Here's My Answer

Category Archives: Dessert

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Last Wednesday I had the day off of work and I decided I was really going to use the whole day very wisely.  So I got up, walked the dogs with Brad, showered, did some Christmas shopping, came home, made some crumb cake, went to Sam’s Club with Brad and then made some chili.  Oh and then went to our town’s Christmas Main Street lighting thing and drove downtown Indy to see all the Christmas decorations.

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Like I said, I wanted to use my day wisely…  I think I accomplished my goal.

Ok, so every once and awhile I get on Pinterest.  Is Pinterest sill the thing to do?  I jumped on the wagon a little late and I feel like now no one uses it anymore, but I don’t really know.  Either way, I probably get on it once a week because I feel like the same recipes are always on there, but usually if I get on once a week I can find something new.  Anyway, so I was on Pinterest and realized that I am a dork because I have pinned some 100 recipe but have pretty much never made any of them.  And what better thing to do on a day off than to make some random recipe from Pinterest!?

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The reason why I had originally “pinned” this recipe and decided to make it was because it literally looks exactly like the crumb cake we spent like $20 on from Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ (aka Cake Boss) when we went to visit friends over my birthday in March.  Brad had seen it out of the corner of his eye in their case and asked that we get it and I, of course, was not going to pass it up.  However, we had thought we’d be getting just like a slice of it, maybe the size of an index card, but that’s not really how they do things there.  Instead we got a whole slab of crumb cake that was at least the size of a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.  When I saw the girl put it in the box I thought to myself that we would never eat it all and that I hoped it was ridiculously good because I knew we were going to really pay for that thing.  Luckily and not surprisingly it was incredibly delicious.  Delicious enough that I am pretty sure we ate every last crumb of that thing within like 2 days.  It was basically too good to be true.  And so when I saw the photo on Pinterest and realized it looked exactly the same, I knew it was worth a try!

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Now, it doesn’t taste exactly like the one from Carlo’s Bakery (I swear theirs had a hint of lemon to it), but this was still pretty freaking good.  It it’s made with ingredients that most people have laying around the house.  The only thing is that it requires cake flour.  The recipe states at the very beginning to not sub all-purpose flour, but I’m a dork and thought I had more cake flour than I actually did.  So I cheated and used all-purpose flour for the crumb part.  And what do you know, just as the original recipe said, it was dry.  And of course, just as I had put everything together, my mom called me about something and I told her that I was making a crumb cake and that I cheated and used all-purpose flour and exactly like a mom, she told me I could make my own cake flour easily.  Wah.  It was too late.  But I’ll supply a link below to help you not have this situation yourself.

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Ok, so like I said, you should have most, if not all, of the ingredients and it’s really not complicated to make at all.  It probably took me 10 minutes to whip it all together.  It takes about 40 minutes to bake and in case you are wondering what you can do in those 40 minutes, I’ll tell you: You can eat the remaining 5 leftover steak fries from the night before, lick both the batter bowl and the crumb bowl clean, wash those bowls and all the other dishes including the ones that should have gone in the dishwasher had you thought to wait to start the dishwasher instead of doing it 1 1/2 hours before you made this crumb cake… dry all those dishes, clean up some dog vomit (twice) because one of them (I still don’t know who) got freaked by the FedEx man knocking on the front door… and after all of that, you will still be able to watch a good 15 minutes of Parenthood.  You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in 40 minutes!

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Anyway, the crumb cake is easy and awesome and I am really excited to make it for Christmas morning because it just seems like a good thing to make for Christmas morning.  It would also make a great gift!  Everyone loves a crumb cake, right!?  Oh and warning: it is pretty crumbly, but let’s face it, the crumbs are what makes crumb cake so amazing.

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Crumb Cake
Taken straight from Smells Like Home (found on Pinterest)
Makes 1- 8″x8″ pan

For the Crumb Layer:
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup cake flour (don’t have cake flour?  Learn how to make it HERE!)

For the Cake Layer:
1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still solid, cut into 6 chunks
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk (don’t have any?  Learn how to make it HERE!)

Powdered Sugar for dusting (I forgot this part.  Oops)

To make the topping: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with a spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut parchment paper to cover the whole inside of the an 8″ pan.  I did this in 2 pieces, it works better.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer.  Break apart crumb topping and spread it evenly over the batter. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving (but not while it’s still hot!).  YUM!


