Sunday, November 30, 2008

Food for Thought: Waiter Rant

I joined a new food book discussion blog called Food for Thought, hosted by Kate at the Clean Plate Club. Each month we will review a "foodie book" and we also have the option of trying a recipe from the book, if there are any.

For our first month we reviewed the book "Waiter Rant", by Steve Dublanica a.k.a. "The Waiter". You might be wondering what's up the "a.k.a." business.

Here's the deal... this guy is a waiter in a high-end New York City restaurant and he started a blog called Waiter Rant. He posted anonymously because he's got lots of dirt, er, insight on co-workers, bosses, and customers. He posted anonymously for several years and developed a following that eventually led to a book deal. Still keeping his identity unknown, he published his book, but then eventually "came out". (It's hard to be an anonymous guest on Oprah.)

There weren't any recipes in the book. I considered making a Valentines Day inspired chocolate raspberry cake (mentioned in the book) along with my review, but I ran out of time.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. Just like so much of life, you can't really appreciate someone else's position until you've "walked a mile in their shoes".

Waiters see the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of humanity. The author recounts many cases of selfish, unkind behavior, some of which are truly shocking. Like the couple who were so worried and uptight about getting a particular table... never mind that the restaurant had been turned upside down as an emergency crew was attending to a woman who had a stroke during dinner.

I know this sounds cliched, but, waiters are people too. They have lives and histories and bills to pay and they deserve kindness and respect just like everyone else. Sometimes it's easy to fall into the habit of thinking they are in a position of servitude. If there's one thing I learned from reading this book, it's that simple kindness, saying please and thank you, and tipping appropriately are the least we customers can do when eating out.

I thought this was a great read and I would recommend it. However, those with a sensitivity toward swearing might want to chose another title from the book shelf.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: Caramel Cake

Oh no. Not caramel again. Please!

The baking gods must know that I haven't successfully made caramel, and that's why this month's Daring Bakers challenge is Caramel Cake, I just know it. The baking gods know I have to transform those sugary white crystals into thick amber syrup before I can call myself a true baker.


With fear and loathing in my heart, I once again pulled out the pan and the bag of sugar, and dragged myself over to the stove. One rule of caramel making is that you DO NOT STIR or muck with it in any way, or you risk turning the whole mass back into sandy sugar crystals. Well, for some reason, on my first attempt, I figured the experts didn't know what they were talking about and I stirred, and stirred, and then stirred a little more. Turns out the experts do know what they're talking about. My sugar and water mixture first turned into a boiling syrupy mass, and then magically turned back into sugar and water. Just like the experts said it would.

OK, well, it's nice to know the laws of chemistry are still intact.

On my second attempt I resisted with all my might and didn't touch the stuff at all. And it worked!! I got to the right shade of amber without burning it. Hallelujah! I wanted to shout from the rooftops (fourth time's a charm, I guess).

Armed with my perfect caramel syrup, I made the browned butter caramel buttercream and let me tell you, this is the best icing I've ever made in my life. I kid you not. If it weren't that I need to squeeze into a swim suit in exactly 21 days, I would have eaten the whole bowl with a spoon.

Many Daring Bakers mentioned that the icing was too sweet and I'll admit that without the addition of salt, it was too sweet. But once I added the 1/8 teaspoon or so of salt, it was perfect.

The cake portion had a lovely taste as well. It was a tad dense for my taste, though. I would have liked a slightly lighter cake. But it had a gorgeous caramel color. (By the way, I halved the recipe and made it in two 4-inch pans.) Bottom line... I would make the icing again, but I would probably try a different caramel cake.

This month's recipe was chosen by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity and comes to us courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon. The recipe can be found at We also had the option of making Alice Medrich's Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels. I ran out of time and didn't make them, but I hope to get to them later in the month.

Dolores' co-hosts this month were Alex of Blondie and Brownie, Jenny of Foray into Food. and Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go. Thanks everybody for a most excellent challenge!

