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The Perfect World >> Domestic Sphere >> Baking


CalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM

How-tos, tips, recipes.

This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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Ellie Mayhem -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 02:18:33 PM -- 4828 of 13465


ooh! I have a new word for the "Hair! Not The Musical" thread.

J-Ro -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 03:09:51 PM -- 4829 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

I am baking brioches à tête in my new brioche molds this morning. The HS called and asked me to bake for career day, and I figured it was a good time to try out the recipe. I made the dough last night and refrigerated it. Then I got up and made half of them, because I only have six molds.

So far two of the têtes have sort of fallen off to the side, as if imperfectly guillotined. The kids can have those. Otherwise, they look good. They feel nice and light, too. The next batch is rising now. They only take 8 minutes to bake.

Philadendra -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 03:16:30 PM -- 4830 of 13465

I actually made a chocolate cake! And it was edible!

Small potatoes to you baking-folk, I'm sure, but I am a total moron when it comes to baked goods so this is a big achievement for me.

It was a recipe from Droste (dutch cocoa co.). Basic chocolate, but lovely consistency, iced in whipped cream and adorned w/ black raspberries.

Good for breakfast too.

Alizarin -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 03:45:55 PM -- 4831 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

The HS called and asked me to bake for career day,

Because how better to showcase being a lawyer?

J-Ro -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 03:57:34 PM -- 4832 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.


The second batch is slightly deformed, but too bad. Next time I will make the dough tetes much smaller. Insanity Rose's directions let me down this time.

Curie Tournesol -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 06:39:37 PM -- 4833 of 13465
They are better than stars or water/Better than voices of winds that sing/Better than any man's fair daughter/ Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

J-Ro, I was just about to ask if you were using her recipe. Is this the holiday hallelujah one or whatever it's called? I've been eyeing it for years but have never worked up the energy to make it.

J-Ro -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 07:47:28 PM -- 4834 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

It's from the Pie and Pastry Bible. It's a master recipe and then there are some things you can do with it. I haven't tasted it to know how it came out, but I gave a lopsided failure to Elder for breakfast on her way out, so I expect her to report.

I ignored some of IR's crazy-ass instructions, especially as to the number and length of risings. I had to do this on a schedule for a regular human being. That part seems to have gone fine.

J-Ro -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 08:12:22 PM -- 4835 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

I just realized there is one more flop in the kitchen (I just stopped home after a court appearance). I ate the topknot. Perfect. It's not really much work, either, especially if you skip the triple-folding step and one of the risings.

mollyT -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:00:30 AM -- 4836 of 13465

That's interesting about the honey making the cake more moist as it sits. I have it loosely wrapped in wax paper on the kitchen counter, and was worried it would dry out.

Alice CK -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:15:17 AM -- 4837 of 13465
the glass in the toilet is quite a pretty blue

I don't know how much honey is required to counteract the natural drying/hardening process known as "going stale." I just put forth that little honey factoid for what it's worth. I don't want to be the reason you decide not to wrap it up and then the outside gets all hard and crusty.

mollyT -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:21:31 AM -- 4838 of 13465

Nah, I just won't worry about it much. It's still good tonight, I brought a slice to work to tide me over until dinner.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 05:58:11 PM -- 4839 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

I want those sugar cookies you get at the cookie stand in the mall, with M&M's on top. What kind of cookie recipe should I use? The two sugar cookie recipes in Joy of Cooking both seem to be the hard ones that you decorate with icing, not the soft buttery ones. So I made some from Better Homes & Gardens which also turned out to be the hard kind (and particularly unimpressive specimens, to boot).

Also, once I find my cookie recipe, should I put the candies on before or after baking?

J-Ro -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 06:28:57 PM -- 4840 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

Lorelei, the mall stand may well add fructose to the cookies to make them stay soft. That's what Mrs. Fields does. This is a similar discussion to the ongoing one about chocolate chip cookies. Julia M's recipe, which she got from Cook's Illustrated, explicitly tries to duplicate the soft Mrs. Field's texture, and achieves it by increasing the amount of sugar in the cookie. There are a few other adjustments, but that is the main one. CI did the same with oatmeal cookies and found that increasing the sugar also made them softer and chewier. I think the moisture content is probably the issue.

I personally find the cookies too sweet when made this way, but it does improve their texture and make them more of what you are describing.

Thus, I would try adding more sugar to a drop sugar cookie recipe (not a rolled recipe) to see what happens. Maybe try adding a third of a cup more to begin with.

About the M&Ms, you usually add anything like that before baking because they won't stay on if they are added later. To get them not to burn, put a sheet of foil over the cookies during the last few minutes of baking.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:42:55 PM -- 4841 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

Ooh, kitchen chemistry experiment! I'm not sure whether to be excited or daunted, but it sounds like fun.

J-Ro -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:49:14 PM -- 4842 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

You saw the part about using a *drop* cookie recipe, right? The best thing would be to use a little ice cream scoop as Julia recommends for the CC cookies, and then flatten the ball just a little when you apply the candy.

I don't know what the cookies at the mall taste like, but it occurs to me you should try a snickerdoodle recipe without rolling the dough in cinnamon-sugar.

devillishious -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:53:16 PM -- 4843 of 13465
tiny sugared crab

But wouldn't you have to use brown sugar specifically if you were going to increase sugar? I've increased with white sugar and found the results were crunchier.

I would guess that the addition of corn syrup would also assist the chewiness.

Alizarin -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:57:36 PM -- 4844 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

Why drop, J-Ro? I get that drop cookies would be butterier than rolled, but how does that work with chewiness?

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:09:20 PM -- 4845 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

It's called laminate dough, and here's a link to Staebler's original recipe, note the indeterminate quantities and the little blurb at the end. Basically, yes, combine liquid sweetener and dry sugars to get the effect.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:09:57 PM -- 4846 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

Forgot the link.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:13:30 PM -- 4847 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

Here's an article originally produced for a website called Goldwing's Fun House - it sums it up nicely:

Cookie Tips: How To Make Cookies Flat, Crispy, Soft, Or Chewy

Recipe by:Margie Potts, Jungle Jim'sWeb produced by: Liz Foreman3/3/2004 11:40:11 AM

There seems to be much debate and even more speculation on why some chocolate chip cookies are flat and crispy and some are soft and chewy. Both cookies taste delicious, but everyone has a preference. However, if you're trying to bake a soft and chewy cookie and it comes out flat and crisp, it can be frustrating! Well, there certainly are reasons why cookies turn out one way or another.

It has to do with the amount and temperature of key ingredients:

1. Sugar: The moisture in sugar affects chewiness. The relative amount of white sugar to brown sugar has a great effect on the baked cookie, as the brown sugar has a much wetter moisture content (approximately 35% more moisture). Therefore, using more brown sugar will result in softer, chewier cookies, while using more white sugar will result in cookies that are flatter and crisper overall.

2. Butter and Eggs: The temperature of these key ingredients helps control how much the dough spreads. Cool ingredients will keep you dough cooler, which results in the cookies spreading more slowly in the oven allowing the oven's heat to "set" the cookie while it still thick and therefore producing a denser, chewier cookie. Warm dough spreads more quickly in the oven, which makes the cookies thinner and crisper. Also, keep this theory in mind if you have the habit of dropping cookies onto still-hot cookie sheets. If you don't want them spreading quickly, use cool sheets.

3. Flour: A high proportion of butter to flour in the dough will also allow it to spread quickly. Makes sure you are measuring your flour correctly. Adding more flour to a recipe to produce a thick chewy cookie won't work for you. Too much flour will make the cookie, firm, dry and tough - you need to control the amount and temperature of all the key ingredients together and that includes the butter, eggs, sugar and flour. To insure that you are accurately using the amount of flour called for in the recipe, use a kitchen scale to weigh it or measure properly: use a dry measuring cup, not a pyrex cup meant for liquid measurements. Fluff the flour with a fork to avoid densely packed flour. Then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it with a knife. Never scoop right from the bag as that will compact too much flour into the cup and don't shale or tap the cup as you add the flour or this will pack the flour down as well.

4. One last tip: Bake cookies on light colored cookie sheets - dark cookie sheets will cause cookies to brown too quickly and cook too fast. If all you have is dark cookie sheets, try baking your cookies on parchment paper lining the cookie sheets. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes. Cookies also cook more evenly on cookie sheets that do not have sides as the heat flows over the cookies more evenly.

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