ROSETTE and PASTRY CUPS


How about making up two delicious dishes using just one recipe?  Cook up a batch of these pastry cups and rosettes, which always turn out light and crisp!  They’ll stay crispy longer, with the addition of the cornstarch and can be made a day or two ahead.  Store them in a tight container lined with paper towels until ready to serve. ENJOY! 😉

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3/4 – 1 cup sugar, adjust for your sweetness
1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
3 cups Water
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Oil, for deep frying

When I know that I’ll be preparing this, I give myself a few hours ahead.  I allow my batter to sit a few hours before actually frying the rosettes and pastry cups.

In a deep mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.  Stir to combine well.

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In another bowl, combine the eggs, water, and vanilla extract.  Mix these ingredients to combine well.

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Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine them together thoroughly.

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Whisk the batter until it’s smooth and has no lumps. The batter should be smooth and very thin.  At this stage, cover the batter and you can place it on your counter.  I usually allow mine to sit about an hour, up to 3 hours (I got tied up with stuff, lol).  I’ve never tried placing it into the refrigerator overnight, but I bet it’ll be fine if you do that too.

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NOTE:  If you’re wanting to get creative and color your rosettes or pastry cups, divide the batter into the number of colors you’re using.  Add a few drops of the coloring and stir it to combine well. Proceed as instructed.

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Once you’re ready to fry up the rosettes and pastry cups; heat up your oil.  I usually make sure to have about 2-inches deep of oil in my fry pan.  Heat the oil on MEDIUM heat, or to about 365° degrees.  Decide on which “iron” design you’ll be using and screw that onto the lifting tool.  In this case, I’m using the round pastry cup.  Once the oil has heated up, you’ll want to also heat up the iron. Place the iron into the oil and allow it to heat up for a few minutes.

NOTE:  I usually “drip” some of the batter into the hot oil to see if it sizzles and is ready, as posted below on the left.  If using “refrigerated” batter, allow the batter to come to room temperature, stir before using.

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Stir the batter once more.  Remove the heated iron from the oil, draining the excess oil before proceeding to the batter.  Tilt the iron into the batter at an angle as shown below, then push the iron down submerging ONLY to the top edge.  DO NOT go over the top edge of the iron.  Hold the iron in the batter for a few  seconds, you should hear a “sizzle” when you place the hot iron into the batter. This is a good thing!  This “sizzle” assures you that the batter has cooked onto the iron. Remove the iron carefully and place it into the hot oil.

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DO NOT allow the batter to come above the top edge as pictured below.

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Hold the lifting tool for about 30 – 45 seconds while the iron is submerged into the oil. The rosette or pastry cup should come off easily, but you may sometimes have to use a fork to help nudge it off the iron. Once the rosette or pastry cup has loosened from the iron, allow it to fry until golden.  I sometimes add some of the hot oil into the inside of the pastry cups to help cook that part.

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NOTE:  When you notice that the batter isn’t cooking onto the iron or making that sizzling sound, you may have to let the iron sit in the oil again to heat up.  The beginning of making this may get frustrating, but don’t give up. Once you get the oil temperature just right, it’ll get easier and you’ll be making these like a pro. When the pastry cups and rosettes are a beautiful golden color, remove them and allow them to drain on paper towels.  Allow them to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Variations:  Sprinkle your rosettes with powdered sugar OR tossed CAREFULLY in granulated sugar, or sugar/cinnamon combination.

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French Macaron


FRENCH MACARON, described in Wikipedia as a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing/powdered sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two biscuits. The confection is characterised by smooth, squared top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot” or “pied”), and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth. The fillings can range from jams to ganache to buttercream.

ChamoritaMomma’s kitchen describes it as a well rounded delicate, crisp, chewy, beautiful but time consuming cookie.  Either way, it’s well worth the effort and I hope you’ll tackle making this.  I hope that with my step-by-step instruction, you too will be a success.

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3 Egg Whites
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Cream of tartar
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 cup Almond Flour
Food coloring, your choice
Buttercream, Ganache, jams or jelly, for filling

First thing you need to do, is allow the eggs  to come up to room temperature; start by breaking the eggs into a clean bowl and separate the yolk from the whites. Save the yolks for another dish or dessert such as creme brulee or flan.  Make sure that when you crack the eggs to remove the whites from the yolk, you DO NOT have any yolk or shell mixed in.  A faster way would be to put the whole eggs into a bowl of warm water, and allow it to sit for a bit to come to room temperature before separating them.

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Measure out the powdered sugar and the almond flour, then run them through a sieve to remove any large bits that may be mixed in. This will also ensure a smoother batter.  Set this aside

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When you’re ready to prepare the batter and your egg whites have come to room temperature, pour your egg whites into a large mixing bowl.  I just used my stand mixer with the wire whisk.  Beat the egg whites until you get a little foam develop as shown in picture.

