Milk and Cookie Shooter

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By now, even my 87-year-old grandmother has heard of the Cronut, the croissant-dougnut hybrid brought to life by New York City baker Dominque Ansel. Well, a month or so ago, he was at it again, creating a Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot, a shot glass made of chocolate chip cookie dough and filled with vanilla-infused milk. The idea is to sip the milk and eat the cookie bit by bit, as one might eat a taco salad or soup in a bread bowl.

The minute he heard about it, my husband wanted me to make it. Sometimes I get the impression he doesn’t realize how hard certain things are to create. Has he not seen the numerous Cookie Bowl Fails that litter the Internet? Cookie dough doesn’t necessarily want to hold a particular shape– it likes to spread and puff and do all sorts of other things that are great if you want a cookie form, but not so good if you want, say, a shot glass form.

Luckily, myriad food bloggers have taken it upon themselves to duplicate this sweet treat and the talented baker over at Wanna Come With? came up with a fantastic recipe and tutorial, which I used to create the confection in the above photo.

I didn’t tweak Wanna Come With?’s recipe at all, so I urge you to follow it if you want to create these yourself. I do recommend that whatever vessel you choose to use as a mold (Rum Baba molds worked very, very well for me), pick up at least four of them. I bought two and it took me FIVE HOURS to make 14 of these suckers. Save yourself some time and buy four.

The verdict from my husband? Well, to quote him directly, “Well, I don’t need to go get a real one because I can’t imagine it tastes any better than yours.”

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

Recently I was given a copy of “Bake it in a Cupcake”, a cookbook based on the Bake It in a Cake blog. I’ve always admired the photos from that site, but have wondered about the taste of said baked goods. How good can an already-baked cookie or mini pie taste when nestled in cupcake batter and then baked again?

The answer: Delicious. Why am I always skeptical of popularity?

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I am a big fan of the Peanut Butter Blossom cookie. It’s one of the staple things I bake around Christmas and it’s so good. So when I saw a recipe for a cupcake with a Peanut Butter Blossom cookie inside, I had to go for it.

I was worried that the Hershey’s Kiss on top of each cookie would just melt into a pile of goo once it went back into the oven with the cupcake batter, but I shouldn’t have worried. Once the cupcake was cooled and frosted (with an AMAZING Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting), a cross-section revealed that everything stayed exactly where it was supposed to.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

How beautiful is that? And topped with that frosting, it was a perfect one-two-three punch of chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla.

I’m now eager to try other recipes from the book, including the cupcakes that contain mini pies. I’m very skeptical of those, so I can’t wait to be blown away by how good they taste.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

Summer Wrap-up

I’ve been gone way too long. But summer is coming to an end (hallelujah!) and my baking responsibilities will be picking up again, so I thought I’d do a quick photo-heavy wrap-up of what I’ve been baking this summer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook. This is definitely my new favorite cookbook. I’ve made so many things from it (there will be photos of more in this post) and everything so far has turned out great.

Megan's Bridal Shower dessert table
Have I mentioned my sister-in-law is getting married on Friday?!? In June, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bridal shower and her maid of honor and I baked everything but the cake for her dessert table. I brought chocolate-dipped merengues, spiced sugar cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles! The truffles are from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook and are quite possibly the most addicting and delicious thing ever. And there’s no baking at all!

Cocktail-Inspired Cupcakes
Last month, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bachelorette party and I baked cocktail-inspired cupcakes. The party was great! We even got upgraded to the Presidential Suite at the Roosevelt Hotel! The cupcakes looked so at home in that lavish suite.

Mojito Cupcakes
Mojito Cupcakes

Old Fashioned Cupcakes
Old-Fashioned Cupcakes

White Russian Cupcakes
White Russian Cupcakes

Moscow Mule Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule Cupcakes

Screwdriver Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Screwdriver Cupcakes

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
July 4th Red, White and Blue Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes (Can you guess where this recipe is from?)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes innards

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumprint Cookies
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies (Again, from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook)

And that’s it! There have been a few other items that I didn’t photograph, but I’m getting back in the swing of things now. I’ll be providing baked goods for the first Largehearted Lit event of the season at Word bookstore in Greenpoint on Wednesday, September 19th. The book/music event is free, so come check out some great authors, music and cookies!

The Brooklyn Baker Bakes! Oatmeal Cream Pies

(The recipe for these deeeelicious Oatmeal Cream Pies came from How to Eat a Cupcake.)

I’ve really gotta start posting things immediately after I’ve baked them. I baked these Oatmeal Cream Pies about two weekends ago when our friend Ben was in town visiting from Ohio. He and my husband went to see Sonic Youth at Prospect Park and I (having seen Sonic Youth before and wishing to keep my eardrums in tact) decided to bake.

When Cassie at How to Eat a Cupake posted these Oatmeal Cream Pies a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make them. I grew up on the Little Debbie variety and knew a homemade version had to be about a million times better.

The cookie itself was a fairly easy recipe. When I dolloped the cookie batter on my cookie sheets, I took the opportunity to butter the bottom of a glass and smash them down a little because I was skeptical that they would flatten.

I shouldn’t have bothered. I think my cookies got a little too flat and crispy; I would have liked them to be a little chewier and soft. And I ended up over-baking my second round and burning them black, so I had a lot less cookies than I would have liked.

