<![CDATA[luckybites - recipes]]>Thu, 17 Sep 2020 04:30:10 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Baked French Toast]]>Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:51:03 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/baked-french-toastPicture
There are a ton of variations on baked french toast out there, but I was inspired by Sam's version because of its decorative design, and the addition of fruit. I love fruit with my french toast, and normally just throw some on the plate before serving. So, I was excited to see how the fruit and french toast would bake up together. 

I love how this dish can be made the night before. I felt so accomplished when I woke up the next morning. It was like I checked something off my to-do list before i even got out of bed. 

I made some adjustments...my challah was BIG, so I doubled the eggs to six, and used heavy cream. whenever I make panfried french toast, I normally use half & half or heavy cream, so I figured it should be ok. decadent, but ok. :-)

I used a 10" round baking dish with 1.5" sides. You can use whatever shape dish or pan you have on hand, but the key is that the sides are at least 1.5" high to contain the liquid. 2" would be even better. But to be safe, you could place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any overflow. i didn't have any overflow, but it's better to be safe than sorry... no fun cleaning the oven... so use the pan. :-) 

​If you use another shape dish/pan, simply adjust the arrangement accordingly. Any extra slices can be baked in a separate dish, or panfried. Maybe you'll come up with an even cooler design! I had so much fun creating and constructing this. I felt like a sculptor, because the challah is very malleable once it’s coated in the egg mixture. 

People, I couldn't wait to snap the final pic so I could dig in. The fresh-baked aroma was driving me absolutely wild.
a drizzle of maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar and wowwww. This is like a pillowy heaven of lusciousness. 

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the egg-coated slices arranged in the baking dish, placed on a baking sheet just in case there's overflow.
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insert the fruit in any artful arrangement you like
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 cups half & half or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 large loaf of challah, sliced 3/4-1" thick
  • fruit of choice, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for sprinkling
  • ​2 tbsp apricot jam (optional)
METHOD
  1. The night before, coat bottom and sides of a 10" round baking dish (or something similar) with butter. (see details above)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together half & half (or cream), eggs, vanilla and salt.
  3. Dip challah slices in the egg mixture, making sure to completely coat. 
  4. arrange slices partially overlapping in the dish until full. To create this design, i used the largest slices around the perimeter, and for the center, i used the smaller end slices.
  5. Pour remainder of egg mixture over challah slices.
  6. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  7. the next morning, preheat oven to 350ºF.
  8. spoon liquid from bottom of dish over challah to baste it, being careful not to tear bread.
  9. Add sliced fruit. Sprinkle top with granulated sugar.
  10. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden.
  11. While hot, you could glaze fruit with warmed apricot jam...not necessary, but the shiny effect sure is pretty.
  12. Serve with maple syrup and/or a dusting of powdered sugar. 
  13. Enjoy!
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<![CDATA[Mini S'mores Icebox Cakes]]>Sun, 23 Aug 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/mini-smores-icebox-cakesPicture
Feedfeed and Ghirardelli are having their annual s’mores contest and I absolutely love seeing all the creative ideas people come up with. I also have a blast dreaming up some of my own s’mores inspired treats. This year, I leveled up my s’mores game and bought a kitchen torch specifically for this contest!

I made these mini icebox cakes, which are perfect for summer because very little actual cooking is required.
They have luscious layers of whipped marshmallow cream, chocolate magic shell and graham crackers. They’re topped with toasted marshmallows and a ghirardelli milk chocolate caramel square.

I've given instructions both with and without a kitchen torch. To get the square shape, I used a “brownie bite” pan. I ordered this fancy one to get it here quickly, but here's a cheaper option. you could also use a standard muffin pan, because round cakes would be just as delish. The key is that the cavities are at least 1.5" deep so you have room to build layers.

Yield: 10 mini cakes

Ingredients

Magic Shell
1 cup chopped dark or milk chocolate, or chocolate chips
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
pinch salt

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow fluff
pinch salt


1 box graham crackers (14 oz.)

