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.

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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.

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

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.

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

Italian Butter Cookie Hearts

Italian Butter Cookie | Bakewell Junction

Italian Butter Cookie | Bakewell Junction

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I found a recipe for Italian bakery butter cookies that I wanted to try, so I made them into heart shapes.  They’re topped with chocolate frosting and chocolate is always a must have on Valentine’s Day.

I must have made my cookies a lot larger than the original recipe called for because I only got 16 cookies.  I found the dough to be very thick and I needed to add a fourth egg yolk as described in the notes at the bottom of the recipe.  Even with the extra egg yolk, I had a hard time piping the dough.  I wound up puncturing the Ziploc bag with my finger while piping the dough.  While the frosting was a bit easier to pipe, it was pretty thick also.

I love recreating store bought treats at home, whether they are prepackaged snacks or store or bakery made.  While searching for a suitable recipe, I found resources on the internet saying that The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo is the best.  I searched for the book but there are none to be found.  Someone sold one on Ebay last year but that’s as close I got to finding a copy.  I’m so glad I found these wonderful cookies and shared them with you.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t by cookies from the bakery sometimes but now I can make them myself whenever I want.  What store bought treats have you tried to recreate at home?

Italian Butter Cookie Hearts

Yield:  36 – 41 small cookies                  Cook Time:  10 minutes

Dough:

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 ounces) flour

Rosette Chocolate Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

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

Step 2:  The original recipe specified “Pipe with bag onto ungreased cookie sheet into rosettes with a #7 “S” tube (or roll into 1 ” balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly).” but since I don’t have those particular items, I used a Ziploc bag, cut off one corner and piped the dough into heart shapes onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  You can optionally top with colored sprinkles (jimmies).  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes.  Cool completely on racks.

Step 3:  Rosette Chocolate Frosting:  Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa and set aside.  Cream butter for a few minutes and then beat in 1 cup of sugar and cocoa mixture.  Mix in vanilla.  Mix in remaining sugar alternating with milk.

Step 4:  Once cookies are completely cooled, fill a pastry bag with half the frosting recipe at a time and pipe a large rosette in the center of the cookie.  Let frosting set before storing.

Options:  You may use yellow or pink frosting for rosettes by eliminating cocoa powder and increasing powdered sugar another 2/3 cup (or more if needed), until reaching piping consistency and adding desired color.

Note:  If dough is too firm to pipe through bag return dough to mixing bowl and beat in another egg yolk.

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

Enjoy!!!

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

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

Sausage Stuffing

Sausage Stuffing | Bakewell Junction

Sausage Stuffing | Bakewell Junction

Hi there.  If you’re like me and you’re making a big meal for a holiday or any special occasions, you prefer eating the appetizers, sides and desserts rather than the main meal.  The picture doesn’t do this dish justice and quite honestly I don’t know how to make it better.  I don’t like gravy on my stuffing but you could always add it if you like.

The last few gathering I’ve had this Sausage Stuffing as a wonderful side dish.  My sister-in-law has been making this recipe for longer than I’ve known her (at the risk of dating myself, I won’t go into how long that’s been).  She gladly gave it to me and now I’m sharing it with you.  The recipe uses a store bought stuffing mix but you can substitute a homemade stuffing also.  This stuffing recipe is so good you’ll be going back for seconds and thirds.

Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing 

Yield:  12 servings                  Cook Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds removed from casing and crumbled
  • 1 pound of your favorite stuffing package (it’s difficult to find a full 1 pound package, so a 14 ounce one will work)
  • 20 to 30 ounces chicken canned broth (I generally start with 2 15 ounce cans and add a couple of ounces of water if I need it)
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (optional – I skip this ingredient)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, sliced in to 8 thin pats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  Brown sausage with oil, if using, in a large sauce pan.  The last time I made this I used the broiler to brown the sausage.  Turn the sausage crumbles so the pieces brown on all sides.

Step 2:  Add the onion, celery and garlic, if using, and saute a bit longer.  Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool a bit.

Step 3:  In a half size steam tray pan or a lasagna pan, add the stuffing mix and sausage.  Mix to distribute sausage throughout the stuffing mix.  Add chicken broth and mix to moisten throughout.  If you need a little more liquid, add an ounce or two of water.  Spread mixture evenly in the pan and place the butter pats on top of the mixture.  Cover with aluminum and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  About halfway through cooking, remove the aluminum covering to allow the stuffing to brown on top.  Serve warm.

Tips:  This stuffing is delicious cold out of the fridge or as warmed leftovers.  Also, you can prepare the stuffing the day before up to covering with aluminum foil and then store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake for the special meal.

