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Cover: Founding Flavors

Recipes with Filling

02Dec 12

Canela-Apple Cookies

The holidays are my favorite time of year.  Not just because everyone seems to be a little friendlier or because of the endless decorations and music, but because it brings me back home.  Sometimes physically and other times mentally.  This past week it was the latter that brought back memories of my grandmother’s holiday baking.  Growing up, my grandparent’s house was always well stocked with all sorts of goodies but the most coveted treats were her perfectly pressed cinnamon and sugar cookies.  The second she’d place them out, one-by-one we’d suddenly appear in the kitchen, as if by coincidence.  As I started thinking about these cookies, I also remembered several of her other desserts, including apple filled empanadas.  And, that’s how I got inspired to combine a bit of the two and create the Canela-Apple Cookie.   It has an outer cookie layer that resembles the flavors in her cinnamon and sugar cookies, is lined with a touch of homemade caramel, and then filled with spiced baked apples.

Enjoy!
Sonia
www.foundingflavors.com

Ingredients:
Cinnamon and sugar cookies
All-purpose flour: 2 cups
Baking soda: ¼ teaspoon
Butter, unsalted: 6 ounces or 12 tablespoons
Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
Egg, whisked: 1
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon

Homemade caramel
Alcohol of your choice: 1 teaspoon (I used Curacao triple sec but other excellent options include brandy and bourbon.)
Butter, unsalted: 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons
Cream of tartar: 1/8 teaspoon
Heavy cream: 2 tablespoons
Sugar: 1 cup

Spiced apple filling
Alcohol of your choice: 2 tablespoons (I used Curacao triple sec but other excellent options include brandy and bourbon.)
Apples, gala: 2
Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg: ½ teaspoon
Sugar: ¼ cup

Instructions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine all of the cookie ingredients in a bowl and mix.

3. Flour your baking surface and roll out the dough into a thin layer.  If the dough starts to stick to the rolling pin, simply place a bit of flour on the surface of the dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Create your desired shape using a cookie cutter.  Since it is the holidays, I opted for a snowman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Gently lift the cutout using an icing spatula or knife.

6. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

7. Once out of the oven, let the cookies cool.

8. Then, mix sugar and cinnamon on a plate and gently dip the front side of the snowman in the mixture until it is fully coated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Line up the snowmen in pairs because each Canela-Apple Cookie will require two cutouts.

10. Now, you’ll prepare the caramel by placing one cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir occasionally as you allow the sugar to melt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Once the sugar has melted and has a light amber color, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.  The caramel mixture will bubble up a bit so keep stirring until your left with a caramel that has a smooth consistency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.  The caramel will start to harden so you’ll need to work cautiously and quickly as you use a spoon to drizzle caramel onto one snowman for each pair of cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Now, it’s time for the apple filling.  Chop two gala apples into small squares and then combine the spiced apple filling ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Once apples are tender, use a potato masher to gently break the cooked apples apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

16.  Use a spoon to place the apple filling over each caramel lined snowman and then gently press the remaining snowmen on top to create a cookie sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. At this point, the caramel has hardened, which is why you’ll need to let the cookies sit for at least three hours so that the caramel melts into the apple filling mixture.  If you don’t have time to wait this long, you can skip the homemade caramel altogether and purchase a pre-made caramel spread.

18. Use a decorative platter to serve your cookies and enjoy!

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01Oct 12

Mastering the Linzer Cookie

So, the original plan was to wow you with my natural baking talent but that, of course, was before I’d actually delved into making Linzer cookies.  Ahhhh, where to start. Perhaps, with the burning of the hazelnuts during the blanching process, a step needed to remove the skin off the nuts? Or, maybe after I pulled out my Linzer cookie dough from the refrigerator only to find that it was thoroughly stuck onto the pan and only a crowbar could remove it. And, how could I forget the electricity outage! When did this happen do you ask? That’s right, right in the middle of the baking process!  And so there I was in the middle of my pitch-dark kitchen at ten in the evening, just me and the Linzers, when I realized something. They were delicious! Yes, a little too moist…okay, mushy but they were actually quite tasty. All I needed now was a few tweaks here and there and the electricity gods to show me some pity. So, after a few more rounds, I finally felt comfortable with my Linzer cookies.

Here is what I learned:

First, after my first attempt at the cookies, I decided that I did not particularly care for certain ingredients listed in the recipe I found, such as ground cloves. While the addition of this spice was not bad it made the cookie taste like a Christmas treat, which is delicious during the holidays but not necessarily a taste I want to have in August!

Second, the original recipe also called for the use of hazelnuts. While the recipe actually stated that I needed to toast my hazelnuts in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, I found that in order to avoid burning the nuts it was better to set the temperature to 350°F and only bake the hazelnuts for 6 minutes. This, of course, could depend on your oven and climate but a lower temperature and less time worked best for me.

Third, when I used my food processor to grind the hazelnuts, the nuts were still too coarse, which made it difficult to roll out the dough. Consequently, I made a new batch of dough using almonds instead and found that not only was it easier to finely grind these nuts but I also preferred the overall taste of the dough.

Fourth, when making the jam filling, the recipe called for bringing sugar and jam to a boil. While this filling was yummy, for a fresher taste, I substituted blueberries for jam to create a filling that was just as delicious and easy to make.

Still intrigued and want to try it out? Check out my recipe below.

Cheers!
Sonia
www.foundingflavors.com

Mastering the Linzer Cookie
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • Linzer dough:
  • Almonds, finely grinded: ⅓ cup
  • Bread flour: ½ cup
  • Butter: 8 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon
  • Egg yolks: 1½
  • Linzer filling:
  • Blueberries: 1½ cups
  • Sugar: ⅓ cup
Instructions
  1. Mix butter, eggs, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Then add in the bread flour, cinnamon, and almonds. Once all ingredients are mixed together, remove the dough from the bowl, cover in plastic saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  3. While the Linzer dough is in the refrigerator, add the blueberries and sugar into a saucepan and bring them to a simmer using low heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for two to three minutes before removing the pan from the heat.
  4. Take the blueberry filling in the saucepan and sift it through a strainer so that you are left with the liquid portion only.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
  6. Remove the Linzer dough from the refrigerator and roll it out. Use Linzer cookie cutters to create both sides of the cookie and place them on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes and then allow cookies to cool completely.
  8. Place a teaspoon of blueberry filling on the cookie side that does not have a hole and then gently place the cookie side with a hole on top. (Optional: You can dip the cookie side with a hole in powdered sugar before placing in on top of the jam filling.)

 

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