Snowy day of bakingPosted: January 16, 2013 | |
My husband has a sweet tooth. He also works very hard outdoors for long hours, in the cold, in the rain, in the snow, in the wind, and in the sun. He needs all the calories I can pack into him all the time. I try to give him healthy food, but he demands (in a nice way) sweet treats. I drove to the store today in the snow that had everyone else hiding, knowing that it would be quiet and calm.
I had written things like “white vinegar” and “raisins” on our grocery list, but there were many additions in Chris’s writing, as there always are. (“Ammo” was my favorite addition to a grocery list. I took a picture of that list, but it’s on my iPad, and I’m writing this on my laptop.) Here were his requests this time:
- granola bars
- soy milk x2
Such a starchy guy! He makes me laugh.
Since I’m not a fan of the kind of cookies you can get in a normal store, and I don’t love paying an arm and a leg for organic cookies from the health food store, I figured I’d just come home and bake . Homemade things are better, anyway, and it gives me a certain amount of control over what goes in them. If left to his own devices, he would eat half a package of Newman-O’s a day. (Not that those are a bad choice, overall.)
While I love cooking and baking, the issue for me is that I have to taste everything, at several different stages in the process. I can’t help it. Then, when whatever I baked is out of the oven, I’m not very good at keeping my grubby little paws off of it. I try not to eat junk food, but if it’s there, by golly, I’ll eat it. Making it “for Chris” is only a slight deterrent. I can just feel the calories settling into my midsection as I eat yet another cookie, after having munched on the dough while mixing and then consuming whatever was left in the bowl after getting all the cookies on the tray.
I was thinking about making sugar cookies today, but I wanted them to be more interesting, and I was considering simmering chai tea in the soy milk before adding it to the recipe. Then I started looking online for vegan snickerdoodle recipes, and lo and behold, Isa had my back once again. A quick Google search provided me with a link to her Chai Spice Snickerdoodle cookie recipe, and I just thought, Isa, how do you do it? It’s like you anticipate my hopes and dreams before I even have them.
I was already planning on making her magical pumpkin muffin recipe today, which I’ve made before with scrumptious results, but I wanted to put the batter into a loaf pan instead of muffin tins.
To further illustrate how awesome I find Isa’s recipes to be, her Golden Vanilla Cupcakes (from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) were my wedding cupcakes, and her Seitan Roast was the main event at my Thanksgiving get-together. (The leftovers were fought over, and the recipe was requested.) If you’re reading this, Isa, I have a food crush on you. I hope that’s cool.
So anyway, I experimented with the pumpkin muffin recipe, using frozen leftover canned pumpkin from Thanksgiving pie-making. I didn’t change the recipe, I just changed the container. I ended up baking it for extra time, 50 minutes in total, and it came out very nice. It could possibly have used 5 more minutes, but I’m happy with the results.
The cookies are on the crispy side for my preferences, but I’m thinking about how amazing they would be dunked in tea (especially chai). Some of them were chewy enough to please me, so I probably just left them in the oven a wee bit too long.
I have a hard time gauging these things. I just don’t have baking intuition. I’m all about the savory. Plus, I burn myself very often when I use the oven. It’s a little ridiculous. Sometimes it’s because I put things in there bare-handed, which is stupid, I know. I still manage to burn myself when I’m wearing my mitts, though. It’s a knack I have.
Kitchens are treacherous, have you ever noticed? I have many cooking battle scars. I burned myself on a cast iron skillet when I was making Irish soda bread yesterday – right in between the base knuckles of my last two fingers, which is a lovely place for a burn. (Yes… my hand was in the oven uncovered. I just do not learn.)
Well, sugar- and calorie-overload be damned; I had fun today. It was a perfect day to bake, with the snow gently falling past the windows, and everything all toasty and sweet-smelling in the kitchen. Chris is in for a pleasant surprise when he gets home. Now I just have to figure out what to feed him for dinner. I don’t think I have any room, myself.