>> Tuesday, January 09, 2007 – Cakes and Cookies
Not long ago, while scampering through a pile of books in a clearance sale, I picked up an edition of “Desserts-500 delicious recipes” by Ann Kay. Like in many of my spur of the moment cookbook purchases, I had no idea about this book altogether. It was in mint condition, had an elegantly styled photo on dust jacket and looked totally out of place in that tarnished assemblage of books. Priced barely under $15, studded with beautiful food shots and bearing a promising number of 500 in the title, the book marched straight into my collection. I am happy about it till this day ! The book is an interesting hodgepodge of dessert recipes ranging from an Indian Kulfi, to a Moroccan serpent cake, encompasses an array of well working recipes for cakes, pies, and frozen treats. I have relied heavily on this relatively no frills recipe book for many occasions, mainly as an inspiration for bringing in some diversity to the desserts I make.
Heterogeneity of the recipe collection is not the lone significant attribute of this book; there are plenty of refreshing takes on some of the popular desserts like Tiramisu. If you are willing to look beyond ladyfingers or if impatience bothers you when you wait for that bowl of tiramisu to chill off, there is a Tiramisu cookie recipe for you in the book. The recipe is for a soft and chewy sandwich cookie with a Mascarpone-coffee-rum center. The book recommends drizzling melted white chocolate all over the sandwich before decorating it further with chocolate shavings, a good idea as such. But I liked it better when I gave it a light and shade effect with dark and light coco powders. Making tiny little paper stencils for printing shapes on to these cookies is fun, make a heart, or make any shape you love. Falling for an eye candy dust jacket is a sin I commit often while buying cookbooks, but this one is an exception, I am not repenting!
Butter (at room temperature) – ¼ cup
Confectioners sugar – ½ cup
Egg, beaten- 1
All purpose flour- ½ cup
Mascarpone cheese – 2/3 cup
Rum – 1 tbsp (Optional, though recommended)
Instant coffee powder – ½ to 1 tsp
Brown sugar-3 tbsp
2 tbsp dark coco powder
1 tbsp light coco powder
* I used HERSHEY’S
To make the filling: Mix coffee powder with rum and beat together with the rest of the ingredients. Cover and chill until use.
To make cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degree. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg, mix well, mix in flour, and mix thoroughly to get a smooth batter. Fill the mixture in a piping bag fitted with ½ inch plain round nozzle (or simply make a cut of that size on the tip of a parchment /wax paper cone.), pipe 28 blobs on to the baking sheet, spaced slightly apart. Bake for 5-6 minutes. (Till the cookies are firm at the center and the edges are starting to brown) Remove from oven, and cool.
Assembling cookie Sandwiches
Take a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and fill with the prepared Mascarpone cream. Take a cookie; pipe a blob of cream filling and sandwich with another cookie of identical size. Repeat till all cookies are finished, and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take 2 tbsp light coco powder in a tea strainer and dust all over the cookies. Carefully place the paper stencils (size of the paper should be bigger than the cookie with a small cutout portion of the desired shape in the center) over the cookie and lightly dust with dark coco powder. Remove the stencils; you should be able to see the stenciled shape on the cookie. Refrigerate and serve, tastes great when served at room temperature too. Can be refrigerated for upto2-3 days, freeze up to a month.
* Recipe adapted from Desserts-500 delicious recipes – Edited by Ann Kay