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Finding My A Game... Wish Me Luck In An Amateur Sugar Cookie Competition

A month ago , feeling ambitious, I registered to compete in the The French Pastry School Sugar Cookie Competition. The event is today. The French Pastry School is a part of the City Colleges here in Chicago and is excellent. They attract such such world re known chefs like Pierre Herme for hard to get in workshops and master classes. The prices of classes are to rich for my blood, but would be a once in lifetime opportunity. And If I had the luxury to enroll , I would! Anyway the first 30 registrants will compete today at Whole Foods On Canal. The requirements are that we must use, but are not limited to Neilsen Massey Vanilla, Plugra Butter, King Arthur Flour, and Callebaut Chocolate. Each participant will win a Free French Patry Experience and Certificate of Participation. Third Prize is a Kitchen Aid Mixer, Second is a Kitchen Aid and Thermohauser French Pastry School Professional Tool Kit, and First is what I really want, a Kitchen Aid,French Pastry Enthusiast Course, French Pastry School Chef Jacket, and Thermohause French Pastry School Professional Kit.
I practiced early on getting my recipe together. I knew I wanted the element of hazelnut. The first cookies were bulky monsters of a hazelnut dough topped with caramel, then covered in chocolate. They were way to rich and bulky. Not bad, but not what I wanted. I got sidetracked, and got back to work. Last week made a swirl dough inspired by a cookie recipe I saw over at Linda's.I still wanted the hazelnut element. The cookies again were to big, flat, and I had a kitchen disaster when they fell uncooked all over my over. The ones I could bake I swirled chocolate to follow the marble pattern. Again not my best work. But I knew the dough was getting there. So this week I procrastinated. Last night I assembled my 2 doughs. The light dough was harder and dryer, and the dark was mushier. I had been chilling them 2 hours! I had changed the sugar type a bit, so I wondered if this played into it. Anyway it wasn't going to plan. Instead of swirls I got marble. Frustrated but encouraged by Certain Someone, I just went with it. I didn't fight the dough. My mother used to have a saying. 'Let Go And Let God'. I followed her advice. So I woke at 6 am and got to work. I used a 2 inch flower cutter and sliced the dough and started shaping and forming. I got over 70 cookies. The competition requires 50 to judge and 10 for show. No oven misshapes and 2 hours later I am typing this.

Hazelnut Sugar Swirls by "Glamah"

A 3-sugar cookie divided into two dough’s to create a swirl effect. Chocolate is used as decoration to outline the swirl.

Hazelnut Dough
½ lb Plugras Butter room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup cane sugar
1 tsp Nielson Massey Vanilla
1/4 tsb cardamom
1 tsp orange zest or orange icing sugar (an orange flavoring gel used in cakes and icings).
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup Hazelnut Flour
2 cups King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour
¼ tsp sea salt
Brown food coloring optional

Light Dough
1 ¼ cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup Plugras butter room temperature
2 ½ cup King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour
1 egg white + 1 tbsp water

Chocolate Swirl
Callebaut Chocolate

Preparation of Hazelnut dough:
In a bowl or stand mixer cream your eggs, brown sugar, cane sugar, cardamom. orange zest, Vanilla, and butter until incorporated. Do not over blend as to get to much air into the mixture. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, hazelnut flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet as the mixer turns. Once all ingredients are combined stop mixing. At this point, you may add brown food coloring to deepen the color. Shape into a log (close to diameter of cookie shape) on wax paper, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preparation of Light Dough:
Mix confectioners sugar, butter, and egg yolk in your mixer bowl until combined. Gradually add in flour and knead until dough is firm and incorporated. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
Roll out both dough’s on sheets of wax paper. Brush hazelnut dough with egg white mixture. Top with rolled out Light dough. From the long end, roll both dough’s together to form a long slim log. If the log is to thick use both hands to extend it and shape into desired width. Cut log into three parts. Slice lenght wise and lay over each other in opposite directions to mold into another log. The purpose of this is to mix up the doughs tho create the marbeled effect. Just be sure there is a contrast between both doughs. Shape the dough into a log again, wrap, and chill until firm for an at least one hour or over night... When dough is sliced and shaped, it should have a marbled effect.

