February 13, 2008

Cookie Love?

I bake my “Love Cookies” for the Husband every Valentine’s Day but this year, the Husband had to share his Valentine’s gift with my unofficial Valentine, Warren Brown of Food Network fame.

Warren recently did a cooking demonstration in Baltimore to promote his new Cake Love bakery that opened in my neighborhood and I figured that I would show him some love and welcome him to Baltimore by sharing some of my special cookies with him.

During a break in the demonstration, I introduced myself to Warren and gave him the cookie I made for him. He didn’t actually eat the cookie right then but he and a couple of others watching the demonstration did say “Ohhhhh.....very nice!!!”

I don’t know if Warren ever ate the cookie, but if he did, I think he’ll be joining the Husband in asking for my “Love Cookies” next Valentine’s Day too.

Here’s the recipe for your Valentine but if you don’t have the time to make these before tomorrow, stop by a Cake Love near you for some cupcakes instead.

Jackie’s Ultimate Love Cookies
6 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours then roll dough to desired thickness (which for me is ¼ inch, or as thick as a DVD case) and cut into shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

When cool, ice with royal icing and let the cookies air dry for about an hour.

Jackie's Royal Icing
3¾ cups sifted confectioners' sugar
3 T meringue powder
6 T warm water (add 8 T of warm water if you want flow consistency)
Drop of light corn syrup

Beat all ingredients in a stand mixer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add coloring by hand. Makes 3 cups.

February 07, 2008

Scone or Tea Biscuit? Whatever you call it, it was good!

I’m not much of a baker, nor was I a fan of scones, but when I came across this recipe, I figured I would give them try since the Husband loves baked goods. I was making lunch when these came out of the oven, and they looked so good, I put the lunch stuff away and just had scones instead! I’m so glad I tried them out. Here’s the recipe for you. I hope you find them just as enjoyable as I did.

Lemon-Blueberry Scones

3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 cup
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl (you can use your stand mixer bowl.) Add the butter and if using a stand mixer, mix on very low for about 3 minutes until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you prefer, use a pastry blender or fork. Once butter is combined, gently pour or stir lemon-juice-milk mixture, lemon peel and egg into the dough. Mix for 1 more minute on low or until a doughy mess is formed. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the blueberries and mix by hand until the berries are well distributed.

With VERY floured hands, turn dough out onto a floured, parchment lined counter top. Divide the dough in half and pat half of the dough into a 7-inch circle on one end of the parchment paper. Repeat, with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with sugar. Cut halfway down but not through each circle, 6 wedges for each round. Slide the parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool slightly. Pull apart at cut lines. Serve warm or at room temperature on the same day you bake these.