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Recipe Talk / Bacon Fat Gingersnaps
« Last post by Alcmene on December 06, 2018, 10:41:10 AM »
This is technically a doubled recipe - I think the original calls for all bacon fat but I do half butter just because the rendered bacon fat isn't always the same, so it keeps some consistency (except, apparently, at Unplugged this year!).  The dough freezes fine, but needs to be thawed a bit before baking or the cookies don't spread right.

¾ cup rendered bacon fat, chilled
¾ cup unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup molasses or cane syrup
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.
Cream sugar and butter/bacon fat.  Add eggs and molasses, mix thoroughly then add dry ingredients. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
Put a thick layer of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Use your hands to break off a 1-tablespoon lump of dough and roll into a ball between your palms. Drop into the sugar, roll to coat and place on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining dough, placing dough balls 2 inches apart; they will spread out as they cook.
Bake until flat and dark brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough.
Recipe Talk / Earl Grey shortbread with lavender glaze recipe
« Last post by harmonyisarine on December 06, 2018, 09:34:25 AM »
Hello all! So I made the Earl Grey and lavender shortbread cookies for Unplugged and got several requests to post the recipe, which I'm happy to do! Base cookie is a recipe I found online, recipe makes 2 dozen cookies at their size, but see below for my thoughts on that. The only changes I made were starting with bagged tea and cooking it slightly less than recommended. The reason for bagged tea was two fold; first I had no time to order in whole leaf tea, and second, bag tea is already ground fine. I still ran it through my baking grinder, but I don't (yet) have a machine that can get the leaves as small as starting with bags. Two boxes of tea made three and a half doubled batches of the shortbread, with 3.5 tablespoons of ground leaves per double batch. As for less baking time, I baked them till gold on the edges for the first batch, as digested, but they got unhappily hard. Baking them until just done and barely a different color on the edges made them much tastier, in my opinion.

The glaze is this recipe:
2 cups powdered sugar. MUST be sifted
2+ tablespoons milk
1.5 tablespoons honey, warmed to pouring consistency
1.5 to 2 tablespoons ground lavender flowers
Purple food coloring

Put the sugar and lavender in a bowl with ample whisking room and add 2 tablespoons (approx) of milk and the warmed honey. Whisk until all combined. Drizzle in scant amounts of milk until the glaze reaches a good pouring and leveling consistency. Add food coloring (if desired). Fill into a piping bag and put a large lump in the center of each cookie. A batter filling piping bag tip is great for this, since it's got a little rubber valve that stops the glaze from escaping between cookies. One batch of this fills not even one double batch of the cookies, but I found making this in bigger batches meant the waiting portion of glaze developed a lumpy crust while I piped the first bag.

My glaze always made a mess under the cookie trays (I used wire cooling racks), and took overnight to harden enough to pack. This recipe freezes VERY well, so can be made well ahead of time.


Now, I made my cookie logs a little narrower than expected. I apparently can't measure diameter. ;D  Making them just a bit bigger than mine would make them perfect one cookie per bag size, mine were a stupidly in between size.
Recipe Talk / allergy-friendly white chocolate (vegan, grain-free)
« Last post by supercarrot on November 28, 2018, 08:17:52 PM »
the base recipe comes via: https://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/blog/how-to-make-dairy-free-white-chocolate

the author goes into much more detail, and has many more photos, so i suggest taking a little clicksee over there.  i copied just the bare minimum below.

i made mine with coconut flour, and blended plain granulated vegan sugar in my vitamix to avoid the starches that are usually in regular powdered sugar.  i also used 1/4 tsp of powdered vanilla in each batch (this is sold by spicely.  those little green boxes of spices)

i have a chocomaker melting pot, but you can use a double boiler if you're really careful not to get steam or condensation into your chocolate.  otherwise, it's probably best to follow the recipe's microwave directions.

the mint flavored chocolate was made with 4 drops of peppermint oil (not extract.  extract has water in it.  craft stores will carry pure chocolate flavoring oils)  then to make them grasshoppers / andes candies, i melted some 69% dark chocolate from enjoy life and filled the molds the rest of the way.

the pumpkin spice chocolate had 1/8 t. cloves and 1/4 t each of nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and 1/2 t. of ceylon cinnamon (if you don't have ceylon, use only 1/4 t. of what you have.  ceylon is very mild and soft.)

i also dehydrated about 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin until dry and crispy.  i blended this with the sugar in my vitamix, but it didn't blend completely. (apologies if you got a hard bit of pumpkin in your chocolate) 

if i make this again, i will mix the pumpkin with the sugar before dehydrating to see if it blends better.

