Other than making progress on the baking cookbook challenge, I did do some other baking in October. Here’s a quick roundup.
Featuring: kale chips, Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies, lemon poppy seed bread, and bacon and egg muffins.
Baked Kale Chips
I got some kale from the farm share, so I used the Baked Kale Chips recipe from Smitten Kitchen to make kale chips.
It’s a pretty easy recipe. The hard part is getting the salt content right if you don’t have the suggested amount of kale available. Also, you do have to make sure the leaves are baked through, else they’ll get soggy. These babies look wet, but they are not. Still crispy even after sitting in a container for a couple weeks.
Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
I first heard about these several months ago. I poked around online to look for recipes and it was pretty standard: take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, put 2 scoops around a Double Stuf Oreo, bake, and enjoy.
Yeah, well, it doesn’t really work that way. :3 I found the biggest issue to be that you’d end up with a cookie that looks like it has a mysterious growth in the middle.
So, when my friend Nick found out about these and asked me to make some, I decided to try a different route. For the chocolate chip cookie recipe, I just used the recipe on the back of a bag of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. As for forming these sugar bombs, I used a muffin tin.
Scoop of dough on the bottom, Double Stuf Oreo, scoop of dough on the top. I spread it a little bit (with wet fingertips), but for the most part they formed themselves quite nicely.
Needless to say, this is pretty much instant diabetes. :o I packed them up to send to work with Nick and I’m pretty sure if I wanted to engage in some sort of subversion, this would’ve been a great way to start it off.
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
My friend Rick (hi, Yosari!) was doing a presentation for his PhD proposal in late-October, so I, in my infinite wisdom, totally didn’t think about timing and mail and what not and decided to put together a care package at the last minute. Thankfully, it all worked out. One of the things he likes is lemon poppy seed pound cake, so I made one. I used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (link will not work unless you’re a member, alas) and it’s a recipe I’ve used often. It’s pretty much perfect.
Part of what makes this loaf so great is the lemon zest. I use a microplane to zest my citrus. You could use a grater, too, I think.
And, since I had the lemons, I went ahead and used fresh lemon juice. You can do this with lemon juice from a bottle, too. I also have a tiny mesh strainer to help with the pulpy bits for the lemon juice.
You can see I used an old-school juicer in this picture. For recipes that use a larger amount of lemon juice–such as lemon bars–I use this: Black and Decker Citrus Juicer. It’s quite fantastic and I’ve used it with lemons, limes, and even tiny key limes.
Now, this finished picture might seem like this thing is just perfect, but this particular loaf was actually not quite done in the middle. One of the potential problems with this recipe is that the toothpick cake test doesn’t really work There is a pretty high butter content to this recipe (part of the reason that it tastes so good), so it will, in effect, give you a false positive. Thankfully, enough of it was done that I was able to send off a couple nicely sized chunks of loaf, but still, it’s a shame to waste such a tasty loaf.
Bacon and Egg Muffins
Okay, so that’s sort of a misnomer. It’s really more like “bacon and eggs in muffin sized portions.” I forget where I got the idea for this. I’m sure it was something online. In any case, I’m a big fan of things that you can make a lot of in small portions. I’ve done this with regular bacon (these days I only really use uncured bacon). This time around, I used turkey bacon. Still tasty, but slightly different.
I used two slices of bacon and one egg per muffin cup. When I used regular bacon, I think I cut it back to 1 slice of bacon per cup just because the amount of grease was a little bit alarming. It does crisp up the bottom quite nicely.
These days, when I make these, I use the silicon muffin cups. You can use a muffin tin, too, but I wouldn’t use one you’re overly fond of unless you’re going to line each well with, uh, something. Getting the grease off can be a bit of a chore and while throwing it in the dishwasher should work, the silicon cups also work pretty well. I suppose it helps that I already had the silicon ones. :3