Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

I did not manage to make last week’s Tuesdays With Dorie selection, Tourtely Apple Torte, but luckily this week we had a less time consuming recipe, Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies, and I was able to fit it in. Although soft chewy cookies are the generally the cookie category of choice in this household, a nice buttery shortbread is also nice from time to time, and these are exceptionally good shortbread. Not only does that the cornmeal give them a nice crunch, there are wonderful undertones of flavor from the lemon zest and almond extract. The flavor combination kind of reminded me of the stupendous Swedish Visiting Cake the group made last year.

Josh and I took a little break from wedding-related tasks last weekend to celebrate our four-year anniversary of dating (we figured that since we’re about to get married and will have a new anniversary, it would be our last year to make an occasion of it) and made a jaunt up to Sonoma on Saturday afternoon. We’d heard that the caterer we’re using for the wedding also has a café at a place called Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma and thought it would be fun to have lunch there. Sadly, the café had closed three weeks ago. Luckily the garden was still a lovely place to visit and the restaurant at the gardens was good. I had seen an ad in a magazine for a cake supply store in Sonoma and wanted to take a look around in hope of finding a cake topper. Yes, my wedding is less than three weeks away and I don’t have a cake topper. I totally put this off until the last minute, because if I don’t find one, it doesn’t really matter. My cake will still be pretty and taste great. The store, which also happens to be a pool supply store – hello, strange combo - did not have any whimsical cake toppers, but they did have shortbread cookie cutters, to get the authentic shortbread finger shape. I had rolled out my dough earlier in the morning and was planning on making the cookies that night, so I was excited to buy the cutter. Sadly, it could not really withstand the thick, cold dough. When I was growing up, there were several movies that my siblings and I watched multiple times; one of those was "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off." There is a line in the movie where Ferris refers to his friend Cameron’s car as “a piece of s&$@” and for some reason I was greatly amused when the line was changed to “piece of tin” in the TV version. Anyway, this shortbread cutter was a “piece of tin,” both literally and figuratively. It was cheap, so I can’t really complain. Not cheap? The olive oil ice cream we purchased, but very good with these cookies.

We rated these cookies a 7.5 for Deliciousness and I give them a 2.5 for Effort, for an EDR of 3. Many thanks to Valerie of Une Gamine dans La Cuisine for a great choice. You can find the recipe here on Valerie’s site and visit the TWD site for more cookies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TWD: Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

I never got around to making an official announcement on my blog, but Josh and I got engaged last summer (he proposed after I ran my first, and so far only, marathon on the 4th of July) and we’re getting married – in a month! We haven’t gone on any kind of crazy wedding diet or been Shedding for the Wedding (admittedly there have been a few extra miles run by Josh and I’ve tried to pick up hand weights occasionally). So even though I haven’t been blogging much, I’ve still been baking and we’ve been eating plenty of treats – in moderation, of course. However, Josh told me that the two weeks prior to the wedding, he wants to put a moratorium on desserts. I asked if that meant I could not bake at all (you know, with all the free time this procrastinator will have the two weeks before her wedding), and he said that I could make snacks, like cookies, but he is planning on refraining from large desserts with ice cream.

So it’s a really good thing this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie selection, Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp was selected now. It had been a while since I’d made an oozy fruit dessert, which, at least in our house, just screams for homemade ice cream. It seems that it is slightly early for rhubarb, though I was fortunate enough to find some at my local market. For some reason, I felt that this dessert took longer to put together than your average crumble (though I was multitasking with some other recipes), but double crisp is double delicious, so it’s definitely worth it!

We rated this recipe an 8 for Deliciousness and I rated it a 4 for Effort, for an EDR of 2. Many thanks to Sarah of Teapots and Cakestands for selecting this recipe at just the right time. You can find the recipe here on Sarah’s site and visit the TWD site to see if the other bakers were able to find rhubarb or if they got creative.