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Feb 27, 2015
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Baked: Vanilla Bean Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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We’re eating snickerdoodles for days here on Baked. Last time I showed you berry potpie with a snickerdoodle crust, and today, I have another way to use up that leftover cookie dough (with instructions on how to make more, in case yours disappeared somehow).

This is the simplest from-scratch vanilla pudding in the world, and its flavor is to die for – especially when spiked with a bit of rum. Snickerdoodle crumbs hidden at the bottom add surprise spice and crunch. Make them well in advance of your next dinner party and garnish each with a cookie on top just before serving. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Very Vanilla Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
4 servings

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
2 2/3 cup almond milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
A splash of rum
4 Snickerdoodle Cookies, plus crumbs (Recipe follows)

• In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, salt and egg until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the 2 cups almond milk and the vanilla bean to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
• Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the rum. Set aside.
• Add a layer of snickerdoodle cookie crumbs to the bottom of 4 dessert cups. Divide the pudding evenly between the cups. If you don’t like pudding skin, lightly press plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours, until set. Garnish each with a snickerdoodle cookie and serve.

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● Roll pieces of dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool completely.

 

 

Baked: Snickerdoodle Berry Potpie

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

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I recently opened my freezer and found it overflowing with cookie dough. Rather than make yet another batch of cookies, I decided to get creative with a fruity dessert version of a potpie.

The result: a simple berry pie filling topped with a giant snickerdoodle. The sweet cookie’s crisp edges give way to a soft, doughy center covering bright, cinnamon-spiked berries soaked in mascarpone and maple syrup.

A quick note: You will have leftover dough, especially if you make your cookie top on the thinner side. Keep an eye out for the next Baked column on Feb. 18 for more ideas of how to use it. Enjoy and happy baking!

 
Snickerdoodle Berry Potpie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
1 cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ lbs. mixed blueberries and raspberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● In another large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone, maple syrup and the vanilla extract together until combined. Fold the berries into the mixture and pour into a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
● Roll the dough out onto parchment paper into a 9-inch round about ½-inch thick. Lift the parchment paper and flip the dough over onto the pie pan and peel away the parchment. Tuck the edges of the dough into the pie pan and trim any excess. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are nicely browned. Let cool and serve.

Baked: Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Roll

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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Red velvet is hands-down my favorite cake. As much as I love a classic, fudgy chocolate cake, there’s no denying that a tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to a velvety, lighter chocolate cake.

But as much as I love red velvet, I’m sick to death of standard layer cakes and cupcakes, so I opted to roll this one up instead. While some of the cake fell apart, any mishaps were smothered under a layer of peppermint-tinged frosting. This recipe is also a great way to use up any leftover candy canes still lingering after the holidays. Crush them up and store them in a jar for recipes like these. The result is a delicious and stunning cake with a lovely minty aftertaste that would make for a lovely Valentine’s treat.

 

Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Roll
Adapted from a recipe on The Kitchn
6 to 8 servings

1 cup cake flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
⅔ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. red food coloring
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. vinegar
2 cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 Tbsp. milk
Crushed peppermint candy for garnish

● Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
● In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. and salt in a bowl.
● In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the vegetable oil and sugar on medium speed until well blended, then beat in the egg. With machine on low speed, slowly add red food coloring and vanilla until mixed.
● Add half the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk until mixed thoroughly. Add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, scraping down the bowl until combined. Turn off machine.
● Place the baking soda in a small dish and stir in the vinegar. Add the mixture to the batter with the machine running on low until combined.
● Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed. The cake should bounce back when you lightly press the top.
● Spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter and dust with powdered sugar. Flip the hot pan over to turn the cake out onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper. Dust the cake with more powdered sugar, then use the towel to carefully roll the hot cake into a spiral starting from the short side. Let cool wrapped in the towel, about 1 hour.
● Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract until combined. Set frosting aside.
● Carefully unroll the cake and spread with a ½-inch thick layer of frosting. Carefully roll the cake up again and gently move to a serving plate. Spread the remainder of the frosting all over the top of the cake, covering any cracks that may appear. Garnish with crushed peppermint candy.

