Sunday, May 26, 2013

White Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone, Raspberry, and White Chocolate

White Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone, Raspberry, and White Chocolate
Cupcakes. I'm not much of a cupcake maker. I mean, when I want to make some for my kids' birthdays, I'll just buy the boxed stuff. I know, I know. Most other things I'm all about making it from scratch, but Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Dough Boy make it so easy.
I've been asked, though, to make desserts for a friend's wedding. I can't make box cupcakes for that, so I went to my trusted KingArthurFlour.com and got this recipe. I don't use the King Arthur Cake Flour, believe it or not. I just use the Swan's Down stuff. I also changed it up by adding the LorAnn Princess Cake and Cookie Emulsion because of its slightly lemony flavor. I like it, and I hope Anna does too. These cupcakes have a nice crumb, but aren't too delicate. They're almost spongecakey, but not quite. The sweetness of the cupcake, the white chocolate, and raspberry jam are nicely balanced by the mascarpone and whipped cream frosting. Even though I'm not normally a fan of the "white chocolate-raspberry" cliche, I'm good with this cupcake. I've "tested" about three or four of them so far, so it's safe to say that I really like them.
Please note that one recipe of the mascarpone frosting isn't quite enough if you like a large amount of frosting on your cupcakes. This frosting is barely sweet, so it's nice to load these up. For the wedding I'll be making like 200 of these, so I'll be making lots and lots of the frosting. Wish me luck.

White Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone, Raspberry, and White Chocolate
     --Adapted from KingArthurFlour.com

Cupcake
Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, whole
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons LorAnn Princess Cake and Cookie Emulsion (original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 1 cup or so of raspberry jam
  • white chocolate ganache* (recipe below)
  • 1 batch of mascarpone frosting** (recipe below)
  • 24-26 fresh raspberries for garnish

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24-26 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix all of the dry ingredients on low speed. Add the soft butter and mix until it all looks like wet sand.
  • Add the egg whites, one at a time, and then the whole eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the milk with the vanilla and Princess Emulsion. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1-2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Transfer batter to a large zip top bag. Carefully seal the top and twist a top corner so that the batter is forced into the opposite bottom corner. Cut about 1/2 inch off the corner. Squeeze batter into each muffin cup to within 1/2 inch of the top. Do not overfill. Break out another pan and put some liners in even if it's only for one or two extra cupcakes.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then with a butter knife or offset spatula, remove cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • While cupcakes cool, prepare ganache (recipe below) and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Prepare mascarpone frosting (recipe below) and then set in the refrigerator to wait.
  • When cupcakes are cool, either cut an "x" in the middle, all the way down, or carefully cut a diagonal slice in the cupcake while keeping the paper intact.
  • Place raspberry jam in a piping bag with a smallish tip. Pick up a cut cupcake and gently squeeze to open up the sliced area. Then squeeze a small amount of jam into the cut of each cupcake. 
  • Spoon about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of cooled ganache onto the top of each cupcake.
  • Pipe frosting onto the tops and top with a raspberry. *Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I was only able to frost 18 cupcakes the way you see above. You'll have to either use less frosting to cover all of them, or make 1 1/2 recipes of the frosting to frost them all.
  • Keep refrigerated until 30-45 minutes before serving.

Makes 24-26 cupcakes.

*White Chocolate Ganache (Note: I've decided that I don't like this white chocolate element, so for the wedding, I did not use it on the cupcakes and I thought they tasted great.)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces white chocolate broken up into pieces
Instructions:
Place white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Pour hot cream over white chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Allow ganache to come to room temperature before assembling cupcakes.

**Mascarpone Frosting
Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the mascarpone and sugar on high until completely blended. Add whipping cream and mix on low until cream is mostly incorporated into the cheese/sugar mixture. Then whip on high until stiff peaks form.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with your favorite cupcake frosting tip.




Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam

Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam on a Buttermilk Biscuit



This is how crazy I am...
 A church friend has asked me to make desserts for her upcoming wedding. I've decided to make Nanaimo Bars, Shortcake Biscuits with Warm Berries and Whipped Cream, and some White Cupcakes with Raspberry, White Chocolate, and Whipped Mascarpone. Look around this blog enough, and you'll notice that I don't make cupcakes very much. Therefore, I'm having to do a little experimenting. Today I made a practice batch of cupcakes and for the raspberry filling, I boiled some berries, strained them, boiled it again with sugar and a cornstarch slurry, cooled it, and injected the resulting mix into the cupcakes. Well, although the cupcakes taste great, the raspberry "filling" made the cupcakes mushy in the middle. Not tasty. So then I decided I need something thicker and less liquid to squeeze into the middle of these cupcakes. Raspberry Jam. Well, I was not about to use store-bought jam in these special cupcakes. 
I looked up a recipe and found a simple one with no pectin at Epicurious.com. It only had two ingredients. Score. So, at 8:30 on a Saturday evening, I went to the grocery store to collect the materials I lacked for making jam. And I bought some buttermilk so I can make some biscuits in the morning to try this new jam.
The original recipe on Epicurious was not for seedless jam, but since I'm going to use this for a wedding, I thought it needed to be seedless, right? So, this is what I came up with. We'll see how it tastes in the morning, and I'll have to try it out in some cupcakes too, just to make sure it works the way I think it should. For now, I'm pretty proud of myself for having decided on and executed this little adventure in about two hours. I won't be so proud of myself if it doesn't work out, but for now, the jars are sealed and cooling, and I am ready to do a little relaxing.
*Update: The jam turned out just about perfect. The consistency is just what I was going for, but it's so sweet. Next time (if there is one), I'll use less sugar and maybe add some lemon juice just to make it a little tart. This jam will be fine for the cupcakes, though. Whew!

Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam
    --Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups frozen raspberries
  • 4 cups white sugar
"Special" Equipment:
  • 3 pint size canning jars with lids and bands
  • 2 large stock pots
  • metal rack for bottom of one stock pot (I used a steamer basket--not ideal, but it worked)
  • silicone spatula
  • potato masher
  • large strainer
  • large heat-proof bowl
  • metal spoon
  • canning jar lifter (recommended, but not absolutely necessary)
Instructions:
Wash jars, lids and bands with hot, soapy water. Dry with a clean paper towel. 
Place metal rack into the bottom of one of the stock pots and fill with water about one inch above the rack in the bottom. Set burner on low and place the three jars on the rack. If they don't want to stand up straight and they're bobbing, you can add another jar in there just to create balance.
In the other stock pot, pour the frozen raspberries and put on medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes, using a potato masher to break up the berries. Remove from heat.
Set your strainer over a large bowl. Pour hot smashed berries into the strainer in batches, the size depending on how much your strainer can handle. Use the silicone spatula to stir and smash berry pulp through. Occasionally scrape the berry pulp off the underside of the strainer and into the bowl.
When you can't seem to get any more pulp into the bowl, scrape strainer bottom one last time, dispose of seeds, rinse the strainer, and repeat with another batch of hot berries. Repeat process until all berries have been strained.
Put the rinsed strainer over the now empty stock pot, pour berry pulp through one last time to remove as many seeds as possible. A few will sneak through. If you don't want ANY seeds, you might need to look up another recipe/method.
You should end up with about 5 cups of juice/pulp.
Set the stock pot back on the burner on medium-high heat. Bring berries to a boil again. Pour sugar into berries. Stir with silicone spatula as mixture comes to a boil. Boil on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until a clean, cool metal spoon dipped in yields a thick drippy syrup.
Now, you can either ladle the jam into the prepared jars (to within 1/2 inch of jar lip) or you can pour the hot jam into a glass spouted measuring cup and then pour into the prepared jars (to within 1/2 inch of jar lip). 
Wipe off any spilled jam from the lip of the jars. Set lid on each jar and then place rings on top and tighten just enough to keep lid in place. Do not tighten snugly. 
Bring the water in that pot to a boil, cover, and boil for about 3-5 minutes. (This is where my jam making knowledge falls apart). 
After boiling, remove cover and carefully (very carefully) with the jar lifter, remove jars to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Makes about 3 pints


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mini Crisp Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles


Mini Crisp Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
Most great cookies taste even better when morphed into a mini version. I made a batch of Crisp Sugar Cookie dough and make half of them into these cute little one-bite cookies, and the other half into Sugar Cookie and Dove Chocolate Sandwiches. Both are awesome, and both will be made again.
I've been blogging so much about sugar cookies lately that this seems to be all I have to say about this particular variation. Enjoy!

