Monthly Archives: November 2012

Easy Saltine Chocolate Toffee Cookies

It’s 6:42 PM and you’re running late for a potluck. You’ve just spent the past three hours completely absorbed in who-knows-what at your computer (well, you know, but it’s certainly not work-related and you certainly aren’t saying), when you look up with that sinking feeling in your stomach, and realize…

You forgot to make something to bring.

If you’re like me, however, and you get that weird feeling in your tummy, it’s probably because you’re so excited that you get to prepare, bake, and eat these bars within 20 minutes of start time.

Seriously.

These are known within my extended family as “those delicious toffee fudgy indescribable cracker-based things.” Or, as one of my cousins so eloquently put it, “They’re so addicting, it’s like you actually put the crack in crackers.”

Let’s just say we’re not much for subtlety in my family. Eaters, however, we are. In fact, we’re just one amalgamation of really great chefs and bakers, which is why, when this Thanksgiving rolled around and I started getting family encore requests for this amazing dessert, I was sort of flattered.

The slightly sad part of the story is that I made these cookies well in advance, stuck them in the freezer so they’d stand up to the hour-long flight, towed an entire bucketful through security, and made it home with them–only to forget them in the freezer when we left for my grandparents’ house. So we were without them after all this Thanksgiving.

Of course, this could just have been my devious, diabolical plan to keep these deliciously addicting saltine toffee cookies to myself. But let’s say it wasn’t. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, giving, and all that jazz.

Heck, I’ll even share the recipe with you so you can make your own and won’t bother my stash. Then maybe next Thanksgiving, you’ll have your own stash hoarded away and you’ll understand what I’m going through, too.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Cookies

White Chocolate Chocolate Swirl Blondies

It’s moments like these that I’m so glad I don’t really tend to share this blog with people who actually, you know, know me.

Ten minutes ago, I had literally nothing to write about.

Okay, not literally–I hate it when people use that word in contexts where it adds absolutely nothing to what you’re trying to say.

For example: “It is literally raining really hard out there.”

As opposed to what–it metaphorically raining really hard?

Or, when using the word “literally” is actually counterproductive, as in:

“Oh, he was literally drop-dead gorgeous.”

Wait…so you dropped dead on the floor? Or was that Mr. Gorgeous to whom you were referring? Because sorry to say, I’m not really into necrophilia, sorry.

Anyway.

As a break from the super-fun Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt series I’ve been experimenting with lately, I finally have something to write about, thanks to a meeting I just had.

If you know anything about my advisor, you will know that he is not the hugs and warm fuzzies type. No, he’s not a terrible, unhuggable person. In fact, he’s very much a great person and one of the biggest characters you will ever have the pleasure to meet. I respect him a whole bushel and a tun.

But when you’ve just had your discussion section you’re teaching observed by him, and you walk into his office to discuss how it all went down, there will be a considerable amount of internal knee-knocking happening.

He invited me to sit down and started with this ominous opening.

“Your discussion section on Thursday…”

<pause>

“…was…I can honestly say…”

<pause>

(Meanwhile, I’m writhing in my chair–a residual effect of DYING from suspense.)

And then it comes.

…the very best section I have ever, ever observed.”

I couldn’t have been more shocked if I was a real-life human embodiment of Pikachu.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts

Chocolate-Dipped Lacy Butter Cookies

Dear readers,

Thank you all first off for all of your wonderful comments about the new “Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt” series I’ve been experimenting with during the past week. As all of you are probably only too keenly aware, writing and creating something even marginally distinct in the blog-o-sphere requires you to throw so much of yourself into your work. For those of you who had a chance to read the last two posts, I hope you found them nostalgic and satisfying, and that you’ll share the next installments of this series with your friends; for those of you who haven’t, you should definitely take a peek (but maybe I’m just biased! But really, who doesn’t love two fun recipe-sharing stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and Sam-I-am?)

Today, my friends and I watched a wonderful rendition of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, in which radio actors combined their amazing vocal talents during a live recording session with a completely gratifying display of visual theater. Needless to say, it was one of the best adaptations of the novel I have ever seen! The following post, the third installment of the LWOM series, is a tribute to my this-is-as-wild-as-it-gets-Thursday-night-#nerdgasmic feelings about the performance.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good appetite, must be in want of a cookie.

A thin, crisp, sweet chocolate-dipped lacey butter cookie.

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.”

A man’s imagination, however, cannot be said to be much less rapid. It jumps with equal urgency from chocolate-dipped lacey cookies to homemade fondant-draped wedding cakes, with no clear connection between the two thoughts to speak of, and unrealistic expectations concerning the oven-labouring capacities of his would-be wife.Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

LWOM: Kimchi Pancakes, Okonomiyaki (and Other Things Tacky, From Sam-I-Am)

I’m not Sam–but take a look!

Sam-I-am is in this book.

I’m sure you all know how Sam-I-am…

Loves a good dish of green eggs and ham.

But the question to ask,

We must take to task!

It’s not such a crime…

We’ll ask, “Do pancakes buzz?”

(But that doesn’t rhyme!)

(Well now it does.)

Would they

buzz over coffee?

(Try feeding them toffee!)

Or would they

buzz o’er papers?

(If you paired them with capers.)

Do they sound a bit tacky?

(Just like okonomiyaki.)

But what could that mean?

