Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

December 9th, 2011

I’d seen this recipe on Sweet Sugar Belle’s blog and wanted to try it, but decided to combine it with Annie’s Eats Soft Sugar Cookie recipe and I came up with Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies. The flavors compliment the softness of the cookie. The recipe is below this image:

 

Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

COOK TIME: 12 minutes

YIELD: 4 doz. small cookies

Nutty Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

INGREDIENTS

    For the cookies:
  • 22.5 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 6 oz. granulated sugar
  • 4.5 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cool salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cool unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 large cool eggs
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Dulce de Leche or Caramel
  • For the nut mixture:
  • 1 cup almond and pecan pieces, finely chopped
  • 1 tab. dark brown sugar
  • For the topping:
  • 1 can/bottle Dulce de Leche or Caramel
  • Melted chocolate of your choice for drizzling: dark, white, chocolate chips, bark, or a combination of dark and white

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  3. In a mixer bowl weigh flour and sugar. Add baking powder and salt.
  4. Mix on low speed to combine dry ingredients.
  5. Add butter one cube at a time until combined – mixture will look crumbly.
  6. Break eggs in a bowl. Add vanilla and Dulce de Leche/Caramel. Mix to combine with a fork.
  7. Add egg mixture to butter mixture.
  8. Mix on medium low speed until incorporated and evenly mixed.
  9. Combine nuts and sugar for the topping in a bowl.
  10. Scoop dough for size of your cookie with cookie scoop or spoon and drop dough into nut mixture.
  11. Roll to coat completely. Place on cookie sheet.
  12. Flatten the ball slightly with the back of the scoop/spoon.
  13. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart.
  14. Bake about 10-12 minutes depending on size or just until set. (Do not over bake! The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if at all.)
  15. Use the cookie scoop/spoon again to indent the cookie before it cools.
  16. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes.
  17. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  18. Fill center of cookie with Dulce de Leche/Caramel. If Dulce de Leche/Caramel does not have a spout, pour into a piping bag or Ziploc bag snipped at the corner and fill the center of each cookie.
  19. Melt chocolate and drizzle cookies.
http://www.limejuicesweettreats.com/2011/12/09/nutty-dulce-de-leche-thumbprint-cookies/

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6-Layer Dark Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting

November 30th, 2011

My youngest granddaughter requested a chocolate cake and this recipe from Sweetapolita is the one on the top of the list. Frosting is a Vanilla Swiss Buttercream with buttercream dots and Miss Mouse head on the top of the cake. Recipe is below the image:

6-Layer Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting

6-Layer Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting

6-Layer Dark Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

YIELD: 3-6 inch cakes

6-Layer Dark Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS

    Cake: Weighing your ingredients vs. measuring gives you the best results:
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g/6 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (275 g/10 oz) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 g/2 oz) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (6 g) baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 75 mL (2.5 liquid oz) vegetable oil
  • 140 mL (5 liquid oz) buttermilk
  • 130 mL (4.5 liquid oz) espresso or strong, hot brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla
  • Swiss Buttercream Frosting:
  • 5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g/5 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g/9 oz) sugar
  • 3/4 lb (3 sticks/340 g/12 oz) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD

    Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with butter, parchment paper rounds, and cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. If possible, use digital kitchen scale and weigh pans for even layers. Batter will be liquidy.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean--approximately 30 minutes. Try not to over bake.
  4. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
  5. Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  6. Yield: ~5 cups
  7. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.
  8. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 150°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  9. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don't begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  10. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.
  11. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  12. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  13. Assembly of the 6-Layer Dark Chocolate & Vanilla Buttercream Cake
  14. Slice the 1st cake layer in half horizontally, using a large serrated knife and place cut side up on your cake board, pedestal, or plate.
  15. Using a small offset palette knife, spread approximately 1/2 cup of buttercream evenly on the top.
  16. Repeat this 1-2 until you come to the final layer, which you will place face down on the top of the cake.
  17. Place cake on a turntable (if possible), and using a small offset palette knife for the top of the cake, and medium straight palette knife for the sides, cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or more). *This does not need to be perfect, as that will come with the top "coat" of buttercream.
  18. Repeat step 4, and, for best results, use bench scraper held at 90° against the side of the cake, slowly turning the turntable and keeping your hand steady--let the turntable do the work. Clean up edges with your small offset palette knife.
  19. Chill cake.
  20. *Bring to room temperature before serving--about 2+ hours. Never serve Swiss Meringue Buttercream until it is soft and room temperature. (Adapted from Sweetapolita's recipe)
http://www.limejuicesweettreats.com/2011/11/30/6-layer-dark-chocolate-cake-and-vanilla-swiss-buttercream-frosting/

 

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Halloween Multi-Colored Swirled Vanilla Cupcakes

October 29th, 2011

I adapted Amy Sedaris’ recipe and colored a cup of batter each with orange, purple and black. Using a teaspoon, I dropped each color in the cupcake liner on top of the regular yellow cake batter to make these multi-colored cupcakes. You’ll find my adapted recipe is below:

Multi-Colored Halloween Vanilla Cupcakes

Multi-Colored Swirled Halloween Vanilla Cupcakes

Multi-Colored Halloween Vanilla Cupcakes

Halloween Multi-Colored Swirled Vanilla Cupcakes

HALLOWEEN MULTI-COLORED SWIRLED VANILLA CUPCAKES

COOK TIME: 18 minutes

YIELD: 24 cupcakes

HALLOWEEN MULTI-COLORED SWIRLED VANILLA CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

    Tips:
  • Weigh flour and sugar for consistent results. One person’s scoop of a cup of flour versus another will differ depending on whether or not the flour was whisked/sifted/or not before scooping. Weighing to the exact oz. is your safest bet. Having too much flour can dry out your baked goodies, just as too little will throw it off kilter. Using a scale is one of the habits that made me a better baker.
  • I use the two-step method for mixing this batter vs. the creaming the butter method.
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) cool unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 10 oz. sugar
  • 10.6 oz. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 10 oz. (1 1/4 cups) warm buttermilk
  • For the Buttercream frosting:
  • 8 oz./2 sticks Butter, cool cut into cubes
  • 3-4 cups Powdered/Confectioners/Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ts. Vanilla
  • 3 oz. milk

METHOD

    To make cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 22-24 cupcake pans with paper liners.
  3. Weigh flour and sugar. Add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add baking powder and salt.
  5. Beat at low speed to aerate the flour mixture.
  6. Add chunks of butter one at a time until all chunks are mixed in–will look crumbly like pie crust.
  7. Warm buttermilk in microwave for 50-65 seconds. Add vanilla and egg and mix well with a fork or whisk.
  8. Gradually add milk mixture to bowl and beat at medium-low speed for 1½ mins.
  9. Spoon about 1 cup of batter into 3 individual containers. Add food coloring of your choice to each container and mix.
  10. Using a teaspoon, drop vanilla batter into bottom of cupcake liners. Divide each of the other colors evenly into each liner, filling 1/2 to 2/3 full¬–DO NOT OVERFILL.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-18 mins. or until toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
  12. Cool on wire rack.
  13. To make Buttercream Frosting:
  14. Cream butter until fluffy.
  15. Continue beating on low, add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  16. Add salt and vanilla.
  17. Add milk as needed to keep frosting smooth but not too soft to pipe.
  18. Spoon frosting into 2 or 3 containers and add food coloring of your choice.
  19. Using a spatula, spoon each color on the sides of a frosting bag so that when you frost the cupcakes the colors are swirled together.
  20. Will frost approximately 24 cupcakes.
http://www.limejuicesweettreats.com/2011/10/29/halloween-vanilla-multi-colorec-cupcakes/

Happy baking!

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Whoo’s a Princess? Ginger Spice Decorated Sugar Cookies

October 23rd, 2011

A Minnie-owlish twist on the princess theme. Find the Ginger Spice Sugar Cookie recipe here:

Whoo's a Princess? Ginger Spice Cookies

Whoo's a Princess? Ginger Spice Cookies

Whoo's a Princess? Ginger Spice Cookies

Whoo's a Princess? A Minnie-owlish twist for a princess

Whoo's a Princess? Ginger Spice Cookies

Whoo's a Princess? Ginger Spice Cookies

 

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Fall Ginger Spice Decorated Sugar Cookies

October 16th, 2011

I’d been on the search for a spice cookie with ginger and cinnamon and couldn’t find one:

  • without molasses, cloves or crystallized ginger
  • that was not gingerbread or gingersnap or a drop cookie
  • that was the texture of Sweet Sugar Belle’s cookies

Since I weigh most of my ingredients, I decided to do some substituting myself. I used dark brown sugar instead of some of the powdered sugar to give the dough color,  baking soda for baking powder (reduced from Sweet Sugar Belle’s recipe because I don’t like the spread) and added powdered ginger and cinnamon. The spices can be doubled if you like your cookies with a stronger spice flavor.

Ginger Spice Sugar Cookie

Pumpkins Ginger Spice Sugar Cookie

Fall Ginger Spice Sugar Cookie

Fall Ginger Spice Sugar Cookie

Here’s the recipe:

Ginger Spice Sugar Cookies

COOK TIME: 8 minutes

YIELD: 2-3 dozen

Ginger Spice Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS

    Weighing the ingredients makes for consistency when you bake (recipe can be doubled). The dry ingredients are by weight:
  • 4 oz. Powdered Sugar
  • 2.1 oz. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 13.5 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (if you use part salted butter, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Powdered Ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 cup/2 sticks cool Butter, cubed
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Flavoring of your choice (I use vanilla, but you can use lemon, orange, etc.)

METHOD

  1. Weigh flour, powdered sugar and brown sugar. Put in mixing bowl.
  2. Add baking soda, salt, ginger powder and cinnamon.
  3. Using beater attachment, on low speed incorporate dry ingredients until combined.
  4. Continue mixing on medium low. Add butter one cube at a time until the mixture looks crumbly.
  5. Crack the egg into a separate bowl. Add the flavoring/extract. Add to the dry ingredients mixture. Mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When you touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to your fingers.
  6. Rest for 5 mins.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4“ thick. Use flour for dusting as necessary.
  9. Cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Don’t over bake.
  10. Single batch makes 2-3 dozen. Double batch to makes 4-6 dozen.
  11. When they are cool, they are ready to be decorated. I leave them overnight to “dry out” so that oil does not leach back into the icing.
http://www.limejuicesweettreats.com/2011/10/16/fall-ginger-spice-sugar-cookies/

 

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Fluffy Vanilla Cake and Buttercream Frosting

October 9th, 2011

Rosie (Sweetapolita) has the best Vanilla Cake. It’s moist and very vanilla, and tastes so good:

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Fluffy Vanilla Cake

Fluffy Vanilla Cake

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