Grandma’s Biscotti

I’m a small blogger and this milestone may seem small to others but I’m close to 700 twitter followers.  I’m excited and want to thank everyone who follows on twitter and other social media – it’s much appreciated.

Grandma's Biscotti | Bakewell Junction

Grandma’s Biscotti | Bakewell Junction

I’m a big fan of family recipes, they’re great to share from generation to generation.  This one isn’t from my family though.  Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker shared her Grandmother’s recipe much earlier this year and I knew it would be a great recipe for holiday baking which just around the corner.  I also followed some tips I’d seen here.  I hope you enjoy this recipe with your family too.

I couldn’t easily find the butternut flavor but I found LorAnn Professional Kitchen Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion at my local Walmart and figured it would work well and it did.  The emulsion is used one for one to the extract so there’s no amount adjustment.  If you find the LorAnn Oils, use only 1/8 to 1/4 of the required extract amount as the oils are much stronger.

Although this is the first time I made these cookies, I got a few impressions.  When I was mixing the dough, it reminded me of my Grandmother’s pizzelle dough.  While I was eating a few, I was reminded of Stella D’Oro Breakfast Treats and Roman Egg Biscuits.  The cookie just felt familiar.

As the cookies were cooling, my husband swiped one off the racks and said they smelled like Christmas.  The cookies are perfect with coffee or tea and I found them to be a bit addicting.

Join us for the third week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.

Brenda from Meal Planning Magic hosts 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats and I hope you’ll join us this year.  I’ve participated for the last two and had a great time each year.

Enjoy!

Grandma's Biscotti | Bakewell Junction - Lovely cookies to share from generation to generation.

Grandma’s Biscotti

Yield:  six dozen biscotti                 Cook Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butternut flavoring (I used LorAnn Professional Kitchen Butter Vanilla emulsion)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional) (I skipped the nuts)
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling, if desired

Step 1:  Mix together flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.  Add eggs and sugar to a stand mixer bowl.  Beat three minutes until the mixture becomes a light in color.  Beat in the oil, milk and flavoring.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure the ingredients are incorporated evenly throughout.  Add the flour mixture in small increments with the speed on low until all the flour is just incorporated.  Be sure not to over mix.  Fold in the nuts with a spatula as needed.

Step 2:  Since the dough was pretty sticky, I put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes before shaping it.  Line two cool cookie sheets with parchment paper (I put these in the fridge too while the dough cooled).  Divide the chilled dough into four pieces, taking care to keep them as equal as possible.  I missed on this one, so my logs weren’t all the same width.  Shape each piece of dough into nine by three inch logs.  Place the logs on the cookie sheets along the short side, two per sheet.  Bake the first sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool in the pans on racks for at least 15 minutes.  Repeat with the second sheet.

Step 3:  While the second baking sheet is cooling, slice the logs from the first baking sheet diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.  Use a sharp knife; I used a serrated knife.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Stand up a cooling rack on the first lined baking sheet.  Place the cut cookies on their side on the rack.  Since the cookies are cut side down, not all of them will fit on the rack.  By baking them on the rack, the air circulates around them and you won’t need to flip them during the second baking.  Bake the sliced cookies for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on racks.  Repeat for remaining cookies and logs.  Since the cookies aren’t as sweet as most cookies we’re used to, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving or you can dunk into your coffee.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container for a few weeks.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

You can find out all about the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats by clicking here for more information and details about joining in.
If you’re a blogger, be sure to check the guidelines, join the challenge and then link up your own post each week.

And everyone, don’t forget to check out all the recipes at Meal Planning Magic for even more inspiration!

Root Beer Float Cookies

Root Beer Float Cookies | Bakewell Junction

Root Beer Float Cookies | Bakewell Junction

I have so many recipes pinned from my favorite bloggers that I want to try.  I think I’ll be a hundred years old by the time I try them all.  I’m sharing this one that I’ve wanted to make for a few months now from Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate and More.  My cookies turned out bigger than Joan’s did and I don’t think there was enough of a root beer flavor so the next time I make them I’ll add another teaspoon of flavoring and double the filling.  The cookies were delicious otherwise.

I think this would be a great recipe for Christmas cookie sharing and since this is the first week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, it’s perfect timing.

