Likely, the sugary-sweet idea here will put a bee in your springtime bonnet—to make it, that is! Our handy home economists came up with the tempting confection after catching sight of the inspiring projects subscribers shared in the "Hats Off Spring" section. Unlike other hat-shaped desserts, the one they've created is fashioned from crispy cookies, which are stacked into a hat shape. A dreamy creamy filling holds the layers of cookies together and serves to soften them at the same time, making slicing the torte a cinch. So try your hand at this newfangled brand of hat making. All in all, it's a treat to complete and to eat!
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Additional sugar
- 1 cup vanilla or white chips
- 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Pink or red liquid or paste food coloring
- Pastry tipsstar #20 and basketweave #48
- 15-inch wide serving platter or board
- Silk flowersone 3-inch pink wth leaves, two 1-1/2-inch white and two 1/2- to 3/4-inch purple
- One yard of 3/4-inch-wide ribbon.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Form seven balls, using 1/4 cup of dough for each. Form three balls, using about 1/2 cup of dough for each. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle each ball with sugar and place each one between two sheets of waxed paper. Roll smaller balls into 6-in. circles. Roll larger balls into 9-in. circles. Remove top sheet of waxed paper and flip invert circles onto ungreased baking sheets. Remove waxed paper; prick cookies with a fork.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Carefully loosen cookies and cool on paper towels.
- In a small heavy saucepan or microwave, melt chips and half-and-half; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Combine whipped cream and vanilla; fold into melted mixture.
- To form bonnet brim, layer 9-in. cookies on a serving platter or Covered board (about 15 in. square), spreading 1/2 cup filling between layers. For crown, spread 1/4 cup filling on the bottom of one 6-in. cookie and center cookie on top of the 9-in. layer. Layer remaining 6-in. cookies, spreading 1/4 cup filling between layers. Refrigerate overnight.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar on low speed until blended; beat on high for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Gradually add cream and extract; beat until smooth. Set aside 3/4 cup; tint remaining frosting pink.
- Spread pink frosting over top and sides of cookies. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry bag or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; insert star pastry tip #20. Fill bag with white frosting. Holding bag at a 45° angle, form shell border at base of bonnet. Using the same tip, form a reverse shell border on top of bonnet.
- Using another pastry bag, basket weave pastry tip #48 and white frosting, hold bag at a 45° angle to form a ribbed border at base of crown. Decorate with silk flowers on one side of bonnet. Tie a piece of ribbon into a bow and place on opposite side of bonnet. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Spring Bonnet Cookie Torte in Country Woman March/April 1997, p14
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