To India with love
A boundless joy. My heart leaps and dances as our worlds unite. I offer this gift to you, Deeba, as my appreciation for the beautiful world you share with me AND all your readers. It inspires and uplifts, motivates and encourages. Your words shine a light that broadens horizons, removes borders and offers hope.
Author, photographer, mom and wondrous baker, Deeba’s talents are many. The author of the beautiful blog, Passionate about baking (www.passionateaboutbaking.blogspot.com), entered my world most innocently. As I am prone to do when I am at a loss for inspiration, I surf the many surprises of Google. I happened upon, Passionate about Baking, and immediately found myself hitting the *FAVORITES tab.
It began months ago, yet today is the day I celebrate and share my journey with you. Enjoy!
When I couldn’t locate her blog for a few days, I panicked. What has happened to this precious lady? I quickly scoured the Internet and found the answer (sorry, I can’t remember where I was, or what it was, Deebs, but no doubt it was food related) . I would discover that her site was temporarily going through some changes and would soon be updated and enhanced. WHAT? Just the mere thought of change caused me panic. Why on earth would her website need any kind of adjustment? It was beautiful, artistic and exuded warmth, friendship and love of home.
I waited. I paced. I’m sure I had an anxiety attack. (Heck, I probably had several.) Who knows how long I fretted, and eventually I was rescued by her blogs return. I found myself trying to leave a comment, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do so, and when I did try, I found the navigation of cyberspace a bit daunting. (WARNING, I am green about the gills, less-than-daring at times, and extremely Houdini-like at others.) I couldn’t help myself, awed by this lovely ladies talent, I tried countless recipes. (I really, really did, D!) Everything was worthy. The sights and smells continued to intrigue and beckon me.
Imagine my sense of wonder when I would open my blog account a few weeks back to find an unusual amount of traffic feed. I was dumbfounded. Had my account been hacked? I wasn’t out-in-the-open, so to speak. I’d intentionally held my cards close-at-hand in an attempt not to make too much white noise until I could get some of the kinks of newness worked out, but here I sat, mouth agape, filled with wide-eyed amazement that Deeba had found my world. Not only had she found it, she had baked something from it and shared it with her wonderful world.
Is there a greater joy than that of
One foodie discovering another?
How do I thank someone for making my day? I must find a way, and then it hit me like a lightening bolt! I’d come across a bake that she had done, months ago, pretty-as-pretty could be. I had to locate that bake! I had to try my best to re-create it within my own kitchen. Field glasses on, safari hat upon my head, I was off to sail the seas and swim the channels. Or, more appropriately, to use the search function of her glorious site in hopes of finding the gold.
It took me three days. Yes. It is so obvious to those that are NOT challenged by this blog thing, but me, well I’m a work in progress, and some days I am as slow as that tortoise.
My decorating attempt on bake #1 left me wanting, although loving daughter M1, complimented me, but in my heart-of-hearts I knew what I expected, so back to the kitchen, and on to the second attempt.
Smartie Cookies (my adaptation to this lovely item)
Butter – 3/4 cup (room temp)
Castor Sugar – 1 cup (I used granulated bakers sugar)
Egg – 1 (beaten)
Flour – 2 1/2 cups (I used AP)
Salt – 1 pinch
Almond Essence/Extract – 1 tsp.
Vanilla Essence/Extract – 1 tsp.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy and light
Add the salt, plus vanilla, almond extracts and beat for 30 seconds.
With a spatula mix in the beaten egg.
Put in all the flour in one go, and gather together to make a firm dough.
Chill for at least 30 minutes in plastic wrap.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters
Decorate with Smarties (M and M’s) and silver dragees if desired.*
Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 12 – 14 minutes watching closely so that they don’t get too brown.
Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for a minute before removing to a wire rack.
Note: You can flavor these with any other extract of your choice, or just leave them plain vanilla if you like. I think orange and lemon may work well with these, though I haven’t tried it myself.
Keep an eye on the cookies towards the end of the baking time. If you find a couple browning before the others remove them from the sheet onto the cookie rack and return remaining cookies to the oven.
*After my first decorating attempt using sanding sugar and tinted icing, I chose to alter the recipe a bit for the second attempt. An egg-white wash was brushed atop the sides and tops of the cookies. Some cookies featured here are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, some topped with cacao nips and, or walnut pieces.
Valrhona Cacao Nibs & California Walnuts
Thanks for all that you do, Deeba. I LOVE your blog and I am finally able to tell you so!
~ by coffeegrounded on 2009/03/17.