April
04

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Red velvet, while synonymous with Valentines Day and now popular for weddings, is just plain gorgeous to look at.  To be totally honest, red is my absolute favourite colour and any chance I get to wear it, look at it or eat it I do.  Not that many red foods around when you think about it… and I don’t really eat very much red meat.

Sooo let’s get busy and make some delicious red velvet cookies to be enjoyed and shared all year around.  But wait, just think how cute they would be for Christmas or Valentine’s Day as well!

This recipe calls for Dutch Processed Chocolate.   So what’s the difference between that and regular unsweetened cocoa powder you ask?   First off, Both types of cocoa powder are unsweetened and therefore bitter when tasted alone.

Dutch-Process Cocoa or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:

Has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Because it’s neutral and doesn’t react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids.

Hershey Dutch Processed Cocoa
Hershey’s Dutch Processed Cocoa

 

Ghirardelli Sweetened Cocoa
Ghirardelli Cocoa
Unsweetened Cocoa:

Has a complex chocolate flavor while the Dutch-process is darker and more mellow. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven.

Ok, on to our recipe:

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups (355 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons of Red Food Coloring.. I used the gel type

For Red Velvet Cookies:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and the food coloring then beat until combined.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookie Dough

Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough toroll.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.    Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired

Red Velvet Cookies by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookiesto the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure that the frosting on the cookies dries completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight

Red Velvet Cookies Iced by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Makes about 36 – 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

BEST frosted with a cream cheese frosting.  I use the recipe on my site here and thin it with some milk to make it more like a glaze if I don’t want heavy frosting.  Also, I have rolled out fondant into the same shape as the cookie and placed it on top of a thin layer of the frosting which gives a nice finish!

For a final finish on my fondant covered cookies I used an impression mat to make pretty patterns.. and then dusted with pearl dust.. there is no limit to what you can do with these or any other cookies!  Happy Baking!

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May
05
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 05-05-2010

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This is the cake I made for my daughter Megan’s baby shower this past weekend.  The cake on the bottom was yellow cake filled with white cream cheese frosting and then covered with the same frosting coloured blue.  I added balls of chocolate fondant to the sides and for the circles.

Teddy Bear Baby Shower cake made for my daughter Megan's baby shower on May 1st 2010.

Baby Shower Cake

The top cake was made using the good old Wilton Teddy Bear pan.  I made this for her first birthday some 20+ years ago so thought it would be a nice touch for this cake.  The cake is chocolate cake and is iced with a chocolate flavoured cream cheese frosting.  The diaper is thinly rolled white fondant made using Carrie Biggers’ recipe.  Sorry but I can’t give that to you here because Carrie sells it on her website as one of her product range.  It’s a great recipe and tastes so much better than commercially produced fondant.  I am always horrified when I see the fondant being torn off of wedding cakes by folks that have only had the shop bought kind.  The home made stuff is so much nicer and very edible.

Vanilla and Chocolate baby shower cakeOk, so I have to “fess up.”  Even experienced bakers and decorators make mistakes.  Stupid mistakes actually.  That bear on the top took three attempts before I got it right.  I can’t believe it since I’ve made it many times before but the first time around I didn’t add enough batter to the pan so when bear came out he had NO LEGS!  Um no.  That bear became chocolate cake balls that I put into the party favour boxes for our guests to take home with them, so not a total waste.

With my second attempt I totally forgot to insert the cone into the center of the pan which ensures even cooking.  Not realizing my mistake I took the “perfect” bear from the pan and then wondered why his head was caving in.  After a crack formed I could see that the batter inside was still liquid and not even close to being cooked.  This poor bear met his demise down the garbage disposal.. sorry bear number 2.

So finally at 11:30pm on Friday night (the party was the next day) I baked off bear number 3.  You might think this one worked out perfectly.  Well not exactly.  Probably due to the fact that it had been one heck of a busy week I did remember to insert the heat cone this time BUT forgot to spray it with cooking spray.  As I pulled it out a crack formed across poor bear’s face.  Thank goodness for buttercream which I used to patch him up with.

So next time you make a mistake or forget something, don’t worry too much, we all do it!

Happy baking!

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