Topping:
1 bag of marshmallows, regular or mini
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares, or the chocolate of your choice


You will also need:
baking pan with cavities at least 1.5" deep (see above for product links)
plastic wrap



Method:
  1. To make magic shell: Place chocolate, coconut oil and salt in microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each 30 second cook time. Repeat until the mixture is almost completely melted, being careful not to overcook.  Stir well till smooth.  Set aside.
  2. To make whipped cream: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add marshmallow fluff and salt, and whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside in fridge.
  3. Line each well of pan with plastic wrap. Makes pieces large enough to cover all sides and extend beyond well. these flaps will serve as a handles to help extract cakes later..
  4. if you have a kitchen torch: skip to step 6, and don't miss step 10!
  5. if you don't have a kitchen torch: place ten 1" x 2" graham cracker pieces on a baking sheet and top each cracker with marshmallows. if using large marshmallows, cut them in half. Place pan under broiler, watching VERY carefully for marshmallows to brown. it takes 1-3 minutes, and quickly turns to burnt, so don't take any phone calls or check your insta. :-) once marshmallows start to brown, immediately remove pan from oven. transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely. once cool, place one marshmallow cracker in each well, marshmallow side down. smushing it down a little to make room for more layers. this will serve as the top of the cake when it's flipped over later.
  6. Working in layers, start with the whipped cream mixture by spreading 1 Tbsp of cream in each well. then add 1 tsp chocolate magic shell, then a layer of graham cracker pieces. you can adjust the size of the layers to your liking.
  7. once you get near the top of the well, finish with a layer of graham cracker, which will serve as the bottom of the cake when it's flipped over later. cover top with the extra flaps of plastic wrap.
  8. place in the refrigerator too set for at least 6 hours, or overnight.  
  9. when ready to serve, have your dessert plates ready. carefully lift cake out by the plastic wrap flaps, and flip over onto a plate, graham cracker side down. carefully peel off plastic and discard. 
  10. if you have a kitchen torch: time for the fun part! have your chocolate square topper ready. place marshmallows on top of cake. if using large marshmallows, cut them in half. torch marshmallows torch marshmallow, and gently place -- don't press or you'll squish cake!
  11. enjoy!
  12. Cakes can be stored in fridge for up to 4 days, if they last that long!​ You can store in original pan, but to ensure they don't absorb fridge odors, transfer to an airtight container as follows: unmold cakes, keeping plastic wrapped, flip over into airtight container, with graham cracker side down. keep each cake wrapped till serving.
  13. Any extra magic shell will keep for weeks in an airtight container at room temp. it was invented to enjoy on ice cream!  stir before using, and it it's hardened, pop in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
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<![CDATA[Salted S'mores Matzah]]>Wed, 08 Apr 2020 17:17:33 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/salted-smores-matzahPicture

It's been exactly one year, to the day, since my last post, and it's been quite a year. The absence was due to my sudden full-time role as caretaker for my mom, who ultimately lost her yearlong struggle with brain cancer.
So, here i am, trying to put the pieces back together during this strangest of quarantine times. And a big part of that effort is getting back to creating and baking.
Which brings me to this recipe—a riff on the classic chocolate toffee matzah seen at many a Passover seder. But you don't need to be Jewish, or have matzah, to enjoy this treat...most any cracker will do...like saltines, stoned wheat, or water crackers.
Any chocolate will work (Milk, Dark, White), but darker chocolate balances nicely with the super sweet toffee.
If you've made some other version of this recipe, most likely it called for half the amount of butter and brown sugar. I upped the quantities because i realized i prefer the toffee to seep under the matzah, coating the bottom as well as the top. That way, when you go to take a bite, toffee is the first thing your tongue hits.
If you want regular chocolate toffee matzah, you can bake for 12-14 minutes in step 5, and skip steps 6 & 7. Lastly, make sure to line the pan as described below, which will ensure easy removal post-bake.

