Valentine’s Cutout Cookies

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cookies & candy

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As I continue to perfect my cutout cookie technique, I figured it was time for an updated video. No hate toward the holiday cookies from 2011, I’ve just changed my recipe for cookies as well as icing. I used the confectioner’s sugar/whole milk mixture for the base layer, let it dry for at least 24 hours, and then used traditional royal icing to decorate.

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Momofuku Milkbar’s Birthday Cake Truffles

There is a very elevated level of pressure that comes with recreating any recipe from Momofuku Milkbar. A good friend of mine got me the cookbook for my birthday last year, and every time I attempt a new recipe I make sure to block out an entire weekend. Their bagel bombs are definitely my favorite thing to make, but these birthday cake truffles come in close second.

They’re small cakeballs that mix the exciting youthful crunch of rainbow sprinkles with the growing confectionary trend of bite size truffles.

Birthday Cake Truffles:

1 recipe birthday cake (below)
2-4 tablespoons vanilla milk (below)
3 ounces white chocolate, melted
1 cup birthday cake sand (below)

1. Using a fork, tear apart the cooled cake into crumbs. You might have to use your hands (yay!). Combine fine cake crumbs and vanilla milk in a medium sized bowl and toss with your hands until moist enough to knead into a ball. if it is not moist enough to do so, add up to 2 tablespoons more vanilla milk and knead it in. Depending on how moist/dry your cake is you might not need more than 2 tbsp

2. roll the balls to be 1 inch. The original recipe says into 12 balls, but I made 24 because more cake truffles = better. Roll each one between the palms of your hands to shape and smooth it into a round sphere.

3. put 2 tablespoons of the white chocolate in the palm of your hand and roll each ball between your palms, coating it in a thin layer of melted chocolate; add more chocolate as needed.

4. put 3 or 4 chocolate-covered balls at a time into the bowl of birthday cake sand. immediately toss them with the crumbs to coat, before the chocolate shell sets and no longer acts as a glue (if this happens, just coat the ball in another thin layer of melted chocolate).

5. refrigerate for at least 5 minutes to fully set the chocolate shells before eating or storing. in an airtight container, the truffles will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Birthday Cake Recipe:

makes 1 quarter sheet pan

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butt, at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour (you can make cake flour using flour + cornstarch. remove 2 tbsp flour per cup and replace with cornstarch)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

1. heat the oven to 350°f.

2. combine the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. on low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely combined. don’t rush the process.

4. on very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and mix just until combined (45 seconds). Take bowl off of the mixer and add ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles. Fold in with a rubber spatula.

5. pam-spray a quarter sheet pan (9×13) and line it with parchment. using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles evenly on top of the batter.

6. bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. the cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. at 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.

7. take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer.

Vanilla Milk:

– 1/4 cup milk

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

whisk together in a small bowl

Birthday Sand:

– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, tightly packed
– 2/3 cup cake flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles
– 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
– 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

1. heat the oven to 300°f.

2. combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.

3. add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. the wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small sandy clusters; continue paddling until that happens.

4. let the crumbs cool completely before using

I was too stressed during the process to take pictures, so here are some of the final product!

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Holiday Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

The BEST Sugar Cookies

This recipe is like hitting the jackpot, especially because it can be easily modified depending on what your perfect sugar cookie tastes like. It keeps it’s shape when refrigerated, so cookie cutters are a breeze. Also using half shortening and half butter will also make it keep the shape even better. Lastly, this dough can be cooked into thin crispy sugar cookies or thick cake-like cookies.

Prettiest when paired with the royal icing recipe below, but butter-cream frosting or canned frosting will also work!

The Cookies:

– 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
– 2 cups sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 5 cups flour
– 2 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. salt
– ½ tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill at least one hour.

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Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

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Bake 8 minutes or until edges start to slightly brown. Another indicator that the cookies are ready is when the top no longer looks shiny.

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Cool slightly on baking sheets and then transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.

Once cookies are completely cooled, frost with royal icing:

here is a video tutorial for piping and flooding icing

– 5 cups powdered Sugar/confectioners sugar

– 3 Eggs (you will only need the egg whites)

– ½ tsp Vanilla extract

  1. Mix 4 out of the 5 cups of powdered sugar with 3 egg whites and ½ tsp vanill
  2. Put ¼ of the mixture in a separate bowl. This should be thickened with remaining powdered sugar as needed and will be used for piping. Add any food coloring now. The royal icing used for piping should be the consistency of toothpaste. When drizzled back into the bowl, it should take about 5 seconds to dissolve back into the mixture.

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3. Once the cookies are completely cooled, start piping the outline using a plastic decorating bottle . Let the outline dry and then use the flooding icing (thinned to the consistency of maple syrup (maybe a littttle thicker). This is not an exact science, keep adding powdered sugar and water to your liking.

 

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DSC_0385If you like this style of detail, wait for the base layer of royal icing to dry. If you want the top to be flat, decorate the detail while the base is wet. Happy piping & flooding, please comment with any questions or personal experiences with the recipe!

Officially Holiday Season!!!

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Just made our Brandyland Holiday cards! I can’t believe it’s already December and this is the last week of classes. My last winter break of college is right around the corner…tear. Anyway we definitely started the holiday season right last night with our big holiday party. I made chocolate covered Oreos and some peanut butter buckeyes, but decided to spend the rest of our budget on a HUGE batch of hard cider that people loved. These are the Buckeyes, I am not including the recipe simply because my mother will be horrified at the amount of butter and sugar in these truffles. Google it, they’re pretty much all the same.

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What are your favorite holiday foods? Comment with ideas that I can try out this season!