Saturday kicked off cookie week here at The Brooklyn Kitchen.  Every day, a different treat.  I feel like I am in a perpetual sugar hang-over.  I’m either hyperventilating or falling asleep.  Well, maybe not that bad but I’m just not used to this much white sugar in the morning.  Caffeine yes, toffee/ginger bread/chocolate, no.  Our manager, Al, says this is what it feels like to be Christian.  I think I prefer coffee and pickled fish.

Sunday

Gingerbread

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (leftover from when we made butter at work! we should blog about that.)
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger (optional)

Method:

1. Grease and flour a 9″ square pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
3. Melt the butter in a heatproof measuring cup. Add the molasses to the cup, and pour into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing to moisten.
4. Add the water, stirring until everything is moistened. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Stir into the batter until it’s evenly combined. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan.
6. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing; gingerbread is best served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Monday

Hazelnut Toffee (previously posted)

Maple Walnut Brownies

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: sixteen 2″ brownies.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) brown sugar
1/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor (i omitted this and it was plenty maple-y)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (my addition)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (my addition)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts, toasted.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square pan. I used the Baker’s Edge! With great success!
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
3. Toast the walnuts in a small cast iron skillet, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1-2 min.
4. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in the microwave or over a burner; remove from the heat and stir in the syrup.  I used my new roux whisk here. Huzzah! Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then the maple flavor.  Stir in the dry ingredients, and finally the walnuts.
5. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, just until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting and glazing.

Tuesday

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Wednesday

Peppermint Oreos

This recipe was originally for regular ‘oreos.’ The result was of course delicious but it was also an incredibly fool proof and easy to handle dough, so much that I’ve reinvented the recipe a few times over. Peppermint works here, as I would imagine coconut extract, coffee extract (with brown food coloring for a ‘mocha’ effect) or even a peanut butter based frosting. These cookies taste good at room temperature but I think they’re better the next day out of the fridge- the frosting congeals a bit and tastes more like that classic oreo filling. Holla!

The thinner you roll the dough, the more crispy and wafer-like the cookies will be. Keep them thicker for ‘chewier’ oreos. They’re pretty rich cookies, so I keep them small and crisp- just squish them flat with the palm of your hand after you drop them onto your cookie sheet.

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

Method:
1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

Vanilla Filling
Note: This frosting recipe was written to make enough for one 3-layer 9-inch cake. I quartered it for the cookies with almost none left over.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for peppermint: 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp. peppermint. i also added drop or two of green food coloring.

Method:
1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3. Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use immediately-ish.

Thursday

Pinwheel Rugelach

Friday

Blondies

Saturday

Brown Sugar Shorties

Sunday

Peppermint Brownies

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