Ok, ok, OK.  I get it.  I’ve been gone for awhile.  I can’t explain what happened.  I really have no excuse.  Oh, wait, I can explain.  And you’re in luck because I am going to explain.

Here’s what I think happened.  I got in a funk.  Does that ever happen to you?  I got in a funk with myself.  And what might that funk have included you wonder?  Oh… it included me being really, super, extra lazy.  Yea.  That’s really all it was.  Here’s how I think it happened.  I think I use the fact that I work at 4am as an excuse for everything.  Such as: “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, so therefore I can sleep all afternoon” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning and work for 8 hours, so therefore I don’t have to workout at all today” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, therefore I don’t have to cook dinner” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning so I don’t have to write any blog posts or take any photos of any of the food I have managed to make” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, therefore I pretty much don’t have to do a single thing with myself for the remaining 9 hours of my day.”

Do you get the point?  Needless to say, the past few weeks I haven’t been making a whole lot for dinner, and what I have been making (which there have been a few meals and granola bars and cookies), I haven’t taken photos of, and therefore, I have had nothing to blog about.  Another problem was that I had like 3 posts to catch up on, but it has been so long since I made the dang dish(es), that I can’t even begin to remember how good it was and what changes I made and such.  So, epic fail on my part.

But!  I think I’ve left my funk far behind.  How you ask?  Oh, well, you know, I only met my FOOD BLOGGING IDOL this week!!  Sometimes you just need a little motivation and inspiration to realize you truly have been wasting a lot of time lately.  Here’s the story behind that, and then I’ll explain the rest of the photos in this post and then I’ll explain the actual cookies this post is supposed to be about.

Jenna of Eat, Live, Run wrote a book called White Jacket Required and it’s an awesome book.  Very motivational as well.  It’s about her decision to go to culinary school, a family tragedy and how she overcame it and how she picked up everything she owned and moved across the country to where she knew like 1 person.  Yea… motivational alright!  Anyway, so she went on a book tour!  And her LAST stop just so happened to be Indy.  As in here.  As in the town that I love and live in.  Yea.  Dream.Come.True.  She set up a book signing at a little book shop a few weeks in advance and the late morning of the day it was supposed to happen it got cancelled.  Cancelled, I tell you, cancelled!!!  I almost lost all composure and cried while taking a sad, mopey shower.  But!  She was still going to be in town for a conference and when I tweeted her a photo of the cupcakes I made her that morning at work, she instantly responded.  And after a few tweets and instagraming back and forth, we had figured out a time and place to meet!  So my mom and I went to (a really tasty) dinner as we had planned to do before the book signing, walked around a mall for a few minutes and headed to the hotel she was staying at.

And I lost my mind.  Lost it.  I couldn’t remember anything I wanted to say to her, couldn’t stop laughing and smiling so much that my face looked literally hurt, I couldn’t think of any answers to any of her questions… I was a mess.  But it was still awesome.  Luckily, my mom was there to answer questions and take photos.  It was just a great 10 minutes because I wasn’t at a book signing talking  to her, I was at her hotel where she had so graciously met with me because she is such a wonderful person.  See!?  Wouldn’t that inspire you too!?

So, along with meeting Jenna, we have been up to some other things these past couple weeks.  We went camping last weekend, which may or may not have been a disaster.  No wait, it wasn’t a disaster, it just didn’t go as well as planned.  Allow me to explain this one as well- we arrived at our campsite on Friday night while it was raining really hard and it was really cold.  And it was dark.  And we had to set up our tents and get everything organized.  Oh and we had the 2 dogs.  So that was a mess and on top of all of that, Brad sliced his finger open pretty well.  Well enough that he couldn’t really do much the rest of the night, and well, weekend.  So that just put a bit of a damper on the trip.  Other than that drama, we had a great time, we just can’t wait to do a redo where Brad maybe doesn’t cut his finger open and we don’t get soaked and freeze to death.  Yea, that’d be nice.

