Weeknight Cream Biscuits

IMG_0339

An earlier incarnation of the dinner I made tonight. I really need to work on my picture-taking skills.

This blog is titled Ky Cooks, but let’s be honest– I’m way more of a baker than a cook.  I loathe “throw whatever you want into this [soup, casserole, etc]” recipes.  I have no idea what spices go with what flavors, and I suck at cooking meat (I would probably be 90% vegetarian if I didn’t live with J).  But baking…baking I can do.  I’m a rule follower, and there are lots of rules in baking.  You have to measure, mix, and combine just so.  The order of ingredients actually matters!  And there’s just something way more fulfilling about pulling off a complicated pastry recipe than managing to make a soup that doesn’t look like it has fetuses in it (BTW, that actually happened.  There were no fetuses harmed in the making of said chicken crock pot concoction, but the final product somehow looked like it had miniature fetal-shaped pieces of meat in it.  And yet it was one of the blandest things I’ve ever eaten.  THIS IS WHY I DON’T COOK.).

In summation, I like the intricacy of baking.  But sometimes you come home from work and you need something to go along with the dinner you’re making (meatless, of course…this if you’re interested) and you feel like bread, and you don’t want to wait hours for yeast to rise. Enter the cream biscuit.  The Kitchn may be telling a slight fib, because these take 15 minutes to bake, and so they are not, in fact, made in “less than 15 minutes.”  But they are definitely made in 20 minutes or less.  I’ve made these several times now, and they always turn out, no matter how frantically I’m running around the kitchen trying to get things done.  They’re also very versatile; they have a slightly sweet flavor that makes them perfect with a jam for breakfast, but they’re not too sweet to serve with dinner.

I make these biscuits as written, with one quirky change.  I never have parchment paper (and I call myself a baker!), but I do have nonstick muffin pans with square tins instead of round tins.  I just slice the kneaded dough into squares that fit into the tins and bake them in the muffin pan.  I don’t even grease the tins, and I’ve never had a problem with the dough sticking.  So, maybe best practice would be to use parchment paper….but I never have and they’ve turned out fine.

The Kitchn has ideas for modifications (cheddar cheese!  chives!) but so far I’ve just stuck to the original.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

A Nutella Love Story

I was first introduced to Nutella in 2007, when I studied abroad and was looking for a substitute for peanut butter.  As I’m sure happens with everyone’s first experience with Nutella, it was love at first bite.  In fact, I love Nutella so much that I can’t buy it or I will eat it all in two days or less.

My favorite story about Nutella also comes from my trip abroad.  During our time in Europe, my friends and I became obsessed with doner kebaps.  For those that don’t know what doner kebaps are, they’re kind of like gyros, but 100x more delicious.  The sketchier the kebap shop looks, the tastier the doner kebap is.  That’s a fact.  I’m pretty sure that’s why they don’t have doner kebaps in the U.S., because they could never pass health inspection standards.

Anyway, my roommate and I had developed a bad habit of stopping for doners on our way home from clubs at 2 am.  One night, I decided that I was going to be strong and resist the lure of the doner, so I went straight home without stopping by a kebap shop (despite passing at least three on my way home).  I woke up the next morning extremely proud of my newfound willpower.  I even started bragging to my roommate about how I TOTALLY resisted the doner kebaps, and I wasn’t even tempted by them, and how awesome I was for my awesome-y awesomeness.

And then I saw the half empty jar of Nutella on our desk.  You know, the one that had been full before we left the night before?  And then I remembered that I ate half a jar of Nutella when I got home at 2 am.  Which may or may not have been just as bad as eating a doner kebap, because at least kebaps have some nutritional value (I think…there’s some type of carne in there, so yay, protein?).

And that is why I can’t buy Nutella unless it has an explicit purpose.

Luckily, this recipe that I found for Nutella Brownie Bites took up almost the entire jar of Nutella, so there wasn’t much left for me to eat straight from the jar.

I’m not going to rehash the recipe here; it can be found at the link above.  I did add the suggested 1/4 tsp of salt and I also sprinkled the tops of the bites with mini chocolate chips before baking them.  I would post a picture, but the lighting was awful, so I’ll leave you to drool over the pictures on the recipe post at Laura’s Sweet Spot.

These were amazing right out of the oven, and they were maybe even better the next day.  They’re the perfect combination of brownie on the outside with chocolate goo on the inside.  And I get to have my Nutella and eat it, too.  Now I just have to try to not eat the whole pan.