Raspberry Cream Sandwich Cookies

0206_msl_raspcream_hdMore cookies! I made these cookies the same weekend I made the snickerdoodles and they were equally as delicious. These cookies are slightly time consumming because you have to make the cookies and then the filling, salve but trust, shop it is worth it.

The cookies have a very subtle but rich vanilla flavour owed to the real vanilla beans that are used. The cookies are soft and chewy. The filling is a combination of raspberry and white chocolate – creamy, rich and decadent. These cookies are the perfect cookie for spring – they are fruity, light and fresh. The perfect thing after a long, cold winter.

Recipe is below the cut – happy munching!

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Snickerdoodles

Names of food can be misleading: sweetbreads are not actually a loaf of sweet, delicious bread that can be topped with butter but rather various glands of a calf. Head cheese is not actually a cheese but rather a terrine made of the meat from the head of an animal. And snickerdoodles are not actually cookies filled with chunks of a Snickers bar but rather a buttery, cinnamon-sugar cookie.

3113075933_3c50948e13_oThe confusion that can come from the name snickerdoodles is not nearly as confusing as sweetbreads or head cheese but it is confusion nonetheless. I was first corrected about snickerdoodles when a coworker brought in these delicious treats a few months ago.

I made my own version a few weeks ago for a Family Day brunch my parents hosted (yes, we are one of those families who actually get together on Family Day). I used Martha Stewart’s recipe and of course, they turned out brilliantly. They are buttery, soft, and moist and dusted with the perfect combination of cinnamon and sugar. They are also super easy to make!  The only thing you have to be aware of when making these is to not crowd your baking tray. You need to get over the fact that you want to make 12 cookies/tray and quickly be done. I spaced my cookies out 8 per tray and they turned out beautifully.

Recipe is below the cut. Happy munching!

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Cookie Roundup

January has come and gone and I am proud to say, my New Year’s resolutions have not fallen by the wayside. More accurately, most have not fallen by the wayside.  I am slowly working my way through Martha Stewart’s Cookies, satisfying two resolutions (using cookbooks and baking more). Below are three recipes from her book that I have made so far.

Cookies1. Oatmeal raisin cookies – these cookies were chewy, moist and the perfect snack for work. The batter takes a little work to get used to: my first dozen pancaked out and were not the desired texture. I rolled the batter into tighter balls and lightly pressed them flatter which resulted in soft, moist pillows of oat-filled yums. I am going use this recipe again and again using various dried fruits.
2. Dark chocolate cherry cookies – stop what you are doing and make these cookies now. They are slightly expensive to make as dried cherries are ridiculously priced (at Bulk Barn they are $16/lb!) but they are so worth it. They are super chocolatey, with chunks of soft chocolate embedded in the already chocolate cookie and hints of sweet, souriness from the cherries. I brought most of the cookies to work and they were gone instantly. I made the rookie mistake of bringing the container into the lunch room where I was then forced to share with random coworkers I don’t know. Everyone at work is now pushing for more homemade baked goods.
3. Truffle brownies – these were extremely rich, dense and chocolate filled. I would recommend making them for an extreme chocolate lover and cut them into smaller pieces. The recipe says serves 12 (I cut them into 8 because I have an inability to slice anything round into any amount other than 8) but I would say you could cut the slices even smaller.

Any of these cookies were make the perfect work day snack or a special treat of Valentine’s Day. Happy munching!

 

Amelia’s Birthday

My sister Amelia’s birthday was on May 7th so last weekend the whole family gathered at my parent’s place to celebrate.

I made two types of cupcakes: Devil’s Food Cupcakes and Butterscotch Cupcakes with Salty Caramel Frosting.

1. The Devil’s Food Cupcake was the recipe from Martha Stewart I have used several times. The cake base is delicious and moist but I need to find a new icing. I used to whip the chocolate ganache but for some reason it did not set this time. I think next time I make these cupcakes I will just use a simple chocolate icing.

2. The Butterscotch Cupcakes are a recipe from Betty Crocker. They were incredibly sweet and next time I should probably follow the recipe and use 3/4 butterscotch chips rather than an entire bag. I think it would also help to melt the chips and then fold them into the batter to give the batter a smooth, rounded out butterscotch flavour.

The icing was delicious but incredibly thick and hard to work with. I had to thin out the icing twice with milk in order to make it a pipe-able consistency. I wish the icing had incorporated salt into it to give it slightly more depth rather than just sprinkling salt on top.

3. I had a major baking fiasco while making these cupcakes and I will actually own up to it. I had to melt some butter on the stove while baking the Butterscotch Cupcakes, so I had turned  on the stove, melted my butter and had continued baking. I pulled the cupcakes from the oven and put them on top of the stove. After about 5 minutes I noticed a burning smell but I thought, “Hey, there is probably some stuff on the oven element, no big deal.” Another 5 minutes passes and I notice smoke out of the corner of my eye, the cupcakes on the stove were smoking. I thought the venting from the oven had burned the cupcakes but I had left the stove on, which I didn’t realize until I was completely finished baking. I only lost 3 cupcakes to severe burns which wasn’t too bad.

See – even people who are passionate about baking and do it all the time have major fiascoes.

Overall, these cupcakes were a success, a little on the sweet side but you are eating a cupcake – what can you expect? Happy munching!

Recipe for Devil’s Food Cupcakes here. Recipe for Butterscotch Cupcakes below.

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Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

For my sister Theresa’s 26th birthday I made her Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes to take to work. Theresa has a top three favourite cupcakes that I make, in the following order:

1. Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

2. Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

3. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes

(If this is not the correct order, I apologize Theresa).

Of all the cupcakes Theresa likes, these are the most time consuming but I love her.

