Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Cookies & Cream Oreo Blondies

We take a slight break from the cookie stamping posts to bring you this recipe for Cookies & Cream Oreo Blondies, the first of two recipes I tried because I wanted to mix up the bar cookies I was sending in military care packages.
As I'm sure I've mentioned before, as snobby as I am about homemade cookies and turning up my nose at storebought cookies, I will freely admit Oreos are one of the exceptions to my snobbery. I love Oreos. I rarely buy them because I would eat them. Not one or two. Maybe 5. At a time. Hence why I don't buy them very often.
When I do buy them, it's to bake with them. Because I can try out a new recipe and eat one (or 5) while I'm chopping them up to put in the batter. Win-win. This was a good bar cookie and should ship well. At least I hope so as by the time I post this, they would've already been packaged up and mailed. And hopefully received. 
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
16 Oreos, broken into pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; mix to combine. 
  4. Add dry pudding mix and mix until combined.
  5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, white chocolate and Oreo pieces.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until center is set and toothpick inserted near center comes out with a few moist crumbs, not raw batter. Cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Stamped Brown Sugar Shortbread (recipe 3)

Stamped Brown Sugar Shortbread - made March 13, 2021 from Kelly Neil
Recipe alert - make this. So far it's the best of the ones I've tried, in having dough that's easy to work with to pattern, in keeping the impressions during baking and, best of all, in taste and texture. This was delicious.
I veered slightly away from embossed rolling pins (for now) as I discovered, thanks to a blog post (which I'll cover in the next embossed cookie post), the art of cookie stamping via mooncake molds.
If you find cookie stamps a little expensive (the good ones always are), try the much cheaper alternative of using mooncake molds. Super pretty impressions and the molds make them a great size for a cookie as well as keep the cookie tidily in shape since it's literally a spring-loaded cookie (or mooncake) mold.
I inadvertently made them a little thicker than a normal cookie as it was hard to judge from the size of the dough ball how thick the cookie will turn out once you press the mold down. But the cookie was so good, it turns out they're perfect when they're a little thick.
And look how well the impressions stayed. Not gonna lie, that made me happy. Like I said, it doesn't take much these days, lol.  

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour 
  1. Place granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until well combined, 2-4 minutes. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. Whisk together salt and flour in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture in 3 additions, mixing after each addition, until combined and no flour streaks remain.
  4. Portion into 24 dough balls. Roll each ball into granulated sugar, coating completely. Press each ball with cookie stamp. Chill and freeze for several hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space stamped cookies. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool cookies completely on wire rack.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Stamped Butter Cookies (recipe 2)

Stamped Butter Cookies - made January 16, 2021 from Beyond the Butter
Another recipe as I am still on the hunt for the one that will keep the impression from an embossed rolling pin.
Speaking of embossed rolling pins, I have to confess, after Bennett gave me the first one, I went and bought four more from etsy. Told you it was the start of an obsession. Although to be fair, I bought one as a gift for a friend just so I could try to get someone else obsessed with them. So I'm not the only one with a new freak flag.
One of the three I kept for myself is this stars one pictured above. I wanted something with a patriotic flavor (very punny, right?) for the cookies I send in military care packages as a volunteer with Soldiers Angels. Cool, eh?

And because I saw it from the same Etsy seller that I got the stars rolling pin from, I also bought this Disney one. I thought it was cute and would be fun to cut out into Mickey-Mouse shapes.
Technically, I don't have a Mickey-Mouse-shaped cookie cutter but details....

These didn't quite turn out as well as I had hoped though. It might be hard to see in the pictures but that's indicative as, in real life, the imprints weren't as clear either. At least not as clearly defined as the one from the embossed rolling pin Bennett gave me.

Evenly more sadly, as you can see below, this recipe didn't hold up well with keeping the impressions either. That could be partly my fault in that I didn't roll the dough thinly enough or bake the cookies long enough. I'm also learning the depth of the imprints from the rolling pin matters. I liked the stars embossing but the Disney one just didn't have enough depth or dimension. 
This recipe made so much dough that I did try it out with my new cookie stamps as well and, in fairness to the recipe, it did better with larger patterns. So I guess this isn't one to use for small patterns that have more detail as the finer details will bake out but with larger patterns, it holds its own decently well.

The flavor on these cookies was good but the hunt continues for a butter or shortbread recipe that holds the impressions and doesn't spread during baking.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition until combine. Add vanilla and mix until just combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients in three additions, mixing briefly after each addition. Mix until no flour streaks remain; do not overbeat.
  4. Divide dough in half and place each half on a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment and roll each piece into a smooth and even thickness, 1/8 - 1/4" thick.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and remove top piece of parchment. Dust lightly with flour and roll embossed rolling pin, imprinting the dough. Cut into desired shapes, cover and chill again briefly, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space chilled cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven, let rest on cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Shortbread Stamped Cookies (recipe 1)

Shortbread Stamped Cookies - made December 30, 2020 from Roti N Rice
Last Christmas, my friend Bennett unexpectedly sent me this embossed rolling pin as a gift. Little did she (or I) know what a new obsession she was going to spark.
I have always wanted one of these but thought I had "enough" baking stuff. LOLOLOL. What a concept. An erroneous one as it turns out. I love this thing. Love.
But the tricky thing is finding a good recipe where the cookies don't spread and you don't lose the impressions from the embossing. Thus began my journey to find such a recipe. Be prepared for similar posts to come on this topic.
Thankfully, this one wasn't a bad one to start with. But before you can have the fun of embossing the dough, you have to roll it out perfectly smooth, even and flat. Thanks to Dorie Greenspan, I learned the trick of rolling out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. The parchment prevents sticking, allows you to roll out to an even thickness and you don't have to use a ton of flour to get it rolled out smoothly, thus enabling you not to add too much flour to the dough and potentially change the composition of the cookie texture.

Once you have your dough rolled out smoothly, make sure you chill it before and after the first rollout. This will help prevent (too much) sticking with the embossed rolling pin as well as make better impressions on the dough.
Did I mention how much I love this embossed rolling pin? Look how pretty the pattern is! Once you have the dough embossed, you can cut it out in any shape(s) you desired. I went with a round cutter with scalloped edges for a little more prettiness. I'm not good at decorating cakes or cookies so it's kinda exciting to turn out something this pretty. (Hey, I've been in lockdown for over a year, it doesn't take much to make me happy at this point - pretty cookies will do it.)

This was the scrap piece of dough which I couldn't resist embossing too

It's a bit hard to tell from the pictures but the pattern on the baked version, while not as sharply delineated as on the unbaked dough, didn't spread out too much and held up pretty well.

Here's what the underside looks like so you can see approximately what color you want to bake it until. As with most shortbread, you don't want to underbake too much or the texture won't be right but you also don't want to overbake it to too dark either. Flavor-wise, this was also good. It's hard to beat buttery shortbread.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine all-purpose flour and rice flour in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and powdered sugar until creamy and blended. Add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing briefly after each addition until just combined.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Place one disc in the center of a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with another large piece of parchment paper and roll out to an even thickness, about 1/8 - 1/4" thick. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30-60 minutes. Repeat with second disc.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and peel off top sheet of parchment. Run over with embossed rolling pin or cookie stamp(s) and cut embossed dough into desired shapes. Space evenly onto prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake each baking sheet for 18-20 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.