Thursday, July 11, 2024

Confetti Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches


This is a sponsored post by Hudsonville, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!


Summer is all about making memories with the people who matter most. In my family, those happy moments usually involve ice cream. Ice cream is undeniably delicious on its own, but I wanted to create a recipe that was easily shareable and combined some of my favorite flavors from childhood.


This recipe for confetti cookie dough ice cream sandwiches consists of two layers of edible cookie dough sandwiching a layer of creamy Hudsonville ice cream. The edible dough comes together quickly, and I especially love how easy it is to cut and bite into straight out of the freezer. Also, there’s no baking involved, which means you don’t have to heat your house in the middle of summer.



Regular cookie dough isn’t safe to consume raw because it contains uncooked flour and eggs. Both have the potential to cause food poisoning and bacterial infections like salmonella. I did two things to ensure the cookie dough is safe to eat raw: I omitted the eggs, and I heat-treated the flour. The easiest way to heat treat flour is to put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 30-second intervals until the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This should take about one to one and a half minutes.


Sprinkles are an important part of the cookie dough—they’re both visually appealing and add great crunch. But not all sprinkles are created equally. The best sprinkles to use are confetti sprinkles. “Jimmy” style sprinkles bleed colors, and I find them to be a little mushy.



Now, let’s talk about the best part of this recipe—the ice cream! When making ice cream desserts, it’s very important to use a high-quality brand because the consistency holds its shape better. That’s why I only use HudsonvilleHudsonville is a family-owned Midwest company. They make their ice cream with fresh milk and cream from local farms to ensure the ice cream is as creamy as possible.


Both the Superscoop ice cream and the Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream work very well in this ice cream sandwich recipe. Superscoop is made with thick, creamy swirls of Black Cherry, Blue Moon and Vanilla, which makes the colorful confetti cookie dough layers even more fun. And I knew Strawberry Cheesecake's tangy ice cream with tart strawberry swirls would complement the sweet confetti cookie dough perfectly.



The process for making the ice cream sandwiches involves two freezings. The first freezing occurs right after you make the cookie dough. In order to evenly spread the ice cream on the dough, it must be frozen. I divide the cookie dough into two equal parts, press it into two even layers in an 8x8-inch pan lined with parchment paper, and freeze it until firm, or about one hour.


Then I spread the ice cream on one layer of frozen cookie dough before finishing it off with the top layer of dough and returning it to the freezer. I like to allow for at least 4-6 hours of freezing time before cutting and eating the ice cream sandwiches.


One of the best parts about this dessert is how much fun it is to share with others. No matter what your summer plans entail, you'll surely create sweet moments and memories sharing Hudsonville ice cream with family and friends.


Use this Scoop Locator tool to find Superscoop ice cream and Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream near you. You can find them at Walmart, Meijer, and Fresh Thyme stores in the Indianapolis area.




Confetti Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yield: Makes about 9 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (cow milk or nondairy milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons confetti sprinkles
  • 1 1/2 pints (24 ounces) Hudsonville Superscoop or Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream

Directions

  1. Place flour in microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave in 30-second intervals until temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This should take about 90 seconds. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Stir in milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt.
  3. Slowly stir in flour and mix until smooth. Fold in confetti sprinkles.
  4. Line 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Press half the dough into even layer on parchment paper.
  5. Top dough with second layer of parchment paper and press remaining dough into even layer.
  6. Move baking pan to freezer. Freeze dough for at least 1 hour.
  7. Remove pan from freezer and separate layers of cookie dough. Reuse parchment paper to line pan and return one layer of cookie dough to pan.
  8. Spread Hudsonville ice cream over cookie dough and place remaining frozen dough layer on top of ice cream.
  9. Cover top of cookie dough with parchment paper and return pan to freezer. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
  10. When ready to serve, remove pan from freezer, run knife under hot water, wipe dry, and cut into equal squares. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Raspberry Sweet Corn Cobbler Cake

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

The plethora of produce may be my favorite part of summer, and I'm a big proponent of celebrating that produce in the form of desserts. My father-in-law's raspberry plants, which fruit twice a year and provide us with bowls and bowls of raspberries, inspired the dessert recipe I'm sharing today. You can substitute other berry varieties, if you wish.

