I made that!

Day 2 as a girl scout.

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Don't BUY it, MAKE it! by brandi on January 22, 2009

It’s starting to wear on me. Maybe I don’t wanna be a girl scout. I probably would have been a better boy scout anyways.

Today I move on to the samoas, the more complex cookie in the girl scout arsenal.


I rolled out my dough and stamped out little donut shapes. I don’t think the originals have fluted edges, but for some reason that’s the only kind of cookie cutters I own.


I made me some caramel candy. Then I mixed that with some shredded coconut that I had toasted.


Then I tried to smear the caramel + coconut mixture (which was like a quick drying spackle) onto my cookies without crushing them. Probably the more torturous portion of the whole process.


I dipped their cute little bottoms in some melted chocolate and then drizzled some more on top and I’m done!


What I learned today was this: In life there are fun things. Things like kittens named Bean and rope swings and BBQs in Dolores Park. Making girl scout cookies is not on that list for me. Kind of tedious, and while they are certainly more healthy and “natural” than the boxed kind, in the end I spent 2 days making…cookies. And I don’t even really like making cookies.


But these ones are awfully pretty and shiny. In a short bus kinda way.


Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Don't BUY it, MAKE it! by brandi on January 17, 2009

After burning the granola at work today, I decided to come home and make some more. Kind of a hodgepodge of whatever I had in the pantry: oats, walnuts, pistachios, currants, brown sugar, coconut, maple syrup and some zest and spices. And butter, duh.


Before the oven…


and after the oven…



1 lb rolled oats

3.25oz brown sugar

4oz whole almonds

4oz whole cashews

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1.5oz coconut

1 oz flax seed

1 TBSP salt

4oz butter (it’s ok to replace up to half with oil)

3.5oz maple syrup

4 oz dried fruit

The day of the graham cracker.

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Don't BUY it, MAKE it! by brandi on December 31, 2008

Today is a good day for a graham cracker. And I really wanted to make my own.


It was kind of a sticky dough, and I was being impatient. So I didn’t let it hang out in the fridge long enough before cutting it into cracker sized pieces.  Hence, trapazoidal crackers.


They actually look like graham crackers! And taste like them! A tad overcooked I think, but delicious – with a cinnamon sugar coating on top.


But what to do with all these graham crackers?


Oh yes. We went there.

GRAHAM CRACKERS RECIPE (from Nancy Silverton’s “Pastries of  La Brea Bakery”):

2 1/2 cups plus 2 TBSP all-purpose flour

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp kosher salt

7 TBSP (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen

1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover

5 TBSP whole milk

2 TSP pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

3 TBSP granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

– In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

– In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

– Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

– To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

– Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

– Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

– Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll. Dust the surface with more flour and roll out the dough to get about two or three more crackers.

– Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

– Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.