Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with my Failed Fudge Filling

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling - Candy Coated Culinista

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe came about out of a sense of urgency. Here’s the story: I have successfully made a marshmallow chocolate fudge recipe. The recipe was perfect but it was also colder out; and as I’ve come to learn the hard way… fudge is very temperamental. If it’s humid the fudge will not set no matter what, not even in the freezer. Feeling the urge to not be wasteful and throw the failed attempts out I am using my two failed fudge recipes today: Cheesecake fudge attempt number 2 and Marshmallow Pecan fudge attempt number 2. I wanted to make something like an ice cream sandwich recipe, but without the ice cream and I thought to try making shortbread cookies, and break in my new cookie cutters, and also re-purpose my failed fudge as a decadent filling.

Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1 ¾ sticks butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 tsp baking powder

Assembly/Method
Shortbread Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 4 minutes.
3. Add the egg and reduce speed to low then add the flour slowly along with the salt and baking powder until combined.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Lightly flour your working surface and roll out the dough until its 1 inch thick.
6. Use the cookie cutters to stamp out cookies.
7. Now place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Cookie Assembly
1. Spread the fudge spread into the middle of each cookie and place a second cookie on top, making a sandwich. Keep in mind not to spread the filling all the way to the edges.
2. Let the cookies set for a couple of hours and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“ OMG, the shortbread is sooo insanely good!! Thank you. They look so yummy and shortbread is my weakness. oohhhhhhlalalalala!”
“Thank you for the yummy cookies … you are so thoughtful!! “

My thoughts
It felt great not wasting my failed recipes. The shortbread turned out well, just golden on the edges and crumbly. Mr. C loved these so much; he ate some of my cookies I had stashed away to practice my cookie decorating skills on. Luckily I caught him before he had the chance to eat them all.

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Lemony Letdowns: Vanilla Cheesecake Fudge Attempt 1, 2, 3 (my “white whale”)

Have you ever seen a recipe you love? I mean everything about it, the idea, the name, the concept, the picture it drums up in your mind. Now as you may or may not know I’m not a fan of cheese cake, yet I make cheesecake for others. I really wanted this fudge recipe to work so badly, but for some reason it would not set. Mr. C. and I are suspecting it the cream cheese that won’t allow this to set, and that’s the main ingredient. So what is a Culinista to do? She keeps trying and trying to re-invent this recipe until it works, or until she goes crazy (“white whale”). Every time I do this recipe I get a little glimmer of hope, I say “I think this one’s going to work” only for it to be dashed away in the morning when I open the fridge to see an un-set mess before me. So I then say “maybe I can fast set it in the freezer.” To my chagrin this also doesn’t help and I am left stumped and sad.

I have read articles on “the chemistry of fudge” and yet I cannot get this to work. I sometimes want to give up, but then cream cheese goes on sale and its attempt # (fill in the appropriate number here.) The only good thing to come out of this is that on attempt 2, I learned the concept of re-purposing my disasters. Until then I was only re-purposing food sauces, and other ingredients.

Yield/Serving: 12 – 24 pieces (depending on size)
Difficulty level is: I’m going to say hard as this was a huge colossal fail or this type of fudge is not meant for me.

Attempt 1: From. Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to make at home by Nina Wanat
Ingredients
• 4 cups of sugar
• ½ cup corn syrup
• 6 ounces of milk
• 1 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds only
• 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.

Assembly
1. Oil an 8” round cake pan.
2. Bring the sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla seeds to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula. Boil to 250°F, stirring frequently. The syrup will become a light brown colour.
3. Pour mixture into a 9” x 13” baking pan, and let cool to 120°F, about 20 minutes.
4. Scrape the syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the cream cheese and salt. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and then mix on high-speed until the mixture thickens slightly and begins to hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour into prepared cake pan, and sprinkle with dried fruit. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
6. Unmold from the pan and cut in wedge-shaped cake slices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Review
This was a complete and utter failure. It never set and was runny in the pan in the freezer. The dried fruits sunk to the bottom of the pan so I ended up tossing it out.

Attempt 2
Ingredients
• 4 cups of sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds only
• 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.

Assembly
My variation
1. Put sugar, vanilla bean, cream cheese and salt together in mixer and mix until recipe thickens.
2. Pour into a pie dish or pan lined with plastic wrap and lightly oiled to set in fridge.
3. Add dried fruits and allow to set overnight.

