Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TWD: Cheesecake! (aka: Eat Your Heart out, Golden Girls!)

Anne Strawberry, thank you for choosing Tall & Creamy Cheesecake (Baking, from my Home toYours, Dorie Greenspan) for our last recipe of 2008 on Tuesdays With Dorie! I was excited to try it, yet fearing "can I really tackle this?" I don't know why it was such a big mystery before...maybe due to the fact that it is a favorite of so many...that it became worthy of a chain of restaurants bearing its name....Yet it turns out, I followed Dorie's instructions to the letter, and darnit, I made a good gosh darn cheesecake!

I chose Dec 23rd to put it all together, not only because I did not have to work that day, more because Dear Husband DID. You see, my dear lactose intolerant mate would have probably bust an intestine seeing the lineup of the ingredients....4 packages of cream cheese...heavy whipping cream...sour cream...the man would have spontaneously combusted just looking at all of that lined up on the counter! He can regulate having dairy by doing the lactaid milk, or taking the lactaid pills before eating pizza, or lasagna....but THIS?...NO amount of medicated preventative medicine in the cabinet would have saved his digestive system. He can take LOOKING at the finished product and appreciating in the way of: "it looks good---for those of you lucky enough to digest dairy." But I thought to spare him the whole ingredient list and showing him all that went into it (kind of like not wanting to know what goes into hot dogs or sausage, I suppose?!) Of course what he didn't see was me eat a piece of it Christmas night--with a side of egg nog! He would have accused me of showing off (but oh how I adore you, my lactose-loving digestive system!!)

I followed the recipe for the filling exactly--and opted for a package of Nabisco chocolate wafter cookies as the crust--which was sooo gooooood!! I'm not one for too many flavors in the 'cake' part, so liked having a nice chocolate base for the crust. Great compliment.

VOILA! A cheesecake fit for the likes of Blanche, Rose, Dorothy & Sophia!!

I had to show this next photo only because it hit me going through my pictures how the top of the cheesecake's color looks just like the kitchen table! Even down to the bubble 'knot holes'! Maybe I'm the only one amused with that...anyway...humor me:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TWD: Grandma's All Occassion Sugar

Ok, speed baking.... Read post below to see why this is being posted so late on a Tues!

Dateline: Tuesday, 8:30pm. I procured the baking powder tonight on my way home, and threw these together...I did slice & bake route so I can properly test the dough (must compare to mom's old sugar cookie recipe and just want a 'control' group of cookies..plus, let's face it--cut-outs at 9pm on a Tuesday? Nah, I don't think so.) So here I am at the computer to at least start my entry while the dough is chillin'!

The dough came together super easily, and I tried to follow through and not over mix the flour/dry ingredient step...by 7pm the dough was put in the fridge and I was put in front of our TV as we ate and watched Jeopardy! (we live SUCH an exciting life--and yes eat in front of the TV way too often he and I. It wasn't even a good episode...no good TV/pop culture subjects, and there was a run-away winner...those smug 'returning champions...')

I'm looking at the clock--time to go preheat the oven and slice!..be right back!

Dateline: Tuesday, 9pm: The dough chilled for for 1hr 45 min and it was perfect for slicing--nice and firm, just like the store-bought Nestle/Pillsbury dough you cut up...only...mine wasn't round--the slices came out oval. Not sure what happened there, I think when I wrapped, I sorta flattened at the same time. Oops. Alas, no time to lament, I cut 'em, threw red/green sugar on 'em, (and cinn/sugar on a select few), threw 'em onto cookie sheets, and popped up here to continue the blog entry while I hope for the best during the first half of baking.

Ding! 9:05....Time to rotate the cookie sheets to opposite racks in the oven, hold on.

9:07pm. So the only thing I was bummed as I cut them was there were slices with some flour 'shrapnel' that did not break apart...most likely due to my stopping the mixer a bit TOO soon?

I curtailed my baking session and only cut up 1 log..got about 22 cookies out of that half. No re-chilling needed, it really was a great slice-n-bake consistency!

DING!! It's 9:11 They're done...time to taste test!

9:30: Final Judgement: well, other than the shape looking odd for Christmas cookies, they came out really tasty. I would make the dough again--it's slightly 'thicker' butterier than my mom's traditional sugar Christmas cookie dough (which probably was not 'her' recipe, but the one we used each year...so I call it hers!) These are a bit thicker. For me, I am a fan of crispy cookies, not 'cakey' cookies...If I want cake, I'll make a cake. I think there's just more butter going on in them. With that said, it did not stop me from popping 4 of them in the past 5 minutes. I may make as a head-to-head comparison with the other sugar dough from the old days to really compare.

Well, that's it folks, 2.5 hrs to spare, my post has been submitted! Thank you Ulrike of K├╝chenlatein for choosing such an easy recipe--one that can be made/posted in under 3 hrs on a Tuesday night!! :) Now, I'm off to have a couple more of my "Easter Egg" Christmas Cookies!

ok, truly...I'm still trying!

OK, I've been awful with Tuesday posts, this I know...but there's a reason that has been taking up tons of time and mostly energy and sucking me away from baking... More on that in a few weeks...BUT the thing that really gets my parchment paper in a bunch is I WAS going to bake Sunday night, opened the pantry for the brand new container of "Baking Powder" that I grabbed from Trader Joe's the day before (my old one expired and I had thrown it out). Well, come to find out what I bought was NOT baking powder afterall. Now who, I ask you, WHO PUTS BAKING SODA IN A CONTAINER SHAPED JUST LIKE TRADITIONAL BAKING POWDER?! Yes, come to find out, I grabbed baking soda by mistake because I glanced at the shape of the container and did not read carefully...shame on me, but c'mon Joe, this is total BS (and for any kids out there in Blogger Land, by that I mean "baking soda"..)

Dear Husband looked at me, an emotional wreck..it was 7pm on a Sunday...offered to go out and get the right ingredient, which was just so sweet that I had to say no. (Though I think he his real motive was he wants these sugar cookies!)

Monday was no-go I had to work late...BUT then again..Tuesday is a long day--perhaps if I can get out of work on time...Who knows, maybe I'll get a post in by 11:59pm of the sugar cookies if I can make them quickly tonight!

I do plan to do major power baking (or should I say POWDER baking)---I've got a work cookie swap to plan for next week so there's no way I can go without baking for that!

Lisa is a (poor excuse for a) Baker

PS: Please, powers that be at TWD, don't take me off the blog roll yet--I promise, I'll be better in living up to my baking potential!!