Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    My new favorite cookie: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk: Chocolatey, Chewy and Salty. We'll have these baking next week for the month of April in our bakery. I think they would make a wonderful cookie gift for someone who likes a little old-fashioned and a little gourmet in their cookies.

I've been craving these cookies for awhile now. I love chocolate, I love sweets, I love salt. I know salt does not have a healthy sound to it with all the talk of "too much salt is bad for your blood pressure" but I do love salt. Combine salt with my OTHER favorite flavor of Sugar and then add chocolate and something chewy ( caramel ) well, you've just tasted one of my new favorite cookies. I recently said that the blueberry cobbler cookies we were baking at Country Cupboard Cookies in March was my favorite, but well, it's a new month and this cookie, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk is my Favorite.

We baked this cookie using our original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, everyone has a favorite, just be sure to use butter and the best chocolate you have. We use Barry Callebaut chocolate chunks, a nice semi-sweet chocolate here in our bakery, but any high quality chocolate will work. Then we added bits of Caramel. We used caramel bits from CK products, but you could caramel bits from the grocery store. One thing I learned is not to use large sizes of caramel, you want small pieces, no larger than a chocolate chip. This way the chewiness is not over-whelming and you won't spend all your time chewing and not enjoying the rest of the cookie! Press down the cookie slightly before baking and then sprinkle a nice Sea Salt over the cookie. Bake as usual. I found that a lot of the salt does dissolve when you bake so I added a very slight sprinkle after they came out of the oven. Don't overdo the salt, just a surprise flavor while you are enjoying the caramel and chocolate!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mini-Sugar Cookies for Spring & Easter

Spring this year brings our new Mini Sugar Cookies!

We are very excited about this line of sugar cookies. The size is small, 1.5 inches to 2 inches, perfect bite-size cookies. Everyone who sees them starts with "oh how cute!" or "So sweet! " The details are simple but for such small cookies, they really make a statement. We've chosen pretty spring colors, but I'm already thinking that later this summer we could decorate some of these sugar cookies in bright hot colors of orange, fuchsia and teal. The sugar cookies are made with a simple sugar cookie recipe, hand-rolled then cut with mini cookie cutters. We've flooded some of them and piped others with royal icing, also in springtime colors. Adding a sprinkle of sanding sugar gives a sparkly touch and a slightly crunchy texture to the cookies. They really do melt in your mouth!
The mini-sugar cookies in shapes of hearts and flowers are packaged in clear favor bags and tied with colorful raffias. Then the bags of 12 cookies each are gift boxed, ready to ship out for any occasion from Happy Birthday to Get Well soon!

An array of mini-sugar flowers in different sizes. So fun to decorate.
          Can't wait to start baking these mini-eggs, bunnies, flowers and chicks for Easter this year. These favor bags would make a great addition to any Easter Goodie Basket. Yummmm!


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