Thursday, 22 January 2009

Pecan Sandies

I discovered a jar of pecans whilst I was cleaning out the pantry last week, so I decided to try out a recent recipe from my favourite gastro porn site.

(I'll spare you the details of my other pantry clean out cooking foray - though I remain unconvinced that quinoa, beetroot and pomegranate can't be friends)

Knowing that shortbread is finikity and having learnt my lesson from cooking blunders past, I followed the instructions TO THE LETTER. Or to the millimeter as it was in this case.

I'm not sure if my metal ruler is technically food safe, but I can attest that my biscuits were 1 inch square (+ or - 1/16th of an inch).

Obviously my keen quality assurance team (jms) found this tolerance suitable for taste testing purposes, and declared them a success.

I even managed to refrain from rerolling the scraps (god forbid the structural integrity of one's shortbread be compromised). I'm glad I did, because the texture of these biscuits was so light I swear a host of angels could be heard singing with each mouthful.

This did leave some less than photographic odds and ends that after yours truly was rendered too ill to cram any more dough into her mouth, were cooked and the QA department promptly devoured them in the name of Total Quality Management.

I'm not a huge fan of pecans - but I am a sucker for recipes that require toasted nuts. Like freshly ground coffee or baked bread, the smell of roasted nuts is one of those smells that I think makes a house feel like a home. And in this case, it really does turn a wee biscuit in to something not just nice, but delicious.

The simple act of enriching the oils with a slight caramelisation seems to take recipes to another level. That little extra step makes me feel like I am becoming an accomplished cook, and not just someone who throws stuff together when hunger dictates. Try toasting your pine nuts lightly next time you make pesto. Or add some gently toasted slivered almonds to a simple salad. Brownies (not that heaven needs improvement) do taste a little more special if you roast your hazelnuts or whatever first I am told. And I promise, the next time I make banana bread, to wave those walnut suckers near an open flame, just to see what happens.

For the sake of quality control purposes of course.

However, as I have informed my best beloved, this cook is on biscuit and cake hiatus until the delivery of a new mixer. So there.

I'm sorry folks, but an ultimatum has become necessary.

I am completely sick of wrangling my delapidated and partially melted mixer into submission. Sick of the splattering of crap all over the kitchen and the delectable smell of burning motor grease wafting throughout the house. And no, I don't want a replacement. I want one of those over priced and over blown ones that that sit along side Nigella's boobs and Jamie's "cor blimeys".

Shiny. Expensive. Cobalt Blue.

Kitchen closed 'till further notice.


James said...

Closed? Not even dinners?


Better get that KitchenAid shipped priority!

Lilli boo said...

Go on say it "KITCHEN AID" likes the Cobalt Blue on too..Red has been done to death....(is that close to a pun??) Lovely post Miss Trickle!