Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'd rather be...actually making cookies ;)

Sometimes even with the best of intentions things just don't turn out right.  Ever happen to you?  Well this past week I was sick but still wanted to make some cookies for Munchkin's preschool teachers.  Friday was her last day of preschool and I wanted to make some cookies as a small token of thanks!  Her teachers at Lincoln Montessori were amazing and it was the least I could do for them.

Being sick and working full time, I really didn't have the energy to come home and make a batch of cookie dough and icing.  So being the genius that I am, I thought to myself "You know they do sell pre-made sugar cookie dough at the grocery store-why not give it a try?", big mistake.

I swear I rolled out the dough and used a cookie cutter before I baked the dough.  As you can see, then end result didn't so much turn out.  I will lovingly name these cookies "the blobs".

 Disappointed but not yet ready to totally give up I came up with another "brilliant" idea.  I wondered if I used my cutter to actually cut the shape out of the already baked cookie.  Now I didn't think it would be perfect, but worth a shot.  Um...not so much ;)

So instead of beautiful apple cookies for Munchkin's amazing teachers

I ended up getting a Barnes and Noble gift card and bouquet of flowers

It's definitely the thought that counts but still I'm disappointed in myself for trying to take a short cut.  But lesson learned.  So here is the recipe I've been using and should have used this past week.  Hope it works out for your guys!  I got this recipe from Marian's site at  I highly recommend you check this site out for recipes and ideas.  She is just so talented!

Sugar Cookie Recipe


2  1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


1.  Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed.  (Use the paddle attachment).  Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.
Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough.  If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
2.  Add eggs slowly and mix.  Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
3.  Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out.  Add to mixing bowl.  Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract.  Stir briefly.
4.  Sift your dry ingredients together.  (Flour, baking powder and salt).
5.  Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl.  Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape.  Mix on low speed for 3o seconds.  Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready.  It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
6.  Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper.  Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
7.  Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes.  Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Re-roll scraps and repeat.
8.  Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again.  They will then hold their shape better when baked.
9.  Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
10.  Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.  The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
11.  Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

And of course its not a post if I don't throw in a picture of one of my girls ;)  Here is Munchkin with her teacher Jeanne on the last day of school.
Thanks to a wonderful teacher and happy baking to you all!  I would love to hear how this recipe turns out for you guys!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'd rather be...making cookies for my sister :)

If you don't mind I'm going to brag about my baby sister.  This past weekend she graduated from Kansas State University as a doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  She has worked really hard for the past several years in order to reach her dream of being a vet.  She has wanted this since she was a little girl.  Unlike myself, she has always seemed to know what she wanted to be when she grew up!  So when I learned of the date of her graduation ceremony, I decided to make some cookies as a small token to show her how proud I am.

In honor of my sister's awesome accomplishment I thought a plate of kitties and puppies would be appropriate.  We have always had a full house of furry, four-legged babies.  There is just something so pure about the love of an animal!  I also included some dog bones decorated with the KSU purple.

I will point out that the brown bear looking cookies are supposed to be puppies.  I took a large metal cupcake cookie cutter and stretched it to make a shape that as closely fit the desired shaped as possible.  It was pretty easy to change the shape of the cookie cutter and at a $1 its a pretty inexpensive way to custom made cookie cutter.  I wasn't expecting the cookie to spread so much.  I'm still looking in to how to keep my cookies from spreading so much.  The smaller ones didn't spread but the big puppies spread quite a bit. 
Here is what the cookies were supposed to look like:

Super cute right?!  I might try this guy again as I think he is super cute.  My attempt wasn't bad, but I definitely have room for improvement.

I really enjoyed making these cookies for her!  She has worked really hard and I can't wait to see what an amazing vet she'll become!  Plus I fully expect free vet service for all my four-legged babies whenever she is around ;)

I just have to throw in this pic of my sister and my munchkin!  Munchkin loves her aunt to pieces and can't wait to fly on a plane and visit her in Virginia!

Happy Baking to you!