So now we get to yesterday, which has to do with these cookies.  Yesterday was Purdue’s homecoming football game and my parents had planned it with my dad’s cousin (who went to Wisconsin, which is who we played yesterday) to go.  We were going to do breakfast before the game and do a cookout after the game with these delicious cookies.  Here’s what went wrong.  I forgot the cookies.  Let me repeat, I forgot… the cookies.  I forgot the one thing I was in charge of for the day.  The only thing I had to bring, the only thing I had to remember to put in the car.  And of course, I didn’t realize it until we were about 5 minutes from my parents house.  I hadn’t planned on doing a post about these cookies because I had to hurry to get them done on Friday afternoon/night so I didn’t get any photos.  But… I have a whole pan filled with some 30 cookies, so I figured, here was my chance to finally get back to the blog.

Now that you know all of that useful information I just rambled about, I can tell you about these cookies.  I had thought about a few different options to make a dessert that was Purdue themed with black and gold.  And these are what I landed on.  I found a few decent recipes online, but in the end, I went with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.  I was just going to dye the white icing gold!  They turned out really well!

I learned from Smitten Kitchen’s blog that they are actually like cake.  So they have a cake-like texture and definitely a cake-like flavor.  I really like them.  The only thing is, since they are cake-like, they don’t really keep too well.  I think they are best the day of and the day after.  Today, the bottoms are a little mushy and the icing seems to have somehow un-set itself.  They do still taste great though!  But if you are looking for a cookie that will last more than 2 days, this might not be your cookie.  However!  As I said, they are a delicious cookie!  The icing is really simple to make, all it has is water and powdered sugar and then you just add some chocolate.  Simple!  These are really fun cookies that I think you could make with any colors really.  You could just do the white icing and dye it two different colors.  Oh!  They’d make great Halloween cookies!  Leave the chocolate part the way it is and dye the white part orange!  Just keep in mind that they are best within 2 days!

Black and White (or Gold!) Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes, I don’t know like 30 cookies

2 stick of butter at room temp
1 3/4 cup of white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (not straight out of the fridge because otherwise it hardens the butter you just creamed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup water
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional, I felt it needed this though)

Preheat the oven to 375.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time.  Then add the milk and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  Scrape sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add this to the wet mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Using a soup spoon or a cookie scoop, place heaping spoonfuls onto the parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  They do really spread out so be careful!  Bake until the edges start to brown, which is about 17-19 minutes.  Remove from oven and place them on a cooling rack.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Once the cookies are cooled, microwave a mug full of water until hot.  Slowly pour a little bit at a time into the powdered sugar.  Use a whisk to mix it.  If adding any food coloring, use a little less water as the food coloring will make the icing more liquidy.  You want the icing to be the consistency of thick glue.  You want it to pour, but not be runny.

Ice half of all the cookies with the white icing.  Then, add the chocolate chips to the rest of the icing and microwave for about 20 seconds at a time, pulling out the dish to stir after every 20 seconds.  Once the chocolate is melted, you can add the cocoa if you don’t think it’s dark enough.  In my experience, it will never actually be black you can just get it to be really dark brown.

Ice the remaining halves of each cookie.  Allow the icing to set for at least an hour before storing or displaying if they will be on top of each other.

 

OH!  By the way… all these photos are taken with my NEWWWWW iPhone 5!  Isn’t that awesome!  They are just as good, if not better than my camera!  And, I love being able to do panoramic photos!  Soooo cool


Brad’s birthday was… oh … well … 2 weeks ago, but that’s ok.  I was debating how I was going to post these recipes and decided that I would do both of them in one post for ease (for me, not for you).  Yep.  I’m officially lazy.  Not sure where this has come from, but it’s true.  I have found myself watching more useless television and sleeping at odd hours of the day for longer than a normal person should nap.  Yep.  Lazy.  But it’s ok.  I’ve come to terms with it and have decided I should probably make some sort of changes regarding this laziness.  Maybe this week will be the week I change.  Maybe…  Actually, I’m really not that lazy. I’m just tired all the time because I wake up in the middle of the night to go stand and work for 8 hours.  I still manage to get my lists of things done, I just sleep in between all of those things on my lists.

