Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gingerbread

I started writing this post last year, when I made gingerbread for Christmas eve dinner. Happy New Year! This is truly a recipe for the ages.


I mean, it includes mustard which is basically the best thing ever. Plus an entire cup of molasses (don't use blackstrap...that stuff is bitter beyond belief.


It feels like a dream from the time of Into the Woods, a time when every town had a blacksmith and  people didn't have ovens, they just had fires. In this dream, I'm wearing a long dress and sensible boots and a bonnet.


Even the way I got this recipe makes me feel like olden days. My friend Isabel made it during finals last year and it was so delicious I had to ask her for the recipe so I could make it for my family. One thing I learned from last year's trial was that cupcakes work better than cake...as you can see from the fault lines below.


It still tasted good though! And this year, the batch was gone within a day.



Delicious with whipped cream or without, warm or room temperature, eaten with a fork or fingers, its spices and heft give it class and humility. 


Enjoy, share with friends and family. Have a bright and joyful New Year!

Find the recipe over at Mad about Maida! Muffins took about 30-40 minutes--the batter is quite wet, so it takes a while to bake up properly.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Popovers

POP!

Pop goes the weasel!

Pop on over for a spot of tea, love!

I gave my peonies a bit of water, and they popped right back up.


All good things pop. Bubble wrap. Impatiens seed pods. Popcorn. The fanciest of Christmas cards. A splash of color with that dashing pocket square. What some people call soda. 

These popovers are among the better things in life. Crunchy on the outside, stretchy and soft on the inside, with big holes for marmalade. A short list of ingredients, combined in a blender. 


I will admit, I kind of messed these up. I didn't have faith that they would pop because they were hard to fill evenly, and the oven wasn't the right temperature (my fault), but lo and behold, they popped and were lovely.

Thank you, Mom, for ensuring me that they would pop. You were, as always, right.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyful Holiday Season!

It's the star on top of the Christmas tree!
Make these for family, make them when you want to feel impressive. Make them when you need to pop! 

Popovers
Yield: 6 popovers or 10 popovers made in a muffin tin

Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (original recipe calls for whole milk, but any will do)
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for the pan
Method:
  1. In a blender, blend eggs and milk until smooth. Add salt, flour, and butter and blend again until smooth and bubbly. Scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure no flour lumps are stuck, then blend again and leave to rest on the counter for half an hour.
  2. While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put a half teaspoon of oil into each cup of the popover pan or the outer 10 cups of a muffin pan. During the last 10 minutes of resting the batter, put the pan (with the oil in it) into the oven to heat through. 
  3. Quickly, take the pan out of the oven and fill the cups evenly (just the outer ones if you're making these in a muffin tin). This is tricky, so work carefully and start by underfilling. It can help to pour the batter into a measuring cup with a spout before filling. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees without opening the door. By this point, the popovers will have popped! Bake another 15 minutes at this lowered temperature, or until golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving with jam, marmalade, or simply plain.

P.S. I also highly recommend these cookies from Joy the Baker!