Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Little Edie Birthday Cake

Hooray. Today I'm 37. Which is as good an excuse as any to make a chocolate cake. (Note: Yes, that is a Hershey's recipe. Again, I'm not endorsing. If you'd like to make a chocolate cake, use whatever kind of cocoa you want. I linked to that recipe because it produces a very good cake (and icing) every time.)

Doesn't this bunch of dry ingredients look kinda' like a volcano?

(Yes, I have Mount St Helens and Eyjafjallajökull on the brain. This is nothing new as I find vulcanology to be a fascinating science. (No, you dork. Not the vulcanology that has to do with Spock. I f--king hate all things "Star Trek".))

If you decide to use the linked to recipe, do note that the batter will be runny. Don't worry. It's supposed to look like that.

Here's the part where I start straying from the recipe. First of all, I made a reverse stencil of Little Edith Beale. I'm *so* about "Grey Gardens"!

After the cakes had cooled, I then spread a layer of raspberry jam in the middle to hold the layers together.

Sorry, not meant to be a product placement. I really should have turned the jar sideways.

I then iced the cake with chocolate icing and sifted powdered sugar through the stencil.

After adding all 37 candles, I made a birthday cake flambé.

Ok, no, not really. But when you're pushing 40 using the correct amount of candles does remind one of a Johnny Cash song.

And with that, we come to the end of this blog.

If you'd like to continue following my, um, exploits, I have a weekly blog at Glitter Pissing. I've also got a 365 blog, Stupid F--king Awesome which will resume in June. There is also my old 365 blog, Suspect and Fugitive as well as my Flickr account. Additionally, I have an Etsy store.

One last reminder: the opening for my solo show at Bluebottle is June 10 from 5p-8p! Relevant links: 1, 2, 3. If you're in the Seattle area, I'd love to see you there!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Polaroid Cookies

I had some leftover sugar cookie dough from the Magnumstache Cookie and decided to put it to good use before I stopped baking for a while. (I'm seriously not eating any sweets for at least six months once this project is over!)

These cookies came about because of my friend Joe's favorite "Goonies" quote: "You can't hug a photograph!" (Oh, Data!)

Maybe you can't (Although technically you can? 'Cause it exists in three dimensions and is, therefore, able to be hugged?) but now you can definately eat one (or at least a reasonable facsimile).

You know the drill by now, right? I started with a stencil that I used as a template.

I then cut out the dark parts of the stencil.

Followed by pushing food dye through. (This is actually my favorite step.)

I changed things up a little by freehanding the rainbow stripes on the Polaroid camera but other that that, the same steps apply again. Cooling. Yay!

Followed by the finished shot!

No, I'm not going to make any jokes about "seeing what develops". I will also not refer to that Andre 3000 song. Although you are certainly more than free to find it on the YouTube if you are so inclined.

Tomorrow is the last day of this blog! Don't forget that the opening for my solo show at Bluebottle is June 10 from 5p-8p! Relevant links: 1, 2, 3. If you're in the Seattle area, I'd love to see you there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Magnumstache Cookie

I'm not sure that words are really necessary in this post as the images speak for themselves. Perhaps I should just give you this sugar cookie recipe and a few comments on photos.

In order to make a Magnumstache Cookie a.k.a. a Tom Selleck Cookie with Interchangeable Mustaches, one must first make a stencil of Tom Selleck sans facial hair.

It is first used to cut out the basic cookie shape. Then some cutting is performed on it. Namely, the removal of dark/shadow.

Once the stencil is ready, food dye can be pushed through it. Doesn't that second Tom Selleck look like it's part of the Insane Clown Posse of something lame like that?

The stenciled Toms should be placed in the fridge while mustaches are cut out.

I baked the cookies in two separate batches (one of Toms and the other of mustaches) due to the difference in thickness of the dough. I cooled them on the same rack though.

After the cookies are cool enough to handle, you can change Tom's mustaches to your heart's content!

You could even make a movie about it!

Magnumstache Cookie from rakka deer on Vimeo.

There are only two days left on this blog! Don't forget that the opening for my solo show at Bluebottle is June 10 from 5p-8p! Relevant links: 1, 2, 3. If you're in the Seattle area, I'd love to see you there!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rocky Road Brownies

Hey, you guys! I'm taking a break from cookies today (I do have that solo show that I'm working on, you know.) So I'm making Rocky Road brownies by quartering this recipe.

(The above Rocky Road Vimeo clip is from when Leff and I went on a Goonies vacation about three years ago. Yes, we're fans of the movie. No, there's not a lot to do in the PNW besides visiting filming locations and bitching about the rain.)

