Mudslide Cookies (I’m back to baking!)

Yes. I’m back to baking. :) Although in a very limited capacity and not anything too complicated or anything that requires too much standing. No baking marathons of the past where I would bake all day and through the night.

Sitting at home, In between TV shows and naps, I have plenty of time to read emails that I used to just delete unread. One type is the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email. Mudslide Cookies were the featured cookie on April 16.

Reviewing the ingredients and having everything on hand (very important as I can’t drive or walk anywhere) I decided to make these. I’m glad I did.

They are a chocolate lover’s dream and I knew Paul would love them. Made with 3 types of chocolate and barely any flour, they melt in your mouth. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Like a perfectly under-baked brownie.

You can find the recipe here: Mudslide Cookies.

(by the way 23 days until our wedding.)

photo by paulrus

Pain de Campagne

In my search for information, I found a message board for people with knee injuries. The three to four weeks post-surgery, prior to the initiation of physical therapy are known as the dark days. It’s a hard time both physically and  emotionally. It involves going through withdrawal from a life full of activity, people, and adventure pre-injury to a life of home isolation, inactivity, and complete dependence on others. 

Suggestions for this time period include movie marathons, video games {I’m spookyzen if you want to play Words with Friends with me. ;) }, browsing on the internet, reading, and starting a blog. Hey! I have a blog. As life happens, I now have loads of time to blog but can’t really bake or cook. Luckily, I have a couple of items I haven’t had time to blog.

I’m slowly baking my way through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice as part of the BBA Challenge. The next bread on my list was Pain de Campagne, a French bread known for its crazy shaping abilities. As I tend to be more rustic than artistic, I baked the loaves in basic crazy shapes. A boule with little peaks snipped up by kitchen scissors and the folded-over tabatière. In addition to looking semi-cool, the loaves were delicious. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, just like good French bread.

I’m mid-way through my dark days and I’m starting to see the light. I’m able to tolerate more and more weight bearing on my injured leg, I’ve learned how to get in and out of bed on my own, and I think I should be able to get back to baking soon.

Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

Is this another recipe that’s going to break my heart?

What?! What do you mean?

Further conversation ensues and Paul elucidates his love of my baking and that he gets a little sad when I bake an outrageously tasty treat knowing that I most likely will never bake it again. Through the years (I’ve only been baking since 2008), there is an elite group of recipes I’ve made multiple times.

Homemade Biscoff Cookies with Biscoff Cream Cheese Filling most definitely meet the criteria for entry into this group.

I saw the recipe on pinterest and I immediately knew I would make them as Biscoff Spread has replaced Nutella as the top choice for toast, apples, sandwiches, spoons, crumpets…you get the picture. This was another recipe I baked and then stuck in the freezer pre-patellar fracture.

The recipe comes from Creative Culinary and you can find the recipe HERE. I plan on making these again and again. Once I’m allowed to bake again. ;)

And this is what happens when Paul is left alone while taking pictures for you:

photos by paulrus

{twd} lemon loaf cake

*sigh* I’m one week post-surgery and I’m bored silly. Actually, bored silly may be a bit more fun than what I really am: bored-bored. I should be grateful. I’m sleeping again and my pain is under control. Paul is taking very good care of me and has the patience of a zen-master. Since the surgery, I’m only allowed to get up to use the restroom (no baking!). I see my orthopedic surgeon for my first post-surgical follow-up appointment tomorrow. I hope all goes well, the x-rays show I’m healing nicely, and my orthopedist allows more moving around.

I baked this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Lemon Loaf Cake, the morning of the day I broke my patella. As it was a busy weekend and Paul was leaving for a week-long business trip, I  stuck it in the freezer for a later date.

Yesterday we took it out of the freezer and enjoyed the lemon cake for dessert. Perfect timing for a time when times are strange in our house–we were surprisingly out of treats to eat.

I made 1/2 recipe in a full recipe size pan so it baked up low and dense. I also used my homemade rough and tumble vanilla sugar in place of regular sugar. We liked the lemon flavor and thought it was a nice little cake to enjoy with tea. It’s not a stop-the-presses! type of recipe which lemon desserts have high-potential to achieve, so I probably won’t make it again.

You can find the Lemon Loaf Cake recipe in the book we’re all slowly baking through, Baking with Julia, or on the blogs of the hosts for this week: Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life.

photos by paulrus

Some bakings

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It turns out I need surgery. On the follow-up x-ray you can see my patella fragments shifted around. The type of surgery I’m having is called open reduction internal fixation, which means my orthopedic surgeon slashes open my knee, repositions the pieces of my bone in the correct places, and then uses screws to pin everything together. The outpatient surgery lasts about an hour and a half. I’ll probably spend more time at the hospital waiting for the surgery to happen than actual time in surgery.

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I spent yesterday afternoon traversing the medical clinic for my orthopedic appointment and pre-surgery work-up–blood draw, EKG, chest x-ray. Based on my google research, I should be out of my splint in six weeks. Just in time for our wedding. :) We were joking yesterday that we may have Paul walk down the aisle instead of me.

Even though my surgery is not scheduled until 5pm I haven’t been able to eat since midnight. So what do I decide to do? Spend time writing a blog post about things I can’t eat. ;)

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1. Napoleons with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Dairy Milk Chocolate Ganache–I used my homemade puff pastry again, my vanilla beans I bought in Tahiti, and Paul’s supply of Dairy Milk Chocolate to make these for Paul for his return home from a week-long work trip.

2. Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares–these are crunchy chewy cookies out of Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchycookbook. They’re a bit of work , in that you have to roll the dough and cut the squaresThe recipe calls for the use of any dried fruit and any flavor combination. I used dried cranberries and lemon zest. I really enjoyed the fresh, light taste and the crunchy yet chewy texture of these. If you have this cookbook, I encourage you to bake these. I think they are a great spring cookie and different from the usual sugar cookie. If you don’t have this cookbook, I encourage you to buy it. I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet. You can find the recipe online:pebbly beach fruit squares.

3. Tarte Fine– I made this the same day as the Parisian Apple Tartlet because it uses almost the same ingredients and is another recipe to cross-off my Tuesdays with Dorie v1.0 list. I used my homemade puff pastry again (!) and vanilla bean sugar. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe on her site.

4. Irish Soda Bread (again)–Paul suggested slow-cooked scrambled eggs and Irish Soda Bread for his first meal home. In a highly unusual move, this marks the third time I’ve made this recipe from Baking with Julia.

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This post is 100% produced on my iPhone–pictures, links, etc. I apologize in advance if some things don’t work. My lap top is broken, Paul’s camera is out on loan to his sister, and I can’t sit at a computer these days.