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Entries in recipes (675)

Monday
Sep012014

Fried Peanut Butter Crescent Bombs

Photo via Pillsbury

Some days are easy; some are hard.

I've found, though, that a a sweet treat can do wonders in terms of turning the latter into the former. Case in point: this fine specimen, called "Fried Peanut Butter Crescent Bombs". Talk about an explosion of om nom nom: these are basically like peanut butter filled croissants, deep fried and coated in sugar. That's a day-maker if I've ever heard of one.

While this recipe very much fits in my world view, I can only wish it was mine: it was part of a roundup Pillsbury sent me a roundup of their "State Fair-inspired" recipes. This isn't the only bit of wonder in that collection: it also includes such classics as churros on a stick to deep-fried candy bars to pizza cones. OMG! 

But I'm sure you're ready to move on to the bombs, so here's the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Fried Peanut Butter Crescent Bombs

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Makes 16 servings

Prep time: 15 min / Total time: 35 min

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 can Pillsbury "Place and bake" refrigerated crescent rounds
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Procedure

  1. A day ahead of serving, line sheet pan with cooking parchment paper. Place 32 individual tablespoons of peanut butter in pan. Freeze overnight.
  2. On serving day, heat oil in heavy saucepan to 350°F.
  3. Separate dough into rounds. Cut each into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each piece of dough tightly around 1 frozen spoon of peanut butter.
  4. Fry each filled dough ball in hot oil until evenly browned on all sides. Cool about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

What's your favorite fried treat?

Wednesday
Aug202014

Brown Sugar Swirl Birthday Cake With Brown Sugar Frosting

Last week, even though it was a bit early for my August 26th birthday, I made a cake.

You see, I was in New Jersey for a few days with my parents, and I would be leaving before the big day, so I decided we should all have a little party. Any excuse for more cake, right?

I was writing a post for Craftsy about brown sugar buttercream, and I decided to make a cake to go with it (although, for the record, I have nothing against eating it by the spoonful). I hit up my mom's old cookbook collection and found an old treasure: silver white cake, AKA my birthday cake growing up. Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar I doctored it up a bit, making it richer by including the entire eggs and by adding a swirl of brown sugar. The "swirl" came out more like little lumps of brown sugar here and there...but DELICIOUS lumps. Oh, and I also doubled the salt. Because if I've learned anything in my baking years, it is that brown sugar loves salt.

This cake came out tremendously, if I do say so myself. Everyone took seconds, which is always a good sign. Maybe it can add some joy to your non-birthday day, too!

Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar Birthday cake with brown sugar

Brown Sugar Swirl Birthday Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

For the cake

Makes one 2 layer 8-inch cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated (white) sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans. Set to the side.
  2. Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, milk, and vanilla in a stand mixer on low speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, and increase the speed to high, scraping the bowl occasionally, for 2 more minutes, or until the mixture is pretty much smooth and lump free. 
  4. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and melted butter. It should be pretty thick yet smooth. Fold into the cake mixture, trying to incorporate little bits of the mixture throughout the batter.
  5. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden on top and a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the pans to loosen the cakes. After a few minutes, invert them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. When ready to assemble, start by generously frosting the top of one of the cakes; layer the second on top of that, and then frost the whole thing all over. I found this cake did not require a crumb coat.

Brown sugar buttercream

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4-6 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of half and half, plus more if needed

Note: This recipe yields a perfect amount of buttercream to ice a two-layer 9-inch cake or a 9x13-inch oblong cake. This recipe can be doubled.

  1. Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon; beat until it has become smooth in texture yet whipped.
  2. Add three cups of the confectioners' sugar, and mix on low speed so that you don't have a snowstorm. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and cream. Stir until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining confectioners sugar to your taste. If it becomes too stiff, add a bit more cream. Store unused portions of the buttercream in the refrigerator for up to a week.

What kind of cake will you have for your birthday this year?

Thursday
Aug142014

Marshmallow-Mango Biscuit Sandwiches

Homemade biscuits

I'm not sure if you think about biscuits as much as me. In my life, thoughts about biscuits are about as common as thoughts about what time it is or if I have a new email--that is to say, like, all the freaking time.

But even I had never thought about this particular concoction, although I'm so glad it's now in my life: marshmallow-mango biscuit sandwiches. Like, OMG.

It was a bit of kismet, actually: I was in Puerto Rico working on upcoming Craftsy posts which involved, respectively, homemade biscuits and homemade marshmallow fluff. We also happened to have a beautiful fresh mango in the kitchen--I just kind of looked at all the bounty, and a new classic was born.

Homemade biscuits

Fluffy homemade marshmallow goo adds the perfect amount of "manufactured" sweetness to the natural, mellow sweetness of ripe mango. Sandwiching it between rich, buttery biscuit halves adds just the richness and saltiness it needs to really be a nice and satisfying treat. It's got everything going on: fluffy, buttery, mallow-y, sweet, salty...and of course, with the mango involved, it's officially health food. Score!

Fluff

The biscuits were an adaptation of these three-ingredient buttermilk biscuits, and the marshmallow fluff was an adaptation of this homemade version. I suppose if you wanted to you could use another fruit, but this combo was pretty killer.

As an added bonus, they kind of look like savory breakfast sandwiches from a distance. So they're like a guerilla dessert, and a sweet surprise!

Homemade biscuits Homemade biscuits

Marshmallow-Mango Biscuit Sandwiches

Makes 4

  • 4 heaping spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff (here's a homemade recipe)
  • 2-3 thick slices of fresh mango per biscuit
  • 4 buttermilk biscuits (approx 2-inch diameter), split in two
  • butter and salt

Procedure

  1. Split the biscuits in half. Toast them in a toaster oven or heat them in the microwave until they are warm. 
  2. Butter and salt the halves to taste.
  3. Place a big ol' mound of marshmallow fluff on top of one of the halves; place the mango on top of that. The gooey marshmallow should poke through a bit so that when you put the top half back on top, it should stick.
  4. Eat warm. Enjoy. 

Have you ever tried marshmallow and mango together?

Monday
Aug112014

Cinnamon Roll Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recently, Pillsbury sent me a roundup of their "State Fair-inspired" recipes. When I opened the email, I almost clicked my heels in delight: therein was a fantastic collection of recipes ranging from churros on a stick to deep-fried candy bars to pizza cones. OMG! 

But this one, I simply HAD to share. Cinnamon roll waffle ice cream sandwiches! I mean, seriously. There's no wrong in that recipe, only right. And lots of right. 

Here's the recipe; for the others mentioned, click on the respective links above. Here are some process shots they sent me, so I don't have to disrupt the flow of the recipe to share them with you.

Cinnamon roll waffle ice cream sandwiches

15 minutes active, 30 minutes total; makes 5

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 can Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (5 rolls)
  • 2 1/2 cups ice cream, any variety, softened slightly
  • Powdered sugar
  • Assorted candy sprinkles, if desired

Procedure

  1. Heat Belgian-style waffle maker. Grease generously with oil. Separate dough into 5 rolls; spoon icing into small resealable food-storage plastic bag, and set aside.
  2. With serrated knife, cut each cinnamon roll in half lengthwise; grease both sides of dough with oil, and place 1 or 2 at a time (depending how many fit without touching) on waffle maker. Close waffle maker.
  3. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until cooked and golden brown. Using wooden kitchen utensil, carefully remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cinnamon roll dough, greasing waffle maker and dough each time. Cool waffles completely.
  4. To make sandwiches, with ice cream scoop, add about 1/2 cup ice cream to center of 1 waffle for bottom, and top with another waffle. Cut corner of icing bag, and pipe icing on top of each waffle sandwich; sprinkle with powdered sugar and candy sprinkles. Serve immediately, or place in freezer until ready to serve.
Monday
Aug042014

Single Serving Dessert: Microwaveable Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

To some, the idea of a "single serving dessert" seems sad. Like, poor you, you don't have anyone to share dessert with.

I don't find single serving desserts sad at all. I see it as a definite reason not to have to share. It only makes one! So you can see, it's a decision that you can make to treat yourself and no one else. The recipe which follows is for a quirky little single-serving chocolate cake which you can make in the microwave. I stuffed mine with hershey's kisses so it would be a little gooey inside, but you can do whatever you want, from topping it with ice cream or fruit (if you're into health food) or even some buttercream frosting

If you started to feel panicky there, don't: you won't be sharing the toppings either.

If this all sounds quite terrible of me, so be it, but I wasn't planning on sharing dessert with you anyway.

I'm going to try something a touch different today and put all of the photos before the recipe, so that if you want to follow the recipe, you can easily follow it without picture breaks. Which way do you prefer? 

All right, here we go.

Next time you're feeling greedy and want something all for you that nobody else can have, here's how you do it. 

First, you'll mix up a couple of wet ingredients.

Then you'll add some dry ones and mix til it's smooth.

If you want, add a generous handful of (unwrapped!) chocolate candies such as Hershey's Kisses.

