11.15.17

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe!

Sugar cookies are a Holiday tradition! We love making them but they are time consuming. I am going to share with you my favorite recipes here on the blog today. If you’ve never made Holiday cookies before DON’T WORRY! I hadn’t either when I came across this recipe, but I decided to give it a try. I actually amazed myself after I made these cookies. My first batch came out so perfect. I was shocked!

Let’s start with the sugar cookie. This cookie is so light and soft. It’s not too sweet so its perfect when paired with icing. The best part is they stay soft! I have to give Georgie Bowers credit because she wrote the recipe on All Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.


This time I rolled out half the dough BEFORE I chilled it to see if they came out any different. The dough was a little trickier to roll out, but the baking was pretty much the same. So although the recipe says to “chill for 2 hours”, if you are short on time you can skip that step. If you have the time, the dough is definitely easier to work with cold.


Now for the icing! The sugar cookie by itself is near perfection, but this last step is literally the icing on top! This recipe is my own. Over time I pieced together this recipe for my icing.

4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/4 – 1/2 Cup milk (Thicker or thinner depends on how much milk)
1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
2 TSP Almond Extract

You’ll need some plastic icing bags. Tips aren’t necessary as you’ll just cut the tip of the plastic. These ones on Amazon are great deal!


Depending on your cookie you’ll want to separate your icing into at least 2 bowls. You’re going to need to outline your cookies with a thicker icing. This takes a little experimenting in order to find out what consistency you like your icing. Then you’ll need to separate your icing even more if you need different colors. I use regular food coloring to color my icing. To change the consistency of your icing just add milk. If its too watery add some confectioners sugar. Wait until your cookies are completely cool before icing!  Fill your piping bag with icing and cut the tip off just a bit to ice your cookies.

Start with your outline. Then take your more watery icing and fill it in. I use a toothpick to brush the icing over the cookie. They sell professional tools for this task but I don’t have any yet. Once you fill in your cookie you can cover them with sprinkles or just leave them with icing. We usually sprinkle them because it’s a good way to involve your kiddos. Audrey loves to do the sprinkling while I do the icing. This batch was super simple because I just used one color. When I make Christmas cookies I juggle several colors. Once they are all decorated leave them out to harden for about a day. Then you can box them, bag them, stack them, toss them, and my personal favorite, EAT THEM!

These cookies never last very long in my house. They are so so SO good. They are a lot of work but I promise they are worth it. It does take some time to get familiar with the icing if you’ve never done it before. I still sometimes have a hard time getting the consistency just right. Sometimes my outline frosting is too watery so it slowly drips over the cookie sides before it starts to harden. That’s ok because the frosting is very forgiving. I promise your mouth won’t be able to tell if the frosting is off just a tad!

Happy Holidays!

 

09.24.17

Simple Pico De Gallo Recipe

Do you love Pico? I LOVE Pico! But I love a very basic Pico De Gallo Recipe that is super easy but full of flavor. I have a confession and I know it’s going to make you cringe. I don’t add lemon juice to my Pico because I don’t like the taste of lemons or limes. The only seasoning I add to my pico is salt. This may be bland for some of you, but others like myself will greatly appreciate this very simple recipe.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Cilantro – 1 bunch
  • Roma tomatoes – 2
  • White onion – 1/2
  • Garlic clove – 2
  • Salt – to taste


Chop up all your ingredients. I’ve tried using my food processor but it just doesn’t come out the same. The chopped onions and tomatoes can’t be replicated with the processor – well at least not with mine. Then just add it to a bowl and mix together. You can add salt to taste and any other seasonings you like now. If you like lemon juice or lime feel free to add it now. Once you have the desired taste cover the pico and place the bowl in the fridge. Wait at least 3 hours to let the flavors mix. Pico De Gallo always tastes SO much better the next day so if you have time, make this ahead of time.

I love pico on everything. It’s essentially a low calorie, healthy condiment. When you consider that some Ketchup has 30 calories per TBSP and Ranch triple that, pico starts looking pretty darn good on everything. Plus it isn’t processed like most of the condiments which is always a plus. I prepared this pico today because I plan on making some chicken quesadillas for dinner. It’s delicious if you put it in the quesadilla before cooking. Whatever your taste is, there is a pico for you! Since I’ve been trying to lose the last 10lbs of baby weight I am constantly making Pico De Gallo. It’s helped me introduce more veggies into my diet and I like to snack on 1 serving of tortilla chips with pico when I get the urge to munch.

