December 28, 2004

Friday Fry #16 Sweet on Cookies Cookie Monster is a daze at this time of year. What with cookie swaps and cookie baskets how could he not be? According to editor and writer, P.J. Hamel of The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, of those who bake at home 98% bake cookies. The interview captures a short history and regional aspects to cookie consumption. For example, molasses cookies are popular in the New England. The number one question that King Arthur Flour receives? 'Why are my cookies burning on the bottom?" {answer: old pan} Lots of tips, too. The cookbook is going on my wish list. For more cookies The Seattle Times Magazine offers a cookie swap. Alton Brown on NPR Chocolate mousse saves the day! All Things Considered offers kitchen wisdom from Alton Brown. Interviewer Jennifer Ludden talks with her grandmother, Marion Otte, about baking--sweet and solid baking tips. Link has a picture of Alton Brown as a young boy baking. CUTE! The series, with Alton Brown, archived online, takes the mystery out of pie and cake- making. Recipes include Chocolate Pound Cake, Pie Dough and Chocolate Mousse. Drugstore Shopping I've often wondered who heads out to the drugstore for non-drugstore related items. I think they've become the last minute catch all for Americans. Late night errands of nylons, half and half and Brach's candy cravings. A recent article highlights the gap they and supermarkets are fillling for last minute holiday shoppers. Deep in the article is this statistic from Sears which "found...
SHF #4- Nuts for Pistachios After a holiday feast the child in all of us yearns for something a bit sweet. This past Christmas after a lavish and dramatic (due to the fire in the oven) meal I set out a platter filled with pistachio chocolate chip biscotti, orange butter cream Florentines and homemade almond chocolate toffee. There was also a towering six-layer white cake with cranberry filling all dressed in coconut. But that’s another culinary adventure. Nuts are a central ingredient for cooking and baking throughout the world. Dates stuffed with walnuts and almonds were one of the earliest prepared desserts. Sweet almonds are the central ingredient of marzipan for enclosing and decorating a cake. Pralines, burnt almonds cooked in sugar until caramelized remind me of the New Orleans French Quarter and pecan pie is as American as apple pie. Pale-green pistachios are luxurious and a bit exotic. As a child in the 70’s I would watch my mother’s hands turn red from the dye applied to the shell to hide blemishes. Today, due to more advanced harvesting and processing methods this market problem isn’t such a big worry so the nuts are kept natural. My mother would carefully parse out the pistachios over a period of time due to the high cost. As a child I didn’t appreciate the subtle but distinctive taste. Today that’s all changed. In the Middle East pistachio nuts and cashews are often eaten as a mezze. In the Middle East, I’m told that at times they are sold...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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