Sous-Chef…..

3 Apr

I love working with a Sous-Chef!!!! Thank you Sarah for taking the roll on Friday! I really appreciated the extra set of hands and great conversation.  It has been a long time since I baked with anyone else on a foodie project.

I actually had no idea what cookie to cook that night. I still had oatmeal cookies left over and I was motivated to challenge myself on something new. As well, when I made those pre-mixed cookies for Valentines, I really loved the cookie that was premixed and packet-ed in the box. I am no food chemist, but I know what each component in baking a cookie is supposed to do. What I did was read the box to see what the dry ingredients contained and then looked up a recipe where the contents might have been similar.

It worked.

I found the recipe for Empire Cookies in a magazine I “liberated’ from my mothers house in Canada.  The cookie portion mixes up pretty easily. It’s not a very moist cookie, and I think I will still change the butter content on it next time and make it even more brittle.

 

The Cooling Cookies

The Empire Cookie after being dipped in sugar and filled with jam.

I actually remembered a technique I learned on a cooking show about putting the cookie in-between two sheets of parchment paper when rolling out the dough. Of course, I only remembered this after having the hardest time with the first batch we rolled out sans some parchment paper. It all got stuck to the counter and it was a mess. When we used the parchment, it was like seeing ray of light beam through on a cloudy day. The cookies were so much easier to roll out and get thin, not to mention getting them off the darn flat surface without breaking the delicate dough became a much more do-able process.

 

The Empire Cookie Dipped and filled

The Empire cookie dipped and filled

 

I had most of everything in my pantry.The recipe asks for almond extract, but it said that vanilla extract could be used and that is what I did. It also called for a candied cherry to be placed on top. As cute as this looks, that is just one thing that I don’t keep on hand. Looking at the cookies they did look somewhat barren on the top. I had red sprinkles I used to sub for the cherry and then Sarah asked it I had some coconut! I thought that was a great idea and I did indeed have some unsweetened coconut in stock.

 

The Empire Cookies

The Empire cookies are topped with a dot of colored sugar and unsweetened coconut

Was very happy with the outcome of this cookie. There is a lot that you can do design wise. It’s a nice crunchity cookie. Makes you feel like a cookie monster with it’s brittle crusty batter. Even with the icing on top it’s not all that sweet. I was thinking it was going to be really overpowering, but I think the tartness of jam, and that the cookie only has half a cup of sugar, makes it all come together really nicely.

 

 

The Empire cookies

The recipe I used for the cookie is as follows:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter(1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar ( I am going to try castors sugar next time)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup any fruit jam

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp hot/boiling water

Topping:

  • Colored Sugar
  • or Unsweetened Coconut ( I think that the coconut might be better baked until lightly brown)

Bake in a 350° oven until edges are brown. It was about 12 minutes in my oven. They are very brittle, so be care when removing from sheet.

 

 

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