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Category Archives: Cooking

Friends were celebrating with a Doctor Who party. I offered to bring treats, because it has been a hard week and baking helps. I made:

– cupcakes topped with gummy fish (Christmas episode, couldn’t find gummy sharks so went with schools of fish instead)

– kaled mutant cupcakes (topped with a gummy octopus and “holding” a small candy banana)

– jammie dodgers (I recommend this recipe)

– dalek cupcakes (cupcakes turned upside down, covered in chocolate glaze, topped with Toffifay, and using a candy banana as the blaster gun)

I only managed to get a photo of the simplest thing, the jammie dodgers because I was running really late. They taste as good as they look!

Jammie Dodgers

"But I was promised tea!"

“Always take a banana to a party, Rose, bananas are good.” – The Doctor

Dalek: Scan reveals nothing! TARDIS self-destruct device non-existent!
The Doctor: All right, it’s a Jammie Dodger. But I was promised tea!

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Well, the Pioneer Woman hot cross buns were not completely successful. Tasty, light and fluffy inside, but still not quite right.

Oh yeah, that whole High Altitude Baking thing. Must remember to adjust recipes from flatlanders for use in mountain areas. Needed only 13 minutes to bake instead of 20, and no egg wash necessary. Next year I’ll adjust for altitude, but the change from raisins to cranberries was definitely a good idea.

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.” – Archibald MacLeish

Make it yourself.

Hunted through multiple grocery stores, Walgreens, and RiteAids trying to find Russell Stover chocolate coconut nests for Easter.

I only managed to find the cookies and cream ones, and quite frankly who wants to eat those? That’s why they’re still sitting on the ravaged easter candy shelves the day before Easter.

Necessity and invention and all that.

1 4oz. bar Giradelli chocolate bar (60% cocoa) melted with 1 T of butter
pile of coconut
handful of jellybellies

Lots of stirring, some sticky moments using the melonballer to make indentations in the tops for the jellybellies, and you have chocolate coconut nests. Put in the fridge to chill.

ChocoNests

Edible Nests

Sitting on the warmed stovetop I have three pans of Hot Cross Buns rising. Last year’s were a disaster, so I’m hoping this recipe from The Pioneer Woman will do the trick. I used cranberries instead of raisins, and plan on adding a little espresso to the icing to make the crosses.

Currently Reading: SugarBaby by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Her first book, Confections of a Closet Master Baker, was great.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato

I have begun the attempt at edible books for tomorrow’s Books 2 Eat event. I was planning two things, one simple and one complex.

The simple thing I was making fell apart. Turns out, brownies really don’t like coming out of those flexible mini brownie pans easily, no matter how much you grease the pan. Brownie chunks and crumbs everywhere. This is why I started so many days in advance, because you have to figure out what will actually work. I’m going to try making either chocolate butter cookies that look like blocks or just using Andes mints.

Next up I will be making more gingerbread for the complex thing. I’m trying to make a gingerbread tunnel book, complete with train headed for the tunnel. An archivist friend loaned me her remarkable collection of train cookie cutters, some even custom made! The tunnel book will look nothing like these amazing structures. Yikes. Need to get candy, pull-apart licorice stings, and fruit rollups at the store, plus loads of powdered sugar to make frosting/cement.

“A proud heart can survive general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone.” – Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Check your local calendars for an Edible Book Festival near you. These happen every year in honor of the April Fool’s Day birth of Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

I’m attempting two items, edible type and something involving gingerbread trains. I made the first batch of gingerbread last night, even though the event isn’t until next weekend. Why so early? Because making a book structure out of edible materials doesn’t always work. Often things fall apart or break. (Last night one of the walls I made broke, which means I might need to make more gingerbread.)

Try your hand at making a book, visit your local festival, or page through the gallery online.

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Holidays are done (some of us go back to work today) but were good. Made three batches of Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Gingerbread because it is the best I’ve found.

Friends and family were remarkably generous this year, despite the fact that we all agreed to do less! Among the treasures unwrapped:

American Knits audiobook by Melanie Falick

Gift certificate to Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins – Weaving classes here I come!

A friend took me to the Danu holiday concert. Remarkable music!


“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” – Albert Einstein