Tag Archives: cookies
Aside 18 Dec

So it has been a really ridiculous amount of time since I’ve written anything on here and I don’t even have an excuse! I can’t say its because I don’t have any time because I found time to make my own tree skirt. Yes, I said make my own tree skirt. Never in a million years would I have thought those words would come out of my mouth, but here we are. I’ve also been crazy at the coffee shop getting ready for Christmas and making up lots of baskets and goodies to sell. Of course I will be providing pictures of all of this madness soon.

I need to finish wrapping christmas presents, bake and decorate cookies for teachers gifts, clean house from top to bottom, make up 20 more baskets for work, make a cake for my daughter’s 16th birthday(Christmas Eve), have a birthday party and I’m sure other stuff. I’m just now realizing I may need more than 5 or 6 days to get this all done. But hey, that’s what coffee is for right?

I will be back, hopefully very soon, with some pictures and maybe a tutorial on the tree skirt. 

 

Tangy Citrus Sandwich Cookies….about 100 of them

28 Jun

I made these cookies for a wedding as a favor this weekend and its the first time I’ve ever baked with citrus powders. I love them! They can take the place of zest in a recipe or you can just add it to cookies, cakes, icings, etc. In my opinion, it gives it a much more concentrated and flavorful taste than the zest.

I usually don’t follow recipes exactly, but I was handed a King Arthur Flour recipe and since I wasn’t familiar with these kinds of cookies or the powders, I figured I better do it the way it was written. Image

The first batch was ass. I always bake my cookies at a lower temp for longer, but this time I followed the directions and they came out too crispy. Instead of 375 for 7-8 minutes, I tried 6 minutes and it was perfect. You may have to adjust a bit depending on your oven. Once I made this adjustment, the other batches came out pretty good.

I made four different flavors – lemon, lime, orange and pineapple. This was very time consuming because you not only have to flavor your dough, but the coating and filling too and then try to keep them separated and coordinated. The four batches, which yielded a little over 100 cookies, took about three hours to make the dough, roll in sugar and bake. I put the cookies in separate air tight containers.  I then made up a big batch of the filling without adding any flavor and put it in the fridge overnight. Today I separated the filling into four different bowls, flavored each one and then iced the cookies and put together. This was by far the easiest step. Also, its a cream cheese filling so I chose to refrigerate the cookies in their containers.

The cookies came out very flavorful and they will be perfect for the garden wedding. I will definitely make these again, with my own adjustments and I am already finding uses for the powders that I haven’t even bought yet. I think each jar of powder is about $9.00 which seemed expensive to me at first, but you only add a few tbsp and even if you bake a lot, they should last for months.

I followed this recipe from the King Arthur flour site. If anyone else has any experience with citrus powders and have any suggestions of what I can make with them feel free to share!

My suggestions:

– Try baking for a minute less than recommended.

– Bake on parchment paper – much easier and no mess.

– Use a measuring tsp to make the dough balls

– I put the sugar and oil for the coating in a plastic ziplock sandwich bag and then put about 8-9 dough balls in and shook the bag. Much faster than rolling each one individually.

– If you are doing more than one flavor, put them in separate containers and mark them.

IMG_6293 IMG_6298

Flower Cookies

26 Feb

I won’t even try to make excuses about why its been so long since I’ve posted, so I will just jump back into it. I’ve been doing lots of projects….mostly painting, but lots of cookies too. I hate decorating cookies so I’m not sure why I keep doing it. Sometimes I think I just like to torture myself.

The last cookies I made I didn’t actually mind doing. My sister in law just had a birthday so I made her a cookie flower bouquet. I had fun with it since I didn’t have a deadline I had to follow and honestly, its more fun for me when I’m not getting paid to do it. Weird, I know.

The recipe for these rollout cookies  is the best one I’ve found so far. I make the dough, chill it in the fridge for an hour and roll between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper and then cut out. The cookies hold their shape pretty well and don’t spread. They come out thick and chewy, which I love. If you are looking for the thin, crispy buttery kind then these are not for you. I pair them with a basic buttercream icing and easy peasy. A lot of times I make the icing without the shortening and it turns out good

Once the cookies cooled, I separated the icing in to bowls, tinted the color I wanted and put into pastry bags. I used a small star tip to add texture. I let the cookies sit overnight and then placed into cookie bags. I was looking for a cute container to put the cookies in and found this one in the Easter section of Target.

