Decadent Dragon Bakery » Cookies http://decadentdragonbakery.com desserts crafted with gourmet, local and unique ingredients. Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Heart Shaped Macaron for Valentine’s Day http://decadentdragonbakery.com/heart-shaped-macaron-for-valentines-day/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/heart-shaped-macaron-for-valentines-day/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2013 06:57:24 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1266 Combo1-tile

My husband loves French Macaron cookies. I mean, he totally ❤ them. So I made a batch for Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Macarons for him and my friends to enjoy.

Thomas Keller has a surprisingly (for him, at least) uncomplicated macaron recipe in his new book, Bouchon Bakery.

The book is really fun to page through but most of the recipes are pretty crazy. Who has vanilla bean paste just laying around?

[I have vanilla extract, ground vanilla bean and whole vanilla bean. Isn't that enough for you, Mr. Keller?!]

Heart Shaped Macaron Piping

I originally saw the idea for Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Macarons from Jen’s Just Desserts. They just looked so much more fun to make than a boring round macaron. And it’s really not that much harder than piping a round shape.

Chocolate Heart Shaped Macaron

The recipe is from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. You can find it online here. I don’t want to violate any copyright laws but I do want to provide you with a few tips:

TIPS – READ THESE, THEY ARE MY VALUE-ADD

Buy Pre-Ground Almond Meal. I tried grinding my own from blanched almonds and my Cuisinart couldn’t get it all finely ground, so there was a lot of wasted meal.

Heart Shaped Macarons - Almonds Ground

Add the Food Coloring Sooner. Don’t wait until after you’ve mixed in the egg whites to add your food coloring. Add a portion or all of it to the almond/egg mixture BEFORE folding in your whites. This will mean less stirring to distribute the color.

Heart Shaped Macaron - Adding Egg Whites and Coloring

Let your Cookies Skin-Over. Sounds creepy. After you’ve piped your cookies, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes before popping them in the oven. This will help avoid cracking. My first tray was full of broken hearts:

Broken Heart Macaron

Can’t have any broken hearts on Valentine’s Day, now can we?

Heart Shaped Macaron on Pan

Make a Template. Just do it, no matter how lazy you are. For my first batch, I free handed it. My hearts were like snow-flakes, all individual and special. You do NOT want this in a sandwich cookie. A template will help mightily.

Don’t Make the Filling too Sweet. I don’t recommend an American buttercream for the filling – way too sweet. Instead, use a French Buttercream. That’ll be a great use of all the yolks you saved from this recipe.

Make them your Own. Have fun! These cookies are all about expressing your individuality. For mine, I used raspberry buttercream and a cocoa buttercream as fillings. But you could color them any fun color and incorporate other great flavors.

For these cookies I also experimented with the Wilton Gold color spray to give them an iridescent sheen.

I hope these tips help! Have you made macaron before? If so, tell me about your experiences in the comments!

]]> http://decadentdragonbakery.com/heart-shaped-macaron-for-valentines-day/feed/ 0 Tiramisu: Baking Ladyfingers http://decadentdragonbakery.com/tiramisu-baking-ladyfingers/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/tiramisu-baking-ladyfingers/#comments Sun, 23 Dec 2012 01:00:34 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.wordpress.com/?p=745 Baked Ladyfingers

These cute little Ladyfinger Cookies are simple to make, delicious dipped into a cup of your favorite tea or as the base of creamy Italian Tiramisu.

When I made Chocolate Tiramisu last week, I decided to make my own ladyfinger cookies instead of buying them. The store-bought variety, while perfectly serviceable, just aren’t as good as making your own. Besides, it’s great to say you made something 100% from scratch, isn’t it?

For this recipe, you’ll need a few *special* ingredients that you may not have in your home kitchen: cake flour, cream of tartar (powder) and a piping bag/tip…in addition to a few others.

And stay tuned on a terrific use for these cookies…I’ll be posting my favorite Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe soon.

Ladyfinger Ingredients

Ladyfinger Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 8-10 minutes (until firm/lightly browned)
Oven Temp: 350 F
Makes 3 dozen 3-inch cookies | Adapted from Joy of Baking

1/2 cup Cake Flour
3 Egg Yolks, room temperature
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Egg Whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
3 tbsp White Sugar
Powdered Sugar for dusting unbaked cookies

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line two (2) baking sheets with parchment paper. [Silpats will work, but I discovered parchment makes removing the cookies easier after baking.]

