Sunday, December 19, 2010

Voyages to the Great Vegan Unknown

For you to feel just a bit like a jerk.

When I was in ninth grade, I got really into writing short stories. Really short stories. Like only-a-girl-with-ADHD*-would-think-a-short-story-is-500-words short stories. Well one story I remember really well was one about a dude. He kept hindering himself (as many times as one can keep doing anything in 500 words) in completely unnecessary ways just for the thrill of the challenge. The dude wore his pants backwards a la 1992 teen rap duo sensations Kris Kross just to making peeing a little tougher. In my short story, he failed out of school due to his extended bathroom breaks. Did you read that? He failed out of school. Because he wanted peeing to be harder.

The 90s weren't so much cool as they were revolutionary.
And cool. Mostly the cool part, actually.

So are you as excited as I am about that background story? I know, right! It was entirely too long! And relatively uninteresting to boot!

But here's the thing: vegan baking? Exactly like my Kris Kross embodying 9th grade imaginary male alter-ego. (We all have one.)

Common misconception about Vegan Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bread:
This bread was the activist who freed the diseased monkey in the classic movie, Outbreak.

Wrong. That was Patrick Dempsey.

Thank goodness I made that bigger. And bold. And followed it with a picture of banana nut chocolate chip bread.
More? Fine. Whatever.


Vegan baking is challenging and goofy and like wearing your jeans backwards just cuz (COMPASSION, yo) or going out and killing your own chicken with a bow and arrow instead of getting one at the supermarket. Ok it's nothing like that last one but my guy managed to accomplish a lot in 500 words. And he definitely did the chicken thing. But mostly, vegan baking is super fun, guyz. It helps that I know someone who will gladly test out my vegan goodies (everyone should have one). Because shockingly enough, no matter how delicious looking they may be, vegan anythings still have the ability to scare some folks off. Sad stuff.

"I'm not a vegan, I just fuck a lot without harming animals."
-Big Punisher's original lyrics before he got real real fat. And died.

Vegan baking is a lot like a puzzle. Consistencies can be a little hit or miss thanks to the absence of eggs but you know what? Absence makes the egg grow fonder. I mean, I don't want eggs. But I've started getting love letters written in yolk and now I lock my bedroom door at night is all.

"Go on. Smear me all over your face. Let's take this relationship to the next level."

Vegan baking is also super for dough eaters. Remember that time you almost stopped eating unbaked dough because you were all like, 'raw eggs are not good for me to eat!' but you kept eating anyways even though you felt a little bad for your insides? You don't have to feel bad for your insides when you eat vegan dough! It won't kill you! Slowly! Over an extended period of time!

Let's be real guys. Vegan baking is sort of great.

NEWZFLASH: if Mini Vegan Jelly Donuts had footies, they'd be the cat's pajamas.

So if you want to try to do some vegan baking (and you do because you're not some sort of a monster, right?) here are the 3 recipes I used the other day...

*Fun note: I do not have ADHD. I'm just a little stupid. Easy mistake.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Great Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Showdown

Ok "The Great" might be a bit much. And "Showdown" is maybe a little unrealistic. It wasn't like I drew a line in the flour a la that scene in the movie Hook and told the cookies that they can either be delicious or delicious-er a la the movies in my head. That would be weird because cookies making choices and my mind movies and whatever. But it's a moot point. Because that's exactly how this showdown went...down?

In this corner of my flour dusted counter, weighing in at a modest 133 calories and making the world an animal friendlier place, one block of firm tofu at a time is The Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

"I make my own clothes out of synthetic fabrics!"
-Vegan Oatmeal Cookie's Senior Quote

Because I think Vegan cookies are interesting (I wanted to say exotic like in the same way the elderly refer to everyone not white as "exotic" but it's too soon or something?), I'm going to share the recipe with you.

