NorCal Baker! Did you have a black out?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by J13, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, NorCal,

    Last we all heard PG&E was about to putt you through another black out and you feared you might lose your expensive butter....

    What happened? Did you salvage your baking goods? And have you been able to do all your Thanksgiving baking?

    And I assume that you, like me, are going to be hit by that storm coming through Wednesday and lasting, maybe, till Friday. Thunderstorms and lots of snow at low enough elevations to close major highways...:eek: I feel very fortunate that I’m not traveling anywhere all that far for Thanksgiving but, yikes. What a “cluster” this is going to be for holiday travelers.....
     
    J13, Nov 26, 2019
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  2. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    we had another power outage. Fortunately it was a short one. Nothing lost this time. I started my holiday baking last night. Two batches of biscotti baked. I have 3 pie tins already lined with crusts in The refrigerator. All the lattice strips cut out. I’m about ready to make some shortbread and measure out all the ingredients for the cornbread. Early tomorrow morning I’ll bake the pies because I don’t really want the pie sitting overnight. Then the cornbread and it will be done.

    Apple pie, blueberry pie, sweet potato pie

    almond fennel biscotti and sour cherry and pecan biscotti

    lavender lemon shortbread

    yellow cornbread

    white cornbread

    I may dip the biscotti in chocolate this evening maybe

    I just got a shipment of Cocoa Barry pure cocoa butter chips for a project I am working on for my brother. So I want to test them to see how they change the fluidity of the chocolate so I may temper some chocolate tonight.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 28, 2019
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  3. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Whew! So glad it was a short blackout. I feared seeing a news report of a mad baker attacking PG&E officials over lost butter :p
    Your family is so lucky! And I want the lavender lemon shortbread recipe :)

    Yesterday I brought out the holiday cookie tin. It's a tradition in our house. From Thanksgiving till New Year's, the cookie tin is out on the living room table and always has some cookies in it. They're up for grabs to anyone at any time: family, friends, guests. It makes our home feel very welcoming and snug.

    And it lets me try out all kinds of cookie recipes :D

    Which means I spent yesterday making up a trio of cookies, a third of which got baked and put into the tin, the rest (excepting the treasure bars) left shaped up and in the freezer to bake and refill the tin when needed.

    ~Chai Tea Cookies (recipe in the cookie forum "Cookie Virgin"—I used hazelnut flour instead of almond, as both hubby and me love hazelnuts—but it is a dryer flour than almond, so I had to add in a spoonful of milk to get the dough to really come together)
    ~Dark Chocolate Ginger-Molasses Cookies
    ~Treasure Bars
    with tart dried cherries, pecans and chocolate chips.

    The Holidays are ON!

    RE: Thanksgiving....To everyone in the U.S.: drive safe to wherever you're going and back home again. And I hope your Thanksgiving is happy, serene and delicious.
     
    J13, Nov 28, 2019
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  4. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The good news is I won’t have a PG&E bill this month due to the adjustment for all the outages.

    Lavender lemon shortbread is simple. It’s not a recipe it’s just bakers percentages.

    10.5% protein all purpose flour 100%
    Unsalted Butter 75%
    Lavender baker’s sugar 30%
    Salt 1%
    Zest Meyer lemon


    optional: aka Don’t Put That In My Cookie And Call It Shortbread!!!

    There’s cornstarch shortbread people, and there’s rice flour cornstarch people, and then there’s the purest who say neither.

    Cornstarch 25% (melt in your mouth cookie)

    White Rice flour 14% (traditional sandy shortbread)

    To make lavender sugar:
    2 cups baker’s sugar (you can also use regular granulated cane sugar)

    2 TBSP culinary lavender buds.

    Mix the lavender buds into the sugar. Placed in an airtight container. Leave for approximately two weeks minimum. Sift lavender buds out of sugar. Lavender buds may be reused once.

    I do not grind my lavender buds into the sugar. I know there are “recipes” that do. But lavender is quite strong. I find grinding the lavender into the sugar produces a product that is more like eating soap.

