Ah well... that's what Wednesday is for, I guess! I would say that tomorrow was a prime candidate for baking, except it isn't... I'm Cookie Santa-ing with my mom then, and then it's sushi time!!
This Sunday, though, I did get a fair bit of the cookieage done thanks mostly to Andrew's neverending willingness to help with getting ingredients out and manouvering sheets and cooling racks (not to mention taking photos like the one on the left) while I willy-nillied my way through the recipes. By the end of the day, I had baked off 7 different types of cookies and 10 batches in total (Mom and I made 4 sets of her famous shortbreads... 2 lbs of butter, man!).
As if having cookies of all kinds coming out of our ears wasn't enough, Mom and I developed a savoury recipe on the weekend too! Cel (the stepdad) had been gifted with a whole pheasant by one of his business partners, and never having cooked that type of bird before my mom asked me for help. As if I, the sole (mostly) vegetarian in the house, would know how to cook a whole roast pheasant! Thank God for RecipeZaar for ideas... and my creativity for substitutions! Of course (since I wasn't the sole cook of this experiment) I didn't get photos, but I did get reviews - delicious, succulent, and wonderful were some of the labels it recieved!
Photo - Free Pheasant
1 (2lb) pheasant, skinned and split in half
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup white wine
½ cup apricot jam
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Wash pheasant and pat dry.
- Sprinkle on both sides with paprika.
- Heat oil in a deep pot, and brown pheasant on both sides.
- Pour chicken stock and wine over the pheasant.
- Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water if needed and turn meat several times to prevent burning.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a small dish.
- Uncover the pot and bring liquid to a brisk simmer.
- Let liquid cook away, then baste with sauce.
- Simmer uncovered, basting frequently, for 15-20 minutes.
These cookies were a personal achievement for me in terms of turning tastebuds - Andrew claims not to like gingerbread, but he ate three of these babies and declared them "the best gingerbreads hes ever had", especially when warm. Since I used blackstrap, rather than fancy molasses, and part spelt flour too, it only seemed fair that I could decorate them with candy-coated chocolate balls... gotta keep the balance!
Spicy Molasses Snappers
Makes about 4 dozen
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Cream sugars and shortening until fluffy.
- Add molasses, eggnog, vanilla and vinegar, beating in well.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in another bowl. Beat into creamed mixture.
- Wrap dough well in plastic and chill 8 hours, or up to 36.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Roll dough out on a floured board and cut into shapes, placing on parchment-lined sheets. Decorate if desired.
- Bake 8 minutes, do not overbake!
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 5.9 mg
Total Carbs: 17.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.5 g