*many hyphens were harmed in the making of this book

I lifted this recipe from Tofu 1-2-3: 125 East-to-Prepare Cholesterol-Free Recipes because if you know anything about me, you know I have a tofu-centric cook book in my possession. Duh.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup rice milk
1/4 cup silken tofu
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup of raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookies sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Add oats and sugar and stir more. In a food process, combine oil, maple syrup, rice milk, tofu, and vanilla and puree til smooth. Pour liquids into the dry stuff and stir. Add raisins. Chill.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to rack. Profit.

How exotic!

Shit was crazy easy to make, by the way. And they came out insanely perfect. I added a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon because I like to jazz things up/I wanted my kitchen to smell better/I think adding things to recipes makes me seem mad knowledgeable. Taste wise - not too shabby. I was surprised with both the consistency and the fact that I didn't notice the missing butter and eggs. Way to go, Vegans. I still think yall are batshit crazy but you know, your cookies can be okay.

I expected vegan oatmeal raisin batter to look much more resentful.

But this wouldn't be a showdown if there wasn't some competition.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this is a done deal, yo. Other dude shouldn't even show up. You're also thinking I am the perfect height to be an arm rest for most full grown men. There you are correct. The former, however, is what I like to call "jumping to cookie conclusions before giving the animal product using cookies a chance." Yeah. I like to call it that.

So let me introduce the challenger...

Continuing with the overdone, cliche at best use of boxing terminology, weighing in at you-don't-want-to-know and sporting a mean chunky salt topping is The Salty Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

"I rob animals of their goods on the regular!"
-Salted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie's Senior Quote

I first had a salted oatmeal raisin cookie when I was a carefree youth on the mean streets of NW Washington D.C. I had stopped off at Marvelous Market (thug life) after school with my mom to pick up my favorite Caprese Sandwich (hood shit, yo) and maybe a nice challah or some french bread with olive dip and a Perrier (I've run out of impressive street lingo) when a cookie by the register caught my eye. A monster salted oatmeal raisin beauty. It was probably one of the top 10 single things I've ever eaten. So I sought out to recreate it.

I settled up my debt at Williams-Sonoma the old-fashioned way,
with an IOU note for my firstborn son.

This recipe came from the Williams-Sonoma baking book I just purchased. It was a little different that other recipes I've come across as it asked you to melt the butter in a skillet first. Then you proceed by mixing in the remaining ingredients by hand. The not so obvious differences from the Vegan cookie included the use of nutmeg and brown sugar instead of white.

Common misconception: The Vegan substitute for butter is sand.

These smelled hands down 100x better than the Vegan cookies. Like, if you're into that sorta thing. To give them that little extra salty kick, I topped them with this fancy pants finishing salt I bought at Williams-Sonoma (I only spent a million dollars there is what I'm getting at). Popped those bitches in the oven and BOOM. Incredz.

Common misconception #2: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie batter
can replace your every daily need.

But to compare the two is pretty hard. The regular cookies flatted a bit more than I wanted while the Vegan ones kept a really lovely shape. They look just about perfect. The regular cookies are much more home-made in appearance. But man. The salt. I added extra salt to half of the Vegan cookies too and it just makes such an incredible difference. I highly suggest topping your oatmeal raisin cookies with chunky salt. Shit is unreeeeeeeeeal.


Salted Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The vegan cookies are surprisingly good but the consistency is a little spongier than I'm used to. The salted cookies are really delicious. So salty. So wonderfully spiced.
EASE: Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I've found that any cookie recipe that involves a food processor is way easier than any cookie recipe that does not. I don't really know how to justify this argument but it's my blog, not yours, and beat it.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. It helped that they had like 9 more ingredients to deal with. And sloppy ingredients at that.
DID THE DOG EAT THE DOUGH: It's official. My dog does not like to hang out in this kitchen while I bake. It's a real drag because it means I have to mop the floor now.
IMPRESS-O-METER: It's almost a toss up here. On one hand, Vegan Cookies are pretentious and the Impress-O-Meter was birthed from pretension. But on the other hand, I topped those other guys with finishing salt. Finishing salt. What can I say, I'm 100% impressive 80-93% of the time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In case you had any doubts, I'm a total Jew. Case in point: I wanted to try baking bread today for the first time. What was my go-to bread recipe? Challah. Because duh. Also, if you said "matzoh," go fuck yourself. No seriously. Not only do I have ample unemployed time to watch my bread rise (sorry Jewz of Pharoh times, that must've suuuuuucked), but I have serious beef with matzoh.

