Tag Archives: sugar cookie

Cookie Decorating 101

27 Jan

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Here’s my little guy’s first attempt at cookie decorating… Obviously he has a real future in pastry arts, wouldn’t you agree?

(my personal favorite is the bottom right one – where my husband attempted to take away his frosting. It did NOT go well…)

Skip The Frosting With These Sugar Cookie Candy Canes

10 Dec

I am a HUGE  Christmas cookie fan – and this year I wanted to try a new twist on the classic frosted sugar cookie– so I was browsing the internet and decided to whip up these adorable treats

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Candy cane shaped sugar cookies – aren’t they adorable? They were really easy too…

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I just whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough split it in half and then added red food dye gel to one half and mixed well so all of it was fully red (I used my trusty kitchen aid mixer to avoid having red dyed hands!)

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Then I took small chunks of each color and rolled them into strips, then rolled them together into one big twisted cookie dough log

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Then the log got broken into pieces and rolled and shaped into individual candy canes

I baked them at 350 for 8 minutes and let them cool on their trays for 5 minutes before I transferred them to cooling racks

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Then once they were cool I froze some for later this month – and did the obligatory taste test of course. They tasted perfect – you get that great sugar cookie taste without the sometimes too sweet frosting. They will look great at all your holiday gatherings- and they will taste great too!

Nothing Says “I Love You” Like Sugar And Butter

15 Feb

I know I may stand alone in this opinion, but I LOVE Valentine’s Day (yeah, I know, it’s a stupid non holiday created by Hallmark, but what can I say? I am a sap, a true romantic at heart ha!).      

I love the chance to dream up some new way to tell my husband just how much I love him, and this year, I decided it had to involve one of the few things I love even more than Valentine’s Day – COOKIES!

I am not the best with words, so I always have trouble with greeting cards and trying to figure out what to write in them, so this year, I decided an edible greeting card was in order.

Giant Sugar Cookies shaped like hearts and frosted to look like conversation hearts, with perzonalized messages on them were what I decided to make

First, I had to pick a sugar cookie recipe, and since I already determined that the Betty Crocker recipe was the favorite in my Battle Of The Sugar Cookies, I just whipped up a batch of those and got down to the important part – the decorating!

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I set up my supplies, which included the cookies, vanilla frosting (check out my go-to recipe here) tinted to ‘conversation heart’ colors, and then of course some dark pink frosting for piping the messages

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First order of business was to get a base of frosting on the cookies, and then came the fun part! I piped the messages on, and this is what they ended up looking like

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All together it says “On this day 7 years ago, I gave you this “You and Me”, and told you to think about it. I’m so glad you did. I Love you more every day. Here’s to a lifetime of love. Happy Valentine’s Day, Love – C”

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The story behind the message is that 7 years ago before we started dating, I approached him with a “You and Me” conversation heart and told him (partly jokingly) to “think about it”. We started dating soon after, and the rest is history. I credit the conversation heart as being the catalyst that started our relationship – cheesy, but true

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Then came the question of how to package them – I decided to wrap each cookie individually in a plastic sandwich container, and then number them (to be opened in order by my Valentine). When I brought out this huge box and told him to open his ‘card’, it had the desired jaw-dropping effect

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He loved it, and luckily he was willing to share….

Picture 010Hope your Valentine’s Day was as sweet as mine was!

Christmas Means Cookies – And LOTS Of Them!

18 Dec

Caroling, ornaments, lights, presents, shopping, eggnog, family….just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of Christmas. But what’s the first thing I think of when thinking about the holiday season? Why, COOKIES, of course!

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Last year, I made Christmas cookies as gifts for people – a LOT of cookies….and it took a lot of time. Was it worth it? Debatable, because it IS great to give something homemade as a gift, but I do know one thing for sure – I won’t be doing that again anytime soon!

 

This year, I had no real reason to make any cookies, which meant I could take my time and pick which ones I wanted to make and actually make them for fun!

 

So what did I make? Well, there were the Sugar cookies – and since I couldn’t decide which recipe to use, I made two batches (cuz you can never have too many cookies, right?)

 

And what could be more perfect for Christmas that Peppermint Patty cookies, a chocolate cookie sandwich filled with minty creamy frosting…yum

 

Gingerbread men are a classic Christmas cookie, and while I enjoy the taste, I am not a fan of the ginger”snap”/crunchy cookie. So I found these Soft Gingersnaps, which combined the unique taste of the gingersnap with a nice soft, chewy cookie (perfect with some milk!)

 

Then there were these …..

 

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Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies Long name, super delicious results! chocolate, fruit and oats (so you can pretend they are healthy!) combine to make an amazing treat. If you only have time to make one kind of cookie this Christmas, I highly recommend these – they are easy and unique, plus they taste great

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 5-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

**The only thing I like to add is some cinnamon and nutmeg, just a pinch of each, I feel like it really adds to the flavor!

