Strawberry Monkey Bread #TwelveLoaves

Strawberry Monkey Bread | Bakewell Junction

Strawberry Monkey Bread | Bakewell Junction

I was introduced to Monkey Bread a few months ago when I made it for the first time and it was for #TwelveLoaves too.  I thought a Strawberry version would be perfect for this month’s #TwelveLoaves bread baking party.  The monkey bread cooled overnight, since I was working on it late last night, so the icing didn’t melt and smooth out like I would have liked.

I wanted to incorporate strawberries in every bite of monkey bread, so I put a little in the center of each dough ball.  This version has strawberry mascarpone icing instead of cream cheese icing.  Hopefully this recipe and the slightly warmer weather reminds you of the coming spring.  If you like super gooey and sweet treats, this one is for you.  You can definitely taste the strawberries but it’s not overpowering.

Strawberry Monkey Bread 2 | Bakewell Junction

Strawberry Monkey Bread

Yield:  6 to 8 servings                 Cook Time:  35 minutes

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Coating and Filling:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 packed brown sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 16 ounce container frozen strawberries, thawed and drained and liquid reserved
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup reserved frozen strawberry liquid

Icing:

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 or more tablespoons reserved frozen strawberry liquid or milk

Directions:

Step 1:  For the Dough:  Mix the milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast in a two cup measure.  I used a microwave safe glass measure and heated the milk and water a full power for 1 minute, 20 seconds to reach 110 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt.  Using the dough hook attachment, start the mixer on low.  Add the milk mixture slowly.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed until the flour is incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed to medium (raised my KA to the 5 setting) and let it knead for another 6 to 7 minutes.  If the dough looks overly wet, add 2 tablespoons of flour at a time and continue mixing until the dough forms a mass.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.  Transfer the dough to the bowl and spray the dough also.  Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and use my tip below to aid the rise.  Let the dough rise until doubled.  If using my tip, it will double in 45 to 60 minutes.  If not, it may take 1 to 2 hours.

Step 2:  For the coating:  As the dough rises, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Place the melted butter in a small bowl and 1/4 cup reserved frozen strawberry liquid.  If you would like to dial back the sweetness and gooeyness of the recipe, use the lesser amounts of sugar and skip the 1/4 cup reserved strawberry liquid.  Set aside.

Step 3:  For the shaping the dough balls:  Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour.  Transfer the dough onto the floured surface.  Spread and press the dough into about an 8 inch square.  Cut the dough into 8 by 8 slices with a bench scraper or knife.  This will give you 64 pieces.  If there are any strawberries that haven’t been cleaned and the stem still remains, remove the stem.  I had two that were like this.  Flatten out the dough ball into a small square and rectangular shape and then pinch together dough ends, top to bottom corners.  This should create a well in the middle.  Place a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon or less) of the defrosted strawberries in the center of the dough and then enclose in the dough by pinching the ends together.  Since the strawberries are moist keep a paper towel nearby, so you dry your hands and the dough will stick together better when pinching with dry hands.  Shape the dough into balls and place back on the counter.  Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Step 4:  Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray.  If any of the dough balls have reopened, pinch them together to fully enclose the strawberry pieces and create a uniform ball shape.  Mix the butter mixture well and also periodically while dipping the dough balls.  Dip each dough ball into the melted butter mixture individually.  Then roll them in the brown sugar mixture until they are well coated.  Place the dough ball into the bundt pan.  Layer the dough balls so they are offset and the dough ball on top is placed on the seam of dough balls below.  Repeat until about half the dough balls are in the bundt pan.  Spread any remaining drained strawberries evenly on the dough.  Repeat preparing the dough balls until they are all in the pan and have covered all the strawberries.  If there’s any remaining melted butter, drizzle it over the top of the dough balls.  If there’s any remaining brown sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the dough balls too.

Step 5:  Cover the bundt pan with a clean dish cloth or plastic wrap.  Let rise until puffy and until they are about an inch or two from the top of the pan.  Mine rose to the top of the pan.  If using my oven tip below, let rise for 45 minutes.  If not, let rise for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 6:  Bake unwrapped 30 to 35 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.  When done the top should be browned and the coating begins bubbling a bit.  Let bread cool in the pan for a maximum of 5 minutes.  Any longer and it will be difficult to depan.  Invert bread onto a large plate.