Use a ruler to divide the parchment into three (3) rows. This will help you pipe evenly sized 3-inch cookies.  Fit your pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. [In a pinch, you can probably use a gallon zip-lock bag with a small cut in one corner.]

Get all your ingredients measured and ready so they are close at hand.

Preparing Egg Yolks
In an electric mixer with your paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and 2 tbsp white sugar on high for ~5 minutes. The mixture should form a ribbon when batter falls off the beaters back into the mixture. Egg yolks will be thick and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla extract. Sift the cake flour lightly over the batter but don’t fold in.

Ladyfingers Flour and Egg

Preparing Egg Whites
In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites using your whisk attachment until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Slowly add in the 3 tbsp of white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in three (3) additions, mixing until just incorporated.

Ladyfinger Batter

Ladyfinger Batter Mixed

Transfer your batter into your pastry bag. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angel to the baking sheet and pipe the batter to form 3-inch ladyfingers. Leave about an inch between cookies. [My batter was fairly thin and it took a few tries to pipe an even ladyfinger. You'll get the hang of it!]

Ladyfingers on Sheet

After you’ve finished piping your cookies, sift powdered sugar lightly over the tops of the ladyfinger cookies.

Bake your cookies 8-10 minutes until the ladyfingers are firm, lightly browned and still spongy in texture.

Take the baking sheets out of the oven and slide the parchment paper from your pans onto wire cooling racks. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then use a thin spatula to separate the cookies from the paper. [Don't forget to do this or they will stick!]

Let the cookies cool completely. Store in a sealed container for 1-2 days or freeze for longer storage.

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Raspberry Fudge Cookies http://decadentdragonbakery.com/raspberry-fudge-cookies/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/raspberry-fudge-cookies/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 04:43:03 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.wordpress.com/?p=563 Raspberry Tower (2)

These may be the best cookies I’ve ever made. My Raspberry Fudge Cookies are packed with Guittard chocolate, rich espresso and tart raspberries.

Raspberry Fudge Cookie I love you

Innovation in my kitchen often comes from a mistake, or starting a recipe and realizing I don’t have a key ingredient.

In this case, I was originally going to share a different cookie recipe with you (another time, perhaps). But I burned the pecans I was going to use. Plans changed. No biggie: you’re going to LOVE these, I promise.

Raspberry Fudge Cookies have made it to the top of my list. My husband wants you all to know he enjoys eating the dough raw. But officially Decadent Dragon Bakery can’t condone that!  [To me, a freshly baked cookie tastes like a molten lava cake. So good!]

Both the Guittard chocolate and raspberries are locally sourced from businesses in the Bay Area.

Raspberry Fudge Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 12-14 minutes (until just set)
Oven Temp: 325 F

1 lb Bittersweet Chocolate (high-quality is best, chopped finely)
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt (ideally, Kosher – use less if using table salt)
1 &  1/4 cups Sugar
4 Eggs (large, at room temperature)
2 tbsp Instant Espresso Powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 pint Fresh Raspberries (frozen is probably OK in a pinch)

Pre-heat your oven to 325F. Line your baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper (you’ll need 4 pans if baking all cookie at once).

Guittard Chocolate

Begin by weighing and chopping your bittersweet chocolate into even, small pieces. This will help it melt evenly. Place the butter and chocolate into a medium-sized pot and turn the stove on medium-low. Slowly stir the chocolate until melted. Be careful to stir often to avoid burning the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Chocolate and Butter

Chocolate + Butter 2

Chocolate + Butter 3

See? The chocolate is nice and creamy when fully melted.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until fully mixed.

Eggs in Mixing Bowl 2

Next, crack your eggs into a large bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Beat for 30 seconds. Add your sugar, instant espresso powder and vanilla extract. Beat for 1-2 minutes until fully combined and foamy. Your mixture should look like this:

Eggs Sugar Espresso

Grab your cooled chocolate (make sure it isn’t too hot, it should be barely warm to the touch). Beat the chocolate into the egg mixture.

Chocolate Added

Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in your raspberries by hand with a large spoon or spatula.

Chocolate and Flour

I loved the pattern created by mixing flour into the chocolate.

It’s time to scoop some cookies! Use about 3 tbsp of dough for each cookie. [If you have a medium sized ice cream scoop with a release handle, this works really well to form the dough.] These cookies spread out, so I recommend no more than six (6) per cookie sheet. Place into your hot oven and bake around 12-14 minutes (the center of the cookies should still be quite fudgy and moist).

Raspberry Fudge Cookies on Sheet

Don’t place them this close together (only if freezing for later).

