Okay Scaredy-Cats. Last week’s challenge to conjure a new sweet treat from the “Peanut Butter and Banana on Caraway Rye” has brought forward a suggestion from one of our readers that I couldn’t help but attempt: “Peanut Caraway Biscotti with Banana Icing”.
It does work on some level (can you really go wrong with icing on a cookie?). The banana flavor, however, was weak and I fear that adding more fruit would only make it too wet. I did try topping some of them with dried banana which had been embalmed with lime juice but that posed a whole other taste that made it all too busy. The peanuts are great, and although I don’t recall ever seeing peanut biscotti, they seem a natural addition. The caraway provides a haunting element that I particularly like, especially at this time of year..….take them on your next hike in the woods and inhale the aroma of decaying leaves as you savor the sweet with the spooky.
Recipe: “Spookies” (or, Peanut Caraway Biscotti with Banana Icing)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tbsp caraway seed
1 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/3 c peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Stir in caraway and peanuts.
In a larger bowl, put brown sugar, honey, oil, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with wooden spoon and blend well.
Divide dough in half and shape each into a log (about 2 x 12-in.). Dough will be sticky so use a little oil on hands to shape dough. Arrange the logs on the baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches in between as they will spread out during baking.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting to help keep its shape. With a large spatula (or two) lift cylinders off of sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully slice crosswise with a serrated edge knife into ½-inch slices. Put slices back onto the baking sheet, laying flat and not overlapping. Bake a second time (again at 325 degrees F.) for 20 more minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Makes about 30 to 40 cookies.
Recipe: Banana Icing
½ banana, mashed w/ 1 tbsp lemon jc
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. butter or Earth balance (non-hydrog. marg.)
Beat or whiz in mini-processor, adding more sugar if necessary to correct consistency.
Thursday, Nov. 3rd is ‘National Men Make Dinner Day‘ in the U.S. Go to the site and see if you don’t agree that this feels like some archaic custom from another era when the nuclear (don’t you dare say ‘nucular’) family predominated the species. It seems, actually, to only have been around since 2001. Curious.
Speaking of men in the kitchen……
It was my good fortune last summer to have made the acquaintance of a visiting Chinese student. Shen Deyan, who prefers to go by ‘Eileen’, was here for six weeks at the University of Toronto to improve her grasp of the English language. We spent a bit of time together and since then have continued the conversation electronically. It’s very interesting to trade stories of parenting and work and culture.
Eileen teaches in Beijing (English, to middle-school students), is married, and has a 19 year old daughter. She also writes articles about her life and travels and sent me some of them. They are, of course, in Chinese, and so it is necessary for me to submit them to the meat grinder that is Google Translate. This provides an eloquent depiction of the expression ‘lost in translation’.
Eileen has graciously given me permission to use one of her articles in my blog and I think the following is rather appropriate for the upcoming ‘Men Make Dinner Day’.
Stew Skin Storm
Beijing Youth Daily, Shen Deyan
■ relationship between men and women in the kitchen
[Shocked by the kitchen door in. “bang bang” sound, the original home of the husband is a little early in the kitchen busy. Made in, he was cutting a bunch of pork skin, pork skin were cut into even and smooth four-box. “No fat on the pork skin,” I asked. “Two dollars a pound of pork skin, fat to three nine pound, shaved back, and you do not want to.” Her husband replied.With water boiled pork skin, pork skin did not add water a little bit, then add cinnamon, pepper, aniseed, bay leaves, Rou Kou, Angelica, onions, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, wine, soy sauce plus two orange peel lid a stuffy, Wei Huo a, a pot of golden, sticky toot, scented, half of the volume body squid stew-like skin has shown up in my mind. Than five minutes to look cute pork skin, I saw the turbid waves of monstrous pot, a few pieces of pork skin like rotten fish in the waves whipped up and down. “You add water to the pot is not it?” Nusheng asked her husband. “Yes, add a spoonful of water.” Stew in my mind is like his skin was a famous painting with ink smear smell terrible. I “bang” to cover and shouting “do not ask how you should or should not add water, how what are so self-righteous Yeah, tell you I do not eat.”Home from work at night, recalling the tragic thought of his “great work”, anger from the heart make the decision of the Cold War with her husband. I still see her husband back clouded it did her best — humorous words plus body movements, and finally amused me laugh. To feel a good appetite, and pour wine, husband boxy Roupi Dong the table, apparently still angry, but my mind was very much like to try a long absence, Roupi Dong. I do not know her husband’s dismal, breaking my mouth to feed, tendons like very chewy, not previously completely rotten fish, rotten tofu feeling, heart chuckle, I do not prefer it like another folder up one.]
So, I had a few chuckles while reading this and thought how a translation of English text to Chinese would reciprocate some humor at Eileen’s end. Just for fun, I submitted the introductory comments at the top of this post, and then re-submitted the Chinese for re-translation back to English. Here are the results: mischief and trickery ensue…….
[Well Scaredy Cat. Last week’s challenge, “the banana peanut butter and parsley rye magic” of a new dessert to make a suggestion from one of our readers, I could not help but try: “peanut coriander banana ice Biscotti”.
It is to a certain extent (you really can go a cookie icing wrong?) Work. However, the banana flavor is weak, add more fruit, will make it too wet. I have tried some of the leading dry banana has been “saved” with lime juice, but only constitute a whole other flavor, which all too busy. Peanuts are great, although I do not remember seeing peanut biscotti, they seem a natural increase. Coriander provides a “mischief” element, I particularly like, especially in this time of year …… your next hike in the woods, they inhaled the aroma of rotting leaves you to savor the strange sweet.]