Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Cooky Book: Ethel's Sugar Cookies

The Recipe: Ethel's Sugar Cookies from Betty Crocker's The Cooky Book

The Substitutions: Butter for shortening. I used vanilla instead of lemon flavouring and added a bag of mini chocolate chips so that my family wouldn't abandon me.

The Verdict: Hooray, I've moved onto the "Rolled Cookies" section of the Cooky Primer chapter. I've kind of been dreading this point. First off, I am not a good roller. This is why I refuse to make pie crusts. But, the Cooky show must go on, so I'm committed to rolling for the time being. Secondly, the Betty Crocker people have included TWO sugar cookie recipes IN A ROW! In a row! I am not a fan of sugar cookies at all, and now I have to make two batches in a row? Oh right, you're not necessarily supposed to be baking through the entire book in order...

Anyway, Ethel's sugar cookies are nothing like the kind of sugar cookies I remember as a kid. They're basically made of the same drop cookie dough that most of the cookies in this book are made out of, only rolled out. This makes them a great candidate for the addition of chocolate chips. I really loaded them up, and as a result these are totally delicious cookies.

Would these have worked without the chocolate? Probably, but I'm not willing to ever find out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Recipe: Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms from the March 2011 issue of Chatelaine. Recipe online here.

The Substitutions: None

The Verdict: Super Yum! Truth be told, I've only ever had Salisbury steak as part of a TV dinner. I had no idea how delicious they could be homemade. This recipe is really easy (it's essentially a hamburger patty simmered in some beef stock), but the taste really packs some punch.

This recipe contains a load of dried sage and I think I'd go easier on it next time because the taste is pretty overpowering. But all in all this recipe is a total keeper.

The Cooky Book: Refrigerator Filled Cookies

The Recipe: Refrigerator Filled Cookies from Betty Crocker's The Cooky Book.

The Substitutions: butter instead of shortening.

The Verdict: These are essentially vanilla refrigerator cookies filled with some fruit and nuts. Betty Crocker tells us that they have an "island shape," which is true, but they look a little less seamless than the ones pictured in the book. Still, these guys were pretty tasty and actually disappeared quite quickly.

I chose to make the fruit filling with dried apricots. I figured that would decrease the gross-out potential substantially, since the other options were mincemeat (ick!), dates, figs or raisins (all also icky). The apricot filling was actually pretty delicious, but I was a little afraid of overfilling the cookies and having some kind of sticky oven disaster, so I held back. This was my mistake. I think they could have taken more filling, which would have contributed to their deliciousness greatly.

The cookies themselves are a little on the boring side, which wouldn't have mattered if I had filled them properly. Either way, this is a pretty good recipe, providing you avoid the mincemeat.