Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts

2/26/14

Swagg Cookie



Another lesson today on Good, Better, Best  :)
Remember the (Almost) Swig Cookie recipe I posted last summer? If you haven't made it yet, you need to get busy. I've had dozens of people tell me they love to make the cookies at home, since they don't live close to the famous Swig cookie shacks. So how do you improve on a good thing?
One word.
Chocolate.



naked, before frosting ;)

I love the simplicity of the (Almost) Swig Cookie. It's easy to throw together, scoop, flatten and bake. Speaking to women here: you and I both know, there are times a sugar cookie won't fill our want  need. We need chocolate.
In the interest of making a good thing better, I played with my original recipe and made a few adjustments. After a couple of test batches, I came up with the (Almost) Chocolate Swig Cookie...but that's a mouthful, so I named it the Swagg Cookie. It's a little bit short-bready (technical ABK term) on the sugar coated edges, soft in the middle, lots of dark chocolate flavor, topped with a bit of creamy chocolate-sour cream frosting. If that's not swagg, I don't know what is.







Here's the deal.
Good:  Cookie from cookie stand :)
Better: (Almost) Swig Cookie, baked in your kitchen
Best:    Chocolate Swagg Cookie
You choose.



Chocolate Swagg Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup shortening, (butter flavor is best)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla flavoring ( I like almond)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

for shaping cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
cooking spray
*glass with flat bottom, see notes below

Preheat oven to 325 or 300 on convection setting.
Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
Add sour cream and almond flavoring. Mix. Add the cocoa and mix again until smooth. The mixture should be creamy, with no specks of white. Turn the mixer off.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt all at once. Mix just until all of the flour disappears, on the lowest setting. This should take about 20-30 seconds.
Using a 1 3/4 inch to 2 inch scoop, place the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Lightly spray the bottom of a glass with cooking spray. First press the glass against a cookie, then dip the bottom of glass in sugar to flatten cookie a bit. Continue dipping the bottom of the glass into the sugar after flattening each cookie.
After all of the cookies are flattened a bit, go back and lightly sprinkle sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake for about 11 minutes at 300 convection, or about 12-14 minutes at 325.
The cookies should be barely firm on top. Do not over cook!
Let cool completely on cookie sheet. Frost when cool.
Yield about 8-10 large cookies or 12-14 small to medium cookies.

Sour Cream Chocolate Swagg Frosting
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla
milk to thin, about 1 tablespoon

Cream butter, sour cream and powdered sugar. Add cocoa and vanilla, beat until smooth. Thin frosting with milk a  tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.


Tips:
-To achieve an edge on the cookie, or "lip" * :
1. Generously fill the cookie scoop, extra dough will help form an outer edge on the cookie.
2. Choose a glass with a flat bottom. Look at the bottom of the glass, if the bottom is not flat, the dough will not press out properly.
3. I use a 2 1/4 inch glass bottom for my smaller 1 3/4 inch cookie scoop; and a 2 3/4 inch glass bottom  when using a 2 inch cookie scoop .
4. Flatten the cookie ball with the bottom of the glass, twisting the glass gently as you flatten the dough ball. The dough should no longer be mounded. The cookie should be about 1/4 inch thick after flattening with glass.
-I use Dutch Process Cocoa, which I highly recommend for this cookie.
-This cookie will keep well refrigerated for a few days. Frost after cool, refrigerate in a single layer until the frosting is set, then stack in layers between parchment or wax paper, cover tightly.
-If you want to mail this cookie, I would add a cup of chocolate chips to the batter and use all butter flavor  shortening. It will stay fresh longer and travel better. Sprinkle generously with sugar on top and leave the frosting off of the cookie. Perfect for missionaries, college students or military care packages!
-Be very careful to not over bake this cookie. It will be slightly firm to the touch when done. Because the cookie is so dark in color, it cannot be judged by color when it is finished baking. See the photos at the top of the page for example of cookie after removing from oven, but before frosting.

2/10/14

Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies (step by step)


If you live in Davis County, Utah, you know about Cutler's Cookies. We have lived in Bountiful for close to twenty years and have had the pleasure of being a Cutler's customer for as many years.




