Was Bon Appetempt a satire of food blogs that kind of collapsed into becoming a non- or only semi-satirical food blog? I am a curious person and would be interested to know.
I wrote back: Brandon, please see Nora Ephron Potato Pancake attempt.
To be fair, it's a good question. Sometimes I am flipping potato pancakes to the easy jams of Eminem while other times I'm lamenting the loss of Gourmet magazine (It was an institution! Too beautiful to fail!) And well, this post probably falls under the latter category because Canal House Cooking is kind of like Gourmet magazine on drugs—if Gourmet were the raw egg, Canal House Cooking would be a pimentón fried egg that has been cooked and basted in Spanish-paprika-laden olive oil. (That is an actual recipe in Volume No. 5 by the way.)
"The Good Life" contains: an essay by Gabrielle Hamilton, whose praises I've already sung in the Vegetarian Chili post; a super informative piece about grower champagnes, which I had no idea was even a thing and which includes an adorably helpful diagram explaining how to read the label of a champagne bottle; and, if I'm comparing this small volume to Gourmet, then you know Canal House Cooking has some of the most beautiful photographs and inspiring recipes ever seen. Well, they do. And their sugar cookies are no exception.
Canal House's versions:
our versions:—did I mention they were buttery? So very buttery that I wonder if this is the reason I had so much trouble with the dough. I know that I picked difficult cookie cutter shapes, but transferring the cut shapes to the baking sheet proved tricky. The recipe has you roll the dough in between two sheets of parchment and then chill for at least four hours before pulling one sheet out at a time to cut the shapes. I chilled them overnight, but the second the dough warmed up, all of my carefully cut cookies began to want to lose their shape. On my second sheet, I hurried as fast as I could and this helped a bit, but still, this dough really needs to be cold, and intricate, whale and anchor-shaped cookie cutters (albeit cute as hell) don't really help the process. A thin, metal spatula would have come in handy too.
—sometimes that's a lava-spewing cake and sometimes it's a beautiful sugar cookie that I simply can't help but try to recreate.
In short: Happy Holidays, people! Email me if you'd like the recipe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or purchase "The Good Life" here. (One of the rare times I can't post it myself.)