Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies

I'm not kidding when I say I left a plate of these out today and they disappeared within minutes when we had kid company over. They must be amazing which means, I'll make a few more dozen tomorrow.

Whisk together 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 table salt.

Combine separately, 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. of liquid red food colour (though you may adjust the amount to really red velvet up your cookies), 1 tsp. of distilled white vinegar (which by the way is the "best kept secret in red velvet cake and these cookies").

Freeze: some chocolate chips (if you can get some funky ones in Christmas colours, that's even better).

So, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Combine oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix to combine.

Mix together food colour and vinegar until fully incorporated. Add flour and cocoa mixture to sugar mixture, mix to combine.

Scoop a little dough out, about 1-2 tsp., onto the prepared baking sheet.

I then flattened them a little with the bottom of a glass and baked until puffed and edges are set, 10-12 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, gently press the cold chocolate chips into the centre.

They are beyond gorgeous! In fact, I may even do some swirly designs on them tomorrow with some philly cream cheese icing.

****As I re-read my recipe, I can see that I kind of repeated the directions a couple of times. Truth be told, today's baking session made me a little tired and I'm too tired to edit!

Pink Champagne Cookies

These are different and absolutely delicious. If I could show you how beautiful they are...I would, if I could get my computer and camera to get along. Interestingly enough, there are no eggs in this recipe - and they are perfect and very impressive for an elegant cocktail gathering. P.S. I found the recipe from a 2010 magazine called, Cuisine Holiday Cookies. P.S.S., your children will probably not like these because you can taste the champagne.

First reduce 2 1/2 cups of pink champagne in a pot and over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until you get about 1 1/2 cups of champagne left. Take out 1/2 cup from the reduced mixture and stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes to cool down so when you add it to the shortening, the shortening will not melt.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 tsp. of baking powder.

In another bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of shortening (not butter) and some liquid red food colour, I added a couple of tablespoons.

Mix the cooled pink champagne to the creamed mixture, then add the flour mixture and stir. The dough is surprisingly flimsy and delicate, so I put mine in the fridge to make it cold and a smattering more firm to handle. Then using a tbsp. take a little scoop out and roll the dough into a little ball and in a little granulated sugar (I put a little sugar on my hands so the dough wouldn't stick to me, but rather adhere to the sugar). Put onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and gently flatten with the bottom of a glass. My personal preference is to make the cookies about 1-1 1/2 around to be more elegant. I made honkin' sized ones (though they are still gorgeous).

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until the edges are set.

Now for the fun and beautiful part. Once you take the cookies out of the oven and cool, you will dip them into a bowl of pink icing sugar and set aside on a plate until the icing dries. I quickly topped my cookies with little silver decorative candy balls.

To make the icing:

Mix 2 cups of icing sugar with 1/4 cup of pink champagne and whisk. You may have to add a little more because you want the icing to be a bit drippy.

I noticed the lady in the cookbook picture who made these cookies had very beautiful manicured hands. These cookies however seemed to still turn out well made by a woman with stubby fingers and who actually does her own cooking.