How did everyone like the toffee?
Get ready to roll and cut, bakers! Posting date is July 31.
- 1 cup (150 g) blanched almonds, toasted (see page 19)
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 8 ounces (225 g) jam (we recommend blueberry rhubarb)
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Put the almonds and ¼ cup (50 g) of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining ¼ cup (50 g) sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and almond extract and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the almond mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl one more time and then mix again.
- Turn the dough out (it will be tacky) onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands. Form the dough into two disks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Unwrap one dough disk and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a round 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick, flipping and lightly sprinkling it with flour as needed so it doesn’t stick. Using a 2½-inch (6-cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough and transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space around each cookie. Extra dough scraps can be refrigerated and rerolled, if desired. Continue the process with the remaining dough disk, and distribute the pieces equally between the two trays. Freeze the trays of cookies for 5 minutes.
- If you like, you can bake the windowpane cutout scraps as well. Line one more baking sheet with parchment (if you don’t have another baking sheet, you can place them on a large platter or plate lined with parchment until the sheet is free). Remove one sheet of dough from the freezer. Make the windowpane cutout: Working quickly, using a small cookie cutter (round, or heart- or star shaped, about 1 inch/2.5 cm in diameter), cut out shapes directly in the middle of each round of cookie dough. Place the cutout shape scraps on the last sheet or platter, if desired. Set aside. Remove the other sheet from the freezer, but leave the cookies intact. (In total, only half of your cookies should have cutouts.)
- Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time, until they are set, 8 to 10 minutes. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely. (If you reserved your cutout shape scraps on a platter, transfer them to one of the empty baking sheets and bake until set, 6 to 8 minutes. Again, place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool.)
- Flip the cookies that are wholly intact (with no cutout) and spread an even layer of jam, about 1 teaspoon, over the cookie bottom. Dust the cookies with the cutout with a little confectioners’ sugar, then place them directly over the jam-covered cookies. Dust the cutout shapes with confectioners’ sugar as well, to eat alongside the assembled linzers. Allow the cookies to set for about 10 minutes before serving.
Brown sugar, bourbon, and walnuts! Posting date is May 8.
- 3½ ounces (100 g) walnuts (about 1 cup), toasted
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (270 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons good-quality Kentucky bourbon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (110 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 g) bourbon sugar (see sidebar) or raw or demerara sugar
- ¾ cup (85 g) confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the walnuts until almost all are finely ground but some remain coarse.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, bourbon, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add the brown sugar and beat again until the mixture is well combined and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the nuts; mix for 15 seconds. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating the nuts with a wooden spoon.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop with a release mechanism (or a small spoon and your hands), form balls from tablespoons of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet about ½ inch (12 mm) apart. More than likely, you should be able to fit all of the balls on one half sheet baking pan; the dough does not really spread during baking. Freeze the balls until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Remove the balls from the freezer and let sit for 5 minutes. Place the bourbon sugar in a wide shallow bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat them completely, applying pressure as needed to make the sugar stick, and place them back on the baking sheet. Bake just until the balls start to color, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- If using, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a wide shallow bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar and place then on a cool surface. Let the balls cool completely and sprinkle them again with more of the confectioners’ sugar right before serving.
- Vanilla bourbon sugar is addictive. Use the leftovers to finsih other desserts, to stir into coffee, and to make assorted fancy cocktails.
- Quick and Dirty Bourbon Sugar: Place 5 cup (120 g) raw or demerara sugar in a ceramic canister that has an accompanying lid (or use a small bowl covered with a small plate). Add ½ teaspoon bourbon, cover with the lid, and shake vigorously until well combined. Wait at least 30 minutes for the flavor to develop before using.
- Slow and Steady Vanilla Bourbon Sugar: Place 1 cup (240 g) raw or demerara sugar in a canister that has an accompanying lid. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise and stick the vanilla bean halves into the sugar. Drizzle the sugar with 2 teaspoons of bourbon, and top with 1 more cup (240 g) raw or demerara sugar. Cover the canister and shake like crazy. Place the canister in a dark, cool place and wait about a week for the flavors to fully develop.
A resounding YES to buttery crescent cookies this week!
What did everyone think of this simple little cookie?
Another year, another great week of baking for Baked Sunday Mornings!
Happy New Year, everyone! Leave your links here for our first bake of 2016!
We’re starting off 2016 with pistachio-chocolate chip meringue cookies. Posting date is January 3!
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (185 g) shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped and toasted
- 6 ounces (170 g) mini dark chocolate chips or chunks (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk until just combined, about 15 seconds. Set the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk by hand until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is glossy and voluminous and slightly stiff peaks begin to form (when you pull out the whisk, a peak should form, then slowly flop over). Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
- Switch to the paddle attachment of the mixer, then add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for 5 more seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to manually fold in the nuts and chocolate.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop (about a scant tablespoon) with a release mechanism, drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) between all of the cookies. (Alternatively, for larger cookies, scoop and drop by heaping tablespoons.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (smaller cookies will bake faster), rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are hard and crackly on the surface.
- Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
Take a look at how our talented bakers met the chocolaty challenge this week!
What did you think of this gooey chocolate Bundt cake?