raspberry thumbprint cookie {cookie carnival}

After making the trifecta of Rice Krispies Treats, m&m Cookies, and Brownies for my students' recitals, these Thumbprint Cookies seemed a good way to round out the reception offerings.  They are always fun to make with The Kids, who enjoy poking gently indenting the dough with a finger.

Or in The Boy's case, for the sake of maximum impact with minimum effort, four fingers.

I have never made a thumbprint cookie with almond paste before and was curious to see how it would turn out.  The cookies were on the sweet side (so I decreased the amount of sugar below,) but nevertheless, they were delicious, soft, and almondy.  They stayed soft for several days in an airtight container.


i scream, you scream...

I've been thinking about ice cream quite a bit.

It all began with David Lebovitz's book, The Perfect Scoop,

and reading about his Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream.
Then with this crazy hot weather, all I want are bites of creamy coolness. 

The final straw was last week, when Blogger Friend Carmen posted 
a fabulous tutorial on Strawberry Gelato
(it's her enticing picture above — MMMMM—)

with a link to a DeLonghi gelato maker, WHICH HAPPENS TO BE OVER 50% off!!

I am a sucker for a sale, I have always loved loved LOVED gelato, and since my birthday is right around the corner...

And to think, just yesterday, I was contemplating a Juice Cleanse.

Gelatoville, here I come!


ginger snaps {sms}

The Son walked into the kitchen as I was mixing the dough for this week's cookie (and while m&m cookies were baking) and announced, "I smell pumpkin!"

The spices- cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg- associated with pumpkin goodies and Sweet Melissa's recipe transport me to a brisk fall morning, with crisp air and crackling leaves.

Wishful thinking, as it was 90º outside and about 89º in the kitchen with oven blasting.

The hot kitchen was worth it for the bites of yumminess- buttery, spicy, and a slight pepper kick. The only change I made to the recipe was to decrease the baking soda.  For whatever reason, I seem to be hypersensitive to it (it leaves a nasty aftertaste if there's too much) and this recipe seemed to be a bit heavy on it, so I halved the amount. Perhaps that is one reason why they turned out so...


mini beef and cheese empanadas

I tend to cook the same meals over and over again for The Family, which, as you can imagine, becomes predictable and mundane.  The latest foray into Land of the New Recipe was a big hit.  The empanada was both tasty and irresistible.

The substitution of butter, replacing the traditional shortening or lard, 
is what boosts the flavor of the crust.
Hellooo, Butter!


popsicle time

Inspired by posts by Simple Girl (The College BFF and Woman Extraordinaire) and justcooknyc,  I have set my mind on making ice pops for The Son today, which his last day of school.  It's a scorcher here in NJ, with an estimated high of 92º. I'd better hurry up, as there is just an hour to see if I have all the ingredients and then make the mad dash to ShopRite to get whatever I inevitably don't have.

Yeah, I don't have the main ingredient, fruit juice.

I did find some lemons languishing in the refrigerator...

They have seriously seen better days.

 I do have one set of popsicle molds.

and Ice Kabobs too.


{sms} (or should I call it sweet melissa tuesday) almond honey madeleines

I am oh-so-late with this post.  Crazy Baking Week was last week and I couldn't squeeze this entry into my schedule.  But I HAD to make these cookies, because I bought the madeleine molds, like, 10 years ago, and they have seen the light of day but twice.

I would bake them more often, but both times these scallop-shaped cookies turned out a bit dry.  I blame it on the miniature-sized mold and over-baking.

I substituted almonds for the hazelnuts, as I had them readily available.  I also added a few drops of almond extract to enhance the almond flavor, as a few people complained about the lack thereof.

father's day feast

For Father's Day lunch, the DH vacillated between going to Katz's Deli and RUB BBQ. I tried persuading him to set foot in Brooklyn for Fette Sau (the #1 rated BBQ in NYC), but he had no interest in fighting potential traffic in and out, over bridge and tunnel.

The Husband chose Righteous Urban Barbecue, purely to eat the Burnt Ends.

