Saturday, April 9, 2011

OBUGS party tomorrow 4/10/11

I just want to give a shout out to a great event happening tomorrow in Oakland, CA in support of O.B.U.GS -
Oakland Based Urban Gardens which is a nonprofit that uses edible garden classrooms at schools throughout West Oakland to bring about true food-system change in a local food desert.

Children in OBUGS programs are the hands-on harvesters, gardeners, chefs and taste-testers. They learn that healthy can be fun, easy and taste amazing. It's a life skill and knowledge base that fuels demand and shapes the next generation's food world.

The event is at Pizzaiolo,
5008 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st Street)
Oakland, CA
It begins at 6 p.m.

Come enjoy delicious food and drink by chefs from Chez Panisse and Pizzaiolo donating their time and perfecting new recipes for the cause. Families are welcome.

Live music from Rafa Postel and Danny Lubin Laden

With tickets starting at $5, we'll have

Miso ramen (Limited Quantity)
Wood oven roasted crab
Lamb wraps with harissa
Spring vegetable tempura
Homemade ice cream sandwiches
St George Cocktails

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cookies & biscotti

In the middle of the afternoon there is nothing more pleasant than being able to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and a couple of cookies. No matter what kind of day you are having, this little act makes everything seem a bit more civilized.

These are some of my favorites and are quite easy to make. They will keep in an airtight container for at least 4 days of afternoon snacking.

Pictured above are Almond-Anise Biscotti, Pain d'Amande, & Langues de Chat (Cat Tongues).

Almond-Anise Biscotti
Whole eggs 2
Egg yolks 1
Sugar 1 c
Flour 2 c
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Almond extract 1/8 tsp
Anise seed 1 tsp
Orange zest 2 tsp
Whole almonds
(coarsely chopped) 1 1/2 c

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs in mixture with sugar 1 minute with the paddle attachment. Add dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Add extract, anise, zest, and almonds and mix until combined. Form into 2 logs.

Bake logs at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until set. Cut cookies crosswise (about 1/4" to 1/2" thick). Reduce the heat in the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the cookies out flat on a baking sheet and toast them until they are crisp and golden.

Pain d'Amande
Flour 4 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Water 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Butter 8 oz
Demerara or raw sugar 3 c
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Sliced almonds 6 oz

Melt the butter in a pot and add cold water to cool slightly. Add to pot, cinnamon, sugar and let the sugar dissolve slightly but not completely (this will give the cookies a nice crunch). Put this mixture into a stand mixer and add almonds and sifted dry ingredients - mix until the dough comes together.

Press the dough into a flat sheet about an inch or so thick (pressing it into a plastic lined baking sheet or square cake pan works well (this recipe will yield enough dough to cover half of a baking sheet).

Chill the dough for at least 2 hours then cut the dough into logs however long you want the cookies to be.

Slice the cookies very thin and bake at 350 degrees until set and slightly golden - about 8-10 minutes.

Langues de Chat (Cat Tongues)
Butter 1/2 lb
Sugar 1/2 lb
Egg whites 1/2 lb (~1 c)
Flour 1/2 lb

Cream the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment then add your sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the room temperature egg whites little by little - you are making an emulsification so add a bit then let the dough come back together before adding more, you cannot over mix this part of the dough so don't worry if it takes a while.

When all of the egg whites have been added, put your flour into the mixer and blend until the dough comes together. The dough will be quite loose and is ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spread or pipe the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Put in oven and set a timer for 4 minutes. When the timer rings, sprinkle the half-baked cookies with a very light coating of granulated sugar and put them back into the oven to finish baking about another 4-6 minutes - the cookies should be golden brown all the way through.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The bee is back...

After a very long hiatus due to my daughter Charlotte's birth last summer, I am finally finding enough balance in my life to start posting again, and not a moment too soon - rhubarb and strawberries are right around the corner.

Despite not posting for a number of months, Little Bee did stay quite busy. I was a regular feature at the Pop-Up General Store in Oakland, CA where I sold my tart dough and Fleur de Sel caramel sauce among other things.
Most recently Little Bee participated in the Bake Sale for Japan which was truly amazing! 40 simultaneous bake sales across the country. As of this posting we have raised just over $124,000 of which 100% will go to relief efforts in Japan.

Little Bee made "I Heart Japan" sugar cookies, and so can you...

Yields 2-3 dozen cookies


2 ¾ cups flour

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons good brandy (optional)

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

¾ teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ.

Stir together flour and salt - then, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the consistency of course meal. In a separate bowl beat together sugar, egg, yolk, optional brandy, lemon zest, and cinnamon until well blended and smooth. Stir sugar mixture into the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and place each piece of dough between two pieces of waxed paper. Roll out the dough to ¼” thick. Chill dough sheets still in waxed paper in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

When ready, peel off top layer of waxed paper and place it back on the dough. Flip over the dough sheet and gently peel off second layer of waxed paper and cut out desired shapes. Re-roll excess dough until used up. (If dough gets too soft, put back in the refrigerator until it firms up.)

Place cookies on baking sheet 1 ¼” apart and bake in middle rack for 6-8 minutes. The edges should be lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decorate as desired.

Thanks for your patience - it's good to be back!