Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’

Olympic Inspired Sweets

Friday, February 19th, 2010

We are already 8 days in to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and I am hooked.  The stories, the competition, the tragedy and triumph – this is what the Olympics are all about.

So what better way to celebrate and honor the 2010 Winter Olympic Games then with a collection of the best Winter Olympic inspired goodies I could find.  Really, this search was prompted by one shining example, Marian’s Olympic Mascot Cookies from Sweetopia.net.  She is a true sugar master.  The time that goes into these cookies is incredible.

Sweetopia's Olympic Mascot Cookies - Miga and Muk Muk

Sweetopia's Olympic Mascot Cookies - Miga and Mukmuk

Sweetopia's Olympic Mascot Cookies - Quatchi

Sweetopia's Olympic Mascot Cookies - Quatchi

The mascots this year are comical.  Quatchi is  a sasquatch – how funny is that?  A sasquatch that wears boots and earmuffs no less.  And Mukmuk…a marmot. “Hey, nice marmot!”

Another great example of an Olympic inspired sweet is this is Olympic mascot cake done by Anne Elizabeth Cakes.  I love the mascots – she did an excellent job.

Anna Elizabeth Cake's Olympic Mascot Cake

Anna Elizabeth Cake's Olympic Mascot Cake

Of course we need a cupcake – so here it is…the Olympic Ring cupcake done by Clever Cupcakes in Montreal, Canada.

Clever Cupcake's Olympic Ring Cupcake

Clever Cupcake's Olympic Ring Cupcake

Since the Olympics are being held in Vancouver, British Columbia we should probably have a native dessert as well.  The Nanaimo bar is named for the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia and consists of wafer layer, a custard layer and then is covered in chocolate.    Here, The Kitchn shows us their version of this Olympic inspired treat.

Nanaimo Bars

Yum...Olympic Inspired Nanaimo Bars

I hope this inspires you to make your own Olympic themed treats  to eat while cheering on Team USA, of course.  Win Big Team USA – you make me proud to be an American!

Thanksgiving Cookies

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

thanksgiving-cookies

With the holidays sneaking up on me, I haven’t had much time to post.  Ok, that is a lie – it has nothing to do with the holidays – I’ve simply been busy with other projects.    But regardless of my excuse, the holidays are right around the corner…

I posted these Thanksgiving cookies because they came out so darn cute.  I used a basic sugar cookie recipe, cutting them out in the shapes of leaves and acorns.  I made several batches of colored icing in red, orange, yellow, green and two shades of brown.  Very fall appropriate colors. 

After icing the Thanksgiving cookies, I sprinkled color cordinating sanding sugars on the top – very pretty.   You can get these sanding sugars at your local craft store.

The cookies sparkled in the sun and were completely gobbled up before the party was over.

Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

Saturday, October 10th, 2009
Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

Classic food combos are the topic for today.  So many foods which are great on their own become something spectacular when paired with their perfect partner.   What’s a burger without fries?  If you are going to eat a burger you simple need a mound of fries.  Eggs seem lost without their salty, savory friend baconBuffalo wings and blue cheese…yes, I’ll take some!   PB & J, strawberries and cream – the list goes on and on.

Milk and Cookies is the combo that inspired this cupcake.  It never fails that if you’re eating cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, you are gonna need a cold glass of milk…right?  

I’m sure you’ve seen this cupcake before as there are a few versions of it on the internet, but I just had to give it a try.  I started by using a new cake recipe courtesy of Martha Stewarts’ Cupcakes (thanks Megan).  This cake recipe is a great basic for any baker, and can be altered with different frostings and fillings to fit any palate.   This particular cupcake, the Milk and Cookies Cupcake, is filled with ooey, gooey cookie dough

Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough was my cheat in this recipe, but feel free to whip up a batch of your favorite cookie dough instead.   I simply rolled small balls of the cookie dough and placed them directly on top of the cake batter.  Refrain from pushing the cookie dough down into the batter, it will drop down on its own. 

Cookie dough is placed in the center of the batter...

Cookie dough is placed in the center of the batter...

After the cupcakes where baked and cooled, I gave them a generous dose of my old friend, Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  I decided on Swiss Meringue Buttercream because of its lightly sweet velvety texture. 

