Archives for category: Dessert

March 28 2013 180I have made many flourless chocolate cakes in my career.  I love the ease of a flourless chocolate cake and when you use exceptional chocolate the result is a dense and flavorful cake that all of your guests will love.

I can finally say that I have developed the perfect flourless chocolate cake recipe.  I have made many recipes from Martha Stewart to Rose Levy Barenbaum and this recipe takes all of the best parts of those recipes to create not only a delicious cake but an easy cake.

This cake is so easy you would not say it was unreasonable at all.

The people who I served this cake were definitely unreasonable in the best possible way.

I was catering recently for a group from the Unreasonable Institute.  If you have not heard about this group, check them out.  Amazing….is all I have to say.  I spent at least 3 hours just looking at all of the entrepreneurs they have helped with their program the first time I went to their website.

This is what it says on their website:  “We get world-changing ventures and entrepreneurs what they need to scale their impact. Each year, we unite 10-30 entrepreneurs (called “Unreasonable Fellows”) from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive customized training and support from 50 world-class mentors, ranging from a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, to the head of user experience at Google X, to an entrepreneur who’s enabled over 20 million farmers to move out of poverty. In the process, they form relationships with corporations and international organizations, receive legal advice & design consulting, and get in front of hundreds of potential funders. Our goal is to bring all the resources to accelerate these ventures so they can scale to meet the needs of at least one million people each.”

How cool is that..

Here are a few of the ventures they have helped out:

Worms 4 Change

Replicable vermicomposting production and training model to promote health and development in rural and urban communities

Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS)

Restoration of peace & security in West Africa through Former child soldiers’ rehabilitation & reintegration.

Lili Dairy

Empowering Women Through Dairy Farming

The list goes on and on.

I had the privilege to cater for this group and the one dish they raved about most was the flourless chocolate cake.  I agreed to share the recipe.

Very Simple Flourless Chocolate Cake

8 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
8 oz 60% cacao chocolate chips (I used Costco Brand which I love..)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup very hot and very strong coffee
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened organic cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli again)
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs whiskey (I used Jack Daniels)
Instructions:
 Pre heat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10-cup Springform pan by lining the bottom with buttered parchment
Break up the unsweetened chocolate into pieces and put the chocolate into the bowl of the food processor or blender. Add the chocolate chips as well.  Pulse until the chocolate breaks up into small bits. Add the sugar. Pulse until the chocolate and sugar turns into a sandy grain.
Pour the hot water or coffee slowly into the feed tube as you pulse again. Pulse until the chocolate is melted.
Add the butter pieces and the cocoa powder, and pulse to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisky and process till smooth. The batter will be liquid and creamy.
Pour the batter into the lined Springform pan. Wrap the outside of the whole pan with a big piece of foil. Bake at 350º  in the center of the oven, till puffed about 45-55 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan and let cake cool on rack for 1 hour.  Best when refrigerated over night wrapped in plastic wrap.  Top with caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, powdered sugar or berries.
March 28 2013 184

March 14 2013 041

I believe that when teaching children to cook you can also teach them about the science of cooking.  How the different components of a recipe combine and change during baking make for a great science experiment.

I also stress the importance of paying attention to the details.  This is an important lesson for my twelve-year old son.  He is very meticulous in the kitchen and I see him take that skill and use it in other aspects of his life.  Like cleaning his room…very important.  I find it easy to get him involved when it is a dessert but he also like to cook chicken, pasta and rice.

He has also become interested in trying new foods when he is involved in the cooking process.

We decided to make a pound cake this week.  My family loves a simple and rich pound cake.

We weigh our ingredients to make sure they are the correct amount.

March 14 2013 002

All of the ingredients are readied before we begin.  Eggs are at room temperature and butter is soft.  Dry ingredients are in a bowl together and wet are in a liquid measuring cup.

March 14 2013 014Ben is careful to sift the dry ingredients together.

March 14 2013 012He will then cream together butter and sugar.

March 14 2013 018Next he adds the eggs one at a time and scraps down the sides of the bowl to make sure it is all well mixed.

March 14 2013 024The batter is then mixed well.

March 14 2013 028The batter is poured into a bundt pan that is  coated with butter and lightly floured.

March 14 2013 030Then Ben sets his timer and bakes his cake in a pre-heated oven.  Ben checks to see if the cake is done with a cake tester stick.

