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Baking Week 3

LEMON BUTTER COOKIES-Monday

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
10 drops yellow food coloring
3/4 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and food coloring. Beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 2" balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Let sit 2 minutes until sugar is absorbed, then reroll in powdered sugar (do not shake off excess). Place about 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake until cookies crackle and are set but still slightly soft in the center, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Homemade Whipped Cream

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavorings or liquors

Place mixer bowl and whisk in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
Pour heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla into the cold bowl and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
Do not over beat.

HOMEMADE TWINKIES

1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk, preferably whole
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.
2. To make your shiny, single-use Twinkie molds, start with a piece of aluminum foil, preferably heavy-duty, that’s approximately 14 inches long. It should be just a little longer than it is wide. Fold the foil in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again to create a rectangle that’s about 6 inches long and 7 inches wide. Repeat to make a dozen rectangles.
3. Place 1 sheet of folded foil on your work surface, with the long side facing you. Place a standard-size plastic or glass spice jar on its side in the center of the foil, the jar’s long side also facing you. Bring the long sides of the foil up around the jar. The foil won’t reach all the way around, and that’s okay. Fold the foil in around both top and bottom ends of the spice jar, nice and tight. You’ll end up with a sort of trough situation. (Cookbook author Todd Wilbur has a video of the process here; if you’re impatient, fast forward to 1:10, where the action starts.) Repeat until you have 12 foil Twinkie molds. Spritz the molds with an obscenely generous amount of nonstick spray or use your fingertips to coat the molds with vegetable oil. Place the Twinkie molds on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
4. Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
5. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat add the vanilla. Cover to keep warm.
6. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, a large mixing bowl) and reserving the yolks in another bowl. Beat the whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the whites reach soft, moist peaks.
7. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a large bowl and add the egg yolks to the standing mixer bowl—there’s no need to clean the bowl (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, simply place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl). Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and a pale lemon color, about 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg whites to the yolks, but do not mix.
8. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg whites and then mix everything on low speed for just 10 seconds (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, until blended but not thoroughly combined). Remove the bowl from the mixer, make a well in one side of the batter, and pour the melted butter mixture into the bowl. Fold gently with a large rubber spatula until the batter shows no trace of flour and the whites and yolks are evenly mixed, about 8 strokes.
9. Immediately scrape the batter into the prepared molds, filling each with about 3/4 inch batter. Bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pan containing the molds to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the molds.
10. Just before filling, remove each cake from the foil. Using the end of a chopstick, poke three holes in the bottom of each cake, just like in the bottom of real Twinkies. Wiggle the tip of the chopstick around quite a lot to make room for the filling. (Again, you can see this in action here, beginning at minute 3.)
11. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fit with a small tip about 1/4 inch across. Pipe the frosting into the holes you created in the bottom of the cakes. As you fill each cake, hold it in your palm and gently exert pressure on it so you can feel the cake expand, taking care not to overfill the cake, which would make it crack.
12. Unlike real Twinkies, these won’t last indefinitely. They’re best served still slightly warm.

Homemade Mallomar Bars-Tuesday

Notes: Avoid overwhipping the marshmallow or it will cool down and begin to set before you pour it into the pan, making it difficult to make smooth. Use a hot wet knife to cut the bars.

For the Base:
10 ounces crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For the Marshmallow Layer:
4 teaspoons gelatin
1/2 cup water, divided
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 9 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Topping:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

In large bowl, stir graham crumbs and butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press firmly into bottom of 9- by 13-inch pan; set aside. Place 1/4 cup water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top. Let sit at least 5 minutes to soften.

Place 1/4 cup corn syrup in standing mixer bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup, remaining 1/4 cup water, and sugar in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 240°F on an instant read thermometer.

Immediately pour hot syrup into mixer bowl and add softened gelatin and vanilla. Turn mixer to medium speed and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

Pour marshmallow over graham cracker base and smooth top with offset spatula. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.

Place chocolate in medium bowl. In small saucepan, heat cream until simmering and pour over chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour over marshmallow and chill until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Cut 4 rows vertically and 6 horizontally, to create 24 squares.

HOMEMADE FUNFETTI COOKIES-

2 sticks softened butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (the long thin sprinkles)
2 tablespoons rainbow perils (tiny balls sprinkles)

 

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat and set aside.
Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg. Beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, cornstarch, soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and continue on low speed until it’s all added and combined. Gently mix in the sprinkles, don’t over mix or the sprinkles will change the dough’s color.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart, about 8 cookies per baking sheet. Bake for about 10-14 minutes. or until the cookies are light golden brown around the edges. You don’t want them to totally turn golden or they’ll be crisp cookies.
Remove cookies from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Cream Puffs-Wednesday

2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Strawberry Glaze
1 ½-2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup very finely chopped or mashed fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon milk

For the glaze, combine 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, strawberries and milk in a medium-size bowl. Stir well until all powdered sugar is incorporated. Add more

powdered sugar till mixture is a thick, dip-able glaze.
Dip doughnut tops into glaze and place on a wire cooling rack until glaze is set.

Baked Cake Donuts

2 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a 12 hole donut pan. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, and butter, stir until just combined.

Divide batter between prepared donut pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 7 to 9 minutes. Let donuts cool in pans for 5 minutes then take them out of pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting-Thursday

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk*
1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
Frosting ingredients
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.

The cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.
Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.
Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.
Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The Frosting
Beat the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Add the vanilla extract and mix.
Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with wrappers.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time then add the scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beat just until the batter is combined.

Fill each cupcake cup 2/3 full with batter then bake the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract until it is light and fluffy. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and b eat until combined, then add the heavy cream and remaining confectioners' sugar and continue beating until the frosting is thick and creamy. (See Notes.)

Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, top them with the frosting and sprinkles (optional) and serve.

NOTES:

Beating the frosting in between each addition of the confectioners' sugar lightens the color of the frosting and will make it more white in color (rather than yellow).

If the frosting is too thin, add additional sifted confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time, or if it’s too thick, add additional heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

If you prefer a very generous amount of frosting that can be piped into tall swirls atop the cupcakes, double the frosting recipe and refrigerate it for 20 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag and decorating the cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the vegetable oil and water over low heat.
In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the melted butter mixture and beat with a handheld mixer at low speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about three-fourths full.
Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Frost and top the cupcakes as desired.

Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the scraped vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract until it is light and fluffy. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and beat until combined, then add the heavy cream and remaining confectioners' sugar and continue beating until the frosting is thick and creamy. (See Notes.) Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, top them with the frosting and sprinkles (optional) and serve.

NOTES:
Beating the frosting in between each addition of the confectioners' sugar lightens the color of the frosting and will make it more white in color (rather than yellow).

If the frosting is too thin, add additional sifted confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time, or if it’s too thick, add additional heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

If you prefer a very generous amount of frosting that can be piped into tall swirls atop the cupcakes, double the frosting recipe and refrigerate it for 20 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag and decorating the cupcakes.

Cake Decorating

Vanilla Buttercream-Friday

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean (can add another half teaspoon of extract if no vanilla bean)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted