Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Baking

Sunday (yesterday) marked the first official day of holiday baking in the Tyson Kitchen. And even butter... I mean, better... was every recipe was new. I've got a few tried and true - like Mexican Wedding Cookies and sugar cookies [for Santa]. But this year marked a turn in the culinary course of cookies.

I tried my hands at Chocolate Espresso Shortbread and, at first bite, felt a surge of joy come over my taste buds. I wanted to slap someone. They were incredibly easy to make and even better, loved the idea of rolling the dough inside a large Ziploc bag. Ingenious!

And there's another new recipe I tried to add to my holiday treats. Ina Garten's Fleur de Sel caramels. What resulted was a pot of goo resembling hot motor oil. At later glance, said motor oil was like a matte, coarse substance coating the bottom of the saucepan. I was afraid; very afraid. But Mr. Tyson brought his technical skills into the kitchen to rid said pan of the yuckiness. In this recipe there is an important lesson learned. When marrying the cream and butter mixture to the sugar mixture, put down the wooden spoon. I soon realized the constant stirring disrupts the increase in heat and actually prevents heating. I never made it past 205 degrees; far from the 248 required in the recipe. But despite this disaster, I will attempt this one again.

I also tried a play on peppermint cookies using a packaged sugar cookie dough combined with crushed peppermint candies. They were flat and boring. But at least one bite helped to freshen my breath. Blah.

And then there was the household favorite. Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Treats (as in, Rice Krispie treats) married with a layer of peanut butter fudge topped with a layer of chocolate fudge. Who on earth ever devised this completely unnecessary, calorie-filled, hip-exploding, bum-to-be-jiggling treat should be hurt. And badly. These treats were sinful and delicious and sinful all over again.

Within the last 24 hours, I've used 2 pounds of butter. I hope someone quickly reveals that butter cures all of the world's ailments, from gout to gangrene. Life would be really good.

No comments: