Wednesday, January 5

Rainbow Cookies

I think, by now, you guys are aware that I like making rainbow baked goods.
I have an unhealthy obsession with food coloring, and what better way to use it than in rainbows?

So, in my neverending quest to make enough rainbow food to drown my home state, I decided to go back to my baking roots: cookies!

I made these pretty much in the same way I made the rainbow bread; 7 unequal lumps of dough, colored and layered...though this was much much easier.

They're pretty simple, and you can flavor them any way you like...and I think your friends would find them cute (I do, at least, haha)

Rainbow Refrigerator Cookies: Makes 4 dozen
2.5 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
16 tablespoons of room temperature butter (2 sticks)
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of any extract or flavoring (vanilla, lemon, mint, whatever!)
1 egg
pinch of salt.

Cream together the butter and sugar. When that's light and fluffy, add in the egg, and the extract/flavoring.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into 7 parts, but not equally! To make sure the layers of the rainbow are the same thickness, the portions have to get progressively larger (from purple to red)

Color the smallest portion purple, and so on, and the largest red.
Cover and chill the doughs in the fridge for an hour. (or in the freezer for 15 minutes if you're a lazy bum like me)

Roll the purple dough into a snake, about 1 1/2 feet long. (for cookies the size of mine, about 1 1/2 inches across. If you want bigger ones, make the snake shorter and thicker)
Roll out each color, in order to fit perfectly over the color before it, and trim any excess before adding the next color.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Return the log to the fridge and chill until stiff enough to easily slice. (or the freezer again ;] )

Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces, and places on a lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, and let cool completely on a rack.

Enjoy :)


Monday, January 3

Duck Fat Fried Potatoes

So I did the whole shebang: duck, potatoes, and apple pie.

I felt like crud, and so by the time dinner was done, it was dark outside, and I was too tired to go all out on photos.
So when I went to edit them just now, all my pictures of the duck were blurry, and the pie just looked silly. I tried, but failed miserably at getting anything else.

So what do you get? Pics of the potatoes cooking :3
Now, the particular amounts of anything depends on how many people you're feeding, but because I looooove these potatoes, I ended up eating two potatoes worth of fries! Haha.

Duck fat fried potatoes: Serves 4 normal people. (not me.)
4 potatoes
Large non-stick pot or pan.
Enough duck fat to cover the potatoes.
2 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes (they'll shrink up quite a bit when cooking)
Set them in a bowl of cold water with the salt and sugar for an hour or two. If you don't have time, it's okay to skip this step, but it helps to make them crispier. I do it overnight if I know I'm going to be making them.

Drain them and dry them thoroughly.
Put the potatoes and fat in the pot, on medium heat. If you don't have enough fat to cover the potatoes (I never do), go ahead and add some canola or veggie oil. They still taste like you used all duckfat :)

Letting the potatoes come to temperature with the oil gives the insides time to cook so you don't have to do it twice or anything, it also works with regular french fries.

Now, when I used to do these, I would have sworn it took 30 minutes to cook, but this last time it seemed to take nearly an hour. In any case, you should be able to judge for yourself when they're done, based on how crispy you like them.
My dad loooves them really crispy, so I cook them for longer than I normally would.

While they're cooking, just check on them and flip them over, in case one side starts to brown too much.

When they're done, drain them on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.

Seriously, enjoy. They're so so so so so good.



Saturday, January 1

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues

So I'm back, sort of.
I got the urge to bake yesterday, and since meringues are so simple, I figured I'd made some more. :)

Not much of a story this time, I'm a bit under the weather, but I'm going to be making dinner tomorrow consisting of DUCK, duck fat fried potatoes, and an apple stay tuned for an in depth post on those, probably Monday. :)

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues:
4 egg whites
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of cream of tartar (or lemon juice, if you prefer)
1 finely crushed candy cane

1 cup of melted chocolate (for much much later :) )

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
Please please please do not whip these by hand, unless you have the arm strength of a thousand men.
Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form.
Add in the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, with the mixer going until it's all incorporated. Whip until stiff peaks form. (dip the whisk in the whites, and the whites on it should stand straight up when you hold it up )
Mix in the candy cane powder, and put the meringue in a piping bag.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and pipe the meringues out in whatever shape/size you want.
Bake them for 2 hours
If you don't have as much time, or a short attention span, make them on the small side, and bake them for less time,but be certain to check them after an hour. (take one out, and let it cool for a bit on the counter, then check the doneness by snapping it in half)
(mine are fairly large, and browned because I spaced out while they were in the oven XD )

After letting them cool for a few minutes, dip the bottoms in chocolate, and set them back on the parchment paper until the chocolate sets up.

Enjoy! (and hide them from your relatives :3 )