Monday, April 30, 2012

Why do my cookies spread so much when baking?

I received a message from a friend last night in desperation trying to bake hundreds of cookies for her son's school that kept spreading.  After about two failed attempts in the oven she called.  Baking is SO sensitive! Here are some of the most common causes as to why your cookies may be spreading too much:
- Your dough is too warm and needs to be chilled
- The baking pans were greased - tip: don't grease baking pans unless the recipe calls for it
- The butter was too soft when using it in the batter.  At room temperature you should be able to poke an indentation with your finger but the indentation shouldn't stay
- You substituted shortening for butter
- The baking pan was warm when before you put it in the oven
- You used the wrong kind of flour.  Unbleached all purpose flour is the best for cookies.

Always bake a test batch when baking a large amount of cookies.  If the test cookie does not come out right you can then adjust before baking an entire batch.  Hope this helps! If anyone has any other baking questions.  Please feel free to ask!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Drumrolll please.....Carrot Cake Cookies finally in test phase

Okay, so maybe it's not that big of a deal but for years now it's been on the back of my mind to add a carrot cake stuffed cookie onto the menu.  However it wasn't until I had the most amazing dinner of my life at Truclucks in La Jolla that I was finally convicted to start the R&D process. (The constant nagging of the crazy sweet tooth of my husband helped too).  After a huge dinner of crab cakes, oysters, crab legs, bacon mac & cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and the best risotto we've ever had.... (yea I know....what? we like food!! :) I thought I couldn't add a single nibble of food into my incredibly stuffed belly.  That was of course until I saw the 10ft carrot cake being presented to me on  the dessert tray.  We just couldn't resist.  This 7 layer carrot cake, with just the perfect combination of cream cheese and cake drizzled with a butterscotch glaze and topped with candied pecans was a dessert you just didn't say no too! It demanded at least a bite....or two....or twenty! We devoured the ENTIRE thing!!  Really? Cause we don't eat enough sweets as it is! But it got me thinking I would totally come back just for this cake.  What if I had a cookie that just demanded to be eaten? Wouldn't you try it at least once? Stay tuned for how it turns out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monkey Cookie Pops

So a couple posts ago I posted the monkeys I was going to use for the baby shower cookie pops and here are how they turned out.  I used the Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cookie because the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie wouldn't hold as a cookie pop.  It was too soft.  And drizzled it with white chocolate.  What do you guys think?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maple French Toast Bacon Cupcakes

I have to admit I've jumped on the bandwagon and crossed over to the dark side and absolutely love the new trend combining desserts with bacon. This recipe is from the Food Network but it is absolutely incredibly! It's totally the combination of Sweet & Salty that gets me every time!

For the Cupcakes:

·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 cup cake flour
·         1 3.9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 tablespoon potato starch
·         1 teaspoon cinnamon
·         1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
·         1/4 cup granulated sugar
·         1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         4 large egg whites, at room temperature
·         1/4 cup maple syrup
·         1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
·         1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (5 strips)


For the Frosting:

·         1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
·         1/4 cup maple syrup
·         2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·         3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Prepare the cupcakes: Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cute Monkey Cookies

So I have never really been into decorating cookies.  All the decorated cookies I've ever had are dry hard sugar cookies....they look beautiful but don't taste all that great! But when my sister called asking for monkey cookies for her best friends bridal shower, I decided I had to at least try. So I recruited the help of a super talented cake decorator friend and asked what kind of monkeys she could make that would look good on top of a cookie and this is what she made me.  And I love them! They are too cute! I'm thinking I can still do a delicious stuffed Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip cookies stuffed with a Dark Chocolate Banana Truffle.  That way they will look super cute and still taste great! I'll let you know how it goes :)