Mini Crisp Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Ingredients:
Instructions:
· Preheat oven to 325°F.
· Cream butter and sugar.
· Add vanilla and egg. 
· Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
· Line a 7x11 inch brownie pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Spread dough evenly into the lined pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
· Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
· After dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Remove dough from pan by the edges of the wax/parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut long strips of dough so that you'll be able to cut dough into tiny squares, about 1/2-inch strips. Cut each strip into 1/4 inch slices. (If dough seems to be crumbly, wait about 10 minutes for it to warm up a little bit before completing the cutting.)
· Pour nonpareils onto a plate. Start with just enough to make a single layer on the plate, and be careful when pouring because the little guys bounce off pretty easily.
· Take little dough squares/rectangles one at a time and press gently into the nonpareils. Then place sprinkle side up on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with more dough squares, leaving about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches between squares. (You can also place several little squares all over the nonpareils and then transfer to the baking sheet--it's faster that way, working in batches, if that makes sense.) Place unbaked dough back the refrigerator between batches--the dough gets too squishy when it warms up to room temperature.
· Bake at 325°F for 12-13 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown almost all over.
· Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Makes about 14 dozen mini cookies




Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mini Crisp Sugar Cookie & Dove Chocolate Sandwiches

Mini Crisp Sugar Cookie & Dove Chocolate Sandwiches
Yep. The sugar cookie kick continues. These ones are inspired by Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. I'm not saying that these cookies take like the Milanos; they're just sort of along the same lines. My son Ezra wanted to buy a bag of Milanos and I just couldn't bring myself to do it because they were almost $3.00 for a bag. I spent almost that same amount on a bag of Dove Dark Chocolate, and I made these. Actually, I made these and I made some little crisp sugar cookies with sprinkles. All of this is for our church potluck tomorrow, and I made the sprinkled version for the kiddos (and me) and the chocolate sandwich version for the adults. One recipe of dough, two types of cookies. I do that a lot. You know, only put nuts in half the chocolate chip cookies so as to please everyone. It usually keeps people happy. And these cookies are making me happy. I'll definitely be making these again. You should try them too. They're good.

Mini Crisp Sugar Cookie & Dove Chocolate Sandwiches 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened, but cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bag (9.5 ounces) Dove Dark Chocolate Promises, unwrapped 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
Instructions:
· Preheat oven to 325°F.
· Cream butter and sugar.
· Add vanilla and egg. 
· Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
· Line a 7x11 inch brownie pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Spread dough evenly into the lined pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
· Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
· After dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Remove dough from pan by the edges of the wax/parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut long strips of dough so that you'll be able to cut dough into tiny squares, about 1/2-inch strips. Cut each strip into 1/4 inch slices. (If dough seems to be crumbly, wait about 10 minutes for it to warm up a little bit before cutting.)
· Place little dough squares about 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for 12-13 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown almost all over.
· Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
· Make two large wax paper or parchment paper pastry cones (see photo below and/or watch How to Fold a Parchment Pastry Cone).
· Melt chocolate and vegetable oil in a double boiler until chocolate is about 3/4 melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until all of the chocolate is melted. Pour melted chocolate into the two pastry cones. 
· Fold top of a cone over to contain the chocolate. Snip a bit off the end (about 1/8 inch) and squeeze a blob of chocolate within 1/8 inch of the edge on the bottom of a cookie. Place chocolate side up on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Top with another cookie so that the bottoms are both on the inside next to the chocolate. Repeat with remaining cookies, being careful to match cookie sizes as much as possible.
· Allow chocolate to set before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Makes about 7 dozen cookie sandwiches

Wax paper pastry cone--this is a small one.
You'll want the cones for this recipe
 a bit larger than this.
Cut dough. I ended up with squares and rectangles.
Next time, I'll have to spread the dough more evenly in the pan.
Lego Clone Trooper modeling to demonstrate
the size of these cute little sandwich cookies

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Soft Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles


Soft Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Soooo...I guess I'm still on this sugar cookie kick. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law tried my ombre sugar cookies, and said they'd prefer them more soft than crisp. I baked the next pan of ombres a little less time, and they were met with approval. I figured, though, that by using a little cream cheese, I might achieve an even more desirable texture. I like what the cream cheese does to chocolate chunk cookies and snickerdoodles, anyway. We'll see what they say later, but for now, these are a nice soft, buttery sugar cookie. The thing I like about them is that they're not eggy like some soft sugar cookies I've tried. I bet they'll taste good with frosting too.
Anyway, that's all I've got to say about these. 

