A rerun of Paula's Party on Food Network last night inspired this cookie. Red velvet cake is a Southern specialty, y'all! [Insert bawdy double entendre here.]
According to the admittedly cursory research I've done on the topic, red velvet cake got its color as a result of sugar rationing during World War II. Because people couldn't run next door to borrow a cup of sugar, bakers started using boiled beets as a sugar substitute in their cakes. Along with the beets' sweetness came the beets' blood-red color. And lo, an American classic was born
About five years ago, Jon and I baked a red velvet cake for Christmas. We made this cake only once because...well...let's just say all the red food coloring caused a certain reaction, so we never made it again.
Paula got me thinking that I should give the red velvet recipe another try, but this time in oatmeal cookie form--and with a twist. Instead of icing the cookies, I decided to stuff them.
Be careful when you work with the food coloring. That stuff stains, and you don't want to spend the night scrubbing your hands and mumbling like Lady Macbeth about getting damned spots out.
Makes 2 dozen cookies. (To see this recipe in process, check out Picturing Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies.)
|6 ounces room-temperature cream cheese|
1/3 heaping cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
|1 1/2 cups finely ground oatmeal|
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Toast the pecans then roughly chop them.
- Add all the filling ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a spatula until well blended. Let the mixture cool and solidify in the freezer until step 8.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each.
- Remove the filling mixture from the freezer and stuff each dough ball with 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Put the stuffed dough balls in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
- Place chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are firm. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.