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Posts Tagged ‘Sugar’

How to Make Bacon Snickerdoodles

February 3, 2010 3 comments

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Inspired by Kitchenette’s delightful bacon snickerdoodles, I solicited the help of the Joy of Cooking for a basic snickerdoodle recipe and tweaked it a bit to accommodate the addition of some tasty salty bacon.

Bacon Snickerdoodles

For the dough, makes eighteen 3-inch cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg

For the cinnamon-sugar coating

1/8 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

And of course, don’t forget the bacon.  A few strips will do.

Mix thoroughly the dry ingredients: flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a small bowl until well blended.

Using a wooden spoon, mix thoroughly the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl until it becomes a well blended paste. Add the egg and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir it in incrementally so you won’t have flour all over the place. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating.

Slice the bacon strips widthwise into 1/2-inch wide slices.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4-inch balls.  It’s a bit sticky so I ended up scooping the dough with a spoon instead of shaping it by hand.  Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar coating, and arrange about 2-3/4 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Place the bacon slices on top of each ball, right in the middle. Gently press down the bacon. This will flatten the dough a bit, but just a tiny bit.  Doing this makes sure that the bacon stays in the middle of the cookie as it bakes.  The first time I tried baking these cookies, I just laid the bacon strips on top of the dough without pressing it down gently. The bacon did not stay in the center and it flowed toward the edge of the cookie as it baked.

Bacon Snickerdoodles

Bake one sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Let the cookies stand briefly then place them on racks to cool.

Just a word of caution, they are truly addicting. It’s the sweetness of the cookie combined with the saltiness of the bacon that I love so much.

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12 Round Shaped Sweet Treats for Good Luck: A New Year’s Tradition

December 29, 2009 6 comments

Every New Year’s Eve, it has been my mom’s tradition to gather 12 round fruits to bring us good luck in the coming year.  It has to be twelve, she says, one for each month of the new year.  And it has to be round-shaped for prosperity, abundance and wealth.  So she buys grapes, oranges, melons and even watermelons to ring in the new year.

This year, I’m starting my own tradition. I’m gathering 12 round shaped sweet treats to welcome the New Year!  These are my San Francisco favorites culled from past blogs plus teasers for future posts.  It’s definitely not a comprehensive list since I can only cram twelve.  And I guess, that’s what the New Year is for, a whole new year to try new tasty treats!  Send me a note and let me know what’s on your list.

And by the way, I define round shaped very loosely here.  It can be spherical or circular in shape or served in a spherical or circular container.

Fried Dough.

1. Dynamo Donut’s maple glazed bacon apple doughnut. “The saltiness of the little chunks of crispy bacon complements the sweetness of the maple glaze very well, which makes the maple glazed bacon apple an instant favorite.”

Dynamo Donuts Maple Glazed Bacon Apple

2. I Preferiti di Boriana’s bomboloni. Italian doughnuts filled with chocolate ganash and tossed in sugar. Pure bomboloni bliss.

Bomboloni with Chocolate Ganache

Street Sweets

3. Creme Brulee Cart’s Cap’n Crunch Creme Brulee. “But as he sprinkled colorful Cap’n Crunch pieces on my cup, for some reason, I got so excited. I knew I was in for a sweet treat!”

Cap'n Crunch Creme Brulee

4. Wholesome Bakery’s Sweet Potato Pie. Healthy baby sweet potato pies that actually taste great.  No need for sugar since the sweetness of the sweet potato shines.

Wholesome Bakery Sweet Potato Pie

I Scream for Ice Cream

5. Bi-Rite Salted Caramel Ice Cream. “One of the best things in life is real good ice cream. And Bi-Rite Creamery’s artisanal ice cream is beyond good.”

