Italian Chocolate Cookies

I found this recipe from the food blog, Spoonful of Sugar and the photos looked so good that I had to try them for myself. Now, I’ve never really been a big chocolate fan, but lately I’ve been really craving it so I gave it a try.

These cookies are cakey with a great cocoa flavor and the frosting makes it just sweet enough. The sprinkles were my touch since I’m pretty much obsessed with them and prefer them over my ice cream, on top of my cookies and within my cake (funfetti!).

*I halved this recipe and it made enough for one person… and for sharing.. If you want to.

The Chocolate Cookies:

2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1 & 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
4 & 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
4 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cooled butter and sugar together to a gel-like consistency. Add the milks and eggs and mix until combined. Then add half of the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix into the batter. Then mix in the rest of the flour.

Refrigerate for an hour or more. I just stuck it in the freezer for 20 or so minutes.

Roll into balls and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

The Icing

3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir the 3 ingredients together. It should be thick, but still fluid enough to coat the cookies and dry as a stiff shell.

Enjoy! I definitely did.

Alfajores

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It’s almost 4th of July (2009 edition)! So what do I think of to celebrate? by making and eating Alfajores, yes. I decided to make a traditional Spanish / Latin American confection for the day that represents years of struggle for American independence. My mind works in mysterious ways.

My friend Jime turned me on to these. And they are mouth watering.

These cookies are basically two shortbread cookies sandwiched with Dulce de leche in between. Dulce de Leche is super easy to make. I did a previous post on it where I discussed the 3 methods used to make Dulce de leche. However, for the sake of easiness I used the no hole pot method this time…

Dulce de Leche

Remove the wrapper off of one ( or more ) can(s) of sweetened condensed milk and place in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until it is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches over the top of the can. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling lower the heat and allow the can to simmer for 3 to 4 hours. The trick here, is to check the water every half hour or so to make sure that the water level stays above the can. If the top of the can is close to the water surface there is a chance the can could explode, or at least I’ve read online. So, just to be safe, add hot water to the pot every half hour to make sure the water level stays above the top of the can.

dulce de leche boil candulce de leche done

Alfajores

taken from Nooschi

– 3 & 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
– 1 & 1/2 cups of butter at room temperature
– 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
– 1/4 cup milk (optional)

1.  Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

2.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt.

3. Slowly add the sifted flour and salt into the butter mixture, and mix on low speed.

4. If your mixture is too crumbly, add in the milk, and mix on low speed until a dough is formed.

5. Roll the dough into the shape of a flat disk, and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigrate for 30-60 minutes.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick, and cut the dough with a round 2 inch diameter cookie cutter.

alfajor cookie cut

8. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This will ensure your cookies keep their shape while baking.

9. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Cool the cookies on a rack.

alfajor tray

Assemble the Alfajor:
1. With a butter knife, spread the dulce de leche on a shortbread cookie.

2. Sandwich the dulce de leche by placing another shortbread cookie on top.

3. To garnish, sift confectioners sugar on top of the cookie until it is fully covered.

* To keep these cookies in place it’s a good idea to refrigerate them as they tend to slide as the Dulce de leche comes to room temperature. They are messier at room temperature, but that’s what makes them taste so good!

alfajor tray

Valentines Day 2009

Happy Valentines Day everyone! (a little late but whatever).

For Valentines Day I made these sugar cookies with glace icing, they turned out really good. I originally wanted to do them in a heart shaped cut out but could not find one (for the life of me) so instead I used a Christmas-present-shaped one and just drew the heart in the middle. 

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Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

taken from the blog: Kindred Crafters

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I think we keep our house too cold . . room temperature in our house requires a quick zap in the microwave)

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.

2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated – because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.

3. Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter is up to you – I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in plastic. Whether you’re going to roll or slice the dough, it must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)

4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.4. If you are making roll-out cookies, working with one packet of dough at a time, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut out the cookies – I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for rerolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets with a spatula, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cutouts; if so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you’ve rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, then chill, roll, cut and bake.

5. If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a sharp thin knife to slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between the cookies.

6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon sugar, if you’d like. Let them rest for 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.

7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.Glacé Icing

Glacé Icing

Taken from: Our Best Bites

1lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 C)
1/4 C + 2T C whole milk (low-fat actually works, but use whole if you can)
1/4 C + 2T light Corn Syrup
1 t extract

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth (no lumps!) Then stir in corn syrup and extract.

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