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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Baking Part I

I had lots of fun with my holiday baking this year. There were a few bumps in the road, but for the most part, everything was a success. My first cookie was supposed to be a Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookie that I found on Tasty Kitchen. Well I made a few, and in my opinion, they were just so-so. I thought to myself, how can I improve this cookie? So here is what I came up with. We will just call them....

Happy Mistake Cookies


2 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
¼ cups Canola Oil
4 ounces, weight Unsweetened Chocolate (melted)
2 cups Granulated Sugar
4 whole Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
5 whole Candy Canes, Crushed (the Large Ones)

Preparation Instructions

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, chocolate and granulated sugar and blend on medium speed. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. There may be some small clumps of sugar in the batter at this point. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, stopping once to scrape down the sides. Mix until just incorporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
3. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
5. Pour the crushed candy canes onto a plate or into a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into 1/2-inch balls. and roll each ball into the candy cane pieces, so that all sides are covered. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets.
6. Bake for 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, or 12 minutes for crisp cookies, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cookies do set up, so if you want them soft, take them out after 10 minutes. Let cool completely on cooling racks. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

MMMM, so who doesn't like a peanut butter filling?

Here's what you'll need:

8 TBSP unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 c honey
1c peanut butter
1/2 c powdered sugar

Cream the butter on a medium speed for several minutes. Add the honey and peanut butter and beat just until combined. Add the powdered sugar little by little until combined.

Now we can make the cookie sandwich. Take a small amount of the pb mixture and put it between 2 cookies. Once you are done, it helps to chill them so they can set.

Time to melt some chocolate (well, and some butterscotch)!

You'll need:

1 bag butterscotch chips
2 -3 bags milk chocolate chips

Grab a double boiler or whatever other contraption you have that works. Fill a pot eh, maybe halfway with water. Bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, if you are going to use chunk chocolate, chop it up pretty small. The easiest way to do this would be to grab a bag of butterscotch chips and 2 bags of milk chocolate chips. Once the water boils, turn it off and place your heat proof bowl inside the pot. *Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water*. Melt it down until it is ready for dipping and then start dipping away. Lay each dipped cookie sandwich on wax paper to harden. Decorate them if you want.

Voila! You're done!

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