OK, this Daring Baker is signing off until next month. As always, I eagerly await next month's recipe.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

Vibi of La casserole carrée has chosen this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe, Thanksgiving Twofer Pie. Which is totally awesome, I think, considering that Vibi is French Canadian (I think, right, Vibi?). She has a fantastic writeup about the history of Thanksgiving with her pie writeup. Do yourself a favor and stop by her site to checkout this pie recipe and brush up on your history. Don't understand French? No prob! There is a Google Translator button toward the top right of her site that will save you from having to dig up those three years of high school French from the cobweb-covered recesses of your brain.

Anyway, onto the pie. This recipe is a twist on two holiday classics, pumpkin pie and pecan pie. Because, guess what? The pie has both pumpkin and pecan filling. We started with our prebaked pie crust. I used a deep dish pie dish and I was bummed when my pie crust shrank, because I didn't exactly get the benefit of a deep dish pie. (More on that later.)

First, we added a layer of pumpkin pie filling.

Next came a layer of pecans. I didn't measure the pecans. I just added until I got a nice even layer. I probably had less than the 1-1/2 cups called for, but that's OK, because I'm not a huge lover of pecans.

Finally, a thin layer of pecan pie filling is poured gently on top.

The pecans slowly but surely rose to the top of the filling.

I baked the pie for the required time, 10 minutes at 450 degrees and 50 minutes at 300 degrees. However, when I stuck my thin knife in the center to test for doneness... oy! The center definitely wasn't done, in fact it was just barely warm. It took another 20 minutes, the last 10 at 350 degrees. If I were to make this again, I would bake at a higher temperature than 300.

I used my pie ring the entire time which saved my pie from the burnt crust that many TWD'ers reported having.

However, the pie ring didn't save the filling from seeping over the edge of the pie crust and underneath... mmmm, a nice layer of burned filling on the bottom * rolling eyes*.

And how was the taste? Um... I wish I knew! I sent this with my sister-in-law to her family Thanksgiving and am waiting to hear back. I told her to save me a piece, though, so hopefully I'll have an update soon.

OK, folks, see you next week...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Operation Baking Gals, Round 4

I know, it's Tuesday and I'm supposed to be posting my Tuesday's with Dorie recipe today. However, Laurie, our fearless TWD leader, has given us the option of posting late this week, since this week's recipe is a Thanksgiving pie. So, I'm posting my Operation Baking Gals November contribution today instead.

It was a very patriotic and emotional month. It started with Election Day and all of the drama and anxiety that brings. Then, Veteran's Day, where I got to see my oldest son "post the colors" (i.e. bring in the flags) with the other Cub Scouts during the elementary school Veteran's Day program. (The Veteran's Day program was very touching and well done and once again proved how easily I cry now that I've had children.) Then, I received a letter of thanks from last month's Operation Baking Gals soldier, David. Coincidentally, I received his letter within days of mailing off November's care package to another soldier, Joshua.

Captain David Spirz, stationed in Iraq, wrote such a nice letter. He said my package was the first he recieved, and that he got 11 more boxes of cookies in about 10 days! He sent several pictures of himself and the goodies as well. I really enjoyed reading his letter and sharing the pictures with my two boys. I hope it helped them understand that there are many, many faces behind the word "soldier". David also mentioned that the temperature had finally cooled down to 85-90 degrees... from a consistent 115-120 degrees! Yikes!

I made three different recipes to send to this month's soldier, Joshua.

First, were White Chip Caramel Bars, a brown sugar-based bar cookie studded with white chocolate chips and nuts. The recipe can be found ---> HERE. These bars are delish and will appeal to those with a major sweet tooth. They are supposed to be drizzled with melted white chocolate, but I knew that wouldn't work with the high temperatures in the Middle East, so I left it off.

Second, was half of the Lenox Almond Biscotti I had frozen as an unbaked log several Tuesday's with Dorie ago. I mixed mini chocolate chips into this half, but I didn't like them as well as the original version.

