Monday, November 7, 2011

Catch up soon!

I keep forgetting to post! But I have kept up with baking every day. I've made peanut butter cookies, cake, and two kinds of butter cookies over the weekend. As soon as I can get to a comp to put pictures on here, I'll do a proper catch up post. Tomorrow I'm thinking apple pie!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

COOKING: Baking with Buddy; day 2

I made twisted tarelles (a traditional Italian Easter cookie) today! I was going to make flower piped butter cookies, until I realized it takes 4 sticks of butter (it makes like 50 cookies) and I only had two. So much for going out today just to find the almond paste I needed for it!

The tarelles were a learning experience. The dough was very different from doughs I worked with before. I tried to flour it a bit more until I realized they came out better if I just dealt with the wet dough. It was wet because it's easier to roll and twist that way. I made a few modifications to the recipe as well. Instead of cutting 1 1/2 inches of dough cylinder for each cookie, I cut 2 - 2 1/2 as I thought a thicker cookie looked much nicer than thin ones and they kept shape better instead of tearing. Also, I figured out how to get a nice layer of sprinkles on the top (shaking on sprinkles only led them to bounce off the cookie - none would stay!) Just before twisting the cookie together, I'd sprinkle down a layer of sprinkles onto my rolling board, and then as I twisted the cookie, it would roll over the sprinkles and evenly coat the tops. I know that seems simple but it took me a good five minutes to figure out (first I was frustrated at my bouncing sprinkles, then I tried hand puttin them on the tops, then I tried sprinkling the dough too early so that the sprinkles would be wrapped on the inside instead of the top part.)

They cooked perfectly though and cooled quickly. Once I did a pan or two full, I got down the twisting without breaks or mushing and I figured out how to make them thicker and still nicely twisted.

I'll have to add pictures later as my laptop is dead so I'm on mobile. Im taking plenty of pictures to remember!

I think tomorrow will be peanut butter cookies.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

COOKING: Baking with Buddy Day 1

I'm already working my way through Buddy's book. It starts simple, with cookies. I have/can buy ingredients for 8 of the 10 recipes, so I'm going to have 8 days of cookie making plus at least 2 days of retried for anything that didn't come out right, making up for those 2 recipes that I can't do. Buddy says to make notes of everything to remember how each thing came out and what to do differently next time for improvement, so I'm going to do that here and detail how things go, recipe by recipe.

I've read 50 pages of the book so far and it's fascinating. I'm already learning so much. Today I made Double Chocolate Chip cookies. They weren't hard to make, and I loved all the tips along the way. Even so, I can tell it's going to be hard to relearn everything the right way. I have a bad habit of overcooking cookies to make sure theyre done, and even today when he warned right in the recipe to not cook over 15 minutes no matter what and that the cookies were supposed to look underdone, I still struggled with taking these still wet looking cookies out. I looked at those cookies, and back at the book and said "but Buddy, they don't look done! Can't I put them in for even two more minutes?" but I read it again, and he said no matter what, don't do it. So I kept them out, put them right on the cooling wrack, cooled the pan and put another batch in. Surprise surprise, the one with over 25 years experience was right. After cooling a few minutes, the cookies hardened and came out perfectly, not over or under done. The taste was only so so though, probably bc instead of using the unsweetened cocoa that he strongly recommends, I used my sweetened kind bc that's all I had. Didn't think it would make much of a difference, but it did change the tase as I followed every thug else to a T.

I'm excited to keep going on my 10 days of cookies. They won't be all in a row bc then we'd be drowning in cookies and I need more ingredients, but I'm going to make them as mug as possible. I can't wait to get to the eclairs, cream puffs and cannolis that follow the cookies.

Outside of the world of baking, I'm trying my own recipe for dinner tonight. Chicken in the crock pot with homemade chicken broth, fresh salsa and provolone cheese. I did a baked version a few months ago and it was Bill's favorite thing, he's requested it weekly ever since. I decided to try to improve on it with the crock pot, so we'll see how it goes!

Buddy's Baking Book!

My book came today!! My book came today!!

I couldn't get out of bed this morning for anything. We were supposed to visit the notary (something about the car, I just wanted a peek inside again) and to the store but Katie kept me up so late that Bill couldn't drag me out. And then I checked my phone and it said my book was delivered. Out of bed I ran, down the stairs and swung open the door to grab my box awaiting me. Then I jumped back into bed and looked through the pictures of what Buddy Valastro was going to teach me to make.

The book is written as if you're a new employee at Carlo's Bakery and he has to train you to bake. It's so exciting.

I'm going to need to invite people up or something though, because I need people to eat what I'm making. Bill has never been big on dessert stuff, and though he'll eat some, he doesn't make much of a dent. Since I don't want my butt to expand to the size of a doorway, I need others to help me out. So far I have Bill's dad as a volunteer (he's always been a big fan of my pies and cakes) and our Friend Chris, who goes to church with us every week. I guess this will be my start, cooking for people who come over and bringing things to holiday dinners. I just want to bake and then get rid of the food. Lol!

I have never in my life bought a book that cost more than $5. Never! I'd searh yard sales, book sales, goodwills and online to get it cheap. I like the idea of getting many good used books for $1 ray than paying $20 for a brand new book. BUT, the moment I heard about Buddy's book ($30 after preoder, almost $20 during it) I preordered it so fast that I got a receipt before I even finished reading then entire description! I waited impatiently for three weeks. So far from my reading, it was worth it.

Also, I got an extra smile today when I remembered that Buddy's bakery is on Washington st, as I also live on a Washington st. =D

Well, I'm about to continue reading. Hope I get to bake today, a cranky Katie is making me doubt it!