Also, I love using corn in desserts as much as possible. I don't think enough people capitalize on its sweet capabilities. So instead of using milk in the dessert batter, I used corn juice. Yes, you read that correctly—corn juice!  The milky, starchy juice from the kernels adds an incredible amount of flavor.

I collect the corn juice by grating ears of fresh sweet corn on a box grater. I usually get about 1/3 cup juice with pulp per ear of corn. The amount you get depends on how fresh and in season the corn is. I use the pulp along with the juice in this recipe. There's no need to strain it. Also, I think it provides good texture.


One last thing--I developed this recipe last week in the middle of a heat wave when our air conditioner was struggling to keep the inside of our 200-year-old house cool. So I baked this recipe on the grill. Baking on the grill isn't much different than baking in the oven. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place your cast-iron skillet over an area of the grill without direct heat. If you've never baked on your grill, you'll want to check it periodically to make sure the temperature remains consistent.

Side note: The first step of this recipe is to melt a stick of butter in the pan. I use Challenge unsalted butter because it's all-natural, made with real milk, and melts evenly.

Raspberry Sweet Corn Cobbler Cake

Yield: Makes about 6 - 8 servings

Time: About 1 hour

Ingredients

For the raspberries

  • 16 ounces fresh raspberries (or frozen raspberries, thawed and drained)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (13 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For the batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (132 grams)
  • 1/4 cup medium or coarse-ground yellow cornmeal (38 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) corn juice from about 3 ears corn 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Challenge unsalted butter

Directions

For the raspberries

  1. In medium bowl, combine raspberries with sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.

For the batter

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl
  3. Use box grater to grate corn over bowl to collect milky juices and pulp; discard corn cobs. Measure out 3/4 cup juice and pour into flour mixture. 
  4. Mix just until dry ingredients are moist.
  5. Place 10-inch cast-iron skillet on grill. Add butter to skillet and allow to melt.
  6. Remove skillet from heat and scrape in batter. Spread into even layer as much as possible. Butter will pool at sides.
  7. Spoon raspberries with juices over batter.
  8. Bake over indirect heat in covered grill until cake is golden, about 30-40 minutes.
  9. Allow cobbler cake to cool for about 15 minutes before serving with ice cream.
  10. Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Grilled doughnut strawberry shortcakes

 

I made grilled doughnut strawberry shortcakes for National Doughnut Day! This dessert contains three components, all of which (except the grilling) can be done in advance. My goal with this strawberry shortcake recipe was to make it as easy as possible with minimal last-minute prep work so you have more time with friends and family in the backyard at the grill. 

Let's discuss a few questions you may have before getting to the recipe.


What does it mean to hull strawberries? 

It means to remove the green leafy top plus a little bit of the flavorless white core.

What does it mean to macerate the strawberries?

When we macerate strawberries, we sprinkle a little sugar on the strawberries around 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours) before serving. We do this because the hygroscopic properties in sugar draw out the juice from the berries creating a delicious syrupy mixture that’s perfect for shortcakes.

Why use ricotta filling instead of whipped cream?

Whipped cream would be just as delicious in this recipe. However, whipped cream must be made right before serving. And my goal is to make this strawberry shortcake recipe as easy as possible with minimal time in the kitchen right before serving and more time in the backyard at the grill. Ricotta doesn’t have the same buttery mouthfeel as whipped cream, but it’s still very creamy and refreshing.

Why and how would I grill doughnuts?

Grilled doughnuts become really soft and warm on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, plus the grilling helps to caramelize the sugars in the doughnuts, creating a more complex flavor. Also, it just looks really cool to serve a grilled doughnut to guests!

Preheat your grill to medium heat. Cut the doughnuts in half like a bagel, and place them on the grill for just about 1 minute on each side. You’ll need to watch closely so they don’t burn.

Assemble the shortcakes immediately and serve. If the grilled doughnuts sit too long, they become cold and hard.

Grilled doughnut strawberry shortcakes

Yield: 6 servings

Time: About 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the strawberries

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced about 1 centimeter thick
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

For the ricotta filling

  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 orange, zested (optional)

For assembly

  • 6 glazed donuts, cut in half horizontally

Directions

For the strawberries

  1. Mix sliced strawberries with sugar in large bowl. Allow to macerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. If planning to macerate longer than several hours, place strawberries in refrigerator.

For the ricotta filling

  1. In food processor, process ricotta cheese, honey, and optional orange zest until smooth, about 20 seconds. Don't over whip ricotta because it will turn to liquid.
  2. Transfer to bowl, cover, and store in refrigerator until ready to assemble. This can be made and stored in refrigerator up to 3 days in advance.

For assembly

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Place doughnut halves on grill until lightly charred, about 30 second to 1 minute on each side. Remove doughnuts from grill.
  2. To make shortcakes, dollop whipped ricotta onto bottom halves of each doughnut. Spoon strawberries over ricotta and place top half of each doughnut on top. Serve immediately.



Thursday, May 16, 2024

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting


This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Early summer is filled with celebrations--graduation parties, end of school year celebrations, Indy 500, etc. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with cookie cake. Cookie cakes are incredibly easy to make. In fact, they're easier to make than actual cookies. So under no circumstances should you actually buy a cookie cake when you can make one that tastes 100 times better.

My favorite recipe includes instant vanilla pudding powder. I have tried and tried to make cookie cake without pudding mix, and it is just not the same. The pudding mix makes helps the cookie cake retain moisture and makes it extremely soft and chewy. Also, I think the vanilla in the pudding gives the cookie a deeper flavor.

Cookie Cake FAQ

What type of pan do I use?

My preferred cookie cake pan is 12 inches in diameter. I actually like to use a deep-dish pizza pan. When I make a cookie this large, I do not remove it from the pan, primarily because I don't have a big enough serving dish to put it on. And I think it looks just fine. But if I make smaller 9-inch or 6-inch cookie cakes, I line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Then once the cookies cool, I go around the edge with a butter knife to loosen it, and the cookie cake pops right out. Regardless of what size pan you use, the dough should be about 1/2-inch thick in the pan.

Why use melted butter?

The best part about cookie cakes is you don’t have to use a mixer for the dough. You can just melt the butter and stir everything together because we aren’t worried about individual cookies spreading too much. I always use Challenge unsalted butter. It melts really well, and I think it tastes better than other brands.

What type of chocolate chips?

I actually like to use a mini chocolate chips for a more even distribution of chocolate. Also, it makes it easier to cut into the cookie cake.

How do I decorate it?

I like to decorate the cookie cake with buttercream frosting. I included my frosting recipe in this post. You can color the frosting with food coloring or just leave it. I use a piping bag fitted with a star tip for the border, and I leave the center open to write a message. Writing with frosting takes a lot of practice, so don't get discouraged if you mess up. You can always scrape off the frosting and try it again. And always top it off with sprinkles!

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Yield: 1 (12-inch) cookie cake or 2 (9-inch) cookie cakes or 4 (6-inch) cookie cakes

Time: About 90 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookie cake

  • 12 tablespoons (170 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar 
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (168 grams)  mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (226 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (450 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) heavy cream

Directions

For the cookie cake

  1. Move oven rack to lowest setting and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pan or pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again.
  2. In large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide cookie dough evenly among pans and press down until evenly distributed. Dough should be about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes for 12-inch and 9-inch cookies and about 15 minutes for 6-inch cookies. Edges should be golden brown and center should be just barely set.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
  8. Once cool, use knife to loosen edges. Remove cookies from pans and transfer to serving dishes.

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  1. Beat butter on high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down bowl with spatula.
  2. With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl after addition of every cup. 
  3. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in heavy cream 1 Tablespoon at a time until frosting is desired consistency for piping. Frosting should be medium stiffness. You should be able to pipe easily without putting too much pressure on bag.
  5. Use food coloring to color frosting if desired.
  6. Decorate cookie cake and serve.
  7. Cover leftover cookie cake and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

 


Saturday, May 4, 2024

Pesto goat cheese lasagna

 


Mother's Day is coming up, and I want you all to give it the proper amount of planning and attention it deserves. Also, you need to know, mom's don't want breakfast in bed. The idea of a sticky, crumby mess in my bed makes me squirm. Your mom would much prefer for you to make her dinner. And she doesn't want you to ask her what she wants. She wants you to just do it. And most importantly, she doesn't want to see a messy kitchen afterwards. The kitchen should be just as clean, nay cleaner than before you stepped foot into it.

So you're going to make her this pesto lasagna, and I'm going to make it as easy as possible for you. This lasagna has 3 parts: pesto meat sauce, cheese mixture, and noodles. You can definitely customize each of these components to a degree.

