Friday, November 9, 2018

Butter Rum Brickle Cookies

I really need to do a better job of planning what I am going to bake. It seems like our grocery trips lately have been unplanned and at that last minute, so I haven’t been planning and stocking up on ingredients. That leaves me to search the cupboard for ingredients, hoping that I have the ingredients I need. I usually pin recipes that I am interested in baking, and in looking at the recipes I sometimes remember ingredients that I need to pick up. Sometimes not.

This recipe doesn’t call for unusual ingredients. I thought that I would have most of all the ingredients I needed. When I checked I had almost 8 ounces of toffee bits, and honestly I think that the amount of toffee bits was just right. I also didn’t have run extract, so I just used rum. I substituted 2 tablespoons of rum for the extract and I just used a small bit in the glaze.

These cookies are very simple and reminded me of Russian teacakes that are popular during the holidays. They are rich, so I made them small. You top the cookies with a browned butter frosting. Be careful when you’re browning butter, as it can burn very easily. I added more than 2 cups of powdered sugar, as the frosting seemed too runny. The frosting cools and thickens quickly, so I think adding the extra powdered sugar wasn’t a good idea. You can taste the rum, but it isn’t over the top, and the browned butter adds an extra flavor nuance.

Butter Rum Brickle Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons rum extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
8 ounces brickle toffee bits

1/3 cup butter, cubed
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
About 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, run extract, and salt. Beat on medium until smooth. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour. Stir in the toffee bits. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, continue heating until the butter turns golden brown, swirling the butter in the pan frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and rum extract. Whisk in enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Spread on the cooled cookies.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cinnamon Chip Chai Snickerdoodles

I’m trying to get some fall baking in before the Christmas cookie season begins, and cinnamon is the perfect fall flavor. I was looking for recipes and came across an article with fall cookies and this was one of the recipes in that article. I knew I was coming home late from work, so I wanted something straight-forward. It’s also my birthday and I love snickerdoodles. So a chai cinnamon snickerdoodle sounded just perfect.

I read through the recipe and I was sure that I had all the needed ingredients, but I didn’t have enough cream of tartar, which is really odd. I make snickerdoodles frequently and cream of tartar is a key component. I had some, and you can also substitute vinegar for cream of tartar, as they are both acids. I wasn’t sure how these cookies would turn out, but I was hopeful. I don’t usually mess with the leavening agent in cookies, but I didn’t have time to go to the store. The original recipe called for cardamom in the spice mix, but I don’t care for that, so I added more ginger.

This dough is softer than traditional snickerdoodle dough, which is why it requires refrigeration. I refrigerated the dough for 90 minutes and it was still soft and a little bit sticky. The cookies shaped up just fine and despite not having the correct leavening, they baked up perfectly well. This makes a larger batch, 4 dozen, which was good in this instance as I needed to take these cookies to two different places. They have a great spiced flavor, more complex than just cinnamon would add, and my kitchen smelled divine while they were baking!

Cinnamon Chip Chai Snickerdoodles
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
10 ounces cinnamon baking chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ½ cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, shortening, sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar/spice mixture. Mix on medium until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again on medium until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Add the cinnamon chips and mix on low until the chips are evenly distributed in the dough. 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. 

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in the sugar/spice mixture. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Friday, October 26, 2018

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

It’s the time of year when I start thinking about what I hope to bake for Christmas, but there is still some time to go before I start my Christmas baking. I always hope to do a lot of fall baking, but it seems like this year I’ve had no time, which is frustrating. I haven’t done any of my normal apple/caramel/spice cookies. It’s not that I haven’t found any of those fall recipes, I just haven’t got to them. It seems like a theme lately, oh well.

Ages ago I made a chocolate raspberry bar, that I also think had white chocolate. I don’t remember a lot about them, just that once the chocolate set they were impossible to cut. What a thing to remember! That was long before I had a blog, so I’m not even sure where that recipe was from. That’s one nice thing about keeping up my blog, it serves as a good record of what I’ve baked and where the recipes came from.

I was able to use my new food processor for this recipe. The one I used to use finally broke, but it was from 1980 so it lived a good life. I had picked up a new one this summer and finally got it out of the box. The food processor makes quick work of making the crumb mixture, but you could also use a stand mixer. The chocolate and sweetened condensed milk is a nice layer, but is fairly sweet. Make sure that you use seedless jam, as the seeds would really detract from these bars. You could try other flavors of jam/preserves, as otherwise the components of this recipe provide a good base.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars
2 cups flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, but into pieces
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
⅔ cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a large food processor, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter. Pulse the food processor until the mixture becomes crumbly and sticks together when pressed. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture; spread the remaining crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 minutes. While the bottom crust bakes, make the topping. In a small saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Heat the mixture on low, stirring constantly, until smooth.

Once the crust has come out of the oven, spread the chocolate/condensed milk over the bottom layer. Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Drop the raspberry jam evenly over the crumbs, and the top with the remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Dear Crissy