Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hiking Nevada and Cookies

A few months ago I found a recipe for a layered cookie. It seems that everywhere I go...I am thinking about those cookies and seeing layers and stripes all around me.

Anniversary Narrows Hike Lake Mead NV

Red Rock Picnic Area Lake Mead NV

Red Rock Conservation Area Las Vegas NV

Snow Canyon St. George UT

So I find myself with the opportunity to make them...finally! From one of my favorite cookbooks, BAKED. Everything I have made from this book is fun! and yummy too.

I love the way the cookbook is set up with pictures and cool fonts. The "Baked" notes on the side are very helpful or funny depending on the page. I found the recipe at Baking is my Zen.

For the cookie layers
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
7 ounces almond paste (I used a small can)
 ¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 orange
Orange food coloring (liquid or gel)-I used Red, like the Red Rocks here in St. George
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

For the filling
2/3 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (I used 1 TB and it was plenty)

For the glaze
6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

MAKE THE COOKIE LAYERS

1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

2. Butter three 8-inch square baking pans.

3. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

4. Dust with flour and knock out the excess flour.

5. Sift the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste, sugar, and almond extract together until small crumbs form.

7. Add the butter and beat on high speed until the mixture is combined.

8. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.

9. Add the orange zest and beat until combined.

10. Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating on low speed after each addition until combined.

11. Divide the batter among three small mixing bowls.

12. In the first bowl, add a few drops of orange food coloring to the batter, and mix well.

13. Continue to add a few drops of food coloring and mixing until the batter is medium orange in color.

14. In the second bowl, add the cocoa powder to the batter and whisk until fully incorporated.

15. Leave the third bowl plain.

16. Pour each batter into a prepared pan and smooth the tops.



17. Bake the layers for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean.

18. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.

19. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.

20. Remove the parchment.

MAKE THE FILLING
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the jam and amaretto until warmed through and completely blended, 3 to 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLE THE TRICOLOR COOKIES
1. Place the chocolate layer on a serving rack and evenly spread half of the apricot jam over the top.


2. Top with the plain (or white) layer and spread with the remaining apricot filling. 

3. Top with the orange layer and let the layers sit in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or while you make the chocolate glaze).


MAKE THE GLAZE
1. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.

2. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth.

3. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.

4. Spread the glaze over the top of the bar cookies, completely covering the orange layer (some glaze may spill down the sides of the cake). 



5. Place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate topping completely sets (about 1 hour).

6. Remove the tray from the refrigerator, wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to warm up, and cut into 20 individual squares or use a small cookie cutter to create your own shapes.

7. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days. MMMM good!!

7 comments:

Mary said...

That landscape is amazing were it not for the blue sky, you could be on the moon. The cookies are also amazing and beg to be tried. You asked about using fresh apricots in the jam. They won't work in this recipe, but there are others on the net that use fresh apricots to make jam. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Virginia Taylors said...

Mary,
Thanks for visiting! and answering my apricot question so quickly.

Janis said...

Amazing rock formations! I happen to have a cousin living in St. George UT, now I'm thinking of going there forna visit!

Those cookies look great and so mouthwatering with all the layers.

Zoe said...

Baking these tri-layer cookies seems fun to me. It looks pretty exciting assembling all cookie components together. I would love to try baking this too :D

Virginia Taylors said...

Janis,
Stop by for cookies if you ever come to St. George!

Zoe,
I would love to see you bake these...they were so good.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Virginia,

Gorgeous photos...so grand...God's beautiful landscape...

Thanks for linking my post on yours...I love these cookies too!

Carmen
http://bakingismyzen.blogspot.com
http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Virginia,

Is there a way to follow your blog? Either by google or email?
It seems the only follow is to 'comments' to your blog.

Let me know.
Carmen
bakingismyzen@comcast.net