Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two Treehouse Classics, Revised

It's always interesting to share your nuts with rodents outside of your tree, because other squirrels may not have tried that particular kind before. You never know if that particular type of walnut is something that only grows in your locale, or if your Mama Squirrel is the only one who seasons pecans just that way.

I've been having some fun making desserts lately, and I turned to our blog archives for some of my childhood favourites. Of course, eating a whole pie yourself, while entirely possible, is not such a good idea. I decided to share with my friends G.P. and Roderick to see what they thought of Treehouse cooking, and save myself the stomachache.

Doreen Perry's Cookies

These have been posted about many, many times here and were really a staple growing up. You can read about all Mama Squirrel's variations here. I had baking powder, not soda, so I omitted the salt and substituted three times the called for amount of soda with powder. I've done this a couple times now with absolutely no problems. I had been eating Special K for breakfast every morning and was getting really sick of it so I used that as the cereal...we usually use Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes, and I like the Rice Krispies version much better. I didn't have any rolled oats so I added some extra Special K. I went with Treehouse tradition and used chocolate chips instead of raisins, but for the first time in my life added the walnuts, something we always omit due to nut allergies (not mine!).

I left a few at G.P.'s house before trying them myself, and got a text message in the middle of my night class..."Your cookies are AWESOME!" How G.P. can text with those furry little paws is beyond me.

Tortoni Pie

 Originally from the Goldbeck's Short-Order Cookbook, tortoni is another food I've never seen outside of the Treehouse. You can read about all our different versions here. Essentially, it is blended, frozen and flavoured ricotta cheese. I made a lasagna but it was a very small lasagna and I had most of a container of ricotta left and was worried about it going bad. When I saw graham cracker crusts on sale (very cheap sale...normally I'd just make one myself) I was inspired. Instead of freezing it in little dishes, I prepared the tortoni and used it as a pie filling, decorating the top with sliced strawberries.

Roderick, being a rat, is rather a big fan of cheesecake, so I introduced tortoni as a distant relative of cheesecake. Roderick was not particularly thrilled with it, but did eat two pieces and deemed the second, which had had more time to warm up, as tastier. Roderick's main complaint was that it really wasn't flavourful enough. I had to agree...I had more ricotta than called for and threw it in anyway without adjusting the flavouring. While it tasted great before I froze it, freezing seems to mellow the taste. Additional almond extract likely would have fixed this problem. I also wasn't a big fan of the graham crust: it was a good pairing with the tortoni but the crust itself was a little off in taste. This would easily be resolved by making one's own crust.

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