Yield: about 5 dozen pieces

​Ingredients:
6 matzahs
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter 
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2-3 cups mini marshmallows, depending on your love of 
marshmallows 
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

You will also need:
baking pan with sides (half sheet pan 13" x 18')
aluminum foil
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
small silicone spatula
sharp knife

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking pan completely with foil, bottom and sides. Line the bottom of foiled baking sheet with a parchment sling, long enough so you have 2' edges sticking out on either side. . This is very important because it'll help you remove it after baking.
  2. Cover the bottom of the pan evenly with matzah, breaking extra pieces to fill any gaps.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and fine sea salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (about 3-4 minutes). Continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the matzah, covering completely.
  5. Place the baking sheet in oven and bake for 10 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, lower the heat to 325°). 
  6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with mini marshmallows. Move rack to upper part of oven, and switch oven to broiler setting.
  7. Put pan back in oven, watching VERY carefully for marshmallows to brown. it takes 1-3 minutes, and quickly turns to burnt, so don't take any phone calls or go pour yourself a glass of wine. :-) once marshmallows start to brown, remove pan from oven.
  8. Immediately sprinkle chocolate between marshmallows. Let stand for 5 minutes, then, with a small spatula or butter knife, spread the chocolate so it melts and becomes smooth. sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  9. Let it cool for 10-20 minutes, and then chill, still in the pan, in the fridge until set. 
  10. Once chilled, remove from pan using the parchment sling and set on a cutting board. Cut into squares or break into random shapes.
  11. Store airtight in fridge for up to 2 weeks, if they last that long!
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<![CDATA[Easter Bunny Linzer Cookies]]>Mon, 08 Apr 2019 23:40:51 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/easter-bunny-linzer-cookies
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The Easter linzer bunnies pictured here were made with Rodelle Pure Almond Extract. I've used their almond extract for years and absolutely love it.

To make these delicious treats, i used my Linzer Cookie Recipe.

For a twist on the traditional linzer decor, I topped some of them with a mixture of Rodelle’s Organic Dutch Process Baking Cocoa & Organic Hot Cocoa. I hadn't tried Rodelle's cocoa powders before. So, when they kindly offered to send me some to experiment with, i was super excited since i knew they are among Rodelle's bestsellers. and wow! they are so rich and flavorful!

To make the cocoa topping, mix 2 parts hot cocoa + 1 part baking cocoa, and then follow the powder sugar application instructions in the assembly section.

The cocoa bunnies are filled with melted white chocolate tinted in various shades. To make the filling, simply melt white chocolate chips in a microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until soft enough to mix. add food color a drop at a time till you achieve desired shade.
​If you don’t have white chocolate on hand, tinted royal icing in a thicker consistency would do just fine.




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<![CDATA[Spicy Stamped Cookies]]>Tue, 22 Jan 2019 17:35:18 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/spicy-stamped-cookies
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cookie stamps are all the rage right now, but you don't need to spend any money! look through your kitchen drawers and you'll find creative ways to add texture to these cookies. and maybe in the process you can get a head start on spring cleaning...? um, ok maybe not. bake these cookies instead—WAAAY more fun. BTW if you want any of the cookies stamps pictured at the bottom of this post, they're in my amazon shop

​Spices courtesy of Burlap & Barrel.

​Recipe:


Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies

cookie ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp spice mix (recipe below)

1 egg
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
 ​

spice mix ingredients:
3 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ginger
​1 ½ tsp nutmeg
​1 ½ tsp cloves
3/4 tsp allspice
3/8 tsp cardamom

glaze ingredients:
2 cups confectioners' sugar 
warm water

pinch salt

you will also need:
stamping tool
​Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
wax paper
​food safe paintbrush

