Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Happy birthday, sweet girl!!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream(adapted from The Domestic Goddess)
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp. chocolate extract, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and a splash of orange flower water
1-2 cups confectioners’ sugar (optional for sweeter version, taste as you go)
Mix the egg whites, sugar and salt in a double boiler set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is hot to the touch – about 3 minutes and the sugar has dissolved (until you can't feel sugar-grit in the whites).
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. The frosting might get to a point where it looks curdled, just beat on low speed until thick again, about 5 minutes more (be sure not to overbeat it) . Add extracts and mix until combined. Taste the frosting – if the taste is sweet enough for you – you’re done. If you like it sweeter, add up to 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar to sweeten. Tint with gel icing color as desired (not liquid coloring).
If using frosting within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring frosting to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Yield: about 5 cups
Friday, July 9, 2010
Happy Birth-month Miki! We can't wait to meet your newest little "brickle."
Brickle Drop Cookies
adapted from Crispy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Smitten Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups Heath toffee bits and 2/3 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.