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Measure out the 1/4 granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp. Cream of tartar, and 1/4 tsp. Salt.  Add these ingredients in and whip on high until you get shiny soft peak that forms.  When you start to notice SOFT peaks forming, meaning that the peaks of the meringue are slightly soft and drooping over;  add in your food coloring to achieve the desired color.  Just realize that once the almond flour and baking time is accounted for, the color will lighten, so allow for this factor.

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Once stiff and shiny peaks form, meaning that the peaks of the meringue are standing straight, without drooping over;  remove the whisk and using a large rubber spatula, add some of the flour/powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites, fold this into the mixture in several increments, making sure to mix it well.  Once you’re done adding the almond mixture, continue to mix and fold until you have a shiny and slightly runny batter. DO NOT over mix the batter!

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Now, here’s where the fun begins, lol!  I own a macaron kit, which you can purchase online or at fine kitchenware store such as William Sonoma.  It’s consists of a mat that already has the grooves for measuring each macaron and an awesome extruder.  You don’t need this, just use some parchment paper to line your baking pan, but DO NOT GREASE the paper.  I prefer to use a SILPAT silicon baking liner to bake my macarons on. Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip,  add the batter into the pastry bag and carefully extrude about a quarter-sized dollop spacing about 1-inch apart to allow for spreading.  Realize that when you dollop the batter onto the mat, it will spread out.  Once the mat is full, tap it onto the counter to help remove some of the air bubbles. Now this step is VERY CRUCIAL!  Allow the macarons to sit on the counter top to “dry” for about 20 – 30 minutes. Do not cover them!  This process will aid the macarons to form a “skin” over their tops so that when it bakes, the cooking steam will not penetrate through the tops, but rather out through the sides, thus forming the “feet” of the macaron.

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Here are macarons that I free handed, using the quarter sized dollop on a SILPAT baking mat.  One way to see if your macarons have properly dried is to gently feel the tops, if they’re not sticky, then it’s dried enough.  Preheat your oven to 300°.  Place your macaron tray, ONE AT A TIME, in the oven.  DO NOT BAKE MORE THAN ONE TRAY AT A TIME!  The other tray can stay sitting on the counter,continuing to dry until the one tray is done baking.  Bake your macarons for 20 minutes, in my oven 21 – 22 minutes was perfect. So keep an eye on them, but DO NOT UNDER BAKE THEM!

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Once the macarons are done baking, allow them to cool off completely before removing them from the baking sheet.  DO NOT ATTEMPT to lift them off before they cool off, because they are still soft and will break!

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The signs of a GOOD MACARON, you need to have the “feet” and there should NOT be any “hollow” areas.

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Now, the filling is completely up to you!  There are several recipes out there for ganaches, buttercreams, jams and jellys, which can also be used.   The options are endless.  Use this recipe as a base for your creativity.  I added almond extract flavoring to the meringue while it was whipping up, but you could use other flavorings as well.  I’m actually not even sure if this is allowed in the macaron bible, but I sure worked for me 😉

I found that while I was waiting for my ganache filling to set; pairing up my macarons with the tops and bottoms actually helps when you get ready to fill because you’re not trying to find one that fits perfectly.

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When you add your filling, do not fill it too much, because when you add the tops to the macaron, it may ooze out slightly!  Do not push the tops down too much when covering

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To store the macarons, you can fill them and then store them in an airtight container separated in layers by wax paper, in the freezer.  Storing them in the refrigerator will only make them stale.

As I continue to make macarons, I’ll add more to this recipe.  But please use it as your basic macaron recipe and have fun with it.  HAPPY BAKING!

 

 

Holiday Cranberry Almond Biscotti


…..with a hint of almond flavor and specks of dried cranberries everywhere, and if that’s not enough, how about drizzled with White chocolate; this Biscotti is sure to make you smile!  Easy to make and great for a gifting idea, these Biscottis are sure to be a welcome addition to your holiday baking.

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BISCOTTI:
2 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup REAL Butter, softened
2 large Eggs
2 tsp. Almond extract
1 tsp. Vanilla paste or extract
1 1/2 cups dried Cranberries
1 cup sliced Almonds, toasted slightly, cooled completely
1 Egg white

WHITE CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
2 tsp. Crisco shortening
1 cup White chocolate chips

 

Using a dry fry pan, start by toasting the sliced almonds slightly.  Set aside and allow this to cool off completely before adding to the recipe.  Preheat the oven to 350°.

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In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and both extracts.  Beat this mixture together for about 5 minutes.

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To this creamed mixture, add the flour, baking powder, salt, cranberries and almonds (make sure the almonds are completely cooled off).

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Mix these ingredients together until it is well combined, just until cranberries and almonds are distributed evenly, DO NOT OVERMIX!

