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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August
18
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-08-2009

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We so loved yesterday’s batch of Upside-down Caramel Apple Cupcakes that I decided to make some more but this time right way up. I had a dozen plain spice cupcakes left over to use. Click here for a printable version

This time around I peeled and chopped 2 large Pink Lady apples which are excellent for cooking with. They held their shape wonderfully and didn’t break down when stirred into the caramel even once they were tender.

Caramel Sauce

    10 oz unsalted butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
    1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    pinch salt

Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan. Add the sugars and spices. I cooked this reducing the heat a little until it bubbled and didn’t look so watery on top. To test my caramel I place a teaspoon full of the sauce on a glass plate and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to see how it’s setting up. You don’t want a hard toffee like caramel in your cupcakes. When you get a nice soft but not runny consistency add the chopped apples and continue to cook until the apples are tender… I wasn’t adding them to the oven this time since I was using cupcakes I had made previously, so I needed to cook them a little longer.

Cut a small cap from the top of the cupcakes by diagonally inserting a sharp knife into the cupcakes  from the edge towards the center about one inch.  Cut around until a small cap pops out.  You can see the shape of the well in the image below.  I trim off the point on these caps so they sit flat when I put them back on top of the caramel apple filling.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Add a heaped teaspoon of the caramel apple filling to the cupcakes.  Replace the trimmed caps and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  I think these looks so festive and use colored cupcake papers to suit the season.  Great for those Fall parties, Thanksgiving and other Holiday festivities.

As always, if you have any questions be sure and drop me a line.  I love hearing from you all and will do my best to answer in a clear manner…  Often I think my instructions are clear but then again… 😉

Cheers for now,

Colleen

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February
24
Filed Under (General Message) by Colleen on 24-02-2009

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Ok, I know that baking is a science but this takes the cake!!! 😉

The Periodic Table of Cupcakes is terrific fun. (Link opens in a new window)

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