Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cookie Dough Pops

Take a closer look.


















At first glance these may look like your typical cake pop made famous by Bakerella, but once you take your first bite you will realize these are not cake pops. Here take another look.
























Yep, that is chocolate chip cookie dough in that pop (don't worry, there are no raw eggs). I was talking with Elyse, of the wonderful Elyse's Confectionery Creations, and she and I were wondering what we can make to be the next big thing. We have lofty dreams of opening a bakery together one day so we needed something to get us the much needed exposure. Something that had not been done before (or at least that we had not known had been done, I apologize for taking credit if you made these first) and would appeal to the masses. We came up with a few ideas, and although they seemed good, they were not exactly what we were looking for. I am not sure how this idea popped in my head, but I must have been thinking about Bakerella's cake pops. I have made cake pops and brownie pops, but had anybody made cookie pops? When I mentioned it to Elyse she was confident this was what we needed to make. We discussed technique and flavors. In the end we decided chocolate chip would be perfect since it is traditional. Then the next day Elyse came up with the great idea to also make a S'mores Cookie dough pop. So this Sunday Elyse and I baked together from either end of the country. She being in Berkeley and me being in Washington, DC, connected by Gchat.

I found these pops to be extremely delicious and simple to make. You don't have to bake anything so it is a perfect recipe when it is too hot to use the oven. Any cookie recipe will work you just need to tweek it a little to adjust for not using eggs. I hope these catch on like the cake pops have. Now when you finish here make sure to check Elyse's post.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pops
pictured above

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened (it is even okay if it is melting a little)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Assorted candy melts:
1/2 package white chocolate candy melts
1/2 package chocolate candy melts
1/4 cup light blue candy melts

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper (Should make approximately 20) and insert a lolly pop stick. Chill for several hours or freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.

Melt candy melts in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.) Gently dip the cookie dough ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered (if your lolly pop stick falls out, just dip the end in the melted chocolate and put it back in the ball). Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place chocolate in a sandwich bag on a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals moving the chocolate around between. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smaller the drizzle. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the cookie dough pop until you reach the desired look. Return to styrofoam block to dry.

S'mores Cookie Dough Pops
pictured below

1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, divided
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened (it is even okay if it is melting a little)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
3/4 cup mini-marshmallows, halved

Assorted candy melts:
1/2 package white chocolate candy melts
1/2 package chocolate candy melts

In a medium bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate and marshmallows. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper (Should make approximately 20) and insert a lolly pop stick. Chill for several hours or freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.

Melt candy melts in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.) Gently dip the cookie dough ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered (if your lolly pop stick falls out, just dip the end in the melted chocolate and put it back in the ball). Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Want to follow Baked Perfection?

Baked Perfection is now on Twitter and Facebook! In case you are not getting enough with my weekly updates you can now:

Hope you are having a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ice Cream!!!!

Today is free cone day at Ben and Jerry's. Head over today from noon to 8pm to get your free scoop.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

My first Dorie recipe.






















A couple weeks ago Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod posted this recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking, From My Home to Yours. First I have to mention that if you have not checked Maria's blog you definitely should because she is constantly whipping up something delicious. I had no intention of baking the night I made these, but then I remembered seeing them on her site and I more or less had all the ingredients on hand. I ended up having to use three different types of peanut butter in the recipe because I did not have enough of any one kind, but it still worked out. In case you were wondering what three kinds of peanut butter I used and how has three kinds of peanut butter I will explain. I generally use Jif for baking because I think it works better than all natural peanut butter, but we use all natural peanut butter as our everyday peanut butter. You know for sandwiches or when you just need a spoonful. The third jar was reduced fat Jif which was an accidental purchase. Jif was buy one get one free at the grocery store so I grabbed one and the one directly behind it assuming it was the same thing and ended up buying the reduced fat. I don't think the mix of the peanut butter made any difference in the cookies so because they still turned out great.

This was my first Dorie Greenspan recipe (which may be shocking to all you Tuesdays with Dorie members) and I was very pleased with the results. This is definitely not your traditional oatmeal or peanut butter cookie, but it is quite delicious. I am not sure I was going to like the combination of the cinnamon and nutmeg with the peanut butter and chocolate, but it made for a unique and delicious cookie. Thanks Maria and Dorie for sharing the recipe with us!

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
From Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (I used chocolate chips)


Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (I only baked one batch at a time on the center rack. In fact I baked one dozen and then froze the dough and did not reuse it for another week. I then let the dough thaw and baked the rest one batch at a time)

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.

If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.)
If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula - they'll firm as they cool.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hello Cupcake, a review

Yum!






















