Friday, May 21, 2010

Toffee and chocolate graham crackers

This recipe starts out from the amazing Deb over at the Smitten Kitchen that she adapted fromNancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, and 101 Cookbooks. And of course I, then adapted to suit to fit my needs.

2 1/2 c. + 2Tbs Flour
1 c. Dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp. Kosher or coarse sea salt
7 Tbs Butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and frozen
1/3 c. Mild honey
5 Tbs. Milk (preferably whole milk)
2 Tbs. Vanilla extract
8 oz Chocolate covered toffee bits (such as Heath) divided 6 oz and 2 oz.

In your handy dandy mixer, combine the flour, sugar and baking soda. Begin adding butter a little at a time until the consistency of slightly moistened sand (Smitten kitchen says 'coarse meal' but I try not to copy too much- She also says you can use a food processor).

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and mix until dough comes together. It will be very dense and sticky. Begin adding the 6oz. of toffee bits and mix into the dough.

Lay out some plastic wrap and lightly flour it. Dump out the dough and form into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. But again, I am impatient and cannot handle such a wait so I wrap it and put it in the freezer until it is firm.

Rolling the cookies:

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the fridge while you work with the other. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and begin to roll out the dough until approximately 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into your standard graham cracker rectangles, I used a pizza cutter because Santa didn't bring me a pastry cutter this Christmas. Transfer your rectangles to a parchment or silicone mat lined cookie sheet. Repeat with second half of dough and again with any scraps that remain after cutting your dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Before you put the sheets in the oven sprinkle the remaining toffee bits over the top and gently press into the cookies. To decorate, use a skewer and poke holes over the top and draw a line down the middle (just like the graham crackers you would buy).

Bake for 15-25 minutes until browned and slightly firm.

It was inevitable, do you want to know what I did next? It would have been blasphemy if I hadn't. S'mores, baby.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chai spice cookies

Ahh the spice of life. Complex, spicy and sweet all at the same time.

1 1/2 Sticks Butter
1/2 c. Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c/ Flour
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground cloves
3/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom

Sugar sprinkle:
1/2 c. Confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cardamom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream butter with a mixer. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Begin adding the dry ingredients and continue mixing until combined well. Scrape dough out of the bowl and into some plastic wrap and form into a ball/mound/lump (whatever you want) and chill for about 30 minutes.
Flour your work surface and roll out dough to a thickness of approximately 1/4 inch. Use a cookie cutter of your choosing and lay cookies on a parchment or silicone mat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let sit on the sheet for about a minute to set after they are taken out of the oven. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
For the sugar sprinkle, mix the sugar and the spices together and with a wire mesh sieve or a sifter, sprinkle over top of the cookies while they are just slightly warm.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cinnamon roll cookies

Because, in life, things can spiral out of control. But with a cookie, there is an end in sight.

1/2 c. Butter
1 c. Sugar
1 egg
4 oz. cream cheese
1 Tbs. Milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. Flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. Butter, divided
1/2 c. sugar
1 -2 Tbs. Cinnamon

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating. Add egg, when combined, add milk and vanilla.
Begin adding dry ingredients slowly and continue mixing until dough comes together. It will be sticky.
Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a nice square mound. Wrap in the plastic and chill for 2 hours. Or, if you are impatient like me, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
After chilling, flour your counter, and roll out your dough, keeping it in its rectangular shape until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the top of the dough with 1 Tbs of the butter. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and generously spread it over the dough, reserving approximately 3-4 Tbs for later.
Begin rolling the the dough into a log, starting on the long edge. Wrap in plastic again and chill for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut into 1/4 inch rounds and place on a parchment or silicone mat line cookie sheet and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over each cookie and bake for about 14 minutes. They will not brown very much, if they do, they will be a bit too dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Going nuts!

Sorry to everyone who isn't really a fan of nuts. I promise to make this all worthwhile for you. The upcoming recipes will be nut-free. If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll even go gluten free.