Let me tell you a secret. I'm not a fan of Rocky Road anything because I hate marshmallows. (It's a texture thing. I hate squidge.) So to work around this, I found a RR brownie recipe that had a really good sounding base. I mean, look at this batter!

It was very tasty when I licked the spoon. After I poured the batter into the pan, germophobe. Jesus, what is with you people?

One good thing about these brownies is that they gave me chance to use up the problem pecans.

I left the brownies in the oven maybe 10 minutes longer than was specified to try and dry out the marshmallows. (I really hate squidge. )

It made them look kinda' smore-ish which is a decent thing, I suppose.

In summation, these brownies are really good if you pull off the marshmallows.

I think that One Eyed Willy would also find these acceptable minus the squidge.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Joan Jett Sandwich Cookie

What do you do when you have some left over sugar cookie dough, black food dye and "Crimson and Clover" on repeat (over and over, ha!) in your kitchen? You make a Joan Jett cookie, naturally.

I decided to stencil this cookie instead of doing the template thing like with yesterday's Daria confections. (You may know that I've done a shit ton of stenciling with food in my time. If not, well, uh, now you're aware.)

So what's the process? Well, first you make a drawing. I always mark the areas that I'm going to be cutting out with an "x". I sometimes shade in the dark areas as well to see if the stencil will read well.

Since my dough is black, I need a "reverse" stencil. All that means is that I'll be cutting out the light areas instead of those in shade.

The next step is to cut out the shape of the cookie. (Use the stencil as a template) Don't worry about detail at this point. But do make sure you cut out two shapes. This is going to be a sandwich cookie.

Now cut out the light parts of the stencil on the paper. (Those parts that I marked with an "x".) This is going to be the guide for cutting dough. See? Here's before cutting:

And now after:

It's easier to do detailed cutting on your cookie sheet. Just trust me on that.

While both parts of the sandwich cookie are baking, it's a good time to make some icing. I whipped up a tiny amount of cream cheese frosting 'cause I like how it contrasts with black cookies.

Once the cookies have baked, they're fairly easy to move around. Still, be careful with the cookie part that has missing bits. It's kinda' fragile.

Place some of the cream cheese frosting on the bottom cookie and then carefully place Joan's face on top. Voila! It's a Joan Jett Sandwich Cookie!

I mean, it's not a cherry bomb or anything but it doesn't have a bad reputation either. Not that you should give a damn about that anyway.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daria Cookies

You were aware that the complete series of "Daria" came out on DVD last week, right? I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I've always loved that show.

What with the billions of hours of show to watch, you can understand why I've got "Daria" on the brain. As such, it was an obvious decision to make Daria cookies.

I'll get to the construction in the minute. First you probably want the sugar cookie recipe. (I quartered it.)

The way that I make a lot of shaped cookies is through the use of a template. It's normally made of paper 'cause I've got lots of that around. I tend to put detail on the drawing for reference but first I cut out the overall shape. Here's Daria on some dough to give you some idea.

Also Jane and Trent.
After cutting out shapes, I use a toothpick and trace around details on the templates that need to be painted onto the unbaked dough. For example, for Trent it's his hairline and facial features.

You get the idea, right?

I baked the cookies according to direction in the recipe.

One more note: Daria's hair was a little different than my standard "trace and paint" method. I don't have any brown food dye so I cut her hair from the template and used it on some dough that I'd kneaded into some cocoa powder. Pretty nice result, huh?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bluth Bananas

It's now birthday week. In other words, seven days until I turn 37. Also, seven days until the end of this blog. This means is that I'll be doing a bit of "stunt baking" (yes, even more so than the miniature things).

I say that I'll be stunt baking and, yet, on the first day of birthday week, I decide to go with frozen bananas.

You don't really need a recipe for these, do you? You do? Ok, here's something. But basically all you need to do is:

1) Procure bananas.

They can be smooshy and brown.

2) Cut the bananas in half and skewer them with a chopstick.

3) Place them in the freezer for four hours. Yes, four hours. What? It's not like you can't go do something else while they're freezing, shortstack.

You could even freeze them the night before like I did and sleep through it.

4) Four hours later, melt some chocolate. Brush it onto the bananas. Roll the bananas in some nuts. (I know, I know, George Michael uses the dip method but you realize that I'm not George Michael, right?)

5) Place back in freezer for, like, an hour or whatever.

See, easy! What's not so easy is photographing the damn thing. I'm *so* not trying to be rude with this photograph.

