January 31, 2007

So This Is What Einstein Felt Like…

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Seriously folks, it’s like I’ve discovered the Theory of Relativity. E=mc2? More like E=bd2 Whereby the E stands for Excellent, the b stands for Bri and the d is Dorie, she’s squared because I used multiple Dorie recipes. Dorie x Dorie is just good sense.

After trying Dorie’s Chocolate Ganache ice cream, and Burnt Sugar ice cream, I was hooked. The woman knows ice cream. I was impressed. I knew then that I had to try her other frozen treats. Dorie (for those of you who have been living underground for the last little while, I’m referring to Dorie Greenspan and her marvelous book Baking: From My Home to Yours) has a recipe for Creamy Dark Chocolate sorbet, which she claims offers the same satisfaction of ice cream, with the same creaminess and satiny melt-in-your-mouth pleasure, without cream or eggs. Could this be? I was going to find out. But I was feeling adventurous, I wanted something mouth than just chocolate. Here’s where my brain went into Einstein mode and I came up with a Chocolate Chai sorbet, which is fan-freaking-tastic! It really is. This also made me decide that Dorie needs to do an entire book of ice cream recipes and that I’m the person to help her do it… A girl can dream.

It was also yesterday that I got a phone call that went something like this:

Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring! (I hate answering the phone and I always hope someone else will do it, or I just let the machine pick up, it’s never for me anyways).

Me (finally): Hello?
Mom: Hi, I need you to make 9 dozen cookies and wrap them up into mugs for me. (What do you know? It was for me…)

Me: Anything in particular?

Mom: Whatever you want.

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Sweet! I went straight to Dorie’s book to figure out what I’d be baking. I found all sorts of things and in the end I made Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters, Buttery Jam Cookies, My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cottage Cheese Pufflets and then I botched a batch of Caramel Crunch Bars, (sorry Dorie, my fault). I also set out to make World Peace cookies for the first time because I finally acquired some fleur de sel. You have to chill these for a few hours before baking so I started them last night and then stuck them in the fridge to make today. As I was wrapping them up last night I noticed the mixture was pretty crumbly, I had used big chocolate chips instead of little ones so the dough wasn’t holding together and I had clearly added too much flour, (I tend to do this a lot… ugh, I wish all recipes were written in weighted measurements that I couldn't screw up) but I just stuck it in the fridge and hoped for the best. This morning I pulled out the dough and it was still crumbly and definitely not bakeable. I set it aside and began making Midnight Crackle cookies. But as I made those, I was snacking on the World Peace cookie dough. What? It was really good. And that’s when I decided to combine the World Peace dough with the Midnight Crackle dough. It was another Einstein moment! Amazing cookie #1 + Amazing cookie #2 =Super amazing cookie! I was very happy that this actually turned out. I didn’t want to give them away because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to recreate these proportions again. It wasn’t quite a whole batch of World Peace cookie dough that was added to the Midnight Crackles because by the time I got around to mixing the two together I had eaten an awful lot of the World Peace dough. (I told you it was good, quit judging me!)

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Anyways, after all this baking, I started assembling the mugs. Then I realized that because of the botched Caramel Crunch Bars, I was going to be short some cookies. I would have to make some more, but what? As you know, I haven’t had the best relationship with Nigella. We’ve had our ups and downs and we last parted on a sour note. But then a saw a post from Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice singing the devil's praises and urging me to give Nigella another chance. I grudgingly got out my copy of How To Be A Domestic Goddess and flipped through, looking for another cookie recipe. I recalled a post by Ellie of Kitchen Wench where she had made Nigella’s Snickerdoodles and she didn’t seem to have any problems with them. In fact, she claimed they were quite tasty. Then I read Nigella’s description of them and decided that since they have such a fun name and seemed to be alright, I had to make them at least once. And wouldn’t you know it, I actually like them. They reminded me of a more cookie like Timbit, I even made them approximately the same size. There was no Einstein moment here, but the cookies were good and I guess mumbleNigellamumbleisn’tmumblecompletelymumbleevilmumble.

