Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flour : Snicker doodles


Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe sat on my book shelf for a year before I even thought about trying out any of the recipes. You see, I live a short walk from the actual Flour Bakery and my boys, they love going there. So there was little desire to do anything with the book when the bakery beckons my family at least once a week. We some how got into the groove of making a batch of cookies twice a month to enjoy. Then that turned into adding a cookie into lunch boxes once a week and that turned into me going out and buying a cookie jar to store all of the cookies we baked. We rarely buy pre-made cookies at the store because I prefer to make better tasting cookies for my guys.

I love snicker doodles. When I was an undergrad in Texas, there was a sandwich shop that had the tastiest cookies. Anytime I went there I made sure to pick a giant snicker doodle cookie for dessert. My mind registered snicker doodle cookies as a very Central Texas sort of cookie. But it isn't. It is important, I believe, that snicker doodles have a chewy center--it enhances the cinnamon and sugar topping. This recipe was great--it was easy and yielded the soft chewy center that makes a superb cookie.

 Want to bake some cookies for your family? Check out Flour Bakery Cookbook for the recipe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TWD | Baking with Julia : White Loaves

Our family runs the spectrum in food tastes. Our oldest is picky, the middle boy is as adventurous as his father and the baby and I like what we like but will sometimes try new things. There is nothing more that we love on our plates than bread. Slathered with peanut butter or hot off the grill oozing with cheese, we know that we can come up with a quick meal if we have a loaf of bread in the house. We went through a phase when we baked a fresh loaf of bread once a week especially through the winter but then we just fell off the bread baking habit.

It was nice to see that the first Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was a simple white loaf of bread. I knew it would be delicious and easy--we have even used the exact recipe from time to time. When it came to bake the bread I made a huge mistake. I started the process without thinking about how busy my day was and that resulted in over-risen bread when school pick up ran late. Combine over-risen bread, two quick moving boys bringing their lunch boxes into the kitchen and one slammed lunch box and we were left with two deflated loaves sitting on the stove. I threw them into the oven knowing that they wouldn't be picture worthy but hoped they would be just as tasty. Forty five minutes later, the loaves were out and a while later sliced. The outer crust was rock hard but the inner part of the loaf was spongy. My boys did not care one bit and gobbled their slices up.

One week later I took another crack at it. I made sure my morning was free and little boys were barred from the kitchen until after the loaves were baked. These loaves were perfect and were made into numerous varieties of sandwiches over the next three days. I think that we may get back into the habit of baking bread once a week.

I followed the recipe as written and the results were fool proof.

Are you inclined to give it a go for yourself? Check out Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or visit Laurie or Jules, the TWD | Baking with Julia Hosts for this month.