**This is where I'm going to go off on matzoh for a sec in a slightly smaller font so as not to be a bother...
hold on to your seats**

Ok. Matzoh. Here's my ish with matzoh: non-Jews think it's incredible. When your high school sets out matzoh in the cafeteria around Passover because your high school gets it, you know who is the first in line to make matzoh PB&J sandwiches? Non-Jews. And when you causally bring up that you're a Jew and Passover is totally your jam, who pipes up about their love for matzoh? You got it. Non-Jews. Because non-Jews are the only people in the world who can't get enough of matzoh. Probably because they haven't been forced to get enough of matzoh yet. Give them time.

Here's the thing, non-Jews: matzoh tastes fucking terrible. It's not up for debate. It's not supposed to taste good. It's supposed to taste a little like guilt, a little like sadness, and a lot like cardboard. Jews escaping from Pharoh did not eat matzoh because it appealed to their palates. No. They ate it because they were too busy escaping horribleness to wait for their bread to rise and it tasted slightly better than sand and helped them starve less in the desert.

**This is where I stop going off on matzoh.
I feel better now. Thanks.**

So that time I went off on people who like matzoh for 2 paragraphs was kiiiiinda weird. Anyways. Challah! The bread non-Jews should really being going nuts for! AMIRIGHT?

If you're not familiar with challah, get with it already. It's a supremely delicious egg-y bread that's sorta similar in taste to brioche. It's sweet without being dessert-y. It's downright gluttonous when spread with butter and insane as french toast. (See: egg-y sugar-y egg bread doused with more egg and smothered with syrup. Also see: duh.) And it's braided so it's totally adorable.

Frank and I getting down to business in the kitchen.
(I'm the cute one.)

Of course, being the idiot I am, I decided that the first bread recipe I tackle be one that incorporates braiding dough. Turns out it's not as easy as braiding my hair. Which is weird because my hair often has the consistency of wet dough. Hmm.

But it was still kinda fun. It's something that clearly takes practice and a little know-how but hot damn, SO CUTE.


But hey, I'm totally getting ahead of myself here. The recipe started with me dissolving some yeast and some sugar. Exciting!

Then I whisked in oil, more sugar, and 4 eggs, one by one. I decided to hand whisk it instead of using my insane monster KitchenAid Pro Mega Destroyer 3000 XXX because A) that thing means BUSINESS and challah is like a delicate buttercup and B) I skipped going to yoga in order to make this bread which means girlfriend needed some serious exercise but didn't do that either and instead pretended that vigorous mixing was "exercise." Also C) I live in a dream world.

My right arm's sore/totally toned now.

Then I added 8 cups of flour. Eight is so many cups of flour! I got mad egg yolk/vegetable oil/yeast/sugar/flour on my shirt which was cool except that it looked pretty obscene.

Hey egg yolk/vegetable oil/yeast/sugar/flour mixtue: ew. Also: inappropriate.

It was fun/filthy/fun. I kneaded it brutally like a lady and let it sit for an hour as it expanded to twice its size.

It's like one of those dinosaur sponges except not at all because it actually works and doesn't ruin your entire day because it's a letdown like everything else in your childhood.

Blah blah blah, a little more resting, a little more assaulting. Then I split the dough in half (the recipe was for two loaves), kneaded some raisins into one loaf, and then got myself totally psyched for some bread braiding.

This is gearing up to look like something I'll be a natural at!
(I was not a natural at this.)