Brenda from Meal Planning Magic hosts 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats and I hope you’ll join us this year.  I’ve participated for the last two and had a great time each year.

Enjoy!

Root Beer Float Cookies | Bakewell Junction

Root Beer Float Cookies

Yield:  20 cookie sandwiches                 Cook Time:  8 to 12 minutes

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons root beer concentrate (add an additional teaspoon, optional)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (I substituted butter)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cream or milk

Step 1:  For the cookie dough:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and root beer concentrate (shake before measuring) for about four minutes.  Gradually add sugar and beat another two minutes.  Scrape down bowl as needed.  Beat in eggs one at time; ensuring that each is completely combined before the next is added.

Step 2:  Add flour mixture in small batches until incorporated.  Portion the dough into 40 equally sized portions.  Drop onto a parchment lined baking sheet about two inches apart.  Flatten the tops of the cookie slightly.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes.  I needed to bake for 12 minutes to cook completely.  Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.  Repeat for the remaining dough portions.

Step 3:  For the filling:  You can double the amounts if you want a thicker filling.  As the cookies cool, beat butter and shortening (if using) in a medium bowl.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Mix in the powder sugar slowly so as not to have it flying all over the place.  Add 1 tablespoon of the milk or cream before completely adding the powdered sugar if the mixture becomes too dry.  Based on desired consistency, add up to 1 additional tablespoon of milk or cream.  Since I wanted a thick filling, I used the least amount of milk possible – about 1/3 tablespoon.

Step 4:  Pair similar sized and shaped cookies.  Divide the filling into 20 portions.  Spread a portion on the bottom of one cookie pair and top with the other cookie of the pair.  Repeat for all the cookie pairs.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate and More.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

You can find out all about the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats by clicking here for more information and details about joining in.
If you’re a blogger, be sure to check the guidelines, join the challenge and then link up your own post each week.

And everyone, don’t forget to check out all the recipes at Meal Planning Magic for even more inspiration!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookie | Bakewell Junction

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookie | Bakewell Junction

I had heard that there was a new chocolate chip cookie dough filled version of the original Oreo.  I hadn’t been able to find any in the local stores until finally a couple of weeks ago the A&P had them on sale.  I bought two packages and brought them home thinking I would just devour them.  I waited until my hubby was home, so we could try them together.  Well, we were so disappointed.  I wasn’t thrilled and the hubby didn’t like them.  I put them in the fridge and the hubby thought they tasted a little better but he still wouldn’t buy them again.  I set out to find a homemade replacement and failed but still found a really great cookie.  The cookies weren’t crisp enough to replace Oreos.

This cookie is chocolatey and you get to make the filling as thick as you want it.  I made them for my cousins’ visit over Labor Day Weekend and they loved them.  I promise you will too.  I barely had a chance to take a picture before they were gone.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Yield:  20 cookie sandwiches                 Cook Time:  8 minutes

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s mini chips)

Step 1:  Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, beat butter on high for a minute.  Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the sugars on medium to incorporate.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix in on low until incorporated.  Cover dough and transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 3:  Divide dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator.  For the dough that is out of the fridge, divide it into twenty equal pieces (about 2 teaspoons apiece).  Roll each piece into a ball and place on the cookie sheet in 4 by 5 rows.  Flatten each ball of dough and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Cool on racks.  Repeat for the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

Step 4:  Since my cookies weren’t crisp enough after they were completely cool (probably due to the extreme humidity), I pre-heated the oven to 200 degrees and transferred the cookies on the racks into the oven and baked for 20 minutes and let them sit in the oven with the door open until it cooled.  This made the cookies a bit crisp for a short time until the humidity took over.

Step 5:  For the filling:  Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Melt butter in a medium sauce pan on low heat.  Using a wooden spoon stir the sugars into the melted butter until the butter begins to melt.  Continue stirring until the sugars are mostly melted.  You will be able to tell when that is by tapping the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon – the crunching sound will be diminished.  Transfer the butter mixture to a bowl and with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar mixture for about five minutes.  Mix in vanilla and then flour in small batches.  Stir in milk until desired consistency is attained.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Let cool completely.

Step 6:  Divide dough into twenty equal pieces.  Match up cookies based on size.  Place cookie dough between two match cookies and compress so the dough squeezes towards the edges of the cookie.  Repeat for remaining cookies.  Serve chilled.

