Friday, January 1, 2010

Number 37: Porcupine-shaped smores and New Years

Apologies for the hiatus! Too busy touring and not wanting school to start. But alas, it has.

So I never make New Years resolutions because I always forget to, but I figured, why not.
Of course, they're mostly food-related for now.
1. Make successful and gorgeous macarons
2. Learn to handle raw meat
3. Try red velvet cupcakes
4. Go to moto (or otom)...this means saving money
5. Make a successful chocolate pear cake

This winter break consisted of a lot of baking failures. The list is as follows
1. Chocolate pear brown butter cake via smitten kitchen. Jerry was helping and we forgot to add baking soda. We added it in, mixed it again (read: overmixed), and decided to try it anyway. Fearing that the cake wouldn't rise and the pears and chocolate would overcome the cake (ruining it and wasting all the hard work), I only put in 1/3 of the pears. The cake rose, but the pear flavor was overpowered by the chocolate. Boo.
2. Pear honey financiers. It made everything soggy. 'Nuff said.
3. Pear and white tea jelly. Inspired by tartelette, but the pear slices were too small, the tea too bitter.

As you can tell, it's all pear related. Why? Because I cut too many pears slash didn't put the required amount into the cake and had a lot of extra pear cubes.

Ah well. Failures are good for bringing my ego down.

After I returned to the States, I decided to use my porcupine cookie-cutter. (Sidenote: Some people have been telling me it's a hedgehog. That is possible. Still cute.)

So the idea for hedgehog/porcupine smores popped into my head. It was an almost-fail. I over-baked the first batch, and subsequent batches always seemed too hard for the marshmallows. After a day, however, the cookies softened. I skipped out on the chocolate because I was too busy packing, but I'd recommend spreading chocolate over the cookie (leaving the face of the hedgehog/porcupine alone, though).

Porcupine graham crackers and marshmallow

For the graham crackers
2.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
7 tblspn butter, cut into cubes and frozen
1/3 cup honey
5 tblspn milk
2 tblspn vanilla extract
3 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda and salt into a food processor. Pulse on low to incorporate
2. Add butter, pulse on and off until the mixture becomes a coarse meal
3. Whisk together honey, milk and vanilla until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and pulse until it barely comes togheter
4. Dust with flour, wrap and chill 2 hours
5. Meanwhile, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon
6. Once the dough is properly chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch. Cut out porcupines (or squares), dust with topping and chill until firm. 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer, 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge.
8. Remove from freezer/fridge and prick holes, using a toothpick (blunt end makes a nice impression) or chopstick.
9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. If it seems a bit wet on the bottom, it's fine. It will harden once cooled. Also, check in the middle and move around the cookies to prevent uneven browning.

For the marshmallow recipe, see here. Doubling the recipe should make enough marshmallow for all the crackers, although the more the merrier! Read: Triple it and have fun.

-- EDIT--

A lot of people have asked where I found this cookie cutter. Unfortunately, I found it at natural kitchen in Japan - it's a 100 yen store that sells household goods. I don't know if you can buy things online, because I can't read Japanese. But they also have squirrel cookie cutters, if that interests you as well.


Chic Cookies said...

These are so crazy cute! I posted a link to your blog on my edible crafts column at craft gossip. (

ivorypomegranate said...

Your graham crackers are adorable!

Where did you get a hedgehog cookie cutter? I love love love random cookie cutter shapes, and I just started learning russian and "hedgehog" is the first vocab word I can remember so far.

Good luck with your new year's resolutions, I hope you have a red velvet cupcake soon, they're delicious!

ellie said...

I love this! Where did you get the cookie cutter? I'm obsessed with hedgehogs, and this passes as one :)

Jen said...

That is one of the cutest cookie cutters I've ever seen. Please tell us where you found it!

Anne said...

I have the exact same cookie cutter. My mom (a flight attendant) picked it up in Germany. I originally searched for hedgehog cookie cutters online and found (A) they were all expensive and (B) they all came from Germany, so I dispatched my mother :)

Cassandra Laine said...

I'm in love with the hedgehog love! My bro-in-law and his girlfriend have a pet hedgehog together - I'm totally featuring this on my blog too! (see above comment) You are amazing!

p.s. my b-in-law is currently in Japan as well so there are some fun links here!

blog link:

Cassandra Laine said...

p.s. I found you via this link:

(just incase you didn't know and congrats! That's quite an accomplishment!)

Zi Dotty said...

Ikea actually carries woodland cookie cutters. I got my porcupine there. Plus is came with a squirrel, snail, and fox! How cute!?

Cassandra Laine said...

I found some there too!