Thursday, October 29, 2015

Midweek Roundup: "Sophisticated and perfect for company"

Photo by Aimee
Food Geekette

Like just about everything else, baking is relative.  If you compare this cookie strudel to a simple drop cookie, it seems pretty complicated.  But if you compare it to making real strudel, it suddenly becomes much simpler.  At culinary school, Aimee watched a guest pastry chef roll out a piece of pastry until it was of the requisite paper thinness.  After seeing the whole process, she had two thoughts:  "so good" and "I'll never do this."  But now she can make Rose's cookie strudel, which is also "so good" and completely doable.   In fact, she will "seriously make these again," only next time, with a double batch.

Which Mendy did this time, as he often does.  Is he just extra smart or is it because he has a lot of mouths to feed?  Perhaps as a reward for the extra pastry/cookies, Mendy's wife bought everything he needed to make them so he didn't have to run out and pick up currants, nuts, and sour cream, or whatever he might have been missing.  He loved these, noting that "heirloom recipes are the best!"  There is something satisfying about making and serving a recipe that's been making people happy for generations!

No double recipe for Catherine.  In fact, she wasn't even sure she would have made them, "if left to [her] own devices, because "the picture doesn't do justice to the flavour," although she did take some of the finished product to a neighbor's house "just so I could truthfully say I hadn't eaten all of them." Baking in steamy Darwin, Catherine was happy to abide by the recommended intervals in the refrigerator; otherwise, it would have been impossible to work with the dough.  As for waiting the recommended six hours before eating?  "I don't even think I made the 6-minute mark."

Vicki did a little better.  She waited almost a full hour before tucking in to her first piece.  How could she help it?  The aroma was so enticing.  Her granddaughters and daughter-in-law sniffed the air and asked, "What ARE you making?"  Vicki should also have made a double batch of this "delicious pseudo-strudel" to make sure she had enough for all visitors.

Katya started her post on Cookie Strudel by saying she's become a big fan of The Great British Baking Show and has started paying more attention to presentation and general excellence.  So I was naturally expecting a dreamy photo of this strudel.  I guffawed when I saw the photo ("tasted great but looked a mess") that shows what happens if you make one single vertical slash in a strudel oblong.  Sad to say that I always enjoy reading about small gaffes or major mishaps more than reading about perfect outcomes.

It looks like Rachel had a pretty good outcome, even though she was so puzzled by the dough recipe and technique that she had to read and re-read the instructions to make sure she was doing it right.  (I had the same reaction--I read the instructions and asked, to no one in particular, "Are you sure?").  Rachel also posted pictures of both bread dough and cookie strudel dough to show how similar they look at the beginning, but how they veer off into completely different final products.  Baked, cooled, sliced, and rebaked, this dough resulted in strudel cookies par excellence!

Kristina, back from the glitz and unreality that are Las Vegas, not to mention the Grand Canyon, which seems unreal in a different way, settled right back into her baking routine and made not only the cookie strudel, but also the white chocolate bread.  (Best husbandly comment on the bread:  It'd be even better if you took out the white chocolate.")  Jay (same guy who recommended omitting the white chocolate) said he'd like it better without the currants.  But the People at Work (PAWs) really liked the strudel, currants and all.  Of course, we all know that PAWs are not very picky.

Faithy and Milagritos, who have both been gone, have promised to bake these ASAP, based on the rave reviews from the lucky bakers who got to taste these luscious treats.

Next week:  the Reverse Marble Cake.  Or, to be completely accurate, The Marble in Reverse With Custom Rose Blend Ganache Glaze.  Trust me.  You will want to have this moist, delicious, easy, and striking cake in your repertoire.  And I believe that there are no periods of refrigeration to slow down your baking.  You could omit the glaze if you want to save even more time, but which is more important, time or chocolate?


  1. Hurry up and make these Faithy and Milagritos - they're so delicious! Congrats Aimee, these little beauties are very photogenic.

  2. Yes, congrat's Aimee, your photo did these lovely cookies justice! Did you see yesterday was National Day, Marie?! Definitely putting on the ganache.

    1. oops- left out "Chocolate", National Chocolate Day.

  3. I absolutely love these cookie, bring so much memories from home!

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