Ok, can someone please tell me why I’m doing this, baking every day for 365 days straight? Did I start it because I thought it would be fun? Because today or tonight rather, was NOT fun. Whatever was I thinking??!!
My husband had the day off, so he took me to lunch at elements restaurant – Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! It was by far the best lunch that we have ever had and I cannot wait to go for dinner. The view of the mountain and surrounding Paradise Valley was gorgeous, the service was as you would expect at an upscale restaurant – very attentive and friendly, but the food… Oh, the food. We went because I had heard great things about chef Beau Macmillan through the paper and through the Food Network. BUT, whenever I saw him on Sunday’s episode of Food Network’s Chopped All-Stars (he’s picture #10), AND he’s a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island (Woo Hoo!), I knew we had to go. I have a friend, Dean, who also graduated from there and is a pastry chef. Dean’s always making gorgeous and delicious items, so I know only great chefs graduate from Johnson & Wales. Ok, I’m partial. What can I say? Unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet him or talk to him about good ol’ Little Rhody because he was in a meeting. I’ll have to send him an e-mail and tell him how delicious everything was. Oh, and he’s probably a Red Sox fan because he’s from Plymouth, MA!
After a great lunch and still savoring all of the flavors, we walked into the house and my stomach turned. About 2 hours before leaving for lunch, I seared some chuck roast and put that along with a couple of other things into the crockpot for an easy dinner tonight. It was also a gluten free recipe I decided to try since we’ve started my daughter on that diet. BLECH! When I walked in the house, I couldn’t stand the smell! But I didn’t want to make a big deal of it or say anything before we ate because I knew (as has happened before) that if I didn’t like it before we ate then the kids were probably not even going to taste it. Man! And if we don’t like it and don’t want to eat it, it’s not like I can whip up something quick because now it has to be gluten free or at least it does for one of us. We sat down to dinner, and the family thought it was just ok. I took my fourth bite and almost lost it – removed myself from the table, ran to the garbage can and confessed that I couldn’t stand the smell earlier in the day. I think it was the coconut milk. I haven’t had an aversion to a smell that badly since fish when I was pregnant with our son. Eew. I know I won’t be making that recipe again!
After dinner, I’m disgusted still about dinner and the lingering odor, so I begin making the cookies. This, I decided tonight, is not a good thing – starting to bake at 7 pm. I’ve been doing this lately and consequently I’m up til 11 or 12 because after baking I then need to blog. I started thinking about how late it was and that I was already becoming tired. Oh yeah, did I mention that the house is a MESS? And dinner dishes are now strewn about all over my work space, so that needs to be cleaned up before I can really start. The baking process begins and I’m doing my best to wash my hands and be ever so careful with what I touch because I’m knee-deep in gluten and don’t want to cross-contaminate anything (here comes my OCD). A short time later, I was pissed that the dough was sticking to the counter, and I mean, really sticking to the counter. Like I didn’t have enough flour all over my kitchen already, I needed to douse the counter with it now. AND, I’m pissed that I’m using all these ingredients and for what? Is anyone going to eat these things? Is this really economical? No! NOT AT THIS POINT!
This is when I start thinking, “Why am I doing this? I don’t want to do this anymore.”
I guess I thought it out loud because my husband responded, “if it’s not fun, don’t do it anymore.”
My daughter exclaimed, “What?! You’re not going to do it?”.
I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that I’m pissed my house is such a mess and REALLY needs to be cleaned. AGAIN! And I feel as if I have 50 different projects going on that I’ve started and haven’t finished which only contributes to the mess in the house.
Oh yeah, that and I’m PMS-ing. Yay, me.
When I sat down later at the computer to start the blog, my sweet, sensitive 13 year old son came over and without even being asked, gave me a shoulder massage.
Then I log into my blog and see I have an additional Follower. Thank you, new Follower, I really needed that today.
Another book I checked out at the library yesterday was Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. The recipe for these cookies is on page 110; author, Martha Stewart; publisher, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.; ISBN 0-307-23672-2. Growing up, I remember my grandfather having his half of grapefruit for breakfast with his burnt toast, eggs, and his cup of coffee. Grapefruit brings up warm, fuzzy memories. That may be one of the reasons I like eating it, besides the fact that I really like the taste, especially the Ruby Red. While browsing through this book I came across this recipe and thought what a cool kind of cookie flavor to make. Yup. That’s all I’ll say until after the recipe.
Grapefruit Sandwich Sandwich Cookies
Grated zest of 1 ruby red grapefruit, plus ¼ cup freshly squeezed juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
Grapefruit Cream filling (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the grapefruit zest with 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg yolks, and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the reserved zest-sugar mixture. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the juice, and beat to combine.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the disk to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place about 1 inch apart on the prepared sheet.
Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Transfer parchment paper and cookies to rack to cool completely.
Using an offset spatula, spread 1 tablespoon filling onto the flat sides of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down. Once filled, cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Grapefruit Cream Filling
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the honey. Add juice, one tablespoon at a time, until filling holds together and is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside until ready to use.
If you like ruby red grapefruits, you may or may not like these cookies. I really wasn’t too nuts about them. Again, being honest with you, it may have been because I taste tested too much of the batter. I really think that zesting a whole grapefruit may have been too much and that doing a half would have been sufficient. Also, I think my cookies were too thick and needed to be rolled a wee bit thinner. I used that flower cookie cutter and ended up making 34 cookies, so there would be 17 sandwiches. I made four, took pictures, tasted one, then solicited opinions and packed the rest of the cookies and cream up. If anyone out in blogging land would like to try one or two or three, call me. I know I won’t be gaining weight from eating these. Although that cream right from the bowl was pretty doggone good.
My rating system is on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best. Sorry, Martha. I need to give these a 1½ rolling pins. Two people thought they were rather good, gave them a 2½, and one took one bite, shook his head and said, “Uh-uh.”
Call me. For cookies.
I will blog again tomorrow. Happy baking!