Traveling Cookies

BIscoff.pngWhen we fly we generally fly Delta. For whatever reason, this is the airline my husband chooses most and he flies a lot. So, when we go somewhere I’m always thrilled that we get to have the “Biscoff” cookies that Delta serves. They’re crisp and full of flavor sort of like a chai cookie or a ginger snap. They are delicious! Trader Joe’s sells something similar called “Speculoos” and they are spectacular! The sad thing is, now you can buy them in the grocery store. I say sad only because now they are losing their “treat” status in my mind and I’m tempted to buy them (of course, I have). What fun is that?

I never really considered trying to bake them myself. Until last weekend, that is. The winter issue of “Cook’s Illustrated” came Saturday. Low and behold a recipe for my favorite travel cookie. Hmmm … Should I? NO! Did I? YES!

Turns out these have an inordinate amount of cinnamon, five teaspoons! Which when you use high quality Vietnamese cinnamon, the flavors JUMP at you. I used my mortar and pestle to grind up the cardamom and clove. I could have used an electric grinder (I have one) but for some reason I felt inspired to do it old school. I also heated the pods up to enhance the flavors. WOW! Fresh ground cardamom is amazing! Needless to say, my house smelled like Christmas yesterday!

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I didn’t grow up making holiday cookies. So this is the first time I’ve made a cookie that had to be rolled out and cut into shapes.  From now on these will be my GO-TO holiday cookie, even if it’s for sheer aroma therapy purposes.

The final result is fabulous. Crisp, aromatic and perfect to dip in a bit of coffee!

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I’m back in the kitchen. AGAIN!

So, I roasted some pig butt this weekend for pulled pork. My own recipe because I know what I’m doing y’all! Make my own rub and everything. One might think this would please my mister. Instead he complained that we had no buns and he would have to eat it the “poor” way with sandwich bread. He is no neglected.

So yesterday I made kaiser rolls from the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, “Bread Illustrated”. Kaiser rolls traditionally have poppy seeds on them. [Side note: What’s the point of Poppy Seeds? Do they serve a flavor function? I can’t detect much flavor at all. They get stuck in your teeth. They apparently make your blood test positive for opiates. So really, what’s the point? Plus, most of them end up everywhere BUT your mouth.] Needless to say, I did not have any on hand so I used sesame seeds instead.

Flavor-wise, they’re okay. I didn’t have any Instant Yeast. Now I understand why my Active Yeast didn’t substitute measure-for-measure. I should have researched how to substitute but I didn’t and therefore they didn’t have enough flour and rose too quickly and the dough was too sticky. I should have known better but I was trying to stick to the recipe. Oh well, whose bread comes out perfectly the first time? Mine rarely does. They did taste okay and my husband didn’t seem to notice the difference. His palate isn’t quite as refined as Thomas Kellers.

They did look fairly pretty. Proper flour/yeast proportion would have made them tighter and  more soft inside.

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Sesame Kaiser Rolls

On a completely different subject. My friend Linda Fay was gracious enough to take some photographs of my and my cat, Joe. Yes, I am that lady. I love my Joe. He’s 18 and grumpy and was not having it. Lesson? Don’t try to force a cat to be a model. He just won’t cooperate.

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Why are you doing this to me? Notice his ears. 

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Seriously lady, how much longer do I have to do this?

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I hate you!

Oh, but I love you Joe!