Monday, October 22, 2012

To The Cloud!

I really was going to make the scones last night, but it was past 10pm by the time I got home from the zombie walk (yes, you did read that correctly), so I did these in the morning instead ... eventually.  It's not that they were difficult, it's just that it took me a while to wobble into motion.  In fact, this recipe is very straightforward.  Again, I found using the food processor to cut in the butter was the easiest method.  Since there's a lot less butter, it takes less time than it would for regular scones.  Probably the hardest part was cutting all the way through the scones.  They appear to fuse back up during baking, but still break apart easily.

Point of order:  I used (sort of by accident) semi-sweet chocolate chips here.  I like my chocolate a little darker, so I was quite satisfied.  Your mileage may vary.

Final verdict (scones):  These, to me, were not quite as scone-like as the previous batch, perhaps the whole wheat flour.  However, they're still very satisfying with a lot of chocolate chip for the portion.

Next, I started on the biscuits.  As an aside, I was unable to find Heart Smart Bisquick at the story, so I used Heart Healthy Krusteaz Buttermilk instead.  I had to eyeball the amount of parmesan because the battery in my scale is out.  The recipe warns not to overmix the milk; by contrast, I would offer the warning to make sure that the ingredients are fully wet / combined.  Heaping tablespoons produces exactly the right number of biscuits, and there is a perfect amount of the topping to go along with it.

Final verdict (biscuits):  And, just to top it off - they're good!  Cheesy without being overwhelming and with the wonderful tang of rosemary.  I used unsalted butter and noticed no problem with the taste on the topping; I think it was only written that way to confirm that you can use the sort of butter most normal people have on hand.  (Do I need to elaborate?)

Next up, I did mise en place for the pasta fagioli and the stuffed peppers.  By now, my wary relationship with onions is known fact, so it should come as no surprise that I cut down on the amount in both recipes.  All told, there should have been an onion and a half; I chopped a single onion and ended up throwing a small part of it away.  This is actually less onion reduce than usual, because I didn't want to mess with the intended bulk too much.

The pasta fagioli does not specify whether the parsley is supposed to be dried or fresh, but given the quantity, the position in the ingredient list - alongside basil and oregano, both of which are definitely dried - and the fact that I'd used cilantro for the other recipe, I decided to go with dried.  This is a lot of dried herbs.  In fact, it ends up in a thick film on the top of the pot, which I found rather alarming, but it all worked out in the cooking.  Again, I had to eyeball the ditalini.

The peppers truly could not be easier, though I found that the liquid didn't reduce significantly, even after ten full minutes of simmering-near-to-boil.  Still, the mixture was reduced enough to fill the peppers.  1/3rd of a cup is very close to the amount one needs for each pepper half - I chose red.  However, I found that five peppers didn't fit in a 13x9 baking dish, so I ended up having to use two pans to bake.

Final verdict (fagioli):  I thought this would be too watery, but it turned out just right - very flavorful, with a bit of texture from the dried herbs without being unpleasant.  There's just enough mouth-feel with this to be filling.

Final verdict (stuffed peppers): I loved these, thought the filling was tasty and the peppers a good vessel - but I wished the peppers had perhaps cooked a trifle more, and I could have used more cheese.  Also, the liquid of the mixture made for messy eating.

After Once Upon A Time and The Walking Dead (now we know what I do with my Sunday evening), I started on the chocolate chip clouds.  I found measuring tablespoons of egg whites to be nigh impossible:  the whites clumped together, and every time I scooped, they'd slide out of the tablespoon.  I can only assume I got about the right about, as all the quantities seemed to turn out, though I ended up with 21 cookies instead of 30 while attempting to do a tablespoon size.  I think I had "heaping tablespoons."  These were done for at about 30 mins - might have been slightly underdone, but I decided I'd rather have them a bit under than a bit over.

(Recipe note - equal parts milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips used.)

Final verdict (clouds):  These are crazy-good - light, chocolatey and addictive.  I haven't had a cooled one yet because I couldn't stop eating the blasted things when they were still warm, but I'm pretty sure of them.


  1. Go to Lowe's for the battery. Take the deceased one with you. :) You cannot live without a kitchen scale if you are baking...just sayin'

  2. And, look in my cookie file for Sydney's mint chocolate chip merinques. These sound like something you'd enjoy, Lee.

  3. Yes, yes. - Mom also has a chocolate cloud recipe. If she doesn't know where to find it, ask my little sister.