Two Become One

honey whiskey

Hate having 1/2 empty bottles. Like hot toddies? Whiskey and honey are great together. Try it with tea or straight up. Cheers.

 

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Kissing my Muffin Top Good-Bye

best learn the rules

It’s hard being a baker on a diet.
Today and for the next eight weeks, that’s exactly what I am. 

My friend struck a deal (he lost if you ask me) and found himself in need of six varieties of muffins. He needed my pans and an extra set of hands.

Perfect for me, I sipped protein shakes while we mixed batch after match of muffins.

Chocolate chip, Blueberry, Cornbread, Peanut Butter and Jelly Time, and Applesauce oat muffins with improvised streusel topping. 

Next week (when I’m ten pounds lighter) I’ll post a recipe for protein crepes. I can almost see you rejoicing and sweating in anticipation. Hold tight, before long I’ll be skinny enough to pull out all the buttery confections our hearts and bellies desire.

Until then…happy muffining. IMG_9339 (1)

 

Best Cookies This Side of Hell

hell_cookies_flame

The stomach is not the only way into a man’s heart.

A thick caramel aroma surrounded Josh, a surprise attack to his olfactory. It sent him sniffing like a crime fighting dog as he sat his briefcase down. “Someone wonderful lives here,” he said.

I stood at the stove wearing my great-grandmothers’s apron, pulling a spatula through melted butter. The milk solids slowly caramelized as the water evaporated. Browning butter is the difference between venial and mortal sin. From forgiveness to eternal damnation. And according to him, these were the “best damn cookies this side of hell.”

 

What I Learned About Myself by Stuffing White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Strawberry Cheesecake

Imagine biting through a chewy buttery cookie straight into heaven. Picture pure pleasure exuding its center. I mean, you handcrafted it just so. Well that what I was hoping from this recipe.

I resisted the urge to use the entire block of cream cheese, a difference of just two ounces. I resisted my inclination to tweak and experiment  as I went. I think of recipes as guidelines rather than law.

But despite my desire to run with my imagination, I did something that this rule breaker typically scoffs at… I.followed.directions.liz baking pikazo

Maybe it was because I spent the weekend with my Type A sister, and she’s a gem, so I thought, “Hey, lets do this how she would.” Pictured here making her perfect, by the book, chocolate chip cookies.

But these stuffed strawberry cheesecake cookies let me down. (This is the most surprising sentence I’ve ever written. Maybe even read.)

stuffed

They were so much work: shaping, filling, covering, pinching shut, and for what?

To bite into what you believe is going to be ballerinas pirouetting on your tongue,  only to find a hint of something vaguely strawberry, and something slightly creamy.

Sadder so, you wouldn’t have even noticed if you weren’t desperate to discover the magic that you poured into it.

 

filling cheesecake cookies_1

 

If in the future I decide to give this another go, I’ll brown the butter (or at the very least melt it) and drizzle it over the crushed graham cracker. And then incorporate it into the filling (not just into the batter where it’s deliciousness was lost.)

Next time when I bite into this edible cheesecake domicile I want it to taste like the buttery center of Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

You know, I don’t think I’m so let down with this cookie because they weren’t creamy, (I’ve eaten’ plenty) my frustration is how I missed out on my favorite part of baking… the winging it. The risk taking. Being an active participant in the process. Not just doing what I’m told. The excitement of waiting to see if my substitutions would turn out alright or flop. Flops are okay, they are better than fine. Just re-name your creation. Look at you, being so innovative.