Thursday, January 22, 2015

Orange Shortbread Madeleines

I've often thought it would be fun to bake shortbread cookies
in my Madeleine pan.  Then I ran across today's recipe in a
Southern Living Annual Cookbook.  I adore shortbread and
this recipe seemed perfect for this time of year. There's orange
zest in the cookie and in the icing and they are delicious with
a cup of Earl Grey!!
I decided to make these cookies in my mini Madeleine pan. 
Even though it's a non-stick pan, I still lightly buttered it. After 
baking I just tapped the pan lightly on the counter and the 
cookies popped right out!

Southern Living's recipe didn't include the orange icing drizzle, but
I wanted to make the most out of my lovely Pink Navel Oranges......

I just couldn't resist Pink Oranges!!

Use a fork or spoon to drizzle the icing evenly over the cookies.

The icing hardens after a few minutes which makes it easy to
transfer the cookies to a pretty plate or cake stand.


ORANGE SHORTBREAD MADELEINES
adapted from Southern Living Annual Recipes

For the Cookies:

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
zest from 1 large orange
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
cooking spray or butter for the pan

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 large orange
enough juice from 1 large orange
to make icing of drizzling consistency


Cream butter; add sugar, beating at medium
speed of an electric mixer until light & fluffy. 
Add orange zest and extract. Stir in flour.

Press dough into madeleine molds which have
been lightly sprayed with cooking spray -
1 1/2 tablespoons of dough for the regular sized
madeleine pan or 1/2 tablespoon of dough for 
the mini madeleine pan. Bake at 325 degrees
for 20 minutes for the mini cookies, and
22-23 minutes for the larger cookies.
Invert onto wire racks to cool. 

Combine icing ingredients and drizzle 
over cookies.  Let dry & enjoy!



I love to go to Antique Shops and I recently found this pretty vintage 
Deviled Egg Plate for $3.25!! What a fun way to serve these
pretty cookies! Enjoy!!




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Impromptu Barbie Tea Party


My daughter Abbie has been asking to have a Barbie Tea Party 
since Christmas, when she acquired not one but SIX new Barbies!
So Friday night I decided at the last minute to have the party the
next afternoon.  That night we baked the mini meringues,  the
shortbread cookies and made the cucumber sandwiches. The 
next day we made the Pink Lemonade Mini Cakes! 
Phew!! Cooking Frenzy!! 

The menu consisted of mini meringues, cucumber sandwiches,
shortbread cookies, pink lemonade mini cakes and pink
lemonade to drink! Everything had to be tiny of course!

The meringues were really good - I piped the meringue
mixture over a mini chocolate chip for a little chocolate
bite!


Mini Meringues with a Chocolate Surprise

1 egg white
1/4 cup super fine sugar
(such as Domino Super fine sugar)
pinch of cream of tartar
food coloring
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
colored sugar

Preheat oven to 200F.  Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. Place a mini chocolate chip
every 2 inches on the baking sheet.

Beat egg white & cream of tartar until soft peaks form. 
Gradually add sugar and beat at medium high speed 
until you get stiff peaks and the sugar has dissolved.
Add food coloring and mix well.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with an
open star tip. Pipe tiny meringue shapes over each 
mini chocolate chip. Decorate with colored sugar. 
Bake for at least 1 hour or until crisp. Remove from 
oven, let cool and place.in an airtight container 
until ready to serve.


I kinda goofed when I topped the shortbread cookie flowers with
candy balls before baking! They melted....but the cookies were still
yummy! I just placed another candy ball over the melted area to
show how I wanted them to look. I think I could have pushed one
candy ball into the cookies just after baking - live & learn!

I thought the cookie shapes were pretty - I actually used a
fondant cutter that I had on hand!


Pink Piccadilly Shortbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 stick salted butter (room temp)
1/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar - such as Dixie Crystals
Sprinkles or Nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the dry ingredients.
Into the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, 
add butter and sugar and mix until combined. 
Add flour mixture and mix until dough comes 
together. Add sprinkles or nonpareils if
desired.

Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness and
cut out cookies using desired cookie cutter.
Bake 14-15 minutes.

The pink lemonade mini cakes were super easy to make!
Using a store bought pound cake, just slice and cut out
pretty shapes using a cookie cutter, then pipe with a
store bought frosting! It really tasted much better than
I expected!

NO BAKE PINK LEMONADE MINI CAKES

1 container ready made frosting 

Slice poundcake into 1/2" slices. Using a
round or fluted cookie cutter, cut as many shapes
as you can from each slice. 

Fill a piping bag with the frosting and
pipe a pretty swirl on each cake round.
(I used my Wilton tip #30)
Put frosted cake rounds together by pairs
creating mini 2 tier cakes!


Instead of Tea, we opted for Pink Lemonade!

All the guests enjoying their sweets!

We used our sweet little mini tea set!

Abbie's favorite is always the meringues! 

Every tea party needs some tea sandwiches and
Abbie's favorite is Cucumber!  It's always better
to use seedless cucumbers if you can get them, but
I just used what I had in the fridge!


Lemon Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

*1 English cucumber, sliced 1/4" thick
 & drained on paper towels.
1 block cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp chives
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemons
Pepperidge Farm thinly sliced white bread

Combine all ingredients and spread some on slices of bread. 
Using a fluted cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as you
can from each slice of bread. (I got 4)

Place a cucumber slice on top of half the bread shapes
and top with a second. Top your sandwich with an
Herb sprig if desired. 

*Tearoom Tip of the Day:  English Cucumbers
are the best for these tea sandwiches because
they are seedless. When you're cutting out
cucumber shapes with regular cucumbers,
your shapes may end up mostly seeds.
If you can't find English Cucumbers, just
use regular.


I hope we've inspired you with our little Barbie Tea! 
Today I'm joining Sandi over at Rose Chintz Cottage
for Tea Time Tuesday! 
Thanks so much for visiting!!




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sunny Lemon Meringues


After the excitement of the Holidays was over and with Spring so far 
away, I needed a little something to cheer myself up.  And nothing cheers 
me up like a recipe with Lemons so I baked some Lemon Meringues!

These meringues are just scrumptious and they're made using a 
different technique than I'm used to, but have wanted to try. Using the 
Swiss Meringue TechniqueMeringues are made by heating the egg 
whites and sugar together over a double boiler until all the sugar melts. 
This process strengthens the meringue, and since meringues will "weep"
or become soft if there is any undissolved sugar left in the mix, this is a 
great way to make sure that the sugar is all dissolved.

After the mixture is removed from the double boiler, whip it until 
you get "stiff peaks." This means that when you lift the beaters
up, the meringue peaks should stand straight up.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip
and pipe little "kisses" onto your baking sheet. Bake for 
1 1/2 hours.
Let meringues cool then transfer to an airtight container.
These meringues are so good - the lemon zest and the
pinch of salt gives them fantastic flavor!

SUNNY LEMON MERINGUES

4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
pinch cream of tartar
zest of one large lemon (organic if possible)
yellow food coloring 
(I used 1/2 tsp powdered yellow food coloring)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Into a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering
water, place the egg whites, sugar & salt. With a rubber
 spatula, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
(Rub mixture between your fingers to check for
graininess.) Pour this mixture into the bowl of a 
stand mixer, add the cream of tartar and yellow food 
coloring. Using the whip attachment beat
on medium high speed until stiff peaks. (This
could take at least 8 minutes.)

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with
a plain tip and pipe little "kisses." Bake for
1 1/2 hours. Let meringues cool completely
then place in an airtight container.


I like to sandwich 2 meringues together with some good
purchased lemon curd.  This makes sweet little lemon
"sandwiches" that actually resemble real Lemons!

As always, my sweet daughter Abbie helps me with my
recipes!! 

YUM! I adore Lemon Curd!! A few of these lovelies is sure
to cheer up anyone with the winter hum drums!! Enjoy!!

**Tearoom Tip of the Day - I tried piping these meringues
with a Wilton 2D and 1M tip and neither worked for me 
because the Lemon zest kept getting clogged in the tip. If you 
don't have a plain tip,  don't use the lemon zest. Instead use a
little lemon extract/flavoring.





Monday, December 8, 2014

Chocolate Mint Chip Meltaways


Chocolate Mint Chip has always been my favorite flavor of 
Ice Cream, so when I discovered that Duncan Hines had
created a Mint Chocolate Frostings Creations Flavor Mix,
I knew that I had to make a wonderful cookie with it!!

One of my favorite cookie recipes is Martha Stewart's 
Lime Meltaways, so I started thinking about how I could
rework the recipe replacing the Lime juice with the
Chocolate Mint flavoring.
I had already tried the Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Flavor Mix
in my recipe for Cotton Candy Meringues, and they turned out
wonderful!! This recipe turned out wonderful as well, and
couldn't be easier to make!  It's a yummy Slice & Bake
cookie that literally melts in your mouth!! So good!!
The recipe takes only minutes to make! I made the
dough the night before, then when I wanted to bake the 
cookies I just let it rest on the counter for a few minutes 
so that it would slice nicely.

After baking the cookies, I tossed the cooled cookies in 
 Mint Chocolate flavored powdered sugar. I made it by sifting a
pack of the Mint Chocolate Flavor Mix with one cup sifted 
powdered sugar.
If you've stopped by the blog this week you know that I've
been experimenting with colored & flavored powdered sugar.
If you haven't seen my post on How to Make Colored Powdered Sugar  
please check it out! 
These cookies are REALLY REALLY GOOD.....
but you have to watch out for COOKIE THIEVES!!

If you wanted a different flavored cookie, just substitute a
different flavor for the Mint Chocolate.  For example, you could use a
Chocolate Almond Flavor Packet and add some chopped almonds
instead of the chocolate chips! Oh, the possibilities!!



CHOCOLATE MINT CHIP MELTAWAYS
Inspired by Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Put butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in the
bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk
attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale
 and fluffy. Add one packet of the mint chocolate
flavor mix and 1 tbsp milk and mix until combined. 

Whisk together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until
combined. Stir in one cup chocolate chips.

Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8 by 12 inch
sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a 
log approximately 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate
logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from
logs and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Space rounds
1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake
cookies for 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks
to cool slightly, at least 10 minutes. 

Sift remaining 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 packet
mint chocolate flavor mix.  In a bowl, toss still warm 
cookies with powdered sugar mixture until coated.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 
2 weeks. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

You could make several flavors of these cookies to
give as Christmas gifts, or give them unbaked in log
form - wrapped first in cling wrap, then in Parchment 
paper. Tie both ends of parchment paper with some 
pretty holiday ribbon, (write the name of the cookies
and how to bake them on the parchment before 
wrapping.) Or get fancy and make a pretty label!

Hope you give this recipe a try!! It's a scrumptious 
and easy Holiday Cookie!!




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Chocolate Crackle Cookies



I am so excited to share with you today this recipe for
Chocolate Crackle Cookies!  The basic recipe comes 
from Martha Stewart, but instead of rolling the cookies 
in regular powdered sugar I rolled them in the colored
powdered sugar that I made from Sparkling Sugar!

I've been experimenting with colored powdered sugar 
this week and if you haven't seen my post on
check it out!

Chocolate Crackles are one of my families favorite
Holiday Cookies. These cookies are made with both
melted chocolate and cocoa powder, so they're nice
and chocolatey! 

To make the colored powder sugar, I put  2 oz Turquoise Sparkling Sugar 
into my food processor and whizzed it until I got a powdery consistency.
I also whizzed the same amount of Pink Sparkling Sugar, and got pretty
pink powdered sugar! 

You could also make some pretty colored powdered sugar  
by sifting together: 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon
 powdered food coloring. (or just add powdered food coloring 
until you get the shade you like!) 

My pink colored sugar was really bright, so I ended up with a
nice bright pink powdered sugar!

I like the way this recipe measures out the pieces of
dough. Instead of using a cookie scoop to scoop out all 
the dough, you roll the dough into logs, then slice the logs
into 1-inch pieces which you roll into a ball and toss into
the powdered sugar!

Pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, let cool and enjoy!

The Pink & Teal colors would be so pretty on 
a Pastel Christmas Cookie Tray!!


CHOCOLATE CRACKLE COOKIES


  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar - plain or colored

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Chop bittersweet chocolate into small bits, and melt over medium heat in a heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate. With mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until just combined. Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
  • On a clean countertop, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 16 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, using confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss in powdered sugar, a few at a time. Using your hands, roll the pieces into a ball shape. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners’ sugar again to coat completely. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to15 minutes.
  • Transfer from oven to a wire rack to let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Hope you liked this little tip and use it to create lots of
pretty pastries!! Happy Baking!!