Enjoy!

Chocolate chip cookie dough filling recipe adapted from Food Network, courtesy of George Duran.  Cookie adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts

For those of you who joined in on #GetHimFed Fridays, I regret to say that I won’t be co-hosting any longer.  Many thanks to all that joined the party.  I enjoyed seeing all the shared recipes.  You can still join Jess from Hungry Harps on Fridays.

On to what I wanted to share with you…

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts | Bakewell Junction

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts | Bakewell Junction

Two weeks ago was my Mom’s 80th birthday.  We had a get together with family and friends at a local Italian restaurant.  It’s one of the places we liked and helped us decide that we could move into the area.  A few doors down is the other place that gave us that feeling – it’s and Italian deli with all the right aromas.

Instead of having the usual favors for the guests to take home I made cookies.  I made the two varieties of tri-color cookies I usually make for the holidays.  Those are one of my Mom’s favorites.  I also wanted to make something specific for Mom’s 80th, so I settled on Vanilla Sugar cookies in a heart shape with 80 in chocolate.  I used white icing so my chocolate would stand out more than if my icing was red.  My lettering (or numbering in this case) is shaky but I think they turned out kinda cute.

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts | Bakewell JunctionAll packaged and ready for the party.

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts | Bakewell Junction

Enjoy!

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Hearts

Yield:  45 cookies

Dough:

Royal Icing:

Decoration:

  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • a few drops of oil to thin out the chocolate

Step 1:  Prepare dough as per the recipe.  Shape dough into a flat disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Step 2:  Place the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3/8 inch thick with a floured rolling pin.  Using a 4 1/2 to 5 inch Christmas Tree shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  After you finish cutting the rolled dough, you can gather the scraps into a flat disc and roll out the dough again and repeat cutting out the cookies.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Set aside.

Step 3:  Place the cookies on the cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Bake chilled cookies 10 – 12 minutes until edges begin to become slightly golden.  Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheets.  Carefully move cookies to cooling racks and let cool completely.  Repeat for the remaining cookies.

Step 4:  Prepare the icing as per the recipe.  The icing should be the consistency of honey.  I’m leaving the icing white because I want to have contrast with the chocolate numbers.

Step 5:  Line an inexpensive cookie sheet with wax paper.  On top of the wax paper, ring the edges of the cookie sheet with the cooled cookies facing outward.  Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the icing into the corner of a ziploc bag and cut about 1/8 inch of the tip off.  Pipe the icing along the outline of each of the cookies.  Cover the remaining icing with a damp paper towel and then plastic wrap to store for several hours or until the next day until the outline drys

Step 6:  Using a spatula, fill in the outlined cookies to the edge of the outline.  Let dry overnight.

Step 7:  Melt chocolate over hot water or in the microwave.  Stir chocolate to ensure it’s of smooth consistency.  Add in a few drops of oil to loosen up the chocolate.  This will allow you to pipe an 80 onto the center of the cookie.  Place several tablespoons of the chocolate in a ziploc bag and cut about 1/8 inch of the tip off.  Pipe two small zeroes, one on top of the other, for the 8.  This worked better for me than trying to make a figure 8.  Then pipe a large zero next to the 8.  Repeat for the remaining cookies.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Family Circle magazine, 12/12/2000.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container.  Use Bridget’s decorating tips on Bake at 350.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

Malted Chocolate Chip Whopper Blondies

Malted Chocolate Chip Whopper Blondies | Bakewell Junction

Malted Chocolate Chip Whopper Blondies | Bakewell Junction

I had seen this recipe a while ago and had been looking for a reason to try it.  Well, I didn’t have a good reason so I made it just because.  I wanted to change the recipe into bars instead of cookies.  I wasn’t thrilled with the results at room temperature but refrigerating them made all the difference.  They are great right out of the fridge – still tender and soft.

Enjoy!

Malted Chocolate Chip Whopper Blondies | Bakewell JunctionMalted Chocolate Chip Whopper Blondies

Yield:  16 squares                 Cook Time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup chopped plus 16 whole Whoppers candy (about 5 ounces)

Step 1:  Line an 8 by 8 inch pan with aluminum foil so some of overhangs the sides and spray it with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and sugar on high for at least three minutes.  Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Mix in the flour mixture by hand.  Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped Whoppers.

