Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This brings me to the subject of one of my new favorite websites which is both useful for identifying strange insects and for ooohing and ahhhing over the exceptionally beautiful job some people do of photographing very small creatures:
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Probably the original was excellent, but I didn't have all the ingredients when I tried it, so here's my version:
NOTE: I used some odd soy spread instead of butter because I was baking for people who shouldn't eat lactose. I imagine real butter should be better (although these really were tasty). Likewise, if anyone with nothing to do wants to try the recipe with 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose real flour in place of the the rice and sticky rice flours and the cornstarch and xanthan gum listed below, I'd love to hear about it.
- 3/4 cup "Soy Garden Buttery Spread"
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (maybe a little more, but almond extract has a pretty strong flavour)
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup sweet (also called sticky or glutinous) rice flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 cup roasted, finely chopped pecans
- zest of one lemon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the "butter", egg, sugar, and almond extract thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients to form a very stiff dough. The dough should form one big ball on the paddle of the mixer, hardly sticking to the sides of the bowl (if necessary to obtain this consistency, add more rice flour (either variety) sparingly).
Roll the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inch across (these are rather crumbly when finished, so smaller cookies have a better chance of holding together). Place on greased cookie sheets (they do not fall or "melt" when they are cooking, so you can line them up fairly close to each other) and bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. The cookies are done when deep cracks appear in their tops; don't bake them much past this point.
Yield: About 25 cookies
Above are a couple of Mariposa Lilies (family Calochortus). "Mariposa" is the Spanish word for "butterfly"; if the petals on these flowers do not exactly resemble the wing of a butterfly they at least run it some pretty stiff competition. I was reading through one of my plant guides last night and it also explained the family name. Kalo is Greek for "beautiful" and chortos is "grass." I don't quite see the "grass" resemblance myself, but beautiful they are! Locally we have a white and a light purple species as shown above. Supposedly there is also a golden variety but I have yet to see one.