Chocolate Madeline
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I buy my cocoa in 5 pound bags. I have two kinds. It’s very liberating to know I always have some in the pantry.

These Chocolate Madelines have super-duper flavor. Madelines are crunchy around the edges and tender in the middle. I have to write it down because I really don’t want to make a different chocolate madeline ever.

Recipe

.75 cup flour

.50 cup cocoa

hefty pinch of salt

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 ounces butter, browned, cooled

Melt butter, watch it for coloring, you want it browned not burnt. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. Combine the eggs with the sugar and whip until light in color, add the vanilla. Dump in the flour mixture. Combine. Add the melted butter, scrapping the brown bits in the pan into the batter. Allow the batter to sit 15 minutes on the counter. Butter the pan, then chill. Preheat the oven 400 degrees. I use a purple scoop, 3/4 ounce for each cake. Dish into the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. When touched and the spring back they are done. Dust with powdered sugar and eat within hours of baking.

Tricks-

Start the butter while assembling your other ingredients.

Take a scant amount, 1/2 teaspoon of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of flour and combine in a little dish, brush this on the pan before chilling the pan. If you chill the pan first the butter-flour mixture is gets cold when spreading on the pan and doesn’t move as smoothly.

I use Dutch cocoa as opposed natural cocoa. It’s better nearly always in my estimation, but if you really want to know more read the article linked. There is no leavening agent in these little cake. The lift comes from eggs, the shape of the pan and the heat of the oven.

This recipe would not translate well into a cake pan, don’t do that.

Red Velvet Cake
She’s a pretty little thing. The tablecloth not so much.

She’s a pretty little thing. The tablecloth not so much.

If I haven’t talked about the magic of Bundt pans to impress people before let me say it now. People ohh and ahh over a Bundt cake like nothing else. Go and get yourself a fancy pan or borrow one from a person over the age of 45. They come in cup capacity. If you don’t know the size of your pan, like how could you, it’s not stamped into the metal of the pan, fill it with water and count the cups. If you buy an old pan at the thrift store butter and flour it thoroughly, like grandma did. Not all nonstick surfaces are created equal.

This recipe fills an 11 cup Bundt Pan. The pan shown (Brilliance from Nordic Ware) is a 10 cup pan. I made a few cupcakes too.

Red Velvet Cake

3.5 cups flour

.5 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1.5 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoon red food coloring liquid or 2 tablespoons food coloring paste

1.25 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vinegar

Sift together flour, cocoa and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine oil, sugar and eggs. Mix until the sugar is close to dissolved. Add the vanilla and food coloring. Mix on low the add the 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, then 1/3 again the flour, the last half of the buttermilk and end with the last of the flour. Mix on medium high for 3-5 minutes, stopping to scrape the side. Put the baking powder in a small bowl and pour the vinegar into the baking powder and stir to dissolve. Pour this into the cake mixture quick, quick. Pour into a prepared pan, filling 3/4 of the way up. Bake 60-75 minutes or until a tester poked in the middle comes out cleanly. Cool 10 minutes in the pan then invert, remove from the pan to cool completely.

Marscapone Icing

8 ounces marscapone cheese

.75 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the ingredients. The sugar will loosen the cheese. Don’t add anymore liquid than the vanilla. Artistically dribble and spread it over the top of the cake.

Sour Cream Frosted Cookies Lofthouse Style
So very yummy!

So very yummy!

These are soft and not so sweet until you put the buttercream frosting on top. Much like shortbread there are very few ingredients happening here so go for the best you can afford, it really does make a difference. I rarely sift flour anymore, but similar recipes called for cake flour. I thought this might split the difference.

Cookie Recipe

8 ounces butter, room temperature

1.75 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

.5 teaspoon almond extract

6 cups flour, sifted before you measure

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

.5 teaspoon salt

Frosting

8 ounces butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons heavy cream

food coloring and sprinkles, if you’re feeling festive

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Cream the butter with sugar then add sour cream. Beat until no sugar crystals are visible. Add eggs, vanilla and almond. Separately, combine the dry ingredients. Add them in two additions to the creamed butter mixture. Rest the dough in the refrigerator minimally 20 minutes. You can scoop balls of dough and flatten or roll it between two pieces of parchment and cut with a cutter. I scooped and hand shaped the cookies pictured.

Place them on parchment covered cookie sheet and flatten more than you think you should. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the sheets if using more than one sheet at a time. Cool on a rack.

For the frosting cream the butter then add the remaining ingredients. Whip to add volume. I portion the frosting out on each cookie to make sure they all have the same amount, then spread the frosting with the back of a spoon to get it swirly. Sprinkle with decorative dragees soon after spreading the icing because it will dry and crust quickly.

Chill.

Yummy frosted cookies!

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Sometimes a person wants birthday cookies, not birthday cake! Happy Birthday Jessica!