Monday, March 7, 2011

-Cookie Cups-

Originally posted 12/17/10

Hi everybody!  I’m sitting here watching the snow fall.  It’s very pretty, and I do love living in northern Nevada…..but if I lose my TV signal one more time…..I am moving out of this God forsaken place;)  Clearly, TV is very important to me.  But somebody has to watch all those cooking shows, right?  They aren’t going to watch themselves.

Today I want to talk about a very important part of the holidays.  Yes, family is important, as is sharing, giving, blah blah blah…..I’m talking what is seriously important…..dessert.  Have you planned your dessert yet?  I have a great one for you!  It would be great for Christmas dinner or even for Christmas Eve so you can leave some out for Santa.  Cookie Cups!!  They are so easy!  I use store bought dough, so yeah, this is fool proof.  You can stuff these cups with virtually anything.  I used ready-made cheesecake filling…..so, so good.

I started with 3 different kinds of cookie dough. 
I used Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle and Gingerbread.  I try to use the kind that is divided into little squares.  That is easiest to work with.  However, I could only find Gingerbread in a tub.  You could totally make your own dough, but I bet you are as busy as I am during the holidays.  Buy it.

I start by greasing (spraying) mini-muffin tins.  Spray them well, because these buggers can stick.  Then, I put a cookie into each hole.  Don’t press them in, just place them.  When they bake, they will take the correct shape.  With the Gingerbread, I used a little ice cream scoop to fill each hole.

Bake the cookies according to the package directions.  When you take them out of the oven, they will already start to fall in on themselves, creating little wells in the middle of each cookie.  To help that process along, as soon as you take them out of the oven, push down, GENTLY, in the center of each cookie with the back of a melon baller, or the end of a wooden spoon.  Don’t get crazy-remember these are FRAGILE.  Yes, they are Italian;)
You need to take the cookies out of the pans after about 15 minutes.  If you wait too long, they will stick to the pan and break when you try to take them out.  Let the cookies cool completely before you stuff them.

Like I said above, I used ready made cheesecake filling to fill my cups.  I started with my Gingerbread cookies. 
I mixed a teaspoon of Rum Extract into about 2 cups of filling.  Then, I put the filling into a food storage bag and snipped off the corner so I could pipe the filling in.  I would normally use a piping bag with a star tip, but I know not everyone has that.  Most people have food storage bags…..
Piping the filling in is prettier and makes the process go much faster.
Once all the gingerbread cookies were filled, I sprinkled them with cinnamon.  You could also use nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice.  Or you could leave them naked, up to you.

For the chocolate chip cookies, I used plain cheesecake filling.  If you can find ready made chocolate cheesecake filling, good for you.  You must not live in northern Nevada.  But that would be great in these.
I filled these the same way I did the Gingerbread cookies, with a food storage bag.  I also melted some dark chocolate in the microwave (see my candy post) and drizzled that over the tops.

Finally onto the Snickerdoodles!  I fill these with some Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear Spread and cheesecake filling.
I use about a teaspoon in each cookie, and then I pipe the cheesecake over that.  The fruit spread is kind of an unexpected treat in each one…..
Above are the Snickerdoodles…..
And the Gingerbread cookies….
And finally the Chocolate Chip cookies, which are my favorite.

I think this is the cutest idea, and they are so easy!  They are kind of a show stopper….if I do say so myself;)  Once you get the idea of the cookie cups, the filling ideas are endless.  You could use mini scoops of ice cream, pudding, fresh fruit, etc.  I brought these to my daughter’s school Holiday party and I stuffed those cups with store bought frosting.  I figured kids are pretty easy to please;)  I put M&M’s on top of the frosting and the kids thought they were great!

I hope you try these out!  If you do, post some pictures on to my FaceBook page!
Have a great weekend!

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