We do eat sweet things occasionally. ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

25 June 2008

We do eat sweet things occasionally.

For instance, the other night we were celebrating having finally decided where to move, so we walked to the store, picked out the best fruit there, and came home to make milkshakes.

Startlingly decadent mango milkshake

a ripe mango
some decent vanilla ice cream/soy cream/etc

Basic fruit milkshake: Clean and chop fruit, add ice cream, and blend. In this instance, peel the mango and cut it into chunks. Stick it in a blender, add a roughly equal volume of vanilla ice cream, and blend.

Eat it with a spoon, since there's no way you could get something this thick through a straw. If you want thinner business, add some milk or yogurt in place of part of the ice cream. Or you could use all yogurt instead of ice cream for a smoothie version. Plain yogurt will create more of a tangy lassi, while vanilla will make a sweeter version.

This makes two small milkshakes or one gigantic one.

Other variations:
- Use any soft fruit you have lying around, skinned if necessary: peach, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, banana, apricot, plum: anything you like will turn out great.
- Use any kind of ice cream, sorbet, or other etc. you think would be good. We were considering ginger ice cream to go with the mango. Lemon would be really great with practically any fruit.
- For that matter, add some candied ginger, citrus zest, or chopped mint leaves.

Speaking of ginger, how about some gingersnaps?

I went through the dessert binder to find a gingersnap recipe for which we actually had all the ingredients. Lo, I discovered that two of the recipes were nearly identical. Further internet search revealed even More identical recipes. So I decided to go for that basic outline and just shift the spices to accommodate what I had.

I also used up all the brown sugar and most of the butter in the house making these. This meant that afterward we had zero sugar in the house! Well, there's some molasses, but still. The way is clear for AGAVE.

Gingersnaps are good brand gingersnaps

3/4 cup butter/earth balance
1 egg
1 cup sugar (brown in my case)
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour (wheat)
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
spices: up to 4 tsp total of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or allspice.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Normally you'd make cookies by creaming the butter and sugar, adding in the egg and molasses and beating some more, then gradually mixing in the dry ingredients. You can do that. In my case, the butter was frozen and the brown sugar hardened into one horrifying block. So instead, I got out a pan and put it over low heat. I chopped off the right amounts of butter and sugar, threw them in a pan with the molasses, and waited for everything to melt. When things were sufficiently melted to mix, I took them off the heat and stirred them up, crumbling the sugar with a spoon.

This worked admirably. Baking experimentation points for me!

In the meantime, put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them gently. If you have a sifter, go for it. I use a spoon. At this stage, consider spicing: what do you like best? What do you have? I was nearly out of ginger, so I just added every bit I could scrape out of the jar. Then I added about a teaspoon each of cloves and allspice. I am not particularly into cinnamon, and like it cut by lots of other spices, so I added only about half a teaspoon of that. You can spice however you want: experiment and see what you like. More baking experimentation points!

When the sugar and butter mix had cooled down, I added it and an egg to the dry business. Then I just mixed it all up. If you do this my way, make SURE the sugar and butter are sufficiently cool before they come in contact with the raw egg! You don't want any scrambled business. Well, probably your butter is not frozen and your sugar is not hardened into one big block, so it's probably not an issue.

Roll the dough into inch-diameter balls. You can roll them in sugar if your sugar is actually crystalline. I left mine plain, since I wasn't about to start grating the rest of the block just for a sparkly coating.

Bake for eight minutes, or until cracks have appeared in the tops and the cookies have acquired a solid crust. Give them a minute to cool on the cookie sheet, then stick them on a rack to cool entirely.

Eat. These cookies want some ice cream of their own, preferably smeared onto their flat side with a spoon. Any leftover mango business would work well, because mango and ginger? Yes please. I have a vague plan to make these again, but to flatten them with a fork for optimal ice cream sandwich creation.

Tea is also a good idea.

No comments: