A Small Symbol For a Special Occasion

March 24, 2009

Have you ever known a couple who were perfect for each other? Not just happy together, but really perfect for each other. Who just strengthen each other in ways most of us will never know. I happen to know such a couple. These two… it’s hard to describe, you’d have to meet them to see how well they work together and complete each other but honestly, you just have to spend five minutes with them to see it. There is a certain flow that you just don’t see in most relationships.

Anyways, my dear friend Dean, is the guy-half of this couple. I baked a bunch of stuff for their engagement party last summer and have been really looking forward to their wedding. Unfortunately, because of various things in their lives (my wonderful, dear, sweet friend is being sent to Afghanistan!) they had to rush things, and had a pre-wedding-wedding. I still had to make them something though (of course!) and while the cookies I chose to make might seem simple, I thought the symbolism of joining two types of cookies (though perhaps a bit cheesy), was perfect. 

I really wish I could do more for my friend as they prepare for the future, but hopefully this little act, this punny symbol meant something to them.

Two Heart Cookies
Slightly adapted from: Epicurean Escapism

Chocolate Cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Sugar Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

You can follow the same directions for each recipe, just make sure to keep things separate.

In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients (except the sugar). Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla or chocolate liqueur to the sugar and butter. With the mixer on low speed, beat to combine until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time and beat with the electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is just combined.

Wrap the dough tightly with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. More is better, especially for the chocolate dough.

Remove the dough from the wrap, place it on a smooth, lightly floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. You can also roll between two sheets of waxed paper.

Cut out shapes with heart shaped cookie cutters, using two different sizes (cutting one inside the other). Carefully pick up the cookie, remove the inner heart and put aside, placing the large heart on a greased cookie sheet. Combine and roll out the leftover dough and continue cutting out cookie shapes to place on cookie sheets. Repeat with the other batter, placing the smaller chocolate hearts inside the big sugar hearts and the smaller sugar hearts in the large chocolate hearts. Place the hearts on your cookie sheets in the freezer until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 350F and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, turning the tray halfway through, until the edges of the sugar cookies just begin to turn very light brown.

Remove cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the cooling rack to cool completely before storing or eating. Enjoy!

The original recipe called for peanut butter dough, rather than a simple sugar cookie dough, but as I have mentioned I am weird and picky and only like my peanut butter on a nice slice of bread so I went with the much favored sugar cookies. But I highly suggest trying the original recipe if you like that stuff.

Advertisements

Christmas Cookie Edition – Volume 1: A Classic Treat

December 13, 2008

 
It’s hard to believe 2008 is almost gone, and so much has happened! The stocks are pretending they are on a yo-yo, the banks are going bankrupt, much chocolate has been devoured. Thankfully not all of it has been bad. We’re still alive, able to read our favorite blogs and bake ourselves more chocolate when it’s needed. Ignoring the fact that it’s always needed 🙂

Unfortunately now that most bank accounts have almost been completely emptied, we get to spend our last remaining pennies on the people in our lives. The obligations that our society puts on this time of year makes it a little hard to have much fun with the coming holidays, so many people are stressing. But thankfully one thing anyone, even children can have fun with is Christmas cookies!

Regardless of whether you’ve made cookies your whole life, never done it before or (like me) don’t really have the money to choose another gift option, it can be a lot of fun to dive into your kitchen and bake like crazy.

My next couple blogs are all gonna be about Christmas cookies. A couple recipes, some decorating suggestions and…other things 🙂 But first! A classic, and one everyone loves. Sugar cookies!

Sugar Cookies
Source: Rightathome.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional
decorating supplies of your choice (i.e. sprinkles, sparkling sugar, melted chocolate, etc.)

The day before:

In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the sugar and butter. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. The mixture should resemble coarse, moist sand.

Add the egg and vanilla extract to the sugar and butter. With the mixer on low speed, beat to combine until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time and beat with the electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is just combined.

Wrap the dough tightly with saran wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day:

Remove the dough from the wrap, place it on a smooth, lightly floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. You can also roll between two sheets of waxed paper.

Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and carefully transfer them to an ungreased cookie sheet, placing each about 2 inches apart. Combine and roll out the leftover dough and continue cutting out cookie shapes to place on ungreased cookie sheets.

If using sprinkles to decorate, sprinkle before baking. If using chocolate (swirls, strips, dipping…) bake and allow to cool completely first.

Preheat oven to 350F

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, turning the tray halfway through, until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn very light brown.

Remove cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the cooling rack to cool completely before storing, eating or decorating them.

This is one of the most classic cookies you can make. Soft and sweet, and very easy to decorate for the holidays. If you don’t want to wait overnight, allow the dough to chill at least an hour before rolling, but if you have the time to wait the flavors will develop more so it’s definitely worth the extra time.