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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Funfetti sprinkle cookies

When something isn't broken, you really don't need to fix it.  But play around with it a little, make some modifications, and make something different-but-similar?  That's totally OK!


See, I loved the flavor and texture of those heavenly chocolate chip cookies I made a week or so ago (and also a few months ago...you can read about it here), but I wanted to make something a little more *festive* for my upcoming birthday (although I'm not so excited about the actual day...you can read about that here).  So I thought FUNFETTI!  But, although I've seen recipes for chocolate chip funfetti things, I didn't want chocolate chips to overpower the flavor or pretty colorful specks of sprinkles.  So I opted for a funfetti/sprinkle cookie, and left the chocolate chips out.


The only question?  How much many sprinkles should I use?  A cup seemed way excessive (but it's only half the volume of the chocolate chips), but I definitely wanted a pop of color!  So I started with 1/3 of a cup of sprinkles and went from there...eventually I ended up with 2/3 cup sprinkles.


Funfetti Cookies
modified from Lauren's Latest

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sprinkles

Directions:

Stir melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined.
Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Mix until light in color.
Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and the bottom really well to ensure the batter is well mixed.

Hand stir the sprinkles into the batter.
Let dough stand for 20 minutes to let the flour soak into the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 325 while the dough is resting.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop cookie dough onto prepared pans using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop.

Bake 10-11 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking (I totally skip this step.....shhh!).
When you take the cookies out of the oven, they will look cooked around the edges and undercooked in the center.

Leave the cookies on the hot baking pans for 5-7 minutes or until you can remove them without falling apart.  I let mine completely cool on the baking trays.
Place onto cooling racks.
Cool to room temperature before storing in airtight containers.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Birthday Cake Fudge

I hate to admit it, but I'm a little bit depressed about disinterested in my birthday this year.  I don't know why; I can't put my finger on it, but I just am.  (And I know that I have so much to be thankful for.  I'm just not digging this birthday.)  You know what's making it a little bit more tolerable?  Baking.  So, despite being depressed about my birthday, I'm going to be making treats in the ten days leading up to my birthday.  And I'm actually going to post them on time (that's my birthday present to you!).


First up is this.  Birthday cake fudge.  Because I've been eyeing it for a while, and wanted to make it for B's birthday last week (I made him this galaxy vanilla white chocolate fudge instead, because vanilla fudge is his favorite kind of fudge).  Plus, I ordered a huge shipment of adorable Sweetapolita sprinkles for B's birthday and I've been dying to use them all (I used the galaxy ones for B's birthday fudge).  And because it's called birthday cake fudge, and it is, after all, almost my birthday.

I absolutely loved the way Sweetapolita made her fudge look, with the thicker white chocolate layer on top of the semisweet chocolate "crust" that I made it her way -- and posted the recipe that way, too.  If you want to make it the original way (even white chocolate and semisweet layers), go to the link below and follow that recipe as is.

Birthday Cake Fudge
from Sally's Candy Addiction by way of Sweetapolita

Note: even if you love nonpareils as much as I do, they aren't recommended to mix into the white chocolate layer as their color can bleed.  They are, however, perfectly acceptable to sprinkle on top of the fudge (in copious amounts, if you so choose....which you should.  Just saying.).

Ingredients:

Chocolate fudge layer:

1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 of a 14 oz can of full-fat sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp marshmallow creme

White fudge layer:

3 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup + 2 Tbsp (1 14 oz can) full-fat sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp marshmallow creme
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup (not nonpareils) + 2 Tbsp sprinkles (nonpareils are OK for this portion), rainbow or any color, divided

Directions:

Line an 8x8" square baking pan with aluminum foil (I used a 9x9 inch pan since I STILL don't own an 8x8" pan), leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the fudge once it has set.
Set aside.

Make the chocolate fudge layer:

Combine the semisweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and marshmallow fluff/creme in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as the chocolate chips melt.
Once the mixture is smooth and the chips have melted, remove pan from the heat.
The mixture will be extremely thick.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Smooth down the top to make 1 even layer.
Set aside.