(We hope it’s nothing obscene.)

Are you sure that’s a pancake?

Why, what else could it be? 

It’s not a waffle

or a donut

or a pig

or a tree.

(And better still, we think it’s made of kimchi!)

So whether or not these pancakes do buzz

or chuckle

or snarfle

or gigglerooruzz,

And whether they’re made of red clouds

or green bean,

Have some okonomiyaki–

(BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?)

So now we conclude without really concluding

Our noggins confuzzled and our parents deluding.

Here was the tale of our pancakes a-buzz.

But we know you will love them–

At least, Sam-I-am sure does.

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own pancakes that are neither pigs nor trees. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food.Read more

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Filed under Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian

LWOM: Caramel Apple Pie Bars (from the Perspective of Pooh)

I’d like to do something a bit different today. Today is a Friday, which is different from a Thursday or a Saturday or a birthday or an unbirthday, so of course things would be different to begin with. But today will be a different-in-a-meeting-new-friends-kind-of-way day, which is our favorite kind of day. And I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. You may have heard of him before.

Why don’t you say hello to our friends, Pooh?

“Hello to our friends,” said Pooh.

“Thank you Pooh,” I said.

So this is Pooh. Also known in the 100 Acre Woods (where he’s from–Pooh, that is) as Winnie-ther-Pooh–or at least that’s what Christopher Robin calls him. And Christopher Robin is usually not wrong about these sorts of things, except on every other Thursday, and sometimes when it’s his unbirthday.

“What sorts of things are we talking about?” a growly bear voice said.

“About you liking honey, for instance,” I said.

“Oh,” Pooh replied. “I thought we were. I just wanted to make sure.”

“That’s a very good thing to do,” I said.

“And well–if you don’t mind my asking–what other sorts of things do I like?”

“What about these caramel apple pie bars?” I asked, pointing at the picture you just saw. “What do you think of them?”

“I don’t see them quite well,” said the bear, who scratched his head with his paw in a puzzling sort of way. “It’s a very hard thing to do when you’re on the same screen page as a picture.”

“Well, maybe if you look from the outside,” I suggested quietly.

And so he did. And it looked something like this. From your point of view, of course. I imagine it looked quite different to Pooh.

“Well?” I asked when he had pondered for a pondering while.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Butter Brickle Frozen Delight

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell

Just as sweet.

Call me wallflower girl. Does that sound sweet to you?

It’s always been a source of minor discomfort to me how fast I can turn from the happy locus of attention among a group of friends to a complete, total wallflower in other social situations. Even when I’m ostensibly happily immersed in a large-group conversation, I can just as easily be that awkward person standing between two people who are having a really great discussion.The only things that make it slightly less great are that…

1) they’re having the discussion across you instead of with you,

2) you’re already part of the circle and can’t leave without seeming rude, so you have to stand there and politely nod at some neutral viewing space between the two people with a look as glazed as a fresh donut,

3) the said conversationists will inevitably give you an acknowledging glance every, oh, half a minute or so, to let you know that they know you’re still there. And that they’re maybe trying to include you. But you’ve been so busy staring at the back of somebody else’s head for the past 30 seconds that you don’t know what they were talking about anyway, and so you just smile.

4) You find out you were smiling while they were talking about something super serious. Like the resurgence of the bubonic plague in a remote corner of New Zealand or something. And then you just feel pretty dumb.

Social situations and I can sometimes get along like, say, water and oil that has caught on fire. For your reference, apparently you’re not supposed to throw water on a stovetop on which oil has flamed up. Instant flambe.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Frozen Desserts

Owl Pumpkin Cupcakes with Choco-Orange Frosting

I treated myself two nights ago (i.e. Halloween, night of the dead, sugar-induced-accidents evening) to an indulging, sinful, completely guilty treat.

Sleep. Lots and lots of it.

That’s right—my haunting, harrowing, happy, hooligan-ing Halloween…ended at about 10 PM. I just turned off the lights, pulled on my PJ’s, and hopped into bed. No candy for you, children. This night is mine.

So are these owl cupcakes. Mine, mine, mine. Okay, maybe one yours. But mostly mine.

Aren’t they absolutely adorable? And I promise they won’t regurgitate their dinner in your living room.

Wallflour Power: I just watched “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” today. I’m so excited to review my (partial) namesake in my next post! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote–”We accept the love we think we deserve.” <3 You deserve a lot. Embrace it!

These cupcakes have been circulating the blog-o-sphere since owls roamed the earth (give or take a few…millennia), and I couldn’t wait for a good excuse to make them. So I strolled on over to my calendar. I can always count on my calendar to have something awesome lined up. If it says “August 15,” I can just say, “Oh look–tomorrow’s the smack middle of August. Guess we’re gonna really need CUPCAKES.”

This time, my excuse was a little bit more warranted.

Excuse, meet Halloween. Halloween, Excuse. Pleasure. Let’s sidle over to the oven while we chat, shall we?

After throwing on a hastily-compiled, years-used Hogwarts student costume yesterday, I pulled out my authentic wand from Ollivander’s (you know, the really genuine one sitting in tropical Florida) and zapped up a batch of these owl-order cupcakes.

Technically speaking, conjuring food out of thin air is not allowed under the five principle exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration. But I didn’t just completely give away the caliber of geekiness at which I am operating there.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes