Chocolate Snickerdoodles

3 Jul

So Naomi did a blog about what she keeps stocked in her pantry so I decided to take a picture of my pantry to see how it compared.

My pantry is a hot mess. It hardly has anything useful in it and it’s completely unorganized. I grab one thing and the whole stack falls down. Ridiculous.

I was trying to be super fancy in this picture.

So a while back I promised this person I’d make them cookies as a graduation present. This person was graduating from high school (not my finest moment guys).

Anywho I “forgot” to make this said person said cookies because they pissed me off a little but they were so kind as to remind me of my promise and insist that I make them chocolate snickerdoodles.

Umm hows about you take whatever the hell I make you even if it’s a big pile of crap and you just tell me how amazing it is and that it’s the best gift ever.

No I’m not bitter.

But chocolate snickerdoodles turned out to be a revelation. They have somewhat of a brownie texture and the cinnamon sugar coating on the outside makes them delectable. A manager at work told me they were ridiculously good. I told him he should buy some off of me.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

From Cookie Madness

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture and stir, do not beat, until mixed.

Combine the 2 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. Shape dough into 1″ balls; roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 6-9 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheets immediately. (I baked mine for 8).

Makes about 36 cookies

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Ten Things That I Must Absolutely Accomplish This Week

27 Jun

I’m finding it verydifficult to get motivated lately. I blame the weather. And my cat.

I’m also finding it difficult to get motivated on this particular Monday, especially since my next day off isn’t until Sunday. Don’t you love retail? Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Anywho I am the queen of procrastination and I decided to give myself a list of ten things that absolutely must get done this week and it is up to you guys to see that I finish each and every one of them.

1. Those damn manuscripts. I just discovered I have to read 10 not 8 and that makes me so happy especially since one of them is 27 pages long. Seriously? Overachiever much?

2. Cancel my health insurance since the bill is due on the 1st and I already have my new health insurance since I got my promotion.

3. Bake something! Seriously, this is theoretically supposed to be a cooking blog and I haven’t really been cooking lately.

4. I just thought I should post my graduate essay on comparing Sex and the City to Jane Eyre and see what you guys think. You’re only allowed to tell me amazing things.

5. Revamp my little blog. I’ve been wanted to upgrade to this layout but it’s $75 but I’m thinking now I should just do it. The title of the layout is “Pretty Young Thing” and P.Y.T. has been playing on the radio a lot lately so I’m taking it as a sign from Michael Jackson that he wants me to upgrade my blog. Plus my recipe index is a hot mess.

6. Start twisting my little vine plants up balcony rails so my balcony will look like an awesome jungle.

7. Finish vacuuming. Start vacuuming actually.

8. Learn the right way to spell vacuuming because I’m pretty sure that’s not it.

9. Clean the litter box.

10. Go buy milk so I can make a quiche with all the veggies and eggs I have.

Totally doable guys.

We picked a name!

26 Jun

I’d first off like to thank everyone for their suggestions. You all had some really great ideas. Naomi and I were running into the problem that none of the names were grabbing us. We were eating breakfast at Schnoogs yesterday and we were like “what the heck is a schnoog?” it’s a catchy name and it’s only one word. We started tossing words back and forth and we came up with…..drumroll please….

Crumb.

With the period. It’s short, sweet and simple. It was spawned from Crumbcake (thanks Heather) and we thought it encompassed all baked goods, not just sweets.

So now we have the name so now we can get down to baking.

Also, I have a fridge full of veggies I probably should do something with. And a bunch of eggs.

Oooh! Quiche time!

sugarspiceflourvanillabeansprinklesandthecity

23 Jun

So if any of you are friends with me on facebook, you’ve seen that Naomi and I are pushing forward with our dream of opening our own bakery. Obviously neither of us are floppity jillionaires so we have to start small and work our way up.

We’ve got a plan.

Creating a “Made to Order” section on each of our blogs (or creating a dual blog) where people can place “orders” to have things made for parties or events. Things such as cakes and cookies and cupcakes (for now). We would use the tiny profit we make off of that to save up for our large dream of an actual bakery.

Maybe we’d even mail stuff to people who live far away. Who knows. These are the beginning stages.

But we have to start somewhere and right now we need a name for our little dream. That’s where I need your help. There are so many different choices that we could have. Personally, I don’t want anything with our names, or the city name or the street name since we don’t have a location yet. I don’t want to be a cakery or cupcakery because I don’t want to be pigeonholded into only doing one thing.

