Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I found it!

Today - as you know is Food Wednesday. My local paper had an interesting Cilantro Lime Salad dressing - but other than that, nothing inspiring.
I don't really have a lot of money to spend on cooking - especially holiday cooking this year - so I've just been ignoring the whole idea. Then - over at the San Francisco Chronicle I read about these cookies:

Molasses-Black Pepper Cookies

Makes about 54 cookies
It's important to use freshly ground black pepper for this recipe, otherwise you won't taste it as much. You can make these as either individual cookies or bars. If you'd rather make the bars, simply press the batter evenly into an 8-inch square pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Poke a few holes in the batter with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes.

  • 2 sticks butter ( 1/2 pound), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar and molasses on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Add the flour, salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and mix on slow speed until the dough comes together. (You can also use a hand-held mixer or large wooden spoon to blend the ingredients.)
In a separate bowl, mix about 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper with the 6 tablespoons granulated sugar. Scoop a rounded tablespoon of cookie dough, roll it into a ball and then roll in the pepper/sugar mixture until coated on all sides. Repeat with remaining dough.

Space cookies about 2 inches apart on silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets, and bake for about 12 minutes.

Per cookie: 77 calories, 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat (2 g saturated), 13 mg cholesterol, 42 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

Read more here in the Chronicle:

I'm hooked! I also am going to make these Cream Biscuits for my Sunday School class Christmas party. I think the part that I like best is the idea of flash freezing them for storage (not that I have any room in my freezer at the moment). And! I'm going to add cheddar cheese to them to compliment the ham someone is cooking.

I'm also tempted to make them for the Christmas Luncheon - but keep telling myself - KEEP IT SIMPLE. I don't know if I'll win this battle or not.

Cream Biscuits

Adapted from James Beard’s American Cookery

The original recipe has you brush your baking sheet with melted butter (and increases the amount by two tablespoons) but for whatever reason, the butter not covered by biscuits just got smoky in my oven so I’m voting for you to just line your sheets with parchment. If you find dipping the biscuits in butter difficult (hard to grasp if the dough is soft), just brush them generously instead.

Made about 10 biscuits, perhaps a dozen if I had been stricter about the height and scrap-usage
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. (I ended up using two additional tablespoons, or half the unused cream.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use. [Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.]

Here's what she says about flash freezing .... brilliant I tell you!

Finally, I made 3 salads yesterday for our pot luck meal tonight. I had some left overs to use up since I won't be cooking again 'till January (after I get done with the Christmas Luncheon) that is...

So - BlackBean/Corn/Shrimp Salad 90% done.
Broccoli/Bacon/Raisin Salad 100% done.
Chicken Caesar Salad 80% done. And this is the BEST Caesar Vinaigrette dressing. Even with the anchovies (and I don't like them). I also coddled the egg - so not to worry about salmonella.

How to coddle eggs: (for salad dressings and such) Coddling causes the yolk to become slightly thickened and warm. Bring a very fresh egg to room temperature by immersing it in warm water (otherwise it might crack when coddled). Place the egg in a small bowl or mug and pour boiling water around the egg until it is covered. Let stand for exactly 1 minute. Immediately run cold water into the bowl until the egg can be easily handled; set aside.

Happy Food Wednesday everyone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmm my but those cream biscuits sound good ! How did those Black Pepper cookies turn out ?? They sound interesting - not sure how molasses and pepper would be together, tho ??? tp