Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Milestone and Martha

I got my 1,000th page visit today! Sitemeter tracks how many people come to visit my site each day, and today I passed one thousand. To be fair, it also tells me that most of those people stop at my site for only a second, and it seems that many of them arrive looking for something other than what they find. Nonetheless, I’m excited by it. I know that the big food blogs like Tartlette can get that many visits in a day, and that my average of 12 a day is rather meager, but it’s 12 times bigger than my average of between zero and one two months ago.

Today’s recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Cookies. A friend of mine chose the pear, pistachio and ginger blondies as the first recipe to test out of this book. The cookies were for a picnic, and so something light seemed appropriate (as opposed to something ridiculously rich and chocolately). The blondies turned out really tasty, and on the whole I think I like this book. The table of contents is brilliant: each recipe is listed with its own photo, and the page number. While this might make it harder to find a specific recipe if you know what you’re looking for, it makes it great for someone who is not sure what they want. The division of cookies by texture (cakey, sandy, etc), is also an interesting twist. I think I have to make a few more recipes from this book before I can pass any sort of final judgment (much to the glee of my friends), but the book has definitely made a good first impression on me. I also tried adding white chocolate to half of the cookies, because I thought it might be interesting, but the addition didn’t really do anything for me. Maybe if it had been white chocolate chunks instead of chips their presence would be more noticeable.

Martha’s Pear, Pistachio, and Ginger Blondies

Makes 1 nine inch cake pan of cookies, which is then cut into wedges

9 Tbs Unsalted Butter, softened, plus more for buttering
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp coarse salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup coarsely chopped dried pears (4 oz.)
¾ cup shelled pistachios (3 ¼ oz.)
¼ cup coarsely chopped candied ginger (1 ¼ oz.)

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Butter a nine inch cake or springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and butter it.

2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy ~3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Reduce the mixers speed to low, and add the flour mixture, beating until combined. Fold in the pears, pistachios, and ginger.

5. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Smooth it out. Bake the cookies for about 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, rotating the pan half way through. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then either invert the cake pan or release the walls of the springform pan. Allow the blondies to cool completely.

6. Using a knife, cut the blondies into wedges. Martha suggests 12, But I cut mine into about 14.

No comments: