Gravey and Rice

Friday, December 15, 2006


A silly name for a cookie you might think, as loosely translated it's German for Crinkly Noodles. But given the way the tops of the cookies turn crinkly in the oven, the cinnamon sugar coating splitting into furrows and cracks, it's probably a pretty apt name after all.

My sister first introduced me to these yummy cookies when her high school class had made some and she brought home the recipe. Mom tried her hand at them, and we were hooked. I actually havent had them in years and was thrilled to find a recipe in my Baking Illustrated book. I decided they'd be a perfect Christmas Cookie. Easy to make and they taste great. I was really excited to make them, but ended up having a bit of trouble. Instead of these perfectly formed, puffy in the middle soft, chewy cookies, the majority of them spread during baking and were crispy, not chewy. I figure that problem is easily solved by refrigerating the dough for a few minutes, and making sure they arent to close together. The last batch came out better, when I only put about 6 cookies on the tray, they looked more the way they were supposed to and were more chewy. After cooling though, some of them became hard, while others stayed soft and chewy. I'll have to keep experimenting to see if I can get them right. (Hooray- an excuse to keep making cookies!) Despite the little spots of trouble, all the cookies were delicious.

I gave most of them to my daughter to take to school for her Christmas Party, but popped the rest in the freezer. When I'm in the mood for one I just take one out of the bag and enjoy it straightaway. Out of the freezer they are crisp and cool and refreshing- yum!

Baking Illustrated
Makes about 30

2 1/4 c. Flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. butter (1 1/2 sticks (American)) softened but cool
1/4 cup veg shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar + 3 tbsp for coating
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon for coating

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower- middle positions and heat oven to 400f. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or spray with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together in a med. bowl and set aside.

3. Cream butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed until combined, 1- 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

4. Add they dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combines, about 30 seconds.

5. Mix the 3 tbsp sugar and cinnamon in shallow bowl. Working with a heaping tablespoon of dough each time, roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar and place them on the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake until the edges of the cookies are beginning to set and the centers are soft and puffy 9- 11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front ot back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let cook on the baking sheets 2-3 minutes before transferring them with a wide metal spatula to wire rack.

In other news- I caught a Nigella Lawson Christmas Show the other night and what can I say? I'm totally hooked. Hopefully I can pick up her "How to be a Domestic Goddess" book in the new year. Lord, she's gorgeous, too isn't she? Not sure whether to love her or hate her!

Well, Happy Christmas Baking folks!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ok, this week I'm getting a start on my holiday baking with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, which I was really craving. The recipe was quite a bit different from what I'm used to- which isnt to surprising since the book is full of altered recipes. Usually I'm happy with that but in this case- I just wasnt willing to ditch the cinnamon from my oatmeal raisin cookies. A suggestion was to drop 1/2 cup of sugar for a not as sweet cookie, I didnt want to try this without actually making the cookies first- but now that I've tried them with the whole 2 cups of sugar I definetly recommend using only 1/2 or 3/4 cup granulated sugar.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Baking Illustrated

1 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. fresh nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. raisins (op.)

1. Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and preheat oven to 350, Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder,nutmeg (or cinn.), and salt together in med. bowl.

3. Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

4. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mix with a wooden spoon, stir in oats and raisins.

5. Working with a generous 2 tbsp. of dough at a time, roll the dough into 2inch balls. Place the balls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart.

6. Bake until edges turn golden brown, about 22-25 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets front to back and top to bottom about halfway through. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 30 minutes. (If you can wait that long!)

Enjoy. These were delicious, even if they were just a bit to sweet.