Then you'll put the bowl you mixed it in right in the microwave for a few minutes. It will puff up and pull away form the sides of the bowl. Actually, it will kind of look ugly. But...

Go for it. Don't share. What do you think?

Single Serving Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

Makes one

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • a handful of chocolate candies

Procedure

  1. Mix together the sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla in a bowl. And by "a bowl" I mean the one you indend on microwaving. Use one with decently high walls, so that the cake has room to rise.
  2. Add the flour and cocoa. Mix until incorporated. Add the milk and mix until smooth. You can use a fork, spoon, or mini spatula for this.
  3. Fold in the chocolate candy.
  4. Put the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes (if you know your microwave is a lower powered model, go four minutes. It will puff up, and then deflate once removed from microwave.
  5. What are you waiting for? Top it, if you want to, and eat.

What's your favorite dessert to not share?

Wednesday
Jul162014

Unicorn Pom-Pom Puffs

Here's an important question to which I would like an honest response. It is this:

Would you rather eat a macaroon-esque "white chocolate coconut cluster"...

or a unicorn pom-pom puff?

Hey, remember how I said I wanted an honest answer? I lied: I don't even need or want it. Because I've made the executive decision: the unicorn ones are better.

Basically, I dreamed up this confection thusly: upon pondering a simple use for the white chocolate cache I had at the time, I discovered an easy way of combining melted white chocolate with shredded coconut to form a super-sweet (and simple) confection. I like multipurpose treats, though, so I thought "well, how could I make these a lure for unicorns in addition to satisfying my sweet tooth?". 

The answer was simple: add a little rainbow magic. By divvying up the mix and tinting portions in different colors before forming clusters, I ended up with fuzzy-cute treats that tasted like the Spirit Of Sugar had descended and was knocking right on my taste buds (that is to say--very sweet). I settled on the name "Unicorn Pom Pom Puffs" because, well, look at them.

Unicorn pom pom puffs

If you don't love white chocolate or coconut, make them anyway. You might just catch a unicorn!

Unicorn Pom-Pom Puffs

Unicorn pom pom puffs

  • 2 cups lightly toasted coconut (very light color is important)
  • 7 ounces white chocolate
  • food coloring

Procedure

  1. Melt the white chocolate. Remove from heat.
  2. Divide the chocolate into four separate bowls large enough to do some stirrin'.
  3. Tint each portion with the color desired (I used red, yellow, blue, and green) until it reaches the tone of your liking.
  4. Unicorn pom pom puffs
  5. Add 1/4 of the coconut to each bowl. Stir til combined.
  6. Unicorn pom pom puffs
  7. Gather a small lump of each color together, and clump them lightly so that they adhere. Place on a baking sheet as you finish them. Continue until you've used all of the mixtures.
  8. Unicorn pom pom puffs
  9. Let them set for an hour or more before eating for the best texture. Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container.

Taste the rainbow!

Wednesday
Jul092014

Waste Not Want Not: Compost Cookies Recipe

CakeSpy note: this is a guest post from Stefanie Ellis. When she's not busy masquerading as a giant Thin Mint, Stefanie writes about food and relationships. She is a former restaurant critic and food writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis magazine, and is the PR director for Girl Scouts of Western Washington. You can reach her via email here.

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like cookies. I’ve tried really hard to like them. I was even sprawled out on a settee while some handsome man fed some to me, and that STILL didn’t work. Crazy? Maybe. But I’m more of a cake kind of girl. I would ditch a handsome man if it meant I could spend an evening on my settee with a devil’s food cake slathered in bittersweet chocolate ganache. For me, cake takes the cake.

However, there have been a handful of experiences in my life where cookies have actually competed with my love for cake, and left a rather remarkable impression.

Like when I was little, and my mom would serve me chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven when I came home from school. I never knew when these magical, melty kitchen table sessions would happen, so it made it even more exciting. The chocolate would get all over my face, and we’d laugh and talk about our days. I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than that feeling, or that perfect marriage of sugar, butter and chocolate. My local grocery, Metropolitan Market, started making giant chocolate chip cookies with several types of chocolate. They make them every five minutes, so when you walk into the store, there’s always a fat, gooey cookie waiting for you. Instantly, I am catapulted back to my kitchen table, laughing with mom. Sometimes I eat one while I walk through the store, only to realize I had chocolate all over my face the whole time.


