Ah, baking. It’s good to be back.
It’s good for my health, er – maybe not. My waistline may not agree in that sense (I literally ate 5 of these cookies for breakfast this morning..and that’s all). But, good for my mental health.
School has been exhausting. I am officially finished my long practicum. It was physically and mentally exhausting, exciting, and thoroughly enjoying. I have only my final to write now, and my last few days in second grade as a student teacher. Soon I’ll be returning to campus to begin my summer semester to complete my teaching degree. I must say, after being in school for 20 years, since kindergarten… I’m a little over school. I feel like I have been in school my entire life (which, basically I have been) I’ve only ever taken one semester off, and took two summer semesters back to back as well. There was as time when I had 5 semesters of school without a break, full time. Definitely ready to be finished.
So yeah, baking again has made me happy. I finally have time to bake, and take photographs (while It is still light out; thank goodness for daylight savings).
A lot has happened since I blogged last. Adam turned the big 2-9. We had a housewarming / birthday party all in one last weekend, which was really fun. I’ll be posting pictures of the house soon! I took him out for dinner and went to the casino, which was less fun. The dinner was unfortunately terrible, and we lost at the casino. Oh well, c’est la vie.
I’m beginning to realize that going out to dinner has lost all its panache. If I’m going out for dinner, it is going to be for some dish or cuisine that I wouldn’t normally cook for myself at home, and I want to thoroughly enjoy the experience. And if I am going to pay $25 for an entree, it better be worth its salt. Regrettably, our last few dinners out have been quite a disappointment. It also seems on our first visit to a restaurant we have great food, and on each of our ‘returns’ the food seems smaller and quality is not a good as the first time. I think it’s the curse of ‘second visits…’
I find myself faced with poor service, reduced portion sizes, all while paying more than ever before. Ultimately, I’m left with a feeling that I could, and can, make a better dinner at home, for half the price. And enjoy it a whole lot more. I’m sorry, but for $25 I could buy an entire salmon and eat for a few days. Not $25 for a seafood platter with salmon the size of a half-deck of cards, and three sad little prawns, drizzled with some VH asian ginger hoison sauce to add a sliver of flavour. Not quite up to par. Oh, and the fact I made a reservation, for a birthday, and they didn’t have a table ready for us, never said anything about a birthday or wished him happy birthday, and when I asked about a birthday dessert I was told “we don’t have one” – but we can ‘apply’ for a birthday gift certificate for next year… yeah, as if I’m going to come back here. Let alone to celebrate anything! And thanks to the waitress who threw our $90 receipt on the table and snarled said “have a good night” as she walked away. (In case you were wondering , we went to the Washington Avenue Grill)
One thing I will never pay for as well, is cookies. I mean like boxed, off the shelf cookies. I have recently made Graham Crackers, which were so much better than store bought. After having a boxed chocolate chip cookie at school I really couldn’t believe the taste of them – so processed, and chemical. The only cookies I have bought, are Girl Guide Cookies. Who can resist – and it’s for a good cause, so you have to. My favourite type are the Thin Mint cookies. So. Good. Especially frozen. Something about March and St. Patrick’s day make people go green and mint crazy. So, naturally I had to make some thin mints of my own. I also made a delicious minty-smoothie the other night with banana, ice, almond milk, cocoa and mint chocolate chips. Blend everything, and enjoy.
St. Patty’s Day
I started off with an oreo type cookie dough (I’ve seen people make thin mints by simply removing the oreo stuffing from a cookie, and dipping the chocolate cookie into mint chocolate… not quite the same). I dipped these in melted mint-chocolate, this was a little messy, so I decided to just top them with mint chocolate instead.
FYI – these are even better frozen, or refrigerated. They are cool, crisp, and minty. Addicting.
Mint Chocolate Sables
makes approx. 3-4 dozen small cookies
cookie recipe adapted from Smitten Kitten’s cookbook, brownie roll-out cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the Rapunzel Organic Cocoa I got from iHerb.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mint Chocolate Chips, OR chocolate and mint extract
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk flour and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on lightly floured counter. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your desired shapes, I used a 2” fluted circle, and a regular circle (double sided cutter). Bake on un-greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes, until edges are firm and centres slightly puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.