Friday, March 27, 2015

Mini Samoa Cookie Cups

I think the Girl Scout Cookie sale has just ended, and this time of year the Internet is inundated with so many recipes inspired by the different cookie flavors. I do love the Samoa cookies, so I always look at the different variation recipes that I see. When I saw this particular recipe I thought it looked great. The only issue was that it used pie crust rather than a cookie base, and I couldn’t really justify that as a cookie. And I make cookies on Friday, so I had to adapt.

I have made quite a few different cookie cups, so I looked at recipes that I had made in the past. This cookie base started out as a chocolate cookie base, so I just took out the cocoa powder and added flour in its place. The cream cheese makes the dough pliable, but too much cream cheese can be too tangy. This one was just right.

The trick with this recipe was the baking time. Pastry dough bakes fairly quickly, cookie dough a little longer. I’m afraid that by the time I got the cookie base baked all the way though, the caramel/coconut filling was too dark brown. It wasn’t horrible, but the balance wasn’t quite right. They still taste pretty good, although the caramel got a little too caramelized. These do taste quite a bit like Samoa cookies, so that’s very nice.

Mini Samoa Cookie Cups
¼ cup butter, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
20 caramel squares, unwrapped
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You will need two 12-cup mini cupcake pans.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium until creamy. Add the flour, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on low until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. Divide each half in two. Divide each piece of dough into 6 pieces.

Place one piece of dough in each of the mini muffin cups. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (I used a tart tamper to do this quickly.) Place 5 chocolate chips in the base of each mini muffin pan.

In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel squares and water. Microwave for 30 seconds and the stir the mixture. Continue microwaving, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Stir in the coconut. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the caramel mixture into each cup and press down.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.     

In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the 1/3 cup chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookie cups. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.

Cookie cup recipe from Betty Crocker
Recipe inspiration from Crazy for Crust

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is for Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars. I was so happy to see a cookie recipe show up in the rotation. Although many other recipes don’t take too long to make, I feel like cookies are always quicker to make. Maybe it’s because I make cookies all the time, who knows! I was envisioning that these were topped with brown sugar meringue, so I certainly didn’t read the title of the recipe very carefully. At any rate, make sure you check out the different offerings made by this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie bakers by visiting the TWD blog .

It took me two attempts to make these, and I have no one to blame but myself. I made the first ones and got them in the oven and set the temperature. I remembered that some of the bakers had said to bake them for less time. In changing the timer, I somehow turned off the oven. I noticed it and got the oven back on and figured it was ok with a little more time. Then I used mini chocolate chips, and of course they have additives so they won’t melt. Fine, you win. I’ll give it a second try.

The second time I made sure that I didn’t mess up the oven and used better quality chocolate for the topping. I had made the caramelized rice crispies, although mine didn’t get as caramelized as they could have. I let my bars chill in the refrigerator overnight, which made the chocolate super hard to cutting them was a challenge. I’m glad I gave these another try because I really like the flavors. The sweetness of the crust and the caramelized rice crispies pairs beautifully with the dark chocolate I used.  

Recipe from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, page 324

Friday, March 20, 2015

Biscoff Snickerdoodles

I am a proclaimed snickerdoodle fan, so whenever I see an interesting snickerdoodle recipe, I’m very likely to give it a try. I do get a little tired of anything with cinnamon being called a snickerdoodle, but I still keep looking! I saw this recipe and I was intrigued. I like Biscoff and have used it in several recipes. Adding it to snickerdoodles seemed like it would work. This recipe uses a cake mix, and I just happened to have the right one in the cupboard.

These are about the quickest cookies ever to put together, but then you have to chill the dough. The dough is quite sticky and it would just be impossible to work with the dough without chilling it first. I found the dough to be a little on the oily side, even after refrigeration, so maybe it could have used less oil? The cookies turned out fine, so maybe it was just the way the dough was.

I had a bit of a struggle knowing when the cookies were done baking. With the Biscoff spread added to the dough, the cookies are already slightly browned in color, so I just couldn’t tell if they were baked or not. My first batch I took out at 9 minutes and hoped they would firm up as they cooled, but they didn’t. (Luckily, my husband really likes doughy cookies, so that was a win for him!) I baked the remaining cookies for 11 minutes and that seemed to be just right. These look and taste like snickerdoodles, but snickerdoodles with extra amped cinnamon and butter flavors.

Biscoff Snickerdoodles
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup Biscoff spread
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a large mixer bowl, beat the cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil on medium until combined. Add the Biscoff spread and mix until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon and roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Lil’ Luna