"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mexican Tea Cakes and Buttermilk Cupcakes

Mexican Tea Cakes are cookies, not cakes, and very agreeable little cookies at that. If you knew how little use I have for cookies that don't contain either chocolate or fruit in some fashion you'd be amazed to hear me utter such words.

These are essentially pecan shortbread balls, rolled once in confectioner's sugar when they're hot out of the oven, and then again when they've cooled. I picked up a handy little tip from one of the sidebars in the book from the fellow who runs Maison du Chocolat (the best chocolates in the world, and this comes from a girl who discovered Godiva in junior high) which is that if you want to coat truffles in cocoa powder the best way to do it is to place the truffles in a sieve full of powder and then lift out with a fork. This works perfectly for the Mexican Tea Cakes and their powdered sugar coating as well.

The Buttermilk Cupcakes were a revelation. Do you know I've simply never had a cupcake that wasn't from a box mix? These are flavorful and slightly chewy, and with frosting they easily become something that could get me into big big trouble. I didn't use the cream cheese frostings that are suggested , I borrowed one from another page--essentially a chocolate ganache, using 3/4 cup Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream.

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