Thursday, December 23, 2010

ginger persimmon bread

Last week I tried to ‘stump the bartender’ with some persimmons. While the bartender was only mildly puzzled, a number of onlookers mistook them for tomatoes. While not unfamiliar with this fruit, I’ve never been wild about them. My experience was limited to mom handing me a peeled one, declaring it “dessert” and that I “should eat it.” Go, Asian desserts! They’re mildly flavored, kinda pretty, and just not very exciting.

Then came along persimmon bread in all its warm, spicy, and inexplicably addicting goodness. It’s like pumpkin bread, in that you don’t taste the persimmon, exactly, but you can’t stop going back for one more, tiny slice. Go on and become a persimmon convert.

The recipe calls for the more astringent Hachiya persimmon, but I subbed with Fuyu to great effect.

Ginger Persimmon Bread
From Joy the Baker

1/2 c persimmon pulp
1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt

1 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 heaping tsp finely grated fresh ginger

Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x4x3-in. loaf pan.

In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together persimmon pulp and baking soda. This will cause it to gel.

In another bowl whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, spices, and fresh ginger. Whisk in the persimmon mixture. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, one third at a time, mixing as you go along.

Pour into loaf pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the loaf comes out clean.

a lisa frank christmas

This is essentially a recipe for homemade playdough dried out in the oven. I used kosher salt, which gave the dough a grainy texture, and would use table salt in the future. Lacking a more spirited palette of food dyes, I went with what I had. Welcome to my Lisa Frank Christmas, y’all!

Cookie Dough Ornaments
Adapted from Allrecipes

4 c AP flour
1 c salt
1 1/2c warm water

Combine flour and salt. Slowly pour in water while mixing. Stir until dough is evenly hydrated. Divide dough and mix in food coloring if your heart desires.

To make stripes, roll out ¼-in. thick rectangles of different colors. Stack them, cut the stack in half along its theoretical x-axis. Stack halves, then cut in half again along the y-axis. Stack the halves, then turn dough on its side so stripes are facing you. Roll out to ¼-in. thickness, and have at it! Don’t forget to poke holes for string.

Bake cookies at 325 F for 50-60 minutes, or until dry. Think hardtack.

Friday, December 17, 2010

chubby bunnies

I guess this rules out the chubby bunny relay race... ALSO. Eating marshmallows with chocolate chips poked inside are a sad, sad substitute for s'mores. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

let's make a cake!

If you think you know me at all, you know I don't do cakes. But sometimes I have this urge to spritz the kitchen with a fine mist of flour and wash lots of bowls. And that, folks, is how cake is made.

The second best part of making cake is eating the leftover lemon Mascarpone frosting over sourdough pancakes.

Cake sandwich, nom!

Cake is for victory! The best part of making cake is the birthday. Happy birthday, L!