I'll be the first to admit it, my first loaf came out pretty stumpy. Whatevs. Still totally adorable and that's my number one requirement for all the food I eat. (Interesting note: it was at about this time that I was shocked that I didn't think to make mini challahs. That would have been the quintessential adorable Molly food makeover move. Next time.)

"Next time, I'll braid your hair!"
- Challah Loaf

Since I threw some raisins in the second loaf, I decided to keep it real after braiding it and form the loaf into a circle. Raisin-y circle-y challah loaves are mostly eaten around Rosh Hashana time to represent the cycle of a year and to bring a little sweetness into the new year. (Jew talk.) Also because raisins are my new favorite food. No joke.

"Have you met us? We're raisins, Molly's new favorite food and we are no joke."
- The Raisins in my Raisin Challah Loaf

Blah blah blah I had to throw the loaves in the freezer because I had dinner plans because I am important I am really cool I am a social butterfly everyone wants a piece of me my dad invited me out to dinner. When I got home, I took my little lovelies out of the freezer and let them thaw for 4 hours. (NO BIG DEAL.)

Next up was the second coat of whisked egg (I left out mentioning the first coat because it was just as boring as that time I brought up the second coat a few words ago) and a sprinkling of poppy seeds on the regular loaf. THEN CAME HEAVEN.

Holy shit. I am going to make the world's best wife/mother/first female president.



4.7/5 > Even though the raisin loaf may be a tinge overdone, these taste outrageously good. I went so far as to email my mother at 2am to tell her how good these taste because I can't keep my awesome to myself/I suffer from insomnia.
EASE: 2.5/5 > It's not so much that it's hard to make challah, it's just hard to make it perfect. The braiding isn't difficult but it will certainly get easier. Also, the dough itself is incredibly easy to make.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 10/5 > The dough attacked me (dayenu!), there's flour everywhere (dayenu!), there's bread everywhere (dayenu!), there's everything everywhere (dayenu!). Do you see what I did there with that cleverly placed Jew joke?
DID THE DOG EAT THE DOUGH: Frank was mysteriously absent from this exciting introduction to bread baking. I think he was exhausted/emotionally distraught after I walked him to the grocery store and tied him up outside so I could buy some eggs. I'm pretty sure part of him died inside. He was really banking on riding in the grocery cart. :(
IMPRESS-O-METER: 1000/5 > I made braided challah, motherfuckers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Care Packages | Ho-Ho's and Pies


Let's be real for a second, guys. Can we be real? Are we in the RealZone now? You're not familiar with the RealZone? It's like an arena of truth. That's centrally located on my couch. Welcome, guys. Welcome to my RealZone (couch).

Oh, nice to see you guys here. Took you forever. Anyways, here's the thing. I had this harebrained idea the other day about my future. This isn't out of the ordinary. I have silly ideas all the time. But this one almost seems doable. I want to, one day, open my own itty bitty bakery. I have some little twists that make my bakery idea adorable and awesome but I'm going to keep those a secret because even though we're in the RealZone, I don't trust a single one of you fuckers. Anyways, this exercise in care-packaging was just so I could try out some fun recipes I half-made up and see how shipping chocolate things works out.

(Hey at least my harebrained idea isn't as absurd as's thesaurus entry for a harebrained idea: "a completely mad scheme to build a bridge between two mountains." That's fucking mad crazy.)

Now get out of my RealZone and let's talk about baking.


GUYS. I'm pretty sure I suffered from some minor diabetic shock last night. I was just wrapping up the final batch of Ho-Ho's and getting along to writing some notes. I was staring at my computer when the room started spinning. I don't know about you guys, but that only happens to me on Tuesdays and some Saturdays. (Tuesday is the new Saturday is the new every day of the week when you're unemployed, guys.) I think that's what happens when you surround yourself with red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, and melted chocolate glaze for two days straight. That and you look fat. (Unrelated: I need to go to the gym.)

Mmmm. Tastes like thunder thighs and dizziness!
Just like Ma Hostess used to make!

But let's take a step back. Back to where this all started.