I'm honored to be the only blogger Curt and his wife Nancy have worked with in sharing recipes both in classes and online.  Every time I post one of their recipes, people from near and far away comment about craving one of their signature sugar cookies. Cutler's sugar cookies are soft, puffy, perfectly shaped and always frosted with either a generous amount of buttercream or topped with a glaze, flavored with a hint of almond.

topped with glaze


topped with buttercream frosting.


I originally posted Curt's recipe for Sugar Cookies with Butter Cream Frosting here, and later added the glaze recipe to the post after numerous requests. Since there were so many requests about the glaze, how to make it, how it is applied, etc., I thought you might like to see the method Cutler's uses to glaze the cookies a whole pan at a time. Their secret is a stainless steel pan you'll find in the hardware store. It looks like this and costs just a few dollars- some call it a trowel pan or a spackle pan, I think it looks like a mini-trough.

mini-trough for glazing
Curt came over last week to show us step by step how the glaze is applied. We baked up some cookies he made in the Cutler's kitchen and also mixed up a batch in the Bountiful Kitchen.  Melanie (quality control specialist and bff), my daughter Corrine (who took most of the photos so I could get busy with the flour) and the cutest grand baby you've ever met, Anabelle, aka: Yanners, Yani, Yippers, The Yiplet (advocate for anything pink, sparkly and sugar filled) were on hand to join in the sugar fest. Cathy, cookie making expert  from Cutler's, also joined in the fun.


Yani, testing the finished product
she approved

Frosting or glazing the cookie is a matter of preference. Some are buttercream frosting fans (me). Some are glaze fans (me again).  If I have to choose just one, I'm going with buttercream every time. But after eating these glazed cookies fresh out of the spackle pan, I must say, I'm now a glaze lover too.




Here's a step by step from the Cookie King himself, Curt Cutler.
Step one. Get all of the ingredients together.

cookie making, Cutler style

when measuring flour, scrape after adding to measuring cup to insure an accurate measurement

line baking pans with parchment paper

roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick
make sure there is plenty of flour on the surface, or the dough will stick

cut out shapes with cookie cutter

remember that part about generously flouring surface?
if you don't flour the surface enough,
you may need to use a spatula to get the cookie shapes into the baking pan
cookies from the bakery, cut by machine

dough ready to set on pan and bake


After baking, remove from oven and let cool completely.
Ready for the glaze?
Make the glaze according to recipe and fill the mini trough with glaze. Double the glaze recipe if you are using the trough, so you will have enough glaze to cover all of the cookies.

line a baking pan with a clean sheet of parchment paper
set the cookies on top of a cooling rack that will fit into a baking pan

This is the method Curt uses to cover all of the cookies at one time.
Thanks Corrine, for making this Gif file, so we can watch it over and over and over.



isn't this a thing of beauty? 
say yes










If you don't want to purchase a spackle pan, you can simply mix up the glaze in a bowl, then dip the cookie and gently scrape the excess icing off before setting it on a pan to set up. The next few photos show us dipping the cookies in the glaze by hand.

dip the cookie into the glaze, let the excess glaze drip back into the container

using  a butter knife, scrape off any excess icing back into container

one beautiful glazed cookie

essential ingredients
hurry and throw on some sprinkles before the glaze dries!



That's it! Very simple, really. With or without the mini trough.
Of course, the easiest way to enjoy a Cutler's Cookie is to hop in the car and drive over to Cutler's and get your cookie fresh from their Bakery. Call them to place your order early (801) 298-2253. Valentine's Day is one of their busiest days of the year. Curt and crew sell about 300 dozen (3,600!)  heart shaped cookies the week of Valentine's, not counting the pink frosted or other cookies sold there. Baking frenzy on 500 South.
Hope your Valentines Day is filled with all things sweet!


Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies
Cutler's Cookies, Bountiful Utah

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 cups cake flour
glaze ingredients (below)
sprinkles for topping cookies
parchment paper (optional)


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended well. Add dry ingredients and mix. To make dough easier to work with, chill before rolling.
Generously flour surface.
Roll dough on floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 

Cookies are done when top is slightly cracked and no longer looks wet. Edges may be slightly browned.

Top the cookies with glaze. 

Makes about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.


Cutler's Glaze
Single recipe is fine if you are dipping the cookies. If you are pouring out of the trough, double this to insure you will have enough to pour out of pan and cover all cookies


4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond emulsion* or almond extract

1/2 teaspoon meringue powder**

milk or water to thin (Curt prefers milk) about 1/2 cup
milk will make a thicker glaze, water a thinner glaze

Place powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add almond emulsion or almond extract to the powdered sugar, along with milk or water, a little at a time whisking to combine. Continue whisking until smooth. Add just enough water to make a smooth glaze that stays on a knife when the knife is dipped in the glaze.
Glaze the cookies by dipping the cookie into the glaze in a bowl and removing quickly when coated.
Place cookies on rack or cookie sheet until glaze sets.

Tips:
-*almond emulsion is sold at specialty cooking stores (Orson Gygi's in Salt Lake City) or stores where cake decorating supplies are sold. You may also use almond extract. 
-** Meringue powder is also sold at specialty cooking stores. Cutler's uses meringue powder to create a shiny effect on their glaze. It is optional when making the glaze. Or you may use the same amount of cream of tartar in place of the meringue powder to create the shiny effect. I have noticed the shiniest effect seems to come when using the combo of water and meringue powder in the glaze.
-If the glaze starts to get too stiff, add a small amount of water and whisk in until desired consistency. I mixed up the glaze, then poured it into a pie plate so we could easily dip the cookies that are covered in white glaze in the photos above. 
-The hot pink color is achieved through using a food coloring purchased through Michaels or (in Utah) at Orson Gygi.
-Make sure to use a clean sheet of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan used to glaze the cookies. if you are using the trough method. After you are finished pouring the glaze over the cookies, you may scrape the excess glaze back into a container and use the icing for a future batch of cookies. Refrigerate any leftover glaze. 

clean up crew


1/23/14

Joyous Almond Cookies



Two experiences led me to creating my most favorite cookie in the world.
1. As a kid, one of my top 5 candy bars to collect at Halloween was the mini Almond Joy. When my brother and I spilled our stash on the living room floor after trick or treating, he gladly handed over his Almond Joy bars, in trade for my Snickers. I loved the sticky, sweet, coconut drenched in milk chocolate and topped with a single almond. Forget the Sweetarts!  I wanted nuts, coconut and chocolate.
2. After eating  (well, lets say it was more than one, less than 10)  coconut cookies at two local bakeries- Ruby Snap and Sweet Tooth Fairy,  I became obsessed with creating my own version of the coconut and chocolate cookies they sell.
After a few tries, I came up with my own Almond Joy bar, in a cookie.
If you love the Almond Joy, you'll love this cookie.
Promise.

 Hot out of the oven, before dipping…


Joyous Almond Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 teaspoon coconut emulsion (or coconut flavoring)*
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole almonds, chopped coarse
1 1/2 cups coconut, sweetened, flaked
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips ( I like semi sweet)
2 Almond Joy bars, chopped into 4 pieces each

Dipping chocolate and additional coconut for outside of cookie

Preheat oven to 375. Or if using convection, 350.
Remove butter from refrigerator and softened butter for about 20 seconds in microwave or until slightly soft.  Place butter in mixing bowl and add brown and white sugar. Beat just until smooth. Add almond and coconut emulsion and eggs. Beat again just until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, mix just until flour disappears and ingredient are incorporated. This takes less than one minute.
Scoop dough onto cookie sheets, I use a 2 inch scoop. Slightly flatten with palm of hand.
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are slightly golden. Convection bake for about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Melt chocolate. Dip about 1/3 of the cookie in melted chocolate, set on cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and sprinkle with additional coconut.
Allow cookies to cool completely.
Makes about 16-18 large cookies.

Tips:
-*Coconut emulsion is sold in most craft or cooking stores near the cake decorating supplies. It can also be found at discount stores such as Homegoods or TJMaxx. It can be interchanged in equal amounts 1 tsp of emulsion for 1 tsp of flavoring. Emulsion does not contain alcohol, and therefore does not cook out while baking - resulting in the intensity of flavor staying the same after baking.
-I like to use whole almonds and chop them either by hand with a sharp Butcher knife, or place them in a food processor with the blade setting and pulse until chopped coarse.
-you can interchange the chocolate on the inside and outside of the cookie, using either semi sweet or milk chocolate.


