Baking (cakes and stuff)

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alongwalkhome

Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by alongwalkhome » Wed Dec 17, 2008 14:39

I have NEVER wanted anything more than these motherfucking cookiesthat just popped out at me on the NYT. I can't even see straight, I'm so aroused by the mere thought of these cookies; the ones w/icing and bits of orange rind. Have mercy:

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December 17, 2008

Orange Butter Cookies

Adapted from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree (Wiley, 2008)

Time: 1 hour

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups cake flour or more all-purpose flour (cake flour gives a finer texture)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 packed teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

FOR THE ICING (SEE NOTE):
1 orange
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
2 drops almond or vanilla extract
Pinch fine salt.

1. Position two oven racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk flours, baking soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and orange zest at medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl frequently. Add egg and mix. Add one egg yolk and mix. Add remaining egg yolk and mix. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined.

3. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto parchment, leaving more than 1 inch between cookies. Press each one down lightly with 2 fingers to flatten to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Leave any ridges and valleys on top of cookie intact, but smooth the edges.

4. Bake about 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through. Cookies should be pale but baked all the way through. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool before storing in airtight containers up to 1 week.

5. When ready to serve, make icing: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Peel orange, being careful to remove only outer orange zest, and cut into thin strips. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute; drain. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons milk. Whisk in more milk if needed to make mixture thin enough to spread. Add extract, salt and zest, and whisk to combine.

6. Place cookies on a rack and drizzle icing over each one (make sure there is some orange zest in each spoonful). Icing will settle into cookie crevices; let harden.

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies.

Note: Instead of icing, cookies can be sprinkled with coarse crystal sugar before baking.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by whit » Sun Dec 21, 2008 02:30

^ those cookies look yummy. I might try the recipe, but first I have to attempt sugar cookies tonight, which I'll give as xmas presents to coworkers. its been years since i baked anything, so i'm trying the simple stuff first.
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alongwalkhome

Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by alongwalkhome » Sun Dec 21, 2008 16:57

That's what the log is for, my friend (*waits for foodies to throw rolling pins and melon ballers*)

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squirrelboutique
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by squirrelboutique » Sun Dec 21, 2008 17:03

A few years ago, I used one of those $1 packets (just add water) to make sugar cookies for my stepfather. He went nuts for 'em and asked my mom to beg me for the recipe.

alongwalkhome

Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by alongwalkhome » Sun Dec 21, 2008 17:19

Heh--awesome. And because you used a bowl and a spoon they were "made from scratch."

Ewan and I are making these today. SIX ingredients--BOOYAH:

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Frosted Reindeer Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
64 small pretzel twists
64 semisweet chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup)
16 gumdrops, cut in half

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough; work flour into dough until well blended. Shape roll of cookie dough into triangle-shaped log. (If dough is too soft to cut, place in freezer 30 minutes.)
2. With thin sharp knife, cut dough into 32 (1/4-inch-thick) triangular slices; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. Frost cookies with frosting. Place 2 pretzel twists on each triangle near corners for antlers. Lightly press 2 chocolate chips into each cookie for eyes and 1 halved gumdrop for nose. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

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squirrelboutique
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by squirrelboutique » Sun Dec 21, 2008 18:40

Ha! Those placed in the Palm Beach Post's cookie competition this year.

alongwalkhome

Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by alongwalkhome » Sun Dec 21, 2008 18:44

Heh. I wished I smoked; it would look even better w/me making them w/a cig w/a big, long ash dangling off it.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by stolenwine » Sun Dec 21, 2008 19:05

can someone give me an easy/foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe and maybe a chocolate brownie/brownie type thing recipe too? i think that's what i want to make for christmas dessert. or maybe i'll look for the pillsbury cookie dough here. we always made the chocolate chunk cookies and they always turned out really good (and it was easy to eat 6 of them in one go, straight out of the oven)
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squirrelboutique
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by squirrelboutique » Sun Dec 21, 2008 19:17

I just always use the recipe that's on the bag of chocolate chips. It's in American though.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels



COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Spread into greased 15"x10" jelly-roll pan. Bake in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (>5,200 feet): INCREASE flour to 2 1/2 cups; add 2 teaspoonfuls water with flour; reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookies for 17 to 19 minutes.

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stolenwine
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by stolenwine » Sun Dec 21, 2008 19:25

thanks, r! i think i'll substitute the tollhouse chocolate chips for chocolate chunks. christmas is such a good excuse for freshly baked cookies.
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squirrelboutique
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by squirrelboutique » Sun Dec 21, 2008 20:39

I never use the Tollhouse ones either. I usually get chocolate bars and cut them into chunks. But this recipe works well every time.

