Studio and Cookie Update

The studio is completely repaired and cleaned up. Next thing to work on down there will be those heads and I can hardly wait to get started. I think all five of them will be autobiographical of different versions of me with left and right brains in conflict seeking common ground. Stay tuned as I work out carving into the first one.

Upstairs in the den I have been working on those little print/stitched pieces. Someone saw a few of the more “boro” ones in the shop and asked if I would teach a workshop on them. Seriously?! It is just stitching into cloth and papers. And if they are for sale in the craft shop why would I take others through all the steps to duplicate them?

Anyway….I like that word….here is the larger one with all the cloth stitched on but I think a print of a crow might need to be added…just thinking….I have some crow prints I could use.

Maybe resting on the top edge. And the new tiny ones that are 2.5″ by 4″. They are from a collograph I did back in early 2000 showing the four different ways I had been served coffee. Hence the coffee colored ink. When I printed them I put them in a row so I had a long horizontal of prints. I gave them to local coffee shops I was going to at the time. And I am sure I gave more away than I sold. But by separating the images they are perfect for tiny little stitched prints. I often lose the patches before I have them stitched down. One on the left is finished and the one on the right needs sewing.

But besides all that with the studio and hand work, I have mastered The Second Best Malted Cookie I Ever Ate recipe.

While in Asheville for an overnight last month I did the usual Trader Joe’s and then stopped into Whole Foods (formerly Greenlife) to get a coffee and muffin for the road home. A nice young man asked if he could help me find something and I asked if he carried a barley malt. He thought maybe so went to where molasses is found and on the bottom shelf picked up a jar from Eden foods. The jar was clear and I could see it was thick, so bought it. (I will say that a couple of years ago I sent a letter of reprimand to Eden Foods for their homophobic hiring practices). Hopefully that has changed in the time since.

The first batch I upped the temperature by 10 degrees and the cookies cooked too fast to flatten out as much as I wanted. We ate them anyway.

But this morning this!

Starting with the General Electric mixer that Lee had before we were married fifty two years ago.  It is our only mixer now as I gave that behemoth of a KitchenAid to our son last month. You can see the barley malt here in the picture.

So here is the recipe:

On a parchment paper sift 2.5 cups all purpose flour with 1.5 tsp ginger and 1.5 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt.

In a mixing bowl place 1 cup packed brown sugar, one egg, 3/4 cups softened butter, 1/3 cup golden syrup and 1/3 cup barley malt.

When blended mix in dry ingredients.

It is very sticky but try to get lumps the size of walnuts and drop into a bowl of granulated sugar to coat and place on parchment covered cookie sheet.

I get them all done at one go so I can clean up the mess. as I bake.

In an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees use the middle top rack only and bake for nine minutes, then take out and slam on stove to create good deep cracks. Put back in oven on same rack for 6 more minutes. Remove from oven and put next sheet on the rack in oven to repeat process. Let sit for a bit before removing from the parchment. Turn parchment over to use for next group of fifteen cookies. But let it cool completely before adding the raw cookies so they go into the oven as balls and not melted lumps.

They should be the color of caramel when they come out of the oven.

After completely cooled, they are crispy and can be stored in a tin like this one.

And then put the rest in the freezer in baggies. The recipe makes between 45-50 cookies.

You can also share a few with friends but remember the time it took to make them so only with special friends.

I will admit that the Eden Barley Malt is not quite as good as the Saunders from Australia….not as thick but makes a good substitute since we don’t have much of a choice here in the states.

So that is all I have to say about those cookies.

Til later.