Baked: Earl Grey Caramel Cake

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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This cake is deceptive. It’s so simple to make, yet it tastes unbelievably delicious and moist thanks to homemade caramel poured over the top. This recipe looks like it would be exceptionally sweet, but I added some herbal, savory elements like Earl Grey tea leaves, bergamot extract and some orange zest to keep the flavors balanced. Of course, if your sweet tooth won’t be denied, this recipe is divine as a simple caramel cake. Either way, it’s irresistible. If you really want to take the caramel goodness to the next level, poke holes in the cooled cake just before glazing and let the sauce seep into every pore. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Earl Grey Caramel Cake
Adapted from Epicurious
Makes 1 8-inch square cake

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted softened butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. plus a pinch kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. ground Earl Grey leaves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. bergamot extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup shaken buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• Preheat the oven to 350 and position a rack in the middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan, line the bottom with a square of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
• In a mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, tea leaves and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and orange zest on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, then beat in the bergamot. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined. On low speed, beat the buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled), then add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing on low speed until each addition is just incorporated.
• Pour the batter evenly in the cake pan, then rap the pan on counter several times to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan, invert the cake onto rack and discard parchment. Flip the cake right-side up and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
• Make the glaze by bringing the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining pinch of salt to a boil in a 1½-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the glaze reaches 210 degrees, about 12 to 14 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
• Place the cooling rack with the cake in a shallow baking pan. Pour the hot glaze on top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Let cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Baked: S’more Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

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I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and it was the hit dessert of the night. People were fighting over the last slice, which is the best compliment a baker can receive.

The crust is a simple graham cracker and butter base, although the recipe fits snugly into a prebaked graham cracker crust if you want to skip that fuss. The chocolate filling is to die for. It melts in your mouth and is similar to a ganache. You can make it days in advance; the filling holds up well in the refrigerator and doesn’t get too hard.

The topping is a meringue-marshmallow combination, which should be made and applied just before serving. The marshmallow fluff brings it closer to the actual s’mores flavor instead of a traditional meringue topping found on citrus pies. And of course, torching the top before serving looks gorgeous and adds a hint of smoky campfire goodness. Although it takes three components and a bit of effort, the payoff is well worth it. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

S’more Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
Makes 1 9-inch pie

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup 2 Tbsp. plus sugar, divided
¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 cup heavy cream
7 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 large egg at room temperature
1 7-oz. jar Kraft Jet-puffed Marshmallow Creme
3 large egg whites

• Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or spray a 9-inch pie pan.
• Stir together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl until combined. Press the mixture evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, then cool to room temperature, at least 45 minutes.
• Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn remove from the burner and add the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in the egg until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.
• Cover the edges of pie with foil and bake 25 minutes, until the filling is just set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken. Let the pie cool to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.
• Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
• Using rubber spatula, scrape the marshmallow creme into large bowl. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in another large bowl until foamy. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.
• Add ½ cup beaten egg whites to the marshmallow creme and fold with a rubber spatula or spoon just until incorporated to lighten (marshmallow creme is very sticky and will be difficult to blend at first, but it will become easier as remaining whites are folded in). Fold in the remaining whites in 2 additions just until incorporated. Spread the meringue over top of pie, mounding slightly in center and swirling with knife to create peaks.
• Bake just until the peaks and ridges of marshmallow meringue are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until meringue is cool. Serve immediately. The pie will keep up to 4 days, refrigerated, before adding the meringue topping.

Baked: Coffee Creme Brulee

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

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This is an elegant and unbelievably easy dessert for any dinner party. It seems like you spent hours perfecting it, when in fact it’s quick and simple. You can even let your guests torch or “brulee” the sugar on top just before serving.

I’ve made creme brulee countless times, and this time I added espresso powder. The result was a lovely coffee flavor that wasn’t too overpowering. The custard is smooth, not too sweet and melts in your mouth, while the torched sugar adds the right amount of sweetness and crunch. Make this for a party, and it’ll definitely be the star. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Coffee Creme Brulee
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
4 to 6 servings

2 cups heavy cream, divided
4 Tbsp. plus 4 to 8 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
6 large yolks
1 Tbsp. espresso powder (available at Kitchen Conservatory)
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Special equipment: brulee torch

• Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
• Stir ½ cup cream, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon stick and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat.
• Meanwhile, put the ramekins in a baking pan and fill the pan with hot water very carefully.
• Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining cream.
• In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together and add in the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the cooled cream mixture and whisk it together. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and pour it into the ramekins.
• Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until it is just barely set but the center still jiggles slightly. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap refrigerate at least 4 hours.
• A few minutes before serving, remove and sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar on top of each and torch until melted and dark.