Step 3:  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 – 35 minutes.  Upon removing from the oven and while still warm, lightly press the whole Whoppers one by one in a 4 by 4 pattern in the approximate center of each bar.  Let cool 30 to 45 minutes in the pan.  Using the aluminum foil to remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.  Slice into 4 rows by 4 row squares.  These sliced really cleanly after completely cool.  Refrigerate and serve cold.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse #ChocolateParty

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse | Bakewell Junction - LIght and luscious; great all the time!

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse | Bakewell Junction

I would have shared this post with you a week ago but my first try at making mousse was a failure.  It never set up and was kinda soupy.  The taste was great but it just wasn’t mousse.  To add to my disappointment, the recipe was supposed to be easy.  I set about trying to find a better recipe and one of the comments on a recipe I was considering (can’t remember which one) recommended Wolfgang Puck’s recipe which turned out wonderfully.

You’ll love this recipe.  It’s delicious and addicting.  There isn’t an overwhelming flavor of hazelnuts, so if you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, don’t worry you’ll just wonder why it tastes so good.  I would recommend using individual sized containers to hold the mousse otherwise you might find yourself eating an entire recipe of mousse spoonful after spoonful – just sayin’.

The reason for this recipe combination is the Chocolate Party hosted by Roxana’s Home Baking.  I like hazelnuts and who doesn’t love chocolate?

Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse | Bakewell Junction

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

Yield:  8 servings                 Cook Time:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate (I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips)
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • whole hazelnuts for garnish

Directions:

Step 1:  In a large bowl combine egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.  Melt chocolate over hot water or in the microwave.  Stir chocolate to ensure it’s of smooth consistency.  My chocolate had little lumps that were difficult to smooth out.

Step 2:  Bring cream to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Mix cream into the melted chocolate until completely combined.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Mix the Frangelico and hazelnut extract into the chocolate mixture.  Mix the chocolate mixture slowly into the egg yolk mixture so the yolks don’t begin to cook.  Set aside.

Step 3:  Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix egg whites and lemon juice.  Beat until soft peaks appear.  Add 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating on high until stiff and shiny.

Step 4:  Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Repeat with the remaining egg whites in two equal additions.  Spoon or pour into individual serving bowls and refrigerate six hours to overnight.  Garnish with whole hazelnuts before serving.  Try not to eat the entire recipe.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck’s Heavenly Chocolate Mousse.

Tips:  Store in the refrigerator.

Our #ChocolateParty June theme is hazelnuts and chocolate.  If you’d like to join in, please follow these rules:

1.)  Blog about your chocolate treat.  Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose.  It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake; the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.
2.)  Include a link back to the Chocolate party page.  Optionally, add the Chocolate Party logo in your blog post or on your sidebar.
3.)  Your recipe must be published during the current month.  Please do not link old recipes, they will be deleted.

Add your link to the Chocolate Hazelnut Party.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

JWsMadeWLuvMondays

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies | Bakewell Junction - Gooey and chocolatey deliciousness.

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies | Bakewell Junction

Has everyone been as busy as I have?  I have deadlines looming at work and yard work piling up.  Spring and early summer there’s so much to do.  I’d love to hear any shortcuts and tips you have with yard work.  And, has anyone had the explosion of poison ivy that we’ve had in the northeast this year?!?

I was looking for another quick and easy recipe to share with you.  I found this one that would use up some of my left over Easter candy too.  This recipe came together so quickly and was a cinch to make.  The bars are gooey with tons of chocolate and delicious.

Enjoy!

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies | Bakewell Junction - Gooey and chocolatey deliciousness.

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies

Yield:  16 bars                 Cook Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups milk chocolate mini eggs

Directions:

Step 1:  In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  I melted the butter in the microwave but you can melt it over medium heat on the stove.  In the bowl of the stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the melted butter and brown sugar on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes.  The mixture should look lighter and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.

Step 2:  Mix in vanilla and egg and egg yolk until mixture is creamy.  Mix in the flour in 3 additions until each is combined using a low setting on your mixer.  Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan by lining with aluminum foil and greasing with cooking spray.  Transfer the dough to the baking and use the back of a silicone spatula to spread batter evenly across the pan.

