Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cranberry Nut Roll

Since buying my jelly roll pan, it hasn't had much play. I made a delightful pumpkin roll a year or two back and since then it's just been another one of my unloved toys. I decided it was time for a romp!
Found this recipe for Cranberry Nut Roll, and it sounded like the perfect addition for my Fall bakefest.
The recipe is pretty simple, and on the site it claims that it is healthy. I can buy into this, I suppose. I was surprised at the separating of the egg whites and egg yolks and then folding technique. There was actually not much flour in the roll mix itself, so I guess this makes it more of a meringue base and thus lightening it up. I also used the lower fat cream cheese in the filling, but did not budge on the real butter.
As I was reading through the recipe, I realized I did not have any wax or parchment paper to put on the pan. I have those neat silicon pan liners so decided to have a go with that. It turned out just fine, the only funny part being you could see where I've used it to bake cookies before. No one but me noticed, of course.

This turned out to be the office favorite. My Jelly Roll Pan dances in delight of the news.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival

Trailer food seems to be a thing here in Austin. I've been to a few, but when I heard there was going to be an event where a good number of them will be in the same place with sampler sized stuff, I could not resist!
The Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival was at the Auditorium Shores just south of Town Lake. I was leary of the parking situation, as I have not conquered that annoyance factor since moving here, but luckily my friend gave some excellent directions to a FREE lot within walking distance. After a morning Zumba class and a short walk to the festival, I was ready to eat!
The place was packed. This was the festival's first year, so lines were really long. I'm glad we decided to go for a lunch outing rather than a dinner outing, as trailers were already starting to run out of food.
Our first stop was Coolhaus. The line was long, but it moved relatively fast. We got two mini ice cream sandwiches - Chocolate Chip cookies with Bacon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Ginger with Lemon. They were the perfect size and they were divine! Definitely inspired to use the flavor combination of lemon and ginger. Their lemon ice cream had such a nice lemony flavor and was perfect for their strong ginger cookies. The Bacon Chocolate Chip was also delicious. I was happy that the bacon flavor was not so overpowering. If you've ever had the Voeges Bacon Chocolate bar, you know what I'm talking about. The salty and sweet was just a nice combination. The mini ice cream sandwiches were a nice cool treat for the perfect Austin day we had!

There were lots of people who brought their dogs. I couldn't believe how many Ridgeback mix dogs I saw, and I was thrilled! I was just glad it was them and not me, my guy would have been way too excited for an event like this. Some fools were even carrying their chihuahuas around...which I thought would be a difficult feat in trying to consume trailer goodies and also care for the little dogs. To each their own.
Next we stood in line for the Pick Up Stixx trailer. The pierogy caught my eye, so we stood. I think my friend and I were easy marks, as everyone seemed to cross through the lines in front of us - didn't matter where we were standing. Everyone was totally friendly though, so no worries! There were quite a few comments about how long the lines were, my favorite being how the line for beer is shorter than the line for food! We finally got to the Pick Up Stixx table, to find out they were in between batches of pierogy and there was a line to the right to stand and wait for them to come out. In the meantime we had their Greek Chicken Croquette. It looked like a mini Wimpy burger with a patty in between made of chicken, spinach, rice, and feta. It came with a side cucumber yogurt sauce. It overall had good flavors, I removed half of the bun because I felt like the bread took away from the patty. The yogurt sauce was an excellent add. We finally got our pierogy, which was also served with a packet of sour cream.
Since our stomachs were sending up the "I'm done" flair and the lines seemed to get longer by the second, we found the shortest line at the time being at what I want to say was The Flying Carpet. I can't quite recall but we were in the South Congress area of the festival so that is what I remember. On our way from Pick Up Stixx to The Flying Carpet we noticed several trailers were already sold out of food! It was probably about 1:30-2pm at this time. The shortest lines were the coffee trailers, and you could literally walk right up to them.
While in line at The Flying Carpet, we opened our foil packaged pierogy. To my surprise it had been deep fried. I was curious how they would pull this off anyways, and I was wondering why it was taking so long - well know I know, because they had to deep fry them! It was kind of dry on its own, the potato filling was just that - I didn't taste any other flavors in it. The sour cream came in quite handy and saved the day for the pierogy. The only other time I've had sour cream on my pierogy was in San Francisco at Cinderella's Russian Restaurant. I'm used to butter, salt, and pepper.
At the Flying Carpet we got the Medjool Date. It seemed like the right thing to get to level out our sweet-salty-sweet pattern. The date was amazing, and again something I'd like to try out on some friends. Basically it's a date sliced in the middle, stuffed with almond butter, and sea salt sprinkled on top. I loved the combination of salty and sweet - and really to me, this was more of a savory dessert, and a not so guilty one at that.

The people kept pouring in as we were leaving. It was lovely weather for this event, and I think since it was the first year, the kinks will be worked out over time. I'm not really sure how they would resolve the line problem other than getting more trailers to jump on the bandwagon. Still a good time outside!

Pumpkin Brownies

First thing I like about this recipe is that it tells you honestly how much effing butter is in the recipe. If you’ll recall my previous Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie recipe from the Quaker lid, it states 1/2 cup of butter, plus 6 tbsp. For those of you who might not know... 1/2 cup of butter is 8 tbsp. So seeing the “plus 6 tbsp” just kind of made me giggle.
Anyhoo, this recipe has you half the base and then you make one half chocolatey goodness and the other pumpkiny goodness. Normally I’m not a fan of nuts in my desserts, but I felt like the walnut bits in the pumpkiny half were a good addition. Plus, HEB helped the decision a little bit by selling already super chopped pieces of walnuts. (Hey, don’t judge...Mama needs a good cutting board!)
You layer one on top of the other and then take a knife to swirl it around. Pretty simple, and if it turns out anything like the batter on the spoon was (after it was retired from use, I promise!)...then these are going to be simply delightful.
These were my personal favorite from the fall baking adventure, so I'll be making mass amounts to take home with me :)

Recipe for Pumpkin Brownies on AllRecipes

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I first tried this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies right before I started this blog. And second time around, this recipe is definitely a keeper (printed out and put into my recipe book). The cookies turn out like muffin tops or mini cakes! Moist and just perfectly spiced with some drops of chocolate. The only thing I can say that is mine about this recipe is my VIP tool for today, Pampered Chef Medium Scoop. I don't even remember when I bought this was either high school or college. But it makes drop cookies a cinch.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Now, if there's anything I've learned about Oatmeal cookies over the years I've been baking them is...nothing beats the recipe under the Quaker lid. Knowing I had a 2 lb bag of Craisins at home (Costco, I <3 you!), I just pulled the lid on the bin of Quaker to peek at the rest of the ingredients for the cookies. Put the Quaker bin in my basket and picked up the brown sugar.
Nothing fancy, just replaced the raisins with Craisins. I already know they will be a hit. They are delicious!

Recipe from Quaker
You'll get my butter giggle in a later post...

Not-as-fatty Quaker Oatmeal Cookie Recipe