Thursday, March 30, 2017
COOKIE... SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH from the refrigerated section is SUPER easy and delicious OR -
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
6 oz butter, at room temperature
11/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp cream
2 tsp lemon extract
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon OR 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 to 1½ cups powdered sugar
8 cups assorted fresh fruit (grapes, strawberries, orange, mango, clementines, blueberries, banana, raspberries, etc.) washed and sliced
¼ cup apricot jelly or any other [light-colored] jelly
1 Tbsp Orange Juice/Lemon Juice/Water
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside for a moment.
Combine the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then add the cream and lemon extract and mix them in.
Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until there are just a few flour streaks left. Stop the mixer and finish stirring everything together by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well. Shape the dough into a large disc and wrap the dough in cling wrap. Refrigerate for several hours, until firm. Dough can be made several days in advance.
When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350 F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment OR use your favorite large egg-shaped casserole dish(OR round OR shape of your choice). If you are using a casserole dish (my preferred method) just carefully push out with your fingers your dough to reach the edges of your greased and/or parchment paper lined vessel - make sure its relatively even all around. If using the cookie sheet: roll out the dough between sheets of parchment or waxed paper until it is a large circle about ½-inch thick. (an egg might be about 16×12 inches, but if you are just making a circle, it should be in the 14-inch area.) You could make it ever thinner if you’d like, but I think a cake-like-cookie is perfect for this. Transfer the cookie to the baking sheet, and bake it at 350 F for 15-19 minutes, until it takes on a light golden color and is puffed and set in the middle. Let it cool completely at room temperature. The cookie can be baked several days in advance.
Beat the cream cheese using a mixer until it is smooth and free of lumps. Add the cinnamon or lemon and about half of the powdered sugar. Beat until everything is well-mixed. Taste the frosting, and add more sugar if desired. Remember that it will be combined with a cookie and fruit, so it doesn’t have to be super-sweet on its own. Frosting can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Spread the frosting in a thin, even layer over the surface of the cookie, leaving a small margin around the edges. Layer the fresh fruit over the frosting in the pattern of your choosing—don’t’ be afraid to play with colors and shapes and patterns!
Once your artwork is completed - in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the jelly and liquid, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir them together until the jelly is fluid and smooth. It should have the consistency of a thin gel—if it’s still fairly thick, add a bit more liquid to thin it out. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of your fruit. This gives it a lovely shine, and also prevents the cut fruit from looking wilted and tired at room temperature.
What do you think... Do you like fruit in its natural form or dressed up a bit