Rolled Butter Cookies – Best Recipe so Far

Camila wanted to make Christmas cookie, and while I have a pretty good recipe, it called for some ingredients that I didn’t have at home. That was fortunate, because while searching for another recipe I came upon this one, from butter company Land 0’Lakes.  I like it more than my regular recipe, specially with the frosting.

Without the frosting the cookies are too dry.  That’s because of all the extra flour you use on them while you roll them.  Making them thicker helps – mine were too thin.  The icing, however, helps tremendously.  The best part was that the kids didn’t like them that much – Mika found them too dry and while Camila likes to make baked goods, she doesn’t really like to eat them.  The flavor was very good and, yes, you need all that vanilla extract.  All the recipes for rolled cookies I’ve found call for orange juice or lemon juice, so I suspect the citric acid element is needed for chemical reasons.

The key to making rolled cookies is getting the dough at the right temperature to make them rollable. It takes 2-3 hours in the fridge, but I’ve noticed that 45 minutes in the freezer also do the trick.  Work with dough in small batches.  As soon as one gets too soft, put it back in the fridge and get another one.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour + more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 1″ squares of plastic wrap

Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk
  • Food coloring, as desired

Instructions

For the cookies

With an electric mixer at medium speed, cream the butter with the sugar and the egg.  Add the orange juice and vanilla extract and continue mixing until combined.  Add the flour and baking soda and mix at low speed until combined.

Wrap 1/4th of the dough. with each plastic wrap square. Flatten slightly.  Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Lightly flour a working surface and a rolling pin.  Roll out one package of batter to a 1/4″ thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place 1″ apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.  It’s ready when the edges of the cookie start to turn brown.  Remove from oven and let stand for one minute before transferring to cooling racks.

Repeat with the rest of the dough.

For the Icing

Using an electric mixer at low speed, beat together the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla.  Scrape the sides of the bowl often.  Add enough milk for your desired consistency.
Divide into small bowl and color each one with food coloring.  Spread over cookies and allow to dry.
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Swiss Delices bakery – Castro Valley – Review

A few weeks ago I got a $20 voucher for $10 for Swiss Delices fine bakery & pastry through GotDailyDeals.com.  I hadn’t tried the bakery before, but it got fairly good reviews on Yelp.  After having tried a couple of their offerings, my conclusion is that it is fairly good, but overpriced.

Once I got to the bakery I realized that the voucher was only good for “morning pastries” (e.g. danishes and scones), bread and full cakes.  Neither the beautiful looking individual dessert cakes (~$4) or the cookies (75-cents) were included.  That was a pity because that’s what I was most interested in getting.  We ended up getting a dozen cookies to take with us to an event, and a small chocolate mousse cake to enjoy yourselves.  Cakes start at $28, so even with a voucher you end up paying $18 + tax for what is a relatively small cake.

I enjoyed both the cookies and the cake but I wasn’t awed by either.  The cookies (peanut butter and chocolate chip) were a bit dry, though they had a good flavor.  The same can be said about the cake, though the mousse did provide needed moisture.  It was very chocolaty, my oldest daughter enjoyed it but my youngest didn’t like it.  As good as it was, I much prefer the triple chocolate mousse cake from Safeway.

Swiss Delices uses organic flours, real sugar and free range eggs, which of course ads to the cost.  In all, I’ll go again because I have another voucher, and if I lived in Castro Valley I’d buy one of the individual desserts to try them out, but I wouldn’t otherwise go out of my way to get something there.

Update

I returned to Swiss Delices in December just before my voucher expired (though it turns out that vouchers don’t expire in California).  I was planning to get a cake to serve with Christmas Eve dinner, but the ones they had were all around $38 and I knew they wouldn’t be worth it.  Instead, I got a bunch of morning pastries.  My favorite were the cream cheese (or was it custard?) danishes, they were very flavorful.  The cinnamon rolls were good, but a bit dry, while their bread pudding was too heavy for my taste.

If you are interested in giving them a try, you can get a $10 voucher for $5 on Valpak.  This voucher seems to cover all types of pastries.

Swiss Delices
20669 Santa Maria Ave.
Castro Valley, CA
510-881-8669

http://www.swissdelices.com/

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Safeway Peanut Butter Chewy cookies – Review

The Safeway in downtown San Leandro offers children a free cookie from their bakery.  This is a great strategy by Safeway, not only does it create good feeling on parents but it means that kids rae eager to actually go grocery shopping with the parents. Parents shopping with kids are more likely to buy stuff they wouldn’t otherwise.

Yesterday, my kids (and I!) got a Safeway Chewy Peanut Butter cookie and I have to say it may very well have been the most delicious cookie I’ve ever had.  As promised, it was very chewy, it almost felt like it had caramel inside (but I don’t think it did). The flavor was out of this world, not too sweet, not too peanut butterish, with a chocolate chip here and there to balance the flavor.   Even though it was so chewy it did feel a bit dry (a common problem with peanut butter cookies), so I think it’d be best eaten with a cup of milk or coffee.

These cookies retail at Safeway for $4.50 for a dozen (I think) – almost twice as much as their “regular” cookies cost (on sale). But as they’re twice as good as their regular cookies, I can’t complain. I just wish they sold them by the unit, as good as they are I can’t expect to buy a box and not eat them all (so I won’t).

I found a recipe for chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies at the Safeway site, I’ll try it and hope it’s the same one they are using.