 

So those are my top picks for Christmas Cookies, but I would love to know what kinds you are baking – either for fun or for gifts!

Battle Of The Sugar Cookies – Which Recipe Is The Best?

18 Nov

 

One of me favorite things to make is frosted sugar cookies. They are delicious, versatile, and super fun to decorate for any and every occasion. I used to cheat and use a boxed sugar cookie mix, but the brand I prefer (Krusteaz) is no longer carried at any of my local grocery stores, so this holiday season I realized I would have to take drastic measures and (gasp!) make my sugar cookies from scratch. I have done this before, but haven’t found a recipe that was worth repeating. So, I did some research, and narrowed it down to these two recipes:

 
Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Granulated sugar or colored sugar

Directions
1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet.
4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

 

Allrecipes.com The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Then, it was time for the duel. So, I prepared my ingredients

And mixed my doughs

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All Recipes

And baked my cookies (even though the all recipes said to bake them at 400, I baked them at 375 and they turned out fine, 400 seemed really high to me and the oven was already at 375)

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So once all that was done….the big question is, which recipe was better?

Let me start out by saying, they both had their good and bad points – The Betty Crocker cookies were slightly drier, but more flaky and had lots of delicate layers, which were delicious. The All Recipes cookies were richer and more buttery, but puffed up more when baking and definitely had a slightly more shortbread-ish texture, which isn’t my favorite when it comes to sugar cookies
For me, I think the winner has to be the Betty Crocker recipe, the smooth dough produced a cookie which had a better overall taste, which could have something to do with the almond extract in the dough (yum!)

 

However, if you are looking for more of a classic sugar cookie taste, I think your best bet would be the All Recipes cookies

 

Both turned out delicious and when slathered with frosting have that classic taste we have all come to associate with Christmas

 

Happy Holiday Baking!

The Sugar Cookie Goes Dark – Thanks To Cocoa!

28 Apr

It is no secret that I love making (and eating) Sugar Cookie Cutouts. It is also no secret that I love chocolate (I mean really, what girl doesn’t?)

So when I first had one of these chocolate sugar cookies,I thought that I had died and gone to heaven! Not only was the thought of a chocolate sugar cookie exciting and new, but the best part was, my husband made them for me! That’s right, I didn’t even have to make them myself, and we all know that things taste better when they are made with love by someone else!
I was having a bad day, so to cheer me up, he made me these cookies. Not only are they cookies, not only are they chocolate, and not only did he make them for me, but to top it all off, he made them in my absolute favorite shape using our Mickey Mouse cookie cutter (there’s just something about Mickey Shaped Foods that I love, I can’t help it).

He pretty much wins the best husband ever award for this one

Oh, and yeah, they were delicious too. We will definitely be making these again (I am thinking possible cookie sandwiches with various frosting fillings…hmm….)

 

Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies (Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com)
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cups white sugar
• 1 egg
Directions
1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients to form a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Dough is sticky so be sure to add more flour to the rolling surface as needed. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cute Cookie Shortcuts For Every Season….Including Disney Season?

19 Mar

I am the first to admit I am a huge Disney World fan, so much so that I have another blog dedicated to the reasons why Disney World is fun for adults too (not just kids!), so anytime I can Disney-fy something, I usually take advantage, and baking is no exception

Which is why I was thrilled to see these at adorable Valentine’s Day themed ready to bake cookies at my grocery store (they also had ones with Cinderella’s slipper on them)

And I also recently spotted these cute Minnie Mouse Easter ones (how exactly they fit into an “Easter” theme I am not sure, but they are still cute, and made double sense for me since I will be spending Easter in Disney World!)

These adorable cookies are a great project you can let your kids help with, because they are fast and easy and basically just involved plopping some dough chunks onto a cookie sheet

Another plus is they come in varieties for pretty much every season and occasion you can think of, from halloween to spring to easter to christmas to thanksgiving to st patrick’s day to valentine’s day to spring…..ok, you get the idea! Check out Pillsbury’s full line of cookies Here

One slight negative I have found with this type of cookie is that when they bake, they don’t spread out as nicely as I would like – I bake them for longer than stated on the package thinking this might help them spread, but it doesn’t…..

I personally miss the rolls of slice n bake cookies with the picture images in them, sometimes the images got a little distorted when you cut them, but I found as long as the dough was nice and cold and you cut it with a sharp knife, that wasn’t really an issue. My grocery store doesn’t seem to carry the rolls of dough with the images on them anymore, just the pre formed ‘ready to bake’ ones, which honestly doesn’t deter me from buying them, I just wish they came out more flat!

….And that also doesn’t stop me from eating (a lot of) them!