Anyway, that's why we don't argue. Or maybe it's why we don't use a one armed person to scare someone. Whatever. Just watch out for banana grabbers. And don't forget that there's always money in the banana stand.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

You know those peanut butter cookies that your surrogate grandma would give you if, like, I don't know, you accidentally rammed your bike into some barbed wire because the brakes were faulty? And, like, you were cut up enough to need to get stitches but, for some reason, you never went to the doctor? Yeah, this peanut butter cookie recipe is so good that it will almost make you forget that you're bleeding into your shirt sleeve.

You know, hypothetically.

You may notice the lack of forking on these dough balls.

That is because it is not required! So put down your utensil, stampy! Or maybe use it to eat some pasta or something. Just DON'T FORK THE COOKIES!

See, they came out just fine. (I can still see you holding your fork, nonbeliever.)

What's that? You would like some mood music with your cookies? No, I won't link to "Hatari!" again (but I will include another elephant in the photo). And I'm also not linking to that MC Chris song. What do you take me for? There is no jelly associated with this peanut butter.

No, you will do the Peanut Butter Stomp and like it. Ok, fine, here's the "Hatari!" song again.

(baking notes: recipe was quartered, I ate enough of the batter so that there were two less cookies than there should have been.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Small Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

All that you need to know about this recipe is that it produces the best chocolate chip cookies known to man.

If you're one of those "Ick! Cakey cookies! I only eat chewy cookies with cacao beans that have been harvested by pink newts! Wah wah!" people, omg, stop. You are undeserving of the recipe.

Everyone else, please proceed. There are delicious cakey cookies to be made.

Have you ever noticed that it's almost impossible to photograph shiny chocolate things without them vaguely resembling crap? Yeah, here's that.

It's fine though because they will eventually dry out from the baking and look like the scrumptious beasts that they are.

As I mentioned above, these cookies are, like, sent by Zeus or something. They are certainly worthy of Titans. Clashing(!) (or at the very least a crappy video of a wind up owl) on their own. However, if you add vanilla ice cream between two of them, you could probably rule the world. You know, if you wanted to.

(baking notes: recipe was quartered, cookies did not last more than 30 minutes)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jolie's Lemon Squares

So, I was planning out lemon squares, right? I'd found a recipe that was "eh" and clicked over to The Awl for some contrast when !!! there was Jolie's Lemon Square recipe!

I'd recommend that you go read it now. I'll wait. (Hold music.)

Oh! Are you back? Ok, so here's the recipe that I quartered (holy shit, you get to see my math!) and put on a granite countertop. (See, that will make sense if you've read the article.)

Here is what I shorthanded as "butt chunks" on the Laura Palmer page.

I only included this photo so I could type "butt chunks". Twice.

(Why Laura Palmer? It's because of my show that I've been talking about ad nauseum Not some strange, misplaced PNW pride that I don' t have .)

Parenthetical promotion aside, isn't the batter all lovely yellow and sunshiney?

It makes delicious lemon squares after it's been baked for approx 25 minutes.

No, I'm not going to read a Barbara Kingsolver novel while I eat these. Just because I live in a generic part of the left coast now doesn't mean that I'm neutered. Sheesh!

(baking notes: recipe was quartered, made in the Middle of Nowhere, WA instead of NYC)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Small Raspberry Cake

What exactly is there to say about raspberry cake? Surprisingly, not much. Especially not when there's a whole series worth of "Daria" to watch on DVD.

But I'll try.

So the recipe that I linked to is basically a yellow cake with raspberries added on top. That is not to say that it isn't tasty. It is! It's also quite attractive.

The way to achieve the winsome berry look (i.e.--a twee treat) is to place the berries on top of the batter before baking.

The batter will rise around the fruit in effect "berrying" them. Oh, ho. I'm slaying myself with that one.

While the cake is pretty tasty on its own, I prefer my berries with a bit of chocolate. Hence the icing.

Just a reminder: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Unless you're diabetic. (Yes, that was a quote from "Daria" which I should really be getting back to...)

(baking notes: Recipe was quartered. Substitutions: 2% milk for buttermilk, frozen raspberries for fresh.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby Blondies

There are two kinds of blondies that I like. This is not one of them.

Thankfully for this site, edible blondies are a type that I enjoy.

There won't be many pictures in this entry simply because I changed nothing in the recipe besides omitting walnuts and cutting all amounts by a quarter. Ok, no, I also put the batter into a bread pan and not on a jelly roll pan but that's it, I swear.

I could push the blondie metaphor by saying that the tide (mark) wasn't high with the batter but I doubt that that would send any of you into fits of rapture. It might even break your heart (of glass).

Wow, that was forced and nonsensical. These blondies, however are not. Make some!

*Call me!