Cookie Palooza: Buttered Rum Meltaways

For today’s Cookie Palooza recipe I bring you a cookie for those of you who don’t like to drink your alcohol but eat it instead… A Buttered Rum Meltaway.

I began by beating butter and sugar until it was pale and fluffy. I then added in vanilla extract and rum.

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In another bowl I whisked together flour, cornstarch and spices in a medium bowl. Which I then gradually added to the butter mixture.

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Once the dough came together I shaped it into logs on parchment paper..

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That I then wrapped in the parchment paper and placed in the freezer.

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A few days later (you can freeze the dough up to a month) I removed it from the freezer and let it warm a little to make slicing it into 1/4 slices a bit easier.

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After baking the cookies for about 15 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven…

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I coated them in confectioners’ sugar by tossing them in the sugar in a Ziploc bag.

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These cookies are so festive looking they would make a wonderful homemade gift or a welcome addition to a dessert table to a Holiday party you may be attending. Another great thing about these cookies, thanks to the rum they can keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container!

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Buttered Rum Meltaways

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup rum, dark or light

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer beat butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in the rum and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture.

Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into logs. Fold the parchment paper over the dough and using a ruler roll and press the dough into a 1 1/4 inch log. Wrap in parchment paper and chill in freezer at least 30 minutes or up to a month.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the parchment paper from the dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until cookies are just golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently toss the cookies with the remaining confectioners’ sugar in a resalable plastic bag.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Christmas Sugar Cookies

It’s Christmas Eve! Have you gotten all of your baking done? I took my last sheet of cookies out of the oven not too long ago. Speaking of cookies… Decorated sugar cookies are synonymous with the Holidays. Whether they are decorated with royal icing, sprinkles or both, you can usually find them on most cookie platters this time of the year. Now, there are so many different recipes for sugar cookies out there. I once tried one with orange juice… it definitely wasn’t my favorite. What grabbed me about this recipe was that it was for Soft Sugar Cookies. Yes, sugar cookies are supposed to be on the crispier side but I sometimes find that if you leave those cookies in the oven for a few seconds too long your bordering on hard cookies not crispy ones.

To make the dough for these cookies I began by beating butter in the bowl of my stand mixer on medium-high speed until it was light and fluffy. I then added in sugar, egg, vanilla extract and sour cream. Once all of those ingredients were well incorporated I added a flour mixture that included flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. After the dough came together I shaped the dough into a disk, covered it with plastic wrap and refrigerated it until it was firm.

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Once it was firm I rolled it out on a floured surface and began cutting out my Christmas shapes.

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After transferring the cutouts to a parchment lined cookie sheet I decorated them with holiday themed sprinkles and sugar.

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I baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes and then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. This recipe is definitely going to be my go-to recipe for whenever I want to make sugar cookies. They are not overly sweet and are the perfect texture. They have a little bite to them but overall are nice and soft!

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Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Soft Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 36 3-inch cookies
  • Print

*Please note that I halved the recipe which yielded me 30 2-inch cookies. If you would like to do the same follow the measurements in parenthesis.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda (1/8 teaspoon)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (6 tablespoons)

1 cup sugar (1/2 cup)

1 egg (2 tablespoons of a whisked egg)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)

1/4 cup sour cream (2 tablespoons)

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer (or using a stand mixer) beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat to blend. Add in the egg and vanilla and then the sour cream. Switch the speed to low and beat in the flour until just blended. Halve the dough, shape into disks and wrap plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm – 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If using the smaller measurements just shape into one disk.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

On a floured surface roll out the disk to about 1/8 inch thick and cut out using desired cookie cutters. Place on prepared cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.

Bake until the bottoms of the cookie are light golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you plan on decorating with sprinkles and sugar, place those on the cookies prior to baking. If you plan on decorating with royal icing wait until the cookies have completely cooled to do so.

Recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine

Chocolate Crinkles

The Christmas Cookie fun continues with today’s Chocolate Crinkles. Now, I know the cookie recipes I’ve posted earlier – Rosemary and Pine Nut Cookies and Orange Scented Elephant Ears – aren’t your traditional holiday cookie recipes, but, these are definitely in line with what you see around the holidays. I’ve seen recipes for these cookies for quite some time, I probably have 1 or 2 saved in my recipe binder, but, it wasn’t until I was flipping through a Christmas Cookie recipe magazine recently that I finally decided to try them out and I wish I had tried them sooner. They are a cinch to make and delicious… Chocolatey without being overpowering.

I started off by melting unsweetened chocolate, shortening and butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.

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After letting the chocolate mixture cool for a few minutes I continued making the dough for the cookies by mixing together eggs, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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Once that was well mixed I then added in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and finally flour and unsweetened cocoa powder.

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It wasn’t long before the dough had come together. To make sure all of the ingredients had incorporated I gave the dough a few good folds using a spatula.

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Using a cookie scoop I scooped up the dough and shaped it into a ball and then rolled it in granulated sugar and then confectioners’ sugar. I then placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

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To give some of the cookies a festive touch I sprinkled them with red, green and white sprinkles.

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After baking them in a 350 F preheated oven for 8 minutes, I let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. While the recipe says to bake them for 8-10 minutes, I always like to bake my cookies on the lower end of the time span to ensure that I don’t end up with cookies that are like rocks. Letting them sit on the hot pan for a few minutes allows them to cook and set for a few more minutes. At first I thought I may have removed these cookies from the oven too soon, but, as they continued to cool on the wire rack they firmed up more and the texture of the cookie was spot-on. A little crisp on the outside and completely soft on the inside!

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Chocolate Crinkles

Ingredients:

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

For Rolling Dough:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Over low heat in a medium saucepan melt the chocolate, shortening and butter. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract. And then stir in the flour and cocoa powder.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and shape into balls and roll the ball in the granulated sugar and then the confectioners’ sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until edges are set and the cracks appear slightly moist. Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Cookies Magazine

Rosemary and Pine Nut Cookies

December has rolled in, and you know what means… The Holidays are in full force! Everywhere you look there is red and green, Christmas trees, Snowmen, Poinsettias and Dessert! Specifically cookies. There is something about this time of year that makes all of kinds of cookies come out of the woodwork. Okay, maybe that’s not a great way of saying it, but, you catch my drift. Desserts go into overdrive this time of the year. Not that I am complaining though. I do my part and join in on the fun and add to that dessert pile. So, be on the lookout for some new cookie recipes hitting my blog over the next few weeks. The recipes are ones that I have had for quite some time – did I ever mention that I am bit of a recipe hoarder, thankfully they are all nicely organized – but I have never tried making. Well, as they say there’s no time like the present. No pun intended.

Now, you know how they say “Don’t knock it till you try it,” well, I definitely think these cookies could fall into that category. They are a buttery and crisp Rosemary and Pine Nut Cookie. Yes, you read that correctly… Rosemary in a sweet and buttery cookie. Rosemary is not just a wonderful and flavorful herb to add your meats, it can be used in baking and with the right amount it’s not overpowering but instead a welcomed addition. I may have to look for a few more baking recipes that incorporate it. Especially since I have a lovely rosemary plant growing in my kitchen. I originally planted it outside over the summer and since it was growing so well I decided to repot it and bring it indoors.

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For these cookies the key to using the Rosemary is making sure that you chop it first and then combine it with sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse it until the rosemary is finely chopped. You definitely don’t want to take a bite of any cookie and get a nice whole piece of rosemary in it. That would definitely be overpowering.

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Once that is done you beat it with butter until it’s fluffy and then add in vanilla extract and eggs. Next add in toasted pine nuts that have been finely chopped in a food processor and finally a mixture of flour, baking soda and salt. Once the dough comes together dump it on a sheet of plastic wrap…

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And form it into a log and wrap it up. I then placed it in the refrigerator for two hours so it could firm up. Once it was slightly firm I removed it from the refrigerator to shape it a little better and then placed in back in the refrigerator.

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After the two hours I sliced the dough into discs about 1/4 inch thick. Unfortunately I didn’t really form my log correctly so my cookies were not perfectly round. I pressed a few toasted pine nuts onto the cookies and baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for 10 minutes.

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I let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transferred them to a wire rack so they could cool completely.

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And I must say these are one of the best cookies I’ve ever had! The butter, pine nuts and rosemary work so well together. And they tasted even better the second day. The flavors only get stronger but in a good way!