Soft Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened, but cool
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup (or so) rainbow nonpareils 
Instructions:
· Preheat oven to 325°F.
· Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar.
· Add vanilla and egg. 
· Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
· Divide dough in half and form each half into a log and wrap in parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
· Carefully pour enough nonpareils onto a plate to make a single layer. Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Press one side of each circle of dough into the sprinkles and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle side up.
· Fill the pan up, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake at 325°F for 12-13 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown almost all over.
· Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cheesy Italian Bread


Cheesy Italian Bread



I'm not even sure how I got here today. I mean, I have lots of other things to do this weekend...Oh yeah. I'm a procrastinator. I procrastinate what I should be doing and work on other things. Like Cheesy Italian Bread. 
When I was a kid, growing up in La Palma, California, my mom used to shop at Alpha Beta, which later became Ralphs, which is now closed and empty from what I know. That is sad for so many reasons, but one of the treats my mom would buy on occasion, when she wanted to splurge, was a round loaf of bread that was almost what I would call a cheesy bready geode. The outside was browned, crusty, and partially covered with crusty cheddar cheese. The interior was a cavern, the walls of which were coated in a thick layer of cheddar cheese. We would slice it in about 1 inch slices and toast it. Then butter it. Oh my goodness. Toast with these deep grooves of melty cheddar cheese, all oozing with butter. Yes, this was a rare treat, but we had it often enough that I remember it well. I don't know what ever happened to that bread. We stopped buying it before the store closed. Maybe my mom became more sensible about what she fed us. I doubt that was it though...
At any rate, I'm attempting to do something similar here, with a bread I'm surprised I haven't blogged about yet. The reason I'm not doing the Italian bread on its own is because it's something my gluten-limited son would love, and I just don't have the heart to do that to him. I don't think he'd like all the cheese in this loaf. Somehow that makes me feel better about making it. Plus, I made a fresh batch of his favorite GF French Rolls today to keep him happy.
They seem to have changed this recipe slightly from when I got it from King Arthur Flour, but click here if you're interested in a non-cheese version of this bread--at least until I make it and post it here. That may not be until Max is in college, though, so you probably won't want to wait that long. And if you're into making bread, I'm sure you can figure out how to remove the cheese from this recipe below. Have fun.

Cheesy Italian Bread
     --adapted from KingArthurFlour.com
Ingredients:
Overnight Starter
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

  • 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast


Dough
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt


Extras
  • a small amount of vegetable or canola oil 
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Instructions:
1. The Starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight. 


2.  Combine the ingredients as above, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for about 5 minutes; the dough should have formed a ball, but its surface will still be a bit rough. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 

425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and press and pull it to a rough 7 inch by 24 inch rectangle. Place shredded cheese evenly down the middle of the rectangle. Fold one of the long sides over the cheese and then wrap the other long side over so you make a sort of log with the dough that now has a cheesy interior. Pinch seams a little to seal the dough. Squeeze, pull, and stretch the log to about three feet. Then fold it in half and twist as much as you can, like a rope. Pinch the end that used to be two ends together to seal. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to rise for 60-90 minutes, or until well-puffed.
5. Brush the twisted loaf with the egg white glaze. Bake the bread in a preheated 425°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cool it on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 cheesy loaf.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Little Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches (Dipped in Dove Chocolate)

