Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Sour Cream Cutout Cookies Personalized with White Chocolate Names


Happy Valentine's Day! 
Nothing says I love you more than a soft cutout sugar cookie with buttercream frosting and personalized with your name in chocolate

I made these for my daughter and her friends Valentine's Day. 
They will be celebrating one of the girls 16th birthday. 
The birthday girl is a huge fan of Harry Potter so I personalized 5 of the cookies with their names and then added a few Harry Potter decorations as well as a Sweet 16 decoration.

I decorated the cookies with buttercream frosting and then made their names and Harry Potter decorations with white chocolate candy coating. It's real simple, just print out the names and.or decorations and then trace ontop of wax paper. The peel off easily and then can be placed on top of a freshly frosted cookies.

Below are the recipes for the cookies and buttercream frosting and 
a tutorial for making chocolate names and designs.




Sour Cream Cutout Cookie Recipe:

Sour Cream Cutouts:

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt

 

Makes 10 dozen cookies

Directions:
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, sour cream, eggs, butter and shortening. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, almond extract and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Note: this dough is very soft, don't worry. Let it chill for a few hours and it will be perfect to roll out and cut. 



Heat oven to 350 degrees. On well-floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness (don't cut any thinner). Using 3 inch cookie cutters, cut desired shapes into dough. Place shapes 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Prepare frosting as directed. Decorate cookies as desired. Let dry completely before storing. Freeze well unfrosted.


Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
pink food coloring



Directions:

Mix softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.

Add powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until crumbly. Gradually add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add a couple drops of pink food coloring.

Frost each sugar cookie using a knife and sprinkle with pink sprinkles.


Chocolate Names & Designs Tutorial

 Type your names using MS Word or your favorite word processor and print on white paper

 Place a sheet of waxed paper on top of the printed page

Melt the candy coating, such Make 'N Mold chocolate 
and place in a squirt bottle or decorating bag
 

Trace the name with the melted candy coating / chocolate
 

Let the candy coating / chocolate harden (it just takes a few minutes)
 
 Peel chocolate name from the wax paper and place on freshly frosted cookies






 



 
 


~Happy Valentine's Day~



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Best Pumpkin Bread



I love fall, I love baking and cooking with pumpkin this time of year. I have a favorite pumpkin bread recipe that I like to make in fall. We eat for breakfast, snacks, desserts, or just whenever. This year I decided to change up the recipe a little to make a bit healthier. I reduced the oil and sugar and added applesauce to the recipe. This is by far the best pumpkin bread I have ever made. I will share both recipes with you. You choose which one you like. But honestly I think the less sugar/less oil bread is the best.
 








Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe 
(Updated with lower sugar, lower oil) ...

Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup walnuts and/or raisins,optional
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Add and stir in chopped walnuts and/or raisins. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Note: This makes two loves, so I make one loaf with walnuts and one loaf without.

Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe
(original recipe) ...

Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup walnuts and/or raisins, optional
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Add and stir in chopped walnuts and/or raisins. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Note: This makes two loves, so I make one loaf with walnuts and one loaf without.



Enjoy!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Golden Grahams S'mores Bars




Golden Grahams S'mores Bars are a fun twist on rice crispy treats! Graham cereal, marshmallows, and plenty of chocolate are mixed in these easy bars for a delicious S'mores taste. They are easy to make, portable, and everyone loves them! Great treats for summer time get-togethers, picnics, parties, after school snacks ---  the best thing --- no campfire required. Honestly, I like these (tons) better than S'mores (just sayin'):



 
Golden Graham S'Mores Bars Recipe...

Ingredients:

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1½ cups chopped Hershey chocolate bars (I used one Hershey Bar 6-Pack, each bar 1.55oz)
¼ cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cups miniature marshmallows
 
Directions:

1. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Place the cereal in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

3. In a large sauce pan, over low heat, melt the 5 cups of marshmallows, 1½ cups of chopped chocolate, light corn syrup and butter. Stiring frequently until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

4. Pour cereal into saucepan. Stir until coated with the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in remaining 1 cup marshmallows.

5. Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking pan. Butter your hands or spray them with non-stick cooking spray, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, pushing it down into a flat, even layer. Let set at room temperature for about 1 hour or until firm (can put in the refrigerator to firm up faster). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-4 days.
 


  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

School Spirit Sugar Cookies


It's that time of year again and my kids have headed back to school this week (hard to believe, summer time always goes way too fast). The upcoming weeks require us to attend many school activities, sporting events, picnics, and fundraisers. All needing for the kids to bring a dessert. These sugar cookies are a great homemade snack or dessert to bring to any school event. Rather then rolling in white sugar before baking, roll them in colored sugar, matching your school's colors. Such as, our school colors, which are green and gold. They are easy to bake and easy to transport to any event. Kids love them!





Recipe for Sugar Cookies ...
Adapted from Taste of Home Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • colored sugar for rolling (I used green & gold)
Makes: 3 dozen

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  2. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in colored sugar. Place on greased baking sheet (or use parchment). Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Note: Cookies may be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to two months.



Enjoy,
Have A Great School Year!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes


Torn between chocolate or vanilla cupcakes? Go  with best of both worlds. These were made with my two favorite cupcake recipes which are basically doctored up boxed cake mixes. The vanilla frosting is an basic buttercream frosting while the chocolate is a rich cream cheese chocolate buttercream. Swirl these together and yum!

Two cupcake recipes makes a lot of cupcakes (approx 36 cupcakes). Therefore I had quit a bit of cupcake batter to play with. I went with making a pan of swirled / marbled vanilla and chocolate, a pan of plain vanilla, and a pan of plain chocolate. Then had fun decorating with different cake tips (Wilton Round 2A tip, Open Star 1M tip, and  French 4B tip)











Served up a mix  for a Saturday night teen girl sleepover. The girls loved them!
And there were even some leftover for the girls to bring home the next day.





Recipes for Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting ...

Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 1 Box white cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine oil, egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift in cake mix and stir.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until and inserted knife comes out clean.
Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate  cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat on medium speed until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Fill cupcake liners with about 3 tablespoons of batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
 
For Chocolate Vanilla Layered / Marbled Cupcakes: 

Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of vanilla cupcake mix, then on top of each vanilla filled cupcake liner, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate cupcake mix. To make a marbled cupcake, lightly swirl the cupcakes with a knife. I chose not to swirl and just left them layered.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/4 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (10 to 12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (1 to 2 ounces) milk
Directions:
  1. Cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in the salt  and the vanilla. Add the confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons of the milk, and mix well. (Don't over mix). Adjust the consistency of the frosting as needed by adding more confectioners' sugar or milk.  Yield: 2 1/2 cups. 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • milk if needed
Directions:
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until mixed well, about 2 or 3 minutes, scrape down bowl as needed. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and slowly add powdered sugar. If your buttercream becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk. .

To decorate cupcakes, frost or pipe buttercream onto cool cupcakes using your favorite cake tip(s). For a great tutorial on cupcake decorating tips and tricks head over to Glorious Treats.


Enjoy!!