 

 

Rosemary and Pine Nut Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted*

 

*To toast the pine nuts spread them on a baking sheet and bake them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes.

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt until well blended, set aside.

In a food processor pulse the sugar and rosemary until well combined and the rosemary is finally chopped. Transfer to a stand mixer. Put all but 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts in the food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add the butter to the rosemary mixture and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add in the egg and vanilla extract, beat until combined. Add the chopped pine nuts and then the flour mixture and mix until the dough absorbs the flour and become to come together. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log about 2 inches thick and 11 inches long. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. If the dough is too soft to form a log, refrigerate for about 30 minutes, remove from the refrigerator form it and then place it back in the refrigerator.

Once firm cut the dough into discs between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with the whole pine nuts, lightly pressing them into the dough. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Fine Cooking

Christmas Themed Sugar Cookies

It’s Christmas Eve and I am happy to say that all of my Christmas baking is officially done. For my final cookie post before the holiday – check out my Rainbow Cookies and Gingerbread Men from earlier in the week – I am going completely traditional with sugar cookies decorated to reflect the holiday!

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After sifting together cake flour (yes, you read that correctly, cake flour for cookies), baking powder and salt in a large bowl…

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I then mixed together butter and sugar in a separate bowl and then added in an egg and vanilla extract and continued mixing until all of the ingredients were incorporated.

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Next I added in the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 additions.

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Once the dough came together I divided it in half and wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it until it was firm – the recipe stated at least an hour but I left it in the fridge overnight and just let it sit out for a few minutes before rolling it out.

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Whereas the recipe said to roll the dough to about a 1/8-inch thick I found it to be thin to work with and the few cookies that I did manage to cut out at that thinness ended up over-browning when I baked them so I went with the standard 1/4-inch thick.

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I decorated a few of the cut-outs with sanding sugar prior to refrigerating them for 30 minutes before baking them in a 350 F preheated oven.

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After letting the cookies cool it was time to spruce them up with royal icing, sanding sugar and sprinkles.

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These snowflakes were by far my favorite and I must say that the cake flour produced a sugar cookie that was much more delicate than and not as crunchy as your typical sugar cookie. I definitely think this will become my go-to sugar cookie recipe from now on.

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Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Sugar Cookies

Makes 24 to 36 cookies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of parchment paper or into a medium bowl; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 2 batches until just incorporated. Divide between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; shape into disks. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.)

2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough on a floured surface, dusting with flour as needed, until about 1/8 inch thick*. Cut out shapes with 2-to-4-inch cookie cutters; arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (If the dough becomes too soft as you work, return to the refrigerator until firm.) Gather the scraps and refrigerate until firm; reroll once to cut out more cookies. Chill the cutouts 30 minutes.

3. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are slightly puffed and just golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely before icing.

*I rolled out my cookies 1/4 inch thick.

Gingerbread Men

So, I have a confession to make, prior to making these cookies I had never had a gingerbread cookie. I’m not really sure why that is. Possibly because it’s never been the cookie I reach for when I see a platter of assorted holiday cookies and also I had never tried baking them. This year though I decided to add it to my holiday baking.

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I began these cookies by sifting together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice into a bowl.

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In another bowl I first mixed together melted butter and shortening, light brown sugar and molasses and then added in an egg.

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Next I beat the flour into the molasses mixture.

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Once the dough came together I divided it in half and wrapped it in plastic wrap and patted it down to about 1/2 inch and refrigerated it. While the recipe stated to refrigerate it for at least 2 hours I ended up refrigerating it overnight and just let it sit out for a few minutes before rolling it out.

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Once the dough was soft enough to roll, I rolled it a 1/4 inch thick and began cutting out some gingerbread men.

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After placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet I decorated them with some mini M&M’s and round sprinkles.

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I then placed the cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and then baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 10 minutes and then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Then the fun began, well, that depends on whether or not you like to decorate cookies. I’m still on the fence about that one. I made a batch of royal icing and gave my Gingerbread cookies some faces and some squiggles!

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So, did I enjoy my first Gingerbread cookie? Well, yes and no. With my first cookie I thought the flavor was an acquired taste. The molasses was really standing out to me, but, the following day I tried another one and I definitely had other sentiments about it. It’s tasty but not something I could have two or three of in one sitting as with other cookies.

Perfect Gingerbread Men

Makes 2 to 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon shortening, melted

2/3 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup molasses

1 egg

Directions:

1. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice; set aside.

2. In another bowl mix together the butter, shortening, sugar and molasses, then beat in the egg. Beat in the flour mixture in two additions. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and pat to 1/2 inch thick. Chill 2 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. On a floured surface roll out each piece of dough to 1/4 inch think, dusting with flour if needed. Cut into 3-to-5-inch gingerbread men and arrange 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Brush off the excess flour and chill 15 minutes.

5. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, then decorate.

 

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

1 lb. box on confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoons meringue powder

5 tablespoons water

Directions:

Whisk the sugar and meringue powder in a large bowl. Add the water and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft glossy peaks form, adding up to 1 more tablespoon water if necessary. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap until ready to use to prevent the icing from drying out.

Rainbow Cookies

Christmas week is finally here and holiday baking is more than likely in high gear for most of you. I know I have quite a few different cookies to bake over the next few days. I was already busy last week trying out some recipes. One of those recipes is actually one that I have tried twice before without much success, but luckily I didn’t strike out with this third attempt. These Rainbow Cookies came out perfect and were well worth the time and numerous steps it took to make them! I’m not sure what exactly led to my success this time, maybe it was the jelly roll pans I used as opposed to the baking dishes or rimmed cookie sheets I used in the past, or me diligently following the recipe exactly as written and reading and re-reading it to make sure I followed it properly or maybe it was just due to sheer patience and dedication. Whichever it was I am just happy to say I finally succeeded in making one of my favorite cookies!

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I began making the batter by mixing together almond paste and sugar until it formed into fine crumbles.

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Next I added in 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter a few pieces at a time.

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And finally I added in 4 large eggs yolks one at a time.

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In a separate bowl I sifted 2 cups of flour and then sprinkled salt on top.

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I then added the flour to batter and mixed it until it was just combined.

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In another bowl I whisked 4 large egg whites until they were foamy and then slowly added 2 tablespoons of sugar and continued whisking until firm peaks formed.

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Once the egg whites were ready I gently folded them into the batter.

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Next I evenly divided the batter among three bowls and tinted one a deep salmon color, another a bright green color and I left the third uncolored.

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Following that I spread the batter among three prepared (I first sprayed them with baking spray and then lined them with parchment paper) jelly roll pans.

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After baking the layers in a 350 F oven for about 10 minutes I let them cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

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Then it was time to start assembling the cookies… I began by spreading the green layer with a decent amount of seedless raspberry jam.

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Next I slid the uncolored layer onto the raspberry covered green layer and covered it with raspberry preserves as well.

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And finally I slid the salmon color on top.

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After wrapping it with plastic wrap and then covering it with one of the jelly roll pans and a few of my old college textbooks I placed the assembled layers in the refrigerator overnight.

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The following day I unmolded the layers and trimmed them to make straight edges.

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I then melted bittersweet chocolate and poured it over the layers.

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After letting it set for a few minutes I scraped wavy lines into the chocolate with a fork.

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And finally once the chocolate had set a little more I cut the cake into cookies. First by making vertical cuts.

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And then horizontal cuts.

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And then it was time to enjoy all my hard work and these cookies were definitely worth every minute of it!

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Rainbow Cookies

Recipe courtesy Lidia Bastianich for Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened, plus more for the pans

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans

8 ounces almond paste

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Red and green food coloring (gel preferred)

1 15 -ounce jar smooth apricot jam*

Cooking spray

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

*I used seedless Raspberry Jam

Directions:

You’ll need three 9-by-12-inch jelly roll pans or rimmed baking sheets to make these layered cookies.

Prep the pans: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour three 9-by-12-inch jelly roll pans or rimmed baking sheets and line with parchment paper.

Make the batter: Combine the almond paste and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is in fine crumbles. Beat in 2 1/2 sticks butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth.

Sift 2 cups flour onto a sheet of parchment and sprinkle the salt on top; add to the mixer bowl and beat until just combined.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy; while whisking, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until firm peaks form (or use a hand mixer). Fold about one-third of the egg white mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The batter should be fluffy.

