My idea for Twin Pillow Cakes was to take two sugar cookies and sandwich them around a raspberry whipped cream filling. Sugar cookies, especially little button-sized ones, are so easy to pop into your mouth, it's pretty much hateful. I wanted to pair a fresh-fruit taste with the butter and sugar of the cookies to create a delicate, rich balance.
I used a recipe for "Ethel's Sugar Cookies" from Betty Crocker's Baking for Today; a version of it is also available on Love Feast Table.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine (I used butter.)
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
Soften butter. Add a teaspoon of sugar.
...and a teaspoon of vanilla.
Add shortening and eggs. Mix together in a bowl.
Now you'll need:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Stir in these ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
While that's chilling in the refrigerator, you can set about working on the
Raspberry Whipped Cream
Joy the Baker made a strawberry version of this whipped cream.
2 cups of heavy cream (mine was ultra pasteurized).
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon of confectioners sugar
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl.
Add sugar, confectioners sugar and vanilla. Start whiskin' away. The cream will start frothing up. Guess what? You're not even closed to whipped cream yet (I didn't know this).
Keep whisking. As far as I can tell, it took me about 6-7 minutes of intense whisking to get it to the right consistency. I started whimpering after the first five minutes. Little yelps of "Oh my god!" and "Seriously?" were bouncing off the walls of my kitchen. But, the hard work put in, after what seemed like five million whisk revolutions, the heavy cream became whipped cream.
a food processor
2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
I have a 6-cup capacity food processor. It's the perfect size for this kind of thing.
Add all 2 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries to the food processor.
Pulse the living bee-jeez out of it. Then add the raspberry flecks and crumbles to the bowl of whipped cream. Stir with a frenzy. Actually, don't. Because that's what I did, and it was raspberry red confetti all up in my face.
You'll get to see how pretty and pink it turns out in the final photos.
Now Back To The Cookies!
Relax for the next forty-five minutes or so while your dough continues to chill. (Get it? When your dough chills, so do you.)
When your dough has a few minutes left in the fridge, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
After the hour's up, take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a well-floured surface. I didn't "flour" my surface well enough the first time (love that "flour" is a verb), so the dough stuck to my rolling pin. I'll go ahead and call that a classic mistake. :smirk
So, flour that surface up better than I did (my boyfriend showed me the proper technique for my second try; he also graciously volunteered to knead the dough while I shot photos).
Knead the dough with some flour to create a soft surface to the dough so it's easy to roll.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin till it's about 1/8 inch thick (yes, he rolled it out for me, too...).
If you have a cookie cutter, now's as good a time as any to get that sucker out. If you don't (as in my case), wander around your house looking for something small and circular that you could use as a cookie cutter. We found a shot glass. Hurray!
Cut out wonderful little cookies and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until they're just the slightest tinge of brown on the bottom.
Once removed from the oven, let them sit on the cookie tray for a couple minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Hypothetically. I don't actually own a wire rack (worst baker ever), so I place them on a clean stretch of countertop (which also happens to be the same color as a sugar cookie).
Let them sit and cool for at least 15 minutes. Spoon up half a teaspoon full of some fresh raspberry whipped cream and dab on the bottom of one sugar cookie. Take another sugar cookie and place them bottom-to-bottom, creating a Twin Pillow Cake (because I like the sound of it!).
Enjoy! They're only about 120 calories a piece... (so it's perfectly fine to eat four Twin Pillow Cakes, right?)
Bakery complete! It was a really fun experiment. I made a mess, I tasted often along the way and I even got the man around the house involved. I consider that a success.