I've made normal Ho-Ho's before but the frosting in the recipe I used was horribly sweet. Sorta gross. So I thought, hey, these would be way cuter if they were red on the inside and I'd spread cream cheese frosting all over my face if it was socially acceptable (one day!). Why not make some red velvet cake Ho-Ho's? With cream cheese frosting? WHY NOT, I said.

So I did.

I'd be lying if I said it isn't the blood of a
virginal ox that makes Red Velvet Cake taste so good.

Making Ho-Ho's is all about technique. You have to make sure the cakes aren't at all over baked which is tough because you're baking them on a cookie sheet. Bitches gonna be thin.

Red like your pent up rage. Velvety like those fabulous curtains in the den.

Then, as I learned after much trial and error, you have to cut that cake in it's thinner. This, by the way, is not very easy to do. Especially if the cake is at all over-baked. (Basically, if the cake is over-baked you've let down everyone you know. This goes back generations.)

Unfortunately, I took these pictures before figuring out a better technique but you get the gist anyways. You either ice that sucker as one big sheet and cut it up or cut it up and ice it. The latter makes a thousand times more sense when you get into the thick of things.

This is lose-your-left-hand diabetes material.
(Worth it.)

The rolling is a crapshoot. Sometimes it's perfect. Sometimes it looks like I'm making a hilarious joke where perfect Ho-Ho's are the butt and I pretend to be better than them even though all I want in the world is to sit at their table at lunch. Sigh.


Finally, you dunk your little rolled cakes into melty chocolate. Using your hands. Using both your hands. Let's skip to the point: I had chocolate all over me. You know how you think melted chocolate all over someone is like, oh I don't know, sexy? Well, it isn't. It's fucking disgusting. You can't do anything. Nothing. You can't touch the sink to wash your hands. You can't even use your elbow to turn on the sink because even your elbow is covered in chocolate. WHY IS YOUR ELBOW COVERED IN CHOCOLATE? In summary: you will never be clean again.

But, if you play your cards right, you do end up with something as beautiful as this...

The Hostess people have started throwing bricks through my windows.
Bricks attached to more bricks.

This is getting so long! Sorry! That's what happens when you start out in the RealZone!

I made various mini pies too that I won't go into detail about. (It's called making a mini pie with lattice crust. Your grandma could do it if your grandma had tiny nimble fingers like mine and if your grandma didn't talk so much smack about you like EVERYDAY, yo.)

I made apple pies, peach pies, and mango/kiwi pies. Oh the pies I made!
Your girlfriend called. She said she's never going to be like me and you
should stop drawing big hearts in your notebook around 'Mr. Molly Wilkof' already.

Remember those neato oversized cross-section books that always had the hidden guy taking a dump somewhere in the scene? Here's a similar cross-section of the beauty that'll be arriving at people's doorsteps between noon and 3pm tomorrow...There's no dude taking a dump in there so you can stop looking for him. Also, what the fuck was up with that anyways?

Mini pies are capital 'B' Booming, guys.


5/5 > Incredible. Nothing has ever tasted better in the history of things being tasted.
EASE: 1/5 > Instead of sewing wallets, sweatshops should make kids roll up Ho-Ho's so they could really appreciate the meaning of hard work.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 5/5 > The melted chocolate debacle of 2010 will go down in history as super gross. As will all the other crap still strewn about the kitchen. I think my dog may have icing on him. Not sure.
DID THE DOG EAT IT THE DOUGH: When he wasn't giving me the cold shoulder last night, Frank was most certainly eating the dough. Which was great because it got everywhere and looked a little like blood and so it's a good thing he helped clean up the murder scene kitchen.
IMPRESS-O-METER: 10/5 > I would now like to quote a Twitter Direct Message from the one and only Josh Kenner: "i didn't know that hohos are a thing that people can actually make at home. this will be an adventure." You're damn right, Josh. You're damn right.

