Friday, 16 February 2007

something for him... and something for me

Well it's Friday and as usual i have no lectures. In order to use this time wisely it's usually necessary to spend part of the time cooking. Now Lex describes my every day cooking as basic, but functional, and filling. I think that's meant to be a compliment. My baking on the other hand he actually admits to liking.
I have a real love of food blogs, some people out there write about food so beautifully, and create the most wonderful food. Just recently I found a load more blogs, including the one I took todays recipes from.
For Lex we have a chocolate blondie. The theory behind these is they're meant to be like a brownie, but with a plain style dough, and be kind of like a gooey cookie, but as a tray bake. I've only had a small piece and it tasted ok, but I had a really hard time getting it to cook, it was meant to take 25 minutes, mine were in for at least 45, I think this may be to do with our rubbish student oven though. Anyway here's the recipe, I'll let you know Lex's verdict later!

Chocolate Chunk Blondies
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (half brown, half white)
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt.
Cream butter and sugar by hand or with an electric mixer. Add in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 2 additions, then add your chocolate/butterscotch chips and stir until batter is smooth. Spread evenly into your prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown (A slightly longer baking time will produce a slightly more cakelike cookie). A tester should come out clean, if you use one.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a rack for further cooling. Cut bars as desired.

Now I also made something from me, again from the Baking Sheet blog. These are far more to my taste, and are really really good, and would be even better if I hadn't left them in the oven for slightly too long, oops!

Sour Cream Lemon Shortbread Bars


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into several pieces

Lemon Topping

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 tbsp sour cream

3 tbsp all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

Zest of 2 lemons (1 generous tbsp)

Preheat oven to 350F.
In the bowl of a food processor, whizz together the flour, sugar lemon zest and salt. Add in butter and pulse until mixture reaches a crumbly, sandy (with some pea-sized chunks of butter remaining) pieces. Press evenly into the Baker's Edge pan (or 9"x13" pan) bake for 16-19 minutes, until just slightly golden at the corners.

While the crust is baking, beat together the remaining ingredients until smooth. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour in the lemon filling while it is hot, then return pan to the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes, until set and slightly browned at the corners.
Set pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 16 large bars.

All the wonderful food bloggers produce wonderful pictures to show you how gorgeous what they made looks. However my camera is broken, and the web cam built in to my macbook doesn't really take good pictures due to having no flash/appropriate focus etc. And also, I'll be honest here, I don't seem to be able to produce food that looks as good as it tastes, so a photo is actually likely to put you off making something that's actually really good!

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