1. These are mini cupcakes as to not overwhelm you with the richness. I think the next time I make these I will ignore this rule of thumb and make them in regular-sized muffin tins. You have to hollow out each cupcake in order to fill it with caramel and this is time consuming. You also don’t get a ton of caramel in each cupcake which, in my opinion, is the best part.

2. The icing needs to be a bit thicker – the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of icing sugar but I think 1 cup icing sugar would pull the icing together better and make it thicker. If it was thicker the piping would come out better. Regardless of how the icing is, the sea salt brings out the cocoa in the icing and strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savoury.

3. I used St. Patrick’s Day wrappers. I did something that I hate when people do – when your birthday is near a holiday and people lump it together with that holiday. Birthdays and holidays should be separate. It was more because I didn’t have very many mini cupcake wrappers and I have promised myself I will not buy anymore (from my estimation I have approximately 1200+ cupcake wrappers).

4. According to Martha this recipe makes 56 mini cupcakes. It made 84. Oh, well.

5. Making caramel will always scare me – when you add the cream to the sugar mixture there is bubbling, steam and a lot of heat in your face, you basically have a volcano in a pot. There was also the constant fear that my cats were going to jump on the stove and scald themselves. Fortunately, this didn’t happen and we were just left with salty, sweet goodness. It makes about 2x too much caramel so I would suggest having an ice cream sundae ready to be topped with the extra cut-out cake and the extra sauce. Yum. And then have a cupcake when you are done. Double yums.

Recipe below the cut.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Last Thursday was my last day of work. I quit my job to pursue a new career path in the big city. Oh, and to live with GC.

I made Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cupcakes for my co-workers as a thank you for how great they have been over the past two years.

The only thing I do differently than Martha is instead of letting my Chocolate Ganache Frosting to naturally and slowly thicken, I use an electric hand mixer to whip the ganache. I assume that changes this from ganache to something else that I have bastardized but the result is still silky, smooth, chocolate icing.

The reason these cupcakes are so good is the use of the sour cream in the cupcake batter. It makes the cake light and fluffy which is the exact texture of the frosting. The frosting doesn’t have that awful, gritty quality that a lot cupcakes tend to have. This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe – try it out!

 

Vanilla on Vanilla

A couple weeks ago I had a mad cupcake craving. Now the problem with living in the suburbs (yes, pill the main and only problem) is that lack of bakeries. If one is craving a cupcake or any other fresh baked good they have to go to the local grocery. Although these desserts are made fresh and are delicious, tadalafil sometimes you just need a something a little more fancy, rx a little more fresh. This resulted in me baking cupcakes.

Standard vanilla on vanilla cupcakes from Martha Stewart.

The cake was just your regular vanilla buttermilk cake base (except for some bizarre reason the recipe called for 5 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks! Why is that necessary!?) But the icing! I want to top every cake with this icing. It was sweet and buttery without having that awful gritty, sugar texture that a lot of icings have.

Happy cupcake baking and eating!

Berries and Cream Tartlets

I have been slacking – I made these tartlets about a week ago for national pie day. Mini pies are more convenient for transport and sharing. This is from a Martha Stewart recipe.

1. Not as beautiful as Martha Stewart’s by any means. This is featured in the Martha Stewart Pies cookbook and in the book there are a variety of diagrams illustrating fruit placement and arrangement. I would love to be able to arrange these berries in tight, little circles or fanned out but frankly, I don’t have the time or the patience.

2. I need to invest in tart tins. I used a muffin pan instead of the suggested 3″-4″ tart tins. Smaller, tighter but more custard filling.

3. This is the first Martha recipe I have made that doesn’t result in more than suggested. The crust only made 22 tart shells and the custard only filled 20 of those. That’s ok but just something to keep in mind.

4. Next time, I would only use blueberries and raspberries. And I think it would be best to make these in August and use fresh berries which would be smaller and tastier.

Anything with custard and berries is going to be delicious.

Brie & Apple Tart

Round II – Cooking at home. I made Martha Stewart’s Brie & Apple Tart from her Pies & Tarts cookbook. This tart is easy to make and delicious too!

1. I bought three spring form pans from Kitchen Stuff Plus for $14.99 – amazing! I know this has very little to do with the recipe and the process of making it but I got very excited and I feel like I need to tell as many people as possible about this deal so they can take advantage of it.

2. This was the first pie crust I ever made! I think this is a major step for me in my baking career. The reason I have never made a proper pie is because my mom makes the best pies ever and I really can’t compete with them so I don’t bother. But I think that might change now. One issue I had with my crust was I didn’t make it high enough so there was a slight egg/cream explosion which luckily happened on a baking sheet.

3. This tart is creamy, fluffy and light but watch out. You will think you can eat more than you probably should and then your belly will be full of dairy goodness. Cream + brie +  milk = yes, please. It might have been particularly creamy because I put 1 cup of cream instead of a 1/2 cup – what can you do? Besides go to the gym… The crust is salty, and flaky and the perfect base for this tart. And the apple! Perfectly browned in the pan first and then placed in the tart. I think next time I might do a twist on this recipe and brown the apples in some brown sugar and cinnamon. How good would that be? Obviously you would omit the thyme.

4. The thyme perfectly complicated the egg, cheese and cream and gave it such a rich, French-inspired taste. I was happy to eat it in my fun, yellow kitchen.

I would make this again. And maybe try not to eat half of it in one sitting..

Recipe below.

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Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

The Best of Martha Stewart Living Holiday Handbook. Holiday magic at its finest. I don’t want to admit how many specialty cookie magazine and holiday books that I have because I clearly have an addiction. But let’s just say, it is a lot. But not enough that if I see more of these magazines in grocery store checkouts, I will not be able to say no.

After flipping through the pages of the magazine, I could not get the Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars out of my mind.

So not my most appetizing-looking dessert. I had a few issues.

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