Step 3:  Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes.  The top should be golden brown and a toothpick test should come out clean.  When done, remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes.  Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to cool completely (a few hours or overnight).  Slice into 2 by 2 inch squares.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bakeaholic Momma.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake always has perfectly cut cookie bars, so I always use her Tip of the Day to cut the bars.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Bar | Bakewell Junction

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Bar | Bakewell Junction

Ugh!  I’ve lost another battle to the dandelions.  I was gaining on them this year because the weather was cooler for a while but then a couple of weeks ago we had three days of rain and a warm weekend – it was all over but the crying.  I’m not giving up entirely and will continue on my mission to pull all of them up in the front yard.  Hopefully this will put me in a better position for next year’s dandelion battle.  Wish me luck.

On to more dandilicious happenings…  I was debating whether I should post this recipe because I wanted to tweak it and bring you the revised version with double the cookie dough but time didn’t permit.  While this version is delicious, I am a cookie dough lover and feel that you can never have too much.  These bars a full of buttery goodness and although the cookie dough isn’t as sweet as the chocolate chip cookie dough I’ve had, it’s still quite yummy.  If you’re a fan of shortbread, this bar certainly has what you’re looking for too.  Feel free to leave the recipe as is, if you prefer to have more shortbread than cookie dough.  I will certainly double the cookie dough the next time I make them.  Which version would you prefer?

Have a great Memorial Day!

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Bar | Bakewell JunctionSnickerdoodle Cookie Dough Bars

Yield:  16 bars                 Cook Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

Shortbread:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (I used Kosher salt)
  • 2 cups flour

Cookie dough:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Directions:

Step 1:  For the shortbread:  Cream together butter, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl on high speed for 3 minutes.  The mixture should look light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.  Mix in 1/3 of the flour until combined using a low setting on your mixer.  Repeat for each of the remaining 1/3 additions.

Step 2:  Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan by lining with aluminum foil and greasing with cooking spray.  Transfer the dough to the baking and press evenly across the pan.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  The top should be golden brown.  When done, remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes.  Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to cool completely.

Step 3:  For the cookie dough:  In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and sugar over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the butter is melted and the sugar has mostly dissolved.  This will help the cookie dough to have a less grainy mouth feel from the sugar.  The mixture will take on a custard-like look – this is okay.  Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl, let cook for 15 minutes and then beat at a high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add in the milk and vanilla and mix to combine.  Mix in the flour at a low speed until combined.  Spread cookie dough evenly on the completely cooled shortbread.  Using the back of a silicone spatula, smooth the top of the cookie dough for an even finish.

Step 4:  For the topping:  Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly across the top of the bars.  Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to set and cool completely.  Slice into 2 by 2 inch squares.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from love to be in the kitchen.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake always has perfectly cut cookie bars, so I used her Tip of the Day to cut the bars.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

JWsMadeWLuvMondays

Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies | Bakewell Junction

Pignoli Cookies | Bakewell Junction

I tried two recipes of Pignoli cookies.  I wanted to compare an old recipe I’ve made before side-by-side with a recipe that I got from my friend Chris.  The recipes are similar so the end result is also similar.  I think my favorite of the two turns out to be the newer recipe (Pignoli Cookies 1) Chris gave me.  It produces larger cookies with more pignoli (pine) nuts.  I may add the flavorings from the Family Circle recipe (Pignoli Cookies 2) to my friend Chris’ recipe and make it my go to recipe for Pignoli cookies.

Many people make this cookie for Christmas but, since Easter is right around the corner, these would be a great to finish off a special Easter dinner.  I didn’t think my hubby liked these cookies but to my surprise, he says they’re really good with coffee.

 Pignoli Cookies 2 | Bakewell Junction

Pignoli Cookies 1 

Yield:  24 servings                 Cook Time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces almond paste (the almond paste in the can is still 8 ounces)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 ounces pignoli (pine) nuts (I weighted the nuts on an old scale my Grandmother had and it was about 2/3 cup),
  • additional powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sift sugars, flour and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Cut almond paste into small pieces.  I also run the almond paste pieces through my mini chopper, so that it looks like small grains.  This will help the paste mix better and there won’t be almond paste chunks in the cookies.  In separate medium bowl, beat egg whites and almond paste together until the mixture is smooth.  Add the sugar mixture to the almond paste and stir until combined.  Separate dough into 24 1 inch balls and place onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Press dough balls into 1 1/2 inch rounds.  Divide nuts 24 portions, remove skin on the tips of the nuts, if any, and press into the tops of the cookies.

