SMS Wrap-Up

Hey everyone.  I know I told you a while ago that I was back in business, but there was one pesky detail keeping me from blogging, and I finally resolved it today.  After all of my unpacking, I couldn’t find my camera anywhere!  I couldn’t bear to post for a cooking and baking blog without pictures, so I just didn’t post at all.  Not the most logical decision, but my decision nonetheless.  Fortunately, I found my camera in a box of random TV cables and nick-nacks (knick-knacks?  I’ve never known how to spell that.).  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the SMS recipes I’ve baked lately, so I’ll just try to fill you in from memory.

First, Stephanie of Ice Cream Before Dinner chose the Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies for August 16.  Unfortunately, this was the first SMS recipe I’ve made that I just didn’t like.  My dough was really soft, and the cookies spread like mad, resulting in very thin, not-so-chewy cookies.  I might tweak the recipe (adding vanilla and more flour) someday, but in all likelihood I’ll just use my standard recipe.

After that, Spike the Baker stepped in as an emergency host and chose Snickerdoodles.  There was a lot of discussion on the boards on how to prevent spreading (caused by the peanut butter cookies, perhaps?), and a lot of good tips were thrown out, like chilling the dough, chilling the cookie sheets, using insulated sheets, and checking that baking soda and powder are still fresh.  I was pretty happy with this recipe, although I thought it was odd that again there was no vanilla.  I added a tiny bit of freshly grated nutmeg, because I think nutmeg rocks in snickerdoodles.  I will be making these again, but I don’t know that they’ll completely replace any of my other snickerdoodle recipes.

Next, I believe Annie of Living Life Foodcariously hosted Hazelnut Truffles.  You have no idea how bummed I was that I skipped this recipe, but I was at home and both of my parents are dieting, and I couldn’t fathom just making the truffles for my brother and I.  Not to say we wouldn’t have eaten them, it just seemed like a bad idea.  I’m really looking forward to the other truffle recipes in the book.

Then Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart hosted the Banana Apple Bread.  This looked awesome, and I thought my mom could take it into work, but then found out she’d already made banana bread using her church cookbook recipe that week.  If my roommates are banana bread people, I might give this one a whirl later this semester, once it gets more fall-like.

The last week I missed was the Fresh Peach Muffins hosted by JoVonn of The Givens Chronicles.  I had high hopes for this recipe, which were squashed by the lack of good peaches at the grocery store.  I’m pretty sure they were just super picked-over because of all the college kids who were suddenly back in town.  Anyway, this is definitely on my to-make list.

The most recent recipe was one I actually made.  For this week, Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker chose the Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake.  This was my first time ever baking a souffle, and I was pretty nervous.  Can you imagine how nervous I would have been if I didn’t go into it expecting the souffle to fall?  I made the full recipe but split it up and baked it in my 4″ springform pans.  I probably should have gotten 6 cakes from it, but I got 7 because I didn’t fill the first two up nearly full enough.  I baked each one for 16-17 minutes.  While I liked the recipe, I’m not sure I was overwhelmed by it.  That’s partially my fault, though.  We were out of oranges for zesting (they were all bald because of a chocolate-and-orange recipe I made earlier in the week), and on top of that I forgot to add the triple sec.  I tried making a simple syrup flavored with the triple sec, but it didn’t impart as much orange flavor as I was hoping.  I might make these again, but to be honest if I’m looking for chocolate-orange flavor I’ll probably just make the cookies I made earlier.  I promise I will post about them once I make them again, I’m not just stringing you along!

As for the Perfect Pound Cake… I’ll tell you about that in a while.  I’m not ready to talk about it yet…  But I promise, the issues were all my fault.

If you’re interested in what all the SMS’ers have thought of our recipes, definitely check out the blogroll.  And if you’re interested in the book, which I would very highly recommend, it’s the Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy, owner of the Sweet Melissa Patisserie in New York City.  It’s only about $17 on Amazon, and I can honestly say that I’ll be giving away at least one copy of it, come Christmas.  Actually, I might just give it to my friend for her birthday, to keep her from stealing it from me!

Gilligan 014

And just in case this wasn’t long enough, here’s a picture of my new fish, Gilligan!  I’ve had him for a week, and he finally ate something tonight.  It was really freaking me out that I got a fish that wouldn’t eat, I’m suspicious enough of people who don’t eat.  Anyway, I really like him, and isn’t he so pretty?  Sorry about the flash on the tank, it was the only way I could get the shutter speed fast enough before he moved!

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