The pesto sauce: Instead of a tomato-based sauce, I used pesto. Like I said, I want this to be as easy as possible for you, so just buy pesto. Other than the pesto, it's a pretty standard meat sauce for lasagna. If you want a meatless lasagna, replace the sausage with sauteed asparagus and wilted spinach. You can make this a day in advance to make prep easier.

The cheese mixture: I'm going to throw you for a loop with the addition of goat cheese to the cheese mixture. Goat cheese adds subtle tanginess to lasagna that really makes it stand out. Also, it pairs really nicely with a little lemon zest to brighten the flavor. If that's too weird for you, just substitute cottage cheese.

The noodles: I am Team No-Boil Lasagna Noodles all the way! Not only does it eliminate a step, but they're also thinner than regular noodles so they better mimic the texture of fresh-made pasta. Just make sure all parts of the noodle is covered in sauce. Any part of the noodle that is left exposed won't get cooked.

Assembly is easy once the three parts are made. Always put a little sauce on the bottom so the bottom noodles don't burn and stick to the baking dish. Then your layering should look like this: Noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

To make things even easier, you can prep and refrigerate the entire unbaked pan of lasagna up to 3 days in advance. On baking day, move the pan of lasagna out to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

Pesto goat cheese lasagna

Yield: Makes about 12 servings

Time: About 90 minutes

Ingredients

For pesto meat sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sausage

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 12 ounces pesto

For cheese mixture

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 10 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest


For assembly

  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (one 8-ounce package)
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (about 4 cups)

Directions

For pesto meat sauce

  1. Place deep pan over medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add sausage to pan. Break up sausage while cooking until only a little pink remains, about 4 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low, add shallot and saute for several minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  3. Add wine and stir for about 2 minutes until wine nearly evaporates.
  4. Stir pesto into sauce ingredients and remove from heat.

For cheese mixture

  1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, goat cheese, lemon zest, and egg.

For assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Spread 1/4 cup pesto sauce (just enough to cover bottom) on bottom of 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  3. Add 4 noodles to bottom of dish. Spread on 1/3 of meat sauce. Spoon on and spread top with 1/2 of cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella on top. 
  4. Add 4 noodles on top of cheese. Spread on 1/2 of remaining meat sauce. Spoon on and spread top with rest of cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella on top. 
  5. Add 4 noodles on top of cheese. Spread on remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and broil 2 minutes, or until cheese turns golden. Rest 30 minutes before cutting. 

                                                                                                             

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chocolate chia seed dirt pudding

It's almost Earth Day, and I'm making pudding cups featuring one of the most sustainable plant foods you can consume: chia seeds!

What makes chia seeds so sustainable? The plant grows well in arid regions, and they have a low water footprint; they don’t require pesticides or chemicals to grow; and they have a low carbon footprint--in fact, they make the air we breathe cleaner. 

Back to the dirt pudding cups—there are 3 parts: chocolate chia seed pudding, chocolate granola, and worms made out of dates.


I made the pudding with chia seeds, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, milk (plant or cow), a little maple syrup for sweetener, and vanilla extract. The trick to make it silky smooth and not have a weird texture is to blend it after the chia seeds soak.

For the chocolate granola I used "Clay’s Chocolate Buzz” Warrior Snack Mix from Bee Free. It's a local, woman-owned company that uses non-processed ingredients and does a lot of good for the community.


Chocolate chia seed dirt pudding

Yield: Makes about 4 (8-ounce) pudding cups

Time: 20 minutes prep, 4 hours wait time

Ingredients

For the chocolate chia pudding

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups milk (plant-based milk or cow milk)
  • 1 cup chocolate granola crumbles (I use Clay’s Chocolate Buzz Warrior Mix by Bee Free)

For the worms

  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 3 Tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Directions

For the chocolate chia pudding

  1. Mix chia seeds, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt in medium-sized bowl.
  2. Slowly pour in milk, whisking as you pour. Incorporate any clumps sticking to sides.
  3. Cover pudding and refrigerate at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
  4. Pour chia seed pudding into blender and blend until smooth.

For the worms

  1. Blend everything in food processor. Dough should be sticky but manageable. If dough is too sticky, add another tablespoon of almond flour.
  2. Pinch off pieces of dough and shape into worms.