Chocolate Chai Sorbet (Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet)

1 cup milk

1 cup water

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

¾ cup sugar

5 chai tea bags

Put milk and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Once heated, add the tea bags and allow to combine for 7 minutes. Remove tea bags and add chocolate and sugar, stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching the pan so it doesn’t boil over. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled before churning the sorbet. Scrape the chilled sorbet into the bowl on an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the sorbet into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours- unlike ice cream which can be served soft, this sorbet needs time in the freezer to firm up.

***Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what the following picture is of:

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Elle said...

Your post are the most fun. This one is the best ever, even the mumbles at the end. Dorie rules!
The photo (bonus??) looks like salmon to me. But them I love salmon :)

S. said...

I'm gonna go with salmon too. By the way, I tagged you.

Marce said...

yep, it does look like pink salmon to me, but that would be quite easy to guess... so maybe some sort of sweet, like our "dulce de membrillo", although that marbling effect is quite weird... I don´t know, salmon? ;)

And by the way, this is a great post, as I read, I transported myself to your kitchen and imagined being surrounded by such a massive array of cookies *drool*

You should definitely try the World Peace cookies again, if you don´t have mini chips, chop some chocolate as I did or chop the regular chips a little bit.

K and S said...

love your sorbet! and the genius way you improvised on the cookies! the last photo looks like salmon, but i'm gonna say it is candied orange peel.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

My boys always loved Snickerdoodles and I do too.
Yeah, it looks like salmon but that's too obvious. How about it's a yellow/orange beet partly frozen.

Anonymous said...

LMAO!!! You crack me up so badly! The sorbet looks fantastic, and I'm glad you liked the snickerdoodles...

As for your admission that Nigella is *not* evil - best laugh I've had all day ;)

Anonymous said...

is it raw tuna

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, I just love reading your posts!
I too think salmon is too easy. I'll go with hardened honey.

Lis said...

I'm goin' with Kat and saying it's candied orange peel.

Hey, I made the Korova cookies when I first got the book too.. mine were very crumbly as well - so I wrote to Anita of Dessert First and she said that's pretty much how they are, but she uses a really sharp chef's knife to cut through them and if they still crumbled a bit she's smoosh them together. Her's turn out gorgeous (of course!). I STILL have a log of it in my freezer. I keep forgetting it's there. Duh.

FH said...

Cookies look great as usual.I think it's Salty Salmon!:))

Abby said...

My guess is salmon, too. But maybe you're trying to trick us?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Brilynn - I really enjoyed this post - success in playing around is the surest confidence booster. Those cookies look delectable!
I also applaud your return to Nigella - the 'timbits' look infinitely better than their nick-namesake! :D

leslie @ definitely not martha said...


Great job! :) I'm adding you to my list of links, if you don't mind. :)

Anh said...

I would go for Salmon.... Is it or isn't it? :D

Anonymous said...

It looks like membrillo or guava paste to me? Btw...great site! :)

Linda said...

OMG you had a chocothon and didn't invite me. i'm hurt. really i am. i'll just have to create my own.

Anonymous said...

Dorie is the best! I recently got her "From My Home to Yours" book and it's all I can do not to make EVERYTHING in there NOW. She's just amazing.

This post was so much fun to read, your enthusiasm jumps off the screen. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Anonymous said...

oooo icecream :) icecream! i want an icecream maker :D

Sara said...

Love, love, love Dorie. Woman, that is a lot of cookies you made!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Einstein you are... I bet that was a great combo of goodness!

We made Snickerdoodles yesterday too. One of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

oooh...wow..that picture of the chocolate chai sorbet really has me drooling! No heavy cream!! but yet a rich, creamy texture. Nobel prize anyone?

Anonymous said...

candied salmon!
I made some while living in alaska.

thanks for the great blog.