , sorry...they look killer to). anyway, i totally flubbed that one up. i wont blame it on the cheap thermometer i hurried to the market for in my excitment, but i'd like to. what a waste of good crispy bacon and toasted pecans...i was soooo bummed. then i found this yummy recipe , and once again, couldn't help myself. oh, and yes...i used the same lame thermometer!!!...hence the reason they didn't quite get to the correct caramel consistancy i would have liked...instead they were pretty soft. some people prefere thier carmels this way. kinda reminded me of the scotch kisses they have at SEE's candy...still yummy, but not chewy. make a long story short, if this is a story at all, ...i will be testing these puppies again soon as i hope you do as well. they are a definte treat, let alone a great conversation piece...
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