a trip of cookies

What do you call a group of cookies? A gaggle, a cache, a bunch of goodness? A group of goats is called a trip. I learned that from a Snapple Fact. Another cool Snapple Fact: Snails have teeth.

Over the past several weeks I’ve baked a bunch of cookies for baptismal parties, for birthday parties, or for just plain eating.

Bittersweet Brownies–A plain, simple brownie with a wallop of amazing chocolate flavor.  Made without nuts because sometimes I don’t feel like a nut. The Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made these in November 2011. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe HERE.

Drunk Cherry Chip Cookies–A delicious twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie made with white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries soaked in cherry liquor. I’ve blogged about these cookies twice before , baked them multiple times, and now I’ve renamed them again. You can find the recipe HERE.

Earl Grey Madeleines–I had some Earl Grey tea bag samples from a conference I attended and decided to bake these traditional French butter cookie. I liked the infused flavor of the tea and bought a tin of Earl Grey the next time I was at the tea shop.  Baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group in December 2011 and hosted by Nichi of Bakeologie. You can find the recipe HERE.

Homemade Thin Mints–An easy recipe for the Girl Scout classic. Tasty, crunchy, and minty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Homemade Samoas–Another Girl Scout classic. Coconut, caramel, and chocolate on a shortbread cookie base. Taste better than the door-to-door variety. You can find the recipe HERE.

Peanuttiest Blondies–Made with both peanut butter and peanuts, they really are peanutty. The addition of chocolate chips and cinnamon make them out of this world delicious. Perfect on their own or with vanilla ice cream. Baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group in December 2010 and hosted by Nichi of Bakeologie. (I had no idea I baked two recipes hosted by the same blogger until I started writing this post!). You can find the recipe HERE.

photos by paulrus

{twd v2.0} rugelach

Rugelach: a delicious cookie best enjoyed with tea or coffee and baked every few years or so for online baking groups.

The only other time I’ve baked rugelach was for the original Tuesdays with Dorie in November of 2008. In blogging years, that was eons ago. Dinosaurs may have been roaming. My baking skills were nascent and my blog was barely 2 months old. As a marker of my progress, the TWD v1.0 rugelach was recipe #293 and the TWD v2.0 rugelach was recipe #1044. Yes, I still count all new recipes I try and list them in my Cooking Odyssey journal. They were a success back then and they were a success once again.

This time around, as written in Baking with Juliathe recipe makes a huskier rugelach.  Loaded with nuts {I used macadamia, cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts} and fruit {dates, apricots, raisins, crystallized ginger} and bursting with flavor they don’t make the prettiest cookie. What they lack in looks, they certainly don’t lack in taste.

Thank you to both Margaret of The Urban Hiker and Jessica of My Baking Heart for hosting this week’s recipe as we bake our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia in the second incarnation of Tuesdays with Dorie. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photo by Paulrus

Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream and Cookies

Today is a special day. Not only is it the 29th of February, a day only occurring once every 4 years. It’s 2/29/2012, a day that will occur only once; a day filled with peace,  love and happiness. To that end, I present Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream. What’s the special occasion? Eating this ice cream, of course.

Paul loves white chocolate. I often find him in the pantry eating my white chocolate chips. True story! I know white chocolate brings out strong emotion in people and divides people into different camps. You love it, you hate it, or you like it okay. I’m in the third group but I find myself baking with it more and more. You’re welcome, Paul. ;)

I churned up a batch of David Lebovitz’s White Chocolate Ice Cream from his book The Perfect Scoop. Since white chocolate is the main attraction, I used my block of Callebaut. No chips here. This is a repeat recipe. I’ve made it once before. Again, you’re welcome Paul. My repeat list is very short.   This time I swirled in some biscoff spread because it’s oh so good and since we discovered it we’ve been using it in everything.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the white chocolate  in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I baked up a batch of Alice Medrich’s Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk  Cookies from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy to go with the ice cream. These are  a little different than other versions because you grind up rolled oats and add them to the batter. It makes them taste a bit nuttier and heartier than the traditional version. Very tasty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photos by Paulrus

{sms} coconut pecan frosting

I went old-school this week and paired this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe–Coconut Pecan Frosting–on top of a German chocolate cake. The ‘German’ part of the cake is the type of chocolate traditionally used not the country.
I was excited to go out and buy German chocolate (yes, my life is that exciting) which I’ve seen in the baking aisle many times. But wouldn’t you know it?  Both the recipes I found in my collection of cookbooks did not use German chocolate.

Hmmm…apparently German chocolate isn’t good-quality chocolate. It’s too sweet. Instead both called for good-quality bittersweet chocolate. Both authors said they updated and improved the traditional recipe. Taking the word of the professionals (and chocolate snobs), I did not run out and buy German chocolate. So I guess this is just chocolate cake and a delicious one at that.

The recipe I used came from Tish Boyle”s  The Cake Book. I made the full recipe and planned on making a layer-cake. Yeah, one layer had an untimely demise on my kitchen floor. Thanks to Eliana of A Chica Bakes for hosting this week’s selection. For the Coconut Pecan Frosting recipe visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins

Yes, this is an actual post. You are not hallucinating. I’ve been busy living life and  having an awesome summer.  It’s a weak excuse for not posting. I’ve been baking along with the the various weekly baking groups. I have internet and a new computer at home. I’ve been lazy with taking pictures and writing posts.

I’m recommitting to Pink Stripes. I feeling disconnected to the the food blogging world and I miss my blogging friends.

With that note, I’ll move along and tell you about this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe: Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins. Rather than sweet, these are savory muffins. I adore the combination of pears and blue cheese. I also like walnuts. Trader Joes did not have bosc pears so I subbed bartlett pears. I liked the muffins. I think they would be great with manchego instead of blue cheese because manchego also pears (hee! Okay, pairs) well with pears.

I probably won’t make them again because I would rather eat blue cheese and pears on their own with out all the mumbo jumbo of the other muffin ingredients.

Thanks to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe visit her blog or buy the book.