Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Treasures



My darling, my love, my treasure. My chocolately, caramelly treasure.

Okay, yeah. I know the name definitely is on the fruity side. But oh man, these truly are gems. I made these for a Christmas party that a bunch of my Spokanite friends hold annually (good company, crude gingerbread houses, quality secret santa gifts, always a blast). Really bummed I couldn't make it this year :/

Anywho, presented on a gold plastic plate from Fred Meyers, along with some mint-chocolate cupcakes and some tissue paper, the result wasn't too shabby...



The recipe for the caramel treasures came from the lovely Dana, of, who adapted it from Gourmet . I didn't make any changes, and the result was wonderful. These were so easy to make and so dang good. The chocolate dough produced a perfectly chewy and not-too-sweet cookie; the hazelnuts and caramel were a perfect accompaniment; and it didn't hurt that I was able to produce something that looked like it belonged in a magazine with my totes noobster skillz.

So here's the link to the recipe:

I'd post it directly onto this entry but it won't let me paste... bummer. I'm going to have to find a way around that eventually.

Anyway, like I said, I wouldn't change a thing. But one tip: Don't forget to chill the dough! And this goes for all cookie recipes. It's a wonderful thing, really! Firms up the dough a bit, and it keeps your cookies from spreading out flat in the oven. If they're drop cookies like these, I like to shape them and put them on the pan before cooling. This way I don't have to wait so long for a mongo bowl of dough to chill, plus it makes for easier handling. But, you know what? It's really just up to your preference. Point is.. it'll all work out as long as they're chilled somehow before they go in the oven. Awesome!

And I don't mean to be rude and break food-blog code in my first posting, but I can't find the recipe I used for the chocolate mint cupcakes. The thing is, it really wasn't that great. The cupcakes just weren't anything special. However, in the future, I will keep all recipes on hand so that I can comment on changes I might make or just so you know not to use it! Sound like a plan? But really it wasn't a total bust. The mint icing I threw together was pretty tasty, and of course the Andes mints rocked socks.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I suppose this calls for an introduction..

Since this is my first post and all, I just want to start out by saying welcome to my blog! I made this largely to keep track of all the recipes I've tried and also to have a more polished archive of all the baking photos I've taken.

However, the main reason I've started this blog is to share with all of my friends and family the joy I find in baking. Yeah, it is just a hobby, but the thing is, it's really not all about the baking in the first place. There's just something really great about being able to see people you care about enjoy something that you've created. It's as simple as that. My family, like most families, bonds over food. Yeah there're other things we bond over, too- our love for the outdoors, music, soccer, etc.- but food, and good food, is present throughout almost all of these. I've been blessed with parents who know how to cook. And I know this is cliche and probably sounds horribly cheesy, but one of the things I miss most about living at home is BBQs on weekends and doing my homework up in my room with the door propped open to the smell of baking apple pear pecan pie.

See, with food, it's not all about the food. And here I'm just saying something that most of you probably experience in your own lives too..the thing is, it's more about the experiences, emotions, and nostalgia surrounding the food. It's home, it's friends and family, it's good conversation. Anyway, I'm rambling. Point of the matter is... the parents can cook. It took going to college, trying to learn how to make my own food, and eating from the SUB for a year to realize that I took it for granted, but with a new mindset anything is possible. Now, I'm setting out to share my journey as I laern a few culinary skills of my own so I don't feel so deprived and so I can one day create the same thing for my family that my parents did for me. Too soapy for you? Okay, I'm making this blog to show off my baking pics. Haha. Enjoy!!

Oh one more thing before I get going on my real first post. I should explain how this upcoming portion of my blog is going to be organized. I've put all of these recipes in chronological order, each with their own individual postings. I didn't actually write those entries on that date, I've just entered them for the date that I actually made the dish. So, I hope that clears up any confusion. For the record, today is actually January 13th, 2011, and this is my first posting for sift, schmift!
[And this is where my totes rad Tacoma friends would probably say "Congratulatiooons!"] ..thanks guys.

So without further adieu... my first entry!