Little Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches

It's Mother's Day weekend, and although I'm not one for celebrating Valentine's Day, my wedding anniversary, or New Year's Eve, I do expect a big deal on Mother's Day. I figure I've earned a celebration on this day, so I like to do it up. When thinking about what I might like to eat, I thought a Coffee Ice Cream Mud Pie would be nice, but I'm about the only person in my house who enjoys coffee ice cream, and an entire mud pie is just about the last thing I need. So I started to think smaller. Eventually I ended up thinking I should just scrape out the center of an Oreo and put a little scoop of coffee ice cream in there, dip the thing in chocolate and nuts and enjoy. So that's what I've done, essentially. I need to let them freeze a little longer before I have another, but the one I did try was fabulous. Just what I was going for. And I didn't even have to bake anything.
The amounts you see below are approximate, as this was one of my experiments that I didn't want to go ALL out on. Yes, I do show some restraint on occasion. I don't know if these will make it to Sunday, but even if they don't, I still have half a container of Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream in my fridge. Maybe I'll see what else I can create with it later...

Little Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches (Dipped in Dove Chocolate)

Ingredients:
Instructions:
Allow ice cream to soften slightly. 
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Carefully open up the Oreos and scrape out the cream filling and discard it.
Lay Oreo wafers with the inside/bottom side up.
Using a medium sized spring action cookie scoop (I used my Pampered Chef scoop), scoop a level scoop of ice cream and deposit it in the center of an Oreo wafer. Repeat with half the wafers so you have 24 scoops on 24 of the wafers.
Using a spatula or a spoon, slightly flatten the rounded top of each ice cream scoop and then top each one with another Oreo wafer. Press gently to make the sandwich, but be careful not to break the wafer.
Cover and freeze little sandwiches for at least two hours.
In the top of a double boiler, melt the unwrapped Dove chocolate promises with the vegetable oil. Melt the chocolate only about 2/3 of the way, and then stir to finish melting. If there are pieces that remain unmelted after 3-4 minutes of stirring, return to top of double boiler for a few seconds and stir some more to melt completely.
Line another pan with wax or parchment paper. Dip a little ice cream sandwich about halfway into the chocolate, using a silicone spatula to help coat up the sides for better coverage. Dip one side and the edge in the chopped nuts, if desired. Set on the clean wax/parchment paper. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. 
Set the pan in the freezer for another hour or so or as long as you can take it, and then enjoy.
Keep uneaten sandwiches covered and frozen.

Makes 24 little sandwiches


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ombre Sugar Cookies


Ombre Sugar Cookies
My regular camera wouldn't capture the color well.
My iPhone did.
I guess I'm on a sugar cookie roll here. First of all, I really, really like the taste of these cookies. They're one of my current favorites. Secondly, I love using color in my baking when I can. I was going to try making another version of my Colorful Sugar Cookies, and then I thought "ombre." I remember seeing some awesome rainbow cookies on Pinterest a while ago, and decided to use a similar layering method, and make them rectangular. Well, as you can see, my cookies aren't quite rectangular, but they are ombre, and they are delicious. I might try making a lemon flavored one next and use yellow gel food color. Now I just need to figure out who to give these to so that I don't eat them all. Story of my life.

Ombre Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
Instructions:
· Prepare a square baking pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides of the pan (helps the   paper stick) and then placing a piece of wax or parchment paper in the interior. Crease the corners to make it conform to the iside of the pan.
· Cream butter and sugar.
· Add vanilla and egg. 
· Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
· Put in one drop of gel food color and mix completely. Remove 1/3 of the dough to the prepared pan and press with fingers/spread with offset spatula unti you have a flat layer.
· Add two more drops of the same gel food color to the remaining dough and mix completely. Remove half of the remaining dough and spread it over the first layer in the pan.
· Add two more drops of the same gel food color to the last third of the dough and mix completely. Spread the last of the dough over the other layers. Place a layer of plastic wrap on the top of the dough so that it touches the dough.
· Refrigerate pan of dough for at least one hour.
· Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
· Remove pan from the refrigerator, pull dough out using the edges of the paper, and cut dough into four equal strips. Wrap three strips of dough in plastic wrap. You can either refrigerate them if you plan to bake them along with the rest, or you can freeze the strips for baking later.
· Cut the strip of dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Be sure to place them so the pattern shows.
· Bake at 325°F for 12-13 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and set.
· Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
· Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container or baggie.

Makes about 80 cookies
01 09