Sunday, 11 October 2009

Recipe for Disaster

My muse today is baking!
(with a very dodgy oven)

Hello everybody! Are you all well? I do hope so. Now, here's a cuppa and have a piece some lovely shortbread. Who made them? Why me, silly! No, really, I did.

I also wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Mrs B, my picture was up yesterday for the 31 days of Halloween and I have met so many new friends! I am beyond excited! I don't know who has won yet, but the support was lovely and I am having a ball! Thank you to every one,

((Big Claire Hugs)).

So, you ask, why no Guilty on Sunday post Mmmmm Missy?
Well, because I would be repeating my self about my promise of a post to dear Holly with a play with words she had given me that I didn't complete. But! Here they are! I have posted you all a recipe of how to make this yummy shortbread (the hard way) and basically the dos and don'ts that I pretty much learnt as I went along. I wanted to add Holly's words too.

Using representation of words through the medium of shortbread baking as I like to say. The words chosen for me are in bold littered across this feeble attempt to make them sound meaningful. Gulp.

Wait, but before we delve into this story I am passing you a apron. It is gonna get messy.

The Wee Witches Shortbread!

(The diet will have to wait. It makes me feel sad and picayune anyway! Shortbread, Yum, Yum!)

What do we need for this biscuit delight? First things first:

A wee pinch of Salt

A hole lotta butta! 455 grams of butter

Sweet love! 220 grams brown sugar

Also enough flour to represent the Swiss Alps. 560 grams of all purpose flour.
Now the science:

Stick the butter and the sugar in a big bowl, switch on the good old whisk, and whip up a storm for at least two minutes!
(Take note: You might want to wear protective clothing and wrap you kitchen in cling film, as my effort went everywhere but in the bowl! Also speed 5 is not the best idea.)
Also stop power before you take whisk out of bowl. Trust me, it just makes things worse.

Anyway, after I scrapped the last of the concoction off the ceiling...........I added the flour. Very carefully. Learning my lesson from before, I put my whisk on speed one and started whisking from the sides of the bowl, as me being a fool no more, didn't want a huge explosion of flour to add to the mix.

Regrettably I did forget to take the wooden spatula out of bowl, causing major technical problems and nearly mangled fingers. So I would take all things that are not ingredients out of mixing bowl if I were you.
Another 2 minutes of whisking flutters and your pastry should come together quite well and you can knead with your hands. Now for a magic spell to ensure the best shortbread shapes ever.
Wrap dough in baking parchment and place in fridge for 1 hour.

This makes your shortbread cuttings hold their shape when baking in the oven.

Yes, as you can see I have Plan B placed in my fridge. If this recipe does not work out, we have Lemon meringue pie! ( And a bottle of wine poking its neck through. I sense a toxic combination coming on! Come on, I am trying, these are big words Holly!)

Now, it begins. As we wait for time to pass through the sand timer we can use it effectively by cutting baking parchment to place over baking sheets. (Do not have a hissy fit like moi, when cutting the left hand side the paper slipped and wreck my perfect rectangle! I am sorry, but I was fuming for at least two seconds. A way to pass the hour I suppose.

After I stopped for second I realised I need a apron. Really bad.

Times up! Now, since the was a large amount of ingredients you would think I would realise there was going to be a large amount of dough.

No, I didn't. Not until I took it out of the fridge and immediately started rolling away, realising I would have to take the dough to the streets as there was loads o it! (I had to pack a huge bundle of it over night to make batch another for tonight. Which I did. They are now all gone. They came out of the oven fifteen minutes ago. Yum Yum!)

I cut my Halloween shapes out and decorated with a cocktail stick. You have to prick the top of the biscuit with a fork or some sort before they go in the oven. I went with the Tom Cruise method.

Oh my God, too much bloody dough! I had to make bigger pieces! I was going to use the rim of the mixing bowl as a template at this rate! By the way, Boo,The top ones are yours honey! I made them for you!
and into the oven they go! (preheated oven at 177degrees) and yes I was wearing green.

I love the way the light mirror images the kitchen through the window. It's like through the looking glass!

15 minutes later the Halloween delights should have a nice golden tan and ready to rock on a wire rack until cooled! But wait!ICING SUGAR! (also liked to be known as fairy dust.)

