Sunday, January 14, 2018

Winter Wonderland Cake

Pin It Winter Wonderland Cake


Winter Wonderland Cake
I took Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake recipe (link below) and turned it into a Coconut Layer Cake by replacing the Whole Milk to canned Coconut Milk, and used Coconut Extract in place of Almond Extract. The Coconut Frosting is adapted from, The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010 (pgs. 498-99). This cake is light and moist and has a tender crumb. The coconut taste is divine and the dessicated coconut all over the cake makes it a coconut lovers dream cake. To give the cake a Winter Wonderland look, I made White Trees using ice cream cones and covered them with frosting, and then rolled them in Wilton White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles and Wilton White Sugar Pearls Sprinkles. I read about this DIY on The Cake Blog (link below) and wanted to try it. If you love coconut as much as I do, you gotta make this recipe! See recipe and directions below.

First slice goes to the baker, me! ;)

Cake
Ingredients
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Cake Flour, plus more for the cake pans

1 cup Coconut Milk, canned, room temperature

6 Large Egg Whites, room temperature

2 teaspoons Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar

4 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces

Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake

Directions
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper and grease and sprinkle with cake flour.

Tap on counter and remove excess cake flour.

Whisk coconut milk, egg whites, coconut and vanilla extracts together in a medium sized bowl.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Increase speed to medium, beat butter into the flour mixture, a couple of pieces at a time, about 1 minute.

Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute.

Beat in all but 1/2 cup of the coconut milk mixture, then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add remaining coconut milk mixture until batter is combined, about 1 minute.

Close-up of my slice

Winter Wonderland Cake beauty!
Add batter into the prepared pans, smooth tops with spatula, and lightly tap the pans against the countertop two to four times to settle the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. My cake was done in 25 minutes.

Ovens vary so check the cake at 23 minutes or earlier and adjust baking time accordingly.

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them carefully onto a wire rack.

Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and cool completely.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight or wait at least 2 hours if frosting the same day.

If you chill the cake overnight as I did, it will be easier to frost and not be as crumbly and the flavors develop more as well.

Pretty White Trees made from ice cream cones

Cake is frosted and ready to cover with the dessicated coconut

Coconut Frosting
Ingredients
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into pieces

1/4 cup Coconut Milk, canned

3 cups Confectioners/Powdered Sugar

Shredded or Dessicated Coconut (however much you wish over frosting and in between the cake layers). I used dessicated coconut.

I used King Arthur brand Cake Flour

Iberia Coconut Milk

Directions
In a small bowl, stir the cream, coconut and vanilla extracts, and salt together.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and coconut milk on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and gradually beat in confectioners/powdered sugar, then continue to beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the cream mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Winter Trees
Ingredients

3 Ice Cream Cones

Coconut Frosting

Wilton White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles and Wilton White Sugar Pearls Sprinkles.

Ice Cream Cones will become White Winter Trees

Directions
Hold 1 cone inside your index finger and with a small spatula frost cone rotating it with your finger.

Roll each frosted cone in a large bowl with sprinkles. Cover completely.

Carefully place on a cutting board, baking sheet, or flat surface to set until you frost cake.

Dessicated Coconut I purchased for this recipe

Frost Cake
Directions
Line edges of cake platter or cake turntable with strips of parchment paper to keep platter edges clean as you frost cake.

I use a cake turntable.

If you wish, you may slice off the tops of the cake layers with a serrated knife before frosting.

I never do since my cakes bake pretty evenly on top.

Pic of dessicated coconut
Place one of the cake layers on the platter/cake turntable top side down. Spread desired frosting over the cake, right to the edges.

Place other cake layer top side down and press lightly to adhere.

Frost the cake with remaining frosting. Cover the entire cake with coconut flakes/dessicated coconut (I used dessicated coconut).

Top the cake carefully placing each winter white tree and then add extra coconut flakes/dessicated coconut around the trees to make it look snowy.

If desired add more coconut on your cake platter all along the bottom of the cake.

For the Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake recipe, visit Epicurious:
https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/cooks-illustrated-white-layer-cake-50017374

For the DIY Sparkling Christmas Trees Tutorial, visit The Cake Blog:
http://thecakeblog.com/2011/12/diy-sparkling-christmas-trees.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Wonderland Cookies

Pin It Winter Wonderland Cookies

Winter Wonderland Cookies

Winter Wonderland Cookies
On January 4, the college where I work was closed as well as all schools in NYC due to a snowstorm dubbed 'Bomb Cyclone' and what a spectacular storm it was. I enjoyed watching it from my window observing the high winds and the slanted movement of the snow coming down. We got a foot of snow in my area. I was happy to be home that day relaxing in my pajamas. I really love snow days and hope we get more of them. We have had a good amount of snow in general, and we will probably get much more before Winter is over. We have many months to go and I like winter so no complaints from me.

Winter Wonderland Cookies

See the white morsels and sprinkles inside the cookie

I saw Blizzard Cookies on Sugar Spun Run (link below) and had to make these cookies. My hubby refers to these cookies as Snowpocalypse Cookies but they can also be called Frozen Cookies. I recently bought some Betty Crocker Snowflake Mix Sprinkles and wanted to use them for this recipe. I also added some Wilton Colored Nonpareils in various shades of blue, Wilton White Pearlized Jimmies, and pressed a few Wilton Snowflakes into the cookies after they baked. I increased the amount of sprinkles from 1/4 to 1/2 cup but followed the rest of the recipe as is. This cookie is fabulous! There is cream cheese in the batter and it is soft and tender, and the sprinkles give it a nice crunch. These cookies taste amazing and have a great vanilla flavor, and the white morsels give it a balanced sweetness. I recommend you try this cookie recipe real soon. I plan to use it again and just change the chips and colors of the sprinkles depending on the theme or holiday I am baking for.

Yield: 3 Dozen Medium Size Cookies


Winter Wonderland Cookies

Such pretty and yummy cookies

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Cornstarch

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

4 oz Cream Cheese, softened

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Colored Sprinkles + more Snowflake Sprinkles for the tops of the cookies

1 1/2 cups Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

These 2 cookies went in my belly!

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Add sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Half way scrape sides of bowl.

Add egg and beat until incorporated.

Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.


Mixer off and folding in white morsels

Adding Snowflake Mix Sprinkles

Adding more sprinkles: Wilton White Pearlized Jimmies
With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Using a spatula fold in white morsels.

With a spatula fold in sprinkles.

Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1/2 hour since it is sticky.

Chilling the dough a little will help the dough release from the ice cream scoop easier.

I waited a few minutes when the cookies came out the oven and pressed a few Wilton Snowflakes into each cookie

Winter Wonderland Cookies on wire tracks to cool
Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, form and place dough balls on baking sheets spacing 2 inches apart.

Flatten cookies with palm of your hand or with the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cookies will look slightly underdone, but will continue to cook on baking sheet. My cookies were done in 12 minutes.

In the cookie jar for us to enjoy all week and packaged the rest to give to my coworkers
Oven temperatures vary so start checking the cookies at the 8 minutes mark and increase time accordingly.

Wait 5 minutes and then press a few snowflake sprinkles into each cookie if desired.

Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Blizzard Cookies recipe, visit Sugar Spun Run:
https://sugarspunrun.com/blizzard-cookies/

To read about the January 2018 North American Blizzard visit:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2018_North_American_blizzard

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, January 1, 2018

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Pin It Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Happy New Year! I love Ghirardelli Chocolate and saw this recipe on the back of the Peppermint Chunks I bought at Target for Christmas baking. The recipe is easy to do and the results are perfection. The cookie is gooey and fudgy and has an amazing peppermint taste that you get in each bite. These Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are rich in chocolate flavor and a decadent treat. See recipe below.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


Look at all the peppermint chunks

Ingredients
1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

1 cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt

6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened

1 cup Dark Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 bag (10 oz.) Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - sooooo good!

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt 1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until melted; set aside to cool.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Using a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream butter and sugar; about 1-2 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Add cooled melted chocolate and combine.

Add vanilla extract and mix just until combined.

Turn off mixer.

Ghirardelli ingredients used in this recipe

Fold in peppermint chunks.

Use a small or medium size cookie scoop and place two inches apart on the cookie sheets. 

Bake 9-10 minutes.

Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks
Do not over bake. Cookies should be soft and fudgy.

Wait 10 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Zimtsterne

Pin It Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

Zimtsterne
Zimsterne (pronounced “tszimt’-shtair-ne”) and means Zimt = Cinnamon; Sterne = Stars. This is another classic German Christmas cookie. This is a great chewy cookie with cinnamon and almond flavor. The ground almonds give it a nice texture. The cinnamon is perfect and not overpowering. A six-pointed star is the traditional shape for this cookie but if you only have a regular star cutter that works just as well. See recipe below.

Yield: 1 dozen large cookies or 2 dozen with a smaller star cutter

Cookie Ingredients
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour

2 cups Almond Meal (Ground up Almonds)

1/2 cup Super Fine Granulated Sugar

2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

2 Large Egg Whites

Zimtsterne

Meringue Glaze Ingredients:
1 Large Egg White

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup Confectioners'/Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon Milk

Zimtsterne

Directions
Grind almonds in processor or coffee grinder; set aside.

If you only have regular granulated sugar pulse in processor until it reaches a fine texture.

Whisk together ground almonds, flour, sugar, and cinnamon.

Add egg whites and combine with spatula.

Once dough forms (it will be sticky), cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 325°F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough with rolling pin in between two sheets of parchment paper.

Cut shapes with star cutter.

Make the Meringue Glaze:
In a mixer with paddle attachment on high speed, mix the egg white and salt until stiff.

Turn mixer to low speed and gradually add the sugar until incorporated.

6-pointed star cookie cutter I used for this recipe

Add 1 teaspoon of milk and combine.

Add meringue to each cookie and use a brush to cover cookie.

Once all cookies are glazed bake for 8 minutes.

Do not let the meringue brown.

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Dough is ready to chill
Zimsterne (Cinnamon Stars) recipe is from Saving Room for Dessert:
https://www.savingdessert.com/zimtsterne-cinnamon-stars/

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Lebkuchen

Pin It Lebkuchen


Lebkucken

Lebkuchen are a classic German Christmas gingerbread cookie made with honey and spices. Lebkucken are a cross between a cookie and cake. You get a nice crunchy bite from the ground almonds and the texture is cake-like. The spices are warm and flavorful. The slivered almonds on top really bring the cookie together. Enjoy some Lebkuchen with tea or coffee. See recipe below.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


Lebkuchen

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

2/3 cup Almond Meal (Ground up Almonds)

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 teaspoons Ground Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup Honey (Raw if you can find it)

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter

Slivered Almonds to decorate tops of cookies

Lebkuchen

Directions
Grind almonds in processor or coffee grinder; set aside.

Whisk together ground almonds, flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and honey. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, add melted butter and honey to dry ingredients stirring with a spatula.

Once dough forms, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.

Lebkuchen

Heat oven to 350°F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough with rolling pin in between two sheets of parchment paper.

Use a small or medium size cookie scoop or roll a ball with your hands and place two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Using the palm of your hand press each cookie and add 2-3 slivered almonds on top.

Cookies are out of the oven. Check out my new Wilton Cookie Spatula!
Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Lebkuchen was adapted from Recipes for Germany's Popular Foods:
https://www.theconstantrambler.com/recipes-for-germanys-popular-foods/

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Cookies

Pin It Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Snowglobes

Trees

Christmas Cookies
I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas. We went to my brother's house last night and celebrated Christmas Eve with my family and friends. We had a great time together. I made three batches of this cookie recipe from Sweetopia (see link below), one batch was gluten free. I made over 240 cookies counting the Gingerbread Cookies (see previous post) and decorated each one. I was very busy this week decorating cookies. The photos represent just some of the cookies. My table is not big enough to put them all together for a picture. I used two different icings, royal and egg-free. The only change to the cookie recipe is the addition of 1 tablespoon of milk. See cookie recipe and the two icing recipes below.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes, gluten free

Yield: 5 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients

5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour*

2 cups Granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups Unsalted Butter, softened

1 tablespoon Milk

2 XL Eggs

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

*To make this recipe gluten free, substitute with gluten free 1 to 1 flour

Winter Wonderland scene, Snowman scene, Tree scene cookies

Tree scene, gluten free

Melted Snowman

Directions
Whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 10 seconds.