Finally, I baked off a couple mini chocolate chip cookies for the top of each cupcake.  The flavor was exactly what I expected, and very reminiscent of the classic pairing – Milk and Cookies.  My boys, who have become some of my official taste testers, gave these a big thumbs up.  So I guess I’ll have to add them to the keepers list!  Enjoy.

Ingredients:

Makes 36

  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

milk-cookie-cupcake

From Martha Stewart Cupcakes, June 2009

Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Monday, October 5th, 2009
Quick and Easy, Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Quick and Easy, Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Longing for something chocolaty and decadent?  Of course you are.  These Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars are ripped off, I mean “inspired” by Giada’s Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars and they are addicting.  I mean it…seriously addicting.  My father took a few for the road after Joe’s birthday party.  The next day he called to ask if I would deliver some additional chocolate cookie bars to the house – apparently he needed his “fix”.  Sadly, he was out of luck…I had just devoured the last one. 

I adapted Giada’s recipe slightly, simply because I couldn’t find one of the key ingredients – the old school Skor Bar.  Remember the Skor Bar?  Made by Hershey’s, it was a combination of tooth shattering toffee covered in an extremely thin layer of chocolate.  I don’t know why, but the Skor Bar seems so 80’s to me now – maybe because that is when they were at their peak of popularity.  Now you can’t seem to find them – at least not where I live.  

To keep with the toffee chocolate theme of the recipe, I purchased another Hershey’s product instead of the Skor, a bag of Hershey’s Nuggets. They consist of both chocolate,  toffee pieces and almonds without the risk of a trip to the dentist.  They worked well in the recipe, perhaps even better than the Skor would have done; the bars ended up  more chocolaty – and I love chocolate!

Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s semi sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey roasted sliced almonds

Directions:

1.) Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.) Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

3.) In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.

4.) Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate-toffee candy pieces and sliced almonds over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.

5.) Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

Admit it...you want one now.

Admit it...you want one now.

Replace the cupcake…Whoopie Pies?

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
Introducing the S'mores Whoopie Pie...

Introducing the S'mores Whoopie Pie...

This week I came upon some disturbing news; sources say the Whoopie Pie is the “new cupcake”.  Could this be true?  How could anything take the place of America’s sweetheart?  I’ll be the judge of that…

My brain was on overload looking through several recipes for Whoopie Pies.  Which one, which one?  There seem to be so many. 

The chief question among Whoopie Pie fans seems to be – should it be more cake like, or more cookie like?  After much intense research and three cups of Joe, I decided to mix a couple different ideas. Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Red Velvet seemed to dominant the Whoopie Pie world, so why not something a bit different? 

On a recent visit to my local market I came across Solo Toasted Marshmallow creme, and of course it ended up in my cart. Original Marshmallow Fluff is great, but toasted marshmallow creme just makes it that much better. This is where the S’mores Whoopie Pie was born!

Whoopie Pie - Cake or Cookie?

Whoopie Pie - Cake or Cookie?

The result was something not quite cake, not quite cookie.  The pie has a dense texture with a bit of chew, and the filling is sweet and gooey.  These were not the dry Moon Pies I was lured into buying so many times before.

Do I think they will replace the cupcake? Doubtful…but the Whoopie Pie has certainly found a place in my recipe box.

whoopie-pies

S’mores Whoopie Pie Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

S’mores Whoopie Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter brought to room temperature
  • 7oz. jar toasted marshmallow crème
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pack graham crackers, crushed

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

1.) Blend butter and marshmallow crème together until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, blend until creamy.

2.) In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a minute or so, until well combined. It will have the consistency of wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

3.) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into 1/2 cup very hot water until dissolved.

4.) With the mixer on low or stirring by hand, add about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk and half the baking soda mixture, mixing each time just until blended. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk and baking soda mixture, and then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing each time just until combined.

5.) I chose to make these pies smaller than the classic…feel free to increase the size to suit your needs.  Using a small scoop (small Ice cream style scoop) drop batter onto greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the tops no longer appear wet and just spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

6.) When completely cool, spread the bottom of one cookie with frosting and dip into graham cracker crumbs.  Spread a very small amount of frosting on other half of cookie just to make them stick. Viola – S’mores Whoopie Pies!

