Monday, June 11, 2007

It's that time of year again...

Some cold beverages need to be sweetened, like iced tea. But we are loath to spend hours trying to dissolve a spoonful of sugar into a cold beverage. What is the point? And it would only drive us to seek solace in a sympathetic gin and tonic.

How to sweeten the bev in an elegant and efficient way? So simple: simple syrup.

The ratio is 1 part granulated sugar to one part water, bring the water to a boil until the sugar has dissolved. Keep refrigerated in a sterilized, airtight glass jar.

We do like to fancy this up a bit, though. To one cup of water and one cup of sugar, we add the zest of two large lemons - a vegetable peeler works quite well at just removing the yellow part. We let this cool off, strain it into the aforementioned glass jar. We throw in a couple of the strips of zest to make it look good.

Now you have some lemon simple syrup to sweeten and flavor your summer iced tea.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The King of All Cookies!

When we - at Martini Central - find ourselves when we need to provide something for a gathering, and that thing does not involve liquor (yes: "gasp!!"), we usually whip up a batch of sour cream chocolate chip cookies.

The King of all Cookies, as it were.

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies
"An old-fashioned treat!"

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg, room temperature
1 cup low-fat sour cream

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add the egg and mix until fluffy, add sour cream, mix thouroughly.

Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix to incorporate everything - no lumps of baking powder is the goal. Add the flour mixture to the wet items and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonsfull onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen.