This weekend I was quite busy in the kitchen and I have to say that I loved it! I had a Private Quarters party on
Saturday and made some really yummy things for my friends who came.
One thing I made was Blue-Cheese Pecan Bread. This recipe is from the cookbook Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose. I actually met Martha at Zingerman’s last year. They had a special dinner consisting of dishes entirely from this book. She was there as well. The whole evening was so much fun and the food was amazing. That’s where I first got a taste of this bread. I’ve made it a few times and it’s always a hit.
I also made biscotti from a recipe I got in baking class. I have to say, everyone loved them! They were very popular, both with and without coffee or tea. I think everyone was impressed with the biscotti because they think it’s hard to make. In reality, it isn’t — but let’s just keep that little secret to ourselves.
Another recipe I made was for nut cookies. This recipe came from my baking text book. I made them in class a couple of weeks ago and wanted to make them again. These are basically Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes. I used ground hazelnuts and that just took ’em up a notch. So good!
Lastly, I tried a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies. This recipe is out of the new Cooks’ Illustrated magazine. It’s an interesting recipe that calls using melted butter rather than softened. I have to confess that I did not follow the exact recipe. For some reason, I read it wrong so I’m not sure they came out the way they should have. They turned out really well regardless. They had a different texture than the usually
chocolate chip cookies I make and the butter and dark brown sugar really make a flavorful cookie.
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces white chocolate
1 1/4 cups pistachio nuts
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and egg whites, one at a time beating well after each addition.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually blend into the butter mixture using a wooden spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill for about a half an hour or until dough is not sticky.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Form each half into a semi-flat log about 12 inches by 3 inches. Put on making sheet about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow logs to cool on baking sheet until they are cool enough to handle. On a cutting board, carefully cut each log with a serrated knife into 1-inch thick slices (I actually made mine a bit thinner). Arrange back on the baking sheet.
Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!