Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2012

A City Thought (+Momofuku Milk Bar)

I woke up today thinking about the city.
Maybe it was the winter wind rushing through my coat walking to dinner last night, or the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook finally arriving on my doorstep earlier this week (long overdue). Perhaps it is because it's almost been one year since my unforgettable trip upstate to the Salvato Mill with a handful of the best friends I could ask for...
By happenstance a Big Chill weekend, quietly somber under the snow clouds of my matriarch grandmother's sudden passing. But the timing was serendipitous.
It's what saved me.

One of the most memorable moments from that trip however was after our return to Brooklyn from the country, rested, warm from each other's company, and reflective in our last visit together before parting ways. We made some tea as it flurried outside, and unwrapped a bag full of Momofuku Milk Bar cookies and cake truffles we somehow neglected the entire weekend. Crumbs from heaven, shared amongst family.

I went to the store last night and bought a bunch of things I never normally purchase: Potato chips, bagged pretzels, dry milk, butterscotch morsels... It was time to break in my new cookbook. Comfort comes in many forms, and if I can't have the Williamsburg Bridge, East River, and New York Breakfast Tea, then damn it I'm having Momofuku's Compost Cookies. And you can too. While I strongly recommend purchasing Christina Tosi's recipe collection, you can sample this delightfully trashy mélange of a cookie recipe via my friend Adam —yes, you know him, New York's own the Amateur Gourmet— here.

I ♥ NY

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

En Vitesse: At Long Last, BabyCakes LA is open

Du du DUH! Finally kiddos, it's a reality! Priority for the week: Get downtown for the most delicious gluten-, soy-, egg-, and dairy-free baked goods you've ever tasted! BabyCakes is adding donuts to the mix here in LA (toasted coconut, chocolate dipped, and cinnamon sugar..) to shine alongside NYC favorites, their world-class cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, crumb cakes, brownies, macaroons and of course frosting shots! All guilt-free thanks to holistic ingredients like coconut oil, flax, and agave nectar.
Thank you Erin McKenna! LA ♥ you!

BabyCakes LA
130 East Sixth St. (btwn South Main and South Los Angeles St.) Downtown LA; 213-623-5555

Thursday, June 11, 2009

En Vitesse: Weekend Bites!

Thursday June 11
7 pm - 10 pm
Rum & Cigars on the Patio
Ciudad hosts a special four-course dinner of Caribbean-inspired dishes like star anise-scented duck confit each course paired with a different Zaya Gran Reserva 12-year-old Estate Rum cocktail. Goat's milk flan, a snifter of 12-year-old rum and a hand-rolled cigar are dessert!
Tickets are $68. Ciudad, 445 S. Figueroa St. Downtown; 213.486.5171

Friday June 12 - Saturday June 13
10:30 am - 2 pm
The Top Chef Tour bus rolls into LA!
Meet Top Chefs Hosea Rosenberg and Fabio Viviani, and stay for cooking demonstrations, gourmet tips, and tastings.
Free; seats will be available on the day of the show on a first come, first served basis.
Original Farmers Market, 6333 West 3rd Street (NW corner of 3rd and Fairfax)

Sunday June 14
2 pm - 6 pm
No Cookie Left Behind, as part of the Great American Bake Sale will peddle cupcakes, quiches, and cookies outside of Scoops for Share Our Strength, an organization that combats childhood hunger in the US. Vendors include Lark Cake Shop, CakeMonkey, Spork Foods (vegan!), Large Marge Sustainables, Kiss My Bundt Bakery, Whisk LA, Taste on Melrose, Laurel Avenue Bakery, and more!
Scoops, 712 N Heliotrope Dr. at Melrose, East Hollywood

Tuesday - Sunday
9 am - 3 pm
Sunset Junction French fave Cafe Stella now serving Brunch!
Bask in the long overdue sun from their prime patio location with Eggs Benedict, lemon-ricotta pancakes, brioche with clarified butter, fleur de sel and maple syrup, bay leaf blackberry mimosas, and coffee drinks made by the neighborly baristas at Intelligentsia.
3932 W. Sunset Blvd., at Sanborn Ave. Silver Lake; 323.666.0265

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recettes Secrètes: The Anzac Cookie

Speaking of Australian cookies... I've had this Anzac Cookie recipe kicking around for ages and finally whipped them up last night in my obsessive orange blossom haze. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - Most stories tell of these cookies (or "biscuits") being made by Australian and Kiwi women for soldiers during WWI. The simple, spoil-resistant ingredients made them easy to store and ship, also as they were then baked quite crisp (read: inedibly hard).
The recipe has surely changed much since WWI, and everyone likes theirs baked differently (thin and crisp v.s. soft and chewy). One of the signature ingredients in this Anzac cookie recipe is golden syrup - tricky to find here in the United States (shh, I substituted honey - It gives the cookies a slightly different flavor, but is delicious just the same). This recipe also includes orange zest and orange blossom water, which you might exclude for a more authentic biscuit. There are many other things you can do with the tasty Anzac dough - great as a cobbler topping, or even a tart base. Leftover cookies keep well in an air-tight container for a few days.

