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Monday, January 4, 2010

The Cookie Buffet: Pumpkin Bread Bites

I've never attempted a pumpkin cookie before, even though autumn is my favorite season, and nothing screams "Fall" more loudly than pumpkin-flavored goodies. Most of the time, I content myself with pumpkin pie, but I knew from the beginning that I'd definitely want to include pumpkin cookies in the cookie buffet at the shower.  I found a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe on the FoodNetwork online courtesy of George Duran. I tweaked the recipe a significant amount, changing the amount of sugar, spice, and pumpkin.

The Cookie Buffet: Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies. Where would a cookie buffet be without them? Believe it or not, this was a new recipe. I normally make the good ol' standby Tollhouse recipe, which is yummy to be sure. But I didn't want to make the same old thing for the shower. I've been wanting to branch out and experiment with chocolate chip cookies that use both butter and shortening for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity. A little gumshoe detective work turned up this recipe from the lady herself, Paula Deen. It uses both butter and shortening, and three kinds of chocolate.

That's right. And nuts. Well, at least it did by the time I was done tweaking the recipe.

The Cookie Buffet: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to include a gluten-free selection in my shower’s cookie buffet, for one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Rachel, whose dietary needs necessitate gluten-free living. Now, I wasn’t sure how to go about making gluten-free cookies, but luckily my main man, Alton Brown, came to the rescue with this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe. I can not say enough good things about Alton Brown in general, or this recipe in particular. Believe it or not, these cookies taste pretty much like any other chocolate chip cookie, no mean feat considering that there is not a smidgen of wheat anywhere in sight.

Alton’s secret, so I am told, is through his choice of alternate flours and their proportions. His recipe calls for a combination of brown rice four, tapioca flour, corn starch, and xanthan gum, which comes as close to recapitulating the taste and texture of wheat flour as you can get…without actually using wheat flour.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Cookie Buffet: Spice Cake Balls

Cake balls. Have you heard about these things? Up until a year ago, I hadn't. And then I spied this post on (where else?) Bakerella's site. And folks, these things are easy. Ridiculously easy. And they taste good. Ridiculously good. So good that people have trouble believing that they are so easy, in fact. But I promise, they are. 

Aren't these pretty in their fall colors?