Finally, the Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies I made for Cookie Carnival.

I hope these treats brightened the lives of the soldiers, even if just for a little while. They'll never know how much I appreciate the sacrifice they've made for this country and countries around the world. Thank you!!

Thanks to Susan at She's Becoming DoughMessTic for starting Operation Baking Gals, and also thank you to Bridget at The Way the Cookie Crumbles for hosting our soldier this month.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cake Slice: Halloween Sweet Potato Cake

Welcome to the second installment of the Cake Slice, a monthly group baking cakes from the book "Sky High, Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.

Up this month... Halloween Sweet Potato Cake, a moist spice cake filled with orange cream filling and covered with chocolate cream cheese frosting. I know, mine doesn't look like chocolate anything... don't worry, I'll explain.

This cake was moist and flavorful, with no real hint of sweet potato. It was lightly spiced, I thought. I tend to like "spicier" spice cake, but my neighbor across the street raved about it. She said it was in her "Top-10" favorites of the recipes I've baked.

I cheated again this month and didn't follow the directions exactly. (I'm two-for-two for not following the Cake Slice recipes, but I promise I will next month!) You see, I'm burned out on pairing chocolate and spice. It seems like I've baked so many recipes lately with that combo and I'm just not a fan of it. To me, those flavors stand on their own, and combining them diminishes them both. Guess you can't teach this old dog any new tricks, at least with respect to chocolate (stop messing with chocolate, people, please!)

Soooo, I went with cream cheese flavored icing and filling (why mess with a classic?). I also quartered the recipe and baked it in 4-inch pans.

I decided to play around a little and dress up this little tower of cake. A few drop strings and a fondant daisy that's been languishing on my "unused decorations" shelf and there you go!

OK, that's it for now... over and out until next month!

Sweet Potato Cake

2 medium or 1 large sweet potato (12 ounces)
3 cups of cake flour**
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
5 eggs, separated
2 and 1/4 cups of sugar
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups of milk

(**The recipe calls for cake flour and if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch.)

(*If fresh sweet potato is not available where you live you may use canned sweet potato, yams, and pumpkin puree)

Makes a 9-inch triple layer cake, serves 16-20 people

1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes in 2-3 places, place on a small baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are very soft. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms and the sides of the pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper also.

3. When the sweet potatoes are cool peel off the skin and remove any dark spots. Cut the potatoes into chunks and puree in a food processors. Puree until smooth. Measure out one cup of potato puree and set aside.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Set aside.

5. In the bowl of electric mixer add the egg whites and attach whip attachment. Beat on medium speed until egg whites are frothy. raise the speed to high and gradually beat in 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are moderately stiff.

6. In another large bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the sweet potato, butter, vanilla, and remaining sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg yolk is added. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and milk in alternately in 2-3 additions. making sure to begin and end with the dry ingredients.

7. With a large spatula, fold in one fourth of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Then fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain. Making sure to not over mix or this will deflate the batter. Divide the batter among of the three pans.

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out the cake layers onto a wire rack and cool completely at least 1 hour.

9. To assemble the cake, place one layer flat side up on to a cake stand. With a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip and filled with chocolate cream cheese icing, pipe border around the edge of the cake. Fill the center with the orange cream filling smoothing it to the edge of the border. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.Place the third layer on top and use all the chocolate cream cheese frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Cream Frosting:
makes 3 cups
10 ounces cream cheese*** at room temperature
1 stick of butter at room temperature
16 ounces of powdered sugar; sifted
1 and 1/2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate melted and slightly cooled

(***1 cup of cream cheese maybe substituted with 1 cup pureed cottage cheese OR 1 cup plain yogurt, strained overnight in a cheesecloth OR equal amounts of neufatel cheese)

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar to cream cheese butter mixture. Making sure to scrape down the sides the sides of the bowl. Then beat until light fluffy 2-3 minutes.

2. Measure out 1 cup of frosting and set aside.

3. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining icing in the bowl and beat until well combined.

