Friday, December 24, 2010

'Tis the season to get cavities

I love baking and what a perfect time of year to bake!!
The other day I made Linzer cookies (like the heart shaped cookies from La Madeline). They are almost more of a bisuity cookie but the jam gives them just enough sweetness. Also, when spreading the jelly, you need to use my mom vs. dad rule. When I was little I loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (let's just be honest and let me share that I still take them for lunch sometimes). I could always tell the difference between when my mom and dad made my sandwiches. If my mom made the sandwich, it had jelly but not too much. When my dad made my sandwiches, he would put a lot of jelly on them (which as a child, I LOVED). Well on these cookies, you need to spread the jelly like mom or it'll come heaping out of the side. That being said, here is the recipe:
Linzer Cookies
from Ina Garten

* 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3 1/2 cups flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup good raspberry preserves
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
*In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
*Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a heart or spade shaped cutter. Place all the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
*Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.

Sugar cookies with cream cheese

*Make sure to note that the dough needs at least 8 hours in the fridge before rolling it out.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
It’s kind of a guessing game to get the consistency just right.
I started with approximately 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 package cream cheese (at room temperature), 1 tsp vanilla and a few tablespoons of milk in my mixer. Let it mix until its smooth. If it’s too liquidy, add more powdered sugar. If it’s not smooth enough, add a little more milk.
I then divided it out into two separate bowls and added food coloring to get the desired color.

Red Velvet Cake Balls
From Bakerella
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting.
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (I dropped them onto the wax paper using a spoon and waited until pulling them out of the freezer to roll them into balls.)
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm.


beth said...

The cookies look great!!!

Dinah said...

Let me just say... the Linzer cookies were to die for!