Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Zelda Turns 4!

Today is Zelda's 4th birthday. Last night, you would have thought the world was coming to an end by the way she cried over no longer being three and wanting to be my baby forever. But, today she awoke happy and excited to be the birthday girl.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday, Dec., 25, 2011

A Christmas Blessing

May Christ our infant savior give you the joy of the Bethlehem shepherds, the awe of the worshipping sages and the humility and love of the holy family. May you become as little children and the blessing of God our Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life be with you always.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

From the mouths of babes:
"This is no time to be naughty," said nearly 4-year-old Zelda today. Then, "Only three more days until Christmas!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Doubled Mistake

BIG note to self: Do NOT double a recipe unless it's tried and true and/or from a baker friend whom I trust. And, just because a special edition cookie publication has the name of Betty - as in Crocker - on it, doesn't make it perfect. Even less so once I substitute for dairy and white flour.

Tonight I'm going to 'Even Better - a gluten- and dairy-free cookie exchange' (thanks Nikki!). And, I kept looking at these glazed eggnog spritz cookies. They 'read' and looked yummy in the picture. Easy substitutions using Better Batter gluten-free flour and Spectrum shortening. I do it all the time. Since I would be bringing several dozen cookies to the exchange, I'd double the recipe so we'd have some for home. I could freeze them for Christmas.

Once I made the dough and tasted it, I knew I made the right choice of cookie. I figured if the dough was any indication of the taste of the cookies, I was going to rock this exchange. The dough was outstanding. Yes, I eat dough, even with raw eggs in it. (SShhhh. Don't tell Ron. Apparently, he never ate cookie dough growing up because of the eggs. Too bad for him.)

The first pan came out of the oven. The cookies looked beautiful. I let them cool for a minute and then went to move them from the pan to the rack. And, that's when I crumbled. I mean they crumbled. We both crumbled. They came out so crumbly as to be unpresentable. You basically have to most gently place one in the palm of your hand and then smack it into your mouth in one smooth move. Kind of like the communion wafer (these taste better, at least). If looking at the whole pan of cookies and collapsing inside wasn't enough, I couldn't help but acknowledge that I had a large mixing bowl of batter sitting on the table waiting to be spritzed from my cookie gun onto the baking pans. Ugh.

So, I proceeded to bake the entire double batch of dough. I changed the spritz shapes, hoping that might help. I even balled up enough cookies to fill a pan. I changed the temperature on the oven. Nothing worked.

When the last pan of cookies was in the oven, I decided to check online and see if a correction had been made to the recipe. A Google search turned up the recipe on the Betty Crocker web site. I read the reviews. Everyone else found the cookie crumbly too. So, at least I didn't have to wonder too long about whether my substitutions were the problem. Next time, I'll add another egg. And, I'll just bake one batch, to make sure that works.

When all is said and done, I have about 100 cookies on baking racks that are so delicate I'm not sure I can even move them to a container. And, I still need to put the glaze on them. Maybe I can completely coat them in the glaze to help keep them together. I can only hope.

As for the cookie exchange tonight, I have a back-up plan. Yesterday, I made a batch of chocolate walnut cookies that you roll into logs, freeze and then slice and bake when you need them. Obviously, I need them.