Peppermint Meltaways

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know I always post the pictures of what I’m about to blog about next. So… I hope you all were waiting for this recipe! Seriously, THIS is the cookie of Christmas 2017 for me. They literally melt in your mouth and peppermint just has that holiday flavor you crave this time of year. Ugh, I ate way too many already and it’s not even December. But as always, not only do these taste great, they are super simple to make, too. Definitely add these to your holiday cookie exchange/platter/dessert table because they are not worth passing up 🙂

Go get your aprons on… it’s about to feel like Christmas in your house (and mouth) 😉

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the frosting:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup crushed candy canes

In a bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch. In another bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and extract until smooth. Slowly add in flour mixture until dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the bottoms are beginning to brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, beat butter until smooth. Add in milk, extract and powdered sugar and beat until you reach desired consistency. Spread on each cookie (I just used the back of a spoon) and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Store covered.

Happy Baking!

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Simple Shortbread Cookies

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I can’t believe I don’t have a shortbread recipe on this blog yet! I seriously thought I did because I’ve made these a few times and they are so good! These are so simple to make and a great cookie to be creative with! Get the kids involved! Make different shapes! Use different toppings!

I have another shortbread cookie recipe that I will post another time. They have a more “Christmas” flavor if you know what I mean. Also, with this recipe, feel free to substitute a tablespoon of milk for lemon juice for a more lemony flavor. Or orange zest! Oh man! Now I want to make these again…. But that’s what I love about simple recipes like this one. You can add whatever you want to make it your own and change it up.

For now, this is the recipe I used. Have fun!

What you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Different toppings or sprinkles. I used Wilton candy melts in chocolate (brown) and red.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together sugar and butter until creamy and smooth. Add in vanilla and milk until just combined. Slowly beat in flour mixture until dough is formed. Separate dough into 2 equal rounds and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out one ball of dough and roll it out on a floured surface until just over an 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just browned on the edges. Continue until you use up all the dough. Allow to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

Enjoy!

 

Yellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

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I made this cake for my husbands 35th birthday. He sent me the recipe from another blog called thekitchn.com. They have a ton of awesome recipes so go check them out if you have not already!

I must say, this is probably going to be my new go-to cake! Great for any occasion, even weddings! Dress it up or down, decorate it how you want, or don’t. It is so easy, not many ingredients are needed and it is so delicious! I could eat it in one sitting, no joke.

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mmmmmmmm 🙂

So without further ado, let’s go bake a cake!

What you will need:

For the cake:

Two 9 inch round cake pans, greased and lined with parchment paper

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk

For the buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons +/- whole milk

Note: The decorations you see pictured are just vanilla wafer cookies dipped in melted chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until nice and creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time and beat well until incorporated. Beat in vanilla.

Slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat for a full minute or two until the batter is a nice consistency. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before inverting to cool completely.

Now make the buttercream! Beat the butter until creamy and smooth. The key to making your own buttercream is that you cannot beat it enough. I used a hand mixer and my arm was about to fall off! Next, add in 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add in vanilla and 2 teaspoons of milk. Keep beating, adding another cup of powdered sugar and more milk if needed until you reach desired consistency.

Look at this buttercream! YUM

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Frost the cooled cakes, decorate and enjoy!

Spritz Sugar Cookies

How is it already December?! I feel like I say that every year at this time. November was a blink of an eye for me. Like it never even happened. I remember Trick-or-Treating, and now… it’s holiday baking, holiday party planning, gift shopping and wrapping, Christmas cards to order and mail out, etc etc etc! But, to be honest, I love it. Christmas is the best season so let’s do this! 🙂

These cookies are a family favorite. My aunt gave me her spritz machine last year and this is actually my first time making them. This machine is seriously from 1989 and in my opinion, not super easy to use. It works, but a pain in the butt. Hopefully, they make them better nowadays. Here is a picture of mine:

I used the tree shape for this post, but as you can see, you can make all sorts of different cookies or appetizer shapes. It’s like making cutout cookies, only shooting the dough out of a gun 😉

So, if you have a spritz maker or “Super Shooter,” let’s go make some cookies.

What you will need:

2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl or bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and vegetable shortening until creamy. Beat in sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until combined.

Divide the dough into two rounds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Have your cookie sheets ready. Take out one of the dough rounds and fill your shooter (that’s what I’m going to call it). Attach the appropriate disc and you’re ready to shoot away! Fill the cookie sheets with cookies and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on wire racks. Continue making cookies until all the cookie dough is used. Enjoy!

Tip: Before baking, sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Or, you can decorate however you like after the cookies bake. Have fun with it!

 

Butter Pecan Cookies

Calling all crispy cookie lovers! This cookie is for you. And so easy, too! One bowl, one spoon. All you need is a working oven and you can do it! The perfect recipe for beginner bakers and also for any occasion. Easily doubles or triples If you need more. So let’s go! Start your ovens…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, beat or stir together butter, sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour and salt until dough is formed. Stir in pecans. Form into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Press down gently with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how big you make them. Edges should be browned. Let cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Easy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Pancakes. My other favorite food that I can eat a ton of, no matter the time of day. I went on a run this morning and really needed a good, hearty breakfast to fill me up. This recipe is awesome because you can change it up and add what you want. You can use all whole wheat flour but I suggest half all-purpose because they are fluffier and taste better in my opinion. So come on! Grab a cup of coffee and make breakfast with me.

What you will need: 

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (plus more for pan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toppings: maple syrup, nuts, chocolate chips, butter, fruit, whatever you want!

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until combined. The batter is really thick. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add a little more milk.

Heat a large skillet or griddle until hot. Brush with butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the heated skillet or griddle. When the edges look dry, flip over to cook the other side, about another minute or two. Serve hot with desired toppings! Enjoy!

Yes!!!

Brownie Butter Cake Recipe

This cake did not turn out how I had hoped, but it still looks cool, doesn’t it? Sorry for the bad photos. I use my iPhone 4s for everything. Plus, I took these shots at different times of the day so the lighting was off. Oh well. I don’t get paid to do this (yet).

I find a lot of recipes and inspiration from Pinterest, and this one caught my eye from a mile away. We are spending July 3rd at my parents to see a parade, and then July 4th, early in the morning, we are seeing hot air balloons at Eyes to the Skies in Lisle. My son is obsessed with balloons right now. And, of course, I’m bringing something sweet to eat. This delicious cake is very easy to make, just read the directions carefully (you always should anyways). Let’s get to making this beauty…

What you will need:

4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan that is lined with aluminum foil and greased

For the brownie layer:

4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the butter cake layer:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoons milk

To make the brownie layer: Note: This cake bakes twice at different temperatures

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Place chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl over simmering water. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Add egg and mix well. Stir in flour until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

To make the butter cake layer:

While the brownie is in the oven, start making the butter cake. In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, and set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add in the flour mixture and milk until incorporated.

As soon as the brownie is out of the oven, spread butter cake batter evenly on top. Change oven temperature to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Keep checking for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer in the center. Let cool on wire rack completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Here is how I cut mine. I also found putting it in the fridge for a couple hours made cutting easier (and it tasted good, too).