Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I've seen recipes for this kind of cookie before, but never really gotten around to trying them. Things that are gluten free usually don't taste very good to people that aren't allergic to gluten. But these cookies really are amazing! I love that you can make them so quick. The dough goes together really quickly, I think the total time between making the dough and baking the cookies was less than half an hour. They are also really versatile, you can make them like standard peanut butter cookies, rolling them in sugar, or add chocolate chips to it and make them like a chocolate chip cookie. I doubled the recipe so that we could try them both ways. Our family loved these cookies. 


Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
as seen on Our Best Bites

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar for rolling (optional)

or

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)






Cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. If adding chocolate, mix that in too. Use a small ice cream type scoop or a tablespoon to make cookie balls. You can flatten with a fork for a classic peanut butter cookie look or leave as a rounded ball and roll in sugar if you want to.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar cookies are one of my very favorite treats and for me, a must have on Valentine's Day. I was unable to make regular sugar cookies this year, but I came across this recipe on Our Best Bites and knew I had to try it. I love the easy, no refrigeration, no roll out method of making these. But I think my very favorite part was the flavor of the cookies. These cookies taste like yummy shortbread cookies with yummy frosting. They are well worth the few minutes that it takes to put them together! For our family, I halved the recipe and simply baked it in my 9 x 13 metal pan. Next time I'll make the full batch in the cookie sheet and share with neighbors. 

Sugar Cookie Bars
as seen on Our Best Bites

For the cookie bars
2 cups butter (4 sticks), softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon almond extract
6 cups flour (make sure to spoon lightly into measuring cup)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with baking spray.

In your stand mixer cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (between 2 to 5 minutes). Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Place the lump of dough into the prepared cookie sheet and spread out with your hands as evenly as possible. I have a hand-held rolling pin with two smallish rollers that I used to smooth out the dough so there were no fingerprints.

Bake cookie bars for 20 to 30 minutes. Mine were done at 22 minutes. You want them to be a golden color across the top. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and the almond extract. Slowly, add the milk. I usually do this by tablespoons and only add enough to make your frosting spreadable. I find this works best in my stand mixer, using my paddle/scraper attachment. 






Friday, February 14, 2014

How to Glaze Sugar Cookies Like a Pro

If you've followed our blog for awhile you know that Cutler's will occasionally host a cooking class. Unfortunately, we've run out of both parking and room for people to come for a class, so we've come up with a new idea with Si from A Bountiful Kitchen, the virtual class. Last week, we were able to go to Si's amazing kitchen and whip up some of Cutler's Famous Sugar Cookies. Si especially wanted to do the glazed ones, and that's kind of what I wanted to show you, this has been one of those things when we've done cooking classes that make people go crazy. I'm not actually going to post the recipe here, you can check out the link above from last year when I posted it though. I am posting just a few pictures from that fun day though. 



The first picture is Curt making sugar cookie dough and to the left is Si cutting out the cookies. You can also go to Si's blog and check out her step by step instructions for making these great sugar cookies. I have to say she did an awesome job with this post! 



 Now on to how to glaze cookies like a pro. First step go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy one of these pans like the picture to the right. You'll find it in the drywall area, it's a mud pan. Next make the glaze, recipe found here or here. Fill the pan with the glaze. You will also need a standard cookie sheet and a wire rack that fits in the cookie sheet, I bought mine at Orson Gygi, love that store! Place your cookies on the wire rack on the tray and pour the glaze slowly over the top of them, I know that Si posted an awesome Gif image in her blog. You can also just put the glaze in a flat dish and dip the cookies in it and smooth with the flat edge of a knife.





Here's the video I took of Curt glazing the cookies. This always amazes the audience when we teach cooking classes. 
video



Here's the finished product.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cutler's Mint Brownies

I've had several people comment in the last little bit that we have the recipe for the marshmallow brownie on our blog, but not the mint brownie. I guess that's just because the base of the cookie and the chocolate frosting are exactly the same in both. The only real difference is the mint frosting. These cookies are one of our very most popular cookies that we sell in our bakeries. They are really yummy!

Cutler's Mint Brownies

For the cookies:
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/3 cups flour (we use cake flour, but you can also use all purpose)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients and mix. Cookies can be rolled, formed into drop cookies, or pressed into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (double both the recipe and the baking time). To get brownies like Cutler's roll out the dough to about the thickness of a pencil, cut with round cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cookies are done when the top is slightly cracked and no longer looks wet.


For the mint frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring

Mix the butter and powdered sugar. Add only enough milk to make a smooth consistency, I usually start with 1 tablespoon and check to see if it needs more. Add mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. The frosting should be thick, not runny.

For the chocolate frosting:

1 cup butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat softened butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add the vanilla and a splash of milk (just enough to make a good spreading consistency) and blend well.

Assembly: Spread the cooled cookies with about 1 tablespoon of the mint frosting. Allow to set up for 10 -20 minutes to make spreading chocolate frosting easier. Top the mint frosting with the chocolate frosting.