6/30/12

Baking and Sewing

First, the baking.  Yesterday I baked these Trail Mix Cookies for a Baking on Friday segment.  And then I wasn't completely happy with the way the cookies turned out.


As I was mixing up the ingredients, I was thinking there needed to be some sort of acid in the mix because it contained only baking soda as a leavener.  By definition, baking soda needs to react with an acid in order to form bubbles thereby causing baked goods to rise.  If baking soda is the only leavener, then the mix also needs to contain something like citrus juice or yogurt or sour cream or buttermilk.  This one did not.

I sort of forgot about it until I baked the cookies.  They spread out flat and ran together in places.  I baked the cookies approximately 25% longer than the recipe specified, trying to get them to firm up.  Nevertheless, when I tasted the first one (while still warm), it was floppy and sort of under baked.  I wrote an email to the person(s) who writes the blog where I found the recipe because I wondered if the recipe needed baking powder instead of baking soda.  So far I haven't received an answer although it has been more than 24 hours.  I'll wait a couple more days before I give up.  Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a blog is written by an individual or a company.  I'm suspicious that this particular blog may be written by a company.
  
Later on, I tried the cookies again.  I tried them several times, in fact.  This is science, after all.  You understand, right?  They really are quite good.  I tried them several more times just to be sure they were good.  You can trust me on that point.  They are soft and chewy and they have a nice flavor.  And I tested them several more times to make sure about the soft, chewy, nice flavor part.  You can trust me on that too.

Still, this baking powder vs. baking soda issue bothers me, and I don't want to link to the recipe until I have it all sorted out.  If I don't hear from the blogger who published the original recipe, I'm going to try them again using baking powder and see how they turn out then.  I always think it's good to try cookie recipes over and over and over and over and over again.  You want to make sure they're just right, don't you?  Consider this an ongoing experiment.  When I'm satisfied that the recipe is correct, I'll give it to you.  Until then, you can rest assured that I'll keep tasting them until I am convinced that they cannot possibly be improved upon.  I know you will thank me for this.

So in the middle of baking my cookies, the mail arrived and I received the last We Bee Learning bee block that I was waiting for.  I have all twelve blocks now.  This one was made by Liz in Florida.  I like the combination of fabrics she used.  Recall that I asked my bee partners to have some sort of theme for their blocks.  Several chose polka dotted blocks, and I think they are going to look great when they are sewn together in a quilt.  Thank you, Liz.


For now all my block laying out space is taken up by the Daisies & Dots blocks.  I'll have to get those sewn together before I can lay out these bee blocks.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the predominent color is among them and then I'll decide whether to use a sashing and what color to use.

Then this morning, I finished up the embroidery on the June block for the Vintage Miniature Sewing Machine BOM.  I like this one.  The information I had on this sewing machine said that it was elaborately decorated with flower motifs.  It would be interesting to see a well-preserved one of these in person.  


Then I finished up the tenth block in the Blogger's BOM.  This block was designed by Pam at PamKittyMorning.  I like the way it turned out.  I can't believe we're into the tenth month on this one already.  Two more to go, and this one will be ready to sew together.


Then I made the block for the July Block Swap Adventure.  My partner asked for a pieced block using grey, yellow, and white with a solid background of any shade of grey.  This is what I came up with.  


I'm realizing my stash is a little light on gray fabrics, especially a solid.  I have some solid grays that I used for a Halloween costume (a shark) many, many years ago, but I'm not convinced of the quality of the fabric.  I wanted to use a quilter's cotton in this block.  Fortunately, I had some gray solids in a box of Kona solids I purchased several months back.

Finally, with my sewing machine embroidery block finished, I was ready to make the next block for the Promises & Borders BOM.  I haven't started stitching this one, but just having the block made up feels as if the job is half done.  I'm a month behind on this one, so I'll need to stitch up two of these in July to catch up. The July block isn't out yet, and so I feel a little less behind than a might.


With that done, I thought I'd done enough sewing for one day.  I'm ready to do something else now.  I should probably go and do another taste test on the cookies, don't you think?

I'm linking this post to:  



11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

You've been busy this weekend.

Dana Gaffney said...

With all of that scientific experimenting going on I hope you're finding time to get your walks in, just to clear your head of course.

ANudge said...

NewFO Challenge linky? Love all the photos - I have a blue door.

Denise :) said...

Barbara, bless the scientist in you that perseveres and continues to taste and test and bake these cookies so your readers can get *the best* recipe and baking experience from it!! You're a saint! LOL! :) All your stitcheries are darling -- especially that little vintage sewing machine! I love it! :)

dianehobbit said...

A busy time for you. Love the stitchery of the sewing machine and the idea of your UFO challenge. No feeling guilty when starting a new project!

Quilter Kathy said...

Thanks for linking up to the hand stitching post!
I love your sewing machine block!
Enjoy your cookies...uh...I mean enjoy your scientific research!

Linda said...

oh my!! Your science project sounds very interesting. I'm so glad you are there to "test" for us. I could volunteer my services if you'd like to ship samples. haha.
On the serious side... I love your sewing machine. It is so cute!!

Ellen said...

Very fun post! Lots of wonderful things going on and your sewing machine block is lovely.

LynCC said...

Oh - your vintage machine embroidery is wonderful! I just can't wait to see that project come together later. :D (And you don't mind if I snitch a cookie, do you?)

Connie said...

Those cookies really sound good.....are there any left??? Great blocks and your vintage embroidery is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
Quilting at the River Linky Party Tuesday

Webbing said...

Mm, cookies. They look great. I like to munch when I'm sewing, I have to admit, and homemade is all the better!