Thursday, March 03, 2016

Baking Weekend

Last weekend we had to do a ton of baking for various events.  We tried some new recipes and had some successes, as well as some failures.

First, Wednesday night we tried a lemon cookie recipe--"lemon crinkle cookies".  I had seen some reference to them on facebook, and Anna LOVES anything lemon, so we thought we'd give them a go.  The weird thing about the recipe was that it only listed powdered sugar, but I just thought huh, that's different, and I never really gave it much more thought . . . until the dough just didn't really come together, and it certainly didn't taste sweet enough.  We looked back over the recipe to make sure we hadn't missed anything, but we hadn't.  That's when it really jumped out at me that since we were supposed to roll the balls of dough in powdered sugar (which was specified in the recipe), then there must be other sugar earlier that somehow didn't make it into the ingredient list that was supposed to be creamed with the butter.  I googled other "lemon crinkle cookies" recipes, and indeed they all list 1 cup of granulated sugar, as well as the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, which was clearly just for rolling the dough balls in.  I did look up the conversion factor, and you're supposed to add 2 cups of powdered sugar for every 1 cup of granulated sugar, so I had dough with 1/4 the right amount of sugar.  No wonder the dough had such issues!  We baked up one batch.  They tasted vaguely scone-y, and certainly not worthy of being brought to Bible study on Friday night, which was when we had signed up to bring dessert!  I told Anna we could bake them and put a lemon glaze on them, but you know, that just hasn't been at the top of my priority list, so the poor neglected bowl of too-sticky not-sweet dough is still sitting in the outside fridge, likely on its way to the trash can.  Ah well.  You'll note I did NOT link to the recipe, lol.  I still can't believe I managed to find the one wrong recipe out there, and then I didn't even pay enough attention to figure out it was in fact wrong!  So for Bible study we ended up making my old stand-by of cookie dough brownies, which are really yummy, and a banana snack cake, thereby using up the 4 brown bananas on the counter.

Saturday was Luke's birthday, and he asked for chicken packets, which Anna actually suggested, and which we haven't had in a long while because they are somewhat time-intensive.  Luke asked for just a regular cake plus ice cream for his birthday dessert.  He's been reffing several basketball games each Saturday (and pulling in $35/game as a highest-rated referee, so well-worth the time!), so I made the cake and decorated it while he wasn't home.  I made a poorly constructed cake in the shape of a car that was definitely not fit for public viewing, lol.  My original cake that I was shaping didn't rise as high as I thought it would, so I didn't really have enough material to work with.  I almost just threw it all away, but then I thought that would be a real waste, so I made it work.  I don't know if you've ever read the comic strip "Baby Blues", but this car had sort of the same lines, at least in the front, as Darryl and Wanda's minivan.  But hey, it tasted great, and there was none left by the next day, so none was wasted.  You'll note I did NOT post a picture of the cake.  Ha!

After feeling like I had been bathing in sugar for the past few days, what I wanted to do Saturday night did NOT involve baking.  But I had signed up to bring a main dish and a dessert for our church's fellowship dinner Sunday after church.  Back when we first started attending, in late 2006 (that long ago?!?), we used to have fellowship meals every first Sunday of the month, after Communion.  I loved it!  They were really wonderful times to just visit and get to know other people in the church.  But eventually we moved into places where we couldn't use a kitchen, so the meals just sort of went away.  I'm so happy that they have started up again, although only quarterly.  We're a much bigger church now, so the logistics are much trickier!  The Lord blessed us with AMAZING weather last Sunday, especially for the end of February, so many people could eat outside.  Of course the downside was that it was really muddy out there where all the kids were playing, and so they got super dirty.  Verity in particular looked like we sent her off to work in the coal mines, as she shamelessly stole food from plates that people left within her reach.  I had to give Micah, Drew, and Verity baths as soon as we got home, which made me glad I had never bothered to give them baths Saturday night, when I usually do.  No wasted effort!

Okay, that was a big rabbit trail.  Where was I going with all that?  Oh yes, food for the potluck.  So the theme was "southern cooking".  I decided that meant for me a nice, comforting, can-make-a-lot-at-once chicken casserole, so I tried a new recipe which was very creatively called "chicken noodle casserole".  It was actually pretty good, so I DID link to that, lol.  I made it up Saturday night and then cooked it Sunday morning.  I also made my dessert Saturday night.  I decided to try "salted caramel chocolate chip cookies".  I took the advice of one of the reviewers and just baked them in a pan, since I was pretty tired and really sick of baking sweet things.  They were yummy though!  I'll definitely make them again.  So all that cooking and baking at least ended on a high note!

Next week will be another cooking/baking-intensive week, because Nathan is coming home for spring break tomorrow, Lord willing!  We all can't wait to see him!!

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