The Joy of Baking

September 23rd

With travel and work consuming September, there hasn’t been much domesticity in Casa de Kelli as of late. Last weekend, one of my most favorite people in the world came to visit and I barely got the sheets washed in time. I’m still playing a bit of catchup, although thankfully after two weeks of excessive exercise and lots of water and fresh vegetables, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.
What to do when your pants just start to fit? Why bake, of course.
I had several hours yesterday to play, so I took the opportunity to read the September issue of Martha Stewart Living, which includes a wonderful recipe for polenta quicktime lemon thyme bread. Usually I find Martha’s recipes unnecessarily difficult and tedious. Not so with this one. I give it a five out of five bananas, absoloodle.

my copy of MSL, september

The recipe is quick, simple and the results are delicious. I passed them out last night after dinner with friends, and am taking a few others to my grandparent’s house today. Like all bread recipes, I find it easier to bake them in the individual loaf pans, rather than one large pan. This makes controlling serving sizes easier for everyone.

my polenta quick time bread with lemon and thyme

If I were making these for myself, I would not include pine nuts. They are not my favorite.

While in the kitchen, I whipped up a batch of Queenscliff-Sorrento chocolate hedgehogs. One of my friends from the bagel shop, AJ, generously gave me an extra computer printer he had. (I’d purchased a computer for my grandparents, but no printer. His generosity made the gift that much more complete.) In turn, I asked for his favorite baked good and without hesitation, he said, “HEDGEHOGS!”
He and his wife discovered the chocolate bar cookies on a recent trip to Australia and he was tickled pink when I showed up at the bagel shop this morning with an entire casserole dish of them.

Happy AJ, hedgehogs

They are fairly simple to make, but I warn you, they are as close to a heart attack in a dish as I’ve ever created — with some six sticks of butter and six eggs included. Can you imagine? AY! But of the small bite I had, they are truly a treat.

Recipe: Queenscliff-Sorrento Chocolate Hedgehogs
Base:

4 packages Marie cookies

(Gamesa’s version is called Marias)

(They can be found in the Mexican food isle of major grocery store chains)

2 cups walnut pieces

21 ounces butter

1 ¬Ω cups cocoa powder

2 ¬Ω cups superfine granulated sugar

6 large eggs beaten

Topping:

21 ounces dark chocolate chips

(Milk chocolate chips can be substituted)

(Hershey’s versions are called Special Dark Chips or Milk Chocolate Chips)

4 ¬Ω ounces vegetable oil

Instructions:

In a large bowl, break cookies and walnuts into pieces (not too finely).

In a bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt the butter. Stir in sugar and cocoa and then take off the heat and add the beaten eggs stirring briskly.

Pour over cookie and walnut pieces and mix thoroughly all together.

Line a large, deep tray (20 inches x 12 inches x 4 inches deep) or four 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pans with plastic wrap. Put mixture into pan(s), pressing very firmly and cool over night in refrigerator.

To make the topping, melt the chocolate chips and oil in a bowl over simmering water until smooth, then pour over the cold mixture in the pan(s). Spread topping evenly and refrigerate.

When thoroughly chilled and set, use the plastic wrap to lift the molded mixture out of the pan(s). Place it topping side up and cut into 1 inch wide pieces with large, sharp knife wiping blade between each slice.

~Kelli

Posted in
Domestic Art, Recipes
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10 Responses

  1. Those hedghogs look so good right now. Yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe. It looks like it might be good for holiday cooking and gift giving. I also loved your bread. I will have to go get the Martha Stewart Living Magazine this month and give it a try. I’m so glad your back. your pictures have been so enjoyable and I have to say that I am also glad to hear about your domestic creativity. It inspires me as well. Happy weekend to you!

  2. I love reading Martha’s magazine, but never ever try any of the receipes. I am definitely NOT a cook. However, I may have to give this one a go. Right after I learn what exactly polenta is! 🙂

  3. I felt my veins clog just reading that recipe…although they sound yummy, I think I’d have a too-sweet tummy-ache in seconds!

  4. they sound delicious! but all that butter? oh my!!!

  5. Lordy, Kelli, these cookies sound heavenly!

  6. How was the Polenta bread? I made the chocolate brownies from that same article, they were outstanding. I want to try the chocolate in the middle cupcakes as well.

  7. I’m glad you’re feeling more yourself again 🙂

  8. Holy flippin’ cow, I thought I made buttery dishes, but oh my. I love Marie cookies, I may have to indulge.

  9. Does anyone know where the name “hedgehog” for the slices derived from?