Ok, this recipe needed a “do over.” A huge part of the online baking community is about sharing, that’s a large part of why we do this: a shared love of food and cooking it. We all see recipes and foods online or in cookbooks that we like and it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and make them and then to write about your experiences. But, and here’s the point… I saw this recipe for yummy cookies on Caroline’s Chocolate & Carrots blog and thought I’d see how they turned out since I have more than one friend these days who has a reaction to flour products but still likes a sweet, baked treat.
In my haste yesterday to:
I hit the “publish” button on my WordPress post instead of “save draft” which inadvertently posted a half baked article which didn’t give any credit to Caroline and her recipe at all. Luckily for me, she was very understanding and polite about it… Sorry Caroline..
Anyway, here is the recipe and they are really great cookies so you must bake them!
One of the first things I do before I bake is set all my ingredients out and all of the equipment I’m going to be using… This is called mise en place or putting everything in it’s place. You can read more about that term here…
Bake for approx 14 mins or until the tops begin to crack. They will have a shiny gloss finish to them.
Haha… my first embedded video..
Points to consider:
If you are using a convection oven adjust the temperature down by about 25 degrees and you can usually reduce your bake time by a minute or two. Keep an eye on your cookies as all ovens vary a little.
Many variables can affect your baking… humidity, altitude and the age of your products. For example, the older the flour is the drier it can be, therefore often requiring the addition of more liquid than normally called for just to get it to the right consistency… don’t panic, there is NO FLOUR in this particular recipe, this was just an example of a variable.
Enjoy and happy baking!
In response to a question today I thought it might be interesting to visit why some recipes use mass (weight) instead of by volume (cups) or by count. Baking is a science people. Unlike a lot of savoury recipes, adding a dash of baking soda or a smidgen of yeast probably won’t get you the best possible baked product. Baked goods rely on chemistry and the correct ratios of leavening agents to do the job. You don’t guess at the temperature of the oven and consider near enough to be good enough. No, we follow the guide and hope like hell we have it right. We have ALL read our ingredient lists incorrectly. Heck, it seems the older I get the more often I am likely to forget an ingredient altogether!!
For most of history, most cookbooks did not specify quantities precisely, instead talking of “a nice leg of spring lamb”, a “cupful” of lentils, a piece of butter “the size of a walnut”, and “sufficient” salt. In Europe, cookbooks used mass (“weight”) rather than volume, though informal measurements such as a “pinch”, a “drop”, or a “hint” (soupçon) continue to be used from time to time. In the U.S.A., Fannie Farmer introduced the more exact specification of quantities by volume in her 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.
Today, most of the world prefers measurement by weight, though the preference for volume measurements continues in North America.
In domestic cooking, bulk solids, notably flour and sugar, are measured by volume, often cups, though they are sold by weight at retail. Weight measures are used for meat. Butter may be measured by either weight (1⁄4 lb) or volume (3 tbsp) or a combination of weight and volume (1⁄4 lb plus 3 tbsp); it is sold by weight but in packages marked to facilitate common divisions by eye. (As a sub-packaged unit, a stick of butter, at 1⁄4 lb [113 g], is a de facto measure in the U.S.)
Cookbooks in Canada use the same system, although pints and gallons would be taken as their Imperial quantities unless specified otherwise. Following the adoption of the metric system, recipes in Canada are frequently published with metric conversions.
Different ingredients are measured in different ways:
Liquid ingredients are generally measured by volume worldwide.
Dry bulk ingredients, such as sugar and flour, are measured by weight in most of the world (“250 g flour”), and by volume in North America (“1/2 cup flour”). Small quantities of salt and spices are generally measured by volume worldwide, as few households have sufficiently precise balances to measure by weight.
Meats are generally measured by weight or count worldwide: “a 2 kg chicken”; “four lamb chops”.
Vegetables may be measured by weight or by count, despite the inherent imprecision of counts given the variability in the size of vegetables.