Orange Cream Filling:
1 cup of reserved cream cheese icing from above.
2 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon of orange extract

1. Stir together all the ingredients until well mixed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TWD: Arborio Rice Pudding

Yin and yang. Men and women. Summer and winter…

Chocolate and vanilla.

Aaaaah, the eternal question, whether to have chocolate or vanilla. Dorie saved us from having to choose with this week’s Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe, Arborio Rice Pudding, White, Black (Or Both). Thanks so much to Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa for picking this unique recipe. (See Isabelle's web site if you'd like to peek at the recipe, or better yet, check out Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From my Home to Yours.)

I’ve never actually eaten rice pudding. Is that strange? I don’t know. I’ll find out this week, probably.

I’m really glad I read the discussion thread about this recipe before trying it. Seems there was a typo in the book, leaving some of the early bakers with rice soup rather than rice pudding. I boiled the milk-rice mixture for a full 55 minutes and my pudding was indeed pudding-ish once it was all said and done.

The verdict? Interesting. I liked the vanilla rice pudding, it reminded me a lot of tapioca, which I enjoy. The chocolate rice pudding? Eh, not so much. Both types had a faint rice taste, which was fine with the vanilla. But the chocolate just didn’t seem to pair well with rice flavor, in my opinion.

All in all, it was a learning experience. I had no idea one could make pudding with only rice as the thickener.

Oh, by the way, did anyone else’s pan look like this at the end? LOL, I might have been a bit aggressive in the early stages of boiling the milk.

Looks like something straight out of the movie “Alien”.

OK, we'll see ya next week, but not on Tuesday. TWD-ers have the option of posting late next week due to Thanksgiving. So, see you next Saturday with Thanksgiving Two-fer Pie!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cookie Carnival: The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Just when I think I've made the best chocolate chip cookie yet, along comes another fabulous recipe. I'm starting to think maybe there's no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie.

The lovely, Kate, from the Clean Plate Club, and our fearless Cookie Carnival leader has chosen The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies as this month's cookie. It comes from "In the Sweet Kitchen", by Regan Daley.

Mmmm, these were soft and chewy throughout. They held their shape and didn't flatten out, no doubt due to the large percentage of flour. These cookies contained the same basic amount of sugar, butter, and eggs as the famous Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, but they have almost a cup of flour more.

Anyway, they were delicious and perfect for dunking into an ice cold glass of milk. I sent most of them to one of the soldiers for Operation Baking Gals (I'll post about that later). I hope the soldiers enjoy them as much as I did.

(I'm not usually one to fall for nick-nacks and do-dads, but I couldn't resist buying this chicken, er, rooster (thanks, Vera!).)

The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
16 oz. flavorful bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly butter them, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

3. Using your hands, shape knobs of dough about the size of a large walnut and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies to ensure even baking. Bake 12-15 for smaller cookies, 14-17 for larger ones or until the tops are a light golden brown. If the cookies are neither firm nor dark when they are removed from the oven, they will cool chewy and soft. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. If somehow they don't get inhaled immediately, they may be stored airtight at room temperature for up to one week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD: Kugelhopf

In general, I try not to turn this blog into my personal sounding board. I know everyone has problems and hardships and they don’t need to take on my burdens too. Plus, I don't even like to listen to myself whine. However, I have a beef I feel like talking about. And I’m wondering, am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe I've turned into one of those old farts who’s got romantic notions of how much better things were in "the good old days"?

Here's what gets my goat... Hollywood and the entertainment industry bombarding my kids with its lack of values. For example, advertising of the movie, “Sex and the City”.

I don’t mind that the movie exists, but dag-nabit, do they have to advertise it everywhere? At every turn, I see that larger than life poster (and more to the point, my kids see it) with the word “SEX” in all caps, in hot pink rhinestones on a black background. Very glamorous, very glitzy, lots of visual appeal… and there it is at the theater, the mall, TV commercials, at the bookstore for crying out loud. It’s fine for adults, but when I take my kids to the bookstore and end up having to have “the talk” with my 7 year old? Oy vey!