For assembly

  1. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate granola crumbles in bottom of jar.
  2. Add layer of pudding to about halfway up. Layer 2 more teaspoons of granola on top of pudding.
  3. Top off with another layer of pudding and 2 teaspoons granola.
  4. Place worms on top and serve.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Blackout Chocolate Eclipse Cookies


This is a sponsored post by Danish Creamery, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know about the total solar eclipse on April 8. Indianapolis is lucky enough to be in the path of totality, and it's considered one of the best places to view the eclipse. City leaders expect upwards of 100,000 people in the downtown area, and there are dozens of viewing parties planned across central Indiana. You all know I love a theme, so I thought it was only appropriate to make eclipse-themed cookies.

Regular chocolate cookies simply would not do. I needed black cookies to mimic the total blackout. Thankfully, I achieved that with black cocoa powder. 

Let's talk about cocoa powders. There are 3 main types of cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa powder, and black cocoa powder. We make all cocoa powder from bits of hulled and roasted cacao beans called nibs, and they're all unsweetened in powder form. 

Natural cocoa powder retains the natural acidity of the cacao beans. It has a light color and tastes mild. It's the classic chocolate flavor you think of and the type of cocoa powder used in your grandma's favorite recipes.

Dutch-process cocoa is natural cocoa treated with an alkalizing solution, usually potassium carbonate. The solution neutralizes the acidity, resulting in deeper, smoother chocolate flavor.

Black cocoa powder is even more intensely treated with an alkaline solution, resulting in the deepest black color. Black cocoa powder is the reason Oreos have an intense chocolate flavor but they're black, not brown.

Technically, yes, they are interchangeable, but because natural cocoa powder is acidic and the other two aren't, it will affect the chemical leaver if one is present in the recipe. ALSO, it's important to think about what flavor-profile you're trying to achieve before you choose your cocoa powder.

When I use black cocoa powder in a recipe, I typically use a 1:1 ratio of black cocoa powder and Dutch-process cocoa powder.


Okay, now let's move on to talking about the rest of the recipe. These chocolate cookies are shortbread cookies. Traditional shortbread cookies have very few ingredients: sugar, butter, flour. Because of that, you want to use the best ingredients available. That is why I always use European butter in my shortbread cookies. 

European butter is significantly richer in flavor because of its higher butterfat percentage. I use Danish Creamery Unsalted European Style Butter. American butter is 80% butterfat. Most European butter sold in the United States contains 82% butterfat. But the butterfat content of Danish Creamery European Style Butter is 85%. It may not seem like a big deal, but those few percentage points make a big difference when you taste it.

As far as which sugar to use in shortbread cookies, I prefer powdered sugar. Powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which helps contribute to thicker/softer cookies. Cookies made with granulated sugar are more crisp.

One more thing I want to point out—the directions as written are for "slice and bake" cookies, which means I formed the dough into a log, rolled it up, and then sliced it after refrigeration. But if you prefer cleaner, smoother edges, you can roll out the dough and use a 2-inch circle cookie cutter instead.

If you want to decorate the cookies so it looks like the sun is peeking out from behind the moon, dip one edge of the cookie in melted white chocolate and decorate with yellow sprinkles. Additionally, you can sandwich two of the cookies with frosting, like an Oreo. I made a mocha buttercream for my cookies, and I included that recipe below.

Blackout Chocolate Eclipse Cookies

Yield: Makes about 32, 2-inch diameter cookies

Time: About 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons (18 grams) black cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (18 grams) dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) Danish Creamery European Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: white chocolate, yellow sugar sprinkles, buttercream filling

Directions

  1. Stir together flour, both cocoa powders, and salt in bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Scrape bowl with spatula. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape down bowl and add flour mixture. Blend on low speed until dough comes together.
  4. Lay out piece of plastic wrap and dump dough into center. Use hands to compress and roll dough into 2-inch diameter log.
  5. Wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator. 
  7. Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  8. Cut dough into 1/3-inch thick slices and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating pan at 6-minute mark.
  10. Allow to cool on pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
  11. Once cooled, if desired, dip edge of cookie in to melted white chocolate and cover with yellow sprinkles to resemble sun peeking out from behind moon during eclipse.
  12. Another option: Turn over half the cookies and spread layer of frosting on bottoms. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.


Mocha Buttercream

Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Time: About 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (227 grams) Challenge Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 cups (226 grams) powdered sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Cream butter, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in mixing bowl on low speed until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat until combined.

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