Saturday, January 30, 2010
The box is made from posterboard and then covered in scrapbooking paper. The template I used I found here and just made it for how big I needed it. Then I glued scrapbooking paper to the outside once the box was assembled.
The cookies pictured here are sugar cookies and they are the easiest and yummiest cut-outs I’ve ever tried. The icing recipe that follows dries hard and shiny, making it a perfect recipe to stack your cookies. If you’re really not a fan of cooking or labor-intensive items, this cake cookie recipe is super easy, and takes no time and effort at all. Really really not a fan of cooking? Then head to your local bakery and snatch up some goodies and put them in homemade packaging. Your recipients will still thank you.
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and mix until smooth. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir into the creamed mixture alternating with the heavy cream. Cover the dough and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until bottoms and edges of cookies are light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Makes approx. 4 dozen cookies.
Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Combine the sugar and milk until smooth, then add the corn syrup and extract until the icing becomes stiff. Add more sugar to thicken or more milk to thin.
Divide into seperate bowls and tint with food coloring. Let dry atleast an hour before stacking.
FRENCH MACARON RECIPE
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Candymaking never really interests me. Of course baking is already an exact science. However, the temperature precision and the perceived danger of working with sugar have always make me wary. It just seems to me so many things can go wrong so easily. Well, until recently. My little Holiday Fudge project was unexpectedly fun. And now I'm itching to try something a little more challenging.
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz. He has since removed the recipe from his site. Otherwise I would simply point you to his much better written recipe with helpful step-by-step pictures. This salted butter caramel is so unbelievably addictive. It starts off a bit hard but a few seconds in the mouth and it yields into such soft chewiness. Oh, and the richness! The moment I remove the lid from the apothecary jar, I could smell the irresistable sweetness of cream, butter, and sugar. The lovely saltiness of fleur de sel prevents this caramel from being cloying and adds loads of complexity.
I never knew candymaking can be so rewarding.
- 3/4 cup double cream (40% M.F.)
- 2 tbsp salted cultured butter
- 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 2 tbsp salted cultured butter, cubed and room temperature
- 1/4 tsp fleur de sel
- Line a 9x5 loaf pan with foil. Grease the inside.
- In a small pot, mix together cream, 2tbsp of butter, and 1/2 tsp of fleur de sel. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover with lid and set aside.
- In a medium pot, heat sugar and corn syrup to 310F.
- Remove caramel from heat and stir in cream. It may bubble up but just stay calm.
- Heat the mixture back to 260F. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tbsp butter until everything is mixed in.
- Pour caramel into prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 fleur de sel. Let it cool overnight.
- Unmold caramel and cut into small squares. I find a heated chef knife works best.
Sunday, January 24, 2010