Archive for April, 2011

I imagine some of you are still drooling over the chocolate chip cookies from my recent post. Here’s an update on the goings on in the cookie department…

On the day after, the cookies lost some of their appeal to me. The texture was still chewy and dreamy, but the flavor had become far to one-dimensional. Now, seeing as these lovelies will probably be sold on the day after, that just won’t do. So after a careful evaluation of the flavor profiles, I edited the recipe and got back on the chocolate chip cookie horse.

The results are chilling in the fridge for the night…

What’s that? Escargot Candy? Oh, yes. I’m getting to that.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the extra egg whites that are available post-chocolate chip cookie dough creation. Then I remembered my true candy love – Escargot. No, no, no. There are no snails harmed in the making of this sweet treat. The final candy is just shaped like one. 🙂

The first layer is fluffy, sweet, homemade marshmallow. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! =09

The second layer is a dark, rich, salty caramel. It really is irresistible. I can still taste it…chewy and satisfyingly carame…..oh. Sorry. I’m teasing you, aren’t I?


So the caramel gets spread across the top of the marshmallow, and they set up together in the chill chest.

Tomorrow, it will be cut, shaped, and dipped into dark chocolate.

Yes, really. You’ll see! I’ll put some pics up tomorrow. 🙂

Sweet dreams!



To make the escargot, layer a batch of homemade caramel on a parchment lined half sheet pan.

Then, after the caramel has cooled, layer a batch of homemade marshmallow right on top. I use Alton Brown’s recipe.

Once everything has cooled enough to touch, cut strips of candy and roll them. Then dip in melted chocolate. YUM! NOTE: If the rolling is too complicated, just cut the candy into squares and dip. It’s just as good!


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A First Humble Offering

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This morning, we tested the cookie quality at room temperature. Purely for research, of course. Scientific and all that…

Chewy, cakey texture inside. LOTS of chocolate. Crispy, buttery edges. Lovely floral notes of real vanilla. Oh. My. Goodness. That is a seriously good cookie. If only I could figure out what Caroline did with my SD card so that I could take a picture with something other than my iPhone!

You know you want some…taking orders now. 😉

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Divinity, Indeed

Chewy chocolate chip cookies...fresh out of the oven.

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A New Venture

A friend of mine recently suggested the possibility of setting up a booth at the local farmers’ market. So this got me thinking of what things I could possibly sell. Naturally, my thoughts turned to baking. Anyone who knows me well probably already guessed that. 🙂

For the past few days, I have been researching successful baking ventures, pricing, visiting area markets, and a plethora of other things. I have come to the exciting conclusion that this has the potential to be at least satisfyingly successful.

So here’s the plan… This will be a family venture. Each week, a different baked good will be chosen by each family member. The kids will contribute to the baking of their item, learning all of the fantastic things that baking teaches (math, chemistry, cooking…deliciousness) and having first-hand experience being a part of a business. What a great way for them to learn about the value of work and what money really is all about.

I’m so excited about the possibilities! No, I do not have any delusions of becoming rich off of this. I do, however, see it as a great little family business!

The first recipe I’m setting out to perfect is chocolate chip cookies. Simple…and a best seller! Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie, for Pete’s sake? My personal favorite recipe is Alton Brown’s “Chewy”. But I like a more toffee flavor to my cookie, so I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit my taste and used my homemade vanilla extract.

It’s seriously good batter. Which has to rest in the fridge for 12 hours so that the flour can absorb the egg and allow the cookie to bake around the edges before it spreads to far, keeping it chewy and delicious. I know you’re drooling already. I’ll keep you posted on the results once I bake them off tonight for dessert.

In the words of Alton Brown: "The hardware and the software".

Homemade vanilla extract, aged 4 months. It is intense and puts anything store bought to shame.

The batter. Rich, dreamy, and very difficult to resist devouring.

Dollops of cookie batter delight chilling in the fridge.

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I’ve been trying to find some fun ways to encourage and motivate my Bigs, and I remembered all of the cute and inspiring motivational posters that my teachers had in their classrooms. I started digging around on the net for some posters I could buy and discovered that it would not be remotely cost effective! So, I took matters into my own hands and found some great quotes, cute clip art, and inspiring photos that I assembled into motivational posters. My plan is to “wallpaper” their bedroom and bathroom doors with these great thoughts!

Here is the first set. Please feel free to print them for your own Bigs’ enjoyment! 🙂 Many of these posters are either used directly or adapted from Free Printable Posters – a great site! Definitely check them out, too!

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