Sunday, April 3, 2011

Give Us This Day...Googies!

Martha Stewart...I prefer the Naked Chef...because the people on my staff cook in the nude, sample all the ingredients, and have the cutest googies ever!  Ever!

Martha Stewart...stop making me feel inadequate...or, Nancy, stop letting her make you feel inadequate.  Oh yeah, I get to choose how I feel!  

Martha Stewart...your magazine is full of all sorts of things worth knowing...but mostly I learned from the doing, not the reading of your gloriously photographed, exceptionally well written articles.

This recipe originally appeared in Martha's magazine ages ago and I have dumbed it down for you...and by dumbed it down, of course I mean; I actually prepared it myself without the help of a staff; I removed the need for expensive tools and specific ingredients ordered from specialty shops; and talked you through all of the potential areas of failure because I understand that sometimes somebody needs their butt wiped while you're melting butter, or other times the doorbell rings and the smiling friend that greets you is more important than stirring constantly for 6 minutes.

I have made some adjustments to this recipe over the years.  I didn't always have all the right tools, or all of these children, or an understanding of the fact that ingredients are just directions and eating the pastry is the destination, but that life is not really about directions and destinations...its about the journey.  It's the trip.  Life really is a trip.

I have learned that sometimes you can substitute margarine in a recipe, but not in this one.  I have learned that if you don't cook these long enough they promptly deflate as you are moving them from the baking sheet to the cooling rack, but that even this error results in something edible.  I have learned that if you measure out all of your ingredients before you begin, so everything from the flour to the chopped chives is lined up in little bowls on your counter before you even turn the stove top on, this recipe is a lot less stressful.  I have learned that you don't have to use a pastry bag and a specialty tip to pipe the egg mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheets.  You can use a plastic zipper bag with the corner cut off and get the same results.  I have learned that it is much easier to chop the fresh herbs if you put them in a cup and cut them up with scissors.  I have learned that it is not important to pronounce the French name of this bread correctly and it's actually much more fun to watch people blush across the dinner table when you say things like, "Would you like to eat another one of my googies?" or, "Did you really just put that whole googie in your mouth?"

More than 15 years ago, when I got my first subscription to Martha Stewart Living, I did so because I wanted to learn the "right" way to do things.  She had so many "Good Things" to say and they all looked so beautiful.  But along the way I have figured out that the really good things in my life came about as a result of doing a lot of the wrong things.  And learning from the journey.  And celebrating eating the failures anyway.  And that life is not directions and destinations.  It's the trip.

(The fancy, pretentious, French, correct name)

(The wildly inappropriate, highly misused, embarrassment inducing name we use)

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
5 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chives

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of water, butter, salt and cayenne pepper.  Bring just to a boil, and when the butter is completely melted stir in the flour.  Reduce the heat to low and stir well until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  I use my favorite rubber spatula for this part and find that I end up moving the pan on and off the heat while I mix until it starts to look smooth and shiny.  If its lumpy, keep stirring and press the mixture into the sides of the pan until the lumps disappear.  If the mixture begins to sizzle and you are starting to freak out, take a breath and move it off the heat.  When it is smooth and well blended, dump it into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.

3.  Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  This is the part when you start to freak out again because after you add that first egg, this mixture gets slippery and weird and you think, "That egg is never going to mix in all the way!"  Keep stirring.  Yes it is.  Keep stirring.  After the 4 eggs are in, add the Parmesan and the chives, blending well until incorporated.

4.  Transfer some of your mixture to a bag (In the interest of full disclosure, I do use a pastry bag here, but in the beginning I was doing just fine with my converted zipper bag.) and form each googie by squeezing out about a tablespoon of mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (Your silicone baking mat or a cookie sheet lightly coated with cooking spray will work just fine, but honestly, parchment is so cheap and it makes the whole thing feel cheffy and cool.)  Leave about 2 inches of space between each googie.  Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and poke down the little peak that forms when you squeeze them out.  You don't have to rush through this part.  The dough is moist and it won't dry up if you are a novice googie squeezer.  (Seriously, the number of ways you can make this bread sound inappropriate is endless!  Love that part!  Maybe too much!)

5.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water.  Brush the top of each googie liberally, or use a paper towel dipped in the egg mixture to glop it all over the top of each one.  Bake 25-29 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Be ready to slap away greedy fingers with your spatula when these come out of the oven.  I am never able to get as many to the table as I originally intend.  This recipe makes about 50, or more if you like small googies. (Again with the impropriety.  I tend to like bigger googies.  It never stops!)

1 comment:

  1. You're just too cute, and I want some...maybe after the boxes....