   

Whatever.  I’m not sure why I even told you all of that.  It was useless information.  Moving on…

OK.  So Brad’s birthday was 2 weeks ago and it was really fun.  I brought him a specially decorated cupcake (I’m not the best at writing in icing) and we went to a concert that night and I made dinner and dessert for him the following night.  When I asked what he wanted for dinner he gave no response.  We had our family over that weekend and fried a turkey and had a whole bunch of sides and appetizers and desserts and beer…. lots of food.  And so he considered that his birthday dinner, however, I was still determined to make him something. So when he gave me no suggestions, I went to the internet and tried to find something a little different.  So stir fry it was!  We haven’t had stir fry in probably a month!  And as for dessert, I wanted something different than cake.  I had brought him home a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream and I made chocolate whoopie pies with brown sugar Italian buttercream for the party, so I didn’t want anymore chocolate cake (that’s his favorite).  I found my answer pretty quickly while wasting time on Pinterest… carmel apple crisp.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not just apple crisp, CARMEL apple crisp.

Let me start with the stir fry.  This is a beef with bok choy and carrot stir fry.  And it’s awesome.  It’s probably one of my most favorite stir fry recipes that I have made.  The sauce is a perfect combination of a little sweet and salty.  It actually has peanut butter in it, which I was hesitant, but it was barely noticeable.  I loved the combination of carrots and bok choy as well.  I just love bok choy.  If you don’t, you could sub a different leafy green, but I would highly suggest sticking with the bok choy.  Now, the butcher shop in our area didn’t have skirt steak, as the recipe calls for, so I got a flat iron steak.  That worked out really well, it’s so nice and tender!  If you can’t find either of those, flank steak would work just fine.  Let me just tell you, this recipe has definite potential to become our new go-to stir fry recipe!!



As for dessert… Holy cow it was good and holy cow it was easy!  I had found a few different recipes for carmel apple crisp on Pinterest (I had no idea carmel apple crisp was so popular!) so I ended up combining recipes to make, what I felt, would be the best.  Some recipes called for caramel sauce that goes on ice cream, but I don’t feel like that is REAL caramel.  So instead, I used the little caramel cubes that you buy by the bag (which is clearly the real stuff).  I cut them up smaller so they would melt a little more evenly.  And melt evenly they did!  While I got a little excited about the caramels and added a little bit too many, it still turned out delicious.  It could have used another apple with all that caramel, but it’s ok (don’t worry, I took this into account when writing the recipe below).  Bradley thoroughly enjoyed the extra caramel with his vanilla ice cream.

All in all it was a great birthday for him.  We didn’t have a Birthday Extravaganza this year (see this link, this link, and this link for last year’s Birthday Extravaganza), but we had two great days together.  I tried to be a little more low key than normal.  Usually, I go crazy and have all this stuff planned and I jam pack a whole weekend with too many things.  This year, we went simple.  A concert and really good food.  We are both excited for what this next year has in store!

Now go make this stir fry and carmel apple crisp.  It’s just really important that you do it.

Steak, Bok Choy and Carrot Stir Fry
Adapted from Martha Stewart 
Makes about 4 servings

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut butter (We always have this on hand and it worked perfectly in this dish)
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound of skirt steak, flat iron steak or flank steak cut about 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2-3 heads of baby bok choy (I felt this worked better than the large heads the original recipe called for)
4 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced at an angle
Rice for serving
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped (we skipped this but I wanted you to know that this is an option)

In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, honey and garlic together.

In a bowl (or on the cutting board like I did because I didn’t want to have to wash another bowl) mix the steak with the cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.  In a nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil.  Add 1/2 of the steak and cook, tossing, until brown, only a couple minutes.  You don’t want to overcook this!!  Remove from skillet and cook the rest of the steak, remove and set aside.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet.  Toss in the bok choy and carrots.  Cook, tossing occasionally until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.  Return the steak to the skillet and toss.  Cook for a couple minutes until the steak is heated through.  Serve over immediately over the hot, cooked rice!

 

Carmel Apple Crisp
Adapted from like 5 different Pinterest links (here’s the only one I can remember I used)
Makes about 2-4 servings depending on how hungry you are!

2 apples of your choice, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
8-12 caramel cubes cut in thirds
4 tablespoons flour
6-8 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
8 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray the bottom and sides of either a loaf pan or 4 ramekins with cooking spray.  Place apples in bottom of dish(es).  Sprinkle the caramels over the apples.