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Separate the dough into 2 equal parts and form a log about 10 inches x 2 inches.  I used a bit of flour on my hands to help with the stickiness of the dough.  Place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

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Beat the egg white until foamy and brush onto each log, brushing tops and all sides.

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Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, Biscotti will turn slightly golden.  Remove and allow to cool for about 15 – 30 minutes.

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Once the Biscotti has completely cooled off, use a SERRATED knife, with a back and forth motion, to carefully slice the Biscotti into 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces.  Place them onto the same baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn and bake for another 10 minutes.  They should be somewhat golden in color.

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Remove the Biscotti and place them onto a cooling rack.  I like to stand them up so that when I go to drizzle the white chocolate, they’re already in the same direction.

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Using a microwave safe bowl, combine the shortening and white chocolate chips.  Melt the chips using 15 second intervals in between stirring.  Stir in between melting time, using a small whisk.

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Slowly pour the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag or bottle and cut or poke a small hole to extrude the chocolate out over the Biscotti.  The tines of a fork can also be used to drizzle the melted chocolate.  Allow the chocolate to dry before storing.

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Holiday Pizzelles


PIZZELLES! One of the oldest cookies in the world, originating from Italy. It’s a thin, crisp, wafer-like cookie with a waffle pattern, usually made around Christmas and Easter. Flavored typically with Anisette, you can also use orange, lemon, almond or vanilla extracts and zests. Other variations include chocolate flavored. If you’ve never tried making these before, they’re actually fun to make.  Most recipe require large amounts of ingredients and make 100+ cookies.  This recipe has been scaled down to make a smaller batch, but the amount of cookies all depends on the size of your pizzelle iron.  ENJOY!

 

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3 Eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Almond extract OR 2 tsp. Anise flavoring OR 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp Orange zest, optional  (I didn’t use this with the Anise flavoring)
1/2 cup Butter, melted & cooled (1 stick)
1 3/4 cups All-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
Powdered sugar, for dusting

 

Place the stick of butter into a microwave safe dish and melt, then set aside and allow to cool.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, set this aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar.  Beat this for about 5 – 8 minutes until thick and bright yellow in color.

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Drizzle in the COOLED melted butter and the flavoring you decide to use.  Beat this together for about 1 minute.

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Heat your Pizzelle cooker according to your manufacturer’s instruction.

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FOLD in the flour mixture, and using a rubber spatula, incorporate this together with the egg/sugar mixture.  Continue to fold in until a THICK smooth batter forms.

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Add a tablespoon of Pizzelle batter to the cooker and allow to cook according to your manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until golden, allow to cool completely. Trim off any extension from the edges.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving or not.

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Not another Chocolate Chip Cookie!


YUP, it’s another Chocolate chip cookie recipe!  But I assure you, once you try this recipe, it will become your “go to” chocolate chip cookie recipe, lol!  When I first came upon this recipe, I believe almost 4 or 5 years ago, I was intrigued by the combination of cake and bread flour.  To my surprise folks, I have to say,  “THIS IS THE COOKIE”, hands down!  It’s everything you’ll want in a cookie; crisp edges, chewy centers, salty, and sweet, YUM! 😛  The only downside about this recipe?  You have to prepare the cookie dough a day in advance, giving the dough a chance to come together, allowing the butter to harden again and work it’s yummy goodness.  But don’t let that deter you from trying this recipe, take my word for it; you’ll be so glad you did! 😉

A stackful of yummy cookies!

A stackful of yummy cookies!

 

2 cups Cake flour
1 2/3 cups Bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted Butter (1 1/4 cups)
1 1/4 cups Light brown sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Eggs, large
2 tsp. Vanilla paste OR Vanilla extract
1 (12 oz. pkg.) Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
Maldon salt flakes OR regular Sea salt, optional

 

Start by sifting the cake flour.  Once you’re done, take a measuring tablespoon and remove 2 Tbsp. from the bowl.  Return this back to the package.

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Next measure out the bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Sift these ingredients.  Set this aside for now while we prepare the other ingredients.

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Next in a larger mixing bowl, I just used my stand mixer; measure out the butter and both sugars.  Mix these ingredients together until creamy and light, about 5 minutes.

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Now beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat thoroughly after each addition.

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Add the vanilla paste or extract, whichever is fine.

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Now add in the flour mixture all at once, mix on medium low speed, JUST UNTIL the flour has incorporated completely with the butter/sugar.  Do not over mix!

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Pour in the chocolate chips and mix just until combined, DO NOT OVER MIX your dough!  Now tear off a sheet of plastic wrap and cover the cookies.  Refrigerate the dough for a few hour, but preferably overnight.  This apparently is an important step, but I get impatient at times and can’t wait.  AND there have also been times when I’ve kept the dough in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days, and it still worked fine.