You ask, what is a burnt end? I wondered that too and imagined some carcinogenic charred piece of meat, which it isn't... exactly. The definition of Burnt Ends, for the barbecue newbie like me, is the trimmings of the brisket which fall off when slicing. Apparently, they are usually crispy, tough and dry. RUB's was none of the above.

The meat had good char and was both tender and moist. Melt in your mouth good. It also came with a layer of fat (it reminded me of pork belly fat,) which I nibbled on, just a bit.

The rest of the menu included—

St. Louis and Babyback Ribs,
Pastrami, Pulled Pork, and to top off all that meat,

Chili Cheese Fries,
which were greasy-yummy, cheesy (obviously),
with the added surprise of brisket in the chili- fantastic.

We are already planning when we can next visit again, because we surely will.

Recommended dishes: Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork, St. Louis Ribs, Baked Beans. (I loved the fries, but you can't mind the grease.)


recital day

Today is Recital Day for my piano students. Though there are several performance classes held at my home during the year, the June recital is the formal one. The students are required to dress up, the performance is held at a church, and a program is printed up.

And I bake, bake, bake.

In the spirit of trying to master royal icing, I baked rolled butter cookies.

I outlined a few notes, but the consistency was a bit off, and it got messy, so I switched to polka dots.

The icing was still slightly stiff, however, and the dots came out with peaks,


I'm serving Goth Eighth Notes.

When it comes to icing, I need to apply the same principle that I tell my students:
Practice, Practice, Practice!

(I should have taken the time to pat down the peaks with a damp finger, but I thought they might end up looking like the latest handbag I'm coveting.)

The Alexander Wang Rocco Bag


have a good weekend, and

... it's Friday!

This weekend is The End-of-the-Year Student Recital.  
I divided my students into two sessions and have been baking up a storm for the receptions.  Once the craziness is over, I will post on the above cookies, Raspberry Almond Thumbprints.


my new favorite compost cookie...

Introducing: The RoloRoldGold Cookie

Well, the name might be too much of a mouthful.  The mouthful of textural interest, however, is superb. This cookie is a magnificent combination of the best two textures, crunchy and chewy, or perhaps, should I say, crunchewy?

I blogged about a similar cookie in March, but it was littered with too many mix-ins.
Having just the chocolate-covered caramels and pretzels creates a perfect marriage of 
crisp, toothsome, sweet and salty pleasure.


chocolate macaroons {sms}

I feel like I'm finally on track for Sweet Melissa Sundays, having missed the past two weeks.  And what better way to jump back in than with a super easy recipe.  

Five ingredients- what more simplicity could one ask for?

Flaked Coconut

Finely chopped high-quality semi-sweet chocolate
(which precludes my four-pound bag of Nestlé chips...)

I like all that chocolate dust.

Mix in granulated sugar,

egg white,

then roll into balls!
(I left out the fifth ingredient, orange zest.)


big apple bbq

I am sad, so sad, that I'm missing the BBQ this weekend.  Never mind that I just found out about it two seconds ago online.  Next year I'm making it a priority to head on over to Madison Square Park to take part in all the feasting.  IF you're a lucky participant, please tell me all about it!


the missing link- the ultimate chocolate brownie

I spent the better part of last week planning for a baby shower which I co-hosted.  My job was the taking care of the sweet side things.

Carrot Cupcakes ✓
Brown Velvet Cupcakes ✓

Rugelach ✓

Tea Bag Cookies ✓

Tiger Paw Cookies ✓

Diaper Cake ✓

Looking over this lineup, I sensed something missing.  A GAPING hole.

A Hole which only Something Chocolatey could fill.


{sms} carrot cake

I had two events that I was baking for this past week and needed to get a head start on the goodies.  The Pistachio Linzer Cookies had to be put on the backburner while I tried out Melissa Murphy's Carrot Cake.

According to some of the bloggers from Sweet Melissa Sundays, the cake was lacking in flavor. So, I decided to add some pineapple and coconut.

The result was moist, flavorful, and delicious.

If you'd like to see the recipe, Julie of Little Bit of Everything has it posted here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...