You can either wash, dry, and reuse the same saucepan for the next layer or use a new, similar-sized saucepan.

Make the white fudge layer:

Combine the white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow fluff/creme in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
The mixture will be extremely thick.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Once fully combined, very gently fold in 2/3 cup of the sprinkles (remember, no nonpareils here!).
Do not stir too much or the color of the sprinkles cold bleed.
Pour on top of the chocolate fudge layer.
Smooth down the top to make 1 even layer.
Decorate with the remaining 2 Tbsp sprinkles while the fudge is still warm and wet.

Cover pan with aluminum foil.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set -- or you can let the covered fudge sit out at room temperature overnight to set (I don't recommend this during the summer months in NYC....).

Once set, remove the fudge from the pan by lifting out the foil.
Invert the fudge from the pan and onto a cutting board, peel away foil, and turn the fudge back over (or you can just lift it out of the pan, and peel the foil back, like I did).
Using a large sharp knife, slice the fudge into 1 inch squares.  If the fudge is too firm, allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cutting.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ooops...I did it again!

I have a confession.  In the nearly 6 years that I've had this blog, I've never unintentionally made the same recipe twice...Until now.


In February, I made these soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.  They were good.  Really good.  But then I forgot about them.  Let's blame wedding planning and the wedding.  But really, I don't know why.  You should always have a great chocolate chip cookie recipe up your sleeve -- and this one is really a winner because despite being super delicious, they don't require waiting for the butter to come to room temperature!



So, when I was looking at recipes recently, this aptly named actually perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe came across my eye again (I realized I had copied down the recipe before, just not that I had made them!).  And I made them right away.  And you know what?  It was worth it!  They were actually even better than I remember them this time.  Maybe it's because I used chocolate chips instead of chunks this time?  Or maybe they're just as delicious as last time?  Either way, this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Actually Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Lauren's Latest

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semisweet chocolate chips....although in retrospect I think I only ended up using 1 cup of chocolate chips total...but I'm not 100% sure....)

Directions:

Stir melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined.
Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Mix until light in color.
Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and the bottom really well to ensure the batter is well mixed.

Hand stir the chocolate chips into the batter.
Let dough stand for 20 minutes to let the flour soak into the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 325 while the dough is resting.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop cookie dough onto prepared pans using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop.

Bake 8-9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking (I skip this step).
When you take the cookies out of the oven, they will look cooked around the edges and undercooked in the center.

Leave the cookies on the hot baking pans for 5-7 minutes or until you can remove them without falling apart (I let mine cool completely on the tray before removing them)
Place onto cooling racks.
Cool to room temperature before storing in airtight containers.  Honestly?  They won't last that long!

Galaxy vanilla fudge

It's been a LONG time since I've posted anything on this blog, and I have no one to blame but myself.  I've even been baking (a little), I just haven't been posting.  There have been lots of reasons, and I can list them for you if you really want, but frankly I just need to be better about posting.  I mean we did get married 6 weeks ago, we had guests in from out of town, and we've been trying to get the apartment in order.  But today, I'm turning over a new leaf.  I'm going to be better about posting.  I'm even going to go back and post some of the treats I've made between my last post and today.  But first let's talk about this...


Let me tell you about this fudge.  I saw it posted as unicorn fudge.  I wanted to make unicorn fudge.  I even bought all of the ingredients for it a while ago.  And then they sat.  But see, my husband's birthday (I still can't get used to saying that, my husband!) is in 3 days, and I wanted to make a treat.  But my husband probably wouldn't want unicorn fudge, so I changed it up a little.  I used these awesome new sprinkles I just got -- which are aptly named Galaxy Twinkle Sprinkles -- which I figured were more "manly" than unicorn sprinkles.  I used the original purple color that they recommended, but any color would work.  I even thought about swirling a few colors, but figured I'd start off simple.  I'm pretty sure I'll be making this again, so I have time to test out all of my new theories!