Last little note: I'm totally stoked about the 100% likelihood of
the Ho-Ho's melting in transport. Things might get sloppy. We'll see. They're going to Maryland, Virginia, Oregon, and Colorado. Extra big pie packages are going to Georgia and South Carolina because they don't allow Ho-Ho's there. For real.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate-Hazelnut Smooches

Let me shed some light on how I pick out cookie recipes the magic. Usually I go to, look up cookie recipes - hold on tight to your seat, this is where things get exciting - and sort them by "easy." First off,, may I suggest changing that to "ease?" Just an issue that keeps me awake at night. Not a big deal. Just means the world to me.

Anyways, I go to about page 30 or something because every cookie recipe on is easy. But once I'm in the meat of the "intermediate" recipes, shit gets real.

Replace Martin Lawrence with me and Will Smith with Frank.

But it doesn't just take an intermediate recipe to get my goat. No. My goat is only gotten once I dig deeper...I'm talking the user ratings and reviews. And when I stumbled upon this gem, I knew it was meant to be.

You had me at "Labor Intensive!" but you sealed the deal with "life threatening."

Also, the creator of this recipe is named Baci. Baci! Best. Recipe. Ever. (!!!)


So I haven't baked in forever and I've never baked in this kitchen. I am slowly learning many exciting new things about ovens.
  1. Noxious fumes are totally normal so don't worry if your face feels poisoned from time to time.
  2. Just like two pairs of Levi's jeans that are supposed to be exactly the same size and style, no two ovens are alike. And just like those jeans which are both supposed to be 27s because you are sort of a 27 and you'd expect both 27s to fit the same but one of them fits great and the other fits like it was made by a one-eyed 8 year old seamstress (fuck you Levi's), some ovens are really really fucking hot.
  3. Noxious is a great word, yeah?
This oven in New Orleans is without a doubt the hottest oven in the world. It only makes sense though, seeing as New Orleans is like hell on earth. I mean that in a mildly offensive way.

So I started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees (I think if you work New Orleans conversions, that comes out to about 10000 degrees so make sure you adapt to your surroundings) to roast 3 cups of hazelnuts.

Technically speaking, these hazelnuts go from here to ya-ya.

Three cups of hazelnuts is so many cups of hazelnuts! Imagine a lot of hazelnuts and then imagine more. That's how many three cups of hazelnuts is.

After roasting them for 15 minutes or something (I think you roast them for a couple years if using a normal oven) their skins got all peely and it was time to jump headfirst into the land of labor intensive baking.

After about 5 hazelnuts, you are tired of rubbing hazelnuts between your hands to get the skin off. After 3 cups of hazelnuts, you are wondering what kind of sick fuck Baci D'Alassio is. What's his angle anyways, you start to think.

Skinless but not ready to stop ruining your life quite yet.

But I was feeling pretty accomplished after all this. I even got Frank involved. We had a great routine for when I would drop hazelnuts (which was only constantly). I yelled "FRANK!" and he came running from wherever he was, looked at me, and waited for me to point to where the hazelnut was on the floor. Then he would feast. It's like I was having a real conversation with his hazelnut sized brain.

Next, I labor intensived some more with a knife. I'm like real afraid of knives. It's not a big deal except that it's a huge deal. Especially when you have to cut small round nuts with said death-tool.

Tip: red cutting board or bloody massacre? your guests will never know!

There's another thing I like about certain recipes. Call it a way to pick out the winners... Descriptive words. This recipe called for the hazelnut goop to resemble a powder and then a paste. I LOVE eating both powder and paste. The only thing I like more than powder or paste is sand.


And the only thing I like more than sand (I know, I know nothing is better than sand but maybe just do me a solid and suspend disbelief for a sec?) is dirty wet sand.

Do I eat or do I rub it all over my face? Decisions!!

Then, it was time to make the turds. Only the best cookies look like poop. Descriptive words.

I dunno, I'd like to see it look a little more like excrement.
Right now it's hardly even trying.

