Thy Mighty Pumpkin Cookies

BREAD FIRE DEATH IS BACK! Where did it go? Well spring turned into summer and summer turned into fall quicker than you can say, “Hellenic Black Metal.” Anyway, pumpkin time has been upon the world for about a month now. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin chips, pumpkin salsa, pumpkin cereal…I love pumpkin, but quite frankly, I don’t need to eat it in everything. I tend to keep it for bread, pie, or these: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

This simple recipe pairs best with Rotting Christ. Not only was their debut a masterpiece in Black Metal, but it put Greece on the map for extreme music. Listen to it here. What do pumpkins have to do with Greece? Absolutely nothing. On with the recipe my legions.

thy_mighty_contract

What You Will Need:

1 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup Cooked Pumpkin (I used pumpkin from my yard, but if  you must use canned, be sure it is organic…it just tastes better)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 1/2 + 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour (Bob’s Red Mill reigns supreme in my house)
4 tsp Baking Powder
As many chocolate chips as you see fit

Tools:

2 Baking pans (greased up…I use butter to make a nice thin layer to prevent too much sticking)
Large bowl
Medium bowl
Spatula

Preheat your oven to 400º F.

Cream together your butter and sugar in the large bowl. You can do this in a KitchenAid mixer or by hand. Add eggs, pumpkin, spices, and salt. Mix thoroughly until you have a nice wet mix. In your other bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Once sifted well, add to your wet mix and mix all ingredients together. The extra flour turns these cookies into near mini-cakes. Quite fluffy to say the least. For the chocolate chip addition, I chose mini-chips and used just shy of a cup. This way there is not an overpowering of chocolate.

Once your dough is mixed well, take a standard spoon and begin to drop your dough on the baking pans. You should get about a dozen per pan and this recipe generally yields around three dozen cookies. Flatten the cookies a bit after you place them.

Place the pans in your oven once it is preheated. Depending on your oven, the cookies could take 12 to 15 minutes. At about the ten minute mark, check the bottoms of them. If they appear dark brown, then you should take them out before they get too burned. You want a nice golden bottom for these to be just right. But practice makes perfect of course. These keep very well in an air-tight container, but your hungry won’t let them exist for too long.

No go…go and conquer your Pumpkin Lust!

pumpkin_cookies

This recipe was adapted from Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes by Bear Wallow Books

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Scones for the King of the Dead

Here in Oregon, Strawberry season is upon us. This is a special time of year and what better way to celebrate the arrival of the great strawberry than to make scones with strawberry jam! Not just any scone, mind you, but ones that taste so good, your friends will want to keep you in the kitchen making these awesome treats every morning.

And yes, they don’t take very long at all. Between getting your ingredients organized and actual baking time, you are looking at around 40 minutes. Perfect for a nice relaxing morning.

The “King of the Dead” album by Cirith Ungol (listen to it here) works well with this recipe. The perfect album length for the process, how can you resist classic tracks such as, “Atom Smasher”, “Finger of Scorn” or the title track itself?? Simple answer: bang your head and bake some scones.

HERE WE GO!

king_of_the_dead

What You Will Need:

(This is the Dry Mix)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp Barley Flour
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

(This is the Wet Mix)
1 stick of Cold Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 egg

(Finishing Mix)
1/2 cup Strawberry Jam (freshly made always is best!)
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Sugar

Tools:
Baking pan (greased up…I use butter to make a nice thin layer to prevent too much sticking)
Large bowl
Small bowl
Spatula
Whisk
Large knife

First things first, place a rack in the  middle of your oven and turn it to 350ºF.

In the large bowl, thoroughly mix all of your dry ingredients together. Once you have done this, take the stick of butter and on a cutting board, cut it into 1/2 inch squares. Take these little cubes and toss them into the dry mix. With your hands, work them into the mix. You’ll want to smash up the cubes and flatten them so that the mix now resembles crumbs. This will take about five or so minutes.

Once done with this, wash your hands, grab the small bowl, and then whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Scrape this wet mixture into the dry and with the spatula, mix well until combined.

You should now have a sticky dough. Flour your kneading area, take the dough and divide it evenly in half, and then proceed to make a large disk with one piece of the dough. It should be roughly 8 or so inches in diameter and around a 1/2 inch thick. Do this with the other piece.

Grab your Strawberry jam and spread it evenly on one of the discs. Once you have your spread all done, carefully take the other disc and place it on top of the jammed disc. If you did it right, they should be the same size and fit well together. Take your melted butter and drizzle it evenly on top. Sprinkle the sugar all over and then grab your knife and make them into eight equal pieces (like cutting a pizza or pie).

Carefully place them on the baking pan and then pop them in the oven for 11 minutes. Once your time goes off, rotate the tray and then bake them for another 11 minutes or until they are golden brown on top and the jam has spilled over.

These are best eaten fresh or later in the day. But I doubt they could last for more than a day in any household.

strawberry_barley_scones

Adapted from, “Good to the Grain: Baking With Whole-Grain Flours” by Kim Boyce. A great book that has lots of wonderful recipes!

“The sword descends the blood shall fall like rain
Its rising tide will cleanse your world of pain
His grip will rob the living of their breath
For as he ruled in life he rules in death” –Cirtith Ungol