Love Note Red Velvet Crisps
I so love my mother. And on Valentine’s Day, I remember days gone by with her helping us gather up Valentine cards to take to friends, and getting craft supplies to assist in us making our Valentine boxes to take to school. Red Velvet recipes are found everywhere on the web these days, that heady mix of chocolate and red food coloring is, in my mind, irresistible for a Valentine’s gift idea from the kitchen. I took my well-honed, and much used, sugar cookie dough and put it into a morph to please my beloved mom. The texture of the cookie is like biscotti without the second baking and that toasted flavor. I did not want the cookies themselves to be super sweet; the cream cheese frosting imparts that flavor aspect to these Valentine’s Day cookies. These do have the melt-away characteristics, and if you add a glass of cold milk or hot coffee it would make the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. And these are by design jumbo sized cookies. By the way, my mom loved these cookies, and this alone makes me smile.
- This time you will not really find a list of items used from the warehouse stocks of Everything Kitchens. It is not because I could not have used items found here, but instead it is that I have most everything needed for making cookies of all kinds. For about 12 years running, I made cookies for sale using the state-approved kitchens of my family’s pizza place in Buffalo, MO. You of course need cookie sheets and grill-type cooling racks. Again cookie scoops are on this needed list, as is parchment paper.
- I also am a KitchenAid follower. Nearly all the recipes included in this article were made with my KitchenAid mixer. I have had two KitchenAid mixers in my lifetime. The first in was a Classic 4 ½ Qt. Tilthead. The Cobalt Blue I adore is available with a little more horsepower in the Artisan 5 Qt. Tilt-Head. That mixer I got as a wedding gift with a bunch of attachments for wedding and shower gifts in 1991. I took that mixer into my cake, cookie, and catering business. I eventually sold it to my family’s restaurant along with a dozen soft cookie recipes that took me about three years to adapt and perfect. They still use that mixer to make small batches of frosting for the cookies I developed and are still sold to the customers at Hip Pocket Pizza Parlor in Buffalo, MO. My second KitchenAid was a gift as well from my now ex-husband. He went out and bought me a 6 Qt. Professional Stand Mixer for my birthday in 2005. I am a devout user of KitchenAid. These machines are quality that lasts. For cookies, cakes, frostings, and other such work these mixers cannot be beat. The price is affordable when you think of years of use, the warranty attached, and the available color choices are totally cool.
Mix together butter, shortening, sugar on medium speed will light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat will well incorporated and mixture changes to pale yellow color. Add red velvet bakers emulsion or red food coloring as you choose. Mix together the dry ingredients and combine with egg, fat, and sugar mixture will fully incorporated. Sifting is not as necessary as it once was in the past; however I do take the time to pulverize my small ingredients and leaveners in a mortar and pestle to eliminate possible lumps that will destroy the taste buds of anyone that eats that in baked goods.
After fully combined, chill this dough for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a jumbo cookie scoop to portion dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets with plenty of space for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes and check for doneness. Cookies are fully cooked when the cracked open spreading on the top starts to dry out and the cookie no longer shakes raw when moved around on the oven rack. Cookie sizes are directly proportionate to the longer cooking times needed to fully bake. I do not like raw cookie doughs, some folks do. This recipe will make approximately 9 jumbo cookies.
- I used to make 500 to 800 cookies a week for sale during my professional cooking years. My best piece of equipment was a stainless steel scoop. It made the dipping process quick, and the cookies uniform. In addition, the more you handle cookie batter, the greasier it gets from compaction and the natural oils off your hands. This makes a heavy textured final product that is not desirable. A cookie scoop is a helpful gadget that you will be glad you have in your drawer.
- I want to take a moment to discuss real vanilla extract and imitation vanilla. This is not an area I want to cut costs. Imitation vanilla has a hollow end note flavor, lacks depth and character. I always use real vanilla extract except in items I want to have a super white final color. In those cases I use imitation clear vanilla. Vanilla beans from different parts of the world have different bottom and top notes due to climate, growing conditions, soils and so forth. You might find that you like several choices of real vanilla from different places on the globe. Vanilla is somewhat like coffee and wine, each bottle is unique.
- Baking parchment has always been my friend. It makes a beautiful final product that slides off the pan. There are many other baking liners out there, but this is my favored because I like the throw away, one-time use only aspect of parchment.
- Professionally, I used convection ovens to produce the large weekly volume of cookies that were sold in the restaurant and to outside orders. In my own home, I prefer electric really for baking but am currently using propane gas. The key really is that you calibrate your oven once a year at least or keep an oven thermometer handy to check for consistent temperatures. Baking is a science and not as forgiving as cooking meats, vegetables, and that kind of thing. Most cookies are baked at 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the recipe. I generally check my oven temperature before I begin baking, and then again only if I am making more than 5 or 6 oven batches at a time.
- It is a truth that cookies need to be baked on the middle and center rack area. If I choose to cook more than one sheet at a time, I do not forget to rotate my pans top to bottom and front to back for even cooking. Convection allows this kind of rotation to happen with quick upsurge in oven temperatures because of the forced air movement. My home oven is good, and will recover, but I prefer not to stress it. I hate burnt or raw cookies, and of course there is always things to do when the oven is full. Just use a kitchen timer, which is also one of my important tools in the baking kitchen.
- I find that combining the fats together before adding the sugar a good thing overall. This helps incorporate more air prior adding the sugar which keeps the batter lighter and fluffier than adding the fats and sugar at the same time. This is not a necessary step, but it is something I have found over thousands of cookies and content customers to be a valuable tip if you do not mind an extra step. I love tender textured cookies whether they be soft, chewy, hard, or crisp.
- Make sure to clean the sides of the bowl before mixing in the dry ingredients and then again at the end of the final mixing to make sure there is no wet or dry spots of unincorporated ingredients. There are flex-edge beaters for sale here at Everything Kitchens, but I must admit I have never tried this particular piece of equipment. Maybe I need to check into that for the near future and see if the product claims are true for my own self.
- Decorating did not involve much for this creative Valentine’s Day idea. I made the quick cream cheese frosting that was not really measured and added some red food color for my piped writing. For the frosting, I used about a pound of confectioner's sugar, a couple tablespoons of butter, one 8 ounce chub of cream cheese, a teaspoon or so of clear vanilla, and about a half teaspoon of butter flavor, and some half & half till it was spreadable consistency. When I make frosting for cookies like this, it tends to be whatever I have in the refrigerator, like whipping cream, half & half, or milk become interchangable.
- I have much to say about cookies, troubleshooting and tips have been decades in forming through experience. As time goes by, I shall say more about this topic. Cookies are fun and a sugar staple in many households. But, bad cookie recipes abound and I have certainly experienced the disappointment of burnt edges and other similar failures baking cookies. Written by: Alecia Kay