Like on facebook Follow on Twitter Subscribe to Posts! View Instagram Feed Pastry Affair on Pinterest
RECENT POSTS




subscribe
Subscribe to posts! Connect on facebook! View flickr page! Add to google reader!

To receive RSS updates
Click here
subscribe via email
Sunday
Apr172011

Lemon Thins

Lemon Thins

I have a confession to make. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to cookbooks. I don't judge the book by the cover or even the content. I judge them by whether or not they have an extraneous amount of pictures. I need pictures. I eat with my eyes before I eat with my mouth. The best cookbook ever written may hold all the secrets to the baking universe, but if it doesn't have photographs chances are I'd never give it a second glance. If the cookbook doesn't double as a good old fashioned picture book, I'm just not interested.

I told you I was a bit of a snob.

Lemon Thins

Despite my prejudices, I took it upon myself to make a recipe from a cookbook without a photograph this week. I figured cookies were pretty self-explanatory, especially in terms of what I was aiming for. Easy, right?

Wrong.

The first batch came out of the oven looking exactly like they did going in—not exactly what I was going for. They tasted delicious, but looked terrible. Is this what they were supposed to look like? Without the cookbook's illustration, it very well may have been. I should have never strayed from my picture prejudice.

I changed up the method and the second batch came out looking marginally better. I fixed those mistakes with the third batch and finally achieved the cookie I think the cookbook wanted me to make. Nevertheless, a simple photograph could have prevented my lemon cookie nightmare. To prevent any nightmares for you, here are several photographs to show you the way of this elusive lemon cookie. If only I had these to begin with.

What is your favorite cookbook? Do you also need pictures or are you brave enough to go without?

Lemon Thins

These lemon thins are light and delicate. The cookies are flavored with both lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, yet the flavors remain subtle and do not overpower. This recipe yields small, yet tender cookies. These lemon thins are the perfect complement to a cup of tea (if adventurous, you could even dunk them).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr152011

Roasted Pineapple

Roasted Pineapple

Would you believe I bought a pineapple for the first time this week? The only pineapple I've eaten up to this point has been canned, buried somewhere in a Jello salad, or served pre-cut at a potluck. While these are certainly not bad ways to enjoy pineapple, sometimes you just need the real deal staring you in the face. Even if it is intimidating.

And it's sharp. With spiky hair reminiscent of a troll doll.

Roasted Pineapple

I'm afraid to let my kitchen inexperience show by telling you I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to figure out how best to cut a pineapple. As someone who enjoys food and likes to call herself a decent cook, I feel there are some things I should inherently know in the kitchen. Boning a chicken, properly braising meat, and cutting a pineapple all fall in this category. Do I actually know how to do any of these techniques? Well, no.

Then again, I've always been more of a baker.

But in my defense, I've watched someone bone a chicken (does that count?). Someday I plan on actually learning what the term braising means (it's good to have goals, right?). But as for the pineapple? I think I can finally cross that one off my list.

Roasted Pineapple

This Roasted Pineapple is fresh and pleasant. The pineapple is cut into rings, roasted, and sprinkled with brown sugar, which brings a deep, well-rounded flavor to the pineapple. For a twist, I added a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper. It adds a subtle, unexpected kick to the pineapple and surprisingly complements it well. Although unusual, I recommend you give it a try; it turns this simple dessert into something really special.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr132011

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Do you remember those chocolate nests I made last Sunday? Well, they hatched.

Okay, maybe they didn't hatch per se, but if they actually did wouldn't that be just about the greatest thing ever? You slave over the world's simplest (and easiest) cookie recipe to make a batch of chocolate nests full of candy eggs and head off to sleep, only to wake up the next morning to find that your eggs have hatched into a bunch of cute baby cupcake chicks.

If only, if only.

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Mama Chick is protecting her precious eggs from the dangers of nature (and sneaking fingers). Be careful; she might peck you if you get too close.

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Once the little peepers hatch, they get hungry. Feed them gummy worms to stop the chirps. Now that I think of it, that might look too adorable (is there such a thing?). In any case, I'll caution you on this one. Do it at your own risk. Cute overload is a real threat.

I love the little chick on the left; he looks like he's puckering up for a big kiss.

Easter Chick Cupcakes

These chicks remind me of the song Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep. It's probably best that you don't ask me why I know all the lyrics.

Easter Chick Cupcakes

If your little chicks are growing up too fast for your liking (they were tiny peeps just a moment ago!) and start to fly the nest, you can always lock them up. Keep them safe from the dangers of the world (and hungry stomachs) for just a little longer.

This is also effective in keep wandering hands from touching your afternoon snack.

Easter Chick Cupcakes

In my biased opinion, I think these chicks are just too cute. I literally squeal in delight whenever I see them and then proceed to coo and peep at them for several minutes until I come back to my senses. Then, I eat them. They are cupcakes after all.

I played around with the size of the cupcakes when making the mamas, papas, and little peeps, which I think made all the difference. These Easter chicks are surprisingly easy to make. Young children could tackle the baby peeps with relative ease (they might need a little help on the beaks) while the older ones could try their hand at the big chicks. The bigger chicks are formed by molding marshmallows and attaching them to the cupcake with frosting.

I've always been hesitant to try out elaborately decorated cupcakes because the steps were long and complex or I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand (like colored candy melts or certain fruit chews). With that said, I can assure you that you most likely have all the ingredients for these chicks in your pantry already. You could decorate a flock of these chicks in a half hour's time (instead of an entire afternoon) without breaking a sweat. These Easter chicks are cute and practical; what more could you ask for?

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Click to read more ...