. This recipe. I knew it would be the worst, but I wasn't prepared for how much the worst it would be. But let's get back to that life threatening part in the review. Food poisoning's my favorite right after unicorns and skipping but slightly ahead of rainbows. Apparently, this recipe suggests leaving these little turds out all night. Oh and there are 4 egg whites in this recipe. Something something not good for you something.

At this point in the recipe, I was starting to question Food Network. I mean, it seemed like every chance they got, they wanted me to be thinking about crippling diarrhea while making these cookies. Guess what guys, it totally worked. Pats on the back all around. These are poop cookies. It almost made me want to give up. But I wasn't going to let the three cups of toasted, skinned, chopped, and ground hazelnuts win. I'd let them make me violently ill, but not win.

I put the poo pans in the fridge and let them hang out all night. Then, this morning, I promptly burnt the shit out of them.

Mmm. Tastes like burning!

This fucking oven. They are totally soft and moderately delicious on top and burnt to hell on the bottom. I tried to scrape the bottoms but the cookies actually started laughing at me.

The only thing that's worse than burnt cookies is burnt cookies that take two days to make. And are labor intensive. And life threatening. And concocted from the sick mind of one Baci "Cock" D'Alassio.

The upswing to this whole burnt disaster? You get to smother the cookies with chocolate and make them into burnt sandwich cookies. Yay?

I'm almost disappointed to say that these cookies weren't that bad. They're kind of good. Why does the cookie always win?

I'll eat you, but I won't like it. I'll only love it. Asshole.


3/5 > I'll have you know, this is an incredibly smug 3/5 rating. What a jerk this cookie is.
EASE: 1/5 > Labor Intensive is a nice way to put it. If I had a windowless basement where I locked up people I didn't like for an outrageously and inappropriately long time, I would insist they make these cookies everyday. That's how unfun this was.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 4/5 > Hazelnuts everywhere. Hazelnuts hiding in the oven. Hazelnuts creeping between the burners. Hazelnuts haunting my dreams.
DID THE DOG EAT IT THE DOUGH: He ate more hazelnuts than any one dog has ever eaten. He's disgusted in himself and has been moping around for moments.
IMPRESS-O-METER: 3.5/5 > Hazelnuts are certainly more wow-y than pecans or walnuts or peanuts or almonds (did I just blow your mind with that nut knowledge?) but I burnt the shit out of them. And they are ugly poo cookies. I am so angry at this moderately good tasting cookie. I'm probably going to eat another one soon. Grr.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Update/Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

I forgot to take pictures. Please accept these Native American E-Cards as my apology.

Are you sitting down? Here's the thing...I didn't know how to break this to you kids. The most important thing is that I love you.

No, no, stop crying. Mommy and daddy are not getting a divorce. As long as you keep your grades up and your weight down. Did I say weight? Good. I meant it. But this isn't about that. Back to my breaking news. I've been a little distant recently because I got a job. Well, a semi-job. Okay it's an internship. And it's almost over...get off my case already! Mommy and daddy are getting a divorce and it's all because of your thighs. There, I said it.

Anyways, I'm in beautiful sunny/blizzard prone Boulder, CO in a rented house and without my wingman, Frank* the min-pin. Last night was one of those blizzard days. Today was one of those beautiful sunny days. Just like your grandmother who can't make up her mind whether to keep hard candy or gummies in her candy jar, Boulder can't get its shit together. (Get your shit together, Grandma.)

So how do you celebrate a snow day when you're an intern? The same way you celebrate any unforeseen dramatic weather change. You stay strong and you bake, dammit. Plus, I like feeding my fellow interns with baked goods. I'm plumping them up so that one day I can stick them all into an oven and make intern pie. It will taste like tired. YUM!

But not before getting some inspirational words from a Native American Greeting E-Card...

"my soul hurts in ways most will never know" (sigh)

Soooo this just got weird. Anyways. Boulder! Colorado! The city that more often than not gets appropriate rest! Baking!