Baked: Apple Crisp-Stuffed Apples

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

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I’m not a huge fan of cooked apples, which is why you don’t see many recipes using them on Baked. However, I can’t say the same for my better half, and since this fall fruit is in abundance right now, this apples-on-apples dessert seemed appropriate for a dinner party.

These were a huge hit. Scooping out the apple innards took a bit of work, but they definitely wowed our guests. Whatever you do, don’t skip the cinnamon ice cream, which really takes these beauties over the top. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

 
Apple Crisp-Stuffed Apples
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
4 servings

4 large apples (I used Jonagolds.)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used Jonathans.)
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed, divided
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
Pinch cloves
Pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp. plus a pinch cinnamon, divided
½ cup flour
¼ cup oats
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Cinnamon Ice Cream (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Use a sharp paring knife and a spoon to carefully core and scoop out the insides of the large apples, leaving the bottom of the apple intact. Set the hollowed out apples aside. Discard the core. Reserve the scooped-out fruit.
• In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the reserved apple pieces, the chopped medium apples, 3 tablespoons butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, cloves, nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon until the apples are warm and cooked, about 8 minutes.
• Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, flour, oats, the remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and salt together until crumbly. Set aside.
• Divide the warm apple filling evenly between the 4 hollow apples, then cover each evenly with the oat crisp topping. Bake 25 minutes and serve warm with cinnamon ice cream.

Cinnamon Ice Cream
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes about 1 quart

1½ oz. cream cheese
Pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 cups milk
1¼ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon

Special equipment: ice cream maker

• Place the cream cheese and the salt in a large bowl and set aside.
• Place 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved to create a slurry. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan, whisk the cream, the remaining milk, corn syrup, sugar and cinnamon over medium-low heat until the liquid is steaming and the sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
• Whisk in the slurry, raise the heat to medium and continue to whisk. Bring to simmer and let thicken 2 to 4 minutes.
• Remove from the heat and pour over the cream cheese. Let sit 1 minute, then whisk until the cream cheese is melted. Let the mixture cool completely, then pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• Scoop the ice cream into an airtight container and freeze at least 4 hours before serving.

 

 

Baked: Matcha-glazed Brownies

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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Moving uncovers all manner of hidden ingredients. While packing up my pantry recently, I found a bag of verdant green matcha, powdered green tea with plenty of health benefits. In small doses, it adds a lovely bitter note to sweet treats. I’ve added matcha to many desserts, often pairing it with white chocolate or fruit, and I decided to give it a go in a brownie.

I topped these sweet, fudgy squares with a barely bitter matcha glaze. A little goes a long way here; just one tablespoon of matcha powder was enough for the entire batch. A small bag (available at most international grocery stores) will last year. Balance that strong bitter taste with honey and powdered sugar to create a luscious green glaze and sprinkle the top with black and white sesame seeds.

These could be great, easy Halloween treat – the color reminded me of Frankenstein’s monster! Enjoy and happy baking!

Matcha-glazed Brownies
Adapted from a recipe on My Name is Yeh
12 servings

11 Tbsp. butter, melted, divided
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. matcha powder
1 cup powdered sugar
Black sesame seeds for garnish
White sesame seeds for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
• Add 8 tablespoons butter to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat in the granulated sugar, vanilla and the eggs until it turns pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into the wet ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula until combined.
• Pour the batter into the pan and bake 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes with a few crumbs clinging to it.
• To make the matcha glaze, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, honey, matcha powder and powdered sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until combined. Pour the glaze over the warm brownies and spread it with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with black and white sesame seeds. Let cool completely before slicing.

Baked: Macaron Cake

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

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A macaron cake can be many things. It could be a cake decorated with macarons. It could be a layer of macarons inside a cake (note to self: try this). But today, a macaron cake means a giant, delicious, cake-sized macaron. When my friend requested this for his birthday, I was excited for the challenge, but I never expected it to be so tasty. I ended up making it twice in two days because we couldn’t get enough!

Even if you’re new to making macarons, this recipe is slightly less stressful since the focus won’t be on those pesky “feet”. If your macaron cracks or looks ugly, it can easily be masked with a pile of fresh fruit and a gentle sift of powdered sugar. It’s far less fussy than making traditional French macarons, but it’s still a show-stopping stunning dessert. (A quick note: You must weigh the ingredients for the macarons; the measurements are that exact.)

