For the hand mixer. Really? Because I was trained that small batches (under a gross, yes, 12 dozen cookies) are to be made by hand. They are too small for the Hobart.
But WOW. I was able to properly whip the sugar and eggs until almost white and doubled in volume for the banana bread, which made folding in the dry ingredients so much easier. And I had to work the batter almost not at all. This is actually going to be light and fluffy spiced banana bread. I added ginger to the recipe. I also lightened up on the flour a bit. And I used walnuts this time. I didn’t toast them because I got carried away with the rolling pin and the pieces were really small, and they will cook enough in the bread, which bakes for an hour. I didn’t want them overcooked and bitter.
I also found out from Kelli that coating chocolate chips in a light coating of flour will suspend them in a loose batter. So I did that with the bread. Instead of having one big loaf, I had enough for two regular sized loaves. One for me, and one for Doc to take to work. Give them a taste of what they are getting for Christmas if they have been good to him. And only if they have been good to him. He doesn’t give kiss-ass gifts. So his supervisors get nothing. And Mike, the ex-room mate from hell gets nothing. Not even a bag of cheap chocolates wrapped up like coal.
What to make next? Chocolate chip oatmeal? No, need raisins for that. Chocolate Crinkles? No, need fridge space to chill the dough. Same for sugar, butter, and pinwheel cookies. I should go out to the garage and see where I stashed my heart shaped cookie cutter. And should I make fish shaped cookies? I have a fish, like long, skinny fish, like a trout, cookie cutter. I also have a club and a spade. I won’t use those. And I have a bird. I think it’s a Scandinavian thing. It’s the same make as the fish and the Dala horse, which is definitely Scandinavian. I also bought a snowflake, xmas tree, and gingerbread man from eBay last month so I have some normal cookies. Doc doesn’t seem to mind, but the people at work ask questions.
The pinwheel cookies, should I make chocolate/vanilla, or chocolate/peanut butter? All three recipes are untried by me, though they all come highly recommended by Pinterest readers/doers. The chocolate sugar cookie recipe was a year in development to find the perfect combination of ingredients that would give the melt-in-your-mouth effect, but not expand and ruin the cut-out shape. It calls for a LOT of butter. Unsalted butter. That’s class. Though I like a little salt with chocolate. It brings out the flavor. Always a bit of salt with the sweet. Just a bit.
I have enough bananas to make two more loaves of bread. I’ll make them tomorrow. I’ll use pecans and orange zest and ginger over nutmeg and cinnamon. No chocolate chips in these. Too bad I don’t have currants yet. Those would be good, they would plump up in the cooking and be tiny bits of goodness. Maybe that is a bridge too far.
I’m just excited because the world of Patisserie has always been really restrictive to me. Always following recipes to the letter. Weighing out ingredients, doing math, strictly adhering. I loved the result, but the process drove me mad because it left me no room for experimentation. Everything was chemical, there for a reason. This banana bread is the first baked thing I have been able to toy with. I’ve been able to go so far as to modify the recipe enough to make it my own. I have messed with the chemistry and have not had disastrous results. I’ve had a lot of fun with this bread. My chocolate chip cookies are the same way. I have a base recipe that I add and subtract things at random to in order to make a different cookie. Now I have a bread I can do that with. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like a door that I’ve only been able to reach through and do things from the doorway has opened completely and let me all the way into the room.
And I haven’t even started making the candy yet.