Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars from Cookies and Cups

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars - made March 29. 2024 from Cookies and Cups 
1 16.6-ounce package of Oreos
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Set aside 8 Oreos. Place the rest in a gallon ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. 
  3. Empty the Oreo crumbs in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add melted butter and salt, mix to combine. Press mixture into an even layer in bottom of prepared pan.
  4. In the top half of a double boiler set over hot water, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until combined and melted.
  5. Pour melted mixture over Oreo layer and smooth into an even layer. Chop remaining Oreos into chunks. Sprinkle chopped Oreos and mini chocolate chips evenly over the filling. Bake 20-22 minutes. Cool for 1 hour.
  6. Melt the white chocolate chips and drizzle over the brownies. Let set before cutting and serving.
Here’s an easy bar cookie recipe if you’re short on time and need to feed a crowd. It’s fastest if you pulverize the Oreos in a food processor but once you’ve got the Oreo cookie crumbs for the bottom layer, the rest of the process goes quickly.

The sweetened condensed milk forms the top for the creamy layer and is a little rich. If you want a more chocolate punch, cut back on the milk chocolate chips and increase the semisweet chips. I followed the recipe as written and was okay with it but I have a high tolerance for sweet over chocolate. 

I liked the look of these, especially with the white chocolate drizzle to contrast with the dark chocolate and Oreos. The top layer was creamy-sweet, tempered with the dark Oreo crust and complemented by the white chocolate drizzle. This is a good bar cookie to serve to a crowd, especially anyone with nut allergies since this doesn’t contain nuts. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Stamped Cookies #38 - Custard Cream Biscuits

Stamped Cookies #38: Custard Cream Biscuits - made dough March 28, 2024, posted by Shane Wingerd from Molded Cookies of the World Facebook group
For the biscuits 
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon bakers ammonia 
225g (7.9oz) unsalted butter, softened 
115g (4oz) caster sugar or baker’s sugar (you want the smaller crystals) 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
340g (12oz) all-purpose flour 
125g (4.4oz) Bird’s Custard Powder

For the filling 
300g (10.5oz) confectioners’ sugar 
150g (5.25oz) unsalted butter, softened 
4 teaspoons Bird’s Custard Powder 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. In a small cup or bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract, and Baker’s Ammonia, then set aside to allow it to dissolve. 
  2. Place the butter, salt and sugar into the bowl of your mixer and beat until fluffy. 
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the flour and Bird’s Custard Powder together in a small bowl. 
  4. When the butter is fluffy, begin drizzling the milk/vanilla mixture into the mixing bowl while the paddle continues to run on medium speed. It may look a little strange at first, but keep beating it and it will all come together into a beautiful homogenous mass. 
  5. Add the flour/custard powder mixture and beat together until you have a ball of smooth dough. (It takes a bit of time, but it will come together – if it doesn’t, add an additional teaspoon of milk). 
  6. Shape the dough into a long oblong shape about ½ inch in depth. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 mins to firm up the dough. 
  7. Once firm, roll the dough out, on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of 5mm. Use a springerle mold, cookie stamp or embossed rolling pin with a shallow pattern. If you use deep pattern molds, the cookies will not bake all the way through before the edges begin to over-brown. 
  8. Place the resulting cookies on parchment lined baking sheets; you can place them fairly close together as they will not spread.
  9. Chill the baking sheets for 20 more minutes or at least as long as it takes to preheat your oven to 325 degrees F conventional or 300 degrees F for convection. 
  10. Remove baking sheets from refrigerator and bake for 8-10 mins, or until the edges begin to turn a pale golden-brown color. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes before moving them to a wire rack with an offset spatula to cool and crisp up. 
  11. For the filling, cream together the confectioners’ sugar, butter, custard powder and vanilla extract in a mixer until smooth and light. 
  12. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling onto one of the biscuits and evenly spread to the edges using a small offset spatula or place the filling in a pastry bag and pipe the filling onto the biscuit. Top with another biscuit. Repeat until all the biscuits and filling has been used up. The biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 
I got this recipe from a Facebook group that specializes in stamped cookies. Members post recipes in the files and, due to the nature of the group, the recipes are the ones that would be good using with cookie stamps to keep the impressions.
I had seen other people post their pictures using this recipe and their stamped impressions always held beautifully so I knew I had to try it. Side note: since this is a British recipe, remember the Brits call cookies "biscuits", hence the recipe name. But they really are cookies and not the American version of "biscuits".
It took awhile for me to finally get all the ingredients together, namely the baker's ammonia, the custard powder and the superfine sugar. Yes, I could probably have used baking soda and regular granulated sugar but since I went to the trouble of sourcing Bird's custard powder (amazon), I figure I might as well stay true to the recipe and get the other ingredients as well to make as accurate a rendition of the recipe as possible.