Hello Cupcake
is one of the latest cupcake shops to hit the DC scene. I decided to taste test the peanut butter blossom cupcake, a chocolate cupcake topped with peanut butter frosting, and it did not disappoint. After all peanut butter and chocolate are the ultimate pairing. This cupcake was everything I wanted my cupcake to be. The chocolate was rich but not overwhelming, the cake was light and moist, and the frosting....oh the frosting. The peanut butter frosting was sweet, nutty, smooth, and creamy. Let's just say I would go to town on that frosting if left alone with a bowl. With other flavors such as 24 carrot, triple coconut, heart of darkness, and velvet elvis they have something for everybody and at $3 a cupcake I will be visiting them again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Trying out a new look

Hi Everybody,

I am trying out a new look. The logo was designed courtesy of my dear friend Lindsay. She did a couple designs for me a while ago and I wanted to implement it into my site. Let me know your thoughts on the new look of the page as I am not quite sure if this is what I want. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bird's Nest Cookies

Cute and Delicious!

















As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a sucker for cute gimmicks. I can keep a safe distance from regular candy, in fact I rarely eat it, but toss in holiday colors and put something cute on the package and I am sold. I know the candy tastes the same, it is just the cuteness factor that pulls me in. My boyfriend fears that one day I will be one of those people that decorates every corner of their house for each and every holiday. So far we are safe, but I am not going to lie, I often fear I will be one of those people too. Lucky for us we live in a small apartment with limited storage so there is no room for extra decorations (if you can call living in a small apartment lucky) so I am limited to holiday themed baking. This is how these cookies were derived. I was checking out the Easter Candy, which is the best candy of the year, and I came across these super cute egg shaped M&M's in spring pastels. I bought them with plans to include them in a macaroon bar, but then saw the recipe on the back of the package for the Bird's Nest Cookies. They were just too cute to pass up. I guess I just have to make the macaroon bars later.

Bird's Nest Cookies
adapted from M&M's Recipes
1 bag M&M'S Brand Milk, Peanut, Almond or Crispy Chocolate Candies for Easter
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup green candy melts


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut on non-greased cookie sheet. Toast in oven, stirring every five minutes, until it turns light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove coconut from cookie sheet and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. In large bowl, add butter and sugar and whip until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Blend into creamed mixture. Form dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Roll heavily into toasted coconut. Place coconut cookies 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make indentation with thumb in center of each cookie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies and cool completely (if your indentation is no longer visible, just use the back of a spoon to recreate it while the cookies are still warm). Coat indentations with some of the melted green candy melts (this will secure the M&M's and it looks like grass) and fill with M&M's.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Macaroons

I love coconut.






















I bought some shredded coconut a while ago with intentions to make macaroons. I love macaroons. My love stems from my childhood when my mom would by the Manishevitz Macaroons for Passover. I would pop open the can and eat them until my mom took them away from me. Personally, I think macaroons should be eaten year round and there is no reason to wait until spring for Easter or Passover to eat these lovely treats. I was going to make these macaroons months ago and for one reason or another I always made something else. It is rare for me to have free time on weeknight evenings (see earlier posts about me working all the time as an auditor), but I did and all I wanted to do was bake! It was macaroon time!

This post is titled Easter Macaroon because they actually have a scant amount of flour in the recipe (and I dyed them pretty spring colors). If you want to make them for Passover I think you could substitute the flour with almond flour (finely ground almonds) or perhaps some matzo cake meal (not matzo meal). I used this recipe from my boyfriend's mom because she is an amazing baker and I had these at her house. They come together amazingly fast and are super easy. Even if you are just a beginner in the baking realm you could handle these.

I would like to mention that I just realized this recipe comes from the Baker's Coconut Package :)

For those celebrating this week Happy Easter and Happy Passover.

Chocolate Drizzled Macaroons
adapted from Baker's Coconut courtesy of Teresa Miller

1 (14 ounce) package shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract
Assorted food coloring
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour baking sheets; set aside. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended.
Divide mixture into separate bowls, add food coloring one drop at a time until you reach desired color. Note: I divided the mixture into five batches. The green, blue, and yellow took two drops of food coloring, the pink took one drop and the purple took one red and two blue drops.

Drop coconut mixture into 36 mounds, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets, using about 1 tablespoonful of the coconut mixture for each mound.
Bake 20 min. or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place chocolate in a sandwich bag on a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals moving the chocolate around between each interval until melted. Using scissors, cut the tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smaller the drizzle. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the macaroons until you reach the desired look.