I am trying to push myself in the baking department. I try and write my own recipes most of the time. But when it comes to baking I am still solidly “an adapter”. I mean recipe adapter. Which may sound a bit like a confession and maybe it is.
You see, I’m at the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Santa Monica, California this weekend. It’s one of those meet, greet, sit, talk and eat events I do quite a bit of. There are always opportunities to learn and grow our blogs at these things too. One of the directions I would like to grow is in recipe writing. So I sat in on a panel discussion of the subject with Dianne Jacob, Amelia Saltsman, and Martha Holmberg.They’re pros, they write cookbooks.
But I couldn’t help feeling that the way they look at recipe development for print, and the mission of so many of us who share recipes and a passion for food online, may be radically different. I mean, intellectually I know their point is correct. If it’s not original to me and my blog, does it have value? But I wonder, can’t I share something by merely passing along a recipe I’ve had success with? Or do I need to bring the same level of print journalism standards to every morsel and tidbit I present on these pages? I don’t know. I suspect not.
This is NOT a cookbook. This is NOT a magazine. This is a BLOG. It serves two (maybe three) purposes. First: It’s where I keep my recipes. Second: It’s an online resource. Most of my traffic comes from people searching out a particular subject. So Google is my friend and I have a certain responsibility to make my words valuable to those consumers of information. I try and live up to that responsibility. But lastly: Many people come here because they like (or hate) what I have to say. They want to agree or disagree with me (strongly). I might even stretch that further and say they like (or hate) me personally. Not that I take it personally. But what does this have to do with Pinenut Cookies with Rosemary & Olive Oil?
Well. I’m trying to do more desserts on Sippity Sup. I have certainly noticed that people like their virtual desserts quite a bit. However, it’s no secret that I’m not the greatest baker on the planet. I certainly don’t feel ready to write recipes all on my own in this area yet. But I want to get better, and I have chosen to document this growth online. So I write about the baking and the process I am going through in trying to become a better baker.
Sometimes it’s hard. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Which isn’t to say I don’t like sweets every now and again. So I look for recipes that appeal to me. Recipes I can learn something from and that I can adapt to suit my tastes and abilities.
Take this recipe from Martha Stewart Living. I adapted it (is that so wrong??). I kept her ratios and flavor profile because I wanted to make sure this cookie would work. I made this cookie three times. And I changed her process quite a bit, but I kept the science. To me that’s adapting and there is nothing wrong with that. It helps me become a better cook.
Her version is chilled, then rolled and cut out with cookie cutters. But I don’t see the point of all that muss and fuss. Because the main reason cookie cutters were invented was to open the door to cookie decorating. You know what cookie decorating leads to don’t you? That’s right, way too much sugar, messy food dyes, sticky counters and neat little piles of cookies tied up in pink ribbons. I don’t think so! Not my style. Because if I want a cookie– I want it soon. So my extra buttery version gets plopped on the baking sheet with a tiny ice cream scoop. The dough can even be kept in the fridge or freezer ‘til the cookie monster strikes. Then I can have hot sweet and savory olive oil cookies in minutes. Any time, any day…
I did up the salt content in this recipe though, because I think the salt highlights the savory quality in the olive oil. These cookies benefit from that bite of salt (but that is just my opinion). I also rolled the edges in turbinado (raw) sugar. ‘Cuz even if I don’t like much decoration, a little bling never hurt no cookie.
- 4 t coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 c pine nuts, toasted, plus more for topping cookies
- 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t ground ginger
- 1 pn kosher salt
- 10 T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 c plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 T sour cream
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 T turbinado sugar, or to taste, for decoration
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Finely chop rosemary in a food processor. Add pine nuts; pulse until coarsely ground, but not yet pasty. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk in 2 cups flour, the baking soda, ginger, and salt; set aside. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in oil. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Turn off machine. Remove bowl and stir in sour cream and egg; add the remaining 1/4 cup flour mixing by hand until well combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop form dough into 1-inch balls, and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with bottom of a wet glass, and top each with a pine nut. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar to taste.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 18 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheets on wire racks. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 3 days.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD