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!!




Friday, December 5, 2014

How to Make COLORED POWDERED SUGAR - 4 Ways!


Today I am going to show you how to give your Holiday
Baking some sparkle!!  I'll show you 4 ways to color
powdered sugar, and with this trick you can color your
Mexican Wedding Cookies, Crinkle Cookies, Date Balls, 
Powdered Doughnuts or any other baked confection 
that you roll in or sprinkle with powdered sugar!!


The first way to color powdered sugar is by sifting together
 one teaspoon Petal Dust with one cup powdered sugar. 
Petal Dusts were developed for the Cake Decorating
Industry, are Non-Toxic and come in lots of pretty colors!!

I made 2 colors of powdered sugar for
examples - Cosmos (above) & Lilac (below.)

Below are 3 colors of Petal Dust:  Lime, Cosmos & Lilac.


The second way to color powdered sugar is to sift together
one teaspoon powdered food coloring with one cup powdered
sugar.  For both Petal Dusts and Powdered Food Coloring, 
you can add more or less color, depending on the shade 
you're trying to get. You'll have to sift together several times 
until the color is evenly distributed.

 In the picture below I sifted one teaspoon Emerald Green
powdered food coloring with one cup powdered sugar.
This is the lovely shade I got!

The third way to color powdered sugar is to mix one packet
powdered sugar.  These are fun! You not only get pretty
colors, but yummy flavors as well!! Here I made Pink
Lemonade and Mint Chocolate Powdered Sugars!

Just look at all the different flavors below - 
they give me endless recipe ideas!!


Finally, since powdered sugar is made from processing
granulated sugar, I thought I'd try it using colored sugar
So I took some pretty pink and aqua colored sugar that I had 
on hand, whizzed it in my food processor for one minute, 
and got the beautiful powdered sugar colors below!! 

Most purchased powdered sugar has a bit of cornstarch added in, 
but that's not really necessary here unless you're going to store yours 
for a while and not use it right away. This link has more helpful
information on how to make your own powdered sugar.

COLORED POWDERED SUGAR

1 cup (sifted) Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Petal Dust 
or 
1 tsp Powdered Food Coloring 
or
1 packet Frostings Creations Flavor Mix

Into a medium sized bowl, sift the ingredients
together several times until color is evenly
distributed.  Use immediately or place into
a jar with a tight fitting lid.

To make colored powdered sugar using
COLORED SUGAR SPRINKLES, simply 
place desired amount of colored sugar sprinkles
into a food processor or blender and blend
at full speed for one minute.  If it's not
powdery yet, blend another 30 seconds or
until it reaches the texture you want.
(1 cup colored sugar will yield 1 cup powdered sugar)

I've already used these ideas with some of my recipes
and will be sharing them soon, including my Pink &
Teal Crackles!

I hope this post inspires you to get creative with your
Holiday baking! I can't wait to get started! So many ideas,
so little time! Happy Baking!!





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Easy Christmas Tree Meringues


Today I made some pretty Meringue Christmas Trees to
share with you! Meringues are one of the easiest cookies 
to make and comes together in minutes! The hardest part
about them is waiting for them to "dry" in the oven.

The trick to remember when making meringues is that
you bake them until they are completely dry. After 2
hours, remove one of the meringues from the oven,
let it cool 2 minutes, then try it. If it's nice & crisp, then
you can remove the rest from the oven, let them cool 
on a wire rack, then put them in a ziplock bag until 
you're ready to eat them. If the meringue is still a bit
chewy, then bake the meringues for 30 minutes more.

I piped these using my #864 Ateco Open Star Tip, but any
open star tip - or plain tip will work.  I piped in a circular 
motion, getting smaller as I went and ended with
a star shape on top.  My trees measured just under
2 inches wide at the base.

Right after piping I decorated my trees with
sprinkles - some with white and some multi-colored.
I finished by putting a little snowflake on top.



CHRISTMAS TREE MERINGUE COOKIES

2 EGG WHITES
1/2 CUP SUPER FINE SUGAR 
(SUCH AS DOMINO SUPERFINE SUGAR)
PINCH CREAM OF TARTAR
FOOD COLORING OF CHOICE
SPRINKLES

Preheat oven to 200F.  Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper and set aside.

Beat egg whites 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 and pipe trees using a circular motion.
Decorate with sprinkles. Bake for at least 2 hours
or until crisp. Remove from oven, let cool and place
in an airtight container until ready to serve.

This recipe makes 14 Meringue Trees, and
can be doubled if you want more.


Here's a little tip from DOMINO SUGAR...


