I get into these semi-marathon baking weekends once in a while and though I have made a record 13 different items in a 36 hour period once, this past weekend I made just four… I noticed that our fridges are jampacked with dried fruit and nuts so I wanted to make a dent in the baking stocks. First off, at The Kids request, I made some cranberry biscotti for her, which I have previously featured, recipe here… but she didn’t want any nuts in hers so these were just dried cranberries…she wants to take them to school for baon… how’s that for a merienda trading item in the cafeteria? I didn’t take a picture. Biscotti are super, super easy to make, and great to have on hand for a quick and relatively healthy snack. While browsing my cookbooks, I spied a great sounding recipe for brownie crisps… essentially the idea is similar to muffin tops… here the objective was to have the nice crusty top of the brownie but make it all a bit crispy, like a cookie.
It certainly sounded easy and the ingredients list was short, but it proved much harder to do in reality. It is a simple batter of butter, chocolate, flour, eggs, etc. that is spread very thinly on a pan and baked until just done then sliced quickly and scraped off the pan before it hardens. I managed to make two versions – one with chopped walnuts and one plain. The ones in the photos look pretty good, but I burned most of the edges and threw out half of the results. The crisps were indeed crisp for the first two hours after baking, but since local humidity levels must be at close to 90%, the crisps got moister as the day wore on and finally they were, well, LIMP. They still tasted good but they weren’t crisp. I managed to make an ice cream sandwich with two pieces of brownie crisps while crisp, sandwiching a nutella and chocolate ice cream The Kid concocted and that we made last week…
Worried about the dried stone fruit (apricots, nectarines, peaches), pears and raisins in the fridge, I decided to make a simple sounding “apricot + lots of other fruit and walnut loaf.” It was likewise really simple and it yielded a dense, yet relatively healthy cake/bread/loaf. I bet it will be better a day or two after it was made, sliced thinly and toasted, served with butter…. yum! Finally, with an abundance of pecans, I decided that since I love a good pecan pie, though I can only eat a sliver of it at a time, to bake some pecan squares. This turned out looking fabulous but cutting it wasn’t so easy even if I refrigerated it first. Never mind, it tasted brilliant (chewy, crunchy, sweet, gooey, rich, decadent)and served with pure cream, it was divine. I used very dark organic muscovado along with honey and a bit of white sugar for the mixture and it turned out delicious. Many of these baked goods are being sent out to friends as this goes to post, as I believe in fattening up others, so that I in turn will look slimmer…hahaha….