Color the batter: Divide the batter evenly among 3 bowls. Stir enough red food coloring into 1 bowl to make a deep salmon color. Stir enough green food coloring into another bowl to make a medium green color. Leave the third bowl uncolored.

Bake the layers: Transfer the batter to the prepared pans (one pan for each color). Dip an offset spatula in water and spread the batter to the edge of each pan, smoothing the tops. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until the cakes are cooked through and just beginning to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

Assemble the layers: Spread half of the jam evenly over the green cake layer almost all the way to the edges. Unmold the plain cake layer by inverting it onto another pan or cutting board; peel off the parchment.

Carefully slide the plain layer onto the green layer (use a wide offset spatula to help you, if necessary). Spread the remaining jam on top of the plain layer. Unmold the red cake layer and slide it onto the plain layer.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and top with one of the empty pans; place several heavy cans on top to weigh down the layers. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Unmold the cake: Remove the cans and plastic wrap. Place a cutting board on top of the cake and flip to unmold it onto the cutting board. Remove the parchment from the top of the green layer.

Trim the cake: Trim the sides with a knife to make straight edges. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray; set the rack over a baking sheet. Carefully slide the cake onto the rack, using a wide offset spatula to help you, if necessary.

Cover in chocolate: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; pour over the cake. Dip an offset spatula in the hot water and smooth the top and sides. Let set slightly. Scrape wavy lines into the chocolate with a fork; let cool a few more minutes until the chocolate is mostly set but still slightly tacky.

Cut into pieces: Slide the cake back onto the cutting board. Slice crosswise into 6 strips, then cut each strip into 8 rectangular pieces. For clean edges, dip the knife in warm water and wipe it with a cloth between cuts. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

 

 

Mint Chocolate Delights

While pumpkin is the flavor of the Fall, peppermint / mint is the flavor of Winter; especially now during the Holiday season. Peppermint hot chocolate is available almost everywhere – I’m partial to getting mine from Starbucks, already made and topped with whipped cream -,  red & green mint M&M’s, mint filled Hershey Kisses and candy canes – just to name a few candies – can be found on store shelves. And I recently came across Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels, which I couldn’t resist picking up. And as luck would have it, there was a cookie recipe right on the back of the package waiting to be made.

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To begin I combined the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt – in a medium bowl and set it aside.

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In a large bowl I creamed together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract and then added in two eggs, one at a time.

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Next I gradually added in the flour mixture.

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And finally I stirred in the dark chocolate and mint morsels (if you love the smell of mint you’ll be in heaven when you open this bag)…

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Which resulted in the casualty of one of my spatulas since the batter for these cookies is so thick and dense – thankfully the cookies turned out completely opposite of that.

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Next I drop rounded tablesoonfuls of the dough on parchment lined cookie sheets.

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After baking in a preheated 325 F oven for 11 minutes I let them cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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These cookies are all kinds of delicious and thankfully the recipe yields enough so that you can definitely get your fill!

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Mint Chocolate Delights

Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate& Mint Morsels

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

If you have seen this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine you know they are getting their readers ready for the Holidays with a slew of cookie recipes. While they all sound amazing one of them stood out from the rest for me… Cocoa Snickerdoodles. What is there not to love about a cookie made with cocoa and then rolled in cinnamon sugar?

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I began by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar (which I just recently learned is the key ingredient that makes a Snickerdoodle and Sugar Cookie different. The addition of the cream of tartar prevents the cookie from having the crunch of a Sugar Cookie and instead a soft and cakey inside.)

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Next I beat room temperature butter along with granulated and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy.

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I then added in an egg and vanilla extract.

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And finally I beat in the flour mixture until the two mixtures were just combined.

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Before placing the cookies on the baking sheet I rolled them in a mixture of sanding sugar and cinnamon.

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Since I knew these cookies would spread while baking I was sure to give them ample space on a parchment lined baking sheet prior to baking them in a 375 F oven for 9 minutes; rotating the pan after the first 5 minutes.

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My first batch right out of the oven… I let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once cooled I couldn’t wait to try one… Here’s a close-up of the soft cakey texture I mentioned.

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And while these cookies were delicious once cooled they were even better the next day once the cinnamon sugar mixture had more time to seep into them. The only bad thing about this recipe… It only yields 18 cookies!

 

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sanding sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla; reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

2. Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands; toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Arrange about 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edge, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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