Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookies!

So for Christmas, Pat and Courtney got us a Silpat. Pat said that it would change my life. Well, I know what a Silpat is supposed to do and it sounded to me like the same thing that my Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan was supposed to do. Non-stick, even baking, best cookies ever. So I put them up head to head on Sunday morning and made two batches of cookies. The first batch was White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (recipe found here) and the second batch was White Chip Chocolate Cookies found on the back of the Toll House bag of white chocolate chips (and here).
Now I was going to post pictures of the top and bottom of each batch Silpat vs. Bar Pan, but honestly they came out almost exactly the same. The bar pan *did* cook a little more evenly, the bottom was done *exactly* the same amount as the top (one of the things that PC boasts is that food cooks at the same time all around) and the Silpat had the bottoms a tiny bit more done than the tops. Both Chris and I preferred the Silpat doneness, the little crisp on the edges was really nice but the middles were still soft and gooey.

Silpat top:
Silpat bottom:

Ok now I just feel bad and have to post the PC cookies too. Sorry about the bad lighting on the next one but it just wasn't working for me.

PC top:
PC bottom:On to the chocolate cookies!

Silpat top:
Silpat bottom:

PC top:
PC bottom:
So now you can see that they are pretty much the same. That said, I am in LOVE with the Silpat. It doesn't say on the PC website but the Bar Pan must weigh like 6lbs. I'm constantly worried about dropping it and honestly, its a little to hard on my wrist to carry it one handed, which makes it really hard to hold the pan and shut the oven. The Silpat weighs... I dunno... 4oz? maybe? Bar Pan: hard to store. Silpat: currently rolled up inside of a paper towel tube on the shelf. (Thanks btw to whoever blogged that a few weeks ago, I can't remember who but its a great tip) Both products are non-stick (I've cooked bacon a few times in my Bar Pan so its got a nice coat on it) but the Silpat seemed to be better at it. The PC cookies got a little squished from the spatula when I was moving them to the cooling rack. The Silpat cookies were perfectly round.

The winner? Silpat, hands down. I am so happy with it. If you make cookies, even once a year, you should get one (or two!) of these. It is totally worth it. I'm thinking about getting another one.

As a side note, if you like White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies, make that recipe! They were seriously some of the best Chris and I have ever had. And that is a favorite cookie for both of us.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Were Christmas'd SO HARD!

That's what our friend Pat told us the other day. He sent Chris a message that said 'I Christmas'd you SO HARD!' And it's true, we were. Now I'm not trying to brag or anything, and try not to get too jealous now, but here's what my Mom got us for Christmas:
Uh yeah... I've wanted one of those since I was like 12. It's so beautiful, even covered in flour like it is in the pic :P I've already made another loaf of Challah Bread and two cakes.

The first cake was for our friend Vina's birthday. It was a red velvet cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and homemade cannoli cream in the middle. Yes, I did say homemade cannoli cream. One of our friends gave us the recipe a while ago and I forgot (I know! How could I?!) that we had it. Let me just say, YUM!

The second cake was for our Potluck at work. It was a Chocolate Guinness Cake with Chocolate Ganache and yep, you guessed it, cannoli cream. (It made two pounds! I couldn't waste it!) I can't tell you how well the cannoli went with this cake. Oh. My. God. It was perfectly balanced between sweet and spicy (there's cinnamon in the cannoli cream). I put the absolute thinnest layer of ganache that I could to avoid making it too rich. I'm talking less than 1/8" thick.
I dusted cocoa powder on the top for some decoration but by the time I got to work it had seeped into the ganache. I think it may have made it better.
Ok that's not the most appetizing picture ever but that's because the leftover cake has been in the fridge since Monday and I forgot to take a slice picture until tonight (Thursday). I don't care, it's still delicious (of course, I had to eat the slice :P)


Back to being Christmas'd so hard:

These are gifts that some of our friends got us. Pat and Courtney got us the Silpat and the 8" chef's knife. Tom got Chris the CIA cookbook and me The Cake Book. Wow. Just wow. Awesome gifts. We are so excited to use all of them.

Now, not all of our awesome gifts were of the cooking nature....

If you read my other blog We Cook Together, you may already know that we are HUGE Giants fans. Anthony got us these awesome jerseys! Brandon Jacobs (27) for Chris and Eli Manning (10) for me. We already wore them on Sunday :)

I can't wait to use everything!!! And of course we are going to have to whip up some yummy goodies for everyone :)