The best part of this fudge?  It's vanilla white chocolate.  And B loves vanilla fudge!

It's also super easy to make.  Like one bowl, straight into the pan, and then chill.  Easy peasy.  And delicious, too!

Vanilla Fudge with Sprinkles
Recipe from Sprinkles for Breakfast

Ingredients:

24 oz white chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Purple food coloring (you can use any color, really.  I went with purple gel coloring, and used 4 drops to get the shade of purple I liked)
Sprinkles -- lots of sprinkles.  I didn't measure mine out, I just shook and shook until the entire top of the fudge was covered.

Directions:

Prepare an 8x8 inch pan with parchment (I used a 9x9 inch pan since that's what I had).

Place white chocolate, heavy cream, and vanilla extract into a microwave safe bowl.
Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth.

Add in a few drops of purple (or whatever color you choose) food coloring.
Keep adding until you get the desired color.

Pour into prepared pan.
Smooth with a knife or an offset spatula.

Add sprinkles.
Press lightly into the fudge.

Place into the fridge for at least an hour.
Cut into squares.  I recommend small squares -- it's super sweet!

Let fudge come to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Funfetti cookies

It's been a while since you've heard from me.  Like nearly two months.  I blame a lot of things.  There was the absence of me baking during the Whole30 (plus the 10 day reintroduction, which no one really seems to mention until you finish the Whole30 and then go "wait, what?!  I still can't eat most of those foods for the next. ten. days?!").  There are the full weekends devoted to wedding planning.  And there was Passover.  And a weekend away with my girlfriends for my bachelorette party, and one at a conference in Boston.  Oh, and I got strep somewhere in there, too.  Oh, and I have an actual full time job?  Right, there's that, too.  Anyway, I can blame a lot of things.  But the thing I need to blame the most.....is me.  I could've found the time to bake, and share the goodies with you, but I just didn't.  I have no one to blame but myself.


But....

Things are getting festive and celebratory around here in JulieBakes-land.  Like we're getting married in 38 days.  Thirty.  Eight.  Days!!  That's just over a month, people!  And because when things get exciting and festive, I like to bake.  And because I like to bake festive things for celebratory events, I decided to use sprinkles because, well, they're festive, and frankly #sprinklesmakeeverythingbetter.


Enter the funfetti cookie.  Chock full of not only sprinkles but also nonpareils (the recipe called for a total of 5 tablespoons....I rounded up), these cookies scream "PARTY!!!"  Because, we're getting married soon!!!!

** Update: I made these cookies three times.  The first time I was unimpressed with the way they looked, but they tasted great.  I made them a second time, but didn't refrigerate the dough as the recipe stated to.  The third time I made them was for guests we had coming over, three days after the wedding! **

Funfetti Cookies
Recipe from Sugar Spun Run

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 2/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sprinkles -- I used 4 Tbsp
2 Tbsp nonpareils -- I used 3 Tbsp

Directions:

Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave in 15-second intervals (stirring between) until butter is completely melted.
If the butter is too hot, allow it to cool for a few minutes before the next step.

Stir in the sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla extract.
Stir well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, until completely combined.
Stir in sprinkles and nonpareils.

Transfer bowl of dough to the fridge.
Allow dough to chill for at least 30 minutes.  Once, I skipped this step.  Another time, I chilled the dough but then let it come to room temperature before baking it.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Once the dough has chilled, scoop in into 2 Tbsp-sized balls (I rolled them and then slightly flattened them, so they were like a thick disc).
Place at least 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 1 minutes (I took mine out after 11 minutes, so watch them).  The cookies will still seem slightly underdone; this is OK, they will continue to cook on the cookie sheet as they cool.

Allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet before enjoying.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies

I'm a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie.  I prefer soft and chewy ones (although recently I did have a delicious crispy one, too), so when I caught a glimpse of these aptly named "actually perfect" chocolate chip cookies, I knew I had to try them.


