So Many Recipes….So Little Time

February 2, 2009

My dear friend Jane’s daughter turned 17 this week. While that might not seem like such an unusual event (after all, there are 17-year olds filling most shopping malls, movie theatres and, of course, high schools), it is, like more and more birthdays and anniversaries, a reminder of just how quickly time is passing. I know, I know. I’ve heard it throughout my life from people older than myself, and since becoming a parent and watching my two daughters grow have felt it on a daily basis. But somehow Clare turning 17 is different. I remember talking to her parents about whether or not becoming parents might be in their future. I was there the day her mother learned she was having a girl and was at the hospital both hours before and after she was born. Now, that small being who was, minutes ago, just a twinkle in her parents’ eyes is now a young woman planning her own adult future.

 

So, you may ask, how does this relate to my food blog? What does Clare’s birthday and the rapid movement of time have to do with baking and cooking and other VERY IMPORTANT pastimes? Well, it makes me reflect on my own baking future. As I noted in one of my last posts, I have dozens and dozens of cookbooks. At the time I wrote that, I did not also confess to the fact that I subscribe to 4-5 cooking magazines that come on a monthly basis that I have been receiving for over 20 years. Now, comes the real truth: I have a very difficult time throwing any of them away. I have to be absolutely certain that I have no need for the recipes, travel tips, or wine suggestions to recycle my cooking magazines. I don’t need to do the math in order to convey the numbers of recipes that are in my house at this very moment waiting for me to try them out.  Add to that the fact that I have recently become obsessed with 6-8 food blogs that I check on a daily basis for new recipes and you probably can sense my worry about time passing and how relatively little baking I can get done in my life time. I think that’s one of the reasons the Tuesdays With Dorie group appeals to me. I love keeping lists of things I want to bake. To have a group with whom I can bake through an entire book…that’s my idea of a very good time.

 

So, as I reflected on my baking mortality, I decided that I have to pick up the pace a bit. I can’t just bake one recipe from Dorie’s book this weekend (the only time I really have for baking), but I needed to put my mark on two (I always put the date and comments in my cookbooks after trying a new recipe).  So, I started with the World Peace cookies. In Dorie’s previous book, Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops, she calls them, “Korova Cookies,” apparently the name that Pierre Herme gave to very similar sables he sells in his Parisian pastry shop.  I have to admit I prefer the previous name and often think of them as Korova cookies. I follow Dorie’s recipe quite closely, except for a few details. First, she seems to scare people into not mixing the dough very much, contributing to the experience that many TWD bloggers had with crumbly dough. I always mix them until the flour is completely incorporated into the dough and it has clearly come together. Second, she suggests Valrhona bittersweet chocolate for the chopped chocolate bits. I try to use Valrhona cocoa in the recipe, but can’t seem to stay away from bittersweet chocolate with orange for the chopped chocolate. This week, I found Theo bittersweet chocolate with orange at Whole Foods and couldn’t have been more ecstatic. Theo Chocolate is one of the first organic bean to bar chocolate factories in the U.S. which makes remarkable chocolates. The World Peace cookies provided the perfect backdrop for enjoying the orange bittersweet bar. I highly, highly recommend that all of you try this!!!!

 

An iPhone Image of World Peace Cookies

An iPhone Image of World Peace Cookies

The second Dorie recipe that I tried this weekend was, “Lemon-Poppyseed muffins.”  My oldest daughter asked that I make them and it was worth it to see her smiling face as she saw them cooling on the rack when she woke up this morning. These are really perfect. The texture of the muffins is a wonderful lighter than pound cake crumb and they have just the right amount of lemon in the muffin and the glaze. This is another recipe that I strongly recommend. Now my dilemma will be how often do I make these recipes in the future. In a few weeks when I have a craving for a chocolate cookie or a lemon muffin, do I make these again or do I forge ahead trying a new recipe from a magazine, a cookbook in my collection, a recipe I’ve copied from a blog, or a book I have checked out from the library? Maybe I just write my own cookbook, The 1000 Recipes You Must Try Before You Die, and then all of my baking will be research for the future.

 

Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

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7 Responses to “So Many Recipes….So Little Time”

  1. jane S Says:

    I was surprised to be on the blog. we all read it and are quite touched to be included on your new blog. it is sooo fun to read it, I await your new entries. I actually made the breton apple cake because your picture looked so delicious. We will be trying it tonight. You are an inspiration and a great friend

  2. Jill Says:

    I prefer the name Korova cookies too, but they taste great no matter what the name! Good luck getting through your collected recipes.

  3. Megan Says:

    Oh, lemon muffins. I’ll have to go find that recipe – thanks for the heads up!

    I’d like to see a list of 1000 recipes to make before you die – that would be very interesting!

  4. Danielle Says:

    Good idea using the chocolate with the orange.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Mm… both of the recipes look great!
    (Oh, and having a 14 and 15 year old I think about the passing time thing quite a bit, too. And I’m sure at my 20 year high school reunion in a couple of years it will be odd, I’ll be there, having kids old enough to drive, while there will be others with babies and toddlers!)

  6. Ivette Says:

    Your cookies look great! I bet the orange gave them a nice kick of flavor.. great job!


  7. Great idea to use the orange chocolate!


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