Once the cookies are out of the oven, you can transfer them to a cooling rack with a spatula (don’t pick them up by hand when warm as they’ll fall apart).

Raspberry Fudge Cookies with Powdered Sugar

These cookies really are awesome the day they are baked, so make them fresh!

Tip: If you have space in your freezer, you can scoop these cookies onto a baking sheet and freeze them for 1-2 hours.  Since they don’t need room to spread out, you can fit ~24 on one sheet. Once they are fully frozen, place cookies into a zip-lock freezer bag. You’ll be able to bake them up fresh just a couple at a time! No need to defrost before baking, but they’ll probably take a few extra minutes to finish.

I hope you enjoy them! Do you have an awesome recipe that arose from a kitchen snafu? Let us know about it in the comments!

- Beth

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Tacky Christmas Sweater Party Cookies http://decadentdragonbakery.com/tacky-christmas-sweater-party-cookies/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/tacky-christmas-sweater-party-cookies/#comments Wed, 21 Nov 2012 01:06:51 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.wordpress.com/?p=408

My new friends at Empire Vintage in Palo Alto are hosting a Tacky Sweater Party this evening, complete with a DIY-photo booth, hot cocoa and lots of mini cookies provided by Decadent Dragon Bakery. Yay – that’s me!

I was thrilled to get Empire Vintage’s call for goodies for their party. Ugly Sweater parties are this new phenomenon embracing the tacky holiday sweater. Or maybe it’s just an excuse to have another party and hit the egg nog? Either way, Empire Vintage has got you covered!

 

For the party, Empire Vintage was looking for mini holiday-themed goodies. Below are some photos of what we provided.

Peppermint Cupcake Bites


 Spicy Gingersnap Bites


Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites

 *Konjakransar* Sugar Cookies

Our *Infamous* Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You’ll be seeing a number of these recipes on the blog (once I get to them). For now, you can stop by Empire tonight and enjoy the treats and awesome clothing! If I get my hands on some, I’ll post photos of the event. (I did, see below!) Good luck, Empire Vintage!

Update: Empire Vintage let me know the party went very well! Below are a couple photos from the party.

- Beth

]]> http://decadentdragonbakery.com/tacky-christmas-sweater-party-cookies/feed/ 0 Orange Blossom Madeleine http://decadentdragonbakery.com/orange-blossom-madeleine/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/orange-blossom-madeleine/#comments Mon, 22 Oct 2012 21:55:15 +0000 Beth @ Decadent Dragon http://decadentdragonbakery.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/orange-blossom-madeleine/

Grumpiness is trending on Facebook. Northern California just got its first rain of the season.

To combat this fall malaise, I decided to throw a mini-tea party. The British are experts on bad weather, after all.  As they are not, in my opinion, experts on the tea cookie, I chose a French madeleine to pair with my cuppa. Unfortunately, my kitchen did not possess a fresh lemon to zest, and I had to get inventive to replace this vital ingredient. So I dug around for inspiring substitutes and came up with Orange Blossom water and lemon vodka. That’ll do!

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So, here’s my recipe, adapted from French Butter Cakes (Madeleines). I hope they banish the weather grump for you, too!

Orange Blossom Madeleine
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
1 tsp Lemon Vodka
1/8 tsp Salt, Kosher
1/3 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Sugar (to sprinkle on finished cookies)

Start by heating the oven to 375°F. Liberally butter and flour your madeleine tin. If you don’t have this specialty tin, you can get probably get away with a muffin tin and muffin liners (no need to butter those).

Next, melt the butter and cool to room temperature as you assemble your other ingredients.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine eggs, vanilla, orange blossom water, lemon vodka and salt. Beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes. Stop once the mixture has thickened, lightened in color and the batter forms a ribbon as it falls from the beater when lifted. The mixture will look substantially different.

Sift half of your flour into the thickened egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour into the egg mixture, taking care not to over-mix (you want to keep all the light, fluffiness you’ve just mixed into the batter). Sift the other half of the flour and fold in gently.

Pour the melted and cooled butter around the edges of the batter. Gently fold the butter into the batter.  Using a spoon, mound batter into the molds. The batter should just mound above the top of the tin.

Bake 10-14 minutes. The top of the cookies should be golden and springy. Once you remove the cookies from the oven, gently use a knife to loosen them. Dump them onto a wire rack. Sprinkle the cookies liberally with sugar as soon as they are out of the pan.

Serve these with your favorite cup of tea. I chose my favorite: African Green Rooibos. Enjoy!

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