NOTE: to those who want to take a shortcut without using powdered sugar. don't dump granulated sugar into your cocoa butter. even caster sugar isn't fine enough.  sugar melts at 320 F, and you don't want your cocoa butter getting that hot.  (this means your sugar will be grainy if you dump anything with a tiny bit of graininess in there.)

4 ounces food grade cocoa butter
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp coconut flour OR rice flour OR rice milk powder
1/3 of a vanilla bean

WARNING: Don’t get water in your chocolate. Not even from the ingredients.

Use a scale to measure your cocoa butter, and then chop it into small pieces. Cocoa butter takes longer to melt than ready-made chocolate, so the smaller your pieces, the faster your job will be.
Place your cocoa butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals at 50% power. Stir every time before heating more—just like with regular chocolate, you don’t want to burn it (ask me how I know.)

You’re going to want to temper your white chocolate, and you can’t seed it this time. The easiest way I found to do this was to heat the cocoa butter and then allow the other ingredients to cool it down, and then heat the entire concoction up a bit more before pouring. So once your cocoa butter is fully melted, use a thermometer to check its temperature. Continue heating it at 50% power for 20 or 30 second intervals until the cocoa butter reaches a temperature of 120°F.

While your cocoa butter is melting, use a paring knife to split your vanilla bean in half.
Place each half on a cutting board, use one finger to hold the narrow end of the bean down, and use the blunt edge of the paring knife to gently scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod. Repeat with the other half.

Once the cocoa butter has reached the correct temperature, add the salt, coconut/rice flour, and vanilla seeds and mix to incorporate.

Gradually add your sugar and mix until smooth. You’ll want to use a small whisk or fork, and get out all the lumps.

Once you’re done, check the temperature again. Ideally, you’d like it to get down to about 79°F before carefully heating it back up to about 87°F.

You are now ready to pour your chocolate into molds.
General Chat / Introduce Yourself
« Last post by thesandwichlivz on November 25, 2018, 10:37:58 AM »
Hey all!
I helped out with PAX South last year in cookie distribution, I’d love to help this year full time. (this is Kyle, Bryce’s friend lolz) Who was at PAX South last year?
General Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself
« Last post by Blythey on October 19, 2018, 01:16:41 PM »
Hi I'm Blythe I'm from the seattle area and I helped with cookies last year (baking and selling) and it was such a fun experience Im excited to help again! I'm especially good at being loud and getting peoples attention  ;D
General Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself
« Last post by ClaireTheGeek on October 17, 2018, 07:43:21 AM »
Hi! I'm Claire (kinda obvious XD). I'm a Melbournian who loves PAX and loves baking! I've just put in my application, and I look forward to baking for a good cause :3
Please feel free to introduce yourself and let us know why you're here.

A fan of the brigade? Interested in becoming a brigadier? Just looking for some awesome recipes?

No matter what the reason welcome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Brigade Events / Re: Boston FIG 2018
« Last post by Lilty on September 24, 2018, 11:18:02 AM »
I will be there anyway, so I should be able to at least bake some stuff for it.
Brigade Events / Re: Boston FIG 2018
« Last post by punzie on September 20, 2018, 03:36:54 PM »
Last year we had a miscommunication about food in the venue and withdrew from this event. That's been cleared up this year so we are good to go!
Brigade Events / Boston FIG 2018
« Last post by punzie on September 20, 2018, 03:34:26 PM »
Boston Festival of Indie Games (BFIG) is a 1 day event at MIT in September where indie developers show off their games.  In the past we had a table in the charity section with Able Gamers and Extra Life. BFIG has welcomed us back again this year. We'll have flyers, buttons, and business cards to hand out. And of course, cookies. If you want to make nice decorative things that are too delicate for distributors' bags at PAX, this is a great place to show them off.
I can run the table, but I'd like 1 or 2 volunteers to help me. This is easier than PAX because you don't have to walk around and we are totally allowed to be handing out food. So if you want to shout "Free Cookies" at people walking buy, and/or tell folks how much fun you have helping Cookie Brigade, please join me. (Passes can be provided.)
General Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself
« Last post by aerynkelly on September 09, 2018, 12:10:43 AM »
Welcome Tim! We're always desperate for bakers, so glad to have you on board! This year in particular we are looking a little light on bakers. Please (if you haven't done so already) be sure to click the link to Join the Brigade - this will grant you access to the PAX Aus specific threads. We've got slack too, so you can always ask questions there. Bake whatever you like - just try to stick to things that won't fall apart easily and can handle sitting in plastic bags for a weekend :) Chocolate chip cookies are always the favorite!
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