Sunday, March 23, 2008
A good stay-at-home Easter weekend: lots of baking!
I couldn't resist acquiring yet more cookie cutouts, this time an Easter bunny and an egg, which I used with my usual brown sugar cookie recipe.
I had thoughts of decorating the cookies with the kids, using lots of garishly colored royal icing. I have the food coloring, the sparkly sugary nonpareils... They would have loved it. But I didn't have the energy to make this a family project. And I don't like to eat royal icing (except on Christmas gingerbread cookies... which I never get to post about as Christmas time is too busy).
So I used dark and white chocolate instead. I didn't temper the chocolate. I simply melted it directly in the microwave in one of these squeeze bottles that I bought in case I might one day want to decorate a plated dessert with artful swishes of raspberry coulis or chocolate sauce. The chocolate hardened nicely, and while it isn't particularly shiny it was firm enough to withstand being wrapped up in a cellophane bag as a small gift.
I also made brioche, this time from Sherry Yard's Secrets of Baking. I just love brioche, and find it quite easy to make, provided you have a stand mixer.
Last night I also made (and froze before baking) croissants, for brunch guests tomorrow morning. I'm crossing my fingers these come out better than the last batch...
Oh and I nearly forgot: on Friday I made my first attempt at soft pretzels. I'll be experimenting more with these, the shaping alone is lots of fun.