How to make what I made at Will Bake for Food

Another great Will Bake for Food is in the books. With a donation total of over $2500 and a wagon full of donated goods, the two Jennys have created another fun community undertaking. From the army of food bloggers that showcased their wares to the throngs of giddy customers, we had a great time and enjoyed being involved with it. Thankfully, all of the festivities were to benefit the noble efforts of the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King Country. And here is how to make the baked goods I brought to the hoedown.

  • Frank’s Granola

I’ve already shared my recipe on how to make my version of granola, so please visit the post. The key takeaway; granola is easy to make and your imagination can create any combination that you like. Feel free to add nuts, dried fruit, candy, or anything else to your mix. The important part is knowing the ratios and not adding too much bulk that it won’t brown. And keep an eye on the granola after 60 minutes; this is the moment where it’ll start turning golden brown, feel free to stir to distribute the granola.

  • Brown Butter Nordy Bars

Growing up in Seattle, shopping at Nordstrom is a rite of passage. As a kid, the opportunity of having a Nordy Bar from the Nordstrom Cafe was a highlight of these trips. It was a perfectly dense, slightly rich, and delicious sweet treat. A hybrid between a blondie and a cookie, this was one of my favorite things about Nordstrom visits.

A recent twitter chat with some friends brought the Nordy Bar back into my mindshare. Naturally, it was to be made for Will Bake for Food. I did a bit of research and landed on this recipe that seemed close. Wanting to elevate it a bit, I thought of browning the butter to add that distinct nuttiness that brown butter gives.

The Brown Butter Nordy Bars were excellent. But they weren’t exactly a Nordy Bar as I remember it. I think I’ll spend some time researching the Nordy Bar and tweaking the recipe to see if I can create that perfect snack that I had growing up. And maybe start a grassroots campaign to have Nordstrom bring it back. Stay tuned.

  • Compost Cookies

These cookies have been written ad nauseum on the blogosphere and I wanted to include my take on these delicious cookies for Will Bake for Food. Made famous by New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar, the chief baker, Christina Tosi used the notion of clearing out your pantry of various sweets and savory snacks to use in a cookie. It is awesome.

I’ve had the benefit of having the original cookie at the Upper East Side Milk Bar and through their online ordering system. But the recipe for making them at home hasn’t been crystal clear. Before the recipe was released in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, plenty of bloggers offered their take on how to make it. Some were close, but weren’t quite there. Then, the Amateur Gourmet found the recipe on the Live! With Regis and Kelly website, which is oddly random in its own right. So the recipe was available for all. Still, they weren’t quite right; they were close, but they weren’t the perfect compost cookie. I made a few different batches after reading the comments in the Amateur Gourmet posts and noticed that others shared my issue; the cookies ran, the ratios were a bit off, etc.

Then the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook came out this fall. Bakers rejoiced. I was able to see Christina Tosi recently at Seattle’s Book Larder to talk about the book and her history at Milk Bar. One of the chief takeaways that I had was her use of glucose in baked goods. This bit of food science was something she picked up from kitchen experience and cooking school and something I’ve never considered in baking (she’s a pro for a reason, folks). Glucose is an invert sugar syrup that aids in keeping the cookie crisper longer and add body and texture. I wouldn’t have known this without hearing Chef Tosi talk about her baking techniques. I now think I’ll work glucose into more of my baking.

Without further ado, here is how to make the version of Compost Cookies that I made for Will Bake For Food:

Continue reading

Will Bake for Food this weekend

The 2nd Annual Will Bake for Food is this weekend. After having a great (and successful) time last year, the two Jennys, along with their food blogging friends, are back at it again to support the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County. Put on by the Jennys (Jenny Miller of Rainy Day Gal and Jenny Richards of Purple House Dirt), Will Bake for Food is an epic bake sale featuring a platoon of talented local food bloggers. It goes from 11am-2pm on Saturday, November 12 at the University Heights Center in the U-District neighborhood.

I’ll be helping out again and look forward to this year’s event. I have an idea of what to make and it should be tasty. Last year, I made Meyer Lemon Cookies from a recipe that my mom wanted to keep a secret. Until I posted it to the internet. Good food should be shared!

Be sure to join myself, the Jennys, and our blogging friends as we do our part to benefit the Emergency Feeding Program. Please bring non-perishable goods or monetary donations. And bring an appetite, I have a feeling my food-writing brethren will step up their game.

