Much Ado About Stuffing

Much Ado About Stuffing

Happy Valentine’s Day! Can’t have too many delicious treats.

Chocolate Malt White Chocolate cookies. Red Velvet cupcakes

 Proust Had His Madeleine, but for me, that transporting taste is a black-and-white-malted. Did you love Friendly’s? I sure did. My dad would take us there for lunch after Sunday School, they were a favorite treat for bunk-night-out at summer camp, sipped, hanging out in the parking lot, during high school. (There was not all that much to do in Norwich, Ct. so we hung out in the Friendly’s Parking Lot.) When I got to college, they were, curiously, called “cabinets” but still my favorite for study breaks. I just love the taste, and of course, the memories that swirl through the froth. As for the Red-Velvet cake thing? Truly, it’s not my idea of a special treat… I mean, all that red food coloring? I looked around to find a recipe that used beets or something, but finally gave in to Ina’s Classic. But don’t infer from the posting of this recipe  that I actually approve. If you want the fad, go for it, and, if you can’t see yourself actually pouring an entire bottle of food dye into your cake, Ina will do it for you… the Boxed Mix is almost as good as the scratch version.

Chocolate Malted Cookie Sandwiches with White Chocolate Filling
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons hot water
10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup plain malted milk powder
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda,
and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high
speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream, vanilla, and hot water.
Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.
Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 4 inches apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12
minutes. Remove to cool on wire racks, keeping cookies on the silpats. When thoroughly cool, these can keep in an airtight storage container for 2 days.
Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave for about 30 seconds, or in a heatproof
bowl set over a pan of simming water, stirring. Cool. With an
electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium
speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture,
and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until very thick, at least one hour or up to a day. Beat
on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Match up cookies of similar sizes into pairs. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the filling
onto the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie until the
filling pushes to the edges of the cookies. Repeat with remaining pairs
of cookies. Decorate with a dab of filling, and a candy heart if desired. Cookies can be kept at room temperature between layers of
parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days, if you can keep from eating them all immediately.



Red Velvet Cupcakes
source: Ina Garten, 2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • Red Velvet Frosting, recipe follows
  • Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

    In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking
    powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the
    buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
    beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute, until light.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. With the mixer on
    low speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternately
    in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until
    combined. Stir with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is mixed.
    Scoop the batter into the muffin cups with a 2 1/4-inch ice cream
    scoop or large spoon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick
    inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans and
    frost the cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting.

Red Velvet Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (3/4 pound)
Place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in
the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and
mix on medium speed just until combined. Don’t whip! Add the sugar and
mix until smooth.



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