Thursday, December 23, 2010

chocolate dipped apricot cookies

i'm not one to ever watch the better homes and gardens daytime tv show, but i happened to catch a segment about christmas cookies last week. maybe it was because i was in the middle of a 3-mile treadmill run at the y, but these sonsaguns looked good. so i picked up the ingredients & made them today. i'm also not one to use baking shortcuts, but the recipe called for a package of betty crocker sugar cookie mix, so i obliged.  what can i say, the holidays make us do crazy things.

you can watch the segment here, or just follow this recipe:

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 package betty crocker sugar cookie mix
1 cup chopped dried apricots
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

  • preheat oven to 375.
  • combine cookie mix, butter, orange extract and egg w/ a mixer until soft. 
  • fold in apricots
  • scoop out (big teaspoon sized balls) onto cookie sheet and bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes. 
  • cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • when the cookies are cool, melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring a few times.  dip in chocolate and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper 
while taking these cookie pictures, i realized that they kinda look like moppy-haired boys. and because i have nothing better to do with my time (thanks, 10-day work break!) i photoshopped faces onto the cookies. they kinda remind me of my husband.
cookie boys

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

potato leek piroshkis (vegan)

for the grimey's employee holiday party, i made crescent dragonwagon's "potato leek piroshkis" from her passionate vegetarian cookbook.

first, you create a SIMPLE yeast dough in the food processor:
this was taken after the rise/punch down (see my fist impression?) 

while the dough is rising, you make the filling, which consists of potatoes, leeks, roasted garlic, fresh dill, sauerkraut and cabbage.  my filling is a pretty purple color since i used our homemade red sauerkraut:
bowl of awesome, i could eat it by the spoonful.

next, you divide the dough into 16 small balls & roll each ball into a 6-inch circle. fill with the potato mixture and create little half-moon pockets:

bake until golden:

and eat (with mustard!):

if you are curious about the recipe, let me know and i will make a photocopy for you. i tried (and failed) to find a transcribed version online, although you can see it here on googlebooks.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


i paid the mister $20 to wear my sister's old homemade spandau ballet short-sleeved sweatshirt to thanksgiving dinner.  (yup, those are fuzzy iron-on letters)
he made friends with a lady cat that's been hanging around my dad's house. courtney first called it dion-something-or-other after some football player, but i changed it to dionne warwick after we found out it was a girl. i also called her minnie ripperton, then we went through a bunch of thanksgiving-related names: turkey, stuffing, gobble (aka "goblin"), pumpkin, etc.

side note: if you cover up the "s" and the "u" of "spandau" you're left with PANDA.  

here's a good spandau ballet song, since you're probably only familiar with "true" (ps: i heard this on 91.1 on the way to work yesterday morning (!!!) and was reminded that i never published this post, even though i've had it ready to go for a week or two):

Saturday, December 4, 2010

crumble top apple pie (in pictures)

a story of pie in pictures.

1) made the crust the day before
2) made the crumble top the day before:

 3) peeled and cut a billion apples (or about 7-8 lbs worth):

Note: there's even apples on my cutting board, pepping me up in case i get off task.

4) roll out the pie crusts:

5) fill the pie shells:

6) cover with crumbles & bake:


notes: i follow the recipe exactly as written, except i use a variety of apples instead of strictly granny smith.  so i usually end up using a bit less sugar since some of the apples are sweeter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but here's the belated story on my pumpkin pie.

I did research on how to roast the pumpkin & found many different methods - I cut the pumpkins in half, scooped out the seeds & pulp, and placed cut side down in a glass baking dish filled with an inch or two of water.  375 degrees for about an hour. Scooped out the pumpkin mush and placed in a sieve to drain a little water.  Then I pureed it in my food processor to make it super smooth and ended up with this:

(I used 2 pumpkins and kept them separate.  The more yellow-ish one on the left was a little sweeter)

After looking at several pumpkin pie recipes, I decided on this one from Joy Of Baking.  (I was going to try this one instead, but I opted for the one that utilized a pastry crust).

I did do the "optional" gingersnap/pecan layer:

Final Version:
so...was the "real" pumpkin puree worth it?  i'll answer it with a resounding "maybe". it would've been interesting to make 2 different pies (one w/ canned) for a blind taste test. but let me just say this, it really isn't difficult AT ALL to roast the pumpkins. i had the mister cut them in half for me since i've been prone to stupid kitchen injuries lately (thumb cut - food processor blade / blistering steam burn - coffee pot). and i was able to use the leftovers in other recipes.  i'd do it again, definitely. i think everyone liked the pie, too.