Perfect Pound Cake

March 14 2013 039

Ben’s Tasty Pound Cake Recipe

12 oz. butter

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1⁄2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk, at room temperature

2 tsp. lemon juice 

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

Heat oven to 325°. Generously grease a bundt pan with butter. Add  flour; turn the pan to coat it evenly with flour, tap out any excess, and set aside.

Using a sieve set over a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Repeat 2 more times.

In a measuring container with a pourable spout, combine milk and the  lemon, and vanilla extracts.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter at medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, 1⁄4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beat until satiny smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture, beating for 15 seconds before adding another, and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour and milk mixtures in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl; beat just until the batter is smooth and silky but no more.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and firmly tap on a counter to allow batter to settle evenly. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out moist but clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; let cool completely before slicing.

Carmels 2 015

My kids love caramels.  When we go to the store they have caramels that cost about a dollar each by the register.  They are lovely and tasty and expensive.  I decided we needed to make our own.  Time consuming, this recipe is worth the work.  You don’t need to stand over the stove and stir the whole time but you do need to be in the kitchen for a few hours so you can make other things when the caramel are cooking.  I made some granola bars and some bread at the same time.

Some of my recipes call for corn syrup.  One of the DIY projects that I have undertaken recently is making “corn” syrup out of cane sugar.  Corn syrup is expensive and after reading “The omnivores Dilemma” by  Michael Pollen, I have been committed to reducing the amount of corn products my family consumes.  Not an easy task.

It is very easy to make your own “corn” syrup from cane sugar.  This will substitute in any recipe that calls for corn syrup.  For example, it works great in my granola bar recipe.

Here is the recipe I used to make “corn” syrup.  Cupcake Project, How to make corn syrup.

You should make these caramels because they are worth the work and this recipe yields 120 caramels which will last a long time if kept in the fridge.

Carmels 2 008

Ingredients

  •                                         4 cups heavy cream
  •                                         1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  •                                         4 cups home-made “corn” syrup
  •                                         4 cups sugar
  •                                         1 teaspoon salt
  •                                         1/2 pound unsalted butter
  •                                         1 tablespoon home-made vanilla extract
  •                                         Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Directions

  1.  Spray a cookie sheet or half sheet pan with vegetable-oil spray.
  2.  In medium saucepan, combine cream and sweetened condensed milk; set aside.
  3.  In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine “corn” syrup, 1 cup water, sugar, and salt. Clip on candy thermometer. Over high heat, cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring with a wooden spoon, 8 to 12 minutes. Brush down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals if needed.
  4.  Stop stirring, reduce heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until temperature reaches 250  degrees (hard-ball stage).  You need to have a candy thermometer for this recipe because you cannot guess about the temperature.   This will take about 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Cook cream mixture over low heat until it is just warm. Do not boil.
  6. When sugar reaches 250  degrees. slowly stir in butter cut into chunks added one at a time, and warmed cream mixture, keeping mixture boiling at all times.  Take your time with this step as you do not want the mixture to stop boiling.  Add the butter very slowly.

Carmels 017

  1. Cook over medium heat until thermometer reaches 244  degrees (firm-ball stage), and this will take around 55 to 75 minutes.

Carmels 023

  1. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Immediately pour into prepared pan without scraping pot. If you scrape the bottom of the pot dark brown bits will end up in your candy.  Just leave the bottom of the pot alone and throw out what is left after you pour the candy into the pan.
  3. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 24 hours without moving.
  4. After candy has hardened cut into 1 inch pieces and wrap with waxed paper.
  5. These will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.  Keep the candies in sealed bag or jar so that they do not pick up any odd flavors from the refrigerator.

Carmels 2 007

ImagePeople have come and go in my life and some people really stay in my heart forever.  One of these people I met about 16 years ago while my husband was learning to speak Arabic at the defense language institute in Monterey California.  Laura and her husband John were our great friends and we had some pretty fun times together.  They make me laugh.  Especially Laura’s husband John.  This guy is seriously funny and I am tough customer on this issue since I dated a professional comedian and worked as the chef at a comedy club for years.  I can remember hanging out that their apartment and laughing the entire time we were there.  You know the kind of laughing that you stomach muscles are sore the next day.  Tears streaming down your face and gasping for breath type of laughing.

