Sunday, 24 January 2016

Chocolate Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Guess what. I'm getting back into it. Baking and blogging that is. My mood to photograph and write ebbs and flows. That doesn't mean I haven't been checking out recipes and baking - see my Instagram for evidence.

One of the recipes that I've been wanted to try is a sugar cookie recipe. You might think it's boring, but there's something about a no-frills cookie that I like. It can't hide from fancy add-ins and flavours. It's all about texture and the balance of sugar and salt. Like a butter cookie (which by the way, is my favorite cookie). But just in case a basic sugar cookie is too boring for you, here's a version with ganache.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Ready to form back into a ball.
Ready for baking. No need to press down.

Chocolate Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie base recipe from Brave Tart

1 cup butter, cold
1 ½ cups of sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated if available)
1 large egg, cold
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour

40 grams dark chocolate, chopped
52 grams cream

½ cup of cane or muscovado sugar

1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg until fluffy (5 min).
2. Scrape down the sides, add egg and vanilla, and beat for another 2 minutes.
3. Scrape down the sides and add flour. Mix on the lowest speed until combined (no more than 30 seconds).
4. Put your dough in the fridge while you make the ganache.

At this point, you can pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

5. Put the chopped dark chocolate in a bowl. In a microwave safe cup, microwave cream in 10 second intervals until steaming. Swirl between rounds.
6. Pour cream onto chocolate and let sit for a couple minutes. Stir to combine starting from the middle going outwards. Once smooth, let it sit in the fridge until cool.
7. Scoop out 2 Tablespoon portions of dough and form a ball. Make a deep indent in the ball with your thumb, insert a small dollop of ganache (~½ teaspoon), and patch up the hole with dough from the sides and bottom of the ball. Roll in your hands to re-form a ball.
8. Roll dough in sugar. Place 5 on a baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing.

Makes about 26 cookies.

Verdict: Crispy edges, chewy centers. Delic! I made a couple without the chocolate and sugar on the outside and they were still really good. Not boring - classic, OG.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Various Winter Bakings

Here are some things that I've been baking this winter. No recipes here but I thought it might be nice to show you some photos. I really need a professional light for taking photos. Short days mean short time periods of when I can photograph, and in dark and rainy Vancouver, the light that is available isn't great. This winter, I didn't even bother trying to catch the light, thus these photos. Oh well.

Let's start with a birthday cake with blueberry jam. I just love those colours.

Next is a Winter Wonderland cake that I made for a potluck. A chocolate cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. Pretty simple and it's all in the decor!

Next is the World's Best Cake, which was a disaster, but which I managed to salvage. The final product is layers of angel food cake, whipped cream, and meringues with slivered almonds.

Next is a dairy free birthday cake. Chocolate cake with meringue frosting. Fluufffyyyy!

And finally, a pretzel cake from Christina Tosi (Milk Bar). Interesting flavours for sure - pretzel, honey frosting, and ganache. A grown up cake for 3 grownups' birthdays.

That's all for now. I'll be here hoping for better weather and lighting.