method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until well blended. Add baking powder, salt, spice. mix for one minute. Add egg. mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in flour just until incorporated and smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix. Dough should be firm and hold together well, but should no longer be sticky. It should easily fall away from sides of bowl and paddle. You may need to adjust flour quantity.
  4. Divide dough in thirds and place each third on a sheet of wax paper. form into a flat disc. Cover disc with another sheet of wax paper, sandwiching the dough between the two sheets.
  5. Roll out to 1/4" thickness, smoothing any creases that develop in wax paper.
  6. Peel away & replace one sheet of wax paper (this will prevent dough from sticking when cutting cookies, and keep work surface clean). flip "sandwich" over & remove top sheet of wax paper, leaving other sheet underneath dough.
  7. Dip stamping tool in flour to prevent sticking, and then press into dough. Make sure to press firmly so texture is pronounced enough to survive baking, but not too much that cookie becomes too thin to handle. Cut out cookies & place on baking sheet, 1" apart. 
  8. Roll out scraps & repeat, until all dough is used up. you may need to refrigerate the rolled out scraps if they become to warm & sticky. Repeat these steps with the other discs.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Bake until cookies are a golden around the edges. 
  10. While cookies are baking, make glaze. blend water, powdered sugar, and salt until it's a thin liquid consistency, similar to maple syrup. mix until smooth.
  11. A couple of minutes after cookies come out of oven, while they're still warm, apply icing using paintbrush. work quickly, resisting the urge to go back and fix anything because the glaze starts setting in seconds. imperfections add to the texture and beauty! set the cookies on a baking tray to dry.
  12. Allow to dry for several hours before putting in an airtight container. store at room temperature for up to a week.
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<![CDATA[Double Chocolate Marble Pound Cake]]>Mon, 07 Jan 2019 22:09:19 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/double-chocolate-marble-pound-cakePicture
I usually stick to cookies so please bear with me on this one. if you make this recipe, any feedback would be appreciated!
things to note:
  • cocoa powder: dutch-process is needed for cake to bake properly, so don't substitute with natural cocoa. and the black cocoa is needed to get the darkest shade in the pattern. you can get these in my amazon shop!
  • cake flour: it's super expensive and most people don't have it in their pantry (including me!), so i gave you a substitution option below.
  • butter: make sure melted butter is completely cool so it doesn't cook the eggs.
  • swirling: resist the urge to over-swirl the batter, or else you'll lose the color contrast and the pattern. you'll have a boring-looking (but tasty) solid milk chocolate cake. :-)​ see pix at bottom.
  • pan: i used an 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan here. 9" x 5" will work, too, but just know that the loaf will be shallower and less domed.
  • baking time: ​a metal pan will bake faster than glass, and each oven is different. so baking times will vary wildly. because of this, the skewer test (described in recipe) will be your best friend. if using the same skewer you swirled with, make sure it's clean and dry.

Yield: one loaf

​Ingredients:
8 oz. unsalted buttermelted
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, room temperature
​1 tbsp + 2 tsp black cocoa
  
​1 tbsp + 1 tsp dutch-process cocoa 
1 ½ cups cake flour; OR 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, less 3 tbsp, plus 3 tbsp cornstarch

Tools:
8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan
parchment paper
skewer or thin knife
3 mixing bowls
3 spoons or spoonulas (my fav!)


Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack at center of oven. 
  2. melt butter, reserving butter wrappers. if microwaving, should be at 50% power in microwave safe measuring cup (makes it easier to pour later). stir butter to combine solids with fat. let cool.
  3. in a medium bowl, sift flour, (cornstarch, if using), baking powder and salt. set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. scrape down sides of bowl.
  5. give butter another stir to combine solids with fat. make sure it's completely cool. slowly pour butter into sugar mixture, mixing constantly. reserve measuring cup.
  6. With mixer set at lowest speed, slowly add sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
  7. grease pan with any excess melted butter in measuring cup. using butter wrappers, rub interior of pan to completely coat with butter. Line pan with parchment paper sling (this will help you lift cake out of pan later).
  8. remove 1 cup of batter and put in a separate mixing bowl. remove a second cup of batter and put in another mixing bowl. you will now have 3 bowls of batter.
  9. in original bowl, add dutch-process cocoa at lowest speed. mix until just combined. Do not over mix. set this bowl aside.
  10. in second bowl, add black cocoa at lowest speed. mix until just combined. Do not over mix. set this bowl aside.
  11. you now have three batter flavors: vanilla, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
  12. with three different spoons, spoon "blobs' of batter into prepared pan. no need to measure but each blob should be 1/8-1/4 cup. alternate between the three flavors, so different colors are next to each other. this will help create the swirled pattern later. continue spooning batter, alternating flavors so different colors are on top of each other. ​ see pix at bottom.
  13. gently tap pan, and shake pan to side, so batter settles.
  14. insert skewer or thin knife all the way to bottom of pan. swirl batter, creating repeating S patterns, drawing lines vertically, and then horizontally. go ONLY once in each direction. feel free to add some swirls on top like i did (last pic below), but, again, serious self-restraint is needed to avoid over-swirling. so tempting!
  15. Bake for 30 minutes. then carefully rotate pan and tent with aluminum foil.
  16. Bake for 40-55 more minutes, until a clean/dry skewer inserted in middle (all the way to bottom) comes out completely clean. the skewer test is the most important test for doneness.
  17. Let cool completely. insert knife at either end of pan (parts without paper) to gently loosen cake. remove cake from pan by lifting paper sling.
  18. ​store completely cooled cake airtight at room temp. best consumed the same day, but will be yummy the next morning with coffee. :-)
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<![CDATA[Linzer Cookies]]>Tue, 01 Jan 2019 16:39:32 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/linzer-cookies
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Yield: about 3 dozen 2” sandwich cookies 

​Ingredients:

8 oz. unsalted butter
room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, room temperature
​1 cup almond meal (I use Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find this in your store, grind roasted almonds in a food processor until finely ground.)

3 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup jam, or filling of choice




Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack at center of oven. Line baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, almond extract and salt. scrape down paddle and sides of bowl. Blend in egg. Mix in almond meal.
  3. With mixer set at lowest speed, add flour in ½ cup increments. Flour amount might vary a bit depending on the humidity of your kitchen. Add a touch more, or less, until dough is no longer sticky, but still holds together well. It should fall away from sides of bowl and paddle when nudged gently with a silicone spatula. Do not over mix.
  4. Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper. You can also roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, but I find the wax paper technique keeps the workplace neat and makes it super easy to remove cookie cutouts. Plus there’s no need to flour the paper, which means no danger of adding too much flour.
  5. Smooth wax paper as it wrinkles: Remove top piece of paper, smooth and replace, flip and continue to roll dough to 1/4” thickness.
  6. At this point, only if your kitchen is super warm, you could chill rolled out dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. But this step is totally optional.
  7. Remove top piece of wax paper one last time, replace, and flip. Remove top piece of paper and set aside.
  8. Cut out cookies, making a second, smaller cutout on the cookies that will serve as the top part of the sandwich. place 1/2” apart on baking sheet.
  9. Make sure to cut out an even number of tops and bottoms. If using an asymmetrical cutter,  flip cutter for half of cookies.
  10. Have a “dough scrap bowl” handy to collect the scraps as you cut out the cookies. Re-roll the scraps until all dough is used up.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and be sure to rotate pan halfway through baking. Bake until cookies are a light golden brown. Take care not to over bake.
  12. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
Assembly:
I personally like linzer cookies 1-2 days after assembly, when the jam has had a chance to meld with the cookie, resulting in a softer cookie. If you prefer your cookies crisp, assemble the day you plan to serve them.
The powdered sugar topping smudges easily, and after a few days, eventually soaks into the cookie in spots, resulting in a splotchy, not-so-attractive look. So you may want to assemble the day you're serving if you're using powdered sugar.
  1. place the cookies with the inner cutouts (sandwich tops) on a flat surface lined with wax paper or parchment. Dust the tops with powdered sugar using a strainer or, if you have one, a shaker with a mesh or perforated top. Note: this step is optional. If you prefer your cookies less sweet, you make want to skip the powdered sugar.
  2. The non-cutout cookies will serve as sandwich bottoms. spread a thin layer of jam on the bottom surface of cookie (the side that was touching the pan).
  3. Holding the sugar-dusted top cookie by the edges so you don’t smudge the sugar, gently place it on top of the jammed cookie. Make sure not to press them together. If you press, all the jam will squish out at the sides, which makes for messy and jam-less cookies. 

Storage:


  • You can store the unassembled cookies airtight at room temperature for up to two weeks. 
  • Assembled cookies can be stored airtight at room temperature for up to one week.  
  • If using powdered sugar, I recommend storing them single layer, or skipping the powdered sugar, especially if you’re shipping them.
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<![CDATA[Brooklyn Blackout Mint Shortbread]]>Wed, 19 Dec 2018 15:25:05 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/brooklyn-blackout-mint-shortbread
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Yield: about 60 2” cookies

Dough Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ tsp peppermint extract
¼ cup + 1 tbsp black cocoa (i use King Arthur)*
½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
5-6 tbsp 
water
4 tsp meringue powder (optional. i like Wilton)*
​crushed candy canes for sprinkling*



Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, peppermint extract and salt on medium speed until well blended. scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Stir in both cocoas, pulsing so you don't end up in a cocoa dust cloud, until just incorporated. add flour and mix just until blended, being careful not to over-mix  Dough should be firm and hold together well, but should no longer be sticky. You may need to adjust flour quantity.
  4. Divide dough in thirds and place each third on a sheet of wax paper. form into a flat disc. Cover disc with another sheet of wax paper, sandwiching dough between the two sheets.
  5. Roll out to a 1/4" thickness, smoothing any creases that develop in wax paper.
  6. Peel away & replace one sheet of wax paper (this will prevent dough from sticking when cutting cookies, and keep work surface clean). Flip entire "sandwich" over & remove top sheet of wax paper, leaving bottom sheet in place.
  7. Press cookie cutter into dough. place cutouts on baking sheet, 1" apart. 
  8. Roll out scraps & repeat, until all dough is used up. you may need to refrigerate the rolled out scraps if they become to warm & sticky. Repeat these steps with the other discs.
  9. sprinkle cutouts with coarse salt 
  10. Bake in a preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, front to back, top to bottom. Cookies are done when they look dry and finely crackled, and a slight depression remains when lightly pressed.
  11. Cool for 5-7 minutes on baking sheets, until sturdy enough to handle with a spatula. if you rush this, cookies may break. Place on wire racks to cool completely.
  12. Combine powdered sugar, salt (& meringue powder if using) and water and stir until smooth. Drizzle, pipe or spread icing over completely cooled cookies.
  13. while icing is still wet, add crushed candy cane topping.
  14. ​allow to dry for several hours before putting in airtight container. 
  15. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for 5-7 days. They're still fine after that, but will just start to dry out. (if there are any left!)
*some tips:
  • black cocoa — if you don't have access to this oreo-like wonder, you can substitute natural cocoa. But i HIGHLY recommend you make the effort to get it.
  • meringue powder in icing — use if you want icing to firm up completely, which is a good idea for presentation purposes if you plan to pack/gift them
  • crushed candy canes — for years i used the crush-in-ziploc-bag method and no matter how neat i tried to be, i found little sticky shards all over my kitchen for weeks. this year i used a food processor. so much easier and neater! and no need to freeze the candy canes, as i read many places online. just pulse till you get the size pieces you'd like. 
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<![CDATA[lemon poppy seed sugar cookies]]>Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:02:42 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/lemon-poppy-seed-sugar-cookies
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Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies

Dough Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tbsp lemon extract
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2.75-3 cups all-purpose flour

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
6-7 tbsp 
lemon juice (about two lemons)
4 tsp meringue powder (optional—use if you want icing to firm up completely, which is a good idea for presentation purposes if you plan to gift them. i like Wilton)
 
