Basic rule of life: Start at the bottom and work your way up. This rule is not always obeyed by clever or lucky people. Where am I going with this? I don’t know. Just wanted to point out that I prepared the topping for this cookie before preparing the dough. See how my brain (doesn’t) work(s).
All of the brownie and cookie doughs that have lots of stuff inside need a strong spatula for mixing. I use my gelato scoop. I’ve mentioned this before, but love the gelato scoop so thought I’d mention it again.
What’s the meaning of this “reluctant biscotti” tag? Well (Please allow me to say “well” a lot. I don’t know what else to substitute to introduce my unexpectedness, excuse-making remarks.).. Well, these chewy brownies turned out like crusty biscotti. OK, they were a little more moist than biscotti, but not much. They were crusty, crumbly, tastey, but very cookie like and not chewy – except maybe for a couple of squares toward the middle of the pan. But, HEY!, I’ve already jumped to the end right at the beginning. What’s that about? Hmmmm. And what if my life-sharing friends and family don’t agree with my assessment? HEY-HEY, it’s their/your assessment that really counts. Reserving just a little space for the francophone artist in me that gets to throw a fit about his cooking no matter what the world says — but just a very little space. OK?
Hmmm. How did this begin? Where did it all start? Aha!
And where’d it go from there? Oh yah. Now I remember.
And then what? Then what?
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Looks can be deceiving? I need my taste testers from lower elementary Art department to let me know what they think about this brownie that I call “my reluctant biscotti”.
HUMILITY NOTE: From the beginning of this blog, my goal has been to establish a standard skill set to produce the product in a consistent way before going my own way. It’s easy to say, “Hey it didn’t work out, but it was still good.” This MAY be such a case, although this brownie-turned-cookie is open for critique. There are some recipes in the book for pie. I think one of them is called “Humble”. (wink)
This day, October 30, was a 2-recipe day, that explains all this stuff on the table. I baked the Magnolia carrot cake and a batch of fruitcake muffins. Let’s just take a look at the carrot cake on this blog.
What about that carrot cake? Well, there were detours, and I’ll explain why.
DETOUR(S): Why? I baked a carrot cake for some friends about a year ago and they kinduh went crazy over it. I felt the need to respect and try to repeat that success. I followed the Magnolia recipe, in principle, but made a few changes.
The FORM of the cake – which carried icing implications. I used a Maryann Cake Pan. No icing on the side of this. About the only thing it tolerates is a confectioners sugar dusting.
The pan creates a well at the top that MUST be filled with some gooey-goodie.
The FLOUR. Magnolia only calls for all-purpose flour. At least that’s all I’ve seen so far. My earlier success with this cake had a combination of flours, so 1) I kept Magnolia’s portions, but 2) divided it between four different flours:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup spelt (These older, whole grain flours contain more protein and add a nutty, already sweet flavor to a cake or muffin.)
PINEAPPLE. The recipe calls for one 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple with its juice. I had only sliced pineapple available. I chopped it up leaving bigger chunks inside the cake. I would have liked the chunks to be smaller but all those who ate the cake seemed to like it.
The ICING. The Magnolia icing for this cake is the Cream Cheese Icing. I made a 1/2 recipe and added
1 cup of yoghurt
FRESH, SWEET, pineapple chunks
I got it all mixed up – in the best sense of that expression.
And it popped out looking beautiful.
Beautiful, until I turned the cake upside-down to take it out of the pan. It MOSTLY came out well, but I had a couple of torn spots. LEARNED: 1) You have to be very careful with the Maryann Cake Pan to grease and flour it well. It is easy to miss a spot or two and have some stick. 2) Let the cake cool completely. As a cake or cookie cools, the form becomes better fixed and less likely to tear. The cooling also lets a cake contract and separate itself from the pan.
I didn’t get a picture of the cake I baked for two reasons. First, I didn’t want to fill the well with the filling (yoghurt-infused icing). So I waited until just before “Happy Birthday to You” to fill the well and COVER IT WITH CRUSHED PECANS !!!. Secondly, we set about to devour the cake rather quickly. It was the right thing to do.