These would make a great gift not only for birthdays but for teacher’s gifts, baby showers, Easter, etc.

Image

Image

I have moved around a lot of rooms, painted, organized, etc so I will be hopefully adding new posts this week with some before & afters.

 

I even had my little helper in the kitchen this time 🙂

 

IMG_3309

No Excuses Snowflake Cookies

20 Dec

I call them this because I’ve come up with every excuse in the book why I can’t make nice decorated cookies – I don’t have the right supplies, I’m not a professional, not enough time, not talented enough, they just don’t work for me, blah blah blah.

In my last post you may have picked up that I’m not a fan of the cookie….love to eat it, hate to decorate it. But yesterday I decided to put my big girl panties on and suck it up. I have to say they turned out better than I thought they would….they aren’t perfect by any means but they came out pretty cute for the teacher’s gift bags that I will put together and post later.

The problem wasn’t any that I listed above….I really believe it was because I didn’t have the right recipe or consistency for the royal icing, but thanks to my friend Tonia  I finally got it right.

Please believe me when I tell you that if I can figure this out so can you….I’ve had so many cookie disasters and ended up frustrated so many times that I almost gave up all together.

I made the cookie dough by hand….I lent my mixer out and forgot to get it back and it was hard, especially creaming the butter and sugar, and my arm felt like it would fall off but the consistency turned out great. I got the mixer back later and made the royal icing with it…..I’ve never tried that by hand and don’t think I ever will!

I’m going to give you the recipes I used and I’m hoping some of you will try it out because it really is worth it when its done.

Rolled Sugar Cookies …I got this from allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups butter, softened  (I used Blue Bonnet)

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

5 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp 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.

Royal Icing: In a mixing bowl:

5 tbsp meringue powder

3/4 cup warm water

Whisk by hand until there is no more water, just foam.

Pour in a whole bag of powdered sugar and turn mixer on low/medium for about 8 minutes.

Add some of the icing to a bowl and add food coloring (I used gel) to get the right color.

Consistency for outline of cookie: it should be like gel toothpaste – thicker, but not so thick that you can’t pipe it through a small tip or bag

To outline: color the icing and put in plastic decorating bag, and cut small hole at bottom. Pipe around cookie.

To flood cookie: after you are done outlining the cookie, use a spray bottle if you have it …if not add tiny bits of water at a time until you get it to the point that you can either spoon it on the cookie like I did or put it in a plastic decorating bag with a round tip and fill it in.

Wait until outline is dry, and either spoon the icing on and spread around or put in a plastic bag and cut hole and flood in.

For the snowflakes I put the original white icing in a plastic decorating bag, cut it at the bottom a little and drew them on. But wait for awhile until cookie is dry!

I know some decorators put seconds to their icing to describe the consistency but I went by look:

I’m going to add some pictures to see if it will help….sorry about the quality – I was lazy and used my phone.

After these cookies have dried for at least a whole day or two you can stack them, or put them in clear cookie bags and tie with a ribbon or sit with a cup of coffee and eat them all.

Time to make the cookies…..$%^&!

19 Dec

I don’t think I’ve gone into a full rant about cookies on here before….I guess you are in for a treat. I can’t stand those little mothers…..I’m not talking about the chocolate chip or peanut butter or oatmeal raisin. No, I’m talking about those stupid little cut out sugar cookies decorated in royal icing…..you know, the perfect looking ones that are so pretty and would be perfect for gifts. It just so happens that there is a certain holiday coming up and of course teachers gifts and what did I decide to make?…..oh I think you know.

In the last six years I can only remember one time where I’ve made these decorated cookies and they’ve turned out good…one! I believe it was when I made snowflake cookies for my daughter’s teacher in the 3rd grade….she’s now a freshman in high school. My son is in 3rd grade with the same teacher and I’m going to give it a go. Why, I have no idea. I fail at this more times than I can count….I curse, cry, stomp around and pretty much turn into a whiny baby, but I’m going to do it anyway. Damn you Pinterest for making it seem like I can do this!!

I have eight teacher gifts to make….which is crazy by the way, but I figured all I need is two pretty cookies each, then I will put them in the clear cookie bag, tie with a ribbon and maybe put in a gift bag with some hot chocolate and chocolate dipped spoons or marshmallows. Easy peasy right?

