Thursday, December 27, 2012


I was pleased to be gifted the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for my birthday this year. I've already dived in and cooked up three recipes from this cookbook since receiving it in early December. And every time I flip through I find myself mentally filing away the next recipe I want to try. Since we were all caked out by the time David's birthday rolled around, I tried out the Brownie Roll Out Cookies as a substitute. They were definitely worthy. Then came Christmas Eve day; a great day (and eve) at our house. Everyone on holiday, no where to go, nothing in particular that needed to be done. I was skimming through Smitten Kitchen and decided that it wasn't enough that we have gingerbread, sugar cookies, two kinds of snack mix, caramel corn and fudge in the house. We needed toffee! And happily I had all of the ingredients needed to make Coffee Toffee.

Every since I bought a Thermapen, recipes that require ingredients to reach a certain temperature during the cooking/baking process have been much less stressful. With Coffee Toffee, your toffee needs to  reach 300 degrees before you pour it out to cool/harden. The chocolate chips were very spreadable after oozing in to the hot toffee layer for a few minutes. I used walnuts instead of hazelnuts since they were what I had on hand. I put the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes to speed up the cooling process. The toffee came apart into lovely pieces quite easily and left no traces on my Silpat. The verdict from this household - coffee toffee tastes a lot like a Skor bar. But the texture is more pleasant, and the taste more bold. Another goodie to add to the Christmas treat list!

Today was also another nowhere to be, let's just relax kind of day. Lego is being built upstairs, downstairs and everywhere in between. Books and magazines are being read, crosswords filled in. iPads are charging. Christmas movies and music still linger. Around 11 a.m. I had a craving for pizza. Luckily, the SK cookbook has a 'I need it now can I make it fast?' pizza dough solution on page 104. I was a bit skeptical it would work. But it did - I made a fantastic pizza margherita (page 107) in about an hour. It was a revelation.

No picture of the finished product. It disappeared much too quickly. SK also promises that I can make a respectable gnocchi at home with little fuss. I'm thinking that might be my next SK experiment. Ever since we had bacon and egg gnocchi at The Only last year, David and I have both been craving gnocchi. But any recipe I've seen completely intimidates me. I'm thinking if I can knock out a pretty incredible pizza in an hour thanks to SK, I'll let her guide me through gnocchi as well.

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