McVitie’s S’mores

In the world of ingenuity, this doesn’t exactly push sliced bread out of the way, but it is pretty great; McVitie’s S’mores. That’s correct, a simple little British biscuit with a toasted marshmallow. First, I’ll have to give credit to my friend Tea for coming up with it. Last summer, in a moment of craving, she yearned for a McVitie via Twitter. And not just any McVitie; the chocolate dipped one. And what is a McVitie you ask? It’s a biscuit (what the Brits call cookies), that’s sorta similar to a Marie Lu cookie, but so much better. For McVitie’s have their own unique crumb. And they are delicious in a way that you have a craving that needs to the satisfied now. Which explains Tea’s wants. Then in a moment of ingenious innovation she mentioned that she likes to make s’mores with them.  Here’s how:

First, you get yourself a McVitie. They’re not exactly easy to find; in Seattle, you can find them in the British section at Metropolitan Market. If you’re not in Seattle, good luck. There are two different types of McVitie’s. One is the standard biscuit. It’s okay, but when you have the other option you must go with it; Milk Chocolate. It’s the standard and it has been augmented with one side of the biscuit coated in chocolate. It is awesome.

Next, get some marshmallows. Self explanatory in making s’mores really. Now if you can get your hands on homemade marshmallows even better. The wonderful Ashley Rodriguez shows how to make them yourself. As for the chocolate, the McVitie already has chocolate so you can skip this step of s’more building.

I think at this point, you should have an idea of how to make s’mores. But if you’re not near a campfire, you can toast it over the burner on your range. If you don’t have a gas range, you can use your imagination. Be safe. At the very least, you have a chocolate dipped cookie.

There you have it. A quick way to enjoy a time-honored snack in a clever new way. And we have our friend Tea to thank. (Thanks!)

Update – For a more formal recipe format, here you go:

McVitie’s S’mores

Ingredients:

  • 2 McVitie’s – Milk Chocolate version
  • 3 Marshmallows

Directions

  1. Take one McVities and place chocolate side up on a plate
  2. Place marshmallows onto fork or other lenghty device, a skewer would be swell
  3. Over open flame (goes without saying to be careful), toast marshmallow to preferred doneness
  4. Remove from flame (extinguish flame if need be) and place newly toasted marshmallows onto McVitie
  5. Take other McVitie with chocolate side down and squeeze marshmallows and remove fork
  6. Enjoy

Note – This recipe can be scaled up.

 

Ping’s Lemon Cookies; my contribution to Will Bake For Food

If you had an ear to the food blogging streets of Seattle, you may have heard about Will Bake For Food this past weekend; a benevolent event brought to us by the Two Jennys (Jenny Richards and Jenny Miller)  to support Northwest Harvest. If you were there, you were able to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of a room full of delicious baked goods. All created by your friendly neighborhood food bloggers. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoyed your treats. As promised during this weekend’s Will Bake For Food, here is my recipe for the Meyer Lemon Cookies that I brought. Continue reading

Will Bake For Food – benefiting Northwest Harvest

Tomorrow will be a bake sale of epic proportions. It’s not one the likes of Seattle has seen often. It is known as Will Bake for Food and it will be awesome, and not just because I’ll be helping to support it.

Will Bake for Food is a bake sale event to benefit Northwest Harvest and the goods will be provided by various food bloggers around town. And I will be one of them. Thankfully the skill and talent bar will be much higher than my capabilities, so you’ll be able to find all sorts of wonderful baked goods that suit your sugar cravings. In fact, the talented Eric Rivera tweeted last night that he’ll include a golden ticket into one of his treats for a private dinner cooked by him, which is pretty awesome. Now I need to find a way to step up my game, thanks Eric.

But the biggest thanks should go to my friend Jenny Richards and Jenny Miller. The “Jennys” got this rolling and accrued quite the roster of food bloggers to lend a hand (or a cookie… or a cake…) to the event to benefit Northwest Harvest. They will also be accepting non-perishable food donation; so the goal of hunger relief will be carried through one way or another.

Look forward to seeing you at the University Congregational Church tomorrow morning from 10-2pm. I’ll be there and so should you. Oh, as for what I’m making, there will be Meyer Lemon Cookies and Bibingka Bites. Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 20th, 2010
10am-2pmish

University Congregational Church
Ostrander Hall
4515 16th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Pouding Chômeur ice cream

A few weeks ago we went over to our friend Viv‘s ‘dorm commons’ for a good ol’ fashion ice cream social. What made this decadent dessert party unique was that the other guests of the day were local foodies with equally unique perspective on food; all ready to bring their A game with their ice creams. So I needed to step up and bring something clever, fun, and most importantly delicious. Enter Pouding Chômeur ice cream.

