There are weekends that I spend much time in the kitchen experimenting with ingredients and researching techniques and cuisines. This weekend was not one of them. I suppose had I not made a big pot of lentil and rice soup on Friday night, which ended up sustaining us throughout the weekend, I would have had to cook every day. And since we had soup that night before Saturday, nobody wanted that extra piece of Friday pizza. Having leftover pizza dough...that was a treat. For some reason on Friday night, I decided that we should have dessert too. So I quickly gathered cookie-making ingredients for an experimental chocolate chip cookie with orange zest and dark muscavado sugar.
I tend to like almost anything I make the day after I make it. Possibly after the tiredness of planning, baking, and cleaning has worn off with sleep. Such was the case with these cookies...
which I decided were pretty tasty - although I'm already thinking how I can change the recipe. Omit the dark muscavado sugar and orange zest...use less chocolate (I used Callebaut Callets)...add oatmeal. Then again, that would make for a whole new recipe. I'll leave it alone for now.
One recipe that will not make my "make again" list are these lavender vanilla bean scones.
Technically, there were correct. Tastewise, I did not care for the lavender. I blame my daughter Saffron for this. She walked into the kitchen and saw me sitting at the table rewriting a scone recipe. I told her we were going to have lemon poppyseed scones this morning. "No, I want vanilla", she proclaimed. Hmmm...I was craving scones with lemon and poppy seeds - something to welcome the impending arrival of spring. "You can have your lemon poppyseed scones next Saturday", Saffron added. I compromised and used vanilla bean paste, lavender vanilla bean sugar, and lavender flowers.
"Lavender is strong, so it is best to use a light hand" was the warning on the package.
They were not kidding. Even after reducing my original amount from 1 tablespoon to 2 teaspoons, that was still not enough. Half a teaspoon might have been better as the taste reminded me, not so fondly, of this Croatian medicine paste I remember from childhood. My kids thought otherwise and ate three scones each that Sunday morning.
I enjoyed a strong cup of Turkish/Croatian coffee...
...and analyzed the taste of two of the mini scones, a size I prefer to the typical oversized scones found in most coffeehouses. Smaller is better in most cases relating to food. At least that's my opinion.
Sunday was quickly drawing to a close. Even with an extra hour of light that nature bestowed upon us, I still managed to wait until the last minute to make Sunday cake. Granted, I hadn't planned on it earlier in the day until sat at the computer and came upon photos of brownies. So, I decided we'd have brownies. But that was not good enough for a Sunday cake as I reached for the 8" springform pan that had been lying on the counter for weeks thinking I'd bake the brownies in cake form.
I remembered I had a package of ground hazelnuts still leftover from our summer in Berlin - one that the package said had expired back in December. Instead of flour I used the hazelnuts. That and 150g of 64% Callebaut chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, 4 eggs, and a little sugar (too little, in my and the kids' opinions) made for a simple flourless brownie-type chocolate cake. The taste was not too bad. You've guessed it...I've already started planning a revision in my head.
Overall, the cold and rainy weekend was somewhat lazy and I got away with not having to walk the downtown crowds of SXSW (although I would love to see Depeche Mode later in the week). On Saturday, my husband took Saffron to some tech conference where they met Shannon Wheeler (author of "Too Much Coffee Man" and other books). She enjoyed the alone time with Papa. The two younger ones also wanted to go but settled with having the iPhone all to themselves - without their older sister taking control.