Food Finds – Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies

Friday, June 12th, 2009
My Food Finds - Unique Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies

My Food Finds - Unique Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies


Corn on the Cob Cupcakes
Clever Cupcakes out of Montreal, Quebec prepared these cute corn themed cupcakes for a corn on the cob party (a popular tradition in Quebec).  I love the variety of toppers on each cupcake, all keeping with the corn theme – corn holders, a slice of corn on the cob, corn kernels, salt packets and pats of butter. 

Check out Clever Cupcakes for ideas for your next party.  Or, even better - order some if you are ever in the Montreal area.

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Creative Cake Art
You won’t believe these cakes and cake toppers!  Sarah Cowell of Melbourne, Australia is a true cake artist to say the least.  Her ultra-realistic chameleon cake is just one of the many cakes in her portfolio that will have you ogling.

Her cake portfolio includes life-like replicas of her clients, creepy characters, bachelor party cakes and much more.  Check out her incredible cake portfolio.

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Adorable Bridal Shower Cookies
Marian, from Sweetopia, is a master of cookie decorating.  I love the combination of green apples and blushing brides.  The detail in these cookies is incredible; the white line down the apple to accentuate the curve, the jeweled details and disco dust on the brides dress – so perfect! 

Her cookies are little works of art.  View all of her decorated cookies here - the Rainbow Tea Party Cookies are colorful masterpieces as well.

Sweetopia's Green Apple Bridal Shower Cookies

Sweetopia's Green Apple Bridal Shower Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Yum! Sugar Cookies Rolled in Sanding Sugars

Yum! Sugar Cookies Rolled in Sanding Sugars

This weekend my family and I will be doing a bit of camping with some friends.  Like always, I have been selected to provide the sweet treats.  I love cupcakes, but have a strange feeling they won’t hold up in outdoor conditions.  Cookies to the rescue! 

Cookies can be packed in ziplock bags and don’t take up much space, plus they can be eaten on the run.  I needed a cookie that was simple and a crowd pleaser. I make chocolate chip and oatmeal are cookies  on a regular basis so why not switch it up and make that fan favorite…sugar cookies.  I hit my favorite recipe sites and decided upon Alton Brown’s sugar cookie recipe

Like all new recipes, I always do a test batch to see if it’s a keeper.  These cookies, in my opinion, are more like butter shortbread than classic sugar cookie. They have a bit heavier bite to them and far less sweetness…something I enjoy.  Also they definitely will stand up to the outdoors.  I jazzed them up with a handful of mini chocolate chips and green and white sanding sugar on the edges.  They may even make a great alternative s’more…hum?

White and Green Sanding Sugars

White and Green Sanding Sugars

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions:

1.) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2.) Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.

3.) Add egg and milk and beat to combine.

4.) Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.

5.) Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

6.) Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.

7.) Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.

8.) Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Cookie, Anyone?

Cookie, Anyone?

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Who wants a cookie?  I do, I do!  No one ever turns down cookies at my house.  The boys have been giving me plenty of great ideas when it comes to new and creative cupcake flavors.  Not only that, but they have become my ultimate taste testers.  I am honored when they ask me to bake for class room parties…simply because it gives me a chance to show off! 

Today’s challenge was to incorporate that classic combo, cookies and cream.  I must admit it was easier than I thought.  I took a classic white cake recipe and added a bit more fat (sour cream) and crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies.  Simple white buttercream frosting tops them off and half of a cookie to give them a bit of crunch.

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Giant Sandwich Cookie Cake Pans

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
Giant Sandwich Cookie Pan From Williams Sonoma

Giant Sandwich Cookie Pan From Williams Sonoma

I love new kitchen gadgets, so of course I absolutely love these giant sandwich cookie cake pans from Williams Sonoma.   I first discovered these on Baking Bites, a great site BTW.  Yum…a cake that tastes like a creme filled chocolate cookies and looks like one too,  on the recipe hunt now.  I think I know what Jody is getting for her birthday :-) .

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

These are so good we had to post them.  Use our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make these heavenly ice cream sandwiches!   We used half a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla in each.  Yes, these will not be posted under our Healthy Food catagory.  Enjoy!


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