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Archive for December 17th, 2018

Hey guys.  We are so close to the finale of Holiday Baking Championship.  And I wish I had completed Week 6’s challenges before the finale, but we had a very busy week.  You see, we had a home bar installed which had been planned for 21 months and in the build process for 10 weeks.  No excuses, but there it is.  I baked the preheat but will post the main challenge with the finale post.

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So in the preheat, the baker’s had 90 minutes to made a classic chocolate dessert with 2 common pantry items.  I chose the challenge that competitor Sarah had: chocolate chip cookies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I decided to make a chocolate chip shortbread cookie tree.  I left out about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and substituted that with olive oil.  Then I rolled out the dough and cut out graduated sizes of stars.

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Once the cookies were baked, I piped on some semi-sweet chocolate and stuck them in the fridge to firm up enough so they wouldn’t completely stick together.  I then whipped up a frosting with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and balsamic vinegar.

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The cookies were stacked large to small and I piped the frosting on to the tips.  This was the first preheat in awhile that I finished in time and was happy with the result.  I can’t say I tasted too much balsamic, but it was well balanced with the cream cheese.  And the olive oil was there but pretty hidden in the cookie.  Not sure how else to incorporate those two ingredients where you could and would want to taste them.

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Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies:

14 Tbs butter, softened
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Beat butter, olive oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg yolk. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips.

Roll half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Lift from waxed paper; place on parchment lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Pipe with remaining melted chocolate.

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