Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Daring Bakers Challenge Revealed

Honestly, the November Daring Bakers Challenge couldn't have been more timely or more up my alley if it tried. We were challenged to make cookies. Oh darn! ;)

The holidays are all about baked good (in my humble opinion) and getting the opportunity to try out a new cookie recipe was fantastic. I wound up making piped shortbread cookies and brownie bundles (a recipe I found online).

I used the baked goods as bribery to get people to participate in a food drive I coordinated at work. Our office is comprised of 3 floors and I pitted the various floors against each other ... all for the good of Northwest Harvest. The floor that filled its donation box first won homemade goodies and the 5th floor of our office won.

I was concerned that the piped shortbread cookies wouldn't quite be enough for everyone, so that's where the brownie bundles came into play. The double win to the brownie bundles is they also used up some of our leftover Halloween candies. Unfortunately, I didn't save the URL for the brownie recipe... seems to be a one-time experiment with that exact recipe. (Yes, I am too lazy to go back through our browser history to find it.) To add even more flair to the treats, I dipped half of the piped shortbread cookies in melted chocolate. Note: If you make the shortbread cookies, they are REALLY fragile and dipping them does result in several broken cookies.

The treats were a hit... how do I know? They were completely gone before 10 AM.

Piped Shortbread Cookies
(recipe courtesy of Peta Eats)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:8-10 minutes

1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) softened butter
1¼ cups (175 gm) (6 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
½ cup (65 gm) (2- 2/3 oz) confectioners' sugar
¼ cup (45 gm) (1½ oz) cornflour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla essence
Nuts, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries

1. Preheat the oven to moderate 300°F/ 150°C/gas mark 2
2. Combine butter, flours, vanilla and confectioner's sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beater. Mix on low speed until combined and then change to the whisk beater.
3. Beat for 10 minutes.
4. Pipe into rings.
5. Decorate with maraschino cherry pieces to look like little wreaths or leave plain.
6. Bake in preheated moderate oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.
7. Cool completely and drizzle with melted chocolate or icing (frosting) if you want to.

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

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