those girl scouts have done it again...

April 29, 2011
I happen to have a girls' lunch-date this afternoon and decided to prepare a lil' somethin'.  My only requirements were that they were SWEET.  These lovely ladies are eight years old, mind you.  My company appreciated these!
They are not a cookie of the general variety.  It's a cheesecake-based cookie mixed with Thin Mint cookie crumbs and white chocolate chips.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
(Yield: About 1 dozen cookies)

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup Thin Mint cookie crumbs (about 1 sleeve)
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees  and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.
3. Add the egg, sugar, salt and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Stir in 3/4 of a cup of the cookie crumbs (that have been finely ground using a food processor) and the white chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
4. Place the remaining 1/4 of a cup of cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Scoop the cookie dough into about 1½ to 2″ balls and then roll tops in the cookie crumbs. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet. 
5.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.
6. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

fancy a tea party?

The royal wedding is upon us and it absolutely justifies one heck of a tea party!  To be honest, it wouldn't be possible to care any less about this wedding today, but I do love a good tea party!
The perfect companion to any warm cup of tea is definitely a perfect scone.  I planned a morning tea party, so I decided to go with a breakfast scone.

Maple Pecan Scones with Cinnamon Glaze
(yields 12 small scones)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup cold cream cheese (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk 

1/2 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl of your food processor and pulse  to combine.  Add the diced butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal.   
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl of a stand mixer and add the diced cream cheese and pecans.  Mix to combine. 
  4. In a measuring cup, use a fork to beat the maple syrup, milk and the egg until combined.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Use a fork to mix the wet and dry together until the dough starts to come together - be careful not to overmix.  
  5. Flour your hands and gather the dough then divide it into 2 equal-sized balls.  On a floured work surface, shape each ball of the dough into a disk that is about 1 1/4 inches tall - you don't want to compress the dough too much.  Cut each disk into 6 wedges (they will be small) and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.  
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown and firm on top.  Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool.
  7. To make the glaze, combine the vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk in the milk and the the confectioners' sugar until the glaze is completely smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones.
And if you care to know the whole truth, I'll be speaking in a British accent most of the day...