Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello, goodbye

My days of working in a laboratory are coming to a close. Soon, I’ll be trekking to school and complaining about school work, college applications (!), and extracurriculars. But until I official stop working at my internship and start going to school, I will be sample baking a lot of goodies. My mentors need good bye treats! (Duh.)

First on my list, Kim Boyce’s whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. Since I’m just trying to get a feel for the recipe, I’ll only be making half. I’m not quite sure what technique to use- Kim Boyce’s or Molly’s. (Read Molly's recipe notes. You'll get it.) You’re probably like, “Uh, Boyce’s! Obviously. She created the recipe...” But you see, I do not have a stand or hand mixer. All creaming is done with my right arm. So. Yes, creaming cubes of chilled butter is quite the task.

The first time I bit into a molasses cookies, I saw stars. I was completely smitten with the chewiness and deep flavor. I vowed to make them again. And I will. I’m searching for recipes with no shortening but it’s a really hard task! Let me know if you have one that is worth sharing and post it in the comments below!

I’ll be baking blueberry crumb bars the day before my last day. No need to sample bake, I already baked them before. Banana bread, too. It’s a favorite in my house. That’s reminds me; I have to pick some bananas up so they can get nice and sweet before Thursday...

How are you guys doing? This is just a snippet of my thoughts while I wait in between TBST washes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Almost gone

blueberry crumb bars
At the beginning of the summer, I thought the vacation was flowing out slowly, like a thick stream of honey onto a bowl of Greek yogurt. I was thankful and I took each day at a time. 

I've gotten an internship for the summer. I've been busy but I'm apprecitaive of the experiences I'm gaining. I've been in kitchen too. I've made a sweet potato hash and spicy cornbread. I can now proudly say that I've made a cheesecake (sans mixer). I have also made a couple more blueberry yogurt cakes, uber healthy carrot cake cupcakes, a batch of semi-failed maple pecan muffins. (I decided to be all healthy and swap all the oil for yogurt, half of the flour for whole wheat pastry. Tough but edible when extremely hungry.)

Now that my schedule has arrived, and college worries are piling up, I know summer will be closing after a blink of an eye. I want to savor the rest of August. See, eat, watch, read and do things I can't during my senior year. (All because of two simple words. College. Apps.)

And now, on to these pretty bars. These blueberry crumb bars are the reeaaaaal deal. Everyone in my household enjoyed them. "Let's make lemon bars next time," my mom said, after she praised the bars. They're pretty and delicious enough to trick someone into thinking they're complicated. While snickering to yourself, recite the recipe you've memorized. (I did.) 

Blueberry Crumb Bars 
Barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen  
I literally memorized the recipe! I've only made one, teeny alteration. Can you find it?

1 c sugar
1 lemon, zested
3 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c cold, unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 c sugar
4 t cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced
4 c blueberries

Preheat the oven to  375 and prepare an 11x13 pan. I used a rectangular glass pan that has "3 quarts" etched on the bottom. 

Combine the zest and the 1 c of sugar together. Mix well so that the zest is fully incorporated.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, add the butter and the egg. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to incorporate. Press half of the dough into your prepared pan. 

Mix 1/2 c sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch together. Add blueberries and mix. Pour in the blueberry mixture. DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE PINK LIQUID! Sprinkle the rest of the dough on top of the blueberries. 

Bake for 40-60 minutes. My bars baked in 40; Deb's baked in 60. Cool before cutting.