Blue Cupcakes

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When we’re bored, we bake! And of course Liam wanted something blue so he got EVERYTHING blue 🙂 He actually did most of the preparing for these blue cupcakes besides pouring the batter into the pan and piping the frosting. I know, I know… it looks like a 4 year old did it but I don’t have anymore piping bags and the ziplock bag I was using sprung a leak!

It did not take long to make these little guys. They are mini cupcakes (not sure if you can tell by the pictures) and I used a box of Pillsbury cake mix. Half a box of cake mix actually. I needed to use it up and you know I LOVE cake so here we are! Super BLUE cupcakes. I will give the recipe I used below, but you can also just use an entire cake mix and add food coloring. Same with the frosting.

So… here we go! Start those ovens…

What you will need: 

Cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners

Half a box of Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 egg
Food coloring
Note: White cake mix would be better, obviously. Ours came out a little on the green side since the batter was yellow.

For the frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring

Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, beat all ingredients for the cake until well blended. Pour into prepared cups about halfway full. Bake for about 12-13 minutes for mini cupcakes, longer for regular size.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before removing the cupcakes from the pan. Cool completely out of the pan while you make the frosting.

For the frosting, beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until smooth. Add in milk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add in food coloring and more powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.

Frost cupcakes, decorate and enjoy! Store covered at room temperature.

Gingerbread Cookies

I know Christmas is over, but I was really sick the week before and was not motivated at all to post or bake. But here I am! Better late than never, right?! Liam was sick, too. He actually had pink eye in both eyes! Thank God we are all healthy now and were fine for Christmas. And here we are! Back in full force and ready to bake and share recipes 🙂 I hope you all had a great holiday with friends and family!

The recipe below is actually half of what I usually do when I make these. I got about 21 cookies so if you need more, just double it and you’ll get 40 + depending on the cookie size. Have fun with it, get the kids involved. Seriously, the dough is very easy to work with and the cookies are just so darn cute! So here we go!

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Cookie cutters

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside. In another large bowl or bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add molasses and egg and beat until well combined. Slowly add in flour mixture until dough is formed.

Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface (I use parchment paper plus flour), roll out one of the dough discs. Usually gingerbread cookies are pretty thin so I’d say about 1/8 of an inch thick. Then, cut out with desired shapes.

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and stick in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate however you want and enjoy!

I left mine naked because I think they are so cute. Plus, I used sparkling sugar on the trees because I’m using those for a cake you will see in the next few days 😉

Lemon Cookies

It’s a rainy, stormy day here in Chicago. It makes me so tired but spring is finally here! Very refreshing. We need the rain. I decided to bake some cookies (of course) to help with the boredom. I actually had the dough prepared in the fridge so all I had to do was slice and bake. They are so easy and delicious! I have a feeling these will be my summer cookie. Great to bring to a bbq or pool party or other summer fun things. Yay for lemons.  Let’s bake some cookies…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet(s) lined with parchment paper

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
14 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
2 large egg yolks

For the glaze: 

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Note: This dough needs to be refrigerated at least 4 hours so plan accordingly!

To make the dough:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and lemon zest with a fork. This will make a beautiful lemon sugar. Smells so good!

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter with the lemon sugar until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Add in flour mixture and beat until just starting to clump together. Divide the dough in half and place each half on plastic wrap. Form rectangle logs, about 6 inches long like I did here…

And then cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Cut refrigerated cookie dough onto 1/4 inch rectangles, like so..

Bake for 13-17 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you want them. Let cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze:

In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cookies! I used a ziplock bag with a small hole cut in it but you can just use a spoon. Let the glaze harden for an hour before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!

 

Soft & Chewy Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I just couldn’t resist the urge to bake something gooey and delicious today! I started the 3 Day Potty Training Boot Camp for my 2 year old today so we needed something to help pass the time. For those who aren’t familiar with this method, you cannot leave the house for 3 straight, full days. You have to keep an eye on your child at all times. This is fine, now that these cold ass Chicago days are upon us. Plus, little boys Fruit of the Loom briefs are super cute!

Ok, enough mom talk. These cookies are simple to make and don’t have crazy ingredients, so if you need a pick me up, bake up these brown circles of chocolatey, sugary goodness!

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling

These cookies are so pretty! My husband even asked, “Why are they so shiny?” LOL

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Add egg and egg yolk and whisk until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients and stir until moistened. Dough will be thick.

Roll dough into 2 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Press each cookie down slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

I always make these during Christmas and always will. I love an easy go-to cookie recipe, and this one is absolutely perfect. Who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter?! The recipe is on the bag of Hershey Kisses but I changed it a bit. No need to type any further… so…let’s get to baking…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
Extra granulated sugar for rolling

To make the dough:

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add peanut butter and both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add in milk until combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined.

Cover and chill the dough for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.

Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes.

As soon as cookies come out of the oven, gently press a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie. The cookies will crack but that’s ok! It’s what gives them their unique look 🙂 Allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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Christmas Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Tis the season for baking cookies and I just love it! I made these to be a prop in our Christmas card picture. I’ll post that another time 😉 These cookies are so delicious because not only are there dark chocolate chips in them, but also mint M&M’s!! So Christmasy and delightful. Yum. Let’s get to cookie baking…

What you will need…

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 bag mint M&M’s
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa. Set aside. In another large bowl, mix butter and both sugars until combined. Add eggs and peppermint extract and mix until combined. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in M&M’s and chocolate chips. Put in fridge for 20 minutes.

Drop dough by 1 inch balls onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on wire rack and enjoy!

 

MATT’S Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are so good! They have always been my favorite, even as a kid. How are they always soft? And they’re thick and chocolatey! I had to see if I could make them exactly how you get them at the store. I was very glad they listed the ingredients on the bag. I just had to guess the measurements. And I basically just referenced my other chocolate chip cookie recipe and made a few adjustments. So here we go… Homemade MATT’S!

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What you will need:

This is a picture of the back of the actual bag. No added preservatives or anything! Awesome. Now for the measurements…

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
2 1/4 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup baking oil (picture of what I used down below)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together both sugars and oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add vanilla.

Slowly add in the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Note: I did not use a hand mixer or an electric mixer to make this dough. I used a whisk and a spoon and my own strength.

Place the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Drop cookie dough by spoonfulls onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!