There are approx. 35 calories in a large Roma tomato, 30 calories in half a white onion, and 23 calories in a bunch of cilantro. A garlic clove has a barely there 4 calories. Altogether this one bowl of prepared pico is 131 calories!

Enjoy!

11.15.15

Cake Pop Recipe

Cake pops can be easy and DELICIOUS. Of course the difficulty level is dependent on what kind of ingredients you decide to work with. I like to use store bought icing and cake out of a box to save time. There are tons of options if you go this route. If you decide to make homemade icing and cake it will definitely take a lot longer.

What You Need:
I bought everything at Walmart

  • Box cake – I used the Betty Crocker Cherry Chips
  • Vanilla tub icing
  • Cardboard cake pop stand
  • Melting chips
  • Pop sticks
  • Sprinkles

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Once your cake cools crumble it with a mixer and slowly add in frosting. Mix in frosting until the mixture can be formed into a ball. Don’t put in too much because then the cake balls won’t hold their shape for dipping.

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Roll them into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the fridge or freezer (15-25 minutes) to let them harden before dipping.

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Melt your chocolate in a microwave safe cup. I like to use coffee mugs. Dip your stick in the melted chocolate and then stick them into the chilled cake balls. Let the chocolate dry before you work with them. Once the sticks are dry in the chilled cake balls you can dip them into the chocolate. Depending on what kind of melting chocolate you used it could be a bit tricky to work with. If your chocolate is thick make sure you twirl your cake pop to get it completely covered. Immediately sprinkle your cake pops with your topping. We used blue sprinkles then set then set them up to harden. It takes a while for the chocolate to get hard so if you are in a hurry stick them in the refrigerator.

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These were the best cake pops I’ve ever made and I think the Cherry Chip cake mix was perfect. They turned out delicious and we wrapped the left overs in foil to eat later. They kept well in the refrigerator until we finished them off.

10.27.15

Monster Ball Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpooktacularSnacks #CollectiveBias

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Have you ever wondered what monsters eat? Well they eat Monster Balls! We leave cookies out for Santa on Christmas so why can’t we leave monster food out on Halloween?

What you need:

Makes 12 servings

Prep time – 15 minutes

You can use one type or all 3!

Count Chocula®, Boo Berry® and Franken Berry® by General Mills

Butter

Marshmallows – you can buy ANY flavor you like 🙂

Chocolate chips, melting wafers, or even almond bark – whatever you prefer

Nonstick Spray

Any topping you like! I used sprinkles

Mix together 4 cups of cereal in a bowl. I used 2 cups of Franken Berry® and 1 cup of Count Chocula® and 1 cup of Boo Berry®. You can use one flavor at a time or all 3 at the same time! My sous chef Audrey wanted to mix them all together so that’s what we did. Melt 3 TBSP butter and 4 cups of Marshmallows. To melt the marshmallows put them in the microwave for 30 second intervals. After each 30 seconds take the bowl out to mix. It only took us 60 sec total to melt ours, but it will depend on your microwave. Don’t over melt them! Once they are melted mix the butter and marshmallows into the bowl with cereal. Stir together with a spatula until its well mixed.

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You can see we used two types of mini marshmallows for our Monster Balls

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Spoon the mixture evenly into a cupcake pan. They will be super sticky, but try to mold them as much as you can with your spoon. Let them sit for 1-2 hours or until you can handle them with your hands. I used white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Put a cup of chocolate chips in a Pyrex measuring cup to be melted. Microwave the same way as with the marshmallows. Once the chocolate is melted you can dip your cereal balls into it. Once dipped set them on a baking pan lined with wax paper or non stick spray. Now cover with whatever topping you like. My daughter wanted to use sprinkles! But you can use anything! Try nuts, candy, coconut flakes, whatever you like. Stick them in the fridge to let them harden faster.

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Now you can serve them to your little monsters! I recommend individually wrapping them in cellophane bags from the baking aisle. This way you can give them to who ever you like or even send your kids to school with them.

Time to go to Target and buy everything you need to make your Monster Balls! Get creative with your toppings and don’t forget to set them out on Halloween for all the little monsters. For more spooktacular snacks click here.

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