Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake

You have important work to do this week. Yes, in the midst of end-of-the-school-year parties, making teacher gifts, planning summer vacation...you're going to make this cake. You are.
(Really though, make this cake.)

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake ... a twist on the classic, made with malt powder and Whoppers
I was literally walking down the peanut butter aisle in the grocery store when the idea for this version of a Texas sheet cake came to me. Why? I have no idea. I do know that I'll be walking down that aisle more often, hoping for more divine cake intervention.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake ... a twist on the classic, made with malt powder and Whoppers
Texas sheet cake is traditionally a moist chocolate cake with a chocolate pecan icing. This one, however, is a CHOCOLATE MALT Texas sheet cake. Both the cake and the icing are flavored with malt powder.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake ... a twist on the classic, made with malt powder and Whoppers
Instead of pecans, the icing is topped with Whoppers.
[Note: do NOT open the Whoppers before making the cake...unless you want to have to run to the store for more Whoppers because you've inadvertently eaten the entire container. *ahem*]

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake ... a twist on the classic, made with malt powder and Whoppers
There's something so nostalgic about malt. Whenever I have a chocolate malt or malt-flavored anything, I'm transported to the 1950's.

Copyright © 1978 Paramount Pictures Corp. Credit: © 1978 Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Pyxurz.*

I blame the movie Grease for these malt associations... "to you from me, Pinky Lee!"  Can we please make malt shops a thing again?

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake ... a twist on the classic, made with malt powder and Whoppers

The cake is super moist and the icing is silky and shiny. Cut it in big pieces. Have two. Maybe with a chocolate malt.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/15sSbVLZB_cBNHqTOqN2ZmDB7VRlOkB36mF3qgM_FjlY/edit
Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake
{adapted from Ree's Chocolate Sheet Cake, make one 18"x12" cake}

for the cake:
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup malted milk powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup salted butter
4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 cup boiling water

for the icing:
14 TBSP salted butter
1/3 cup malt ed milk powder
4 heaping TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
6 TBSP milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Whoppers

Preheat oven to 350.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, malt powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake
In a large measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda together. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, stir in the cocoa powder. Pour in the boiling water and stir together for a minute. Remove from heat.

Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated. Stir in the buttermilk mixture. Continue stirring until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 18"x12" half sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the malt and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar, stirring over low heat until smooth and most of the lumps from the sugar have dissolved. Keep warm while the cake bakes.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake
Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake
Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven, pour the icing over the cake as evenly as possible. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes, then scatter the Whoppers over the top, pressing in slightly. Cool the cake in the pan, then cut into large pieces for serving.

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Malt Texas Sheet Cake..."to you from me, Pinky Lee!"


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sweet on Trader Joe's Sunday : Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Really...how can one pass up a dessert labeled as "sublime?" I cannot. Marketers, please don't start labeling everything as sublime, I have college tuition to pay for next year.

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches. Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies, then rolled in mini chocolate chips. A box of 4 sandwiches costs $4.49.

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
A mom's (my) take: Honestly, I was sure these would fall short of their "sublime" designation. Most cookie ice cream sandwiches just don't live up to their potential. Well, I was wrong. These ice cream sandwiches ARE sublime. Soft chocolate chip cookies are the perfect texture...no crumbling, no breaking apart. The vanilla ice cream is creamy and luscious. The mini chocolate chips add a little extra chocolate flavor and a bit of crunch. These are going straight on my "might-be-too-tempting-to-keep-in-the-house list."
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (Jack's) take: In the past, sandwiches like these seem to be eclipsed by the raw cold that comes from their being frozen--not with this one. Right out of the freezer, these have a powerful taste. A good ol' chocolate chip cookie taste is complemented perfectly by the cool, refreshing vanilla ice cream. Perfect. Now, the only problem is the size of your stomach...
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars


trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches:

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
[note: We have no affiliation with Trader Joe's. I'm sure they have never read this blog and have no idea who we are. Hey, we like being incognito, although we never wear sunglasses indoors. ;)]

Read all of our Trader Joe's sweet treats and dessert reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Using corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...

Once upon a time, there was a cookie maker who had a dedicated printer for frosting sheets with edible ink. The printer caused so many headaches that the cookie maker banished it to a land far, far away called The Dumpster. The cookie maker wised up, started purchasing printed frosting sheets from the kingdom known as Etsy, and everyone lived happily ever after.

That's how the story starts. If you want more info on having an icing printer of your own, please check out this post from years ago. If you want to save your sanity, let someone else do it for you. ;) 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I've always applied frosting sheets using the same method: pressing the image directly onto wet royal icing. The problem with this is, the edges will curl. It was driving me a little crazy, so I decided to try applying using corn syrup. I'd heard many raves about this method from other cookie makers. 

First, apply a base layer of royal icing to your cookies and let dry completely. 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I ordered pre-cut round images and it was so much nicer than trying to cut a perfect circle on my own. (I am scissor-challenged....my circle are always wonky and I can't cut a straight line to save my life.) 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Once the icing is completely dry, use a brush to apply a thin layer of light corn syrup to each cookie.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Place the image on top, lightly smoothing all over, including the edges.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
That's it.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I like to add a decorative border to cookies with printed images. A small star tip used with thick royal icing works like a charm. 

Pros of using corn syrup:
  • quick and easy
  • divides the work into two days
  • no curled edges
Cons of using corn syrup:
  • the tops remain somewhat sticky
  • color from the image seemed to bleed, especially when frozen
  • frosting sheet remained separate as opposed to "melting" into wet royal icing

My conclusion: I think I'd rather cover curled edges with a border than have cookies that are somewhat sticky and susceptible to bleeding. 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Here are a couple of my favorite cookies made using frosting sheets: All Saint's Day and Uncle Mike's Birthday.

Have you tried frosting sheets on cookies? What application method do you prefer? 


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