My Dear Lords and Ladies of Time,
Exterminate office boredom with some treats worthy of Gallifrey!
I know it may seem a little late in January to have a Happy Who Year celebration, but that’s exactly what I did this week. The first two weeks of the month many of my coworkers were either still out on vacation or home with this terrible flu (which should have been called The Oncoming Storm), so I patiently waited until there were enough people around to gobble up everything I wanted to make.
Let me first throw in a little bit about me and my love for the Doctor, just for background. At Comic Con 2009 I saw David Tennant, the sexiest man in the world, up sort-of close and personal when he made a surprise appearance at a “Who”/”Torchwood” screening, along with the fabulous John Barrowman and Russell T. Davies.
Then the next morning I got up early enough to score a good seat at the “Doctor Who” panel where David was goofy and charming. And goofy. Love him for the goofy.
For Comic Con 2011 I made a “Doctor Who” skirt out of the huge bags they give away and made myself a decent TARDIS bag. It was cool:
And for the people at work who didn’t know about that stuff, I have a pretty good collection of David Tennant/”Doctor Who” things on my desk, because I like my work area to have a bit of whimsy. They must have noticed, because for my birthday last year they built me a TARDIS.
So, I’ve been wanting to do some “Who” baking for a while and as this year is the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who” I figured this could be my trial run for a bigger bash in a few months.
Before picking out recipes I thought about what I could bring that wouldn’t require any baking at all. Going back to past Doctors there are some must-haves, like jelly babies/jelly beans for Tom Baker:
Celery for David Tennant’s father-in-law, Peter Davison:
And satsumas/clementines/some citrus-type fruit for David Tennant (did you know that’s what they called fake Whovian money?):
Beautiful. I already had a pretty colorful spread just with those.
Now, for the baking. I searched out ideas from others who had hosted wibbly wobbly timey wimey parties of their own and saw that the BBC has a list of suggested “Doctor Who” recipes.
The Dalek cakes I found were neat, but time consuming to put together. I wanted to be able to make a few different things on a Sunday and be able to easily transport them.
Fish fingers and custard seemed like a requirement based on other articles I found, but I wasn’t going to set out actual fish fingers to get cold and smelly at work. I could have made yellow cake into fingers, but then there’s still the issue of how to set out and serve the custard. Too messy. It was a great starter scene for Matt Smith that gave me hope for a David Tennant-less future, but I still wasn’t making it.
Luckily I found a fan*TAS*tic shop on etsy that sells handmade “Doctor Who” cookie cutters. I got a set of three (Dalek, bowtie and TARDIS) for $15, plus shipping. Very worthwhile.
I’m not that into sugar cookies though, especially all the decorating the require. Now if that’s all you want to make you could set out fostings and candies and let people decorate their own, which would be fun for nerdy adults and kids alike. I thought about using them to cut out tea sandwiches, but decided to go with brownies and bar cookies instead.
I love doing brownies for the office because they’re quick to mix up and easy to carry in. I love to make them from scratch, but since I was doing a lot of baking in one day, this time I opted for a box mix (I don’t have a preferred brand), and used my trick of replacing whatever amount of water it calls for with Kahlua. Cinnamon Kahlua this time because I bought it over the holidays and hadn’t tried it yet.
It was very yummy. I threw in some Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips as well, but I think these made the cinnamon flavor a little overwhelming, although people still ate them all.
For my second quick one-pan dessert I tried the Butterfinger Blondies recipe I found on Six Sisters’ Stuff. I’d never baked with Butterfingers before and liked the way they looked sort of red and Martian. I didn’t make the top layer for them, but people still loved the cookie base, and they were much easier to use the cookie cutter on this way.
Ny next bit of inspiration came from the episode “Midnight”, which I caught during BBC America’s “Who Year” marathon. It creeped me out just as much as the first time I saw it. That episode is the first time we hear about the Lost Moon of Poosh, and I just love saying it. Poosh.Poosh. Poosh.
Since I hadn’t made my favorite, moon-like, Russian Teacakes for Christmas I decided those would be perfect.
I also wanted to try meringues again after my miserable failure a couple of months ago. If I couldn’t turn them into Hobbity Orc Boulders then I’d turn them into… Adipose Puffs. Nice, right? A little gross maybe, but I got a kick out of the fact that Adipose are all fat and meringues are fat free.
This time I went with Martha Stewart’s recipe, and the Ood must have been smiling down on me because it worked. And I know these look really beautiful, but don’t think that I did them all neat and perfect, because after refilling the meringue bag twice and having it spill out the top, my hands looked like this:
Anyway, after the allotted cooking time I turned off the heat and left them in the closed oven for a while to make sure they wouldn’t collapse. I may have left them a bit too long because they browned a little more than they should, but they were dry and crunchy and perfect and people loved them. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them.
And then I did make some Dalek sugar cookies. I just had to give the cookie cutters a proper try out. They came out really well, although they looked a little ducky for some reason. Maybe because they’re missing the lights on the top of their heads? Next time I might add a little bit of dough up there to make up for it. Not bad though.
So what do you think? What would you add to the list?
Here are some ideas for what I’ll name things at a sequel party (and just match up recipes to go with them as I work):
- Gallifreyan Gougeres
- Slitheen Bean Salad
- Ood Food
- Sontaran Potato Salad
- Come Along, Ponds
- Donna Donettes
- The Real McCoys
- K9 Biscuits
Betty Crocker’s Russian Teacakes Recipe
1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (pecans would work, too)
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Mix in flour and salt, a little at a time. Mix in nuts. If dough is flakey you may have to get your hands in there and do some squeezing to get them together.
Cover and chill at least one hour, up to overnight.
Heat oven to 400. With your hands, grab a little dough at a time and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I put down parchment paper first.) Bake 10-12 minutes. They’ll be a little brown on the bottom. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Roll again once cool.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Update, 11/17/13: I just added a new post about my Rude and Not Ginger Chocolate Chip Bars. Have a look!