When I went to college, my grandmother would send me care packages filled with oatmeal cookies with apricots and pecans. I don’t like oatmeal cookies, but hers were saucer-sized orbs of the softest, silkiest, cinnamon-kissed dough I’ve ever tasted. The apricots paired beautifully with the cinnamon, and she ground the oatmeal so fine you didn’t even know it was in the recipe. These are the only oatmeal cookies I could ever imagine eating every day for the rest of my life.

 

When I went to pastry school, I made my first macarons. They were pink. But more than that, they were so crisp and delicate, it seemed as though they might shatter if you laughed within close proximity. The insides were tender and ethereal, like a pillow made of cotton candy. When I melded the fragile shells together with homemade raspberry jam, it felt like I was painting the inside of a princess castle.

And let’s not forget Girl Scout Cookies. I’m not just saying this because I work for Girl Scouts. I couldn’t, even if I wanted. Girl Scout honor. I’ve had a love affair with Girl Scout Cookies ever since I can remember. To me, Samoas and Thin Mints are right up there with Nutella eaten straight out of the jar. They’re a luxury, and I don’t eat them year-round, as many people believe (people also think our office has stairs made of Do-Si-Dos). When I do eat them, I’m transported back to the sweetest moments in my childhood, when my biggest stressor was whether or not to play freeze tag, jump rope or eat the blackberries from my neighbor’s yard.

Each one of these cookie memories has been completely different – sort of like a bunch of different experiences were dumped into my brain and mixed around, creating a sweet feeling of joy in my heart.

I realize they’ve created the perfect base for these Crazy-Sexy Compost Cookies, my new favorite. Yes, that means I kind of like cookies now. I guess I can thank Christina Tosi for that. I’ve been hearing of her compost cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar for years, and love that her recipe uses coffee grounds. I’m a big compost geek. I have my master composter’s certification, and have even been known to take my compostables on planes from time to time.

I always have random bits of ingredients in my pantry that can never really be used for a single recipe, and that’s why I love these cookies so much. Have just a few ingredients that don’t go together at all? No problem! You might even find, as I have, that cookies are even better when you start adding in wacky ingredients. Goldfish crackers or Almond Roca, anyone?


Tosi’s recipe calls for butterscotch, pretzels, graham cracker crust and oats, and I have eliminated those ingredients, replacing the oats with maple pecan granola, and adding in banana chips and crystallized ginger. I also use almond flour in place of some of the regular flour, which makes for a wonderful texture. All in all, this cookie has really challenged my perception of what a cookie can or should be. Not to mention it has done a nice job in helping me remember that cookies, like memories, are much better when you throw a bunch of different things together and mix them around to create a sweet feeling of joy in your heart – and in your stomach.

Crazy-Sexy Compost Cookies

Note: Compost cookies are trademarked by Momofuku. These cookies were not made for resale.

YIELD: Approximately 25 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1½ sticks butter, room temperature (12 T)

3/4 cup raw sugar

¼ cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 T maple agave syrup or maple syrup

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup banana chips, crushed

2T candied ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup granola, such as Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan

1 cup potato chips, crushed

Procedure

 

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. With a spatula, add the chocolate chips, banana chips, granola, maple agave syrup, ginger and potato chips. You’ll want to crush the ingredients a bit to make sure there aren’t large chunks, but do so judiciously, not incessantly.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Arrange the chilled dough 4 inches apart on parchment or silicone baking mat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.

 

Cool the cookies completely before transferring to a plate or container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Wednesday
Jul022014

American Flag Shortbread Recipe

When the settlers came over from Europe, they didn't just bring a will for freedom and revolution: they brought over their shortbread recipes. 

Shortbread is perhaps one of the world's most perfect, and most simple, foods. Consisting primarily of flour, butter, sugar, and salt, it can be prettied up in any number of ways, but is in its essence a humble food. 

American Flag shortbread

This recipe takes but one liberty: the addition of cornstarch to mimic the lower-protein flours which might have been used in old-school Europe; but otherwise it is fairly straightforward.

American Flag shortbread

To make it a bit more festive, I reserved about 1/8 of the dough, which tinted red. I then made the majority of the dough into a rectangle, removing a portion from the left hand corner to make the blue portion of the flag. I tinted it after I cut it out; this was how I ensured I had enough dough.

Now, I should tell you that decorating with tinted shortbread is tough because you can't really roll or shape it. So I gathered crumbles and kind of pressed them into stripes, and simply shaped and placed the blue portion where I had removed it initially. I used the leftover bits to form ugly multicolored balls of shortbread. They still tasted good. 