Snowmen

Snowmen, gluten free
Add eggs one at a time, mix until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Add milk and vanilla extract, and mix on low until incorporated, about 20-25 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Mittens, Stockings

Santa Hat, Mittens, Stocking


Santa Hat, Mittens, Stockings, gluten free
Cut in half and roll dough into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Take half of the dough leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in fridge until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Snoopy House 

This Snoopy plate inspired this cookie

A Christmas Story Leg Lamps

Truck with Tree
Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

If needed, dip cutters in flour, shake off excess, and make shapes.

Place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 15 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Santa Clothesline

Gnome, Nutcracker, Mrs. Claus Dress, Santa Belt, Santa Boot, Santa Sleigh

Presents
Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

Classic Bulb Lights

Ornaments

Ornaments, gluten free

Large Batch Royal Icing
Ingredients


8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

Elf Hats, Elf Stockings

Peppermints, Candy Canes

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

Holly

Holly, gluten free
Egg-Free Icing (Double recipe if you have more than 40 cookies)
6 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1/2 cup Whole Milk + 1 tablespoon extra (for flooding cookies)

1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup

2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract

Reindeer

Stockings

Stockings, gluten free

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar; set aside.

Using stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium-high speed, combine sugar and 1/4 cup of milk and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Add remaining 1/4 cup of milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you need. (I made one batch for the borders, and 1 batch to fill the cookies). For filling the cookies, I added 1 extra tablespoon of milk.

Add corn syrup, vanilla extract and mix for 10 seconds.

Note: The corn syrup gives the icing a lovely shine.

For both icing recipes, I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to how many different colors needed for tinting.

I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in various colors. Use 1-2 drops at a time until you have the color you need.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

I transferred the icing immediately into squeeze bottles using a small funnel to prevent spilling.

If the royal icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spray a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

Royal Icing

Metallic Food Paint I ordered for the Snowglobes

Gluten Free Flour I bought
I outlined the cookies first and then filled them.

Use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges, and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

Add sprinkles, confetti, sugar pearls, dragees, etc... over wet icing.

I used AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens (Certified U.S. food grade) for some of the designs.

Let cookies dry overnight. This is essential so the icing does not stick together when you stack them or place in cookie tins for gifts.

If you are baking and it is humid, you may need more time for the cookies to dry.

Santa's Cookie Haul!!! ;)

My new Snowglobe

Snowglobe shook up ;

For further information:
Please visit, Sweetopia for the Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe:
http://sweetopia.net/2009/12/sugar-cookie-recipe/

Please visit, Joy of Baking for the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

Please visit, The Slow Roasted Italian for the Egg-Free Icing Recipe:
http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/12/best-tasting-sugar-cookie-icing-recipe.html

The Santa's Clothesline Cookie was inspired by Celebrate by Woman's World Holiday baking fun! Magazine,(pg. 64)

I ordered the Snowglobe and Gingerbread House wafer paper from Fancy Flours:
http://www.fancyflours.com

The truck with tree is inspired by Bake at 350:
http://www.bakeat350.net/2013/12/truck-with-christmas-tree-cookies.html

The Winter Wonderland scene cookies are inspired by Glorious Treats:
http://www.glorioustreats.com/2017/12/winter-wonderland-cookies.html

The Snowman scene cookie is inspired by Life's A Batch:
http://lifesabatch.com/?p=356

The Diamond Shape Snowflake is inspired by Better Homes and Gardens:
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/diamond-snowflake-christmas-cookies/

To make the Candy Canes, I followed the tutorial from Lila Loa:
http://www.lilaloa.com/2015/12/decorated-candy-cane-cookies-cookies.html

To make the Peppermints, I followed the tutorial from Christmas Cookies and Blog:
http://christmascookiesblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/peppermint-candy-decorated-cookies.html

To make the Elf Hats and Elf Stockings, I followed the tutorial from Artfully Delicious (guest post on Sweet Sugarbelle):
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2013/12/decorated-elf-cookies-with-artfully-delicious-guest-post/

Truck with Tree decoration

Enjoy! Merry Christmas ;)

-Sophia/Two Frys