Preheat oven to 350. Place slices of cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Chocolate Swirl:
Melt Callebaut Chocolate in a double boiler. Once cooled down, pour into a piping bag. Cut off a tiny tip pf the bag and swirl the chocolate over the marbled edges of the cookies.
If chocolate decoration does not solidify immediately, place cookie in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden.

MARX FOODS IS HAVING ANOTHER CONTEST! is calling all Chanterelle Mushroom Recipes!

To Enter: Submit your best original chanterelle recipe to
Prize: 2 Pounds of fresh chanterelle mushrooms
Contest Dates: September 2nd - Friday, September 19th

You can check out all the recipes that have been entered at our

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Anonymous said...

Your mom was a wise woman.
Anyway, Courtney,....Those cookies are the bomb!!
Good luck in the competition sweety! :)

breadchick said...

Oh those look delicious and if I was a judge I'd award you grand prize!

Ivy said...

Good Luck Courtney, they look great (we have the same cookie cutter) and I am sure they taste great as well.

Luca and Sabrina said...

You deserve the first prize according to us, so good luck in the competition, break a leg or as we say in Italian, "In bocca al lupo" and you have to answear "Crepi".... that means being into the mouth of a wolf and when you answear "crepi" you say "it has to die!"
Your cookies are fantastic, the best ones we have ever seen!
Glamah, you're great!
A kiss from Italy

We Are Never Full said...

GOOD LUCK! You're a winner in my book! that was cheesy...

Ben said...

How exciting! I really really hope you win and get those amazing prizes. I'll cross my fingers for you :D Good luck my friend!

PS. I think you confused me with somebody else. I am not going to Chicago soon, not that I know of, although I really want to :-p

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

These look completely wonderful. I hope you win!!!

Emiline said...

I want you to win so much! Good luck to you. With all those gourmet ingredients, these sound delicious. I LOVE hazelnut!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What pretty and delicious looking cookies!

Good luck, then :-D! A great event, that is!



Christina said...

I hope you win! Your recipe sounds incredible.

Nik Snacks said...

I am SO proud of you, perservering and making awesome cookies, too. Good luck. I hope you win!! I always forget to let go and let God, a lot in my life. I need to do that more often.

Oh, I fixed the video. It works now. Check it out!

linda said...

Love the marbled look of the cookies. The flavours are well chosen and the cookies must have been so delicious! Looks like a winner :)
And I think using different kinds of sugar definitely changed the outcome of the two doughs.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Your gonna win, I just know it! Your recipe sounds perfect! I got my fingers crossed for you! Go get em!!

Núria said...

Good Luck, good wishes, good energy!!! You can do it!!! The cookies look wonderful Courtney :D. Please be back with the whole story!

Dee said...

I've never heard of Neilsen Massey Vanilla, Plugra Butter, or Callebaut Chocolate which kinda gives you an idea of my kitchen skills :( But I do like to eat and your cookies are absolutely scrummy! Coco, I'd scoff the lot in minutes, and I'm sure you'll do great. Fingers and toes crossed for you :)

maybelle's mom said...

good luck, they look delicious.

Paz said...

Your cookies look delicious!


The Caked Crusader said...

These look great - you should've won!

Jeanne said...

"Let go and let God" - a friend at school's mom used to say that all the time - you are the first other person I've heard using it in years!

Well done you for entering the contest - so often we sit around talking about all the things we COULD be doing but always come up with reasons why we AREN'T doing them. You go for it, and your cookies are already winners in my eyes :)

Deborah said...

I was going to enter in the state fair this year, but I ran out of time. Plus, the prizes weren't that great - especially compared to this contest!

Love the cookies! They are gorgeous!

chou said...

Yum! Next time will be the charm--you've got the hard work to make it happen (even if it's a few next times down the road). Sorry I didn't have a chance to see you over the weekend.

chou said...

Oops, I must've been blogging under his name one morning. So yeah, that Ben was me. I'll be back, never fear! Especially if you keep making cookies like these. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Not only do they look yummy, they also look good period.