Before serving, I dusted the trees with a little powdered 
sugar "snow." These are so fun and are sure to be a hit
at your Holiday Party!! Thanks for stopping by!!





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sparkly Pastel Meringue Wreath Ornaments


For Christmas this year I thought it would be fun to have a little tree 
covered with edible ornaments including these pretty 
Meringue Wreath Ornaments!

These ornaments are easy to make, inexpensive and delicious,
 and are perfect for a Vintage or Pastel Tea Party! 
(And they're Gluten Free!)

All you need is 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup of sugar, food coloring & 
Sprinkles! I actually doubled this recipe, divided the mixture in half 
and tinted one half pink and the other half teal.

I used two small open star tips (Wilton 21 & 32) and just practiced
 until I found the look that I liked the best.  I used my handy dandy 
template to pipe uniform meringues. Just place the template on a 
baking sheet and put a piece of parchment paper over that. Then 
pipe your meringues using the circles as a guide.

Some ornaments I piped as one continual circle and others I piped 
individual dots of meringue - side by side to form a circle.

Right after I piped the ornaments I decorated them with Dragees then
sprinkled them with Baby Pink Disco Dust. There is some controversy 
about whether you should actually eat the Dragees. I suggest that you
read the information on the link then decide. You could remove them
from the ornaments before eating them, or simply decorate with
another type of edible candy balls.

My daughter is holding the pretty ornaments and wishing that
we had our Christmas Tree up so that she could decorate it!


SIMPLE MERINGUE COOKIES

2 egg whites
*1/2 cup super fine sugar (such as Dixie Crystals)
food coloring of choice
sprinkles of choice

Preheat oven to 200F. Line 2 baking pans with
parchment paper. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the 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 a
small open star tip and pipe circles or shapes
of choice. Decorate with sprinkles or candy
balls. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven, 
let cool, then place in an airtight container
until ready for use. 

*super fine sugar dissolves much faster
than regular granulated sugar. If you
can't find it, you can use a food processor 
to grind the regular sugar a little finer.

Hang your ornaments with some pretty gold or pink ribbon!
I already had some pretty sparkly pink Rick Rack so I used that.

Just imagine a pastel dessert table with a miniature Christmas Tree 
filled with edible meringue ornaments and gingerbread men!!
I love it!!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did in bringing it to you!
Please stay tuned because I've made some lovely Meringue
Christmas Trees that I'll share in my next post!!





Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pretty Pastel Coconut Pound Cakes


This week I saw the cutest little cakes on Pinterest that were baked
in this pan! So I ordered one from Amazon and as soon as I 
received it, I made mini coconut pound cakes in it! 

This recipe is one of my "go to" recipes that I've been making for years 
and they are so good!! These luscious little two bite cakes include 
Cream of Coconut, butter and cream cheese and are so moist and 
yummy!! They are perfect for so many occasions!

This is the Silicone baking pan that I used. The design is so pretty!

I used baking spray to oil the pan for the first batch, but didn't
use it again after that. After baking the cakes I just turned the
pan upside down, shook it a couple of times and the cakes fell
right out!

To make things easier, I used my piping bag with the plain tip 
to fill the pan. The tip needs to be large enough to let the pieces
of coconut go through. The mixture is very thick, so as I piped
I made sure the tops of the cakes were level so they would bake 
evenly.

I was a little disappointed that the cakes didn't show the
design like I hoped they would. You would see more detail 
if you used the pan for making chocolates or chilled desserts.

These cakes really don't need any frosting. I've
made them many times and I usually just sprinkle on
a little powdered sugar to serve. The Land O'Lakes's recipe
says to just serve them plain with fruit preserves or jam. 
Perfect for a brunch!


Mini Coconut Pound Cakes
*Adapted from Land O'Lakes

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
*1/4 cup cream of coconut (Original recipe says milk)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine sugar, butter and cream cheese in mixer.
Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
Add cream of coconut, eggs and vanilla. Continue 
beating until smooth. Stir in flour and coconut.

Spoon (or pipe) into paper-lined or greased muffin cups, 
filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 32 to 38 minutes (20 minutes 
for mini muffins) or until light golden brown. 


Just for fun, I tried several different icing techniques. I used royal icing
for the pink cakes and didn't like the taste. I used a simple 
powdered sugar & milk glaze for the green cakes and liked that a lot 
more. But my favorite way to serve them is just sprinkling with 
powdered sugar, and I thought they looked really pretty that way!

Hope you enjoy my version of these wonderful little Coconut Cakes!!
Thanks for stopping by!!