Step 7:  For the Icing:  While the dough cools a bit, add butter and mascarpone cheese to a large mixing bowl.  Beat 2 minutes.  I beat them on high using a hand-held mixer.  Beat in vanilla extract and cinnamon.  Mix in the powdered sugar at a lower speed (this prevents having powdered sugar everywhere).  Mix in the reserved strawberry liquid or milk.  If you want a thinner icing, add more reserved strawberry liquid or milk in teaspoon increments until you reach desired consistency.  While the bread is still warm, spread the icing on top of the bread – the icing will drizzle down the sides of the dough.  Serve warm or cold.

Recipe inspired by Cooks Illustrated.

Tips:  If your house is chilly like mine always is and your dough doesn’t rise, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.  Leave the oven light on and it will add to the warming effect.

#TwelveLoaves March: Strawberries. February was a delicious month of Chocolate breads! We are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme! Choose a recipe featuring strawberries. (Your bread of choice could be accented with fresh or dried strawberries, strawberry preserves) Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let’s have a delicious month of bread with STRAWBERRIES. Let’s get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2014, and posted on your blog by March 31, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom.

You are next… Click here to enter

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Man Food Linky Party #GetHimFed Fridays No. 25

Welcome to #GetHimFed Fridays!  It’s so hard to chose features; there are so many great links.  Look around and comment on the great recipes linked up every week.  Visit the other host’s blogs to see their features too.  Have a great weekend!
 
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#GetHimFed No. 25 Features | Bakewell Junction
 
  1. Rolo Pretzel Surprise Cookies by Organized 31
  2. Spinach Calzone by My Family Mealtime
  3. Oven Baked Chicken Wings by The Pin Junkie
  4. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Whole Food Mom on a Budget
  5. Crustless Spinach Quiche by Seeking Harmony
 

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Macarongigli (Little Macaroni)

Macarongigli (Little Macaroni) | Bakewell Junction

Macarongigli (Little Macaroni) | Bakewell Junction

Macarongigli is a dish we ate every Saturday when I was a kid.  I don’t know if it was something that was specific to the town my family came from in Italy or something my Grandmother created but we loved it.  My Dad loved it too.  I’m sure of the spelling either, so I did the best I could with it.

I use Pennsylvania Dutch noodles for this recipe and my Mom and Grandmother used the same.  It’s a quick and easy side dish.  You can pair it with just about any main entrée.  The bonus is that the hubby loves it too.  I think you’ll enjoy Macarongigli as much as my family does.

 Macarongigli (Little Macaroni) 2 | Bakewell Junction

Macarongigli

Yield:  6 servings                  Cook Time:  3 to 4 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if not adding grated cheese, you can add another teaspoon of salt)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or a drizzle
  • 1 12 ounce package of fine egg noodles
  • grated cheese (I use pecorino romano), to taste
  • butter (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  Heat water, salt and oil to boiling in a medium stock pot.  Add the noodles and stir with a wooden spoon.  Let water come to a boil again while stirring occasionally.  Let noodles cook for 3 minutes.

Step 2:  Crack an egg into the noodle mixture and immediately break the yolk and stir well to disperse the egg throughout.  Repeat with the second egg.  When you see the white flecks of egg throughout the noodles (about another minute), it’s done.  Remove from heat and serve while hot in small bowls topped with grated cheese.  If using, add a pat of butter per individual serving and stir in (hubby likes this; my family doesn’t add the butter).

Enjoy!!!

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Man Food Linky Party #GetHimFed Fridays No. 24

Welcome to #GetHimFed Fridays!  You brought so many great recipes last week.  Join us again this week.  Look around and comment on the great recipes linked up every week.  Stop the other host’s blogs to see their features too.  Have a great weekend!
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#GetHimFed No, 24 Features | Bakewell Junction
  1. Sunday Gravy:  Neapolitan Ragu by Simple Living and Eating
  2. Ghirardelli Chocolate Chocolate Chip Caramel Brownie Bars by Tumbleweed Contessa
  3. Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches by The Dinner Pages
  4. Muffin Tin Scalloped Potatoes by Lori’s Culinary Creations
  5. Sweet Potato Biscuits by Stumbling Upon Happiness

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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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Man Food Linky Party #GetHimFed Fridays 23

Welcome to #GetHimFed Fridays!  You brought so many great recipes last week.  Join us again this week.  Have a great weekend!
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  1. Cherry Chocolate Cookies by Scrumptilicious 4 You
  2. Penne Alla Vodka by Lydia’s Flexarian Kitchen
  3. Shrimp Po’ Boys by An Alli Event
  4. Rich Chocolate Layer Cake by Yesterfood
  5. Snickers Surprise Cookies by Wondermom Wannabe

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Spinach Split Pea Soup

Spinach Split Pea Soup | Bakewell Junction

Spinach Split Pea Soup | Bakewell Junction

Did anyone spend time clearing snow because of storm Pax?  I spent more than 9 hours clearing snow on Valetine’s Day.  The day started with me not being able to get out the front door and then when I went out the garage door and stepped onto the ground, the snow was above my knees.  That was more than the 10 to 20 inches predicted.  We also got a couple of hours of ice about halfway through the storm with thunder and I saw a flash of lightening too.

With all the storms and cold weather we’re having this winter I was looking for hearty and warm meals.  I love this version of split pea soup and I hope you do too.  It has carrots and spinach which are also favorites.  I haven’t made this in a while but I really needed a big bowl of it this weekend.  This soup is healthy and filling and I love it with crusty Italian bread.  Well, I love everything with crusty Italian bread.  Don’t you?  If not, do you have a favorite addition to every meal?

DSC_Spinach Split Pea Soup 2 | Bakewell Junction

Spinach Split Pea Soup

Yield:  6 servings                  Cook Time:  1 1/4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups green split peas or a 1 pound package
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced or some leftover spiral sliced ham
  • 1 celery stalk and all the celery leaves from a celery heart
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
  • 32 ounces chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon dried chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoons dried chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste (optional)
  • shredded fresh Asiago cheese for garnish
  • water to thin, if necessary

Directions:

Step 1:  Rinse the peas well.  Soak in peas in very warm water for at least an hour.  In a medium sauce or stock pan (I used a four quart pan), bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Drain peas and add to the chicken broth.  Stir in bacon or ham, celery, onion, carrots, parsley, basil and salt, if using, to the chicken broth.

Step 2:  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/4 hours until the peas are tender.  Stir in spinach.  If spinach is still frozen, wait until it defrosts to incorporate entirely.  Add additional salt as needed.  To give the soup a creamier look, puree with a stick blender or in a regular blender when cooled enough to handle.  I didn’t puree it because I like the thicker chunkier look and I don’t thin it much either but it’s all to taste.  Reheat and thin with additional water as necessary.  Serve warmed with grated Asiago cheese as garnish and crusty Italian bread.  You should be able to see the darker green flecks of spinach mixed in with the lighter shade of green peas.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!!!

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Man Food Party #GetHimFed Fridays 22

Welcome to #GetHimFed Fridays!  It’s Valentine’s Day and the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  You brought so many great recipes last week.  Join us again this week.  Have a great weekend!
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Get Him Fed 22 Features | Bakewell Junction
  1. Orange Chicken with Chow Mein Noodles by Simple Living and Eating
  2. Lemony Parmesan Pork by Sourdough Native
  3. Stuffed Cheesesteak by Three Kids and a Fish
  4. Chocolate Waffles with Chocolate Syrup by Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa
  5. Shepherd’s Pie by Now Add Sugar

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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.

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Man Food Party #GetHimFed Fridays 21

Welcome to #GetHimFed Fridays!  I’m excited to co-host this lovely linky party and hope you’ve brought some great recipes or maybe you just stopped by to see all the great links.  Have a great weekend!
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Get Him Fed 21 Features | Bakewell Junction
  1. Tortellini and Spinach Soup by Feeding Big
  2. Jambalaya by Soup Spice Everything Nice
  3. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bites by My Sweet Mission
  4. Super Bowl Snack Ideas 2014 by What’s Cooking in the Burbs
  5. Sweet Pork Chop Bacon Wraps by So Simply Stephanie

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