The only thing I’m able to make properly right now, it seems, is peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. My other baking endeavours haven’t been successful in how I expected them to be.
On Tuesday I tried making rice crackers. The flavour was there, but they were so hard that I feared someone would break a tooth.
Yesterday I tried making chocolate meringue cookies, but had to make them into cupcakes: the batter was too runny. I think it was probably something to do with using honey instead of powdered sugar. The cupcakes turned out well, though, dense and fudgey, with an intense chocolate flavour suited to only the best chocolate cake you can imagine. Nothing half-fast. The kind you’d want to eat with vanilla ice cream. I wrote a beautiful post about those cookies last year (it’s in my drafts), when I first discovered the recipe around this time last year. Now I’m not sure if that post will see the light of day – I mean, your screen. Anyway.
(Allow me to move on before I start confusing myself over whether that last sentence makes any sense.)
My main reason for writing this is that I don’t know where my baking mojo’s gone. I’m generally confident in the kitchen, I don’t often make mistakes or have things flop on me. My ultimate testament to that is that I made gluten-free puff pastry perfectly the first time I tried.
I wouldn’t be concerned about it too much, except I’m blogging and understand that I primarily write a recipes blog although I have tackled other food- and gluten-free related topics before. Mostly, though, this blog relies on my cooking and baking output! It’s been a week since I posted any new recipes – there could have been two new ones posted, if they’d worked out the way I wanted.
Sometimes I fluster myself over it. I feel like, I have to make something new. I look at the last time I posted and think, what could I make this time?
I still have to work on those rice crackers more until I feel confident enough to share them here.
Those cookies-turned-cupcakes I’ll be posting the recipe for, after I’ve made it again and I’ll talk about the recipe more then.
The recipe for the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies has been posted before here. It’s from Everyday Food. What I’ve done differently the last couple of times I’ve made them is using some brown sugar instead of all honey. I use 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup brown sugar and I use crunchy peanut butter. (Whatever peanut butter’s already on hand. If you use crunchy PB, you don’t need the roasted, salted peanuts.) The cookies are still moist, the sweet balanced with the salty, and they don’t spread as much. They’re a little craggy, which I like.
Finally, I’m going to share with you some things I’ve been enjoying. Some are online, some are not. None are food related. Some of these things belong more on trend & chic, really, but since I have more followers and readers of Z’s Cup of Tea than t&c at the moment, I’m putting them here.
Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy – I’ve been watching this series since it started, back in January (and might I add, two days before my birthday!) and it’s been more than delightful. I’ve watched every episode so far every week as it airs on Thursday (using a live link) or catching it on YouTube later in the evening or the following morning, whenever it’s uploaded. I dance to and join in with the intro song as soon as it starts. It makes me happy. Ideally, in a child-like fantasy, I would watch Luxury Comedy while eating multi-coloured cheerios.
– Plus, check out The Velvet Onion’s Luxury Comedy documentary. I sincerely hope that it’s included on the DVD release! Well done. TVO is a fansite of all things in the world of Boosh (not just Luxury Comedy) and a dedicated one at that. Most of all, though, they’re decent folks and they’re professional and objective and I respect them for that.
– Speaking of Luxury Comedy, this is the next nail art manicure I’m doing for myself (sorry, it isn’t a permalink! I don’t know how Tumblr works), maybe combined with this one from Polish You Pretty (my favourite new nail polish blog). It’s full on Art Attack!
Doctor Sax by Jack Kerouac – I’ve never read Kerouac before and, unfortunately, I had to return it to the library before I could finish reading it. It’s a slightly more challenging read – punctuation is not conventional and the storytelling is nonlinear so it takes some time to ease into, but I like it. If I didn’t bookmark the page, I’d forget where I’d left off. My favourite part from it isn’t even a passage, yet it captured me in a way that only poetry dares – “breathing winter fogs”.
The IT Crowd – Hilarious! It’s a sitcom set in an industrial company’s basement, where the IT department is: Maurice Moss and Roy, two socially inept “standard nerds”, as described by the company’s boss, and their relationship manager, Jen (who was initially hired to be the head of the IT department but knows zilch about computers and technology). Their basement office is decorated with a geek fest of paraphernalia. I first started watching clips on YouTube, then bought the first episode from iTunes, and now have the first DVD borrowed from the library. As much as I like and appreciate the ease and convenience of digital downloads, if you’re serious about The IT Crowd you must check out the DVD. The design is digitally endearing in its pixelated glory and charming. I even enjoyed the copyright warning because of the graphics.
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke – This was the first piece of work by a poet that spoke to me deeply, as I was writing poetry when I first read it. (I’d started writing poetry as a child and picked it up again in my early/mid-teens when I found my juvenile poems. I’d only write poetry for a year, my other creative writing (prose) taking a backseat.) It was also my introduction to Rilke, and I still go back to it. I read the Stephen Mitchell translation. You don’t need to write or read poetry to appreciate it.