The Earl Grey cream filling pairs perfectly with a pistachio macaron base. If you don’t want to indulge in bergamot extract, you can easily substitute vanilla or experiment with any flavor. I imagine this would be delicious with some zesty citrus extracts or even rose or lavender. Enjoy and happy baking!
Macaron Cake
8 servings

For the macarons:
100 g. egg whites (about 3 eggs)
35 g. granulated sugar
200 g. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
80 g. almond flour
40 g. pistachio flour (available here)

For the filling:
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1½ tsp. bergamot extract (available here)
1 tsp. ground Earl Grey tea leaves
Fresh berries for garnish

Special equipment: a candy or deep fry thermometer

• Use an 8-inch plate to trace 2 circles on pieces of parchment paper with a dark marker. Flip them over and place on two baking sheets. Set aside.
• To make the macarons, whip the egg whites and sugar on high using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff. The egg whites should not move when the bowl is turned upside-down.
• Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour and pistachio flour into the bowl and fold in the ingredients, gently removing air from the batter so it flattens and slowly spreads after mixing. Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
• Hold the bag perpendicularly a few inches above the circle on the baking sheet. Staring at the center of the circle, slowly pipe the batter in a spiral, leaving a tiny amount of space for the batter to spread and combine to create a disc.
• Hold the bag in the same manner over the second baking sheet, but this time, outline the circle. Pipe another circle just inside the first to create a ring, leaving the center empty.
• Firmly tap each baking sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles. Let the batter rest 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops are dry to the touch.
• Move the oven rack to the center and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the baking sheets in the center of the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon to let some air escape. Bake the ring 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through so it bakes evenly. Bake the circle 24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through so it bakes evenly.
• Carefully slide the parchment paper off the baking sheets and onto the counter to let the macarons cool completely before touching.
• Meanwhile, make the filling by placing the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer.
• Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and do not stir. When the mixture reaches exactly 232 degrees, turn the stand mixer on high and drizzle the syrup into the bowl. Beat 1 or 2 minutes until combined, then let rest until it reaches room temperature.
• Beat in the butter, bergamot extract and tea leaves on high until the mixture comes together in smooth, frosting-like consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the cream into the pastry bag and set aside.
• Once the maracons have cooled, gently place the serving plate on top of the disc-shaped macaron and invert it onto the plate. Peel off the parchment paper and pipe the pastry cream in a circle to cover the entire base. Gently lift the ring-shaped macaron off the parchment paper, peeling it as you go and supporting the bottom with your hands. Carefully place the ring atop the pastry cream.
• Fill the hole in the center with fresh berries and sift powdered sugar over the top. The macaron cake will keep, covered, 1 to 2 days.

Baked: Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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As a child, I loved those Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, and I have always wondered what it would be like to make them from scratch. This recipe offers the same smooth, buttery crunch, but instead of a classic chocolate filling, I paired them with a pumpkin spice ganache in honor of the upcoming fall. After all, it’s October, which means we’re about to be inundated with pumpkin-flavored everything. This rich pumpkin white chocolate cream makes for a perfect fall dessert, and should you have some leftover, it’s sinfully delicious as a spread or straight off a spoon when no one is looking.

Be careful not to over-bake these delicate cookies; mine turned out browner than I expected. As soon as the edges start to brown, they’re done. You want these to be pale white, not quite as dark as the photo above. Enjoy and happy baking!

Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from a Bravetart recipe
Makes about 15 cookies

¾ oz. cornstarch
8 oz. flour
4 oz. butter, room temperature
3½ oz. sugar
2 oz. corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼. tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
¼ oz. powdered milk
1 egg
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped

• Preheat the oven 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and flour together. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda, salt, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamed, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat well.
• Add 1 egg white and half the flour-cornstarch mixture, beating on low until combined. Add the remaining egg white and the rest of the flour-cornstarch mixture until combined. Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip attached.
• Pipe the batter onto the lined baking sheets, creating strips about 2 inches long and ½- inch wide, gently pressing the batter down a bit with the tip while piping so the cookies do not become too thick.
• Bake 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges of the cookies are just slightly brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.
• Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream, brown sugar and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan over low heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the mixture combines and just comes to a simmer. Add the white chocolate and let sit for 1 minute, then whisk to combine until smooth. Transfer the melted ganache to a bowl and let cool at room temperature 30 minutes, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled.
• To assemble the cookies, whip the ganache with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Smear a dollop of ganache on the bottom of a cookie, then press the bottom of another cookie on the ganache to sandwich them together. Repeat until all the cookies are used. The sandwich cookies will keep, refrigerated, for several days.

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