Apr
25
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

So, for Easter brunch, my dad came up and visited us.  We took him over to Dinah’s Restaurant for some eggs and outdoor seating.  Because you already know how I feel about brunch, I found it alarming that they had no idea what I was talking about when I requested a bellini.  They came back later and asked if I would instead like a mimosa.  Who am I to say, “no”?  Above is a photo of the mimosa that was brought to me.  I’m not complaining, because it’s three times the size of a normal mimosa and for seven dollars, you really can’t beat that.

However, all of this made it incredibly clear that I needed to make sure everyone knows how to properly prepare two of the best brunch beverages out there.  (A Bloody Mary would round out the list, but that’s far more complicated and deserves a post all to itself).  Below, please see the simple arithmetic of a boozy brunch:

Mimosa:

Bellini:

Now that’s an equation to which I have the solution.

xx,

WhyDid

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Mar
01
2011
0


Why Did You Eat That: You Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Patches

Perhaps you missed Girl Scout cookie season this year.  Might be because you live in a city where Girl Scouts are an elusive breed.  Maybe you were so buried in work you didn’t even notice the girls in khaki.  Whatever the case may be, I’m here to save the day.  Much as Phyllis (Shelly Long) saved the girls of Troop Beverly Hills. Get ready, these at home Girl Scout cookie recipes from Baking Bites are good enough to make you wanna get up and do “the Freddie.”

Thin Mints

For the cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
  3. Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F.
  5. Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

For chocolate coating:

  • 10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating.
  2. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.
  3. Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.

Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Samoas

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • up to 2 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
  3. Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
  4. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.
  5. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
  1. Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
  3. Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
  4. While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
  5. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Do you have a question or are you drying your nails?

xx,

WhyDid

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