As young married women Laura and I had some pretty good heart to heart discussions that helped me deal with being newly married.  I guess I am thinking a lot about these things because of my recent separation from my husband.  I love the quote from Dr Suess “don’t cry because it is over but smile because it happened.”

One particular memory I have is when Laura and John came over to see my daughter when we brought her home from the hospital.  John made some comment about her being an alien but Laura just picked her up and held her with such tenderness that I knew she would be an amazing mother.  She is, by the way, and so I was right.  I love to say that…..I was right.

Laura and John now live in Baku Azerbaijan.  I think it is very cool and impressive to pick up your family and move to a foreign county and those two seem to roll like that.

About the cookies now….I posted a picture of some cookies I had made at Cal-Wood and Laura asked if I shared my recipes….really?  She needs to get with the program and read my blog!  This is be a good way to get her started.

I made these cookies one afternoon because the kids at Cal-Woood come and go but the staff is there all year.  They may have been getting a bit tired of the same treats so I decided to create a cookie that was easy to make but appealed to a more adult palate.

These buttery darlings are easy to make and have a subtle cardamom flavor that brings out the earthy oats and sweet dried apricot.

Oatmeal Cardamom Apricot CookiesImage

Do not overbake these cookies.  Take them out of the oven when the edges are browned but the center is light in color.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (7 1/2 oz)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon good quality cardamom, ground

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 sticks of unsalted butter (4 oz)

1 cup packed brown sugar (7 oz)

1 cup granulated sugar (7 oz)

2 large eggs

3 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind but the good old fashioned stuff)

1 cup finely diced dried apricots

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven racks to the low and middle of your oven.  I use parchment sheets to line my baking try but you can also use non-stick spray.

Whisk your dry ingredients together.  Flour, salt, baking powder and cardamom should go in a seperate bowl and whisk until combined.

With a stand mixer or hand held mixer beat butter for about 1 minute and then add sugars and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add eggs to fluffy butter and sugars one at the time and beat for about 2 minutes.

Stir the butter mixture into your dry ingredients.  Add oats and apricots.  Mix until combined.

Scoop dough onto sheet pan keeping the cookies at least 2 inches apart and bake for 20-25 minutes.

After baking let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a baking rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

I love my job.  Really… Of course it can be hard and working for a non-profit in a small mountain community where you spend literally all of your time with the same people can be tough but it is well worth it.  Cal-Wood Education Center is staffed by some remarkable people with talent and enviable enthusiasm for outdoor education and environmental education.

This is a beautiful view of Longs Peak with the Lodge at Cal-Wood Education Center taken on Wednesday morning.

A diverse population use the facilities at Cal-Wood but the main type of group to come up to the retreat center are school groups participating in our outdoor education program.  Most of the groups are kids from ages 9-11.

It is a never-ending delight to see these kids get off the bus and just stare at the surrounding mountains.  The energy and happiness that emanates from these little people is infectious.  They are just having a good time and it shows.

One of the main concerns for most kids is the food and what is going to be served to them and if they will like it or not.

With super picky kids to kids with long lists of food allergies my job can be difficult and I  am constantly working to create foods that are not only delicious and healthy but cater to everyone despite allergies or food dislikes.

This brings me around to why I am writing this post.  A couple of weeks ago and young lady came to the door of my kitchen after dinner.  She had a huge grin on her face and she was bouncing up and down.  “Did you make those red velvet cupcakes” she gushed.

“Yes” I replied.  “Did you like them?” I asked.

“Oh yes, those were the best cupcakes I have ever had!”   She continued to jump up and down and asked if she could have the recipe so that her mom could make them for her birthday coming up at the end of May.  I said “of course just visit my blog”.

This is why I do my job and go the extra mile for every single thing that I make at Cal-Wood Education Center.  This moment is what it all boils down to.

So here is the Red Velvet Cupcake recipe that has been requested by a young lady who took time out to come in my kitchen and make my whole week!

Red Velvet Cupcakes  (inspired by The Brown Eyed Baker and Cooks Illustrated)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature
2½ tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 cup
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tin with papers and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray.

On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt

In a stand mixer or with hand held mixer whisk butter and cream cheese for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sea salt and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

My family loves to have creme fraiche with berries for breakfast.  Whenever I go to buy it I find I am dismayed by the price.  This is just too expensive for everyday eating.   Creme fraiche translates into fresh cream in French.  It is actually cultured cream, much like sour cream or yogurt. 