Baking in Boulder is weird. Not like weird in the sense that my oven emits noxious fumes every time I use it (it does) or that the slowest speed on my hand mixer is devastate (it is) but more so because of the altitude. We're at least a million miles above sea level here. I think. So alterations must be made. Just like my skin, baked goodies tend to get a little dry here if not properly tended to (now we're talking YUM!). Luckily, I've mastered one of these things. The baked goods part. Certainly not the skin part. Don't be ridiculous.

Anyways, mini chocolate chip banana nut muffins. That's a mouthful! Get it? Mouthful? You put them in your mouth and they are perfectly bite-sized? And it's a lot of words? Yeah? Well, I love chocolate chip banana nut bread. It's got to be one of my favorite things to make ever. And they're ridiculously easy. And life's hard enough as it is (I drink Seven and Sevens these days and weep over my stock portfolio by candlelight). Also, we get endless amounts of free bananas at work and free food's my favorite. But the thing about chocolate chip banana nut bread (C.C.B.N.B) is that the only part I really like is the crusty edges. So how do I make sure crusty edges are in every single bite? Mini muffin tins! Genius!

This is what it looked like when I discovered fire

So that whole hand mixer thing I mentioned. Are hand mixers a joke? Because they seem like a joke. Because if I wasn't too busy fearing for my life, I'd probably be laughing while using them. Because that's what you do when faced with a joke. UGH HAND MIXERS. Like, I guess I'm lucky I have them at all because otherwise there would be no laughter in this household thus making this house not a home and all that jazz. But really, I'm lucky I'm brilliantly strong and I have some original hand mixers at my disposal (they're called hands).

Still, it's cool using electric hand mixers. Everything you mix ends up looking like scrambled eggs. Everything. Except eggs. Because electric hand mixers are fucking JOKES.

Back to the baking in Boulder process. One of the things I read mentioned that you need to have the oven hotter when baking in high altitude. Something about science. But I'm a lady and reading is hard for my pretty little head.

Who has time for science with all this lovely hair to brush?

Now, the problem with making the oven hotter is that it burns the awesome out of stuff if you're not careful. So this mini muffin baking process involved an excessive amount of oven watching. And you know what they say about watching kitchen appliances...they can't have Beauty and the Beast-esque conversations with you around. So that was too bad.

Luckily, all this oven watching was worth it. I may have stunted some kitchen magic but these mini muffins were downright stunners. Bite size, crusty, chocolate-y, nutty, banana-y, and they made my house smell like heaven. And I love how heaven smells.

*Note: Frank the min pin had to stay at home in DC. He writes everyday and, despite his letters being entirely unintelligible, I can tell he misses me. He especially misses the crumbs I drop on the floor. I too miss his crumbs. Anyways, the rating meter had to change. Part of me wants to send him a box of crumbs and a FlipCam so I can get his point of view. But then I remember he's a min pin. And a dumb min pin at that. He would never figure out how to upload videos to his iMac. Dogs are DUMB.

"I use my interwebz to connect with old friends!"


TASTE: 4.7/5 > Everyone (except Ilan) enjoyed these little angels. So to everyone (except Ilan), I say thank you. But definitely no thanks to Ilan.
EASE: 4/5 > I don't want to boast, but I could make C.C.B.N.B in my sleep. The electric hand mixer could lead to injury under such circumstances but I'd happily wake up to 9 fingers if they came bearing C.C.B.N.B. gifts.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 3/5 > Electric hand mixers mean batter everywhere. I guess it's better than blood everywhere (I'm a glass half-full of blood kind of girl) but there was a fair amount of batter in my hair when I got to work. And that's slightly more batter than is normally in my hair.
DID THE DOG EAT IT THE DOUGH: Can we stop bringing up my dog already? I miss the awkward cat-dog crap out of him.
IMPRESS-O-METER: 3/5 > These are not impressive. Everyone can make them. However, they are tiny and that's adorable. And adorable sells, guys. I should know - I'm an ad intern who wears side pony tails and a goofy smile.