Step 3:  Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden on the edges.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.  Serve at room temperature.  You can sprinkle with additional powdered sugar if using.

Recipe slightly adapted from my friend Chris.

Pignoli Cookies  2

Yield:  28 servings                 Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces almond paste (the almond paste in the tube is 7 ounces)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon dried orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup pignoli (pine) nuts

Directions:

Step 1:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cut almond paste into small pieces.  I also run the almond paste pieces through my mini chopper, so that it looks like small grains.  This will help the paste mix better and there won’t be almond paste chunks in the cookies.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, beat one egg white, sugar and almond paste together until the mixture is smooth.  Beat in the remaining egg white and extracts.  Add the flour and mix by hand until just combined.  Separate batter into 28 balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  This will be a sticky batter.  Remove skin on the tips of the nuts, if any, and cover each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of pignoli nuts.

Step 3:  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe slightly adapted from Family Circle Bonus (12/12/00 edition) insert booklet by Michael Krondl.

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JWsMadeWLuvMondays

Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookies

Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookie | Bakewell Junction

Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookie | Bakewell Junction

The last few days were unseasonably warm and a lot of the snow has melted.  Happy day!  The eight foot piles are down to about four feet.  Today the cold weather is back.

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating…I love recreating recipes that are purchased from bakeries or pre-packaged from the supermarket.  A couple of weeks ago I shared Italian Butter Cookies with you and now I’d like to share Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookies.  The dough was a little thick for piping, although I did not puncture the Ziploc bag while piping the dough, my hands did get tired.

This is another recipe from The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo.  I think everyone has seen the sandwich butter cookies in bakeries.  Most of the time they are filled with jam or preserves but sometimes they are filled with chocolate which is what I chose to do because my hubby loves the chocolate version.  These are a tender and delicious cookie – you won’t be able to stop at just one.  Which version would you and your family prefer?

Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookie | Bakewell Junction

Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookies

Yield:  80 individual cookies                  Cook Time:  7 minutes

Dough:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter, room temperature or softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 eggs (for 1/2 an egg, beat an egg in a small bowl; take 1 1/2 tablespoons to equal 1/2 an egg)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • green (30 drops), red (40 drops) or yellow (optional)

Filling and Garnish:

  • jam (about an 8 ounce jar)
  • coconut, shredded
  • chopped nuts
  • 3 ounces chocolate chips, melted with 1 to 3 tablespoons shortening (double if sandwiching with chocolate)
  • sprinkles
  • powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • additional chocolate for drizzle (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  For the dough:  In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed.  Combine egg yolks, vanilla and food coloring (if using) with butter mixture and mix until completely combined.  Mix in baking powder and flour at low speed.

Step 2:  The original recipe specified “Using star tip #4 “s” tube, pipe out in 2″ bars on greased baking pan.” but since I don’t have those particular items, I used a Ziploc bag, cut off one corner (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch opening) and piped the dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  My cookies were about 3 to 4 inches long and I got about 80 cookie bars which turned into 40 cookie sandwiches  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.  I needed to bake for 7 minutes.  Cool completely on racks.

Step 3:  Filling and Garnish:  Melt 3 ounces of chocolate in the microwave in two or three 30 second increments.  Add shortening and microwave for 20 seconds. Mix thoroughly.  I found that 1 tablespoon of shortening was enough per 3 ounces of chocolate.  Place desired garnishes in small bowls.

Step 4:  Once cookies are completely cooled (it’s better to wait overnight because they are very tender), pair the cookie bars together based on length and shape.  Dip the flat bottom side of the cookie into the melted chocolate or spread with jam.  Top with the flat side of the paired cookie.  Dip one end of cookie sandwich into the melted chocolate on all sides.  While the chocolate is still soft on the end of the cookie, dip chocolate end into garnishes until covered.  Place on wax paper or parchment until dry.  Let garnishes set before storing.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.

Note:  The pastry star tube is the large commercial size and may be purchased at any restaurant or baking supply house.  4 “S” – 3/8 inch opening.  Use a No. 12 inch pastry bag; cut opening to fit large pastry tube.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe minimally adapted from The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo.

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