Women Presidents, Boehner Blasts Tea Party, Holiday Cookies

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Rob Ferrett and Gene Purcell ask what it will take before a woman will become president, explore House Speaker’s Boehner’s criticsm of the Tea Party, and get some holiday cookie baking tips.

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  • Food Friday: Expert Shares Baking Tips For The Holidays

    One of the best things about the holiday season is baking and sharing sweets.

    To make sure holiday cookies and treats are the best they can be, TallGrassKitchen.com blogger Anna Thomas Bates shares some general advice about baking:

    1. Make sure your butter is soft, but not too soft.

    Bates said she gets a lot of people asking her why their cookies turn into puddles and spread out too much, and she said it’s because the butter they used was too soft. Don’t leave your butter out for hours and hours, she warns.

    “It’s not going to be able to cream up and capture a lot of air, and it’s that air beaten into the butter that gives you really nice structure,” she said.

    You can soften up a whole stick of butter in about half an hour or you could cut up your stick into small pieces right before you use it and soften it up in your mixer.

    2. Don’t bake your cookies for too long.

    Bates said your first batch is your test batch. If you can smell the cookie baking, it’s ready to come out of the oven, and probably should have been taken out a couple minutes sooner.

    “When your cookie looks just done on top, almost underbaked but not raw and is just slightly golden around the edges, that’s when its ready to come out,” Bates said.

    After a couple minutes cooling on the baking sheet, you can use a spatula to put it on a rack to firm up.

    3. Put sugar cut-out cookie dough in the freezer for a couple minutes after you’ve cut it into shape.

    Bates said the cookie will hold its shape much better if the whole tray of cut dough goes into the freezer for a few minutes before it goes into the oven. To decorate those cut-out cookies, Bates recommends colored sanding sugar and picking shapes like snowflakes or Christmas trees that can be frosted in all one color.

    4. Putting together a platter should be like designing a menu.

    “You want to have complimentary and contrasting flavors and textures,” Bates said.

    She advises having something chocolate, something colorful, something with dried fruits and nuts, and maybe something that isn’t a cookie, like toffee or a truffle. She said mixing and matching will create a really good cookie platter.

    5. Make sure your new cookies are coming from a well-tested source.

    There are so many recipe sources available, but not all of them are very reliable. Make sure the recipe you’re trying has been well-tested.

    Find more baking tips from Bates on her blog, www.TallGrassKitchen.com.

  • What Will It Take To Make A Woman President?

    Thinkers and leaders address the question “What will it take to make a woman president?” and consider whether it might happen in the next presidential election cycle.

  • House Speaker Boehner Blasts the Tea Party Conservatives

    Possibly fed up with Tea Party conservatives over their lack of support for a bipartisan budget deal, Speaker John Boehner is publicly chastising the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party. We’ll speak with a political science professor about Boehner’s actions and what it could mean for his ability to lead the party, and the future of the two wings.

  • Food Friday: Holiday Cookies

    It’s the time of year to start sharing holiday-themed baked goods! An expert on baking shares her tips and a recipe or two.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • KP Whaley Producer
  • Marianne Schnall Guest
  • Daniel DiSalvo Guest

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