Monday, October 12, 2009

Maple Cookies

Fall is in the air! Which means it's time for a vacation. This year I'm off to accompany and visit friends on the East coast (Montreal and Toronto) and do some serious (I'm talking suuuuuurious)
shopping. As a thank-you gift to my Toronto host, I'm sending him a box of homemade goodies. On the menu? Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, and maple cookies.

I have a special story about these maple cookies - (of course, right? Or else there wouldn't be a blog post...) I've been making these cookies for a long time - for at least a decade and they've always been a hit. A little maple frosting on top and you're good to go. Anyway, during one of my many cross-Canadian moves, I managed to lose the recipe! Oddly enough, even though it's a Martha recipe, I could not find it on the website. So after a few years of being deprived of the maple goodness, I emailed the Marthaship - begging for the recipe. "Please...." I pleaded, "I must have the recipe! I've tried and tested so many others....but they don't even come close. Not even close."

A few months go by and I receive my November 2008 MSL - and the Cookie of the Month? Maple Cookies.

Thanks, Martha.

I know, I know, it seems like a 'happy coincidence' right? But I think it was her way of sending her thanks to me - for supporting her all these years.

The often-used Maple leaf cookie cutter.

My triple-decker cooling rack. Purchased at the old workplace. Pretty pimp, right? Only a baker like me needs a triple-decker cooling rack.

I used the bronze coloured pearl lustre on the cookies. I originally wanted it to pick up on the icing detail - but I wasn't fast enough - but I think they look pretty nifty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Won Ton Dinner with the Mothership

The Mothership and I have a good cooking relationship - in my kitchen. In other words - she's a decent sous chef in my kingdom. Or queendom. Or Spoon-dom. Ha. That sounds funny. Anyway - we do particularly well when we have to do wrapping or decorating. As regular readers have seen in previous posts - she's got an excellent icing eye (and hand) and an adept dumping wrapper roller. I did the pleating, in that case. In this particular instance, however, the Mothership revealed some pretty decent won ton wrapping skills!

I had just come home from a long day at work - an end-of-day meeting had run long and I didn't even have time to turn on the TV when the Mothership was a-knockin'. She seemed disappointed that our won ton dinner night was off to a late start, but hey - what am I going to do? I quickly whipped up a filling, put the chicken stock on the hob, and away we went!

The filling? Equal parts lean and regular ground pork (1/2 lb each), 1/4 chopped water chestnuts, 1/2 lb chopped peeled shrimp, 3 minced green onions, a spoonful of cornstarch, a generous splash of rice wine and soy sauce. Salt and pepper. Oh, and some of that magic sesame oil. Gotta have the sesame oil. I'd throw in some oyster sauce if I had any.

Take some sta
ndard won ton wrappers - trace a line of water around the edges, plop a generous teaspoon of filling in the middle and wrap away. Everyone has different techniques in won ton wrapping - the Mothership employed a more traditional style whereas mine was...Italian-inspired, ha ha. They were cooked in homemade chicken stock and served, with said stock and baby bok choy. And it all took less than an hour!