Posts Tagged ‘baking’

If you follow my blog you may know that there is a young baker whom I’ve challenged (quite by accident) to produce expressions of culinary simplicity. Her first expression involved dark chocolate and cinnamon. The second was a shortbread cookie … with a center of soft rose-colored guava paste. The third expression was probably the most on point  … a macaroon with just four ingredients, like a little sweet cloud with a crust. And for my birthday out of nowhere appears a bag of sweet morsels, still simple, just colored orange ’cause that’s a favorite color I mentioned one day, and just a few sprinkles to brighten the day. I’m a rather lucky person, I have to say. 🙂

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Now, I have this young friend who loves to bake. She is always regaling me with tales of items produced the previous weekend. All sorts of stuff that sounds quite yummy, and also sounds quite complex. One day, she grilled me, asking what kind of cookies I liked.

I said, “Simple ones.”

She frowned. “What does that mean?”

I shrugged. “I’ll eat most cookies but I tend toward short bread, Lorna Doones, chocolate chip cookies that don’t have many chips, that kind of thing.”

She slammed her hand on the table. “I’m going to make you some cookies. What do you want in them?”

“I want it to be an expression of simplicity.”

She didn’t quite curse but I did present her with a culinary challenge.

Recently I was presented with a tupperware of her first expression.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies spiced with cayenne pepper and dusted with cinnamon sugar.

As I looked up from the cookies she said, “I’m still working on it.”

I’m looking forward to more containers filled with her simplicity. 🙂


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I’ve written about this bread before (please see here).  This time I managed to photograph the end result before consuming all the crumbs.

I’ve been asked for his recipe.  He says that he simply plays with the basic Cheese Bread recipe found on page 749 of The Joy of Cooking (1997 ed.).  He never uses the same selection of cheese or herbs twice.  Mostly it all depends on what’s in the refrigerator or around the kitchen on a given day.  This particular holiday loaf had a lot of Parmesan, black pepper and rosemary.  Maybe some Cheddar and Gruyere?   Well, at least, he keeps track of his culinary revisions on an increasingly smudgy index card.

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Joy is also found in Steve’s cheese bread that he likes to make on a whim and never the same way twice!  I should have photographed the finished product, all golden brown out of the oven, but somehow eating seemed more important.  I’ll try harder next time. 😉

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