Planet Botkier February 12, 2010

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, we got in the spirit by organizing an office wide bake-off. To our surprise-quite a few members of the Botkier family went above and beyond to concoct truly sinful treats. What better way to spread the love than baking treats for your special someone-or even a best friend! We chose our favorite sweets and quizzed the part-time chefs for their recipes to share with you.

Below-find two of our newest treasures: Christina’s Raspberry Linzer Cookies, and Dayna’s Toffee Nut Coco Bark.

Christina’s Raspberry Linzer Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted (I used blanched almonds instead)

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup  raspberry jam, strained

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse pecans, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Cut out squares with a 2-inch fluted cutter. Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2-inch heart cutter; reroll scraps. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake squares and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool. Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares; top with cutout ones.  Enjoy!

Dayna’s Toffee Nut Coco Bark

Saltine crackers

3/4 c. butter

3/4 c. sugar

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Crushed pecans (optional)

Layer jelly roll pan with foil, then with saltines, touching each other. Cook butter and sugar on top of stove in saucepan until mixture is thick and boils, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until it turns a caramel color. Pour over crackers. Bake in 350 oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.

Cool slightly, then sprinkle with chocolate chips (not quite the full bag). When chocolate is shiny, spread out with dinner knife. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Place in freezer for 1/2 hour. Remove from freezer and lift out foil. Break into bite size pieces and share with friends!