Jan 7, 2013

Happy Anniversary to You! Anniversary Cookies--That is!

As the go-to place for cooking, baking and other culinary delights, we get lots of requests for ideas. Be it bar mitzvah, upsheren or bridal events, we must always have a lot of great suggestions, ready to whip out (pun intended J)for every customer who asks.

No problem!—we say.  Our ideas our boundless and can be varied to fit your special occasion. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or any simcha, head on over to our store (or site) for new and exciting things to cook, bake and decorate. Some are elaborate, true; but we’ve got lots of great ways to cheat and take shortcuts for those times when you have to turn up with something delicious and have no time to spare.

Other ideas fall somewhere in between. They do require a bit of time but are pretty simple to follow like these dulce de leche anniversary cookies that I made for a 50th anniversary party. They are are new twist on classic linzer tarts or linzer cookies (also known as jam cookies). You can sandwich these cookies together with your favorite filling.

A few of the tasty treats set out for dessert

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
mm, mm--my favorite--I can eat it straight
out of the jar!
1 teaspoon baking powder, optional
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour

 1 jar dulce de leche dairy caramel
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Cream butter and sugar in your mixer bowl, scraping the sides of the bowl, if necessary.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Add the flour and optional baking powder one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.  Dough will be stiff. 

Some cookie recipes suggest letting the dough rest in the refrigerator to allow the gluten to relax making it easier to stretch and roll.  This particular recipe does not require refrigeration before rolling.  However, it can be refrigerated for up to two weeks and frozen for two months.

Cookies cut on my silpat

Use a Silpat silicone baking mat or parchment on your countertop. Roll out the dough, cut the cookies using a 4” square cookie cutter and lift the scraps.  In half the cookies use number cutters to cut out the number appropriate to your event. Lift out the scraps with the tip of a knife or metal spatula.

Be sure to leave the center of the "0" so you can put it on
 the cookie after you sandwich them together

Never move the cookies; cookies that are lifted and moved to a pan will inevitably be misshapen.  Rolling out dough on the Silpat will prevent this.   Slide the Silpat right onto a sheet pan and pop it in the preheated oven.  

Bake the cookies 8 to 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned at the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Place the cookies on a rack to continue cooling.  A cooling rack is a large metal grid that allows air to circulate preventing baked goods from “sweating” as they cool.   Wait for cookies to be completely cooled before continuing.

Working on parchment paper helps minimize the
mess in the kitchen

While the cookies are cooling, place the jar of dulce de leche in a pot of very hot water.  This will soften the caramel slightly so it’s easier to spread.

Spread dulce de leche carefully on the solid cookies. Use about 1 tablespoon for each—filling should be generous because you want the flavor of the caramel to shine.

Using a sieve or sugar shaker, dust the cut-out cookies liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Carefully place a dusted cookie on top of each creamed cookie and press together lightly.
That's it--you're done! Pretty simple but they look (and taste) great!

You can make these cookies in advance and freeze them for a few weeks. Store them between layers of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container.

To serve, allow them to come back to room temperature so the dulce de leche is really creamy. Line the cookies up on the table or place one at each setting as a party favor.
These were a really big hit at our party!

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