Thursday, January 29, 2009
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
These turned out a lot better when these cookies were spread paper thin on the stencil.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
As you can see, mine didn't shape well and I think it was because they were not spread thin enough and because I waited too long to shape them. Towards the end of the batch, I wasn't even putting the pan down, but just took it directly from the oven to the wooden spoons.
If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….
In all, these were great cookies, and I would like to try them again to get better at spreading them really thin. I made a chocolate glaze and dipped the sides of the cookies and it was a nice contrast between the lightness of the cookies and the chocolate.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
^Smoke detectors are important, too.^
As you might notice the door and the trim came yesterday before the texture (which was a little less than ideal for the texture guy) but he was unable to do it until today because of a family emergency. It think they did a fabulous job with the trim and we are very pleased. Lord willing, that enormous scaffold will be gone this afternoon and I can have my bit of normal back. We have all (except Tim) been laid up with the flu since Saturday night and are just now starting to recover, so normal health plus no construction sounds really great.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
So, as you can see, the drywall is up and the room is really coming together. I think drywall is one of the best smells ever. Anyway, the Spackle guy came out today for the filling of the nail holes, take one and if all goes well, the whole project will be finished on Thursday, and it can't come fast enough!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Not sure why he's not smiling, he thinks the sounds on his tractor are the best.
David was so excited that all of those cars and trucks were for him. I love it because now all of is cars have an organized home.
Do you have any idea how big of a hit that piano is? They play it everyday, and Josh dances to the music.
We love you, Uncle Stevie!
^ before ^
After a lot of thought and prayer and planning, we've decided to close in our loft to make a 4th bedroom for our 4th baby. We sold our office furniture and decided to re-paint, which I think was a great idea and we love the color. It's warm and really seems to expand the loft and the hallway. Construction begins on the 15th so stay tuned for updates~ we can't wait to see the finished room.
Our loft, at the start of the construction.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Sunday, January 04, 2009
So Tim and I got the kids dressed up nicely, traveled to an undisclosed place in Denver that we knew was all decked out for Christmas, and received zero cooperation from the children, our camera, and the strangers all around us who wanted to talk to the kids. It's a shame I don't have Photoshop~ in that case I could create one good picture of the three of them.