Decembaking 2017 – Day One

1 Dec


Rapunxellicious…resurrected otra vez. Still Travelling. My tools scattered. London, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Storage. I bought a new (used) cookbook as all my favorites are somewhere between just out of reach and 6,000 miles away…and I got it for the solid price of $3.19. I didn’t start baking tonight until 11:45PM. An excellent way to get the season started. 🙂

Today’s cookies are the first recipe in my “new” paperback Fannie Farmer cookbook, 13th Ed, 1994: drop Sugar Cookies, pg 859. The recipe seemed small so I doubled it. Again, making good choices when baking after midnight.* I also thought starting the month off with sugar cookies didn’t seem as me as I wanted it to be. I added 2 tbs of New Mexico Red Hot Chile and 1 tbs of Cinnamon to the mix. Also a tsp of red sugar granules to give it color.

So far they’re tasty. But they’re taking 13 minutes to cook until lightly brown.

Batch 1: 16

Batch 2: 12

Batch 3: 16

Batch 4: 12

Batch 5: 12

Total Cookies Today: 68

Total Cookies Overall: 68

Final Dishes Done: 2AM

*Recipe said one batch was for 40. Not a chance. Even with a double recipe there was little rise and the cookies are all small. Turns out I was right…

Final Verdict: Cookies=Win.

Decembaking Day 2: Big Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

3 Dec

Day Two arrived  and I wanted a basic classic as I was bringing some to a meeting. After sourcing the favorite cookie intel I was looking for, I decided on the Big Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from the 1985 Sunset: Cookies! book. 

As you know I can’t leave well enough alone I again pulled the nuts from the recipe and used a bag of jumbo chocolate chips for extra effect. The recipe (on page 9) again called for a greased sheet and again I went with parchment. Martha may call me on technique, but I think Julia would be on board with my frugality.

The dough was hot and they spread too much. I had created weirdo lace cookies. I thought about baking them until crispy, but I decided to let them stay soft and they ended up being super chewy.

Looking at the recipe now again I realize I totally didn’t even do the whole last paragraph of instructions. They were supposed to be huge…thus the “big” in the name. I was supposed to size them in a pie tin. Instead I just used the two spoon drop method as usual.

So that makes sense.  Anyhow the chewiness was appreciated and they were tasty.

Daily Cookie Total: 35

Decembaking Cookie Tally: 73

Decembaking Day 1: Banana Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Dec

This year I planned to plan. Every day was going to have a set cookie on the calendar. All manner of cookie varietals would be represented. Lies. 

Day one I found myself at the grocery store, loading up on flour, sugar, and dairy like always. I can’t imagine I looks great – I hadn’t felt well all day but it was day one. I couldn’t skip it before I even started.

It’s funny – the cashiers always get really excited for me at first. “What are you baking?” “Cookies.” “What kind?” “All of them.” That’s usually when they frown. By the time I’ve explained my #decembaking project, they are looking at me with the she’s sad and/or crazy eyes

So speaking of this project, for those of you new to my mania, I love food. I love to cook and to create and to bake. After years of doing huge baking days where the oven never stopped, I decided to change my programme and baking over a few days…most days…all the days in December.

It’s not that hard and it’s incredibly therapeutic. It’s sort of like going to the gym – you have to commit to it- but it’s way better than going to the gym because *guys* there’s cookies. 

So every day in December I will be baking cookies. This blog will be this years count and journal of sorts to track my recipes of choice. Because I bake so many I lose details fast. I also modify most of the recipes in one way or another and then I’m even less sure of what I did.

Here’s what I do know: last year I made 51 dozen in the first 15 days of December. After that I sort of lost my path and ended up working 51 hours each day, severely hampering my cookie activities. And while I can reference my Instagram account @rapunxelle to find out, I have only a vague memory of what I made. Hopefully this time I’ll remember a bit better.

