Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Baking Time!

So, I have yet to do this in a blog, not because I haven't wanted to, but because, well, I simply haven't. But no more! It's time for a fun food blog! And for those of you expecting some rigid broccoli dish because I was on the Biggest Loser, wrong-o! For starters I do my very best to eat healthy and still retain a lot of the good food ideas I learned from my time at the ranch, but I have always liked to expand my knowledge in the realm of food and health and continue to do so, regardless of one set of rules on how to eat. Furthermore, I love to bake and that can be very difficult for me as I love to then eat my bakery. And well bakery is definitely no apple with a side of tofu. It's delicious sugary goodness. But according to this new book I read, it's not all bad:

You can follow some pretty basic rules about food and do quite well for yourself. The author even referenced the French (I do so want to be more like the French in this way!) and how they eat pastries, drink wine, have some of the most decadent meals around, yet are slimmer, healthier, and live longer than most Americans. Read the book or study the French like I have been to find out why. They're quite riveting.

I tried out this rule this week:

And while, if you know me I adore baking so I can't take it on fully, as the author suggests most people wouldn't want to bake very often, so it's okay when you do, but I myself find it incredibly therapeutic and fulfilling, so I could bake daily. But that didn't stop me from wanting to try a scrumptious new something and decidedly not feel bad about it, or that I can only ever nosh on fruit for dessert. Bologna! The point the author makes in this book is that desserts are meant to be had and enjoyed, people! If you aren't bogging down your body with a whole slew of unneeded preservatives and unrecognizables (like in some store-bought, boxed, cream-filled bon bon) and if you have it in moderation of course. So here is my yummy little treat, including my few fun tips for making you feel even less guilty about having it.

First off I wanted to try and make shortbread cookies, which I have never attempted before. I have grown rather fond of them as an adult, though I never was as a child, because duh, where the heck is the chocolate? Well, I remedied that fact here.

First I found this recipe on the foodnetwork:

IN 6 INGREDIENTS (I love simple, though I can appreciate hard, that's what she said, no time!)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

I mixed the butter, vanilla and water first, then added the dry ingredients. It called for a food proccessor. Blah, I did it by hand. You don't need that fancy pants gadget. Then place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches long. Tightly twist each end of the wrap in opposite directions. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Arrange on nonstick cookie sheet. Bake until the edges are just light brown, about 12 minutes, you may need to rotate the pan halfway through.

--You can store the dough in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze uncooked log for up to a month.

First tip- Make less!
I made a half batch which filled up one cookie sheet perfectly, so I was not bombarded with zillions of tempting cookies.

Second tip- Share!
I shared with my boyfriend, obviously, and also gave away a baggie of cookies to the cable repair man today. Sharing helps limit your calories and guilt. And it makes you feel like a lovely lady. Or man, there can be man baker/sharers.

Third tip- Just let yourself enjoy the stinkin cookie!
The plain shortbread cookie just wasn't cutting it and I wanted a little more pizzazz. So I made my own chocolate topping, the don't feel bad version too, so that... I didn't feel bad!

Chocolate topping:

2 squares Godiva 85% extra dark chocolate
1 packet Truvia
2 TBSP (ish) of Unsweetened Almond Milk

Microwave for about a minute while stirring occasionally. Top cookies, or dip halfway. Results:

Pure un-guilty Frenchy decadence.

And look there are only three cookies left and I am saving them for DC. Not too shab.


Shawnee said...

Ah how fun! and delicious! why are the French so cool?! I mean, cheese + bread + wine + croissants + bakery .. my heart aches! Baking is one of my favorite therapies too.


Marcy said...

Most excellent. Try paleo baking to eliminate white flour and cut back on sugar. Almond flour chocolate chip cookies sweetened only with honey...delicious!