Red Hearts for Mother’s Day

Red Velvet Cookies White Chocolate Chips

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all! A special thank you to all mothers, for whom it gives young and empowered women hope for the future of being what we are destined to be – not only wives, friends, partners and workers, but also mothers (and grandmothers). The life cycle depends on women who can not necessarily reproduce, but who can put the lives of others before their own. I hope one day, I will be able to raise a beautiful family of my own and give my children all they desire and push them into a higher direction with a great role model in mind.

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For Mother’s Day, I wanted to bake something special for my mother. She is the absolute best, the one and only person I can absolutely trust with no questions asked, and one of my biggest influences/role models. She taught me how to bake, she has taught me how to cook, and most of all, she puts up with me. The love and care she extrudes goes beyond that which I will ever be able to explain, so the only way I know how to thank her is to do what I love the most in this world: bake. Many of the red velvet recipes I researched involved using pre-made cake mixes, and I did not want to take the easy way out. I finally found one that did not use more traditional ingredients, such as white vinegar and/or vegetable shortening, which in my opinion, should never enter into the baking equation. The substitution of a red velvet bakery emulsion in place of the red food coloring gives this cookie the deep balanced bitter tones I feel are desired in this delectable treat, while still adding the red aspect. In other words, red food coloring adds a very artificial flavor (and color) and the emulsion gives it a nice color and texture, without the dye or alcohol.

With a good dosing of cocoa, this cookie hints at a beautifully sweet brownie, without being too rich or overwhelming. The addition of white chocolate chips gives a certain subtly that balances out the bitter cocoa flavor. I am glad I bought the red velvet bakery emulsion when I saw it, because I checked to see if I had food coloring afterwards, and, not to my surprise, I had zero. Talk about innovation and going with your gut!

This recipe is definitely one for the books. I urge everyone to bake or cook for your loved ones this weekend – it is one of the many things that will always bring sparkle and joy to another’s eyes.

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History of Red Velvet: This is quite fascinating! 

1. http://voices.yahoo.com/little-known-facts-red-velvet-cake-456633.html?cat=69

2. http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/2290-the-unknown-history-of-red-velvet-cake

Red Velvet dates back to about 1873, but started circulation in the 1920s!

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Recipe: 

Adapted from: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/10/red-velvet-chocolate-chip-cookies-from-scratch/

Found on: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Red-velvet-chocolate-chip-cookies-333824?columns=Infinity&position=1/27

My adaptations are highlighted in bold

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Ingredients: 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

brown egg (Eggland’s Best)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp red velvet bakery emulsion (LorAnn’s)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp low sodium salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder, Ghirardelli

1/2 (to 2/3) cup white chocolate chips, Ghirardelli

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. (I used a USA baking sheet, coated with Americoat)

2. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer.

3. Add egg and vanilla and combine until smooth.

4. Beat in red velvet bakery emulsion.

5. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined, scraping down the sides when needed.

6. Fold in white chocolate chips.

7. Using a medium to large sized scoop, scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of dough and set on baking sheet. Spread out on pan about 2 inches apart. Flatten each dough ball, so each is 2 to 3 inches in diameter. 

8. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. On the USA pan, it only took about 9 minutes.

USA Pans: http://www.usapans.com/

LorAnn’s Oils & Bakery Emulsions: https://www.lorannoils.com/c-10-bakery-emulsions.aspx

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At the Heart of Every Orange is a Creamsicle

Minneola Orange Creamsicle Cookies

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One thing I noticed about this recipe was that it did not make mention of vanilla extract. I found that quite odd, and still decided to take a chance on them. After making my adaptations (in bold below), I cannot imagine what the cookie would have been like missing an emulsion or extract. In addition, I was a little worried that 2 1/4 cups of flour would prevent the cookies from being chewy, and make them more cake-like, however that did not seem to be the case. I guess that is how it goes – you risk the upset to get where you want to be, and in this case, it was to experiment and give it a go no matter how it turned out. Luckily, they baked wonderfully!

Adapted from: http://www.sprinklewithflour.com/2012/02/orange-creamsicle-cookies.html

(I am almost positive this is not an adapted recipe {only by the change of substituting white chocolate chips for vanilla chips}, but merely a replica, or an adoption of a recipe, found in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, but I will give this blogger credit anyway.)

Original recipe: http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Orange-Vanilla-Chip-Cookies/9980/

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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Dash of ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

brown egg (Eggland’s Best)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp orange bakery emulsion (which I found at HomeGoods)

Zest of 2 Minneola oranges [about 4 to 5 tbsp] (I really enjoy the bright, orange color of them, but its up to preference)

Juice from 1/2 of a zested orange

1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together and set aside.

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3. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4. Add egg and beat until combined.

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5. Add vanilla extract and orange bakery emulsion (optional).

6. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until well incorporated.

7. Add orange zest and orange juice and beat to distribute.

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8. Stir in white chocolate chips.

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9. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop in rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room between cookies to allow for some spreading (at least 2 inches).

10. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Verdict: 

This recipe needs a flavoring extract and/or an emulsion. Maybe it is just my preference to add an ingredient or two that would seemingly bring out the flavors out a bit more, but I was worried the dough would have been too thick and dense to bake evenly. The white chocolate chips added a smoothness that without, the cookie would have been missing an underlying sweet tone. It adds a nice depth of texture, and eases any acidity. The ones I experimented with, disregarding the white chocolate chips, were still tasty, but were a bit too pungent for my liking. I am not much of an orange girl (although I am definitely fruity) and these really drove my taste buds wild. These cookies reminded me of being at summer day camp – in the midsts of the moments when we would concoct ice cream sundaes and during the afternoons when we would receive popsicles, splitting them in half, and trading half of one for half a vanilla popsicle with amongst one another, to make our own mix and matched creamsicles. Overall, this recipe needed a bit of adapting, but was surprisingly delightful. For a nice spring or summery treat, this cookie would lend very well to a vanilla ice cream or a strong cup of coffee.

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