rose rose cookies + philly scenes

hey everyone! great news, i still fit into my mom jeans after my trip to philly where i ate at every single one of michael solomonov and steve cook’s restaurants in 48 hours. i’d like to thank benjamin franklin for having his bridge so close to my hotel which, paired with the coldplay spotify radio station and consistent 69º temperatures, allowed for highly enjoyable 3-4-mile morning jogs that helped me feel less irresponsible about engaging in so much eating research. also, defo could not have done it without the help of brandiego, jorge, brett, zoe, and sarah, who were also miraculously in town visiting and helped me tackle mountains of donuts and boloney sandwiches and more.

every single bite was sooo great, which i expected. but at every meal there were things that were more than great, which had that wild over-the-top x-factor that left me no choice but to stop mid-bite and do an audible o-face. they raised the bar for what a donut should taste like and how a fried cauliflower should crunch, and there was a caesar salad that kept me up last night. a caesar salad! 10 out of 10, this trip was a solid success and i am filled to the brim with inspiration. also the panel was a blast!! and an added bonus: philadelphia is no longer ex-boyfriend land (see: spaghetti and my boyfriend’s meatless balls in molly on the range), now it is food inspiration land. 

here were the top o-face worthy things:

the insanely rich chocolate tahini shake at goldie (and their perfectly crispy fries, dipped in the shake, duh)

the schug-a-rita at rooster soup, cilantro-y and spicy!

the smoked matzo ball soup (#teamsinker) with a fried boloney sandwich at rooster soup

the cookies n cream donut, followed closely by the honey donut at federal donuts, mmmm, hot and melty 

the fried chicken sandwich at federal donuts, the bottom bun was like lined with pickles, it was the pickley crunch that every fried chicken sandwich needs

the za’atar fried chicken at federal donuts, with a crispy salty shell that wouldn't quit

the ceasar salad with fried rye bread pudding croutons (!!!!) at abe fisher

actually, all of the things that came on fried rye bread at abe fisher

the lamb and persian wedding rice at zahav, i don't normally love lamb but this lamb, i loved

the very hazelnut-y carrot basbousa at zahav

the hummus at zahav and dizengoff (especially the zahav one bc it came with laffaaaaa)

my only regret was that i didn't have time to cook in my really pretty jersey ice cream co hotel kitchen. instead i just looked at it and instagrammed it. (shout out to the lokal hotel for an awesome stay!!!) 

i can't wait for my next trip to philly. whenever that will be. first i should eat some kale.

for my second flower practice session, i made cookies because i was inspired by this instagram post and also i thought that maybe with cookies, i could forgo the parchment paper step altogether. but it was actually kind of hard to pipe directly onto the cookies so i went back to the method of piping on parchment squares, freezing them, and then peeling off the flowers and plopping them onto the cookies. it didn’t add that much time, maybe only one or two episodes of the mindy project. and eggboy was planting late that day so it all went by really quickly. 

i used italian buttercream this time. my lack of patience got the best of me and i ruined it because i added the butter while the egg white mixture was still hot. so it looked like poop for a while, but then i poured in a couple of tablespoons of cold heavy cream and beat the crap out of it and it came back to life!! that was very satisfying. 

i liked how it tasted. it’s a lot lighter and probably more suitable for eating a big blob of frosting in the shape of a rose than american buttercream is. but my hands were so used to a stiff heavy american buttercream that piping with italian felt almost too delicate. it was like switching to the lowest gear on a bike. but the lightness made the petals and succulent nubbins stand up more easily on their own, so i feel like once i get it down i’ll be able to do more with it. the biggest downside is how long it takes to make. if i’m going to be making a million zillion flowers for eggsister wedding i’m going to need a hot tub of buttercream, but i still have some time to experiment with more recipes.

