Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentines Day Cookies

For a couple of years, one of the cookies I am most asked for is a red-velvet sandwich cookie, recipe courtesy of Paula Deen. These cookies are delicious and very much like eating a piece of cake. The problem with the original recipe is 1. It has a thick layer of cream cheese icing, which while delicious is not safe for shipping and 2. The cookie layers are very much like cake and they tend to stick together, stick to your fingers, just generally make a mess. None of these are good qualities for a cookie sold on the internet and often shipped to family and friends.

Last night, I accepted my own personal challenge to turn the original sandwich cookie recipe into something a little easier to work with. Using my personal cookie ratio, I made adjustments to the recipe (mostly removing wet ingredients). The first batch was delicious, but still a little poofy and cakey (as you can see in the photo below):

By the time these came out of the oven, I was so psyched up for having a new recipe in the bag that I became really frustrated about the cakey-ness and immediately set to work making more adjustments to the recipe.

One ingredient that has a big effect on the texture of the cookie is eggs. The original recipe called for 2 eggs and that seemed like it might be too much for a chewy cookie texture. I also adjusted the leavening and sugar. After deciding on my adjustments, it was back to the mixer for batch #2.

Finally, success!! A red velvet "cookie" that is truly a cookie. Although the texture is no longer like cake, I managed to retain the delicious flavor of red velvet cake.

I googled online to find out if there was a way for me to prepare a cream cheese flavored royal icing, but apparently that concoction is a chemical impossibility. So, I settled for cream cheese icing on these. Here's a sample of the finished product:

These turned out cute and just in time for valentine's day. I am still working on the icing issue - since cream cheese icing doesn't set up and cream cheese spoils, these are not ideal for storing or shipping. I had a great idea this morning for an alternative to standard cream cheese icing and I plan to try it out tonight. I'll keep you posted on the results. As soon as I nail an icing solution these will be available on the website.

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