Monday, March 14, 2011

A Message to my Readers

I began this year with high hopes in my development as an (amateur) baker. I knew that if I could keep myself on a rigorous schedule in my baking experiments, then I could, by the end of the year, claim that I had done something extraordinary: I could be proud of my tenacity in this project, and could possibly become more dedicated to various projects throughout the course of my life.

I need to admit to myself, and you as my readers, that this challenge that I have posed for myself has become very difficult for me. I am almost to the point where I now find baking a chore rather than a sweet hobby...and this I fear more than anything else.

Please know that I am not quitting. I'm not even really taking a sabbatical or hiatus from this project. I am just at a point in my life right now where I cannot remain on such a rigorous schedule without having detrimental effects on my mental and physical well-being.

So what does this mean? I will most likely not be baking and posting on a regular schedule as I had originally intended. I need to give myself freedom to create at my own will, or else I will burn out; I am afraid that if that happens, I will never enjoy baking again, and thus never partake in such a glorious art form.

I beg of your patience and appreciate your well-wishes at this time, as I try to sort out things in my life so that I might clear the chaos from my daily life. Once this happens, I will be ready and rearing to go in full force again.

I still have a post pending for Week 10's cookie, so you can look forward to that in the near future. Week 11 will have to wait, though.

Thank you for what you have done for me, faithful readers. You have helped me believe in myself when I felt as though nothing was going right, and your encouragement through my blog, email, facebook, and in person has meant the world to me. I hope to be back soon.

Yours Truly,


PS: maybe this would be a good time to try some of the recipes for yourself? And as always...Happy Baking!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Week 9: S'mores Cookies

I needed something simple to revive my track record of cookie-ing, so I did some research. This cookie is fun and very simple. It's a drop cookie, so no rolling or strenuous shaping/molding/cutting/etc. In fact, it is, in essence, a chocolate chip cookie.

I found the recipe online (somewhere) and am now having trouble locating the source; so if anyone reading this wants to look for it and let me know, I would be forever grateful.

The idea behind this cookie was simple enough: a chocolate chip cookie with some of the flour substituted out for graham cracker crumbs; and at the last minute press in marshmallows and milk chocolate pieces. I am extremely pleased with how they came out, and will definitely be making them again. In fact, one of my co-workers claimed that they are my best cookie so far. I do have to say, they are much better right out of the oven than after sitting for a while...but they are good cooled as well! These were just yummy. Plain and simple.

And without further ado:

S'Mores Cookies
makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (or as necessary) mini marshmallows
4 (or as necessary) milk chocolate candy bars (such as Hershey's)

1. Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Stir in flour gradually until dough forms. Mix in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for one hour.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

4. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased (or prepared) cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place marshmallows and broken pieces of chocolate candy bar into soft cookies. Return to oven to bake for another 2 minutes.

Bake, taste, enjoy....and as always, Happy Baking!