Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeling better...back to baking

The cold finally backed down and made life I was back to work in the kitchen yesterday. I loved the idea of sweet potato in a cupcake ever since I had seen a lady in East Haven on TV mentioned as a winner in a cook-off. They showed her lovely cupcakes and mentioned that one was made of the unusual ingredient- sweet potato. So I found a recipe to get me started which was called 'intermediate'. Which to me meant 'more work than you are used to'

It was my first try at a 'reduction' and I was a bit nervous as I always am about trying something I don't yet understand. I did it slightly wrong in the way of putting ingredients together, but it seemed alright anyway. It was used to coat the top of the finished cupcakes and then the rest was used in the frosting, which was VERY sticky to make. Marshmallow fluff from my childhood fav. sandwiches was folded into a huge amount of butter and that cider reduction stuff. Folding was a real workout for my wrists!!!

Had to coat chopped pecans with melted butter and a bit of salt and toast them. Never did that simple step before either. But it was worth it, cause they sure tasted good that way.

THEN came getting the frosting onto the cupcake!!! I had run out of the long plastic disposable bags so I thought I would use the first of the parchment paper triangles to make a bag. Well, they came out MUCH shorter and I had a terrible time keeping the frosting from squishing out the top and all over my fingers and I had to refill a million times, and it was a colossal mess!!! If someone had been home it would have been a hilarious video to have on record. But I smooshed thru and the cupcakes don't show any damage at all.
Forgot to mention, when I was feeling so miserable with the cold, I did manage a simple-but decadent- bar cookie....

On the same day I made those fantastic sweet potato cupcakes with apple cider frosting, I decided to tackle BISCOTTI.
And again, this was a type of baking I had not quite understood how to tackle. I did buy a biscotti baking pan in hopes they would come out better in the proper pan. And of course, it came with a recipe!!!

So I thought, before I try any fancy ones, lets use the one that is meant to be used in this pan!! As I put it together, I got the gist of what was necessary to make them taste so good and yet still be dry and crispy and dunk-able!! The dough was super sticky so I did add more flour than it called for to get it to shape into the long roll and fit the pan. It also said the roll would be 2 1/2 inches high and yet fit to the edges of the pan. NO WAY was it that high, but I hoped for the best.

I LOVED the results! And I will definately make more of these!

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