Toppings:

​2 tbsp poppy seeds
zest of one lemon, air-dried completely

 


You'll also need:
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
Wax paper
​Microplane/fine grater
Strainer

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until well blended. Add baking powder, salt, and lemon extract. mix for one minute. Add egg. mix until well-combined. Add poppy seeds.
  3. Stir in flour just until incorporated and smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix. Dough should be firm and hold together well, but should no longer be sticky. It should easily fall away from sides of bowl and paddle. You may need to adjust flour quantity.
  4. Divide dough in thirds and place each third on a sheet of wax paper. form into a flat disc. Cover disc with another sheet of wax paper, sandwiching the dough between the two sheets.
  5. Roll out to a 1/4" thickness, smoothing any creases that develop in wax paper.
  6. Peel away & replace one sheet of wax paper (this will prevent dough from sticking when cutting cookies, and keep work surface clean). flip "sandwich" over & remove top sheet of wax paper, leaving other sheet underneath dough.
  7. Cut out cookies & place on baking sheet, 1" apart. 
  8. Roll out scraps & repeat, until all dough is used up. you may need to refrigerate the rolled out scraps if they become to warm & sticky. Repeat these steps with the other discs.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven 10-12 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool two minutes on baking sheets. Place on wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Un-iced ​cookies can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.
 
 To make icing:
  1. Zest a lemon. spread out zest in a thin layer on parchment paper or cutting board and allow to air dry completely. depending on the humidity of your kitchen, it could take as little as a few hours, but may need overnight. you can skip the drying, but the moisture in the fresh zest may cause the icing to become splotchy.
  2. Juice the lemons, straining out any pulp.
  3. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice (& meringue powder if using) till just incorporated. you can certainly mix by hand (i often do for single batches). but if using an electric mixer, mix at lowest speed just until smooth. 
  4. Apply icing to completely cooled cookies.
  5. Add zest and poppy seed toppings within a minute of icing the cookie so they will adhere. pop any air bubbles that may appear.
  6. Allow to air dry for 8-12 hours, until icing is firm.
  7. Store any unused icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.
  8. Iced ​cookies can be stored at room temp for about a week.
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<![CDATA[glazed candied ginger cookies]]>Sun, 14 Oct 2018 17:05:07 GMThttp://lucky-bites.com/blog/glazed-candied-ginger-cookies
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Yield: About 30 cookies

cookie ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 egg
3 tbsp molasses
2 cups flour

ginger sugar mix 
ingredients
⅓ cup turbinado sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt



glaze ingredients
2 cups powdered sugar
5  tbsp. water
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch fine sea salt

topping ingredients
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped (Trader Joe's sells candied ginger) 
1 tsp sugar

you'll also need:
ice cream scooper (i like size #50 , which is 1 5/8" diameter)

method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. add baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. mix until well blended.
  3. Mix in egg and molasses. Tip: spray spoon with baking spray so molasses doesn't stick.
  4. Stir in flour just until incorporated and smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix. Dough should be firm and hold together well, but should no longer be too sticky. You may need to adjust flour quantity.
  5. to make ginger sugar mix, in a small bowl mix turbinado sugar, ginger and salt. 
  6. scoop dough and drop balls in coating, rounded side down. about ⅓ of the ball should be coated. do not coat the entire ball, because sugar on cookie bottoms may burn. 
  7. place balls flat side down on cookie sheet, 2" apart. bake for 8-9 minutes, until edges are golden, rotating pan halfway through. let cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes till firm enough to handle. Transfer to cooling racks.
  8. to make topping, place candied ginger and sugar in a sealed container and shake till combined. this will prevent ginger from sticking together. set aside.
  9. to make glaze: Combine powdered sugar, ginger, salt and water and stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over completely cooled cookies. 
  10. while icing is still wet, add candied ginger topping.
  11. ​allow to dry for several hours before putting in airtight container. store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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