Happy Birthday…(Part 2)

It’s Sister Bear’s friend’s birthday today —let’s call her Panda Bear—and my daughter requested that we make her some panda cookies!

I thought this was an awesome idea because: A) she loves pandas and she’s such a sweet girl, B) I think we have a cookie cutter that would work perfectly for making the bear and C) what a great excuse to work with cookie dough (and have a little bit of nibble for the chef :p).

For the cookie I decided to use the same recipe I used for the Snickerdoodle Brownie, except that I added 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of sugar to make it a bit more moist. Ok… I admit, these are the leftover dough from the last project which I had frozen since I didn’t use much for the brownie.  But while I was kneading it, it was very crumbly and not easy to work with especially when I needed it to be rolled out and cut into shapes.  After the addition of the creamed butter and sugar, it was the perfect consistency 🙂

I used my Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to get the shape of the bear’s head but as my daughter pointed out, it doesn’t quite match a panda bear’s head so we reshaped it a little bit by pushing down the ears closer to the head so that it wasn’t so circular.  Lastly, we used a rounded tip to create a dip on where the ears would be.

pixlr bear

Then off to the oven they go which was preheated at 325F.  Since we were making panda bears, I wanted to make sure that the cookies stay light in color and not brown too much as they bake.

While the cookies were baking, I placed about 1 c of semi-sweet chocolate in a piping bag and 1 tbsp of shortening.  I microwaved the bag for 30 seconds and as it softens I “massaged” the shortening into the chocolate so that it is mixed in completely.  You may warm up the bag again in 10 seconds interval until you get the desired consistency.  Be patient (there’s that word again, it keeps popping up every time I’m in the kitchen)…do not rush the process of melting the chocolate because you can actually end up burning it.

Once your remove the cookies from the oven, allow to cool.

Once it has cooled long enough, you can start to pipe the chocolate to form the ears, the eyes (I used white chocolate to dot the eyes) and the snout.

pixlrPanda

What I would’ve done differently?  Hmm, I think that it would look much better if I had used a layer of white chocolate on top of the whole cookie before adding the darker accents to make it really stand out like a panda bear…as it is, it kinda looks like a racoon! Hahaha

But the most important thing was that Panda Bear liked it, which equals Sister Bear being happy which ultimately equals Mama Bear being Happy 🙂

Anyway, til next adventure… Would love to hear back from you guys…Happy Birthday (Part 3) is in the works.

~CW

 

 

 

Double Trouble…

Last Sunday, my family and I went to the Fish Market for Mother’s Day lunch (thanks sis 😀) and of course at the end of the meal my daughter decided to order some Snickerdoodle Brownies.  I’ve never heard of them before so I tried to imagine it as best as I could. When it came out, it looked yummy (especially topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup 😏) but it wasn’t what I had expected. It was literally a Snickerdoodle flavored brownie as the name suggested (after some research I found out that they are more commonly known as Blondies) but for some reason what I had imagined was a chocolate brownie with chunks of Snickerdoodle cookies….so that’s what I decided to make in my kitchen only because I’ve already set my mind to it: I am making a Double Trouble Snickerdoodle Brownie 😜

Now some of you may already have your own favorite brownie and Snickerdoodle cookie recipes and if you so, then yit is perfectly fine to use that.  But for some who are unfamiliar with Snickerdoodle cookies, please check out Sally’s Baking Addiction.  The recipe that I used was very similar to hers except that I skipped using the cream of tartar since I didn’t want the cookies to be too fluffy.  Her recipe is PERFECT for cookies as themselves but for the brownies I wanted to keep it a little less fluffy, more dense to match the fudge brownie texture.

For the Snickerdoodle cookies:
Cream 1/2 c butter and 1 1/3 sugar then add 2 tsp vanilla and 1 egg.

201605101638578486994423fda2aa

On another bowl mix together the dry ingredients: 3 c flour, 1 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt and cinnamon.

201605101640558486994423fda2aa

Gradually, in 3 batches, add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix until well-combined. This would be a little chunky with the consistency of cookie dough.

Scoop about a rough tablespoon of dough (I like mine with big chunks of cookie dough 😀), and form into balls.

In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.  This will be your cookie coating.  Depending on your preference you can decide the ratio of cinnamon to sugar.

201605101650088486994423fda2aa

Set aside and prepare the chocolate brownie. This would also be the perfect time to start preheating your oven to 325F.

For the fudge brownie:
Mix 1 c sugar and 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder. (sorry it’s too dark to see anything after I’ve added the cocoa powder but trust me they’re all there 😜)

201605101657358486994423fda2aa

Add 2 eggs one egg at a time, and mix well each time.

Lastly, add 1/3 c flour and a pinch cinnamon. If you used lots of cinnamon on the cookie recipe then you can skip the cinnamon on the brownie.  If you’re a cinna-holic (yup, I made that up), then add to your heart’s desire…😜

201605101703598486994423fda2aa

Stir until combined but do not over mix.  Pour the brownie batter on a greased 8 x 8 pan and spread evenly.
Finally, the fun part! Drop those Snickerdoodle cookie dough into the pan.

20160509_225554

Bake for about 20-25 mins., until the brownie slightly cracks or if a toothpick comes out clean after inserting into the brownie and cookies.  Allow to cool for another 10 mins. …tick tock, tick tock…

20160509_235802_20160510090038094

You may serve them as is…which is what we did for ours since we have no patience whatsoever 😀…or you can serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream 🙂

Til next adventure….

~ CW

 

Helpful links:

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/19/soft-thick-snickerdoodles-in-20-minutes/