Thursday, February 12, 2015
Chocolate Cookies for Valentine's Day and a tribute to Top With Cinnamon
“Showing people you are worth it is a really good thing” Izy Hossack
Top With Cinnamon Baking Cookies in Taos
Inspiration is not something that comes easily, some days you need a bit of help, something to kick it into gear. Cooking supper each night can be like that too, sometimes in order to alleviate this, flipping through cookbook recipes or online can be a big help.
I write this 'recipe post' to inspire you and give you an idea of something simple for a Valentine's Day dessert treat.
Personal Valentine Collection
My niece is the creator of the website Top With Cinnamon, www.topwithcinnamon.com a cooking ‘blog’ full of inspiring recipes. In 2014 she designed, photographed and created recipes for her first printed cookbook “Top With Cinnamon, Stylish Sweet and Savory Recipes” published by Hardie Grant in the UK, with Rizzoli Books here in the US.
"Top with Cinnamon" the Book
Some people take the term top with cinnamon literally and as questions arise I explain that it’s just the phrase she has coined for her enterprise, NOT everything includes cinnamon, she also creates savory dishes (without cinnamon). Evidently in my experience not everyone loves cinnamon, not quite sure why not though!
As you peruse through her recipes you’ll see ones that you will want to make at home. She is an inspiration over and over again, she began doing this at 15, 2015 she turns 19, YIKES!
The Author book signing.
She has a creativity to her photographs that inspires other food photographers. Seeking out treasures of ‘props’ to use in her images is fun all in itself, and find treasures she does time and time again.
Then too some of her inspiration comes from old family recipes of both her ‘American’ and her ‘British’ sides.
Etta & Al dancing in the streets outside Rome, ca. early 70's
My Maternal Grandmother was born in Taormina, Sicily her family moved to California where they baked bread in an Horno Oven (similar to the ovens here in Northern New Mexico), which they sold to other immigrant families of the California melting pot. Needless to say, it’s in our blood.
Years ago I too tweaked and ‘improved on’ old family recipes, it turns out when my mom Etta, was learning to cook she watched her mother Lena cook and wrote everything down, including measuring out ingredients which my Grandmother rarely did. Now we pass these recipes down amongst us and try to remember that sometimes it’s just by ‘feel’ and sometimes it’s a bit of inspiration from our own heritage.
a couple of my Original TYPED recipes
As a part of this family cooking and baking thing I also began making my own cookie cutters. With a strip of tin from a can and a pop rivet gun, it was just a matter of bending and shaping to a design drawn on paper. In a short while shop owners were asking me to design cookie cutters specifically for them, something unique, something with a vintage look to it. Eventually I became busy making art and cookie cutter variations became broader and available from large companies making all sorts of designs.
Here in time for Valentine’s Day I’d like to share with you one of my own original recipes for Chocolate Cookie Cutter Cookies, I hope you’ll enjoy them. Just remember that slightly under cooked is better than slightly over cooked with these. It’s a bit tricky to see how they are browning as they are already dark chocolate in color, so watch your oven.
My Original Handmade Cookie Cutters inspired by Bill Traylor
Uncle Bob’s Chocolate Cookie Cutter Cookies
Cream together: 1/3 cup softened Butter, 2/3 cup Sugar, 1 medium Egg, 1 tspn Vanilla
Stir in: 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder, 2 cups Flour, 1 tbspn Corn Starch, ½ tspn Baking Powder, ¼ cup Milk (or a bit less)
Roll out the dough to just over ¼” thickness, cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. If you use a silpat, fantastic, if you use Parchment paper that's great too, it helps keep things from burning, also makes it easier to slide off onto a cooling rack.
Bake at 350F about 10 minutes or less until Lightly Browned.
I hope you will also find the recipes from my niece Izy Hossack and Top With Cinnamon, inspiring to your family.
Happy Birthday & Happy Valentine’s Day to my niece Izy and my sister Karin.
My Nephew Jasper and my Sister Karin making handmade gnocchi dinner for us in Taos