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squirrelboutique
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by squirrelboutique » Wed Dec 24, 2008 20:49

I've just baked the best gingerbread of my life and the worst cookies of my life.

I also made some Christmas Bark, which sounds slightly fancy but is just white chocolate (yes, I am aware it's not really chocolate) with crushed up peppermint candy canes in it.

alongwalkhome

Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by alongwalkhome » Fri Dec 26, 2008 18:00

Oh, man, I love peppermint bark. I didn't get any this year, but will get some, like 75% off at Target or Crate n' Barrel.

I meant to tell you and cuppie and yubes that the chocolate-covered pretzels we all love from Target have done one with crushed candy canes on 'em this year and they are DELISH.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by humblebee » Sun Jan 04, 2009 21:58

Today my mum came to visit and we made coconut tarts. She used to make these all the time when I was little so today I got her to show me how.

For the pastry:
4 oz. butter
8 oz. plain flour
pinch of salt
very cold water

For the filling:
2 oz. butter
2 oz. sugar
2 oz. dessicated coconut
1 egg
raspberry jam

Make shortcrust pastry, roll it out, cut into circles and press each one into a shallow baking tin for making tarts. (This recipe is enough for about ten, maybe 12.)

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat the egg in. Try and get plenty of air in the mix. Finally, stir in the coconut.

Put a level teaspoon of jam in the bottom of each pastry case, then a dessertspoonful of the coconut mix.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6/200 degrees C for 15 to 20 minutes until the tarts are brown on top.

Leave to cool for at least five minutes before eating, unless you want the roof of your mouth melted off agonisingly by thermonuclear raspberry jam.

Better make that ten minutes actually. It really hurts if the jam is too hot, and the tarts taste better when they're just a bit warm rather than hot.

Eat. I don't love the 1970s but this is the taste of happiness. I had a lovely time making these today with my mum.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by Sylvie » Mon Jan 05, 2009 16:35

humblebee wrote:I don't love the 1970s but this is the taste of happiness. I had a lovely time making these today with my mum.
My mum used to bake loads when I was little, which I think is where my love of baking comes from. It's so relaxing and there's a lovely, tasty reward at the end!

I made a Christmas cake this year, which went down well. I fed the fruit cake with brandy for about a week, added homemade marzipan, then iced it a week later. I stupidly forgot to take a photo of it, but it wasn't that decorative anyway (just a little marzipan mushroom on top). So I might make our wedding cake considering it was quite easy to do that one cake. Just got to remember to take my time with it.

We bought a waffle maker at the weekend after umming and ahhing over expensive ones for the past few years. A cheap Russell Hobbs one seems to do the trick and they tasted quite nice. I think I'd reduce the amount of flour slightly next time, but that was my own fault as I thought the dough looked too sticky.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by Concrete » Sat Jan 10, 2009 20:29

The above waffles were delicious, by the way.

But we've run out now. We'll have to make some more some time. If anyone buys a waffle maker, make sure it's got removable plates.

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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by stolenwine » Sat Jan 31, 2009 23:30

baking experts! do you recommend silicone bakeware? or should i go with regualr non-stick tins?
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by crystalball » Sun Feb 01, 2009 15:48

I'm no baking expert but although I've seen silicone bakeware work well for other people, I find it quite difficult to use. You can have a go on a heart-shaped cupcake baking tray I've got, if you want to try it. And if you fail completely, it's still very cute to look at.

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stolenwine
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by stolenwine » Mon Feb 02, 2009 21:47

heh, that's what i was eyeing up online! i'm a sucker for heart-shaped cake/cupcake molds. i think i'll take your word for it and just go with normal baking tins.

i came here to say that i have a MASSIVE craving for cinnamon rolls/buns. i wish i had all the ingredients to make some!
tell me how good it is / to wake from a bad dream / and have someone there and I will tell you / how butterfly wings stay dry in the rain
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yubo
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Re: Baking (cakes and stuff)

Post by yubo » Wed Feb 25, 2009 13:43

I think I've seen heart shaped regular tins?

anyway, I've got a question: what is all that sugar in cake recipes for? have any of you tried just leaving it out? I know people sometimes reduce the volume required, but what about just omitting it? I'm wondering if it will screw up proportions of other things. What do you think?

I like baking but I end up eating everything in two days. It's dangerous. I usually get freaked out and give most of what I make to my building doormen. Then I think, what's the point? If I can somehow make it not so dangerous, then maybe it will be okay to eat it. OR maybe I won't like it so much that I'll eat it over a week instead of that very minute.
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