Just tune in tomorrow for either my success story with pictures or my disaster rant….still with pictures.

Update:

Ok, so I didn’t end up making the mittens since I forgot I lent the cutter to my sis, but I did make some round cookies with snowflakes that I will hopefully post about later. I’m still debating getting the mitten cutter and making some today but the gifts are for tomorrow so that might be cutting it a bit close…..although I do like a challenge.

 

I have kitchen ADD

20 Sep

Yesterday I spent my whole day in the kitchen……and not in the fun way (eating cookies and drinking coffee) – the whole day!!  I guess it will be worth it…hopefully. I wanted to make dinners for a week ahead of time so I opened the fridge and cue horror music.

So this is how my thought process went: Have to make food….can’t make food because fridge is gross….have to clean fridge….can’t clean fridge out because dirty dishes in sink…..have to do dishes….put them away….clean counters…..then clean fridge, put it back and organize. Now I can make food….I wish I had a bigger fridge.

Trust me, it was worse than it looks. Never mind…it looks pretty bad.

Don’t judge me. 🙂

See how easy it is to get to the margaritas now?

I was finally ready so I found a recipe for spaghetti sauce and went to work….about 5 minutes in, I remembered that I hated recipes and measuring and just started throwing stuff in. I highly encourage you guys to do this…..cooking is so much more fun when there aren’t restrictions and you can just be creative. I find that doing it this way helps you figure out what works in a recipe and what doesn’t. I know that this way of cooking isn’t for everyone, but you should give it a try just once. Oh and I just want to add that I NEVER make my own sauce…..if we want spaghetti I go to the store, buy a jar , add some diced tomatoes and spices and I’m done. But since I’m trying to cook ahead , homemade just made more sense. Ok so sauce on the stove and then its time to get the meat out.

Let me start by saying that I had this great plan…..I saved all these recipes on Pinterest for freezer meals and the plan was to put meals together in the freezer bags. Again, this did not work for me….it was way to confusing to figure out what you could freeze and how, and putting the raw meat with the veggies kinda of freaked me out. So I decided to separate the meat I bought into different freezer bags so I can just pull them out, defrost and stick in crock pot or oven. I put BBQ in with some of the meat and the rest I left unseasoned because I’m not sure how I will use it yet.  I bought pork chops, country style ribs and chicken drumsticks. I have no idea how to pick out meat but I’m learning. I really tried to plan meals ahead of time and make a grocery list, but I didn’t like that. I went to the store, found the meat that looked good and was a decent price and then planned around that. From the meat, I was able to get 6 dinners for 5-7 people (sometimes my sis and nephew eat with us) for $30….not too bad. Much better than eating out, thats for sure.

I’m sure there are better ways of freezing and stacking, but right now I’m just glad its done!

The rest of the week I will post recipes for spaghetti sauce, baked mac and cheese(no Velveeta! ), waffle mix from scratch and some sort of cookie- if I can get it together to make them!

I almost forgot, here is a site you guys HAVE to check out….she has everything from recipes to homemade laundry detergent to crafts to everything! I promise that you will thank me later……there are some really great ideas on there. In fact that’s what motivated me to clean my fridge(other than the nastiness).

Boredom + Cake Mix = Snickerdoodle Cookies!

17 Sep

I’m bored and that is never good……never. Trying to cure my boredom usually ends up with a huge mess and weird concoctions. I’m not sure why I bake when I’m restless and bored but I do ……and its usually something I’ve never tried before. And its not like I don’t have anything to do because I really do, but making a big mess and making something funky just sounds better than cleaning and paying bills.  So, tonight I had a cake mix but no frosting and of course ran a search to see what I could come up with. I’ve tried the cake mix + can of pop before and it came out pretty good so these cake mix snickerdoodles I found have to be yummy! I’m not a big fan of making regular snickerdoodles…..they are the Goldilocks of my cookies – either too mushy, too crunchy or too chewy. But these looked so easy and delicious that I had to give them a try.

Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together 1 white cake mix (I used yellow), 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg until it forms kind of a dough. Combine 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon in a bowl. Form a ball with the mix, roll in sugar mixture and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

I have to say that to me they were just ok, but everyone else is loving them. In fact, I barely got a picture before they took them all! Very fast and easy cookies to make…..its a fun thing to do with the kiddies.

The “dough”

Heading into oven….

Straight to the coffee….yum!