In a small bowl mix remaining dry ingredients together.  Cut in the butter with your fingertips until mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over the top of the caramels and apples.

Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples feel tender when poked with a knife.  Remove from the oven and serve immediately with ice cream!


Friday night Brad and I and our furry children went to my parents’ house to celebrate my brother’s birthday.  While I was laying on the floor wrestling with those furry children, I noticed the small stack of books under my parents’ television in their sun room.  In that pile was a Julia Child baking book that I think my brother and I got her as a gift for some occasion a few years ago.  I started thumbing through it and realized I wanted to make every single thing in that book.  So I took it home and the second I had the chance, I made these pinwheels.

               

Every once and awhile I get in a baking mood, but not just a “oh let’s bake some cookies” mood.  More like a “I want to make something fancy and pretty and time consuming and more difficult than a cookie” mood.  I was in that mood Sunday.  And I am so happy that I was.  I had to finish these on Monday though because the dough had to sit in the fridge overnight, which I didn’t know until I had finished making the dough… But it was ok because my crazy baking mood was still in full force Monday (which for the record, doesn’t make any sense since I spent 7 hours baking cupcakes that morning).

              

My mom has gotten into canning lately and that basically means that Brad and I are fully stocked with apple butter, pickles, strawberry jam and… this just in… blueberry jam.  I don’t know if you have ever had blueberry jam, but believe me when I say this… It is incredible.  It is wonderful.  It is unbearably delicious.  It blew my socks off (wait, it’s hot out, I wasn’t wearing socks when I tried it, but if I did have socks on, they would have been blown off).  I was shocked.  I don’t know why I didn’t think blueberry jam would be very good (considering that I love blueberry pie) but I just didn’t have high expectations.  But I can officially say now that blueberry is my favorite jam.  And so when I saw that these pinwheels had jam in them, I knew exactly which one to use!  I used up all the blueberry jam though, so to fill the remaining 4, I used the strawberry jam my mom made a few weeks ago!

Ok… so these taste like something out of a bakery.  No joke.  The Danish Pastry dough is incredible.  It’s flaky and a little bit salty so the sweet jam balances it out perfectly.  These are absolutely incredible straight out of the oven.  They don’t really save super well because they get a little soggy with all the jam, however, they taste the same so it’s all ok.  I would highly suggest stuffing your face with as many as you can though when they are done baking because they are so perfect!  I’ve been eating them for breakfast, for a snack and for dessert!  So basically, I have been eating them all day.  You’ll just die when you bite into one.  They are that good!

Jam Filled Pinwheel Danishes
From Baking With Julia
Makes about 16 pinwheels

Danish Pasty
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, at room temp
1 large egg, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks cold unsalted butter

Mixing the Dough: Pour the water into a large bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and let it soften for a minute.  Add the milk, egg, sugar and salt and whisk to mix; set aside.

Put the flour in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Cut the butter into 1/4-inch thick slices and drop them onto the flour.  Pulse 8 to 10 times, until the butter is cut into pieces that are about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Don’t overdo this- the pieces must not be smaller than 1/2 inch.

Empty the contents of the food processor into the bowl with the yeast and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently turn the mixture over, scraping the bowl as needed, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Again, don’t be too energetic- the butter must remain in discrete pieces so that you will produce a flaky pasty, not a bread or cookie dough.

Chilling the Dough: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight (or for up to 4 days).

Rolling and Folding:  Lightly flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto it and dust the dough lightly with flour.  Using the palms of your hands, pat the dough into a rough square.  Then roll it into a square about 16 inches on a side.  Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter, and turn it so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book.  (If at any time the dough gets too soft to roll just cover it with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge for a quick chill.)

Roll the dough out again, this time into a long narrow rectangle, about 10 inches wide by 24 inches long.  Fold the rectangle in thirds again, turn it so that the closed fold is to your left and once more, roll the dough into a long narrow rectangle, 10 inches by 24 inches long.  Fold in thirds again, wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 2 days.

To Make the Pastries
1 recipe of the Danish Pastry Dough
Jam of your choice
1 large egg white, beaten
Cane sugar for sprinkling

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Flour the top of the dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the dough into a square that is 20 inches on a side.  Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, trim the edges to even them, if needed.  Score each side at 5-inch intervals, then cut through the dough, using the ruler as your guide, to make 16- 5inch squares.

