Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bite-size Checkerboard and Zebra stripes cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar till the mixture is fluffy. Add vanilla and mix it again. Gradually add flour, scraping down sides of bowl.
Make it into dough and knead dough well for about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide dough in half. Add the cocoa powder over one of the halves. Knead until cocoa has been fully incorporated.
Place each half of the kneaded dough between two sheets of parchment paper and with a rolling pin, shape dough into two 4-inch squares, about 3/8 inch thick. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, slice each square into 3/4-inch-wide strips (9 of them).

Cover work surface with plastic wrap. Place three strips of dough on plastic, alternating white and chocolate strips. Gently press strips together. Repeat, forming second and third layers, alternating colors to create a checkerboard effect. Wrap assembled log in plastic. Refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice each log into 1-inch slices; place on baking sheet. Bake until done, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, and let cookies cool.

For the zebra stripes effect, you have to just alternately place the vanilla and chocolate strips over one another and refrigerate the log and then cut into 1-inch slices.

This recipe is adapted from
I cut down the original recipe into half and made some changes for these bite-sized snacks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Flower Sugar Cookies

For these cookies I used the "No fail sugar cookies" recipe on the Cake Central; it is one of the best sugar cookies I have ever tried. The ingredient measurements are so perfect that the cookies taste heavenly good. I had to try my new Wilton flower cookie pops pan so I baked the cookies in that pan and hence they are so big in size. They are decorated with royal icing. I had cut down the original recipe to half as the original recipe makes 5 dozen cookies. This dough yielded me around 16 flower cookies of around 3.5-4 inches each.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Chill for 1 hour. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees F  for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. If you are using the Wilton flower cookie pop pan, just pat the dough in the pan and let it bake for the same time and temperature.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pirate Ship Cake

This is the cake I made for a 3-year-old girl. It had to be a pirate ship cake. The cake is basically a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream covering. I had baked two 9-inches square cakes and refrigerated them after cooling down overnight. That helps to carve the cake easily as it becomes more firm. With the help of an iron I had drawn the template (shape of the iron) on a paper. I placed the paper on each of the cakes and carved out the shape with a sharp knife. I glued both of these cakes using the chocolate mousse. Then with the leftovers of the cake, I created a small raised deck on the back side of the ship and glued it again with the chocolate mousse. After this, I covered the whole cake with chocolate buttercream. To give it a more ship like effect, I drew the ridges on the sides and also the planks on the top of the deck using a butterknife. With black buttercream, I piped out the rings on the side of the boat.
The chocolate gold coins were used as treasure (got them in the candy section at Wegmans) and the gobstopper candies as the cannon balls. The sails were paper-crafted by me by printing out the required design and putting them into skewers. I had got the pirate figurines from Party City. After placing all the toppers, I just piped out the blue buttercream with tip #21 around the ship to give the water effect.