While most Taylor Swift fans are following news of her new album, 1989 – she announced it was coming earlier this summer in a Yahoo! live stream – we’re following her into the kitchen, because damn, apparently that girl has an appetite. Earlier this summer, she and pal Lorde took a cooking class on Rhode Island, where they made their own tacos.
And her love of baking is pretty well documented – there was a Christmas cookie session with BFF Hailee Steinfeld, an evening baking with Olympian Gracie Gold earlier this year, and Perez Hilton even has a video of TayTay cookiebaking. And this spring she declared Ina Garten, Food Network’s the Barefoot Contessa, her hero as they spent the day cooking together in the Hamptons.
Check out their kitchen selfie. (Lucky girl!)
But back to 1989 – the album cover! It’s a Polaroid! And she wants y’all to cop it.
With over half a million downloads sold the first week, Shake It Off has officially hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This video, at the time of this posting, has already had well over 48 million YouTube views. I wonder what I was doing when I was 24.
Luckily, since we haven’t managed to get a little one on one time with T.S. (she has 43 mil Twitter followers – no bigs), Bon Appetit has already asked what’s in her fridge.
And since T.S. is such a cookie monster – and apparently is a fan of the homemade sandwich cookie (we came across her recipe for pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting – which look divine, but we’re not quite ready to break out the pumpkin + spice yet), I thought I’d share a recipe from my friend Charmian Christie’s brand new book, (it just arrived in the mail yesterday!) The Messy Baker, which I have a feeling T.S. would appreciate. I love Charmian’s warm, casual approach to baking – it’s all about fun and deliciousness, as it appears to always be with T.S., who makes it an event to get into the kitchen and bake with her friends.
A celebration of real baking in all its messy, boisterous, delicious glory. That pretty much sums up the joy of baking, don’t you think?
The cookies I flipped the book open to and instantly wanted to apply directly to my face look just like the cookies she publicly baked with Kelly Osbourne last October. Theirs were spiked with peppermint, which you could do here, but I love the idea of the chocolate and vanilla flavours of an Oreo cookie in soft, chewy, homemade form. Seriously.
The Messy Baker is divided into recipe sections unlike any I’ve ever seen, like Sloppy: foods that drip or ooze their filling, Dippable: treats you dunk in coffee, tea, milk, soups or sauces, and Smudgy: food that makes you wipe your face. So delightfully unstressful – and that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Crank it up. Eat it up.
Double-Stuff Über-Oreo Cookies
This “Oreo” cookie is actually a classic pâte sablé pastry loaded with cocoa and acting as bookends for a decadent buttercream icing. I knew I nailed the recipe when a friend bit into one and giggled. She’s not a giggler. Like the famous cookie that inspired it, this ultrarich chocolate treat with its double-thick middle pulls apart easily. While these cookies aren’t a grab-a-handful after-school snack screaming for a glass of milk, they do gently request a second helping. Recipe from The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie (c)2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada. All rights reserved.
Makes 36 to 50
Commitment level: done in stages
1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Generous pinch of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. To make the cookies: Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy. Add the yolks and vanilla and beat until soft and light.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa together. Using a large wooden spoon or the stand mixer on its lowest setting, blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture. When all of the flour mixture is incorporated, increase the speed to
medium and beat to ensure the dough is well blended.
3. Divide the dough in half and spoon onto plasticwrap. Form each half into a roll 10″ long and approximately 2″ wide. Make the rolls as round as you can. If you can’t make them uniformly round, make the rolls square. The aim is to be uniform, so pick
the shape you can make best. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Alternatively, the raw dough can be frozen for a couple of months.
4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the dough into scant 1⁄4″-thick rounds and place on the baking sheets about 1″ apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are firm when touched in the middle. Cool on racks.
6. To make the filling: While the cookies are baking, prepare the filling. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat on low speed to incorporate the sugar. When the sugar is fully absorbed, increase the speed and beat until the filling is very light. Keep beating. A bit more. This takes up to 5 minutes. You want the filling to be almost white.
7. To assemble, place 1 tablespoon of filling on the bottom of a cooled cookie, place a second cookie on top (bottom against the filling), and gently press. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling.
Note: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container. Leftover filling can be frozen for the next time.
Variations: Feel free to play with the filling. Make it orange, coffee, mint, or any other chocolate-friendly flavour you like.