Sunday, August 14, 2011

White Sox Cookies

My parents, all their friends, myself, and some of my friends went to the Chicago White Sox game last night. Unfortunately, there was a crazy rain storm that delayed the game by an hour and a half but of corse we waited in the rain! It was so worth it! I had so much fun. My friend Adriana and I took a picture with a cardboard cut out of Ozzie Gullian and they chose four pictures to put on the big screen (shown below) and we won a free shirt! I was so excited! The Sox even won! It was the perfect way to spend my last weekend living in Illinois.


My friend Adriana and myself with the new Frank Thomas statue

Anyway, I was so excited about the game and I found the cutest baseball hat cookie cutter, so you know I made cookies for tailgating, check these out: 

They turned out so cute! I found little sprinkles to put on the top for the white buttons. I had so much fun making these. I'm defiantly leaning toward going back to school to be a pastry chef. I wasn't sure, but after these I realized that this might be for me, (as a career). Everyone loved these cookies, much to my relief. They're supposed to be a lot darker, but you have to mix in the back gel in by hand, and I had a lot of trouble with that. Next time I'll figure it out. I got the baseball cookie cutter for a dollar at Sur La Table, and the frosting i used was actually leftover frosting from my Funfetti Cookie Sandwiches.
The recipe for the cookies is from Amandeleine.

Chocolate Cut-out Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa, (natural is ok)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
black gel food coloring 

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt; set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. 
In three additions, add the flour mixture at low speed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. 
Work in food coloring with your hands to desired darkness.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minuets. 
Roll the dough on a lightly floured and cocoa-ed surface. 
Cut the cookies with your cookie cutter. 
Freeze cut cookies for five minutes.
Bake 8 minutes, let cool completely. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Funfetti Cookie Sandwiches

I usually make everything from scratch. 
But seriously, how fun do these look?
I didn't have assorted multi-colored sprinkles so I had to improvise and make my own. 

I'm having a going away party this afternoon for my friends, well not really a "party" a fire and swimming if you will. But I decided to make these bad boys for my friends. 
I still can't believe that I'm moving on Monday, it's finally here! 
Most of my clothes are already packed, and half of my stuff is already in Florida.

Recipe from Baked Perfection
Funfetti Cookie Sandwiches

makes about 24 cookie sandwiches
for the cookies:
1 package Funfetti cake
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
for the frosting:
1 stick of butter, (softened)
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour cake mix into the bowl of your stand mixer.
Stir in eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined.
Drop teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes, the bottoms will be light brown.
Move cookies onto a cooling rack, let cool completely before assembling.
For the frosting, beat butter and vanilla in your stand mixer until creamy.
Add salt.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined.
Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
Frost bottom side of half the cookies.
Top with unfrosted cookie.
Roll edges in assorted sprinkles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last Christmas I made red velvet cookies. They were supposed to be a sandwich cookie and they were alright. That was my first and only encounter with red velvet.
I knew I was going to bring in one last treat to work for my last day, one last goodbye. I told that to my manager, Joanna and she requested that I brought in some red velvet cupcakes. I had already bookmarked a red velvet recipe, by Annie's Eats so I made that my plan.
I honestly don't know what the signature red velvet flavor is, perhaps it can only be described at red velvet. I did notice that the ingredients included a small amount of cocoa powder and white distilled vinegar.
This recipe calls for two tablespoons of red liquid food coloring. I must admit that I saw red food color on the list of ingredients and thought, I have that, and didn't think about it again. Then it came to actually measuring the two table spoons. Lets just say I went through three little red food color squirters, and what I had left of the whole bottle of red food coloring. So worth it though.
Also cake flour is quite expensive so I used normal all purpose flour and they still were amazing.
Even the frosting was delicious and I don't like cream cheese. I brought these to work and everyone was saying how delicious they were. They were so moist and the flavor was amazing, these might just be the best cupcake I have ever had, let alone made.
Try these, make these, love these.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes
For the cakes:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons butter, (softened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, (sifted)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the cupcake pans with your cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk the dry ingredients.
In the bowl of your standing mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar; beat on medium speed until well blended.
Mix in the dry ingredients into the standing mixer on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans between five and ten minutes and then place on cooling racks to cool completely until frosting.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your electric mixer.
Beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 3 minutes.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.
Frost cupcakes and enjoy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate Espresso Cookie Sandwiches With Peanut Butter Filling

Wow that title is a mouthful. But seriously, the thought of those 3 ingredients together is mouthwatering.
I've had this recipe by Lovin' From the Oven, my favorite food blog, bookmarked for a while, I have so many bookmarked recipes it's going to take me forever to try them all, which is not a bad thing!
I'm moving in 2 weeks, I'm so excited! The only problem is that everyone wants to go to dinner or lunch, which I love! BUT I'm going to gain so much weight it is not even funny! My oldest friend Jessica meet me for lunch at her favorite restaurant Olive Garden, you may have herd of it. I wanted to give her something because she's been such an amazing friend since my first years of high school and I don't know what my life would be without her. (AWW) So I decided to make her something sweet, and got all the ingredients for these bad boys.
Kim, who writes Lovin' From the Oven, warned that these wouldn't be easy. And I swear that my cookies never look like the picture, but I suppose everyone says that right? My cookies were a totally different color and texture, and I thought I probably cooked them too long. My filling had the opposite problem as hers, she could barley spread hers and mine was, not watery but defiantly not dry.
But after all that, I gave Jess the cookies and watched her eat one, looking oh so serious, and I had to asked, and guess what she said? "They're Perfect". I was quite pleased.
Also, when making these, I found out that smelling peanut butter makes me all kinds of nauseous. good to know.
Will you make them?

Chocolate Espresso Cookie Sandwiches with Peanut Butter Filling

makes about 12 cookie sandwiches 
For the cookies:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons of butter, (softened)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
For the filling:
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, (softened)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons of milk

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of your standing mixer cream together the butter and both sugars.
Stir in the egg and vanilla.
Gradually mix in the flour mixture into the standing mixer, until just incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Separate the dough into two and roll them into two uniform logs about twelve inches long.
Refrigerate it until firm enough to slice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the logs into 1 inch slices and place 1 1/2 inches apart onto your cooking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough looks just baked.
The cookies should be tender, so do not over bake.
For the filling, cream all the ingredients together until well mixed.
Use immediately.