So day one I wanted something easy, simple, and quick. Drop cookies are my go to and I love to make them. As much as I love to eat other cookies, I scour for new drop recipes. As we had two ancient bananas on the counter I knew I wanted to make banana cookies of some sort.

After hunting and sorting I went for the Betty Crocker Cooky Book recipe for Banana Spice Cookies (pg 67 in my antiquated copy). I swapped out the nuts for chocolate chips and added some nutmeg and allspice (generous sprinkles) to make it work.

The cookies came out like little cake drops – the didn’t spread at all. Light and fluffy I let them cool but they still were a little sticky in the bag after I put them away. The bonus: delicious regardless.

For next time I would pay more attention to the drop patterns since they cook almost exact to how they’re dropped on the sheet. Also, I used parchment versus a greased baking sheet as the recipe called for. I’d rather just eat the butter on saltines…no need to waste it on the pan.

So there you go- Day One done! Yay!







Daily cookie total: 38

Decembaking Cookie Tally: 38

Late Night Eats

18 Jun


There is something about diners. The places, not the people….

It’s a quarter to 11 on a Tuesday night and I have gone in search of a meal…or at least something resembling one. Actually, that’s sort of a lie. I have gone in search of pie. However I sort of realized that before pie (not quite its own food group) I needed some kind of dinner thing.

So naturally, I went straight to starch. Potatoes are such a late night decadent delight. Personally, if I am really going to indulge, fries are nowhere to be found. It is all about the mashed potatoes. As this was a solo expedition, I am writing as a eat (magic of technology and everything).

Tonight’s “meal” is mashed potatoes with a brown mushroom gravy and a side of cranberry sauce. You know, just some of the best parts of thanksgiving dinner, on a Tuesday in June.

It may not look like the best thing ever, but it is totally hitting the spot. It’s been the kind of day where I have just been hungry all day…with nothing quite able to satisfy…but here, in the ac-blasted coolness of DuPars, at least a sliver of that hunger is sated. Somewhere in the butter and the salt and the sugar there is just enough deliciousness to make me smile.

But there is something about diners.

These mashed potatoes (not that mine are actually anything like this) wouldn’t be quite the same. The thick brown gravy aside, the texture and taste of diner mashed is of another land, it’s own unique type of cuisine-style. It’s only cousin is perhaps the food of the legit cafeteria (few and far between, if any, exist at all these days). The legit cafeteria would be more buttery, of course, and perhaps a bit less salty, but they are kin nonetheless.

The gravy was not my favorite. Considering it was supposed to be a mushroom gravy, I could have gone for the presence of actual mushrooms. Still, it only has the faintest hint of that straight-from-the-box taste that so many um..not upper class… restaurants seem to have. How they all get that same flavor eludes me because they can’t all surely buy stock gravy from the same place…and ultimately I guess I like not knowing this one.

The cranberry sauce was tart and delicious. I am too tired to care whether it was fresh or canned, though the presence of actual berries and seeds leads me to believe the former. To be honest, it almost met my fruit quotient, eliminating the need for pie all together. (Sidebar: pies are made with fruit, the things made with cream are something else altogether.) But I had begun this quest with pie in mind and really, I couldn’t be a quitter.

So, despite being full on a serving of mashed and gravy with a few berries, my slice of rhubarb is on the way. Hot, no ice cream. It’s too cold in here for ice cream, and I’m not really in the mood for any interference with the tanginess that should be a plain rhubarb pie.

So, I might have been a little wrong. It’s definitely too cold in here for ice cream, but the rhubarb pie straight up (no strawberries) is a bit more intense than I realized. Still, though, it totally complemented my meal and I’m glad I tried it.

The only real bummer of the night is that they are out of whole pies. My fantasy of pie for breakfast is dashed, but I will grab a slice or two for snacking tomorrow. Plus, breakfast is truly reserved for cake (am I right Michael and Michelle?).

Once again DuPars proves itself to be awesome and a fabulous late night dining location. Now to home and to bed to have crazy diner food dreams.