I adore both sour cream and yogurt so I decided that cultured heavy cream made from high quality heavy whipping cream should be delish beyond compare.  Boy was I right.  De-freaking-lish!

The final product came out with a velvety and smooth texture from the heavy cream and a slightly sour taste that really made it special.  I seriously have to stop eating this stuff to get a good idea of how to describe it.  There is no added sugar in this recipe but it has a slightly sweet finish to it.  There is no need to add sweetener to it because it is great alone.

Home-made Creme Fraiche

1 quart heavy whipping cream (I used Organic valley)

1 pint Greek yogurt (I used Greek Gods)

Simmer heavy whipping cream on stove top stirring to avoid scalding for 5 minutes.

Let cool on counter until cream reaches 110 degrees.

Add yogurt and whisk to fully incorporate.  Over night the yogurt cultures will begin to work on the cream and flavor and thicken it.

Cover and leave in your refrigerator over night.

It should be thick and ready to enjoy the next day.

Some ways to use home-made creme fraiche:

Made cucumber dip for greek meatballs.  Add diced cucumber (peel it first) a little fresh garlic, lemon juice and parsley.

Add fresh garlic, herbs and sea salt and pepper to make a dip for veggies.

Dollop some next to pie or cobbler instead of whipped cream.

Serve for breakfast with berries and granola.

I bake cookies for the guests at Cal-Wood every week.  As with all of the food I prepare I like to make sure it is the best.  I balance healthy foods with indulgent foods with the goal of making everything from scratch.  This cookie recipe is a favorite among the staff and guests.  It is a flavorful sugar cookie with a hint of warm spices and fresh orange zest.  The cookies are usually packed in a backpack and taken out on the trail so it is a good sturdy cookie that usually makes it to snack time still intact but it is not hard.

This cookie is delightfully crispy outside and chewy inside.  Because it is made with whole wheat flour you can also tell yourself it is healthy.  Just ignore the sugar and real butter….

For smaller batches just divide amounts by 4.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookie with Orange Zest

Crispy and chewy cookies made with warm spices and fresh orange zest.

1 lb unsalted butter, soft

2  lbs sugar, granulated

4 Large eggs

4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

2 lbs flour, whole wheat

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

2 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground is best

4 tbs orange zest

4 oz turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1. Cream butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs, vanilla and milk.  Mix well.

3. Sift together dry ingredients and add in 3 batches to the creamed mixture and blend well.

4. Add orange zest.

5. Mix together turbinado sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon together.

6. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Scoop cookies out with a #40 scoop or 1 oz scoop (you may also use a teaspoon) on a parchment lined sheet pan.

7. Flatten lightly and sprinkle with cinnamon and turbinado sugar mixture.

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes turning the pan around 1/2 way through.

9. Let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Store in a air tight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Yield: 96 Cookies

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Tips

Fresh grated nutmeg really enhances the flavor.

Make sure to use a good cinnamon such as Saigon cinnamon.

Using a mico-plane zester makes citrus zest easy.

Try adding lemon zest and candied ginger minced finely instead of warm spices and orange for a different taste.

Cream puff dough.  Pretty simple to make if you have a few clues of what to look for.  Simple and impressive.  Your family and friends will think you are a great and talented chef but if they only knew how easy this is… You will be taking simple ingredients most people have around the house and combing it into a transcendental little treat that will amaze your guests.  Ok so maybe I am going a bit overboard on this.  It is really simple and delicious.

Make up a bunch of cheese puffs and freeze them for later.  They freeze great and re-heat nicely.  Keep a bag on hand for a tasty after school snack or movie munchies for the whole family.  If you are going to a pot luck everyone will be impressed with cheese puffs or cream puffs made from scratch and all you will need to do is pull them from the freezer and warm up a bit.

First off you need to have a stand mixer or hand-held mixer.  You can do this by hand but it takes a long time to get the eggs and dough to mix right.  Maybe it is just me because I have been hand kneading a lot of bread dough lately and my arms are sore.

You do not need a pastry bag just use a heavy-duty freezer bag and cut off the tip.

You can make up a double batch of the dough and after mixing in the stand mixer you can divide in half and mix cheese into one half and keep the other half plain for cream puffs.

