Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge July 2009/Milan Cookie

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I tackled the milan cookies, which were very similar to the Pepperidge Farm milan cookies. I think this version was a softer cookie, but still tasted great. Here's the recipe:

12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract• 2 tablespoons lemon extract• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour• Cookie filling, recipe follows
Cookie filling:• 1/2 cup heavy cream• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped• 1 orange, zested
1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kauai Vacation

Traditional hawaiian luau at the Smith Family Farm. We dined on kalua pig cooked in an imu (earth oven), haupia (coconut pudding), and poi (hawaiian tarot starch). Later we listened to live music and watched alot of wonderful entertainment.

Overlooking the tarot farms down in the valley. At the foot of Hanalei's misty green mountains is their most beautiful crop, taro. These heart shaped plants grow in flooded patches. Poi is made from the tarot root and is pretty bland resembling mashed potatoes. I ate it with the pork they served, it was decent.

Looks like a postcard!

Spouting horn blowhole on Kauai South shore. The poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube and releases a spout of water up to 60 feet high during large swells.

Hanalei Tarot Farms

Na'pali Coastline

Waterfalls at the end of our 8 mile hike up the Napali Coast. This water was freezing!

Princeville Resort