Saturday, April 20, 2013

Broil, Bake and Basil - Sesame Basil Cookies

For all of the cooking with Corningware I have done over the years, and all of the praises I continuously sing about it's incredible ability to do just about anything in the kitchen, and to do it better than any metal pot or pan ever could, I STILL find new reasons to love this stuff even more.

I recently found another "find" at the Good Will.  A Corningware Broil and Bake tray (P-35-B) in the Cornflower pattern.

Of course I snatched it up, since it was only $3.99.  I had originally planned on simply adding it to my collection, since I already own a Meat/Fish Server/Broiler tray (P-19).  Lady luck was not done with me yet, though.

A couple days later, I had to drop some stuff off at "Chase Me Again" which helps to support "My Father's House", a local shelter for homeless families in the Gresham area.  Me being me, I can never resist the urge to look around a thrift store.  I figure if I drop off twice as much stuff as I bring home, then I am ahead of the game with my spring cleaning, right?  Well, while I was perusing the miscellaneous kitchen gadgetry, I happened across a SECOND Broil and Bake Tray.... In the much rarer Wheat pattern.

On top of that, it actually had the serving rack with it as well.  (with rubber feet still intact)

I love mid-century style...  BONUS!

And then there were two. Now, this did not come without guilt.  I kept thinking to myself, "When am I going to broil 2 things in the oven at one time?"  Then it hit me.  The P-35-B is a broil and BAKE tray, "Bake" being the key word.  Does that mean I can bake cookies on it?  I was determined to find out.

The answer?  Oh HECK yeah!  They turned out beautiful.  I have never been so pleased!  I even tested 1 pan on a regular baking sheet lined with parchment.  The Corningware Baking tray beat it hands down.  They were perfectly done on the bottom, not too browned around the edges and didn't spread too thin the way the parchment lined cookies did.  Oh, Happy Day!

There are 2 provisos for baking cookies on the Broil, Bake Tray (P-35-B)....  You will have to oil the baking trays.  A lot of cookies recipes call for a "Greased Cookie Sheet" and I have gotten use to simply lining them with parchment.  Parchment doesn't work well on Corningware, so go ahead and rub them lightly with oil.

Second, you really need to have 2 trays for effective cookie baking.  Corningware gets VERY hot, and it holds the heat like cast iron, even after being removed from the oven.  So you need a second tray to throw in the oven while the first one cools down enough that your cookie dough won't melt as soon as it hits the tray.

Other than that, they are an absolute blessing in the kitchen.  

Basil Sesame Cookies
3/4 cup Sesame Seeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
8 TB Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 Vanilla Bean (Caviar only)
1 bunch Sweet Basil Leaves, finely chopped
2 Corningware Broil, Bake Trays (P-35-B)

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Toast the Sesame Seeds in a skillet set over medium flame, tossing frequently to prevent burning (about 5 minutes)

Combine the Sesame Seeds with the remaining dry Ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a whisk.

Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, until fluffy.

Add Brown Sugar and cream together well.

Add Egg and Vanilla Bean Caviar, beating until everything is nice and fluffy.

Add chopped Basil and mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed.

Lightly oil your Broil, Bake Trays.....

Roll the dough into 3/4 inch balls and place on the Corningware Broil, Bake Tray (P-35-B).

Flatten each cookie, slightly.

Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Let cool on the tray for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. (in the mean time, throw in the other pan)

Enjoy with Darjeeling tea.

Where is your Corningware??

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baking Bogus Baklava - Mocklava

Have you always wanted to make Baklava?  You know, that quintessential Greek confection of lemon and honey soaked deliciousness.  Yes, it's true that filo dough can be a pain to work with, especially if you are not use to working with it.  It dries out fairly quickly, it rips and tears if you look at it funny and you need a lot of counter space to lay it all out, next to the pan....  Well I have a solution for you.

True, it will not be exactly the same, but it's pretty darned close.  At least it's close to the versions I have had with shredded filo on the top, instead of more layers of dough.

Be forewarned, this recipe is overflowing with Corningware pieces.  If am not cooking in it, I am mixing stuff up in it, or storing stuff in it.  I think this recipe uses pieces from almost every decade.  An 8-inch Utility pan from the 50s, Saucemaker from the late 60's, and Grab-its from the 70s & 80s. 


1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cup Hot Water
3 TB Lemon Juice
1 tsp Lemon Zest, grated
1/4 tsp Salt
Corningware's 1 qt SauceMaker (P-55-B) or 2 1/2 cup Saucepan with spout (P-89-B)

1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
2 TB Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Grab-it Bowl (P-150-B)
Grab-it Plastic Lid (P-150-CPC)

1 cup Almond Milk (or Whole Milk)
6 large Shredded Wheat Biscuits
8 TB Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
Grab-It Bowl (P-150-B)
Utility Pan (P-322)

Make the syrup by combining Sugar, Honey, Hot water, Lemon Juice, Zest and Salt in the Corningware SauceMaker (P-55-B).

Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly, (about 5 minutes)

Cover the syrup and refrigerate until needed.

Mix the filling by placing finely chopped Walnuts with Granulated Sugar and Cinnamon in a Grab-It bowl (P-150-B).

Place the plastic lid on top (P-150-CPC) and shake well, to combine the ingredients.

Set this aside while you prepare for assembly.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and grab a couple packages of Shredded Wheat.

Place Almond Milk (or Whole Milk) in a second Grab-It bowl (P-150-B).

Dip the Shredded Wheat biscuits, one at a time, into the Almond milk, turning to moisten both sides.

Allow the excess to drain back into the bowl.

Set each biscuit on Paper towels to drain completely.

Using kitchen shears, cut through the side seams and divide the biscuits in half.

Place the "bottom" half of each biscuit in an 8-inch Utility Pan (P-322).

Drizzle with 4 TB of the melted butter.

Sprinkle with the Walnut Filling.

Top with the remaining Shredded Wheat halves.

Drizzle with the remaining melted Butter.

Lay a piece of waxed paper over the buttered Shredded Wheat, and press down lightly.

Remove waxed paper and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Until golden brown......

Remove from the oven and drizzle with the refrigerated Lemon Syrup.

Allow to cool completely before consuming with delight.


Where is your Corningware??