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

6/27/14

Red, White and Blueberry Tart







Are you planning a 4th of July bash?
This is one of my favorite desserts, reinvented. Remember when fruit pizza was all the rage years ago? Sweet cookie crust, with cream cheese and powdered sugar icing, topped with fruit and glaze. Sometimes the fruit was arranged beautifully, other times it was dumped on top of the crust and cream cheese layer.
That was the 80's. Time to update this classic dessert.




First, I headed to Harmons to buy the sweetest, most plump, fresh berries. If you live in Utah, you're in business!  Harmons consistently has the best produce in the state. With the exception of picking berries yourself, Harmons is as fresh as it gets.




How do you update a classic? I decided switching from a pizza pan to tart pans made a big difference in presentation. Other subtle, but game changing differences- a little lemon flavoring, fresh fruit only (nothing canned) and no sugary glaze.
When you break this dessert down, it's a sugar cookie crust, lemon-cream cheese icing, topped with fresh fruit. So simple, a kid can make it.
I know you're going to love this for your summer gatherings!
Happy Fourth, and happy baking :)





Red, White and Blueberry Tart
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring or lemon emulsion*
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Individual tart pans or 9-10 inch tart pans

Cream together butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon flavoring or emulsion and egg, beat until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar all at once. Mix just until flour disappears and wet and dry ingredients are combined,
Using individual tart pans (14-16  4-inch pans), or
2-3  9-10 inch or equivalent tart pans, lightly grease the pans with cooking spray.
Scoop the dough into the pans, and press into the pans lightly with hands.
If the dough gets too soft, place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the dough firm up.
After all of the tart pans are filled, pre-heat oven to 375 and set the racks in the middle of oven.
When oven is pre heated, bake the tarts for about 10-12 minutes or until tarts are golden brown. For a
9-inch tart pan, bake about 15 minutes. Remove and set on rack to cool. Let cool completely. This step may be done up to two days ahead if kept covered after baked and cooled.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 1/2  8 oz blocks cream cheese)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt
splash of milk (if needed to thin)

Beat all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth and blended well. The filling should be the consistency of  frosting.
Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use. If making ahead, refrigerate and cover.  Remove from refrigerator  about 30 minutes before ready to use.

Fruit topping:
fresh blueberries
fresh strawberries
fresh raspberries

Wash and drain the fruit thoroughly before using on the tarts. If the fruit is still wet from washing, it may bleed onto the cream cheese filling. I usually wash the fruit, let sit in a colander, then place on paper towels and pat lightly.

When ready to assemble:
Spread the cream cheese filling onto the tarts using a small spatula. Spread the filling almost to the edge of the tart. Arrange the fruit on top of the filling. Place tarts in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
May be prepared early in the day and covered until ready to serve.

Tips:
-Lemon emulsion and lemon extract are found in  most bakery supply stores or stores that sell cake decorating supplies.  Do not use lemon juice as a substitute in the tart shell. Fresh lemon juice is called for in the lemon cream cheese filling only.



5/16/14

Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe - Volume 2




Hi there. It's me. The unofficial-official expert on everything Swig cookie.
Self appointed.
If you doubt this statement, read my original post and recipe development epistle on Swig Cookies here.



Now that we have our very own (truly official) Swig shop in B-town, and don't have to drive to St. George to get a fix, the hype has come to Davis County, Utah.
If you aren't a Utah resident, or don't regularly drive through our state, you may be wondering - What's a Swig cookie?  Refer back to the original post.  Also, if you can't get to Swig, or just want to make your own at home, you've come to the right place.








Oh. P.S.
The cookies at the  B-town Swig shop are better than the Swig Cookies in St. George.
There. I've said it.
I swear it's true.
Anyone else want to bear testimony of this?

Last thing.
If you're a chocolate or lemon-lime lover, check out my chocolate "Swagg Cookie" recipe and the spring-time favorite, the "Sprig Cookie".
When you just can't get enough of  cookies that start with "S"  and end with  "G"  :)
Happy Baking!

Lemon Lime Sprig Cookie

Chocolate Swagg Cookie
















(Almost) Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

dough:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup solid shortening ( I like Butter Flavor Crisco)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
4 1/2  cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
sugar for top of cookies

frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon sour cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 drop red food coloring
1-2 tablespoons milk**

Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 regular bake.
Take butter out of refrigerator and microwave for about 15 seconds. Place butter, shortening and cold sour cream in a mixing bowl. Mix for about one minute. Add sugar and almond extract, mix until smooth. Add all dry ingredients at once. Mix just until flour disappears and the mixture comes together in a ball of dough, about 1 minute on very low speed.
Spray the cookie scoop with a little cooking spray. Scoop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. I use a 2 inch scoop. A 2 inch scoop will produce a cookie similar in size to the Swig cookie. If you don't have a cookie scoop, use an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into a ball about the size of a golf ball. It is best to use a scoop and overfill it a bit to get the desired jagged edge.
Place about 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl.
Spray the bottom of a flat glass with cooking spray. Flatten one cookie a bit then dip the glass in sugar Press the bottom of the glass against the cookie. Press the cookies so they are flattened a bit ( until the cookie dough just reaches the outside of the edge of the glass) twisting the glass as you press to produce a jagged edge. I bake 8 cookies per tray. Continue until all cookies are flattened.
Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes on convection or about 12-15 minutes regular bake or until edges are lightly golden and cookies are slightly firm to the touch.
Remove from oven, let cool.  Loosen the cookies from the cookie sheet after cooled a bit, or they will stick to the pan (even though it has been lightly greased).
Place the cookies in the fridge and chill.

Prepare the frosting:
Beat together the butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. When all ingredients are incorporated, add the drop of food coloring and a little milk if the frosting needs to be thinned.
Frost after the cookies are completely chilled.
Makes about 18  large cookies.

Tips and (surprise) a few more comments:
-The recipe looks a little long and maybe even complicated, but it's  not. Once you get the hang of the technique for scooping and pressing, it takes less than a half hour to make and bake the entire batch.
-If you want the cookies to taste more like the  original Swig cookies make this adjustment to the dough:  Omit the almond extract and reduce the sugar to a total of 3/4-1 cup.
I prefer the cookies to be sweeter, so I like 1 1/2 cups of sugar in the dough. 1 1/2 cups of sugar may sound like a lot, but consider traditional chocolate chip cookies have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar to 2 1/4 cups of flour. The ratio here is 1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 1/2 cups flour.
-This cookie measures about 3 3/4 to 4 inches across when finished baking.
-The St. George Swig cookie is frosted with quite a thin layer of frosting. I prefer my frosting to be a bit thicker. If you want to frost the cookie with a thinner frosting, add about 3-4 tablespoons of milk to the frosting. If you  are buying and not baking and like a thicker layer of frosting, visit our friends at the B-town Swig. That cookie is Swig perfection.
-This cookie stays quite well in the fridge for about a week if kept in an air tight container. I frost the cooled cookies, then store them in the fridge. Once the frosting is set on the cookie, you may layer the cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper. This allows you to stack the cookies without taking up too much space in the refrigerator.
-This cookie freezes well frosted or unfrosted.
-If you are making this for a gathering where there will be other desserts, use a smaller cookie scoop and bake for less time.
-The photo below shows two batches of frosting. One with one drop of red food coloring, the other with two drops.



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.



*updated 6/2014 to yield 18 large or 30-32 small cookies

Chocolate Swagg Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

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

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

Preheat oven to 350 or 325 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 9-10 minutes at 325 convection, or about 10-12 minutes at 350.
The cookies should be barely firm on top. Do not over cook!
Let cool completely on cookie sheet. Frost when cool.
Yield about 18 large cookies or 30-32 small to medium cookies.

Sour Cream Chocolate Swagg Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon sour cream
3 1/2  cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
milk to thin, about 2-3 tablespoons

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