Today is New Year’s Eve – now, depending on where you are in the world, it could be mere hours before 2013 or you’re already in the New Year. I’ve never abbreviated New Year’s Eve in my communications, so the last few days have been lived in some confusion whenever I saw NYE until I figured out what the letters stood for.
For Christmas, I made a flognarde and a crustless pumpkin pie. The flognarde (flow-nyard) was a little different this time, using hazelnut flour whereas before I’ve always used almond flour. It was also the first time I’ve ever used hazelnut flour. I was anxious that it wouldn’t work (hazelnuts’ association with chocolate was too close for me) but I sallied forth, with my efforts paying off, thankfully. It’s a moister flognarde and we all agree that we like it better with the hazelnut flour than almond flour.
When I made it with blackberries, it was an inspired move and that proved to be a success with everyone. The blackberries, especially ripe ones, work well with the apples and currants.
I love oatmeal cookies, and especially chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Like all cookies, and particularly the one of chocolate chip persuasion, there are countless variations but I think the one that everyone should have up their sleeve is a classic chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. There are countless variations and recipes for this also but the general consensus remains: a classic is the one that is essentially no nonsense. It’s just plain and simple, yet also the one that practically asks to be had with a glass of milk. It’s buttery and has just the right amount of sweetness without hurting your teeth and when you make it – it’s just right. It hits the spot.
With that said, I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally got an oatmeal cookie on Z’s Cup of Tea.
This perfect classiness I found when I made a gluten-free version of these chewy oatmeal raisin cookies on Smitten Kitchen and made a few other slight changes, like upping the vanilla a little bit and deciding to add baking powder after A LOT of trepidation. (I don’t make these kinds of decisions lightly. After being forgotten for a spell, I found again my baker’s notes on my iPod.)
As may be evident by my recent posts, I’ve baked hardly a thing this summer. It’s been lovely and blissful, in its own way, to not turn the oven on. Instead I’ve thrown all that energy I would for baking into making ice cream and other frozen treats. (I have one more frozen treat recipe to share, for now.) One of the last things I baked before the summer heat settled in was Shirley’s perfect pound cake.
It’s a tall order to call something perfect and this pound cake is just so. In a chat on Twitter that I had with Shirley the first time I made her recipe, she told me that one of her readers had used it to make a birthday cake. So not only is it a perfect pound cake, but also perfect for all occasions as it is flexible. Like many gluten-free folks, Shirley uses a custom-made, gluten-free flour blend. I’ve yet to use a gluten-free flour blend – whether one made from scratch with someone’s recipe or my own, or store-bought – so I converted the amount with an equal ratio of cornstarch and brown rice flour (the only kind of rice flour I had on hand at the time), based on Shirley’s flour blend, and it worked really well.
Every time I’ve made it, the pound cake has been finished within one or two days (usually only making it to the second day if I’ve saved some and hidden it away).