Happy Christmas Cookie Season! Every year, I dedicate one weekend to spending all of my time in the kitchen baking at least 5 varieties of cookies to put in tins and give out to friends and families. This year, that weekend will be next weekend, but when my roommate and I decided to host a Gingerbread House Party this weekend, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get a head start. Because I’ve already posted my gingerbread cookies, which I was using for my house base, I decided to throw a new variety of cookie in the mix: salted chocolate …
I made some really really really good cookies this week. Like, I’m staring at the last one in a Tupperware next to me at the table right now seriously struggling with whether to eat it. I’ve already had 2 today. And maybe 3 yesterday. And every day before that since Monday. It didn’t help that the batch made about 60 cookies. So even though my students did some good work on the huge container I brought to their conferences this week, I still had too many left over.
I’m usually pretty wary of gluten free recipes that seem to be making odd substitutions, or just eliminating flour and thinking the baked good will come out the same. If they don’t do that, they require weird ingredients (has anyone ever actually found xanthan gum?) before they’ll reach a kind of close-to-right consistency.
I don’t think anything wears you out like hiking up a mountain in the snow. Getting up early, layering up, climbing, and slide-walking back down really take it out of you. Though I do think I’m officially a winter hiking convert.
As promised, it’s time for pumpkin. And when I decide it’s pumpkin season, I don’t mess around. This morning for breakfast, I had what I like to call the Gunther Tooties Pumpkin Trifecta: a pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese and a pumpkin spice coffee. I’m not sure you can get much more committed than that.
I’m a plan-everything-far-in-advance kind of person. Like, if I know I won’t have time to bake, I’ll make two recipes the week before. But sometimes, a whole weekend can work out perfectly with very little planning at all.
I’m always surprised by how much of ice cream making is done over a stovetop. It’s a frozen dessert – I feel like at most I should be mixing the batter at room temperature, and then freezing it. But no, it’s like 20 minutes of stirring over low or medium heat and then using an ice bath after the fact to cool it down. Seems counterintuitive.
Friday night was a baking marathon. After a week of birthdays and J-term festivities, I really needed a night where I didn’t have to leave my apartment. Lucky for me, I have friends that felt the same, and were willing to trek to my apartment for a quieter night in.
This was both an amazing and absolutely terrible idea. I’ve had Serious Eats The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe saved on my Pinterest for literally about 3 years. In that recipe, Kenji, who runs the food lab (a science person’s dream baking blog) painstakingly adjusts every ingredient in chocolate chip cookies until he arrives at his ideal. And I finally gave it a try.
Spring break was supposed to start Friday. It was supposed to be a half day, and then I would have all of this coming week off. However, apparently when you have seven snow days, those week-long-break perks of being a teacher can disappear. So instead, I have two more days between me and an extended long weekend with my parents. Rather than wallow in these extra two days, I used my last weekend before Lent is over to bake for one more person at my school, that happens to be a celiac (can’t eat gluten).