Posted by: Allyn | June 22, 2008

Big cookies!

This week’s market menu: Orange Sticky Buns, Lemon Ginger Scones, Hazelnut Macarons, Strawberry Macarons, Ciabatta, Rosemary Focaccia… and NO Baklava…

That’s right. No baklava. I thought there was enough phyllo in the freezer for one more batch, but I was wrong. I needed about 10 more sheets. I came back from my Thursday night bike ride prepared to start preparing the Baklava, but shortly after dinner (at 9:00) the power went out (at 10:00). I thought, why not try making my own phyllo? It can’t be that hard, and I can’t bake anything right now anyway. (Stupid, Allyn… Stupid.)  So, I got to rolling… and rolling…. and rolling……… in the dark.

I had several candles burning, plus Dad bought this powerful (and tiny) LED lantern that is providing most of the light in the photo.

The power came back on around 2 AM and I preheated the oven and gave my baklava a little blessing before putting it in the oven. I thought my phyllo was thin enough. I rolled it to the point that it was starting to tear and I was having to mend it. The website I consulted said handmade phyllo is the thickness of about 2 sheets of copy paper. That’s what mine felt like, but that’s nothing near the fineness of store-bought phyllo.

I forged ahead.

And my phyllo came out looking a little different. The parents and I had mini tasting bites Friday morning, and while the taste was great, it was the texture of baked lays potato chips on the top layers. Mom and Dad said it was good and market it as homemade phyllo. I pondered on it all day and eventually decided against it. I’m putting my good name on the stuff, and it’s not worth it.

I peeled off the top layers of my phyllo and vowed to go buy some more if there was time. And at 4 AM on Saturday I ran to Wal-Mart (booo!) and bought a box, came back to the house, tried a quick defrost in the microwave, and tried to save the baklava. Trying to find my cut lines was pretty difficult. Once I’d had it in the oven for 20 minutes I noticed the top wasn’t browning, so I switched on the broiler. Big mistake!

Let’s just say the baklava didn’t make it for several reasons.

I got to the market at 6:15 and it was already swarming with folks. How early do you have to get here!?!? While setting up I noticed one of my bike buddies who was waiting to buy his breakfast from me. He bought 1 scone and 1 sticky bun and that was all I sold until 7. I guess those people who come early are only concerned with tomatoes.

Eventually I got to see my favorite teacher from high school who I’d not seen in 6 years. Unfortunately, she was out of money. I tried to give her one of my treats, but she said she’d be back next week to buy. : )

One woman came along looking at my macarons. As per every customer, I asked if she’s ever had one before, and after hearing ‘no’ I tried to explain to her what they tasted like.
“Have you ever had pavlova?”
“No,” she says.
“Ok, well the egg whites give it a lot of fluff, like marshmallow, but it’s also crisp. It just melts in your mouth and…”
She cuts me off with, “I can read.”
Listen woman, I’m working on 5 hours sleep in the last 48 hours and I’ve got 5 cups coffee coursing through my veins. Don’t make me come on the other side of this table!!!
“Of course. I’m sorry. Take your time,” I said.
She bought 3.

Around 9:00 all my ciabatta was gone, and I had 4 loaves Focaccia left along with several sweets in the stand. One girl of about 20 walks by looking at the focaccia and comments, “Wow, those are some big cookies!”

Oh. My. God.

So there you have it. I had some lovely complements from strangers, and some strange comments from others.

As with every week, I keep on learnin’.

I’m out of pictures, but I’ll leave you with a picture of a banana caramel cheesecake I made for a superbowl party this year. There’s white chocolate and peanuts on there, too.



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