Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chocolate Cannoli Sandwich Cookies

Do you like cannolis?

Do you like sandwiches?

And you like cookies?

Me too!!

The cookie part of these was fantastic. Absolute perfection. The filling tasted divine...but was a bit runny which made for messy eating. As they sat in the fridge the filling did thicken a bit but was still more runny than I thought it would be. Either way...I suggest making these.

Chocolate Cannoli Sandwich Cookies
Source: Food Network
Yield: 18-24 sandwiches

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt

Make the cookies: Beat the butter and both sugars with a mixer until creamy. Beat in the milk and vanilla until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired. Scoop the dough onto a sheet of wax paper
and shape into a 2-inch-thick log. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds with a sharp knife. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine 3/4 cup pistachios, the mascarpone, ricotta, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt with a mixer on low speed until just blended; do not overmix or the filling will be too thick. (It can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.)

To assemble, sandwich about 1/2 inch filling between 2 cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Roll the edges in the remaining 3/4 cup pistachios.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Valentine's Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for Valentine's Day. I shared them with my baby's teachers and my coworkers. When I brought these to work, I dropped them off in the kitchen...walked back to my desk...attempted to open an email to announce that they were the time I got the email up my cubie neighbor told me there was one left! They disappeared in about 5 minutes!

I love the cake part of these but wasn't fully satisfied with the buttercream. It was super sweet and too almondy for me. I'll try something different next time!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing
Source: Annie's Eats and Stetted
Yield: 24 cupcakes

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1½ cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F. Line or grease cupcakes pans. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to blend well and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

2 sticks butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat butter until creamy. Add the sugar, milk and extracts and beat, slowly at first, and then until nice and fluffy..

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

I have a really nice neighbor. He comes over and snow blows our driveway after every storm. We never asked him to, he just started doing it. I baked him these cookies and delivered them as a thank you. I told him he was a good Samaritan. He said that someone used to it for him when he was working overnights and he wanted to pay it forward. I pay forward with sweet treats.

Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
Source: Baked Explorations
Yield: 2-3 dozen

3 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 T ground ginger
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1 T baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
5 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 oz bitter sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg white
1 t lemon juice

Whisk the flour, cocoa, spice, soda, powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of mixer beat butter and shortening. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat. Add the molasses and then the chocolate and beat after each. Add the dry mixture in 3 batches. Divide the dough into two disks and refrigerate until chilled.

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll the dough out on floured surface. Cut into shapes. Bake about 7 minutes.

Glaze: mix confectioner's sugar, egg white and lemon juice and either decorate or drizzle over cookies. Allow to harden.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emergency Blender Cupcakes

Need chocolate cupcakes FAST? Well who doesn't really. I mean...when you need a NEED a cupcake! Wait, is that only me?

These are fabulous. The frosting is quite fudgey but quite delicious.

Emergency Blender Cupcakes
Source: Weekend Baker
Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

1 cup flour
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375°F. Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a blender. Cover with the lid and blend on medium speed until blended. Pour in the water, oil, egg, and vanilla. Cover with the lid and blend on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice. Pour into lined muffin cups, dividing evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean, 17–19 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool for about 10 minutes, and then carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and set them on the rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Pinch salt

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add condensed milk, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Whisk until well blended. Set aside at room temperature, whisking frequently. It will thicken as it cools. When completely cool, cover with plastic wrap until ready to frost.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New York Style Coffee Cake

It is the small things in life that please a new mother. Small things like coffee cake and a cup of coffee on a snowy day.

And I mean quality coffee cake. Big chunks of crumb that melt on your tongue. And cake that is so moist and vanillay (I think I just made up a word!).

One can not resist this coffee cake...not even my health nut of a husband.

New York Style Coffee Cake
Source: Baked Explorations
Yield: 16 servings

For the crumb topping:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9×13 pan. You can use a metal pan, but the edges may get a bit crispy.

To make the crumb topping, mix both sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spread this mixture out on the parchment paper to dry while you make the cake mixture.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and slat together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter until it is smooth and ribbon like in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beating only until it is just incorporated.

To assemble the cake, pour the batter in the prepared pan.Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look very thick.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

The cake will last for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.