And trust me when I tell you that I was right!

These cookies are perfectly soft and chewy in the center, with just the slightest crisp at the edges, and packed with chocolate chips (I used half chunks, half chips).  They are actually perfect.



Of course, I already have a few ideas on how to doctor these a little (browned butter?  a sprinkling of sea salt?  a dash on cinnamon?), but for now I'm just going to enjoy these in all their perfectionism in their original state.  And then I'm going to promptly package them up for B to bring to work and some going away parties he has :-)

Actually Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Lauren's Latest

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semisweet chunks instead)

Directions:

Stir melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined.
Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Mix until light in color.
Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and the bottom really well to ensure the batter is well mixed.

Hand stir the chocolate chips into the batter.
Let dough stand for 20 minutes to let the flour soak into the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 325 while the dough is resting.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop cough dough onto prepared pans using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop.

Bake 8-9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking (I didn't read that part before baking).
When you take the cookies out of the oven, they will look cooked around the edges and undercooked in the center.

Leave the cookies on the hot baking pans for 5-7 minutes or until you can remove them without falling apart.
Place onto cooling racks.
Cool to room temperature before storing in airtight containers.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cream cheese sugar cookies -- two ways!

The holidays are rapidly approaching (or at least it seems that way), and with Channukkah and Christmas falling at the exact same time this year (remember Thanksgivukkah, when Channukkah fell on Thanksgiving?  Just to jog your memory...), I have double baking duty: Channukkah treats for my family, and Christmas treats for my doormen and favorite baristas.


So I started early this year.  I was thinking of making my butter cookies or even cut-out sugar cookies, but then I came across this recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies, and I thought that they just sounded perfect (and they were).  But here's the thing -- this recipe makes a TON of dough.  So much so that I ended up freezing half of it and still got an insane amount of cookies.  Like, I shouldn't have been surprised -- the recipe called for over 5 cups of flour!


Knowing my antsy and unable-to-delay-gratification self, and not wanting to wait at least 2 hours for the dough to chill. I went ahead and used the soft, fresh dough to make spritz cookies - i just added a few nonpareils on top before baking.  They held their shape and they were delicious.  I packaged them up (after a little sample for each of us) for B to bring to work, since I knew I'd be making more of the dough later in the form of cut-out cookies.  After (not so) patiently waiting for the dough to chill (and baking another kind of cookie....don't worry, they'll be up soon), I went ahead and made adorable little cut-out cookies in hearts and stars.  These cookies would really be awesome decorated with royal icing, but I was pressed for time, so I drizzled these with white chocolate and then sprinkled a few more nonpareils on top.  But remember that dough that I froze for later?  Yeah, those'll be decorated with royal icing.

Those other cookies, you must be wondering...what are those?
Well, my friends, those will be up shortly.... :-)

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
From Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

1 8oz brick of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups of butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/4 cups flour

Nonpareils for decorating
White chocolate, for drizzling

Directions:

If making spritz cookies, preheat oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Scrape sides as necessary.

Add sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
Mixture should be fluffy and pale in color.
Turn mixer to medium-low.
Add in egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
Mix until combined.

Turn mixer to low.
Slowly add in flour.
Mix just until all flour is incorporated.

If making cut out cookies, wrap dough in disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Continue below at the *.

If making spritz cookies, transfer dough to a cookie press or a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
Pipe dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
Sprinkle with nonpareils or sprinkles. 
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

* If making cut-out cookies, remove dough from fridge.
In portions, roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a floured surface.
Using cookie cutters, cut the dough.
Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.  If making smaller cookies, like I did, start checking them at 7 minutes.  My mini cookies took 8 minutes to bake.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If icing cookies, wait until completely cooled before icing cookies.
I'll post my royal icing recipe when I post the decorated cut out cookies later.  
Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkle with nonpareils.  
NOTE: Cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.