I have a very important question. You know that hit bit of Brit telly, with a grandmotherly female judge and a strangely likable yet somehow not so lovable dude judge? Yeah, that one.
Do you call it The Great British Bake Off, or The Great British Baking Show?
Me, I personally go with the first. It may have something to do with the fact that I watch it on the British schedule (YouTube is life, baby), and it could have something with the fact that I think Baking Show just sounds kinda... lame. The only reason the didn't call it Bake Off in the US of A is because Pillsbury actually had the gall to copyright that phrase. And I'm like "Really, Pillsbury? REALLY?!" So I rebel and call it Bake Off.
Oh, and the other thing? Mary Berry is really the only judge for me-- she makes you feel like she puts such love and care into every little thing she bakes. Not to mention that NAME! I might try petitioning my husband to change our last name to Berry, because can you think of anything better than that? I can't.
Anyway, fangirling aside, these are Mary Berry's Viennese Whirls, but I converted the recipe to volume measurements. Because letsbereal, Americans like their cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons. They may not be as exact as a scale (or as expensive), but they sure as anything are easy to work with.
If you aren't GBBO obsessed, 1) these are featured on Netflix season 4, episode 2, 2)What is WRONG with you?, and 3) here are a few pointers:
- get that butter SOFT. This dough is going to be piped, and your hands don't need any of that stiff dough nonsense to deal with.
- You can't do the whole Ziploc bag for piping thing-- you need a real piping bag with a coupler and star tip. They're all pretty cheap (WalMart usually has a decent selection, and so do Michaels and Hobby Lobby.), and the dough won't be popping holes in that bag.
- The cookies and buttercream freeze incredibly well separately, so all you have to do is pull them out, fill them, and eat.
Light, buttery, and only slightly sweet, the cookies are perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the buttercream and the tartness of the jam. Traditionally, raspberry jam is used, but I used Bonne Maman's Four Fruits Preserves because I love love LOVE all of their flavors, but that one is pretty much the best of all worlds. Really though, you could pick any flavor you wanted so long as it's bright and colorful and pretty. Because pretty food tastes even better, right?
Mary Berry's Viennese Whirls
- 1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. All Purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1/2 cup powder sugar
- 1 cup of very soft butter
- 2 cups powder sugar
- 7 Tbsp. of very soft butter
- 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam, or any other flavor that you prefer
Cookies: Preheat your oven to 375° and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. You can use a round cutter to trace 2 inch circles onto the bottom side of the parchment, or you can freehand the circles when you pipe them on.
In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the cup of butter with the 1/2 cup of powder sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, then beat until fully incorporated.
Fit a piping bag with the coupler and a large star tip (like this) and fill with the dough. Pipe 2" rounds onto the parchment paper. If the dough is extremely soft, refrigerate it for 15 minutes to help the dough maintain it's shape in the oven, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden and very lightly browned around the edges.
Filling: Beat together the 2 cups of powdered sugar, 7 Tbsp. butter, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Spoon into another piping bag fitted with coupler and star tip. Pipe the buttercream onto the flat side of half of the cookies, and spread about 1/2 tsp. of jam onto the other half. Sandwich them together and refrigerate until the buttercream is firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.