The Daily Spud

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Tag: cookies (page 2 of 3)

The Cup Of All Fears

I’ll come right out with it: cup measurements freak me out. (And that’s cup measurements for baking Mister, before your mind starts wandering elsewhere. Tsk).

Despite possessing a set of measuring cups, not to mention several conversion charts, I am never entirely sure how much a cup of X actually contains, as it seems to vary quite significantly, depending on how that cup of X was filled and who was doing the filling. Give me ounces or grams and the reassurance of a weighing scales any day.

My cup-o-phobia was the one thing, in fact, that concerned me ever so slightly about participating in the International Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange. The brainchild of Adrienne from Gastroanthropology and Lori from Fake Food Free, the idea behind the exchange was to pair up participating bloggers, who would then swap recipes for seasonal treats. Would I be foiled by the dreaded cup measurements in my designated exchange recipe?

Butterscotch-glazed coffee shortbread bars

Butterscotch-glazed coffee shortbread bars

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You Say Cookies, I Say Eat

That’s the trouble with words. They mean different things to different people.

Time was when any self-respecting paddy would not have thought to call the items in the picture below anything other than biscuits or biccies.

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Oatmeal, chocolate chip and redcurrant whatsits

But the fact is that we’re pretty comfortable with the term cookie these days, it being many years since “American-style Chocolate Chip Cookies” started to appear on Irish supermarket shelves.

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The Taste Of Christmas Past

Well, it’s about time that I got my Christmas baking boots on, now, isn’t it?

For weeks, my feed reader has been choc-a-bloc with blog postings stuffed with festive baked goods, and I can only hold out against that kind of onslaught for so long. So, having realised that resistance was futile, I closed my eyes and let my mind drift across the sea of baked possibilities. I ended up in Spain.

Huh?

While I was still, unquestionably, in Ireland, I had found myself dreaming of that Spanish confection known as turrón. It’s made primarily from toasted almonds and honey, and varies in texture from break-your-teeth hard to soft and fudgy. When I was a kid, my brother, who lived in Spain, would bring a selection home at Christmas and I have been a sucker for turrón, particularly the soft variety, ever since. It’s just as well I can’t lay my hands on it too easily here – I inhale and it’s gone. And while the brother hasn’t lived in Spain for years, in my head Christmas is still flavoured with almond and honey. So I thought that I would try to capture that in festive shortbread form. I was very pleased that I did.

Almond, Honey and Orange Shortbread, inspired by Christmas past

Shortbread, inspired by Christmas past

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