Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cooking backlog

By request, I made some cashew butter cardamom cupcakes this week -- not being a huge nut butter fan these weren't my favorites, and opening up each cardamom pod individually was a pain, but they turned out really aromatic and interesting. The frosting was way ugly because apparently you have to chop up powdered soymilk in the food processor first, or you get little pellets in the frosting (this was stressful).

Next, I made my favorite cookies for like the sixth time and was reminded to undercook them.

Double Chocolate Espresso Cashew Cookies

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder (instant coffee works too)
  • 2 c AP flour (280 g)
  • 2/3 c cocoa (65 g) (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c unsalted cashews, toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips (I like the 60% Ghirardelli stuff)

Preheat oven to 325. Cream butter and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and espresso powder slowly. Sift together dry ingredients, mix into creamed butter/sugar, and stir in cashews and chocolate chips. Scoop the dough onto a jelly roll pan (I use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, leveling it off before unloading it onto the pan for uniformity), bake for 19 or 20 minutes, and let cool on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes. By the way, this was stolen from The Great Book of Chocolate.

The real event was finally getting to make panettone french toast, which is as good as it sounds. The recipe for the wash is pretty involved -- in my mind, the more ingredients the better the flavor -- but the technique is straight Alton Brown: stale the panettone slices for at least 24 hours ahead of time, just barely dredge the slices in the wash, cook on a griddle, and hold in the oven until ready to serve. Panettone is way harder to work with than stale challah, but the flavor is pretty amazing (especially with maple syrup and mascarpone cheese). And yes, that is sriracha all over my eggs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Just dust yourself off
The promise of a new year
Singing north charleston

photo: Jenn, haiku: Andy