Oatmeal cookies

The cream filling in the middle – marshmallow-y vanilla gooey goodness – saved these cookies and provided a much needed softness to the crispiness of the cookies. Next time I’ll use a pastry bag to apply the cream. Using a spoon spread the filling out to the edges too much and many of my cream pies were leaking (nothing that couldn’t be fixed by firming up in the fridge overnight, but they still weren’t as pretty as they could have been).

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Oatmeal Cream Pies

These were a big hit with my husband and Ben. The next morning Ben went to visit another friend in Brooklyn and I sent him off with two cream pies. He said he stopped at our neighborhood coffee shop and the guy taking his order pointed at the cream pies in a baggie in his hand and said, “Nice!” He told me his friend also enjoyed them.

I’m very excited to make these again.

Week Forty-Three: Iced Pumpkin Cookies

(This week’s recipe came from allrecipes.com.)

Autumn is definitely here in New York. The trees in Prospect Park are changing colors, and hints of Christmas shopping are starting to show. The weather’s gotten chillier and that means it’s time to bust out pumpkin recipes.

I was getting a little tired of baking cupcakes, so I decided to find a nice pumpkin cookie to bake this time around. I scoured the Internet for recipes, and finally found one that looked delicious. And it included a glaze as well! Wonderful.

The recipe started with flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt being combined in a bowl and set aside:
Pumpkin cookie dry ingredients

Next, butter and sugar were creamed together and pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla were added once the mixture was creamy. Finally, the dry ingredients were added:
Pumpkin cookie dough

The cookies were dropped by tablespoon full onto cookie sheets and baked:
Pumpkin Cookies

The most important thing I learned about baking pumpkin cookies is that however the batter goes down on the sheet is pretty much the form the cookie will take. I tried to flatten my cookies down so they wouldn’t be mounds of pumpkin, but some of them still turned out kind of peaked. Eh, a little glaze will take care of that. The glaze was a combination of confectioner’s sugar, milk, vanilla and melted butter, and it was delightful. It added such a pretty touch to the cookie as well as just the right amount of sweetness:
Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

These cookies were a bit hit with my coworkers. One of them asked me if there was really pumpkin in the cookie before he would take one, claiming that he didn’t really care for pumpkin. He then took one bite and said, “Oh my God…”, then shoved the rest of the cookie in his mouth.

Stay tuned for last week’s project, Tarte Tatin Cupcakes with Caramelized Apples. As soon as I post it, I’ll be caught up! But that’s not going to happen tonight!

Week Seven: Milk-Chocolate Cookies with Malted Cream

(This week’s project came from the February 2009 issue of Food & Wine magazine.)

This week I wanted to return to non-vegan baking, and you’ve gotta love a recipe that calls for two and a half sticks of butter. I was very intrigued by the malted cream in the middle of these sandwich cookies, and the recipe didn’t seem too difficult to master. Plus I got to buy a couple of new toys:
Biscuit cutters

The first toys were biscuit cutters. I was supposed to get a 2″ cookie cutter, but when I stopped by Sur La Table the other day, I couldn’t find one. They had a 1.5″ and a 2.5″, but no 2″. Then I noticed these biscuit cutters, which contained a 2″, a 2.5″ and a 3″, and they were only $3. I figure I’m likely to make biscuits somewhere along the line, and everyone can use these circular cutters.

Decorating set

The other toy was a cupcake decorating set. The recipe called for using a pastry bag and tip to put the malted cream on the bottom cookie. I had a pastry bag once, but I managed to apply so much pressure to it that I popped the seam and all the frosting inside exploded out. This set was less than $10 and comes with eight bags.

The first step in this recipe was melting six ounces of milk chocolate:
Hershey's!

Next, I mixed butter with brown sugar, granulated sugar, added the vanilla and melted chocolate, and then dumped in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. The resulting dough was turned out onto parchment paper:
Ball of dough

The dough was rolled out to 1/4″ thickness and refrigerated for 15 minutes. I then used my 2″ biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. The scraps were gathered up again and more rounds were cut until all the dough was used. The dough was somewhat hard to work with, as it was incredibly crumbly. But I managed to get all the rounds onto my baking sheet (along with My Precious, the Silpat), and they were refrigerated again for ten minutes before being baked for ten:
Wafers

I ruined about four of the cookies in the first batch in my over-eagerness to get them off the baking sheet. These cookies definitely need some resting time before they are transferred to a cooling rack. And even then, they need to be handled with care until they are completely cooled. They are very fragile.
The filling was made of butter, Ovaltine, vanilla and powdered sugar. I found the filling to be quite stiff. I was worried that I had messed it up by adding about a tablespoon too much powdered sugar (I had that much left in the bag and didn’t want to waste it by throwing it out). However, the readers of Food & Wine magazine commented on this recipe’s web page that they also found the filling too stiff, and added milk to make it easier to work with. I thought about adding milk, but decided to just stick with what the recipe said.
I transferred the filling to a pastry bag and attempted to pipe the filling onto the cookies. This was definitely a chore. I also managed to apply so much pressure that I popped the pastry tip right out of the end of the bag. It ended up working better without the tip:
Malted cream

Finally, the cookies were sandwiched together:
Cookies
Cookie close-up

They turned out pretty good in the end. They’re very crumbly and very rich cookies (I could only eat one and a half, Rob had a few more), and I think they’ll be perfect to take in to my co-workers tomorrow.
I won’t be posting a new project until next Wednesday (February 25). I got a little off track by baking on Saturdays, but this time around I will need the extra time. I’m planning to bake croissants, and the instructions in the book I’m using take up three pages. I also have to retrieve my mother’s ‘noodle board’ to actually make the puff pastry. More on this next time.