Review
My second attempt was less wet as I wanted to see if I could get it to firm up with less liquid in the recipe; but it still wouldn’t set.

Attempt 3
A fudge recipe that has worked for me before.
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 1 ½ cup white chocolate chopped then melted in microwave in 30 sec intervals stirring every time
• 1 container of vanilla or cream cheese frosting (454g)
• 4 drops of vanilla extract

Assembly
1. Put all ingredients together in mixer and mix until recipe thickens.
2. Pour into a pie dish or pan lines with plastic wrap and lightly oiled to set in fridge. (Overnight to a day)
3. Depends on your altitude, humidity, fridge setting. Or try freezer. Like I said this is a temperamental foe.

Review
My result was the best yet, but still a little too soft. This recipe was a total experiment on my end, I tossed all caution to the wind and winged it with the very limited confection knowledge I have.

Please Don’t Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m not going to give up, I will keep trying every once and awhile. Check back here for more trials and errors.

Lemony Letdowns: Frosted Flakes Macarons

Lemony Letdowns: Frosted Flakes Macarons - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemony Letdowns: Frosted Flakes Macarons – Candy Coated Culinista

I had a 3 day weekend and decided I’m going to finally christen my Macaron making kit and make my most favourite confection. I had high hopes for this recipe, but as soon as I looked through the oven window I knew how this was going to turn out. I just have to remember that you can’t get good without some bad…I hope I just don’t have too many with my precious macarons.

From Picky Palate

Yield/Serving: 22-24
Difficulty level is: Very technical for a novice

Ingredients
• 95 grams egg whites (close to 3 large egg whites)
• 65 grams almond meal/flour
• 200 grams powdered sugar
• 25 grams granulated sugar
• 45 grams finely ground up Frosted Flakes Cereal
Honeyed Frosted Flakes Buttercream
• 1 stick softened unsalted butter
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/4 cup Frosted Flakes Cereal

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 280°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Weigh your egg whites, almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar and ground Frosted Flakes Cereal on your food scale.
2. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment add your weighed out egg whites, and sugar beating on medium speed. Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Takes close to 5 minutes. Set aside for a couple minutes.
3. Place the powdered sugar, almond flour and Frosted Flakes into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Place in a sifter or fine sieve and sift until all dry ingredients have passed through. Gently fold in the egg whites to the dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined.
4. Place batter into a large pastry bag with a large round tip attached. Pipe rounds, about ½” apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Give a good tap or two of the pan to remove any bubbles.
5. Bake macarons for 22-25 minutes. You’ll see a shell on top with “feet” around the edges. Let cool completely before removing. Once cooled, take an offset spatula to loosen from parchment. Pair the macarons close in size to each other to prepare for filling.
6. To prepare buttercream, beat softened butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Add honey and 1/4 cup crushed Frosted Flakes to the frosting, beating until combined. Place buttercream into a medium pastry bag with a large round tip attached and pipe a dollop of frosting on the center of a macaron and top with a second macaron. Serve room temperature. Store any remaining macarons in the refrigerator.

Tips
• Please note that all ovens are very different. These tips and instructions are a reflection of the picky palates kitchen and her oven.
• I had to use close to 5 extra large egg yolks to get the 95g. So make sure you have enough eggs on hand.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. said “They tasted great. Sure they didn’t look like a perfect macaron put they tasted delicious.”

My thoughts
I had high hopes for my first attempt at macaron for some reason. I keep reading how hard these are to make, but then I come across recipes that seem so simple and have less ingredients, tricks and techniques. My macarons were flat lifeless circles and looked nothing like the photo. They tasted good; maybe a little too sweet for me but next time I will be trying another recipe until I get these right. I opted to not make the frosted flakes buttercream when I saw how my macarons looked. Why waste a stick of butter and more ingredients. I used jam instead to see what it should have looked like if it came out the way I hoped.

I used the macaron mat for my first batch and they stayed more circular but the bottoms didn’t finish cooking. However, when I free formed my second batch they didn’t stay in circles but the bottoms were cooked. I will need to work on this for sure. This is also a great time for me to start practicing my piping skills, since I haven’t used a piping bag before either. I obviously have some work to do.

I hope to have a perfect set of macarons made by Macaron Day on March 20th 2014. Wish me luck.

To be continued…

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