Here is the full demo from Anne L. Watson's Guest Blog post. ENJOY!
Our guest blogger today literally "wrote the book" on molded cookies! Anne L. Watson is here to tell us how to make layered cookies in the Kaleidoscope Heart Mold. Molded cookies don't have to taste boring. Learn how to add nuts, raisins, etc., to your molded cookies without losing the design! Also check out her Monthly Cookie Magazine! Thank you Anne, for a great article!
Making Layered Cookies
in Zanda Panda's Kaleidoscope Heart Cookie Mold
Anne L. Watson
Molded cookies are beautiful, and they're great celebration cookies. But most of them have one drawback--they have to be plain cookies, or the pattern of the mold is ruined.
This means you can't--in traditional molded cookie recipes--use the kind of goodies and tidbits that so many people like in cookies: chocolate chips, nut pieces, oatmeal, raisins, dates.
But--I thought one day, as I was writing my cookie book--why not make the molded cookie in two layers, a plain layer to take the mold pattern and another layer with goodies?
I worked out one way to do this, and used it in the book. Make a dough, divide it, knead goodies into half, then stack the layers, and mold the dough. It worked--though it had its tricky moments. It's not that hard to assemble two big sheets of dough, but it's not that easy, either. Also, you only get one shot at making the molded cookies, because when you reassemble the scraps, of course the layer structure is lost.
Later, I got the idea to put the two dough layers directly into a mold that could be baked. I don't like pottery bake-in molds--I've never gotten good results with them, and neither have my testers. But I do like the silicone Kaleidoscope Heart mold that Zanda Panda makes. I'm not sure why it doesn't have the same problems pottery molds have--in the pottery molds, the dough tends to heave and bubble, and the design generally comes out unrecognizable. This has never happened to me with a silicone mold.
So I decided to modify my layered cookie technique. I made enough dough for two batches, one chocolate chip and one oatmeal-raisin. Here's the result.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 C)
2 cups (454 grams) butter
1 large egg
1 cup (240 milliliters) agave syrup or honey
2 tablespoons milk or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 9 cups (1260 grams) all-purpose flour
About 1 to 1 1/2 cup of goodies (I used mini chocolate chips and chopped almonds in one batch, raisins and instant oatmeal in the other)
1. Melt the butter and set aside.
2. Beat the egg in a large bowl until yolk and white are fully mixed.
3. Mix the agave syrup, milk, and vanilla. Add to the egg and beat until well mixed.
4. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until well mixed.
5. Add the melted butter slowly and beat until well mixed.
6. Add flour slowly until the mixture is almost solid enough to knead. Remove from the mixer and divide into two equal pieces. Set one aside.
7. Divide one piece of dough in two, one piece about twice the size of the other.
7. Transfer the smaller piece to your work surface and knead in more flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Set aside.
8. Transfer the larger piece to your work surface and knead in the goodies and enough flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough..
9. Press the plain layer of dough into the pan.
10. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap. Smooth the dough so it covers the pan evenly. Remove the plastic wrap and repeat with the second layer. The photo shows the plain layer that I used for the raisin-oatmeal batch. I sprinkled some extra cinnamon on it before topping it with the raisin dough.
11. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the dough with nonstick foil, nonstick side down. Top the foil with pie weights.
12. Set on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
13. When the dough is set, remove the foil and pie weights. The dough will still be soft, and will probably be shiny on top. Not done yet!
14. It's done when it's no longer shiny, and is cooked all the way through. It will be nicely browned on the bottom. This takes approximately another ten to fifteen minutes.
15. Remove from the oven and top with an upside-down cooling rack. Using potholders, hold the three layers (cookie sheet, pan of cookies, and cooling rack) tightly together and flip.
16. Remove the cookie sheet and set aside.
17. Now remove the pan. Make sure your cookie is completely baked. If not, slide it back onto the cookie sheet (rightside up this time) and continue baking until done.
18. Cut the cookies apart and cool.
When my oatmeal raisin cookies were done, I repeated the forming process with the chocolate chip/almond addition. That way, I got two different kinds of cookies with one batch of dough. Of course, you could halve the recipe and just make one pan of cookies, or you could have both be the same.
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