My mom says she wants to be the main baker and do all the breads. I tells her she can be the main financial backer, money bags.

Let me tell you a bit about me and Naomi…

We’re pretty awesome and cute and amazing. Naomi makes some pretty spectacular things while I’m more let’sjustthroweverythinginabowlandhopeitturnsoutgood.

So the names we (with help) have come up with thus far are….

Sprinkles and the City (because we love Sex and the City)

Sprinkle City

Hot Cross Sweets

The Honeysuckle

Sugar Mamas

Sweet Cheeks

I also kind of like the idea of a name with just one word like:

Sugar

Whip

Flour

Vanilla

I want a name that’s not going to be totally cheesy in ten years but is still cute and unique. Which is why I need your help!!

Please!!

Strawberry Poofy Bread

21 Jun

So this is technically supposed to be Strawberry Flatbread, but it didn’t really turn out very flat which is why I renamed it Strawberry Poofy Bread.

I got this recipe from Joy the Baker because you guys know I have like a major baking crush on her. She’s been on a strawberry kick lately and I have to because I got a giant box of strawberries from Grocery Outlet for four bucks. I still have some leftover.

The slightly daunting thing about this recipe to you baking novices is that it has three seperate rises. They aren’t super indepth or anything like that. I actually messed up the first one because I didn’t realize I was supposed to add a cup of flour to the yeast and water. I added it though a little late and fifteen minutes later I came back and it looked like this:

It turns into a gigantic sponge and after the first rise, you add more flour, salt, sugar and orange zest and then it looks like this:

I really like the addition of the orange zest because it makes the dough all the more sweeter and gives it a little more dimension. Joy finishes her flatbread with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and mint but over here at Casa de Shannon, we ain’t that fancy. We finished it with a side of chocolate whipped cream vodka.

You form the dough into a ball and you knead it for about five minutes. Kneading dough is kind of a mind numbing act. You get so absorbed into what you’re doing and you almost forget for a few seconds that your ex boyfriend got married last week and that you’re chair’s still broken and that you’ve run out of hangers and room in your closet. Even though it sounds cheesy, you kind of connect with the dough and focus on what you’re doing.

Mom, I know you know what I’m talking about.

After the bread rises for another hour, you pull it and roll it out and plunk it down on a cookie sheet. There it rises for another 30 minutes. After that, you put the strawberries on top and drizzle it with olive oil and sea salt and bake it!

See? Poofy.

I just wanted you all to see that I wrote this blog out on my balcony and it was freaking hot!

When I was kneading the dough earlier, I thought about the movie Bridesmaids. I don’t know how many of you have seen it, but you should because it’s really funny. I thought about how I really related to the main character. She was the only single girl in her group of friends. Her lifestyle was always made into some kind of joke and she wasn’t take seriously. I think sometimes people forget how hard it is to be single.

So be nice to your single friends. Make them strawberry poofy bread. And take them seriously

I’m copying Joy’s original recipe and you can make your own alterations as needed.

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread with goat cheese and fresh mint

makes 12 squares

recipe adapted from LA Times

2 packages (about 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)

3 cups of flour, divided into 1 cup increments

3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

coarse sea salt for topping

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

good quality balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  I use a fork so I can mash and stir any yeast clumps.  Add the flour and blend together until smooth.  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

After the mixture has risen, remove the covering and stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sugar, and orange zest.  Add one cup of flour and stir to blend.  Add the remaining cup of flour and salt and work together into a dough.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/3 cup more flour and knead.  Dough will be slightly sticky, and that’s alright.

Clean out the large bowl and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Place dough in the bowl, and flip it over so that it’s entirely coated in oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and knead for just a minute, before pulling and stretching the dough into a 16×9-inch rectangle.  I used a rolling pin to help me to this.  Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

When dough has risen, use your fingers to make random indentations in the puffed dough.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with sliced strawberries, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden, crisp and baked through.  I rotated the pan once, halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from the baking pan, slice into squares with a pizza cutter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, and fresh mint.

Serve.

This bread is best served within 2 days of baking.

Super Sexy Strawberries

20 Jun

So I am very, very, very, EXTREMELY irritated right now. I have been trying to do a blog for you guys on some stuff I made last week and it won’t load my flippin pictures. It keeps saying “IO Error.” I don’t even know what that means, nor do I want to take the time to find out. It just needs to load my pictures and not give me any shit. Jeez.