American Flag shortbread

It baked up pretty sweet, don't you think? Here's the recipe for shortbread--it's a keeper. 

How to make perfect shortbread

as seen on Craftsy

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (4 ounces)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (about 2 ounces)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (about 1 ounce)
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Procedure

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using a wooden spoon, mix the butter and sugar by hand until pale and creamy.
  2. Sift the flour, cornstarch and salt into the bowl of creamed butter and sugar, and mix well, continuing to use your wooden spoon. It will begin to come together in a somewhat crumbly dough, but it should very easily clump together if you gather it with your hand. If baking as a large round or as small cutout cookies, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface. Place the dough on top. Roll out the dough until it is about ¼-inch thick.
  4. Decide what shape you’d like the shortbread in (follow the steps above, to flag-ify it). If you’d like it to be a round, shape it into a circle by hand. If you’d like it to bake in a pan, press it into a greased 8″ by 8″ pan. Or, simply cut the rolled dough using a lightly floured cutter. Score the dough if it will be sliced after baking, and lightly prick all over with the tines of a fork.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the sides and bottoms are lightly browned but the top is just set. Step 7: Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t get greedy, or you might burn your mouth.

Happy 4th of July! Don't forget to make some pop rocks cookies, too.

Monday
Jun302014

Millionaire's Shortbread Cookie Cups Filled with Milk

Milk filled cookie shooters

Cronuts. Brookies. Donnolis. S'moreos. The world of mash-up desserts, or the "hybrid trend", as it has been called by food consultants and PR peeps, has pretty much gotten out of control. But as annoyed as you may want to be with the trend, the fact is...if some is good, more has the potential to be amazing. And so we continue to--excuse the pun--eat it all up.

A recent dessert hybrid dreamed up by cronut creator Dominique Ansel was the chocolate chip cookie "milk shot"--a cup made of chocolate chip cookie, enforced so that it could hold milk long enough to take it as a "shot" and then eat the vessel from whence it came.

It never hit as big as the cronut, but I still think it's a pretty nifty idea, because how many desserts can actually allow you to utter the words "I'm gonna get milk and cookie CRUNK right now!"...? Seriously. No other dessert I can think of.

And an easy-to-make version hit my radar recently with an email from Pillsbury featuring several of their easy mash-ups (cannoli doughnuts, crescent bagels, etc). Their version included chocolate chip cookie dough baked in cupcake tins, then lined with chocolate, then filled with milk. Here's their version:

 

Milk Filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup

Looks yum, right?

But of course, I didn't want to do EXACTLY what they told me to, so I thought "why don't I do a Millionaire's shortbread spin?".

It was quite easy to do: I used sugar cookie dough instead of chocolate chip, then added a layer of caramel (since I think I'm pretty cool sometimes, I made my own) atop which I added a layer of chocolate. These fat cookie confections held the milk perfectly, and after a minute or two it begins to soak in to the rest of the cookie and soften the caramel. Milk filled cookie shooters You can either drink the milk then eat the cookie, or break it apart and then let the pieces "soak" in the spilled milk for a while longer.

Milk filled cookie shooters

No matter how you decide to eat it, the unrefutable truth is that these things are delicious. I mean, sugar cookie dough, caramel, chocolate, a touch of salt, and milk too? There is no part of this equation that is wrong or bad. The taste is classic, but the method of presentation and the mode of eating is fun. And isn't that what dessert is about, joy and fun?

Here's the recipe. 

Millionaire's Shortbread Cookie Cups Filled with Milk (printable version here)

You need: a cupcake tin (jumbo or regular, but not mini), parchment paper, spoons and spatulas

Ingredients

  • 1 box Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (or one batch of your favorite type), dough prepared per the package instructions but not baked
  • 1 bag chocolate morsels (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Milk

