Friday, March 16, 2007

Stained Glass My ...

The last couple of weeks have been hectic, but I am full of cooking failures to report. I decided to enter the Pillsbury Bake-Off and have been trying things like crazy. You'll soon see pictures from those attempts. I also tried some things for fun.
The first picture is supposed to be 'stained glass' cookies - that I saw on the Food Network Channel and also in one of my vintage X-mas books. Supposedly, you can cut holes in sliced cookie dough, put hard candies in there, and bake. They will then melt into a smooth, delicious, whole cookie. Right. You can see the before picture up there, but the after is not much better. They melted a bit, but the cookie dough puffed over the hard candy on one side. Also, they were impossible to bite into. Clearly I missed something there.
The one on the right was the result of eating some delicious mint Kiss cookies a friend made. Hers turned out perfectly, with a still-formed Kiss in the middle. You see mine are a little different. Now first I should mention that you all need to RUN out and get some Hershey's Coconut-filled kisses. I am trying to figure out how to keep and freeze some to last me the entire year, not just the Easter season. They melted instantly in the oven, but the cookies were still tasty.
Here's a recipe for traditional Irish Soda Bread in case you are not yet ready for tomorrow:
1 lb. flour; 1/2 teaspoonful bread soda; 1/2 teaspoonful salt; 1/2 pint buttermilk or sour milk.
Sieve flour, salt, and finely powdered bread soda into a bowl. Mix to a loose dough with the well soured milk. (yum!) Turn out on to a floured board (with 1 lb. flour my guess is your entire kitchen will be floured by now) and knead lightly until the underside is smooth. Turn the smooth side up. Place in a well heated, greased, 8: cast iron pot (good luck finding one of these - they are expensive yuppie kitchen decorations at all antique dealers...). Make a cross on top with a knife. Cover with lid. Bake in a hot oven for 40 minute. Alternatively a baking tin may be used instead of an iron pot.
This is also from the 'Irish Recipes' traditional and modern. There's a guide as to how hot a 'hot' oven is in the back. I just wanted folks to see that Irish Soda bread is not a delicacy there, it was just a traditional staple. My Irish relatives could never believe the way St. Pat's Day was celebrated here.
I'm doing a lot of scattered reading on projects, but I did scan Shopaholic and Baby this week. Kinsella's usual crazy fun. I always feel like I need new clothes after reading these books, though. Yes, I did mention an upcoming mystery column deadline, and no, I haven't read the books yet. Readers of this blog know that the next week will involve the reading of about 8 -9 mysteries in a few days while I become more paranoid and suspicious in real life!

No comments: