Monday, January 14, 2008
A Trip to Houston
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Texas for the Houston Marathon. Because the holidays had put me in a cookie-baking frame of mind, I baked a lot of cookies to bring along and share with the friends who were also going to be at the race. I relied on recipes from three books.
From Mom’s Big Book of Cookies by Lauren Chattman, I made:
Benne Wafers: excellent cookie, with an unusual flavor from the sesame seeds.
Sour Cream Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies: soft, cakey. I didn’t love these cookies, truth be told.
Snickerdoodles: a thinner, crisper version than the ones Ryan usually makes on Cookie Day (from a recipe in The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle).
Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies: pretty good, a chocolate chocolate-chip cookie with cinnamon in the dough.
From A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dede Wilson, I made:
Double Chip Browned-Butter Oat Scotchies: excellent. Oaty, butterscotchy.
Coffee-Toffee-Chocolate Chunk Cookies: a classic.
From Cookies by Jill Snider, I made:
Lemon-Poppy Seed Balls: nice and tender, but in need of a bit more lemon flavor.
Key Lime-Coconut Macaroons: didn’t like them at all; they had a rubbery texture. I made the dough in advance and refrigerated it for a day before baking it. I wonder if that contributed to the unfortunate texture.
Also, to fulfill a promise, I brought along a Sweet Potato Pound Cake, from a recipe in Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I’ve made this one before, and absolutely love it.
Finally, I made a couple of flourless treats for my good friend Enid, who can’t consume wheat-based baked goods. Although I really like baking for friends in general, I get a special bit of joy in baking for Enid because I know that homemade baked goods can be harder to come by for those who can’t eat wheat. So for Enid, it was a batch of Cliff's Brownies (from Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly) and a batch of Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies from Lauren Chattman’s book. It’s a brilliantly simple four-ingredient recipe (peanut butter, egg, vanilla, sugar) that I augmented with some Ghirardelli dark-chocolate chips.