Enjoy!!!

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Cannoli Cream Filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups #ChocolateParty

Cannoli Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup | Bakewell Junction

Cannoli Cream filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup | Bakewell Junction

Oh, no!  I missed the last two weeks of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop and haven’t posted in a while because my laptop went kaput.  Not fun.  A nasty virus took over the entire machine and blocked me from doing anything.  While it was an old machine anyway, I was trying to eek out some more time with it.

On to better things with this month’s #ChocolateParty.  The theme for the December Chocolate Party is any type of chocolate cookie.

I love Cannoli Cream filling but I was never fond of the Cannoli shell.  To me, the shell is only a vehicle to get my fill of Cannoli Cream yumminess.  I’ve made cookie cannoli shells before but they were very delicate.  I thought that making the shell out of my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough would be less fragile.  My attempt failed because I couldn’t shape the cookies after they were baked.  They broke instead of curling into a cylinder.  I had to change plans quickly, so I changed the shape with the remaining dough into cookie cups using a regular sized cupcake pan.  Boy, you can get a whole lot of Cannoli Cream into those cookie cups!  Yum!

These would be wonderful as an addition to your New Year’s dessert table.  You will need to begin preparing the ingredients ahead of time and assemble just before serving.  I served them as one of the desserts for Thanksgiving and there was no talking as everyone was eating them, just mmmmm’s from the very first bite.  Great endorsement, wouldn’t you agree?

Cannoli Cream filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Yield:  30 servings                  Cook Time:  15 minutes

Dough:

  • 4 ounces chocolate bar (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 cup room temperature butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s)

Cannoli Cream Filling:

  • 2 lb container Polly-O ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a 2-ply cheesecloth (it drains best at room temperature, provided it’s cooler than 70 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 c mini chocolate chips; plus some additional for garnish

Topping:

  • mini chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)
  • Chocolate sprinkles or colored sprinkles (Holiday colored)

Directions:

Step 1:  For the Cannoli Cream filling:  at least three days before serving, mix drained ricotta, vanilla and sugar together.  Move the mixture to a food processor (I used a small Kitchen Aid chopper) and mix until the filling is smooth and is the right consistency.  Depending on the size of your food processor or chopper, you may need to mix in small batches.

Step 2:  Fold in the mini chocolate chips, cover loosely and store at least overnight (better yet two nights) in the refrigerator.  When ready to fill, transfer the filling to a gallon size Ziploc bag make a 1/2 inch cut on one corner of the Ziploc bag.  Use as a pastry bag to fill the chocolate chip cookie cups.

Step 3:  For the cookie cups:  Grate the chocolate bar and set aside.  Grind the oatmeal to a fine powder in a blender, food processor or mini chopper.  Since I only have a mini chopper, I grind this in two batches.  This isn’t mandatory but to make sure the oatmeal is ground finely enough, I put the oatmeal through a sieve and whatever is left gets ground again.  I repeat this process until my mini chopper can’t grind it anymore.  At the end if there’s a small amount that can’t be ground finely enough, I discard it.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.

Step 4:  With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugars together for about 4 to 5 minutes until the mixture is fluffy.  Beat the eggs and vanilla into the butter mixture.  Add in the flour mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon until incorporated.  Mix in the chocolate chips and grated chocolate bar.  Optionally chill dough for several hours to overnight.  This helps the flavors meld.  Try not to eat too much of the dough.

Step 5:  Line a regular sized cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.  Lightly press about a tablespoon of cookie dough into the bottom of each liner.  Add about another tablespoon of cookie dough for the sides of the cup.  Carefully spread the cookie dough evenly around the sides.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes.  The cookie cups will be puffed up and look like cupcakes.  Cool 5 minutes.  Using a mini ladle (1 or 2 ounce size), press the cup side down into the cookie cups to make a well in the center.  You can also use the back of a spoon or a pestle to create the well.  Let the cookie cups cool completely.  Repeat for the remaining dough.

Step 6:  Fill the cookie cups with Cannoli cream.  Top with mini chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles and or red and green Christmas sprinkles.  Serve immediately.

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

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from the fake Neiman Marcus Cookie recipe e-mail that’s been all over the internet.

Our #ChocolateParty December theme is any type of chocolate cookies.  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.

I hope you’ll join our party and bake along with us.  Also, if you’d like to know what are we up to and what ingredients we pick for the next parties, join our Facebook group.
All submitted posts will be pinned to the Chocolate party Pinterest board and will be promoted on other social media platforms using the #chocolateparty hashtag.

Add your link to the Chocolate Cookies Party.  Your link will be displayed on the Roxana’s Home Baking site.

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