Dipped in milk chocolate...




12/19/13

Simple Coconut Cookies


Coconut cookies. You are either a lover or a hater. I'm a lover. This is one simple and delicious little nugget of coconutty deliciousness. It is moist and chewy. Full of coconut flavor.


Jack wants you to know he loves coconut.

You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry to make these little gems. It will take you 5 minutes to mix up the dough.  Bake for 30 minutes while you clean up the mess and powder your nose. You don't powder your nose? Neither do I. 
Anyway. You're going to love these. 
Less than a week before Christmas. 
Get Baking. 




















Simple Coconut Cookie
Indigo's Sugar Spectrum, adapted from Martha Stewart

1 package (14 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut (5 1/3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
splash of milk if needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Set aside 2 loosely packed cups of coconut on a plate. 
Place remaining coconut in a food processor along with sugar, salt, and baking powder; process until finely ground. Add butter, and process just until no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla; process just until smooth. Add flour; pulse until a crumbly dough begins to form, scraping sides of bowl as needed (do not over mix). If the dough is a bit dry, add a splash of milk until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.
Forming 5 or 6 at a time, scoop level tablespoons of dough, and place in reserved coconut. Roll into balls, coating with coconut.
Arrange balls, about 2 inches apart, on baking sheets.  Do not flatten the balls of dough.
Bake until lightly golden, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
If desired, sprinkle with a bit more coconut while hot.
This recipe yields about 15-18 cookies if using a 2 1/2 inch cookie scoop. The cookies are very rich, and can be made using a smaller scoop or spoon. 

12/17/13

Linzer Cookies





I first tasted Linzer cookies while on a trip to Austria back in the late 90's. Linzer-type cookies are sold all over Europe.  I'm in love with the combination of butter cookie and jam filling. The recipe for Linzertorte is rumored to come from an Austrian Abbey in 1653. The Linzer cookie is a cousin to the famous Linzertorte, which is made with a buttery dough (often same as the cookie recipe), filled with jam, then topped with a lattice crust.


I love my friend, Jolene's recipe for Linzer cookies. It's the best I've tasted. Trust me, I know a good Linzer cookie when I meet it.  This one has ground almonds in the dough along with a bit of cinnamon, and almond extract. It's remarkably easy to mix up and although they look complicated, they are fairly straightforward and the dough is easy to handle. 
Every Christmas cookie tray needs a jam cookie. I know you'll love these on your holiday table. 
Frohliche Wehnachten.



Linzer Cookies
Jolene Jardine
print recipe

*You will need a cookie cutter that is round or round with scalloped edge, also a small cutout (circle, heart, or any other small shape) for the center of the cookies.

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons almond extract

3 cups flour
1 cup almond flour (or ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Filling:
1 cup raspberry jam
2 teaspoons lemon peel (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
In a large bowl, or bowl of a food processor, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and extracts, beat until light and fluffy.
Add dry ingredients all at once, mix just until all of the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated, do not over mix.
On a floured surface, turn the dough a few times until coated with flour. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out with round cookie cutter. Continue rolling out dough with a bit of flour until all of the dough is cut and placed on cookie sheets. Cut small shape (circle, heart, etc) in the center of half of the cookies.
Bake in 300-325 degrees oven until golden brown on bottom of cookie. Let cool completely.
In a small bowl combine jam and lemon peel.
Take the top of the cookies and press lightly into powdered sugar. Set aside.
Spread a little jam filling onto the center of each of the cookies that do not have a cutout shape. Do not spread the filling to the edge of the cookie, it will eventually spread to the edge after the cookie is topped. Place the cutout cookie on top of the jam topped cookie.
yields about 6 dozen single cookies, or 3 dozen finished Linzer cookies.

Tips:
-If you want the cookies to be soft, place in an airtight container. If you prefer the cookies to be crisp, instead of soft, store in a single layer until ready to eat.
-I placed all of the scraps in a pile and then re-rolled those a couple of times to prevent re-rolling the dough too many times. I also baked the cut-out center pieces and served those dipped in powdered sugar along with the filled cookies. Also spread a bit of jam on those and made mini-Linzers.