I will list both weight and measurements so if you would like to expand the recipe use the weight and multiply.  I have multiplied this recipe by as much as 8 times and it worked out great.

  1. 1/2 cup water or 4 ounces
  2. 1/2 cup milk or 4 ounces
  3. 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons or 4 ounces
  4. Large pinch of coarse salt
  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour or 12 ounces
  6. 4 large eggs  or  1 lb eggs
  7. 3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling  (omit cheese for cream puffs)
  8. Freshly ground pepper  (omit pepper for cream puffs)
  9. Freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour  all at once and stir it in with a heat safe spatula until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.  This can happen pretty quickly.  When I made this recipe yesterday the dough pulled away from the sides of the pan in about 30 seconds so don’t worry if it happens fast.
  2. Scrape the dough into your mixer bowl; let cool for 1 minute.  I usually beat it on the mixer for another minute with the paddle attachment to cool it even further because you do not want to cook the eggs.  Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. The dough may look seperated or curdled but just keep beating and it will come together.
  3. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a  1/2-inch round tip or freezer bag with the tip cut off and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. I like to turn the cookie sheets half way through baking.  Serve hot, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze.     After freezing reheat in a 350° oven until piping hot.

You can be creative with the type of cheese you use.  Try aged parmesan, comte, gruyere or any other sharp dry cheese.  Add fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary finely minced, chives or italian flat leaf parsley finely minced.  I have made blue cheese  with finely minced bacon and chive cheese puffs that turned out delicious.

For cream puffs omit cheese, pepper and nutmeg and bake.  Let cool and pipe fresh whipped cream inside.  Top with melted chocolate.

Baked puffs can be frozen for up to 3 months in a heavy-duty freezer bag.

When I had my cafe I was always amazed with the way cupcakes make people smile.  Kind of like a baby or really cute dog.  Customers would come into the cafe and see the cupcakes on the cake stand and smile.  They did not always purchase a cupcake but they would smile and say “Oh such pretty cupcakes!”

Cupcakes are always a big crowd pleaser.  When I bring cupcakes out into the dining room for service at Cal-Wood the room either goes completely silent or the kids erupt into applause.  Who doesn’t love that kind of response.  I feel like putting down the tray, executing a perfect curtsy and stepping up to the podium to thank the important people in my life…sorry I digress…

My favorite cupcake recipes are those that yield a moist cake and are topped with a not-too-sweet frosting.  I cannot abide by cupcakes that have really sweet frosting or when the frosting is double the volume of the cake.  I usually knock off the frosting into the trash and enjoy the cake.

I recently developed a large quantity  lemon cupcake recipe that I am very pleased with.  The moist cake is topped by a light cream cheese frosting.

This is a big batch recipe meaning it yields 80 cup cakes when batter is scooped with a 1 oz scoop or a #30 scoop.

This recipe is written in weight not measurements so you can easily make it for only 20 cupcakes by using only 1/4 of the weight.

These cupcakes freeze well so you can freeze them without the frosting for up to 3 months.

Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes

3 lbs 12 oz Bread Flour

2 teaspoons Baking soda

2 teaspoons Sea Salt

2 lbs Unsalted Butter, soft

3 lbs 6oz Sugar

1 lb 8oz Eggs

1 1/4 oz Lemon zest

32 fl oz Buttermilk

6 fl oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Cream butter and sugar in large stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Scrape down sides of bowl half way through.  Mix for 4-5 minutes or until light in color.

Blend eggs, lemon zest and add into butter mixture until incorporated.  Add in 3 additions mixing on low speed.

Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk in 3 additions.

Add lemon juice and mix on low until just incorporated.

Bake at 350 degrees until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Tonight was the cookie exchange at the Jamestown Merc.  It was nice to meet new people and enjoy some very good cookies.

Maddy and I baked all morning.

Chocolate crinkle cookies have been featured on many of the blogs I enjoy reading so we decided to make those along with my gingerbread cookies.  I had also found a recipe for Earl Grey Shortbread cookies.  These sounded good but I did not have any Earl Grey.  I did have some very good chai tea bags so I decided to make chai tea shortbread cookies.  Maddy and I thought that the chocolate crinkle cookies would be the star but it turned out the chai tea cookies were by far the best cookies we made today.

These cookies were made by talented Jamestown folks.

Chai Tea Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are fabulous hot out of the oven.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons loose Chai Tea leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Place on parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes.

 

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