Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table Benefit

Western Pennsylvania is noted for the wonderful wedding cookie tables.  Some regions of the country have never heard of a wedding cookie table let alone experience and devour the cookies.  Today my good friends and I drove in the teeming rain, alongside swollen and rising creeks, over hill and dale on winding roads, to get to this lovely event. We are so happy we did!

THE PITTSBURGH WEDDING COOKIE TABLE BOOK BENEFIT
Sunday, September 9
1—3 PM Connoquenessing Country Club

We went to taste the varieties of dozens of cookies to help in the “creation of a cookie table book in this benefit for VOICE (Butler’s Victim Outreach Intervention Center), Young Writers of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and Animal Friends.”
The three hosts were  “cookbook author Suzanne Martinson, of “The Fallingwater Cookbook” and retired food editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”( who graciously answered many questions and who has initiated many cookie tables in other states) “portrait photographer Linda Mitzel of Linda Mitzel Photography and journalist/WPWP teacher consultant Jane Miller of The RUFF Writers of New Sun Rising, a new family/school/ neighborhood writing project.”

We had a wonderful afternoon sampling cookies and sipping tea and coffee or lemonade.  Someone baked adorable doggy cookies in the shapes of bones and doghouses, using pumpkin and peanut butter. Now dog cookies aren’t the usual offering at a wedding but appreciated as a welcome home treat for Fido. There were white bakery boxes to fill with cookies to take home. (Thanks Deb)

Thanks to Suzanne, Linda and Jane, for hosting a wedding cookie table afternoon.

I baked Esther Maiolo’s Pignoli Cookies and Mrs. Scarano’s Italian Strip Cookies

Good Butter is Key

Using good butter to make rolled sugar cookies is the key to successful taste and texture.

Since today was the official birthday, Charlie took rocket and star shaped sugar cookies to the playground for his playgroup friends. Laura sliced up a baby watermelon, too. The hardest part is rolling out the chilled dough to an even thickness.

Here’s the recipe we used

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/10402/the-best-rolled-sugar-cookies/

Tea Time at a Friend’s Table

Tea time at a friend’s table, Monday afternoon. A lovely respite, good conversation, catching up, topics- family and friends, the state of our world. A plate of chocolate filled cookies. A gracious hostess offering a cup of tea. We toasted and clinked our delicate teacups. To friendship.

Cheers!

Aftermath of Christmas Cookie Baking

When I saw MESSY was the WordPress Daily Prompt for today, I had to respond.

From the archives

 

ChristmasCookieDecorating

Aftermath of Christmas Cookie Decorating in Ohio.  The colored sugar is green mixed with red.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/messy/

And in VIRGINIA FF Mar Bakes Cookies, Too

Maternal grandma (FFMarlene) baked peanut butter chip cookies for our grandkids Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura.

We are going to have a doubly sweet family weekend together. Our tins of cookies will disappear at lightning speed.

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Pizzelle Perfect

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Baked in Bloomfield ( using a special pizzelle iron)

Maria Merante – Celebrating all things Italian since 1983

Anise or vanilla?  They are delicate and delicious.

 

Macarons – First Attempt

img_3045img_3047Macarons go for about $2.50 apiece at the French bakery. Martha Stewart said you could bake them at home for about 18 cents apiece.  My friend V did some quick calculations in my kitchen and seems it’s more like 50 cents each

I’ve watched a video several times, purchased the best ingredients, and splurged for a baking mat with perfect circles embossed in the material. (Not factoring the equipment into the cost.)

Here’s the result.  Some of the macarons seemed a bit chewy. Did I underbake  them? Was the humidity a factor? Did I whip the egg whites correctly? Did I fold the dry ingredients sufficiently? I let them sit before I put them into the oven. Perhaps I used too much batter on each circle as the seemed to puff up like white mushrooms.  I will watch another video I found The Science of Macarons. If you have made them before please share any tips.

I got the ganache right. Had to put it over hot water after awhile as it firmed up, though.

I found another recipe to try next batch.

 

 

Be My Valentine Gallery 

But first- Who is working quality control at the candy heart message factory?

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and Be My Valentine Gallery – Hearts around the house

Red Cupid photos courtesy of my friend Joanne (wood cut creations by Sue John’s husband)

  Candy from my sister. Sweet!
  Tray of raspeberry jam hearts at Colangelo’s bakery in the strip

  And the one I brought home with me to devour!
 

 

 

Change: From Dough to Cookies

Change is this week’s photography challenge and Friday I posted my children as they are all grown up with families of their own.  I’ve looked at quite a few fellow bloggers posts and didn’t see this one yet but I might have missed it.  So many possibilities for posts illustrating change.  

I was baking some cookies, noticed the mixing bowl of dough, and I thought- change.

I went to the other room and got the real camera instead of the phone.

The light seemed nice in the kitchen.

 

cookie dough

Oatmeal Crisps from the Farm Journal Cookbook (1972 ed.)

 I cut the recipe in half and left out the coconut. You could add nuts and/or raisins.

My minor adjustments to the original recipe below.

 

cookies

1 C butter, room temp ( I happened to have Irish butter on hand)

1 C brown sugar

3/4 C white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C flour

3 C Bob’s Red Mill Oats

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

dash of cinnamon and dash of ginger

Bake about 11 minutes @ 350

 

Thanks to Kristin Snow for the challenge this week. You have to check out her blog Snowmads

Excerpt from her blog is below.  You will be inspired for adventure after reading it.  

“Who are the Snowmads?

We’re Jason and Kristin Snow, a travel-addicted couple who walked away from cubicles and conventional lives two years ago to roam full-time, gaining valuable perspective on life and meeting new friends at every turn. We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and collect experiences instead of things. Please feel free to share some travel tips right back at us whenever possible — we love hearing from you!”