Thursday, April 29, 2010

Funfetti For All!

My friend Scott, from Scotland,* has never tried a funfetti cake. You know funfetti, the cake mix that has rainbow specks throughout. It's a miracle that Scott turned out half way decent considering the depravity of his childhood.

I feel it is my duty as his American friend to end the tragic quarter of a century that has been Scott's life without funfetti. Wait, that sounds bad, I'm not going to kill Scott, I'm just going to feed him some funfetti. Not just any funfetti, but these AMAZING funfetti cookies I found at Serious Eats**.

* Hilarious I know, I asked to see his ID when he first told me his name.
**I always feel bad taking recipes off of other blogs BUT I am including my step-by -step pictures and humorous commentary so there is some value added!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookie Sandwiches
From Serious Eats and adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book
Makes about 18 sandwiches

For the cookies:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 package funfetti or rainbow chip cake mix

For the Filling:
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 4 cups of confections' sugar, depending on your desired consistency

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream the butter and cheese. Blend in egg and vanilla.

You are going to need the big guns (stand mixer) for this recipe.

3. Add cake mix in two parts, mixing well (it will be a super thick batter- if the batter seems too stiff add a small amount of heavy cream to the batter and mix well).

The picture doesn't do the funfetti justice. Just looking at the cake mix, it didn't seem very colorful, but as the flour dissolved in the wet ingredients the colorful specks magically appeared.

4. Using a small cooking scoop, drop balls of cookie dough on an ungreased backing sheet. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies.

5. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool cookies at least 15 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire cooling rack; the cookies are very delicate when they first come out of the oven and will break if you transfer them too soon.

6. Once completely cool, add a generous dollop of frosting to the bottom half of the cookies, and then sandwich the rest of the cookies on top to from something that vaguely resembles a whoopie pie, but tastes like something else entirely.

I thought about picking a different color for the icing, but I'm a sucker for pink.

Yes, the cookies are totally adorable, but how do they taste? Heavenly, light, fluffy, and delicious! You may never want a regular funfetti cupcake again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eat with Your Eyes: Market Edition

Due to the crazy success* of my last "Eat with Your Eyes" blog I decided to post another, this time it's the Market Edition. Taking pictures of food is fun, and while my food photography skills have improved I still have a long way to go before my pictures end up on magazine covers. Usually I take pictures of a dish at a restaurant or one I made at home, but I also have a few pictures from stores and markets. Mass quantities of fruits, vegetables, even packaged goods are fun photography subjects.

* My mom, boyfriend, and a few random twitter followers read it!

An ingredient I recently discovered and really love: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They are smokey, spicy, and delicious! See the Tortilla Soup recipe. I had a hard time finding them the first time, hopefully this pic will make it easier for you.
75 Locations in PA, VA, MD, NJ and NY

Massive quantity of olives.
101 Lincoln Highway
Jeanette, PA 15644

Dried peppers or pretty hanging decorations? Both! This was taken at one of the most famous markets in the world.
1531 Western Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101

Carrots at a lovely farmer's market in Olympia, Washington.
700 Capital Way North
Olympia, Washington 98512

Monday, April 19, 2010

Eat with Your Eyes: Madison Edition

I take pictures of my food all the time with the intent to blog about it later. Some of the pictures become part of my blog, but most of them just sit on my phone, never to be seen again....until now! This is the first in a series of blogs featuring those lost food photos. In honor of my move from Petersburg, VA to Madison, WI here's some pics of the good eats I've enjoyed in Madison.

I'm not a steak person, but my first trip to the Tornado Room I was jealous of Phil's peppercorn encrusted filet. Phil is a pretty humble guy, except when it comes to ordering food. He's confident that he always picks the best dish on the menu. I have to admit, he is pretty good, I find myself jealous of his food pretty often. Luckily he will share as long as I don't let him eat it all first. You can bet I ordered the peppercorn steak on our second visit. Phil ordered the lamb.

Tornado Room
116 South Hamilton Street
Madison, WI

Steak too fancy for you? How about some macaroni and cheese pizza? After a night out on State Street Ian's Pizza makes the best late-night munchies. This pictures is from the State Street location. Apparently they have a BYOB Ian's in Chicago!

Ian's Pizza
151 State Street
Madison, WI


3463 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL