Sunday, December 19, 2010

Strawberry Shortbread Cobbler

This one has a back story.

It started last night when, in the spirit of Christmas, I decided to do something really nice for Jon. He loves anything that is maple flavored: candy, ice cream, syrup, and...fudge. Given my recent obsession with making fudge, and the fact that I'd already made chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge, maple fudge sounded pretty darn good.

So we bought some 100% pure maple syrup at Whole Foods (read: not Aunt Jemima and expensive), and I  found a recipe online. I even got a candy thermometer to make sure they syrup reached the right temp, and it seemed pretty simple: 2 cups maple syrup, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 3/4 cup heavy cream. I mixed all of the above together, and the recipe said to whisk until it reached a rolling boil and to let it boil until the temp was 240 degrees. The problem was, I left the thermometer reading up to the boyfriend. I'm sure that he read the thermometer correctly, but, maybe it was at 240 degrees too long. Apparently when you overcook maple syrup and heavy cream, you get caramel. I decided that it couldn't hurt to continue with the recipe and see what would happen...

The next step was to pour the mixture into a Kitchen Aid mixer and beat for 10 minutes until the fudge was more opaque than glossy. Ha, try doing that with overcooked maple syrup. We did, however, make some really tasty caramel goop. 

I had already buttered a square Pyrex dish for the fudge. And honestly, why waste a perfectly good buttered pan? So I decided to make chocolate dipped shortbread. Had I ever made shortbread before? NOPE! And it definitely showed. This was another disaster. While the buttery cookies tasted delicious, when I tried to cut them into sticks so they could be dipped into chocolate...they crumbled. I was pretty sad to have wasted 3/4 lb of butter!

The good news is my boyfriend is a genius. "Why don't you get some strawberries and make it into a crumb topping?" he says. I was sold. After Erika's parents' Christmas party, we stopped at the store and picked up a pound of strawberries. I cut them in half, sauteed them in butter and sugar, and poured them into a square dish. I got out the trusty Kitchen Aid and beat the shortbread cookies to crumbs, while adding brown sugar and cinnamon, topped it with a few pads of butter, 350 degrees for 20 minutes. And voila - Strawberry Shortbread Cobbler was born.

While I admit that it wasn't very pretty, it was so buttery and delicious. Not bad for something that all started with ruined maple fudge.

I also made dough tonight for ravioli. We'll be making them tomorrow to eat on Wednesday for our early Christmas celebration. I've never made it on my own, so we'll see how this goes! Hopefully I'll make my Maw Maw proud.

Until then...


PS- if you do need to look at something cute after seeing that pile o' sugar and butter above, look at this guy who came to visit me today! Luckily I woke up this morning feeling so much better after the cold I'd been battling, so I was OK to give this guy some kisses. The last time I'll see him for a while...sweet little Bentley!

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