I Knew I bought this wee gem for something. It is a tea strainer, but I bought it because it called to me. Just one of those things, you know.
Lets really dress them up with a firm sprinkling of fairy dust! Just like snow!

Yay! Look at my snow prints!
I like the snow angel best!

Big fella will have tidy all this up! I have a great discernment about these type of things. It will happen.

Why? Because these wee witches shortbread was Luscious if I do say so myself and I am worth it! I found what to give every body at Christmas now! No more silly presents from me!

Big fella didn't speak to me for half an hour as he was stuffing his gob full of shortbread. If that's not a compliment I don't know what is.
Thank you Holly for being ever patient with me, my play with words has finally been fulfilled.

PS: I have finished reading The Hobbit, fantastic it was! So just to get in to the Halloween mood my next choice of reading is: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman! Please link on my reading picture as their is a fantastic website linked about the house, costumes, the works!

I told a work colleague that i was going to bake these short bread beauty's over the weekend when she cried out, "Oh my God, baking? You are so old fashioned girl!"


Where's that bottle of wine, I'll show you who's straight laced around here love!
Until next time and oh, I am going to visit my friend the wee witch on an adventure soon. Do you want to come along? I would love it if you could! I will go hunt out some coffee flasks and blankets (and of course shortbread), as it is getting cold!

See you again soon! Toodle pip!



The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I love this blog so much I can hardly stand it. You my dear have an eye for the divine. I will follow with interest and appreciation.

robin said...

Oh, those cookies look so YUMMY! (Love the scales and the measuring tools... you look like a pro!) And dare I say that I would have eaten plenty of that dough too! They look perfect for dipping in hot cinnamon tea or a vanilla latte. Okay, I am getting hungry now!
Great muse! Thanks so much for joining up!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

You wouldn't hear a word out of my mouth either if you placed the plate of shortbread in front of me! Luscious for sure! You totally crack me up, Claire! The oven must be fixed after blowing it up, eh?

clairedulalune said...

Mmmm, kinda! The new door doesnt fit properly and all the heat comes bellowing out. So it took about four hours to get these bad boys golden!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Mmmmm, can't talk, salivating.

Stitchinwitch said...

Sounds like you had fun. The shortbread looks delish.
By the way if the kitchen doesn't look like a bakery exploded and you don't look like you were in said explosion, you weren't baking right :D

nicole mountz said...

haha, ok this is not only the yummiest post ive seen today but the cutest with you and your flour jeans and your timers! im craving some cookies now..

Rue said...

LOL - I loved your journey-with-shortbread! Too great! Now I'm hungry...

Cindy said...

Awesome job, they really do look good. I would sit with you and we could eat them all. Great job with the 5 words.

Bridgett said...'re amazing. :)
I love how a simple evening of baking can become a story, a comedy, and a romance all in one. Yay!

And you made me the triple moon in shortbread!!!!! Awwwwww!!!!

And, of course, you saved them for me to eat too...right? LOL

I couldn't help giggling about the wooden spoon debacle and the flour all over the jeans. :D You're just too cute.

I have to say though, you did a rockin' job. They look so pretty and delicate and absolutely YUMMY.

Much love to you!


Holly said...

You saved me!!!!! I have been making shortbread for awhile now, but I stopped making them into shapes because they NEVER turned out.

Can you imagine a Scottie dog schmoooed out everywhere? So not next time I'll pop them in the fridge to see should that make a diff.

Oh, I could hug you!

Dede said...

Oh Claire they look so good! Have had a cold so I thought I could make these in stages. Nothing I would have to stand over to complete. So after converting all of the measurements, I discovered that I didn't have enough brown sugar to make them. I am going to make them this weekend. Yummy.....


Sara said...

I'm definitely going to make some!! You post this at such a perfect time!!

Tammie Lee said...

yum is right! ummmm
I made rosemary shortbread last week. i was not sure if it was an appetizer or sweet. It was a unique sweet. Next time maybe chocolate shortbread, instead. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, the cookie's look delish!

Celestial Charms said...

Such lovely shortbread cookies. Thanks for showing us the details. Love how you use lots of photos in your posts. Thats great!