Bi-rite Ice Cream

6. Humphry Slocombe’s Ice Cream. Yes, you read it right: salt-n-peppa ice cream. Crazy, one-of-a-kind and out-of-this-world, yummy flavors are what makes Humphry Slocombe truly special.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Cupcake Heaven

7. Kara’s Cupcakes. “A pink box full of Kara’s pumpkin spice cupcake, moist carrot cupcake, and banana cupcake with caramel filling, all topped with Kara’s silky smooth cream cheese frosting, makes me extremely crazy, stupid happy.”

Kara's Cupcakes

8. Baked’s Red Velvet Cupcake. This small bakeshop in Potrero Hill is a real neighborhood find with baked treats like cookies, peanut brittle, and delightful red velvet cupcakes.

Baked's Red Velvet Cupcake

Filipino Finds

9. House of Silvanas Bakeshop’s Ube Silvanas. “They are best enjoyed frozen. The crunchy wafers and the yummy buttercream just delightfully melt in your mouth.”

Ube Silvanas

10. Hilda’s Hopia. Hilda’s Filipino favorite bean filled pastry is flaky, buttery and sweet.

Hilda's Hopia
Breakfast Bites

11. Dottie’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes. “The neighborhood may be dicey and the wait may be long but breakfast at Dottie’s is always a treat. The food is simply scrumptious.”

Dottie's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

12. Tartine’s Bread Pudding with Apples. There are so many tasty treats to try at Tartine (and a lot of alliterations, too); from delicious croissants and tarts to amazing bread pudding.

Tartine's Cup of Bread Pudding with Apples

On Making Pie Crust from Scratch

December 1, 2009 8 comments

Making pie crust from scratch isn’t too hard.  Okay, scratch that.  Watching Dennis make pie crust from scratch isn’t too hard.  But seriously, it’s one of those things that seem too laborious, too tedious to do but it’s actually not.

The Awl has an awesome recipe for homemade pie crusts and here is a documentary in photos of the flaky buttery goodness that Dennis made over Thanksgiving.

A few key things to remember: flour, butter and water must be chilled before making the dough.   Mix 1-1/2 cups of flour, a few pinches of salt, a smidge of sugar, 2 sticks of butter, and about a cup of cold water into a lumpy dough with chunks of butter.  Do not mix it thoroughly. Let the dough rest in the freezer for at least about half an hour before rolling it.

Clean your counter thoroughly and spread a generous amount of flour all over it.  Flatten your dough four to six inches wide, fold it in on itself and roll it out using a clean bottle with no labels or, of course, a rolling pin if you have one. If it’s too dry and it breaks a lot, fold it back in on itself and glue back bits and pieces with some water.  If it’s too soft, which means it’s too wet, put some more flour.  Continue rolling and turning for a few more times until it’s dish size.

While Dennis was busy rolling the dough, my friend Alvin and I were busy making the apple filling.  Seriously, peeling, coring and slicing 2-1/2 pounds of apple (5 to 6 large ones) into 1/4 inch thick slices is the more tedious part of the entire apple-pie-making exercise compared to making the crust.  We used Pink Lady apples because Dennis thought they were pretty but also because we wanted a sweeter apple pie.  Granny Smiths, Jonathan, Jonagold and Pippin are great choices for a sweet-tart apple pie but stay away from Gala, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples because they tend to become too mealy.  From the Joy of Cooking,  mix the apples with 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of salt.  Let it rest for 15 minutes an pour the filling into the bottom crust.  Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, on top of the apple filling.  Cover the pie with the top crust and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425F. Slip a baking sheet under the pie, reduce the temperature to 350F and bake until the apple feels tender when a knife is poked through a steam vent, 30 to 45 minutes more.

Baking was actually the most exciting part of the day.  I guess for some reason Dennis added much more butter than what the recipe called for and it melted, spilled out of the pie and burned inside the oven.  While smoke enveloped the entire loft and the smoke detector madly went off, we tried frantically to save the apple pie!  After all the rolling, peeling, and coring we had to do, we were determined not to let too much butter ruin the day!   In the end, we persevered.  And seriously, butter is always a good thing.

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