    I use Central Milling Beehive unbleached flour (10.5% protein. Which is the same as Whole Foods 365 and Safeway O Organics. Kerrygold unsalted butter.

    I bring the butter to 68°F - 70°F. I gently work the zest into the sugar with my fingertips. Then leave it to rest for about 5 minutes to infuse the sugar.

    Whip the sugar and salt into the butter with a fork. Then sift the flour over the butter and gently work it in with the fork. Do not over mix. Just form a dough. Pat into a disk. Wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes minimum. Let the dough warm up some before rolling and cutting into cookies.

    I chill the cut cookies. They will spread slightly because of the high butter content.

    if you want a cookie with a sharper edge, reduce the ratio of butter to flour.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 29, 2019
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  5. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Lovely, thank you! I can already imagine how nice these would go with a cup of tea. I take it all your baked good went over like gangbusters with your thanksgiving crowd? ;) That's a rhetorical question. :D
     
    J13, Nov 30, 2019 at 5:04 PM
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  6. J13

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Hey J13 and Norcalbaker, I hope you both had a wonderful thanksgiving! :) We've been hearing all about it over here in the UK, it was a topic of discussion on the radio this week such as the reasons thanksgiving day exists.

    I bet the trio of cookies and the biscottis are delicious!
     
    Lee_C, Nov 30, 2019 at 5:31 PM
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  7. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    We had a lovely Thanksgiving thank you very much. And I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. We’re supposed to go to a garden tomorrow evening for a Christmas exhibit lighting. We’re planning a little picnic in the garden. But it’s forecast to rain heavily. So I’m not sure what we’re going to do:(

    BTW shortbread is best a day or two after it’s baked. It’s not a cookie that eats best the day it’s baked.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 30, 2019 at 6:00 PM
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  8. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    :D
    Thank you @Lee_C, for Native Americans, thanksgiving is actually a Day of Mourning. They fast and hold ceremonies to honor the millions that were killed by the Europeans and Americans. The story of the first thanksgiving as Americans tell it and story that is documented in native American museum is vastly different.

    The Native American story of thanksgiving is one in which Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag went to the village of the pilgrims because they had heard considerable gunfire. He thought they were under attack. So Massasoit organized 90 warriors to rode to the village to help the pilgrims.

    It turned out that the villagers were actually hunting fowl. They had just finished their harvest and it was more bountiful than expected and they were preparing a meal. They then invited Massasoit to join the meal, but there wasn’t enough food to feed the 90 warriors who came with Massasoit. So Massasoit sent out a hunting party. They returned with five deer.

    This happened in March, not November. It was not a feast organized in advanced by the pilgrims.

    Edward Winslow, who co-authored Mourt’s Relation, an account of the pilgrims experience, includes the description of what we now call the first thanksgiving. Winslow’s account supports the Wampanoag version of the pilgrims having an abundant first harvest, sending out some members to go “fowling”. Of Massasoit and 90 men offering of the five deer to their governor, and a three day feast.

    Everyone enjoys my pies, but my biscotti is really loved by all. It’s the first thing that gets divided up at the end of dinner. The baggies come out in everyone divides up the leftover biscotti to take home. Only then will they start dividing up the leftover turkey and cranberry relish. :D
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 30, 2019 at 6:59 PM
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  9. J13

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the Native American story NCB, very interesting!

    I think you once showed photos of your biscotti, they looked great. :) I might have a go at some myself soon. On the bbcgoodfood website, I see there's a whole range of possibilities. Fruity biscotti, double chocolate and orange biscotti, chocolate and hazelnut biscotti, and savoury biscotti. Do you make yours with almonds?
     
    Lee_C, Dec 1, 2019 at 2:38 AM
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  10. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    my two standard biscotti are

    Almond and fennel seeds dipped in dark chocolate.

    Pecan, sour cherry, and orange.

    I am going to develop a candied ginger and cardamom one.

    i’m working on savory shortbread as well as some coffee bean chocolates.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Dec 3, 2019 at 8:35 AM
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