Gizmos and cookies

Chocolate-dipped shortbread

Chocolate-dipped shortbread

Shortbread was on the ‘to do’ list today, as well as a 7up cake for the parental unit to take to a bowling lunch tomorrow.  

7up bundt cake with holiday decorations

7up cake with a holiday motif

Shortbread is the best butter cookie in the world and easy to make.  My mom and I always cut out little logs and dip one end in chocolate.  This year I picked up a little electric gizmo that you put chocolate in to melt and it keeps it warm so you can work with it over time.  Since there is no need to temper your chocolate for this kind of use, a mess-free melting system is perfect.  It has a warming base and two little nonstick inserts for whatever you are melting.  I found this at Tuesday Morning in Berkeley and gladly paid the ten bucks for it.  It came with all kinds of plastic tools and molds, and a little rack for coating.  If you scrounge around Tuesday Morning and look for plain brown boxes with white labels that say “Cook’s Essentials,” you have a good shot at finding a real treasure now and again. 

Once you have your shortbread done and it has cooled completely, dip ends into ~70% couverture chocolate that has been melted and then place on silicone mats.  You can then carefully peel the mat away from the cookies once the chocolate has set.  Be sure to use good chocolate; the cookies have very few ingredients, so you will really taste the chocolate.  This would be the time to spring for Valrhona. 

If you want a good shortbread recipe, just email me.  You’ll need only butter, sugar, flour, vanilla and maybe a little salt.  There are a million good recipes on the web, as well.

With all the baking going on, we wound up having pizza sandwiches for dinner.  I always freeze leftover pizza and then reheat it and make sandwiches with two slices.  Just toss some turkey breast, tomatoes and whatever on the top of slice number one and cover with slice number two.  Kids love this and it is a great way to use leftovers. 

 Check out the photo of Berry in his new sweater.  Berry has sebaceous adenitis, so he lost quite a bit of hair, necessitating artificial means of keeping warm.  He’s angered by the sweater, but what else can we do?

Berry the akita in a sweater

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