Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Splattered Acorn Cookies

Pin It

These are some of my favorite Thanksgiving cookies.  I love the simplicity of the acorn, and the rustic look of the copper splatter. All on a chocolate cookie base!  What's not to love!  
Prior to these, I made another Acorn Cookies that I was pretty proud of.  I thought they were cool with that Disco Dust on them.   A few years back when I first made the splatter cookies, I had read this post  Splatter Acorn Cookies from Sweet Sugarbelle.  She made some splatter autumn cookies, and I knew I had to go there.  As a kid, I can remember the blue splattered tin dishes we used in the summer around the pool.  I knew I wanted to splatter my cool, Disco Dust acorns.

The old acorns. They were cute.

These acorns are a little more special!

I started with chocolate cookies, and you may already know that I use LilaLoa's chocolate cookie recipe. It never fails and is delicious.  Of course I am a cocoa snob and use only Pernigotti.  When it came time to ice the cookies, I took my standard Royal Icing (really, it is nothing special, no secret, read the can for directions), and added a little snooty vanilla and more Pernigotti.  Then I thinned it to the right consistency and made it brown.  It tastes delicious!  I piped the borders and flooded only the bottom half and let them dry.

Once they dried, I mixed up some copper Luster Dust and vodka to the right splattering consistency and using a larger paintbrush, I splattered it on.  I used a large coffee filter as my paint area, and I have to say it worked pretty well.

Splattering area

I made a few extra cookies so I could experiment on the flinging method, the sprinkling method or whatever.  Find what works for you.  After I splattered them all and cleaned up the splatters everywhere else in my kitchen, I flooded the tops of the acorns and using another coffee filter cut in half as a shield, I dusted the tops with Disco Dust.  I think they are pretty stunning.  Such gorgeous colors and delicious too!  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pin It

Fall in a muffin cup...

Ahhhh, there are certain rituals of the seasons.

The winter is all about hot chocolate, red wine, slow cooking, chili on a snowy day.

Spring is asparagus, strawberry pie, and lemon poppy seed quick bread.

Summer is lemonade (with a little Absolut Citron), watermelon, anything grilled.

And fall is mulling spices, cider, butternut squash and pumpkin anything. But at my house, it is pumpkin muffins. Dense, fragrant with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, yummy pumpkin and studded with chocolate. They are especially good cold. Straight from the fridge or a few minutes out of the freezer. A cup of coffee or a glass of milk. I prefer them over pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pretty much pumpkin anything. You'll agree. It is a great combination and tastes just like fall....

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin (half a can, although I have dumped the whole thing in before)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Break eggs in another bowl and whisk in pumpkin and butter. Fold into dry ingredients, don't over mix. Add chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into muffin tin lined with papers. 12 regular sized or 24 mini muffins. Bake until puffed and springy but no longer gooey. About 20 minutes. Cool completely before storing.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The World's Most Amazing Chocolate Biscotti with Walnuts and Chocolate Chunks

Pin It

Perfect to dunk...

Grandma and Sookie.  

My mom is a brown noser. Yep, I said it. In her late 60's, (not the 1960's) she went back to college to get her BA in Creative Writing. And you know how parents always tell their kids to engage their professors, make sure they know your name, go visit them during office hours? Well she took it a step further. She would bake cookies for her teachers. So these poor unassuming college professors are there to critique her plays and essays and they are derailed by the wafts of Pernigotti Cocoa and Madagascar Vanilla, toasted almonds and walnuts.

Are you surprised she was an A student? Teachers everywhere wish they were lucky enough to have a student like her! Of course, I may be exaggerating a little as she is a published author and a playwright lucky enough to have seen about 7 plays produced on stage. She walked across the stage at the Tropicana Dome to receive that diploma right at her 70th birthday!

She has an on going eye problem that frankly hasn't slowed her down a bit, but is the elephant in the room, so to speak. Her specialist for her eye problem is an amazing physician. I have accompanied her on more than one occasion and love, love, love this man! He has the bedside manner a patient could only dream of their physician having, he is engaging and spends a great amount of time covering her concerns. Although she is regular in his office, he never treats her appointments as routine. And he looks like he jumped off the pages of GQ. The man can flat out dress, all the way down to the ink pen. (I covet things like ink pens).

no nuts in these

So one day, she decides to bring the nice doctor some chocolate biscotti. It seems that the perfect doctor maybe isn't so keen on sharing. This happens when grown men are given possession of chocolate cookies, homemade, in the presence of a multitude of women. He just didn't want to start a cat fight with my mom's biscotti. I think it was pretty smart of him personally. But oh, now that he's had a taste of them, don't you know he wants more! So she went back this week, biscotti in tow. And the relief of the doctor, she told him she baked another batch for his staff! Whew! No more sneaking the cookies around.

And here is the recipe. Seriously worth hiding from others. But the caveat. Don't even bother making these with grocery cocoa or grocery vanilla. They would never pass the test. My Williams Sonoma may have shuttered its door,  but the vanilla can be found many places.  The Pernigotti Cocoa may be a bit tougher to find.  And when it comes to toasting your nuts, trust me.  Toasting stovetop in a pan is the trick.  If you're like me, you are doing a dozen things at one time, and the nuts toasting in the oven are forgotten...until you smell them.  Then, it's too late!  So, get the ovens preheated. We're baking biscotti!

Chocolate Biscotti

Combine and set aside, sifting is always a good idea...
4 1/2 C flour
2 tea. baking powder
1 tea. salt
1/2 c Pernigotti Cocoa (Williams Sonoma)

3/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chunks

3 C sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp),
4 large eggs, (room temp)
3 tea. Madagascar vanilla (Williams Sonoma)

Cream the wet ingredients until fully mixed.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until no dry spots are found.  Add in chocolate and walnuts. You can add espresso powder for a mocha taste, almond extract if you like that flavor. It is a great cookie to try new ideas with!

On parchment paper on baking sheet, shape into 2 logs, 2 1/2 inches wide x 9 1/2 long x 1 inch high and bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes. Cool about 30 minutes. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and put on large wire rack (so they toast on both sides) for 10 minutes. Cool before storing.

Make some coffee, and invite me over!