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Archive for March, 2011

“hmmm….they taste a lot like oreos….even better”

i was asked if nabisco would be mad if i started selling these. another coworkers said…it should be fine…just change the name. and then the brilliance followed….”laureos” :)

these really are quite tasty. i always think of my sister anna when i really love a treat i have made and have a hard time wanting to compliment them without sounding proud. she’ll say, “it’s the RECIPE that is so wonderful, not me”….and this recipe is thanks to smitten kitchen and retro desserts. (which i quickly found and bought off of amazon after reading her post)

not only are these super tasty, they are very simple, and you can start and finish them under an hour….and they really knock the socks off of the store bought version. my friend elaine said she could no longer justify buying these after she discovered the recipe…and i agree.

ingredients:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg

cream filling
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

preheat your oven to 375º

in your stand mixer, on low and with your paddle attachment, mix all your dry ingredients till well blended. (flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt)

continue mixing on low…cut your butter into cubes and add in one at a time. add in your egg and mix until all your ingredients come together and form a ball.

line about four cookie sheets with parchment paper.

break off small pieces of your dough and roll into balls. place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets about two inches apart. now…this is just me….but i used the back side of my 1/4 measuring cup to flatten the balls into discs…to about a quarter inch thick. the dough might be a bit on the sticky side so a tiny bit of flour on the back side of your measuring cup wouldn’t hurt.

bake for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through for even baking.

be careful with the baking time…depending on how small or large your cookies are…they don’t need to be in there the whole ten minutes. it’s just hard to tell when you’re burning chocolate cookies…so just be aware.

oh, and once you bake your first batch…you might realize that your cookies are coming out too large…which really isn’t a bad thing…but you may see you need to adjust the size of the balls.

once you remove from the oven, transfer your cookie sheet to a cooling rack till cookies are completely cooled.

while your cookies are baking you can make your cream. mix your butter and shortening together till well blended. add in your sugar slowly…followed by your vanilla. increase the speed of your mixer to medium high-ish and continue mixing till you have a light and fluffy cream.

i used a pastry bag and my large round tip to pipe out cream. just add a dollop of cream to center of your cookie and using another cookie, press down and in a circular motion till cream creeps out to the edges….and repeat till you run out of cookies!

milk required….as well as self discipline.

enjoy!

-L

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this is what happens when your other half gets to take an adventure to south by southwest….and you have to stay behind and work…*

you get a present! isn’t it beautiful?!

B picked up a bunch of prints from Hero Design Studio yesterday at flatstock….and you should hit up her site and do the same.

and here are some more of B’s favorite flatstock artists:

thanks to madpixel art and design

and:

thanks to gigart

i like the bunny the most….he looks so embarrased! reminds me of when my aunt linda bought my sisters and me helmets that we had to wear when we rode our bikes from then on.

and also:


thanks to jason munn

and last but not least:


thanks to F2 Design

thanks for thinking of me B and sara!

*i’m just kidding stephen….if you’re reading this….i love work…leaving the office is lame :)

-L

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“take that, Girl Scouts of America.”

O.  M.  G. if you do not own a cookie press, stop what you are doing and run out to the store right now. they are sooo much fun. each press comes with these interchangeable discs that allow you to make different shaped cookies called spritz cookies. with so many different recipes out there, i decided to do a very simple, plain jane butter cookie.

ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup crisco

1 egg

1 1/2  teaspoon vanilla

equiptment

cookie press

cookie sheets

dipping chocolate to garnish

preheat your oven to 375 degrees

in a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. cut your crisco into your mixture until it begins to create crumbles.

in a measuring cup, crack your egg and add water until you reach 1/4 cup. i didn’t have to add but probably a tablespoon. then add your vanilla to the egg/water and beat together. mix into your crumbles to form the dough.

now the fun part. put your dough into your cookie press, pick out the shape you want and apply the disc. in three clicks you will have the cutest little cookies! line up your cookie sheet with these and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

if you don’t already have a cookie press, check out Wilton‘s. i have Marha Stewart’s, but can’t seem to find it for sale anywhere. but, there are a lot of cookie presses out there, i don’t think you can really go wrong.

happy monday and happy baking!

b

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“i’d like to put in an order for THOSE once a month, please”

as girl scout season is in full force, the thin mint is an obvious choice. i mean, who doesn’t love chocolate and mint (besides my crazy brother-in-law). it’s a match made in heaven as far as i’m concerned. i saw this diy recipe on 101 cookbooks a couple of years ago and have been itching to try it since. the result:

…sorry girl scouts….it seems we’ve cut out the middle man. this recipe was a fan favorite…and considering they were eaten back to back with the real deal…i consider it a huge success.

(by all means….please, please continue to support your local girl scouts. just know that you can make these yourself in the off-season)

this recipe is simple….simple, simple, simple. if you’re a thin mint lover and a wait-a-whole-year-for-them hater then you simply must try this recipe out. in fact, you probably have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now.

ingredients:
(cookie)
1 cup butter – softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups flour

(coating)
16 oz semisweet chocolate (the better the quality the better the result)
peppermint extract to taste

preheat your oven to 350º.

in your stand mixer beat your butter until light and fluffy. add in powdered sugar, vanilla, cocoa and salt. mix till ingredients are well blended. scrape down the sides of the bowl and at a low-speed mix in flour a little at a time. (people complained that their dough was too crumbly so be careful with your flour here….you may not need the whole cup and a half…you should be able to handle the dough with your hands after adding flour, but it shouldn’t crumble to pieces.)

turn dough out onto a semi floured surface and give it a few kneads. roll into a ball and press down to form a disc. cover and transfer to freezer for about 20 minutes.

once dough is chilled, roll out on slightly floured surface till about 1/8 inch thick. cut out cookies with a biscuit cutter about 1 1/2″ in diameter. transfer to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

bake at 350º for 10 minutes, turning the pan half way though for even baking.

transfer to a cookie sheet and let cool to room temperature.

either while your cookies are baking, or while they are cooling melt your chocolate. i always use a glass bowl that i sit on top of a saucepan with simmering water. once your chocolate is melted add in peppermint to taste. i think i ended up with about 2 teaspoons and still felt like that was a weak amount….but my taste testers said it was the perfect amount?!? just mix in as much as you like….little by little…as just a little too much will overpower your chocolate and you can’t work backwards :)

now for the dunking. i would imagine everyone has a system that works best for them. my system worked like this:

1. drop your cookie into the chocolate top side down – coating the top
2. just as soon as you drop it, use a fork to flip the cookie over – coating the bottom
3. lift the cookie out of the chocolate and lightly tap your fork (cookie on top) against the side of the bowl so that excess chocolate will run/drip off.
4. transfer cookie to parchment paper
5. pick up another cookie and repeat.

once you’re done dipping/coating, transfer cookies to freezer to set….or to your fridge….or just let them set at room temperature…..but if you’re one of those people who doesn’t prefer your thin mint cold…then you crazy!

that’s it…now, just try not to devour them all in one sitting.

seriously, because this recipe made about 60 cookies…..so be friendly and share with a friend or two or eight.

let me just say, on a personal note…that the amount of cocoa powder in these little buddies is pretty generous. i have some dark-chocolate-LOVING taste testers, so i knew it wouldn’t be a problem….but you could probably cut back on the cocoa a bit and be just fine.

oh yes….don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of milk as well.

-L

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