Chopped or cut-up meats and vegetables are generally measured by weight, except in North America where they are measured by volume.
In most of the world, recipes use the metric system of litres (l, sometimes L) and millilitres (ml, sometimes mL), grams (g) and kilograms (kg), and degrees Celsius (°C). The word litre is always spelled liter in the USA.
The English-speaking world frequently measures weight in pounds (avoirdupois), with volume measures based on cooking utensils and pre-metric measures. The actual values frequently deviate from the utensils on which they were based, and there is little consistency from one country to another.
Most blog recipes tend toward the home-based cook and most of our recipes use volumetric measures. However, from time to time you are going to come across a recipe that is based on mass or weight. Most of the Western world uses mass measurements and with our world becoming such a small place through the use of technology it helps to know how to deal with alternative measurements and why it’s a good idea.
Mass or weight measurements tend to be far more accurate than a cup o’ this or that. This is largely due to the fact that a lot of the baking cup sets are just not accurate, having been designed to look pretty rather than to be completely precise.
Griffin, Mary Annarose; Gisslen, Wayne (2005). Professional baking (Fourth ed.). New York: John Wiley. p. 6. ISBN0-471–46427-9. Retrieved 2010 Dec 15. “Volume measure is often used when scaling water for small or medium-sized batches of bread. Results are generally good. However, whenever accuracy is critical, it is better to weigh.”
Since September I have for the most part, been in Australia, my country of birth, visiting my Father who has been undergoing radiation treatment for an inoperable cancer. I’m back home now and we are waiting to see if the treatment for my Dad has successfully eradicated the tumours or not.
On a happier note, Thanksgiving was busy and most of my children made it home. Now for another of my favourite times of the year Christmas and all the fun baking to be done for the festivities to come!
Thank you for all the emails asking where I was and just the friendship in general! You are all amazing!
More soon, Colleen
Some people collect stamps, others like me, collect recipe books. But what’s the good of owning all these glorious tomes if I don’t actually pull them off the shelf and try out some of the recipes. I’ve made lemon bars before but this time I’m going to be using Ina Garten’s recipe. Nothing says summer more than lemon flavoured desserts.
Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into desired sized bars or triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
My husband eats most everything I make for him. However, he does have an absolute all time favourite — Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This recipe is the one from the book “Baking” by Dorie Greenspan. It’s a fabulous recipe and one that I make often. Nonetheless, we’ve all tried recipes out of books or from the internet that just haven’t worked out right? Right!
Part of my adventures in baking lead me to try other cooks recipes. Why not? They have already put a lot of hard work into perfecting their recipes and part of my challenge is to see if I can reproduce the item in my own kitchen under my own circumstances. Is it more humid where I live? Have I measured my ingredients correctly? How does my oven compare? So many differences have to be factored in even when using a tried and true recipe.
This recipe turned out great even in a humid kitchen in Oklahoma, with an original 1960s oven. They are disappearing quickly as I write this so they musn’t be too bad or the locals are just plain starving!
|On Saturday Feb 21st, we went to the Metropolitan Library Systems Book Sale! It was my first time which became more evident as we approached the Oklahoma State Fair Ground. There were far more cars trying to park than I ever anticipated. Seasoned book fair veterans toted bags, suitcases and plastic garbage cans with wheels and I saw one lady with her little red wagon!! These people were serious.
Upon entering the pavilion where the books were, there were taped off rows where the early birds had been made wait until the doors opened, so you just know all the good books were already gone. Even so, I managed to snaggle 22, yes TWENTY TWO great books filled with culinary baking delights from days gone by to more recently published Pastry, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker baking books. How much did this booty cost me… $26.00 for the entire load!
I guess the reason to share this news with you apart from my obvious over-excitement is that I hope to prepare many treats from these treasures in the coming months and continue to add to my trove of tried and true recipes. If you don’t have a book fair anywhere near you soon, I suggest getting along to the local library to borrow and browse before you buy! Have a great week!