Monday, May 26, 2008

Baking up a storm!

Happy Memorial Day~

Thanks Grandpa for fighting in World War II and to all the other soldiers/veterans who have served our country!

During the past week there has been some action in the kitchen at our house! With Alex working more on the house and more lunches to be packed, cookies have become a favorite for him. Not much of a sweet tooth, the work he has been doing has been changing that. Watch out Cookie Monster. Last week he chose Magic Blondies for his dessert! These were full of chunks: chocolate, coconut, walnuts, and dried cherries. They were delicious out of the oven, but as the days wore on, they became a little dry. If made again, I think I would make them as cookie bars!

Well, I can't just lay all of this on him, we have had quite a few guests out to our house. A couple of weeks ago, some friends from our small group came out to help Alex put our dock and boat lift in. Cookies were our dessert, the Dark Chocolate Cherry cookies...yum! These are a dark chocolate cookies chock full of tart dried cherries and rich bittersweet chunks. They were good, but I thought they could have been better.

This week we had his parents over for dinner and his mother requested cookies. Well here favoite ice cream is Caramel Cashew, so what better cookie to make than the Caramel Cashew Cookie. (photo to come) These were so delicious. Toothsome, chewy and full of flavor. A winner for everyone!

I am a little sick of cookies, but we shall see what this short week holds!

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sour Cherries
Source: Martha Stewart

1 ¾ cups flour
1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
¾ firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 1 cup of Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)
1 ½ cups dried sour cherries, firmly packed (9 ounces) (I used 1 cup of peanut butter chips)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well-combined. Do not overbeat. Fold in the chocolate and cherries with a wooden spoon.

Form balls of dough, each about 1/4 cup; place balls on baking sheet and bake until puffed and cracked, 9-11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

* Dough can be frozen up to one month ahead. Thaw completely before baking. __________________

Find Magic Blondie Recipe in Martha Stewart's Cookies-The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share
Cashew-Caramel Cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups roasted, salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 stick unsalted butter, softened - 8 tablespoons
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 cubes soft caramel candy
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt together. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews and set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Gradually pour oil into the feed tube. Process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.

Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on parchment covered baking sheets about 2" apart. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten with a 1 cup measuring cup. I tried using a spatula but it was too big - a metal cup worked much better. If they begin to stick when you are pressing down, make sure to wipe the bottom before moving to the next cookie. Bake until bottoms are just golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Melt caramels with cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies; let set. The caramel will not get hard so you can't stack these. Store them in single layers for the best result.

Makes 36 cookies

1 comment:

The DeLadurantey Sisters said...

The muffins in the pic. look great, what kind are they?