Anyways. What’s new with you guys?

I had some much needed retail therapy last week in MoTown with Naomi. I took her to two stores she had never been to: World Market and Trader Joe’s.

World Market is the most ridonculous store ever. I could spend hours upon hours in there buying like crazy. I think it’s all the bright, shiny objects that’s like drawing a moth to a flame.

Another thing that’s causing me a bit of anxiety is that when I decided to waste $8000 last fall in grad school and completely rethink my existence as a human being, I also was the happy recipent of a graduate fellowship. Unfortunately since I left the program, financial aid made me repay half of my award. I recently got an email from the professor I was set up with asking me if I can still help them with the project I was assigned to.

I couldn’t really think of a good enough reason to say no and I didn’t really want to burn that bridge just in case I decide to sell my soul again, so I said yes I’d help.

Help being reading 8 manuscripts and evaluating each of them. Manuscripts which range from 5 to 23 pages long.

One tantalizing title is: “Engaging Islands of Unbridled Curiousty: Using Service Learning to Motivate Creative Applications of Theoretical Understanding.”

I literally want to shoot myself in the eye with my Nerf shotgun.

See, this is why I couldn’t handle grad school. No one wants to read a paper comparing Sex and the City to Jane Eyre because that is not “serious” work. Just looking at these papers made me SO happy I left grad school and so excited that I’d rather open a bakery then torture myself again.

I feel like this blog is taking a dark and ominious tone, so lemme tell you about what I baked.

I baked an upside down strawberry cake and strawberry banana bread. The cake was super easy to make. You coat the pan with melted butter and brown sugar and make a layer of strawberries. The batter calls for cardamom, but I used cinnamon instead. The batter is interesting because it has sour cream in it, so it was super thick and made the batter have a slightly undercooked texture. But I left the cake on the table in the breakroom and it was gone twenty minutes later.

The strawberry banana bread is prettysimiliar to any banana bread except for the fact it is made with browned butter. Remember browned butter? Where you melt the butter and cook it down and it crackles and gets all brown and nutty and amazing?

Yeah, that stuff.

Anyways it has browned butter and yogurt in it. Let me tell you about my experience with buying yogurt for this bread. I shop at Grocery Outlet so you don’t really know what to expect each time you go in there because it always has diferent things. So when I went to get yogurt, all they had was vanilla flavored Activia.

I was petrified.

I didn’t want to make bread with that yogurt and then eat the bread and have it turn into some crazy laxative bread that….wait…I’m about to get graphic. Needless to say, I bought the yogurt and everything’s ok. So don’t hesitate if that’s all you have.

 

Ok now the pictures load?!?!?! GAHHHHHHHH

 

 

This picture is amazing.

Oh yeah, check out Naomi’s blog.

Recipes can be found at Joy the Baker. I’m feeling lazy.

Farmer’s Market Challange Part Two

13 Jun

So I haven’t been a good blogger. I’m sorry. But I have good excuses!

Now that I got a promotion, I’ve been working crazy days with only one day off and I usually spend that day zoning off into space daydreaming about chocolate. And then last week, I got….the stomach flu.

Yeah the stomach flu. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Actually, I’ll fess up, I had a pretty gnarly hangover courtesy of cake vodka with sangria. This cake flavored vodka is a close relative to whipped cream flavored vodka. Anything that’s flavored like any type of dessert or baked good is just no bueno. It brings out your dark-secret telling-dancing-picture drawing-oujia board playing side which is good for no one.

Also, side note, when I plugged in my computer to download the pictures I took for this blog, I discovered that we also took pictures from the night of the cake vodka party. It made my day.

Anyways, back to business now.

My challange was red onions, carrots and kale from the farmer’s market. Honestly, I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do with these veggies until I started chopping them up. I decided to make a casserole out of them.

I’m totally obsessed with pad tai noodles. I browned up the veggies with chopped chicken and some canned tomoatoes.

I topped it with bread crumbs and cheese. I know I’m supposed to be on a diet but it was a cheese kind of day.

There’s really no recipe for this. This is how I usually cook. I throw together a bunch of random ingredients and toss it in a dish and top it with cheese. Sometimes it turns out good, sometimes it’s a little weird. This turned out pretty good. The kale had a nice mild flavor and the carrotts tasted extra carrotty.

So experiment.