To make the pinwheel, place the pastry square on the parchment paper and spoon a tablespoon of jam in the center of the square.  Using a pizza cutter or a thin sharp knife, cut a slash from the center to each corner.  Brush every other corner with with a little bit of the beaten egg white and lift those points off the surface and in toward the center, pressing the dough lightly against the filling and overlapping the points to create a pinwheel!

Rise: Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the pastries to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. (reserve the remaining egg white)  Although the pastries won’t double, they will look and feel fluffy.

Baking: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400.  Brush the risen pastries with the reserved egg white, sprinkle with the cane sugar and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.


Brace yourself… this post is going to have a lot of photos.

Remember how I wasn’t in a cooking mood all last week while Brad was gone?  Well, Sunday I got excited and in a serious baking mood so I decided to make these cookies.  I had seen them on Eat, Live, Run a few days ago and instantly knew that was next on my baking list.

They did not disappoint.

(Oh, by the way, that’s my awesome KitchenAid in the background of the photo above.  I literally held back tears when I opened it at my first bridal shower.  My momma spoiled me.  Just for the record.)

They are by far the fluffiest cookie I have ever eaten in my entire life.  They are literally like eating a mini frosted cake.  And it’s amazing.

I haven’t been in much of a baking mood lately, mostly because we have been so busy with the doggies and also, it’s been ridiculously hot so using the oven hasn’t been at the top of my list.  However… I did use it to make a pizza last week, but whatever.  I’m not sure what came over me, but I was very determined and excited to bake these cookies.

And I’ve actually been eating them!!  Usually when I get in these types of baking moods, I make whatever it is, have a bite and then I’m done.  Which means Brad eats about 1/3 of what I make, then I have to give away the other 2/3.  I just don’t, for whatever reason, eat that much of what I bake.  I suppose it’s the process that I like rather than the final product.  Not this time though.  I’ve been eating these like my life depends on it.  Luckily, the recipe only made 10 so I haven’t done too much damage.  Plus, I gave 2 to my mom.  AND we started back up with our Tough Mudder training so I don’t feel so bad about it.

No, really.  I don’t feel bad about eating spoonfuls of batter, frosting and a good 3 cookies in one day.  Uhhhh….  Nevermind.

Anyway, if you are a Chai Tea lover like I am, then I swear you’ll love these cookies.  They have great spice flavor in them and the frosting has just enough Chai to satisfy a craving.  Like I said earlier, they have the fluffiest consistency that I have ever seen.  It’s like eating a cloud made of a cookie.  Really.  You should try it.  I think I’m going to eat one right now… that counts as my nighttime tea… right?

Chai Tea Frosted Cookies
Adapted with minor changes from Eat, Live, Run (<- that’s the link for her actually post for the cookies)
Makes 8-10 large cookies

For the Cookies:
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
5 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have any so I addedjust under 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 minutes, works like a charm!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For the Frosting:
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Chai concentrate (Oregon Chai and Tazo are good brands)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  In the meantime, in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Add egg to butter mixture, mix until well combined (a minute or two).  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.  Add vanilla and beat until well combined.

Spoon the batter into a gallon size Ziploc bag and cut the tip off.  Pipe onto a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet, leaving a good 2 inches in between each cookie (actually do this because I didn’t so much and I had connected cookies).  Wet your finger with a little water and dab down the tips of the cookies so they are nice and smooth.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let completely cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting, mix together the powdered sugar, cinnamon and ginger.  Beat butter on low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar.  Slowly drizzle in the Chai concentrate.  Beat until nice and fluffy.

**Note:  I used the whole frosting recipe that she wrote, which is double what I wrote above.  I found that it was WAY too much frosting.  I literally have a tupperware container filled with Chai buttercream that I am trying to figure out what to do with.  I found the frosting to be a little buttery as well, so before you frost your cookies, taste it to make sure you don’t need to add anymore powdered sugar.  I don’t know, you might want to have as much frosting as she suggested, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Oh!  And the cookies are really good on their own.  They aren’t very sweet, which is nice because the frosting is!



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