Monday, January 28, 2013

nutter butter cookies

the goods:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/4 cup more for rolling)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Lower mixer to medium and add egg and vanilla continuing to mix until combined. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form chilled dough first into 1-inch balls, then into a log shape. Roll the log-shaped dough in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Using a fork, press down on logs to form a criss-cross pattern. Pinch the center to create a peanut shape.

Bake for 6-7 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Filling: In a large bowl beat butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and turn mixer speed up to medium and beat until smooth. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling onto bottom side of half the peanut butter cookies and top with other half to create sandwiches.

Monday, January 21, 2013

pistachio-shortbread sandwich cookies

the goods:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
1/3 cup strawberry jam

In a food processor, process butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until smooth. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms. Stir in pistachios. Shape dough into two 8-inch-long logs, tightly wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies are set and barely golden at edges, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on wire rack.

Spread 1/2 teaspoon jam on bottoms of half the cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies.

Monday, January 14, 2013

lemon-raspberry semifreddo

the goods:

6 ounces raspberries (3/4 cup), thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup lemon curd
10 ladyfingers
Line a 4 and 1/2-by 8 and 1/2-inch loaf pan with 2 sheets of plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on long sides. In a blender, puree raspberries and sugar, scraping down sides as needed. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids; discard solids.
In a large bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold in lemon curd. Spoon 2 cups cream mixture into pan and smooth top. Dip ladyfingers in raspberry puree and arrange in pan, parallel to long edges. Pour remaining raspberry puree on ladyfingers. Top with remaining cream mixture and smooth top.
Wrap pan with overhang plastic and freeze 8 hours (or up to 2 weeks). To serve, invert onto a serving platter, remove plastic, and slice.

Monday, January 7, 2013

peppermint-chocolate sugar cookies

the goods:

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
12 round peppermint candies, crushed for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in egg, then flour mixture on low. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1 and 1/2-inch balls and place, 2 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely.
Stir together confectioners' sugar and enough cream to make a spreadable glaze (if you like a strong mint flavor, stir in up to 1/4 teaspoon extract). Spread a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie and sprinkle with candies. Let dry completely on racks.