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Sweets by Suz: May 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Delicious Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is from my sister-in-law Eva.  She first introduced me to the delicious Ghiradelli Chocolate Premium Baking Chips and this combination of chocolates.  For this recipe I used one part Double Chocolate Bittersweet Chips and one part Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chips.  Thank you Eva for sharing this recipe!

Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies
Eva's recipe

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour* **
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate morsals
1 cup Ghiradelli double chocolate bittersweet chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter should be soft and at room temperature.  Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Slowly add this to the butter/sugar mixture.  Add the chocholate chips slowly and mix gently.  Using a small ice cream scoop shape dough into about 1 1/2 inch spheres.  Chill the balls of dough in the refrigerator several hours until firm.  From here, I either bake immediately or move the shaped dough into a ziplock bag to the freezer for later use.  It is so nice having prepared cookie dough on hand at all times.  Bake at 375 degrees 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.  Rotate once during the baking process to ensure even baking.

*If you like chewier cookies use bread flour - this flour has more gluten, or protein making a denser cookie.  If you like your cookies softer and crisper use all purpose flour.  I normally use all purpose flour.
** For high-altitude bakers increase flour 1/8-1/4 cup.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies - Award winning Recipe

I really only share the best of the best recipes.  These brownies are to die for.  My sister Becca found this recipe in KSL newspaper some sixteen years ago and this was given an award for one of the top brownie recipes tested.  Thanks Becca for making these for so many family parties!

Here it is...

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
6 T. cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
One 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 c. crispy rice cereal

Cream together softened butter and sugar; add cocoa.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl mix the flour and salt.  Slowly add the flour and salt mixture to the wet ingredients.  Pour this into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool completely.  Spread marshmallow cream over the brownies.  Next, melt the chocolate chips carefully in the microwave or using a water bath over the stove.  Mix the peanut butter into the chocolate.  Now add the crispy rice cereal to the chocolate peanut butter mixture.  Spread this over the marshmallow creme layer.  Cool and store in the refrigerator. Once the brownies are firm cut into one inch squares and place in muffin liners.  Because they are so thick a one inch piece is plenty - although it's hard to just eat just one!


Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Make Photo Cookies - How to put an edible image or printed sugar sheets on cookies

Guest post from my sister Mary :) 
I have no time for baking, blogging, but was able to give Mary virtual support while she made these....
Here's Mary:

I get the motivation every two or three years to learn and complete a new birthday baking project.  A couple years ago, I tried Bakerella's cake pops.  Before that, it was Uncle Ralph's homemade-from scratch 5 layer chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting.  Delectable! (Maybe Suz will let me post this recipe later).  Sweets by Suz and BeccaCrocker gave me much needed moral support each time! 

Anyway, this year I wanted to try and make photo cookies.

The first time I saw photo cookies was last year as a party favor for my sister's 40th birthday.  My sister-in-law ordered and shipped them from a bakery in New York City.  The cookies were so cute and tasted pretty good too!  But it felt kind of odd literally biting my sister's head off. haha

My son, David was pretty excited about bringing these to his class - to say the least!  Here are the steps:

1.  Create a Word Document.  I inserted a snapshot of David onto a Word Doc.  Do not use a copyright photo.  I sized it to 2.5x2.5.  Then I copy & pasted 11 more pictures.  12 pictures fit on one page.

2.  Print the Image on a Sugar Sheet.  If you "sweet talk" your local bakers they will scan and print the pictures for between $6.00-$8.00 a sheet.   They will not print a copyright photo.  The baker gave me some extra sheets for free because the printer didn't get bottom row of pictures quite right.  nice!  The sugar sheets are on the left and the paper is on the right. 

3.  Make the sugar cookie dough. I used Bee our Bonnet's recipe.  Cathy's trick totally saved me!  This is the only way I will be making sugar cookies again.  Roll out the dough immediately.  Place on parchment paper or in-between plastic wrap.  Layer on a cookie sheet and stick in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.  This made the dough so much easier to cut out and I didn't have to keep rolling out with flour.

4.  Cut out the cookies.  I do not have a square cookie cutter.  I used the paper for a template and used a pizza cutter.  Suz coached me through this whole process and was so helpful!  She said, "Pretend that you are quilting and cutting fabric." 

Cut off all edges.
Flip the paper around to cut the sides exactly.

5.  Make the frosting.  I followed this tutorial on Sweet Sugar Belle's blog.  I bought a #3 frosting tip and a couplet.  I used a sandwich bag as my frosting bag.

6.  Piping.  Make the frosting into a stiff consistency.  Pipe around all edges of the cookie.  Save some frosting for mixing colors later.

 Wow- I started getting a sore arm/shoulder from piping!  This step took me so long.  My right shoulder bothers me and I tried to be super careful during this step. It didn't really matter anyway because the sugar picture covered it up.

7.  Fill with frosting.  Fill the squares with a thinner consistency frosting.  By this time the frosting in the tip turned rock hard.  From this point until the end I just cut a little corner of the sandwich bag off and did not use any tips.  It was easier for me to just stick the frosting in a baggie and cut a small opening in the corner. (Sorry I forgot to get a picture of this step).

8.  Place the picture on the cookie.  I followed this blog, however, I was in a time crunch!  I simply cut the picture out and carefully set it on the frosting while the frosting was still wet.  (Use white frosting for the base so the colors don't get messed up).  I took a new art paint brush used strictly for baking to secure the picture and brush off all crumbs.

9.  Mix Colors for Frosting Edges.  I used Wilton yellow and blue.  I mixed these two colors to get a green too.  I started getting "cookie fatigue" and my dreams of making little beads like this all around quickly vanished.  I whipped through this finishing step using the colored frosting in the baggies.

Finished cookies ready for school.

One HAPPY birthday boy!

Seeing David's excitement made all the work worth it! 

10.  Time Savers.  After I made the cookies for the school, I used all the leftover pictures and dough to make more cookies for the family party that night.  By this time I was beyond "cookie fatigue," but didn't want to waste those cute pictures or the rest of the dough.  I made the same number of cookies with this second batch in A FRACTION OF THE TIME that I took on the first batch!  NO PIPING.  NO FILLING.  All I did was glob some frosting (Elmer's Glue consistency) on the cookie.  Place the picture on it and then spread it around with the paint brush. Then I quickly finished the edges with the leftover frosting in the sandwhich bags.  I have a NEW RESPECT FOR SUZ and all you cookie makers out there.  It really is "art" and takes a steady hand.  I felt like I was "scrapbooking" with food.  You are amazing!  Thanks for your helps, tips, and tutorials!

-Mary :)

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