Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

Hey look! Another post!

Here's another recipe that I've made a bunch of times but when I searched here to find it, it wasn't here. So I guess I'm writing a blog post about how I didn't write a blog post. Exciting stuff, I know.

It's been a crazy week. Well, it'll be last week, by the time this post goes up. I like to schedule a few of them and space them out. You know, to have a post every few days rather than 3 in a day and then nothing for a few weeks.

Anyway... it's been a crazy week. I took the week off with the plan to relax, unpack some stuff, maybe buy a few things for the house, finish the built in shelving that I already posted. And that's how my vacation started.

But then Tuesday evening, I hear this tapping sound. I looked around and found out that water was coming down from my air conditioning vent into my living room. Not a lot, probably a quart of water total but enough to make me unhappy. So I contacted 3 roofers.

I spoke to the first one about 8:30 on Wednesday; he said he'd be there about 10-10:30 to check it out; I'm still waiting for him to show up.

The second guy came and looked at it and said it doesn't really look like it's a roof leak because the roof is in good shape, which I agreed with being that the roof is only 8 years old; he started looking at the siding and saw a gap where if the wind blows the right way might be able to get water in it and get to the duct.

The third guy came in, took a look at where the vent is, relative to the window, went outside to look at the roof, stepped 20 ft back and looked at it for a minute and said all he could do is replace the entire roof. Never actually looked at the roof or anything. Asshole.

So that's made my vacation fun.

And the fun continued. Friday I went down to my basement to fix something. My finished, carpeted basement. I sat down on the floor and when I got up I noticed my shorts were damp. Odd. I didn't think I'd pissed myself and if I was having bladder issues, that was news to me.

So I start checking the floor and I found a maybe 5 sq ft wet spot on the carpet. This is the line of thought that was going on in my head. 'shit. shit shit shit. shit fuck shit. shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.' Very eloquent, I know.

So I raced to the garage and got my shop vac and started trying to suck up the water. I got probably a gallon up like that. You could barely feel the dampness in the carpet. I cranked up my box fan and dehumidifier, went back upstairs and sat down and let out a big sigh.

But then I started thinking about it a bit more and I started worrying about the carpet pad and subfloor. Ultimately, I ended up pulling up the carpet and carpet pad on about 1/3 of my basement. When it's on concrete, carpet pad is just glued down, which makes it not the easiest to get up. In case you were wondering.

Fortunately it wasn't raining so I took several of the carpet pads and let them dry outside and I got to work on drying out everything that was still inside. I used pretty much everything I have that can move air, one way or another. Box fan, space heater, blow dryer, dehumidifier and shop vac. All running on high. Can't wait to see that electric bill. At least I didn't trip anything out.

And yes, I sat there with the holding the blow dryer, blowing under the baseboard heater to try and get the concrete dried out. And in case you were wondering, you can burn carpet with a blow dryer if you hold it really close to the carpet. You know, if that was one of those things that you've always been wondering about.

I set up the space heater behind the box fan so the box fan was blowing hot dry air with a lot more fan speed than the space heater. When things got fairly dry, I just used the box fan and dehumidifier.

Every 3 hours, I'd go down, empty the dehumidifier (I moved it over to where the floor was wet and of course my hose isn't long enough to reach from there to the drain), move the fan, carpet pads and carpet around some to make sure everything gets really dry. 3 days of that. And yes, I set an alarm during the night to get up and do it every 3 hours. It's like I got a newborn infant dropped on me. At least I don't have to breast feed it or something.

At some point I started spraying everything with vinegar to help prevent mold growth. I used close to a half a gallon of vinegar. I'd spray, turn the fans off for 30 mins or so and then turn them back on. I'm sure the neighbors could smell it. But at least it's not as stinky as ammonia or bleach. And I don't see or smell any signs of mold.

Well between each of those 3 hour increments, I had some time to do other things, at least when things were pretty much dry. This was when I deemed the shelves done. Even though the finish isn't very smooth and I probably didn't give the polyurethane enough cure time. I also made some cookie dough. Sigh.

Anyway. Here's the cookie recipe. I'm done whining. At least for this post. You can stop scrolling now.

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz dark chocolate

Toast the nuts in a dry skillet until fragrant.
Finely chop the nuts.
Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Mix together nuts, flour, baking powder, salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined.
Form into a log and chill for at least 2 hours.
Slice cookies and bake at 350. How long to bake will depend on how big you make the cookies. I did 16 cookies and baked about 15 minutes.
While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate in the microwave.
Dip part of the cookies in the chocolate and drizzle top with the remainder after they've cooled for a couple minutes.

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