Monday, February 13, 2012

Box Of Chocolate Cookies

Last year I made a box of chocolate cupcakes, this year it's cookies. I got the idea for these cookies from My Kitchen Addiction, after a googling Valentine's cookies. They are fairly easy to make, and so cute. A perfect Valentine's gift for a cookie lover.

Shortbread Cookie
From Claire Clark's Indulge
225g flour
75g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. Add butter and vanilla. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. When the mixture comes together form into a ball and flatten slightly.
Roll out to 1/2 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes. Leave on baking sheet to cool.

Royal Icing
3 oz pasteurized egg whites
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla, plus extra for thinning icing

In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla.
Turn the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. 
Separate icing into small bowls for coloring. 
Add color to bowl and mix.
Once desired color is achieved, thin out icing with water and vanilla, a drop at a time. To test the consistency, drizzle a spoonful of icing over the bowl, the ribbon should melt into the rest of the icing in about 4-5 seconds. 
Once the right consistency is reached spoon into piping bags and cut a tiny hole in the tip. 
Cover bowls with plastic wrap when not using, to prevent hardening.
Outline the heart and fill in, letting the icing spread and smooth out. Let dry.
Once the first layer is dry, outline again and sprinkle carefully with red sprinkles. Let dry.
Outline and fill in one "chocolate" at a time. DO NOT decorate chocolates yet. Once all chocolates are in place, let dry.
Now decorate the chocolates with swirls and lines. Let dry.
Outline the chocolates with small dots, again one chocolate at a time. When one chocolate is outlined, carefully connect the dots by dragging a toothpick through each dot.
Let the cookie dry completely.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Valentine's Day is coming, so how about serving someone you love blueberry muffins in bed? I prefer my blueberry muffins more dense, but this recipe makes a lovely light and fluffy muffin, that is quite delicious. Topped with a pat of butter cutout with a heart shaped cookie cutter, and this regular muffin turns into a love muffin (:   (I know, supper cheesy.)

Blueberry Muffins
Slightly adapted from Amy's Bread
(I used ounces for my measurement)

3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1 2/3 cups blueberries

Line muffin pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl whisk together butter, eggs, milk, and orange zest.

Add wet ingredents to dry and fold until a few lumps of flour remain.

Gently mix blueberries in a small bowl with a tablespoon of flour, just to coat.

Add blueberries to the muffin batter. Gently fold them in, being careful not to smash any berries, resulting in dingy blue muffins.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

These bars are a more decadent version of the Rice Krispie Treats we grew up with. I made these for the super bowl (Yeah they are a little too fancy for guys watching football.), but they would be great for any holiday.
I think a few mini marshmallows mixed into the peanut butter layer would be a nice addition.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
From Baked 

For The Crispy Crust
1 3/4 cups Rice Krispies

1/4 cup sugar

3 Tbs light corn syrup

3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

For The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer

5 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter

For The Chocolate Icing
3 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 Tbs unsalted butter

Make The Crispy Crust
Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.

Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Pour ¼ cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, 235 degrees.

Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.

Make The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter.

Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.

Make The Chocolate Icing
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.

Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until the topping hardens.

Cut into 9 squares, or use a cookie cutter warmed in hot water, and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Root Beer Bundt Cake

I love root beer, it's spicy flavor instantly takes me back to my childhood. So when I saw this recipe in my Baked cookbook I knew I had to try it.

Before I started the recipe I did a little snooping online, and found that most people couldn't even taste the root beer in the cake. Well, if I was going to make a Root Beer Cake, I wanted to taste the root beer. So not only did I followed Baked's suggestion of replacing a 1/2 cup of root beer with a 1/2 cup of root beer schnapps, I also added a root beer syrup that I found at Williams-Sonoma.

There was no denying that this was a root beer cake, and when it was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it became a root beer float. Success!...except I hated it. The cake's texture was great and the frosting was nice and smooth, but the flavor made me gag. My son on the other hand loved it, along with all the people I work with. I guess this cake is for real root beer lovers, and apparently I don't love root beer as much as I thought.

I probably would have liked it more if I would have made the recipe as written, but if you can't taste the root beer why use it at all?  Next time I'm going to replace the root beer with hot chocolate, and make it a Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Root Beer Bunt Cake
Adapted from Baked

For The Root Beer Bundt Cake:
1 1/2 cups root beer
3 tbs root beer syrup
1/2 cup root beer schnapps
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs

For The Root Beer Fudge Frosting:
2 oz dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup root beer
1 tbs root beer syrup
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Make The Root Beer Bundt Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, root beer schnapps, root beer syrup, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy - do not over beat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack. Brush a few tablespoons of root beer syrup over the top of the cake before frosting with the Root Beer Fudge Frosting.

Make The Root Beer Fudge Frosting
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.
Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer.


Related Posts with Thumbnails