You may be thinking, “but you could just tell them when they're older”. Yeah right, you try not explaining something like that to a curious elementary school kid and you will be hounded every waking minute, I guarantee you. At that age, they just can't stand being left out of a secret. And saying nothing isn't an option... you risk them using their fun, new word at school, at their friend's house, or wherever, because they don't know what it means.

And it's not a matter of "well, if you don't like it, just don't look at it." Because you just can't escape it. It's everywhere.

Here’s another example. Our family goes to the bowling alley, middle of the week day, we’re among a handful of groups bowling. Another nice wholesome outing, right? Right. Guess what song starts blaring on the juke box? “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” (which is sung by a girl, in case you didn't know). Niiiiice. Then some goon plays it AGAIN! And I see the sweet faces of my 7 and 10 year olds, looking at me and their dad with a “what the... ?” look.

What I dislike is when society forces me to have these discussions with my kids before I feel that they’re ready. OK, maybe the 10 year old is ready. But the 7 year old? Does he really need to know that? Will the world not let me keep him innocent for just a little while longer?

Wishful thinking, I guess.

Believe me when I tell you I am not a prude. I’m not holier than thou, not one to preach to anyone about my beliefs or be judgemental. And I don’t get all wigged out when I do explain the grown up parts of life to the kids. I tell them matter of factly, as much as I think they need to know, or can handle. But damn, let me do it when I think the time is right! Not as a result of a trip to the bookstore or the bowling alley, for pete’s sake!


So anyway, the kids are finding out (too young) about sex and the options for partners, and the Tuesday's with Dorie crowd and I are finding out about Kugelhopf. Sigh.

Here's a shout out to Yolanda of All-Purpose Girl for this week's recipe selection.

Kugelhopf is a European “cake” made from slightly sweetened yeast dough and typically contains raisins. It’s baked in a ring type pan and has a distinct look. Leite’s Culinaria has a real nice description and a beautifully made example, along with Dorie Greenspan's recipe.

I’m guessing I won’t be alone amongst the Tuesdays with Dorie crowd when I say that it seemed more like bread than cake. Albeit, a nice, light, soft bread.

Here is the dough in the molds, before it's had a chance to rise.

I don’t have a Kugelhopf pan, and I wanted to cut the recipe in half, so I used some cute little metal molds I have to bake it in. I added mini chocolate chips because I thought the recipe looked like it could benefit from some chocolate. (What, in life, couldn't benefit from a little chocolate?)

Some had problems with the yeasted dough rising. Mine rose to the tops of the molds before baking (I filled the molds about ¾ full to start with) but they rose even more in the oven and seemed to turn out just right.

Alone, they were OK. Warmed up, slathered with butter and jam, they were pretty good. I’m guessing the full sized loaf, sliced and toasted with butter and jam would be downright tasty.

All in all, it was a new and fairly successful baking adventure. Now, if I could get Hollywood to messing around in my business, I'd be set!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And the winner is...

Grace from A Southern Grace!

Grace has won the Sweet Melissa Baking Book from my give-away.

Thank you SO much to everyone who participated. I really, really enjoyed reading everyone's stories and I could relate to so many of them :)

I figured out how to use the Random Number Generator at, but not how to copy it in my post. So, here are the results, however unformatted they may be:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

17 Timestamp: 2008-11-07 13:15:35 UTC

© 1998-2008 Mads Haahr
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS
Web Design by TSDA

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Last Chance to win Free Stuff

Today, Thursday, is the last day for a chance to win my extra, new, copy of the Sweet Melissa Baking Book.

Check it out!

If you already commented, or you already have the book, or you just don't care, I'll throw another chocolate chip cookie recipe out there. (I know you're thinking, "For crying out loud, woman, would you just give chocolate chip cookies a REST!").

Well, no, no I won't. I can't. I'm of the opinion that chocolate chip cookie dough is quite possibly the most delicious substance on planet earth.