As you can see from the stamped impressions after baking, the effort was worth the trouble. These turned out beautifully. My only mistake was chilling the dough a trifle too long as then the stamps didn't make as sharp an impression without me pressing down much harder than normal. Some I had to redo as I wasn't satisfied with the impression not being clear enough.
Still, this recipe worked well and tasted pretty good. It's not quite a straightforward vanilla or vanilla custard flavor but it's similar. The texture, if not baked for too long, isn't quite crisp but isn't quite soft either. It's somewhere in between. I preferred baking it an extra couple of minutes to get the crisp without the cookies turning too hard.
The filling was good too and paired well with the cookie. I'd definitely make this again. Except now I need more Bird's custard powder.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from Buns in My Oven

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies - made dough March 2, 2024 from Buns in My Oven 
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing to combine.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mixing on low speed until just combined. Stir in macadamia nuts and white chocolate until evenly disbursed.
  5. Portion into golf-ball-size dough balls and flatten slightly. Evenly space on prepared baking sheets and bake for 11 minutes. Let rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
I think I overbaked these, a rare mistake. And by overbaked, by my standards, that means I baked them to what most people bake them to and I didn't underbake them. Because they weren't dry. They just weren't the moist "fudgy" texture I prefer in my cookies.

These didn't spread much so I suspect I also had a slightly heavy hand with the flour. My volume measurements tend to weigh on the heavier side than most other bakers'. The dough handled beautifully though and wasn't dry or crumbly so maybe these are supposed to stay mostly the shape they're baked in.

In any case, the flavor was excellent and a perfect marriage of white chocolate and macadamias set against a backdrop of a brown sugar cookie. Next time I would make the cookies a little flatter and take them out of the oven perhaps 1-2 minutes earlier.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Crumbl Cookies review #68 - Carrot Cake

Crumbl Cookies review #68 - Carrot Cake, visited March 25, 2024
Crumbl's at it again with testing non-cookie offerings, namely small cakes that have an upcharge. It worked well (for me) with the Tres Leches Cake for $6.25, less so with the Cinnamon Square (I paid with loyalty points so I can't remember what it cost). Still, I was interested enough to try the carrot cake offering on tap this week for $5.93. 

The description says this is supposed to have "warm spices, coconut, pineapple, and carrots". Um, well, it had spices and carrots, I'll give you that. For the life of me, I couldn't find the pineapple or coconut. If I'd had, I would've considered this more of a hummingbird cake rather than a carrot cake. 
Ironically, I prefer my carrot cakes to only have carrots (I'm so glad this didn't have raisins) so you'd think I would've liked this cake just fine. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was anything special. It was baked well but the mouthfeel was a trifle dry. I don't think mine was overbaked; that just seemed to be how the recipe was. Plus the flavor wasn't that good; it didn't taste like carrot cake. I know carrots are in there as I could see them but it tasted more like a spice cake with spices that weren't that fresh. 
I have a favorite carrot cake recipe and Crumbl's version isn't as good as that one. Glad I tried it so now I know but it wasn't worth the upcharge and I won't be getting it again. Sorry, Crumbl, but your carrot cake cookie is way better than your actual carrot cake.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod

Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies - made dough February 24, 2024 from Two Peas and Their Pod 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl to keep mixture even textured.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
  4. Add flour mixture in 2-3 additions, mixing on low speed, until just combined. Fold in toffee bits.
  5. Portion dough into golf ball size dough balls and flatten slightly. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space dough balls. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are set and middles no longer look raw. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
I love the concept of brown sugar and toffee in a cookie. It sounds so good, right? When I’ve made it in the past, I almost inevitably then say “good but a little too sweet for me.”
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here. Yes, it’s sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Or else my sweet tooth was in fine form and didn’t blink. 
It does help, though, not to roll it in brown sugar before baking as many recipes direct. There’s no need for that with these cookies. 
They’re chewy and have good flavor. The toffee bits add a nice crunch once the cookies have cooled and I always love the brown sugar flavor in a cookie. The texture is nicely chewy with crisp edges that aren’t too crunchy or hard. 
The dough also handles really well. You could probably skip the chilling before baking step but I always prefer to do it, partly because I tend to make multiple cookie doughs at once but don’t have time to bake them right then. It’s easier for me to make several different doughs, chill or freeze them then bake everything off at once for care packages for Soldiers Angels.

These are sturdy cookies, meaning not too fragile, and pack and ship well, especially vacuum sealed. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Stamped Cookies #37 from My Gorgeous Recipes

Stamped Cookies #37 - made dough March 1, 2024 from My Gorgeous Recipes
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
100 grams granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
250 grams plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until combined. 
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and lemon extract; beat until just combined. 
  3. On low speed, add flour in two additions, mixing until just combined and no floury streaks remain.
  4. Scrape out dough onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with another large piece of parchment paper and, with a plain rolling pin, roll to 1/3" thickness if using an embossed rolling pin or 1/4" if using cookie stamps. Keep covered and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and remove top piece of parchment paper. Lightly dust with powdered sugar. Roll with embossed rolling pin or press and cut out with cookie stamps.
  6. Freeze stamped cookies, covered, for at least 1 hour.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Evenly space stamped cookies and bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

I love, love using my Sanrio stamps. Yes, I’m a grown-ass adult but I still love me some cute stamped cookies. Although Hello Kitty is arguably the most popular and well known in the Sanrio portfolio, Little Twin Stars was my childhood favorite. My Melody is cute too and I learned all about Pusheen from a fellow adult Sanrio fan a decade ago. I like the look of Kuromi as well. Sorry though as for the life of me, I think the dog is Pochacco (?) but I don’t remember the frog’s name. (Keroppi?)

The beauty about this particular set of cookie stamps is they’re not too finely detailed but still turn out recognizable stamped cookies. I like using them to test out a stamped cookie recipe in case a stamp with finer details fails. Then I also test out stamps with finer details to see how the same recipe holds up. Either way I hedge my bets to end up with good baked stamped impressions.

As you can see from the pictures, I’m happy to say this recipe worked really well to deliver the stamped impressions faithfully after baking, both with the Sanrio stamps and the more detailed Anis Paradies cookie stamps. 

Flavor-wise, these are also good butter cookies. Not too rich, not too buttery and not too sweet. But also not too bland, which is sometimes a challenge with stamped cookie recipes as some of them use so much flour and cornstarch to hold the impressions that they lose flavor. I do recommend using real vanilla extract (none of that imitation stuff). The original recipe says to use lemon extract for the flavoring but I was giving most of these to my cousins, one of whom was 7 years old and I didn’t know how she felt about lemon flavor. She’s a self-proclaimed vanilla lover so I just doubled down on the vanilla extract to play it safe. Fortunately it worked out and she loved the cute little cookies. Even if you’re not 7 years old, give these a whirl to try out your cookie stamps. 
Side note: I got the Sanrio cookie stamps from Amazon and the Anis Paradies stamps from Kitchen Vixen and Gingerhaus on Etsy.