Ach, like I said, things have been insane and really - they just aren't totally getting better. Still, I've got my Jan DB challenge pictures and things that I would finally like to post. I know I'm terribly late, but I'm trying to get all of this sorted. That said!
The January challenge was from Karen at Bake My Day! and Zorra at 1x umruhren bitte - tuiles! They asked us to make these delightfully light (get it?) cookies from one of the offered recipes, shape it, and pair it with something light. I had all of the ingredients for the cookies and (even more pleasing) happened to have all of the things needed for what I wanted to pair these tasty little things with.
I chose the recipe from Angelique Schmeinck's The Chocolate Book, although I omitted the chocolate element and kept it vanilla. We (here, this means 'myself, after talking to my cat') decided that none of us (my roommate, myself, and any guests who would maybe be around) in a very "chocolate mood". I blame the fact that I had been od'ing of plenty of chocolate. That and, well, all the cocoa powder I had on hand was meant for things like hot chocolate. I don't know if any of you remember, but goodness gracious! Chicago was a frozen hell last month!
At any rate. The recipe was!
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies were just an example) Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch ¼ cup softened butter ½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
A dash of vanilla 2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork) 1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour (1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice) Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Now. Directly copied from the original recipe is the technique. It goes as follows:
"Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that).
Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable. If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones…."
See? That doesn't sound anything like me. At any rate. I did this and I think maybe my batter was a pinch thinner than it was meant to be? Or I did something a little off (very likely, it was leaving the cookie sheet on the oven as it pre-heated) but regardless, I was able to get most of the cookies pretty thin. It was simple to make and I used a few different sized cups (a POM glass, an espresso cup, etc) to help shape my cookies.
I also made a light cream cheese sort of "fruit dip"/frosting - and when I say light, I'm not talking calories. My roommate said it reminded her of a buttercream she loves from a bakery in Evanston, but since I've no idea where said bakery is - I can't answer to it. However. My recipie is as follows.
- half a packet of cream cheese
- a knob of butter
- a dash of vanilla
- not even a whole egg yolk, though maybe half.
- powdered sugar. maybe half a cup? I'm just not sure.
First I whipped the cream cheese and butter together, then the powedered sugar and some vanilla and continued to whip until I decided to add in a little yolk. I whipped it until it was smooth and delicious. You should be sure to taste it and make certain you like the taste - it may need more sugar. Maybe you listened to your parents when they told you not to eat uncooked egg? That's okay, you don't have to add any egg. I'm not going to judge you.
When the cookies are cooled, spread this onto them. I then topped it with cut up kiwi. See, I love kiwi. I meant to involve some banana as well...but I sort of ate the banana before I got a chance.
I'm not sorry. It was delicious. Potassium, man. It's awesome. And so is kiwi.
Don't like kiwi? You'll be pleased to know this is delicious with virtually any and every delicious fruit. Perhaps even non-delicious fruit.
It was pretty nice, to sit hide in my apartment on a frozen weekend and make this. And I'm sorry to have posted so late, but well. Such is the way.