my favorite part about this cookie situation is the cookie part! i was obsessed with cookies n bloom cookies when i was little, they were so thick and almondy and cakey, and this recipe yields cookies that come super close to those! the princess emulsion gives them that little boost of nostalgic bakeriness but you can sub it for more vanilla if you don’t have princess emulsion. and as far as the actual piping of the roses and succulents, i still don't feel qualified to tell you how to do it or make a video about it (honestly i don't think that i ever will haha, look at my roses, they are so *rustic*) so i will send you back to my post about my last practice session that has a bunch of links to how-to videos! 


rose rose cookies

makes about 20 cookies

ingredients

4 c (480g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 c (226g) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 c (137g) sugar

2/3 c (80g) powdered sugar

zest from 1/2 of a lemon

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp princess emulsion (or another tsp vanilla)

3/4 tsp almond extract

 

for the frosting:

this recipe, plus a few drops of rosewater and food coloring

clues

in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

add in the lemon zest and mix to combine. add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each, and then add the extracts.

add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, one-third at a time, mixing until just blended.

turn the dough out onto the counter and divide into two large discs. wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or up to two days.

when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

working with one dough disc at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2” thick. use a cookie cutter to make 2 1/2” circles and then transfer circles to a baking sheet, 1" apart. re-roll scraps and cut out more circles.

bake until they're barely starting to brown on bottom, begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

make your frosting and then decorate as desired (see notes above)! 


-yeh!

PHILLAYYYYY


on a scale from 1-10, 1 being
you are a fatty and a biatch
and 10 being
you are not a biatch but you are still a fatty,
is it really so terrible that i went to philly to watch my people run the marathon but spent the entire time that i wasn't cowbelling and cheering accomplishing a mildly respectable food tour?
is a 5.5 fair?
 
i began at the amazeballness that is reading terminal market, where i:
-feared for my poor teeths enamels and ate a sticky bun that was like soft doughy and delicious on the inside 
and chewy making my mouth work caramel-y sticky-y on the outside. 
-gazed at all of the little jars of jams and butters and hot sauces and mustards! but instead of buying a mustard {i had an intervention with myself about mustard. there are too many in my fridge that i'm neglecting}, i got a little punkin butter!
-ate a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie from the 4th street cookie company
-experienced the delilah's mac and cheese. it was the closest i've ever felt to my arteries clogging, and i don't know if  i'd ever forgive myself for eating it again, so i'm just going to have to mark this moment in history. the taste of the cream seemed to overpower the taste of the cheese, which is why i think it tasted so unique. but, what the hell do i know. it was seriously good. and maybe i should have run the marathon too.
 and then di bruno brothers happened.
and it was the least stressful cheese counter experience i've had in a while.
not that i don't love fairway and zabar's with all of my heart. but the problem is that just about everyone else in manhattan does too. and sometimes that make me verklempt.
i tasted cinnamon cheese. 
cinnamon without sugar is weird, but on creamy smelly cheese it was a whole new sperience! go figure... 
also there was a gigantor block of halvah hangin out for people to taste. 
di bruno brothers is like if zabar's went on a yoga retreat. kind of.
and then i visited a wawa... i had to...it would have been like taking a road trip and not stopping at the cracker barrel.
yay! josh and jen run the marathon!!!
they were so wonderful!! i arrived at the finish line just in time to see josh shatter his personal record. 
and then we went to go cheer on jen along the skoooookil as she finished her first marathon!! it was awesome.
 they got medals and those sweet tin foil capes!
i don't know how people do it. i can barely run a mile*
but i am so so proud of them!!
*maybe this should morph into a fitness blog...
while jen was running, i did what i do best:
play cowbell and eat soft pretzels!
if anyone can give me a history lesson about why philly pretzels look, umm, vertically challenged, i would be really appreciative. 
and then as a celebration, josh and i went to a street stand and got
philly cheesesteaks!
i am no virge to the cheesesteak. but i just had to enjoy one in philly, especially since the best way to get a good cheesesteak in new york is to go to penn station to catch an amtrak to philly, apparently. i hadn't any time to go to the places with all the hype, but my street stand cheesesteak hit the spot as much as cheesesteaks do!

...and with that, training for philly marathon 2014 begins... tomorrow. or the day after.


xoxo


yeh