Anzac Cookie Recipe

1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar OR brown sugar
1 cup finely shredded non-sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into little cubes
2 tablespoons golden syrup or honey
zest of one medium orange

1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon orange blossom water

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl; flour, oats, sugars, and coconut. Mix well.
In a small saucepan over low heat combine the butter syrup (or honey), and orange zest. Stir until melted and remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk together the boiling water and baking soda. Stir it into the butter. Now pour the butter mixture over the big bowl of oats and stir. Add the orange blossom water and stir again. This is a dough I like to mix it with my hands to make sure the butter is evenly distributed and the dough is moist throughout. I baked this batch of cookies in a well-buttered, heart-shaped cast iron pan, but you can simply drop them by the tablespoonful onto parchment lined baking sheets. Make sure they aren't too flat or they will get crispy. Bake for about 12 minutes or until deeply golden.
Makes 18 - 24 medium cookies.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Super Bon!: Australia's Favorite Cookie

Wow. Bless those Australians. Especially those Australian neighbors who knock on your door to drop off a box of Tim Tams ("Australia's Favorite Cookie") because Grandma sent too many of the addictive morsels from Down Under. Bless!
How to describe the Tim Tam experience? Well, imagine two thin rectangular biscuits sandwiching a creme filling somewhere between that of an Oreo and squishy marshmallow fluff. In the case of my Sweet Surrender Black Forest Delight flavored Tim Tam, the filling also contained a jelly ribbon of dark cherry. The whole sandwich is then covered in sweet chocolate. The sensation of biting into the Tim Tam is what must sell the popular treat, a bona fide texture explosion, first soft like a candy bar, interrupted by a satisfying biscuit crunch that quickly gives in to the squishy creamy filling. Oh heaven!
Saucy (said Australian neighbor) told me the way to eat a Tim Tam is to use it as a sort of straw for coffee or tea, poking a channel with a toothpick (not unlike my saccharine sticky red vines and soda childhood, I suppose). But oh, what a phenomenon this simple sounding method IS. Google Tim Tam and you get a slew of fan-obsessed posts and YouTube videos instructing you exactly how to do a "Tim Tam Slam" (even Natalie Imbruglia is posted instructing Graham Norton how to get the most out of a gooey melty Tim Tam). This video is arguably the most entertaining (slightly embarrassingly) and informative:

Do that, Girl Scout Cookie!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

En Vitesse: Quick Bites

To quell some of my writer's anxiety over larger blogpost projects/series (ah hem, Russia) I decided to blast out my IT list for the week.. An amuse-bouche for us bon vivants.

After a few weeks tightly nested in my apartment due to flu and post-holiday debt, I returned to the nightlife this past week with relieving success. One of my first stops was a civilized cocktail at one of downtown LA's newest hidden treasures, the Association (110 e 6th st). Hoping to cater to locals as a "neighborhood pub", this English-style boozer's modest elegance will surely draw the savvy set, with incredibly fresh cocktail ingredients, a killer whiskey/Scotch collection and a buffet of boutique bitters topping the bar. An LA-original, the Brown Derby cocktail (bourbon, benedictine, bitters and flamed orange peel) topped the classics list, while an off-the-menu Elderflower Gimlet refreshed the palate. You won't spot this dwelling passing by though, as there is no signage - Under the neon glow of the newly reopened Cole's marquee keep watch for a stag doorman in front of a heavy black door (an exact replica the 10 Downing Street door - the official residence of the British prime minister in London).

On the topic of drink... A new mixology trend seeping down the West coast (and about time) is the effervescent BEER COCKTAIL. Known previously to me only by my summer favorite the Trailer Trash Margarita, hangover-cure-all the Bloody Beer, and of course Irish Car Bombs.. This movement (examples pair hefeweizen with gin, lime and elderflower; Sapporo with blackberries, vodka and chambord) is taking my guilty pleasure for ale-mixing to a whole new level...

Dinner parties need to come back in a huge way this Spring, OK? This past weekend, my friend and hostess-with-the-mostest Nicolette casually last-minute invited a group over for enchiladas on her patio.. I wasn't expecting the several trays of hand-rolled enchiladas, Spanish rice, handmade tortilla chips and enough delicious fresh salsa to feed a firehouse. As always, she spared no expense to regale a perfect experience (all the way through espresso service). It was the most delightful surprise meal I have had in weeks.

On the town, I once again thoroughly enjoyed my tacos (chicken mole, spicy carnita and carne deshebrada) last night at Loteria Grill's Hollywood Blvd outpost (just go already) and recent brunches at Silverlake favorite Malo (I could drink spicy cucumber "brunch" margaritas with breakfast everyday...) and a fluffy crabcake benedict and mimosa at laid-back posh spot Taste on Melrose. Yes, it tastes good to be back, LA...

Speaking of tasting, Catherine made my mouth water today with this recipe for HOMEMADE OREOS... Enough said.

And finally.. How can I thank Paul enough for passing along this NYTimes article and gut-busting recipe involving, drumroll please.. Woven bacon. I give you, the Internet-famous BBQ'd-pig-overload, the BACON via LATimes and my crappy cellphone

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recettes Secrètes: Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cakes)

I know my blog has been very RECIPE-HEAVY lately, but 'tis the season folks - I'm broke and I'm nesting, so you bet I'm cooking away in my little kitchen! That said, I hope some of these recipes are helpful or enlightening.

Known by many names (Polvorones, Wedding cakes, Pecan Sandies, Russian tea cakes, Italian Butter Nuts, Southern Pecan Butterballs, Viennese Sugar Balls, Snowballs..), these little melt-in-your-mouth-and-in-your-hand buttery cookies get made every single year at Christmas in my kitchen. They are simple, delicious, and always a crowd-pleaser. The secret is using the best quality butter and pure vanilla extract you can find. You may also experiement with different nuts (walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts all work well), and also small additions of cocoa powder or cinnamon. Though I haven't tested them, these Pistachio and Cherry Mexican Wedding Cakes sound delicious.

Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely ground

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Toast Nuts: Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool. Once the nuts have cooled completely, place them in a coffee grinder (or in a food processor with a little flour) and process until finely ground (but not a paste). Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the remaining flour and salt and beat until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour or until firm.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar on the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Gently roll warm cookies to coat. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool. Repeat the process once the cookies have cooled completely.
Store in an airtight container.