As I was beginning to make these scrumptious Oatmeal Raisin Cookies I was reminded of my first cookie baking experience back when I was 8 years old. My neighborhood friend, Elizabeth was over and we decided to make up a batch of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to snack on using the recipe from the inside of the lid of Quaker Oats. The recipe had two columns of ingredients and as we set out to make them the two of us weren’t paying attention to who was plopping what into the bowl. It wasn’t until later did we realize we put in maybe half of the ingredients…that was our first error. The dough was moist, however, and would hold together in a cookie dough ball shape. We thought we were professional chefs! Into the oven the little cookie balls went, and I had the novel idea to lock the oven door shut so no heat could escape. To my surprise when I tried to open the lock as the alarm was sounding it wouldn’t budge. Frantically we called my mother over and she informed us that when the oven gets locked it goes into a self-cleaning mode, raising the temperature to an extraordinarily high degree for an extended period of time. All we could do is wait and watch our cookies burn. Once the oven was done self-cleaning we removed the cookie sheet and examined the evidence. When trying to lift the cookies from the pan they crumbled into a granola-like consistency. My mom was daring enough to taste these failed cookies and to all of our surprise it was delicious! We topped vanilla ice cream with the granola and enjoyed our little snack that we had created. Professional chefs without a doubt.
My ridiculously shaped Meyer lemon tree fell over yesterday. The lemons hanging precariously on that lanky branch must have weighed too much and all of a sudden it just tipped right over! I put the tree upright, picked those lemons, and clipped half of the branch off. Although it spilled dirt all over the carpet, I was kind of glad I could finally cut back the branch (I didn’t want to trim it before the lemons were ripe). Now hopefully it will grow in a more civilized manner. In the mean time, I have four beautiful Meyer lemons ready to be eaten. This tasty recipe uses a whole lemon, rind and all.
Earl grey tea is a type of black tea that is scented with the oil from a bergamot orange, adding a light citrus flavor to the deep smooth tea. When consumed as a beverage, it pairs quite deliciously with shortbread or other tea cookies. However, as someone who frequently dreams up crazy food concoctions, I enjoy baking the actual tea leaves right into the cookie itself. Crazy, I know. As it turns out their delicate flavor and light texture makes them incredibly addicting. So addicting in fact that I often have to give half of them away before I devour the whole pan as they come out of the oven. These Earl Grey Tea Cookies are great to enjoy with a cup of tea or packaged as a gift.
Several years ago I was visiting family in Salem, MA, a beautiful city full of history and culture. Better yet, Salem is home to one of the best bakeries I have ever come across. Unfortunately, I do not even know the name of it. I was probably 10 years old, my family and I were walking down a sidewalk near the ocean that was lined with cute little shops. We came across some packaged goodies for sale on a table in front of a bakery and took a quick look to see what they had. We found these huge chocolate chip cookies called Horribly Good Cookies. This sparked our interest and we entered the store to ask the woman why they are called “Horribly Good.” Her reply was that they are so incredibly chocolatey that either people think they are just horrible, or people think they are wicked good! Being lovers of chocolate we decided to buy several cookies. Upon opening the bag and sinking my teeth into what I assumed was just a chocolate chip cookie was the biggest surprise a 10 year old could have. The cookie was actually stuffed with a brownie! I decided that my mission in life was to try to figure out how to replicate that Horribly Good Cookie from the bakery in Salem. I think I have finally created a replica that will suit my desire for these cookies, though nothing will beat the surprise of that first bite I had on the beach with my family all those years ago.
I sat outside this morning drinking my cup of formosa oolong and contemplating what delicious food I should make today. As I stared into my cup of tea it dawned on me. A twice baked cookie would compliment my tea quite nicely. But it couldn’t just be any biscotti, it had to include summer fruit and, of course, chocolate.