I never reblog, but this feeds both my love of food and my love of literature. If I could like something a thousand times, I would like this a thousand times. Thank you, Emma, for sharing this. It made my night. Also, I’m so glad that there are people out there who know the amazingness that is Banoffee Pie.
My mum is a baking mastermind. She makes the most amazing pies, the moistest brownies, the richest coffee cakes, and occasionally she makes cookies as well. As a baker’s son, I’ve always viewed cookies as a mundane thing that everyone does; I guess that’s just because the only baking I do consists of a batch or two of cookies. This time, her cookies ascended to a level of deliciousness I had only thought possible in meat products. No they weren’t sirloin cookies, unfortunately; they were oatmeal cookies, modified to contain orange zest, cranberries, chocolate, and almonds, with a delightful orange glaze over the top. It’s one of the most interesting cookies I’ve eaten, and that’s saying a lot considering the amount of cookies I’ve shoved in my mouth in my 19 years of existence on this planet. Yeah, I know you’re probably skipping most of this text to get to the recipe to bake the delicious looking cookies you see above, but I don’t blame you.
-1/2 cup butter, unsalted -1/2 cup shortening -2 eggs -1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla -zest of 2 oranges -1 1/2 cup all purpose flour -1 teaspoon baking soda -1 teaspoon cinnamon -3/4 teaspoon kosher salt -3 cups rolled oats, not instant -1 cup dried cranberries -1 cup chopped almonds -1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips -2 cups powdered sugar -juice of about half an orange
Cream together the butter, shortening, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry to the creamed mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in the rolled oats, cranberries, almonds, and chocolate. Chill the dough overnight.
Use a ice cream scoop to form the dough. Place the dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to push the dough down into the shape of a thick hockey puck. Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. Let them sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Make a glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar and the orange juice. Modify the amount of juice depending on how thick it is. Ideally, the glaze should fall back on itself in ribbons if suspended in the air on a spoon. After the cookies have cooled for 10 minutes on the cooling rack, glaze the top. Make sure to put some foil under the cooling rack to catch the drips. Let the glaze set for 20 minutes.
As a food writer, I firmly believe that my audience should understand where I’m coming from in terms of my tastes in food. To account for this, I have compiled a short list of foods that I have craved within the past week. Mind you, if I listed everything I craved in the past week you’d probably get bored of reading because the wall of text would be more intimidating than the one they tore down in Berlin.
-Caprese -Apples -Grapefruit -Steak with mushrooms and horseradish -Tuna nigiri -Duck confit -Sprite -Cucumber soda -Watermelon -Bacon -Chocolate -Bacon dipped in chocolate -Strawberries dipped in chocolate -Ayran (a sour, peppery yogurt drink from the Middle East) -Potato chips -Beet salad -Fried okra -Ginger beer -Scotch -Anything with garlic -Anything with lamb -Garlic lamb -Peaches -Wilted spinach with nutmeg -Etouffee -Cantonese duck -Thai duck curry (as pictured below) -Potatoes fried in duck fat -French fries fried in duck fat -My leather shoes fried in duck fat -Pancetta -Sundried tomatoes -Pork buns -Any of my mother’s baked goods (especially berry pie, pictured above)
That should give you some idea of what you’re dealing with. By the way, I will be trying to coerce my mother to give me a few of her baking recipes to post on this blog, since I’m a terrible baker and I feel like I should have some baking recipes on a blog that’s supposed to be about all types of food.
This winter, a crisis has inflicted Sweden and Norway: they are out of butter! Personally, I consider this to be some of the gravest news circulating right now. How will the Norwegians make Krumkakes, biscuits, and all those deliciously simple buttery cookies? And all those angry Swedish grandmothers, left out in the cold with no butter; I can’t even begin to imagine.
For years, the demand for dairy products in Scandinavia has been steadily declining, but when the holidays roll around and everyone is baking and cooking to their hearts’ content, the demand for dairy, butter especially, rises. Even though the average Swede consumes a little over a kilogram (about 2.5 pounds) per year, it is still enough to send them into panic over the complete lack of butter in this holiday season. The past summer has been particularly wet, says Tine (the company responsible for producing 90% of Norway’s dairy products), which impacts the feed that the dairy cows are getting for the worse. As a result, dairy cows in Norway are having a harder time producing milk, and the same is true of Sweden. There is such a slump amongst the dairy manufacturers that butter has all but vanished from Swedish and Norwegian grocery stores. Tine, in the interest of keeping their dairy monopoly strong, did not warn Norway about the shortage until it had already struck. Now Norway is forced to loosen some of its international trade laws to import butter.
I hear Denmark is more than happy to lend a hand though. Their dairy industry has not suffered, and their butter is still in abundance. Although, I wouldn’t usually associate Denmark with butter, at least not the way I would associate France with wine; they’re not a nation that thrives off their craft at butter making. Nevertheless, Norway is having enough butter shipped in to sustain them throughout the holiday season. Sweden is doing the same.
But what can this horrible crisis teach those who were not affected? Being thankful seems to be the most obvious conclusion, but it’s hard to be thankful for butter when nutritionists are constantly trying to tell us that it’s bad for us and that we should be eating chemical-laden margarine instead. Oh yes, I can definitely believe that it’s not butter. And when America consumes more margarine per capita than it does butter, it seems as if we’re having a crisis of our own, trying to convince ourselves that margarine is healthier. That must be the reason we’re eating so much of it; margarine certainly has no advantages in terms of taste. Just spread a nice piece of sourdough toast with a little butter on one side and a little margarine on the other; you’ll taste the difference.
Yes, in these times when butter is in shorter demand, and when more people are turning to the dark side of dairy for “health reasons”, I advocate the open and copious use of butter. We must show the rest of America that butter is a perfectly acceptable food. We must help the Scandinavians in their time of need. We must bake shortbread cookies, cook butter sauces, and spread butter on our morning toast. This holiday season, don’t leave butter out in the cold. If you run short, you can always make your own out of cream. It’s very simple.
Leave the cream out overnight, or for about 12 hours. It should turn a little bit sour.
Now take your cream and put it into a glass jar. Make sure the lid is very secure. Shake the jar with large, deliberate shakes, not very quickly. It should be a strong shake so the cream comes into very forceful contact with the side of the jar. Do this for about 3 minutes, until the cream solidifies.
Strain out the excess milk. This is buttermilk, and you can keep it for using in mashed potatoes and other such things. Wash you butter by adding a little cold water and giving the jar a quick, gentle shake. Strain out the water, and you will be left with butter. Add salt if you prefer your butter salted.