What is Pouding Chômeur you ask? It’s a rich, sweet dessert native to Quebec. It takes a simple cake that is baked along with a sauce that uses a hefty amount of heavy cream and maple syrup. Translated it means ‘poor man’s pudding’ and the humble ingredients reflect that moniker. We had pouding chômeur during our trip to Montreal and our dinner at Martin Picard’s famed Au Pied du Cochon. Prior to the trip I knew nothing about this dish. After an epic dinner, our server recommended the pouding chômeur. Out came this amber-hued dessert that sat with a scoop of ice cream. It was delicious; endlessly sweet, highlighted by the distinctive notes of the maple syrup.

So when the invite to the ice cream social went out, I wanted to do something with pouding chômeur. After scouring the Internet, I never found a recipe for pouding chômeur ice cream. Lots of recipes with interpretations of the dish served it a la mode, but nothing combined the two. So from necessity comes innovation; I decided to make one up myself. Besides, it’s just a twist on a bread pudding ice cream.

As for the ice cream base, I ended up using a mascarpone ice cream. My thoughts were that the cheesy tang of this ice cream would provide a nice contrast with the sweetness of the pouding chômeur. And the mascarpone ice cream recipe is ridiculously easy to make.

In the end, the pouding chômeur ice cream came out really well; dense chunks of the cake, swirls of the maple cream throughout. It made for a clever take on two things I’ve enjoyed and a delicious and unique dessert to boot.

So you want to take a stab at making your own? Follow along after the jump: Continue reading

Frost Doughnuts in Mill Creek

Donuts are one of the foods that reach down to the very core of my food-loving self. If I were to classify the foods that got me to this level of food geekdom it would be fried chicken, dim sum, ice cream, chicken adobo, and donuts. Perfectly healthy. Perfectly awesome. Growing up, all of these framed my love of food.

In the case of donuts, the local grocery store did the trick; grab a couple of maple bars, maybe a bismark and I’d be rolling. And if I could hit that maple bar in the microwave? Hell yes. But as I’ve developed my palate and started thinking about what I eat, the grocery store donuts don’t really cut it anymore. Odd, off flavors, inconsistent, super sweet. Locally there were some OK donuts; Top Pot is pretty good – but the Surly Gourmand isn’t a fan. He did turn me on to a place in New York called the Doughnut Plant. Which has some of the best donuts (heck, best eats) I’ve ever had. But since I don’t live on NY’s Lower East Side, I needed to shift my attention and cravings to local offerings. And I’m happy to say that I think I’ve found a donut place that I’m happy to indulge in on a regular basis. Frost Doughnuts, welcome to my food decision-making process.

I heard a fair bit about Frost before visiting. They were talked about on Twitter often and were recently a hit at the Seattle Food & Wine Experience. What I like about them is that they opened up in the North End, particularly Mill Creek. I have a soft spot for places that open up in Snohomish County; good for the area and good for me when I go back home. But I reserved my excitement for Frost. I knew that donuts could be great, most are good, many are awful. Where would Frost fit?

Well, when I finally visited, I really enjoyed their donuts. Jonathan Kauffman (formerly of the Seattle Weekly) wrote a great post about the Frost experience and what he had. I did love their cruller; that thing is like a delicate drop of fried heaven. And they have a lot of clever and creative flavors. For bacon lovers, they have a bacon maple bar. Sweet, savory, bacon-y, what you’d expect with a bacon donut. On their menu, they mention a bunch of their flavors that are unique. When I visited in March, they had a few flavors that were St. Patrick’s Day inspired. One thing to consider, these donuts aren’t cheap. It’s a premium product, so be prepared to shell out a couple of bucks for some of these donuts.

A few other things to know about Frost; they donate their end of night donuts to a local food bank. Very noble and I would like to see more restaurants/eateries do this. The place has a lot of polish to it, so you can see that they have grand goals with branding and merchandise. And be prepared for a lot of brown & pink when you step inside. And if you do make the trek to Mill Creek for Frost’s donuts, be sure to check out their Twitter for the latest.

Another thing for donut lovers to keep an eye on; the unbelievably talented Lara Ferroni is working on a donut book. And yes, it’s just as awesome as you’d think it’d be. And lastly, another link for people to go nuts over donuts. My friend Tracy Schneider went crazy with donut posts lately. If you want to learn about the fried deliciousness of donuts, check out her Choice Morsel blog.

Frost Doughnuts on Urbanspoon