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ALRIGHTY! Now you’re ready to bake your cookies.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cookie sheets with either parchment paper, a silicon liner, or lightly grease them.  Set this aside.  Using a LARGE ice cream or cookie scoop, scoop out cookie dough, a size slightly larger than a golf ball, and roll this in your hands.  Place the balls of cookie dough balls about 2 – 3 inches apart, I was able to fit 6 large cookies on a cookie sheet and 12 regular sized cookies on the other.

This will make a large 5-inch cookie when baked.

I was able to fit 6 cookie balls on this tray. This will make large 5-inch cookies when baked.

A tray with regular sized cookies.

A tray with regular sized cookies. I was able to fit 12 cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This step is OPTIONAL!  Before baking the cookies, sprinkle some flaked salt over the tops of each cookie, but do not overdo it!  This is going on the concept of the “salty sweet” that’s pretty popular right now.  I used Maldon (pictured in the background) flaked sea salt, but you can use regular sea salt as well.

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I fit 6 of the larger cookie dough balls on one pan. You’ll get 5-inch cookies when done baking.

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Sprinkled with flaked salt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake the larger cookies for about 18 – 20 minutes and about 12 – 15 minutes for the smaller ones.  Adjust the cooking time according to your oven, since they all vary in temperatures.  Once the cookies are done, carefully remove them right away onto a cooling rack.  If you leave them on the cookie sheet to cool, they will cook even more and you’ll end up with “crunchy” cookies. Unless of course, you’re wanting a more crunchy cookie?

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The LEGENDARY $250 Cookie


There was a story written about this cookie and how a lady paid Neiman Marcus, $250 for the recipe.  While I’m not sure about the truth to that story, I am sure that it won’t cost YOU $250 to make.  I do love this cookie recipe.  I first tried this cookie many years ago, way before the internet, and it has become one of the “staple” holiday recipes that I prepare for my family.  There is a process to this but I assure you, it’s well worth the work.   I halved the recipe, but it can easily be doubled.  Give it a try! 😉

Serving suggestion....

Serving suggestion….

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. PURE Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups BLENDED Oatmeal* (Measure out 2 1/2 cups FIRST, then process to a powder in your food processor or blender)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
2 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
1 (4 oz.) Hershey bar, grated (freeze first for easier handling)
1 cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)

 

First thing we need to  prepare is the oatmeal.  *In a food processor or blender (I own a Vitamix), blend oatmeal until it is almost a powder.

Measure out 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal into your blender/processor

Measure out 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal into your blender/processor

This is what the oatmeal should look like.

This is what the oatmeal should look like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed, cream butter and both sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

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After creaming the butter and sugars, add  the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.  Blend this mixture until combined well, about 2 minutes.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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Add in the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda.   Add the chocolate chips, grated candy and nuts (I didn’t have enough, so I left out the nuts). Beat this mixture, JUST UNTIL it has combined well.  No longer than that or you will end up with tough cookies.

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Using a 1 oz (small), for regular sized cookies,  OR a “regular” sized ice cream scooper,  for larger cookies; scoop up some dough and place them 2-inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.  NOTE: If you have a SILPAT baking liner, there’s no need to lightly grease the baking sheets.  Bake for 12 – 15  minutes at 375 degrees.

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Golden brown and ready to remove from the oven after 15 minutes.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

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WELCOME FALL cookies…..


I can’t seem to remember the link to where I saw how to make these, so know that this isn’t my idea.  I’m just sharing the process with you.  I LOVE Fall and remembered these cookies and how EASY they were to make.
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INGREDIENTS:

1 log Sugar cookies, thawed
Food coloring (I used “food grade” gel type in red, orange, and yellow)fall
Flour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the sugar cookie dough has thawed,  roll it into about 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.  Knead the flour into the dough, this is just to help eliminate how sticky it could be.

 

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Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.  Taking each of the food coloring, add about 1/2 teaspoon to each divided dough.

 

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Knead the food coloring into each of the sections, using more flour, if needed to help with the stickiness.  Continue kneading until the dough is the coloring you like, adding more coloring if needed.  Do this for all 3 colors.

 

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Add more flour on the counter, pinch off sections of each colored dough and lay them out side by side, as pictured, pushing them down with your fingers.  Now using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a sheet, about 1/4 inch thick, as pictured.

 

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If you’re wanting to use some colored sugars, go ahead and sprinkle that on.  Using a floured cookie cutter, OR you can free hand your leaves too.  Cut the leaves and place them onto a cookie sheet.  Using a butter knife, cut veins into each of the leaves, for added effect.  Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 9-10 minutes.

 

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Roll the leftover dough up and then cut out more cookies.  Repeating the process until all dough is used up.  ENJOY!

 

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