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Generously grease the cupcake tin, sprinkle each cup with confectioners' sugar, and place a sheet of parchment along the bottom (for easy removal later). Why not just use cupcake cups? I didn't want the ridges on the sides. You can use the cups if you don't mind the ridges, though. No judgment. 
  2. Milk filled cookie shooters
  3. Grab big fistfulls of dough and press them into each of the cupcake cups. Milk filled cookie shooters Press a dent in the center. You want the cups to be about half full of dough. My entire batch was sufficient to fill a 6 cup "texas sized" cupcake pan. This is to say, these cups were no mere shot glasses. They were fatties. 
  4. Milk filled cookie shooters
  5. Now, bake the cookie cups. Since mine were so thick, they baked for about 25 minutes--longer than the time you'd bake the dough if you were making mere cookies. My advice? Keep an eye on their progress around the suggested cookie bake time, but then keep them in the oven until they are puffy and golden.
  6. Milk filled cookie shooters
  7. Once puffy and golden, remove from the oven. They will start to deflate in a matter of minutes. This is actually a good thing for you. 
  8. Milk filled cookie shooters
  9. After 5 minutes or so, approach with a spoon and knife. Milk filled cookie shootersFirst, use the knife to loosen the edges of each cookie cup to ensure easy removal later. But keep them in the cupcake tin. Now, use the spoon (or go ahead and use your impeccably clean hands) and press the cookies into a more pronounced cup shape. 
  10. Milk filled cookie shooters
  11. Let the cookies cool for about 30 minutes in the cups.
  12. Now, make your caramel. Simply put the sugar in a dry saucepan, and put it over medium-high heat. Caramelize it per the instructions in this tutorial. Once liquid, pour a little into each cookie cup and spread using a spoon to ensure even coverage inside of the cup. Milk filled cookie shooters Let the caramel set for about 30 minutes before proceeding.
  13. Now, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Once melted, pour some on top of the caramel layer in each cup and spread so it covers the inner cup evenly. Don't make it too thick or you won't have anywhere to put your milk.
  14. Milk filled cookie shooters
  15. Let the cookie cups set again, this time for 2 hours or so, until the chocolate has become firm. 
  16. Milk filled cookie shooters
  17. Once the chocolate is firm, you're ready to serve! Remove the cups from the cupcake tin. Place each serving in a shallow bowl (just nicer in case the milk seeps out). Fill each cup with milk--pour it right in. And serve!
  18. Milk filled cookie shooters
  19. It's nicest to let the milk sit for a minute or two before drinking and devouring--this will soften the caramel and chocolate and make it, in my opinion, a more enjoyable experience. Milk filled cookie shootersBut you follow your bliss. 

Enjoy!

Sunday
Jun152014

How to Make Any Chocolate Chip Cookie Better

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

When is the last time you thought about the bottom of your chocolate chip cookie?

People have debated for years, decades, close to a century about how to make already-good chocolate chip cookies even better. Toast the nuts. Don't toast the nuts. Forgo the nuts entirely. Rest the dough. Add more brown sugar.

While well-intentioned, I humbly have to submit that this is the easiest, least controversial, and most taste-pleasing to make your cookies better: coat the bottoms of the cookies with chocolate.

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

Say what?

I know. But it is truly the gateway to chocolate delight. 

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

You see, the brilliance behind this method is that from the top, it looks like just an everyday chocolate chip cookie, but then when you bite into it, you're greeted with a delightful taste surprise. If you ask me, it tastes even better because there is the aspect of joy of discovery: you bite into a cookie expecting, you know, awesome chocolate chip cookie, and then--OMIGOD! It is so chocolatey that your head may be tempted to spin. 

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

It's an easy method to employ in your baking, and between you and me, it could be used for cookies other than chocolate chip. Some cookies such as chocolate dipped macaroons or sugar cookies are thinking along similar lines, but they lack the ninja-like stealth of the choco-bottom in terms of delightful taste surprise. 

I've elected to call these cookies "Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies" because indeed, this method of preparing cookies does take the oft-overlooked underbelly of the cookie and raise it to a thing of celebrated beauty.

So how do you do it?

I could be totally snarky and tell you "simply melt chocolate and brush or spread it on the bottom of your cookies", but I won't do that, because I want to share the cookie recipe, which is quite good, too. It makes a nice cookie: crispy on the edges, chewy on the inside. I liked 'em. DO listen to the chilling part of the recipe, because if you don't your cookies will spread considerably.

So here goes. Prepare your taste buds for a deliciously wild ride. 

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

adapted from a chocolate chip cookies recipe on Craftsy

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, some coarsely and some quite finely chopped
  • 2 cups chocolate morsels, divided

Step 1:

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in both the brown and white sugar and mix to combine. Stir in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.

Step 3:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and pecans. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

Step 5:

Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Step 6:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from the fridge and scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven. Cookies will look slightly underdone, but will continue baking on the hot cookie sheet. Once cooled, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

Step 7:

Once cooled, melt the remaining chocolate in the top of a double boiler.

Step 8:

Brush or spread a layer of chocolate (fairly thin, but enough to be opaque) on the bottoms of the cookies. Place them back on the wire rack, bottoms up. Let them cool until the chocolate has set. 

Choco-belly chocolate chip cookies

Enjoy. Like you needed to be told.

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