This recipe is from and can be found HERE. These cookies have that lovely crispyness on the outside and chewiness on the inside. I like to add more salt, maybe 3/4 to 1 teaspoon total. I don't recommend refrigerating first, like I did this time, or the cookies end up somewhat flat.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TWD: Rugelach

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe is Rugelach, chosen by Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal. Thanks, Piggy! Me loves some rugelach! You can find Dorie Greenspan's recipe and commentary about her rugelach HERE.

Just for fun... let's pretend you came over and we're making rugelach together, and all the while I'm telling you about my freak encounter with the forces of Good versus Evil yesterday.

OK, first we make our dough, split it in two, and refrigerate. Once chilled, roll each half into a circle.

"So anyway, it all started innocently enough with me stopping by one of my favorite lunch spots for a bite to eat. After I finished, I took my bill to the cashier and start fishing through my purse for my credit card. Sadly, I remember that I left all of my credit cards in the backpack I used for our weekend excursion with the kids. Of course, I had no cash (of course!)

I explain this to the cashier and ask if I can write a check. A terse "we don't take checks" was the reply. So I launch into my story again about forgetting the credit cards, I'm very sorry, etc., etc. ... thinking perhaps she's not understanding that a check is the only option outside of me getting a free meal. "

OK, next, spread a thin layer of warmed raspberry jam over the dough.

"By then, the manager comes along (or owner, maybe? I don't know, but it quickly became apparent that he's the Guy in Charge (GIC)). The cashier explains the situation to GIC and he looks at me and deadpans "well then, I guess we'll have to call the police and have you arrested". I wait for the smile, the joking laugh, but none come. It slowly dawns on me that he is serious as a heart attack. (we're talking about a $6.97 bill here). I then start my speech again, "I forgot, blah, blah, blah and all I have is a check". "

Next, sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and pecans .

"GIC is looking very grave and serious. Cashier is looking very grave and serious. I'm feeling like an 8-year old who's been sent to the Principal's office.

So then, GIC grudgingly mumbles "OK, then, we have to take a check", and he tells the cashier to be sure to write down my drivers license number on the check."

Next come the currants (except I used chopped, dried cherries instead.)

"I really, really hated that I had to deliver the next piece of Very Bad News, which is that I also didn't have my drivers license. (It's in the backpack, hiding out with the credit cards.)"

Finally, sprinkle on the chopped chocolate (or mini choco. chips, as in my case).

"But wait, I have my photo ID from work! He takes it, scowls, looks at the ID, looks at me, looks at the ID, looks at me (maybe I look like I've done hard time? I dunno). He is obviously very perturbed. Cashier is obviously very perturbed. I'm standing there wondering what the hell kind of alternate universe I've landed in, where paying by check seems to be the crime of the century, when an angel appears."

Cut the dough like you would a pizza, into 16 pieces (or 12 as I did here).

Starting at the wide end, roll up the dough, crescent roll style. Place the cookies on a parchment lined sheet. Chill. Brush with egg, sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

"An angel in the form of a young guy, maybe 20 years old. He steps up and hands the evil twosome his credit card and says "I'll get it". I babble something about writing him a check, getting his address... something, so I can repay him. But he says no.

I was so touched by his act of kindness that I almost cried right then and there. Thanks to him, I was no longer a loathsome, credit card-forgetting misfit."

Once again, good triumphs over evil and my faith in humanity is restored.

The End

Well, not quite.... time to talk about cookies. I've only made rugelach once before (different recipe) and I loved it. I don't know why I don't make it more often.

One thing about rugelach, it looks a little sloppy straight out of the oven.

I'm curious what everyone else does with the filling that oozes out of the cookie and leaks onto the parchment and burns. Or do yours not do that? I end up peeling off the nasty bits once the cookie has cooled.

The verdict? Delicious!! Worth the trouble of making them and picking off the nasty bits.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Incredibly Long Post. :)