Memorial Day Cutout Cookies

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Happy Memorial Day, everyone! It has definitely been a hot one here in Chicago, with temps over 90 degrees and super sunny blue skies! I am not complaining as summer is life to me. So much fun! But since it has been so hot, we decided to stay in today and of course, do some baking. My son helped make these cookies and they are so easy and best of all… do not need to be refrigerated! Cutouts always take so long because you have to refrigerate the dough before you can roll them out, cut out shapes and decorate. This recipe is fridge free! 🙂

This recipe also only makes several small cookies. The stars we did are very small but the flags were bigger so we only got 4 of those. You can easily double the recipe if need be. But super fun and easy, tastes great and is the perfect thing to do if you want to get out of the heat! So go get those aprons on and let’s celebrate and remember our soldiers.

What you will need:

Cookie sheet
Parchment paper and wax paper

1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cookie cutouts
Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In an other bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the flour and beat until just combined. This may take a while. Once the dough starts to form and come together, form a ball with your hands.

Place the dough ball on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Flour the top of the ball and then place a piece of wax paper on top. Roll out the dough to desired thickness. Remove wax paper and cut out into desired shapes. The dough is sticky so I just removed the excess dough and placed the parchment paper directly onto a cookie sheet. Decorate with sprinkles and bake for 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: Transferring the parchment paper directly to the cookie sheet withe the cookies on it works best but I went through quite a few sheets of parchment paper. You can also try removing the cut outs with a metal spatula but mine were too sticky. Do what works best for you.

Enjoy!

 

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No Roll Sugar Cookies

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Happy 2018 everybody!! Wow, let’s hope this year is even better than last year! I’m going to strive to be a better me, healthier, happier and hopefully maybe even make some money! 🙂 So to start off, I’m posting a super easy and delicious sugar cookie recipe that you do not have to chill OR roll out! Hooray!

These are super fun because you can decorate them however you want. Use any color of sprinkles or use frosting. Here in Chicago it is -5 degrees so I wanted to represent ice or snow. Mine look like they can be served at a Disney’s Frozen party 🙂 Rolling the dough in sprinkles before baking give these cookies an extra crunch and combined with a chewy inside… so good! I highly recommend doing that for this recipe.

So here we go! Oh, I halved the recipe below which made about 20 cookies so if you don’t need any more than that, you can do the same.

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
Sprinkles for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined and dough is formed. If using sprinkles, place those in a small bowl.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sprinkles. Place on prepared baking sheet. Gently press down the cookies with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Birthday Cake Batter Cookies


These are the BEST birthday cookies ever! Seriously, if you’re celebrating someones first birthday or their 100th, these are the perfect cookie treat! I love me some cake but you can’t beat that birthday cake taste in cookie form 🙂 Serve these alongside a cake and you’ve got the best of both worlds! Oh, AND you can even go to Cold Stone Creamery and get some Birthday Cake ice cream and then you’re REALLY set!

So, go get those sprinkles and let’s bake some cookies…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup vanilla boxed cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sprinkles

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cake mix and baking soda. Set aside. In another large bowl, or bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Stir in both chocolate chips and then the sprinkles.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place chilled cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Tip: Before transferring to a wire rack, I added a few more chocolate chips to the tops of each cookie to give them some more oomph 🙂

Enjoy! And Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating!

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Brownie Christmas Trees

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Thanksgiving is over so Christmas has officially exploded everywhere! And if you know me, you know I LOVE it! Time to blast those Christmas tunes, shop, drink hot chocolate and of course… bake! I saw these cute trees on Pinterest and thought they would be perfect and a lot of fun for my 4 year old. Super easy, super delicious. Done and done!

I used a box brownie mix but made my own green frosting. And then the stars are mini M&M’s, ornaments are jumbo Nonpareils, we also used sparkling sugar and then the trunks are pretzel sticks!

So, let’s get creative and start baking!

What you will need:

9 x 9 inch square pan lined with foil and then sprayed with non-stick spray
1 box brownie mix plus all ingredients to make (eggs, oil, water)
Sprinkles of your choosing
M&M’s or other star type topping of your choosing
Pretzel sticks (I’ve also seen them done with candy canes)
Green frosting

If making your own frosting:

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
Green food coloring

Make the brownies using whatever recipe you want. I just used Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies. Pour in prepared pan. Bake and allow to cool completely.

Take out of pan and remove foil. Place brownies on a cutting board and cut into triangles.

Here are my triangles. They are all different shapes and sizes because I did not plan out my cutting like I should have but also no 2 tree is the same in real life so…

I put my frosting is a Ziplock bag and piped it on. And then decorate! For the tree trunks I used half a pretzel stick and just sticked it in. Easy peasy.

Here’s my little guy helping me! He did such a great job 🙂

Store covered in a cool, dry place. As always, enjoy! Happy Christmas season!

Simple Vanilla Cake


With chocolate buttercream! And sprinkles! You all know I LOVE cake. So on a lazy Sunday with nothing to do… I make one! This recipe is delicious and easy and moist. My husband even asked “is this from a box?” HA! Nope, your lovely wife 😉 So get on those aprons and let’s bake a cake…

What you will need:

9 inch round cake pan, greased

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (2% works best)

For the buttercream:

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups +/- powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Note: Recipe can easily be doubled if you want to make a 2 tier cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with the milk until you get a nice batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely.

To make the butter cream, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add in milk and 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat until combined. Beat in last cup of powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency and flavor. Frost cooled cake, slice and enjoy!

Cake Pops

Oh, the ever so popular cake pop. Seriously. You see these everywhere and I’ve been wanting to make some for the longest time. Well, that time has come! And they are super easy! Time consuming, hell yes! But easy and beautiful and delicious? Yes and yes and yes 🙂 Honestly, I probably won’t ever make them again. I’d much rather make a cake and frost and decorate that, then do all these steps. But, at least I tried it once!

In this post I will tell you everything I did and used so hopefully it inspires you to make your own! Perfect for a birthday party, bridal or baby shower or just as a special treat. So, let’s go make some cake pops…

What you will need:

1 box of cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme)
3 eggs
1 cup of water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can of frosting (I used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme)
Chocolate for coating (I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers)
Lollipop sticks
Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Styrofoam
Sprinkles

 

First, make the cake. I made cupcakes using the Lemon Supreme cake mix. It helps to do this the day/night before making the cake pops so you have more time and it lets the cake cool and rest.

Then, once your cake is cooled completely and you are ready to make the cake pops, gather all your other supplies and ingredients. With your hands, crumble the cake into a large bowl. Stir in about two scoopfuls of frosting, adding more until the crumbs stick together. I used about half of the 16 oz. can of frosting. Form balls as big or as little as you like, placing them on prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While the cake balls are in the refrigerator, melt a little bit of chocolate. This is for the sticks that are going to go in the cake balls, as shown below;

Cover about a half inch of a lollipop stick and place in the center of a cake ball, only going about halfway in. Continue until all your cake balls have sticks in them and place in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes.

Melt more chocolate. This is for covering all your cake balls so make sure it’s enough. I used about 10 ounces of white chocolate and covered about 13 cake pops. Tip: Once chocolate is melted, stir in about a teaspoon of vegetable oil for a thinner, smoother, shinier coating. Pour melted chocolate into a tall glass for easy dipping.

I had a few fails;

Carefully, dip each cake ball into the chocolate. Immediately put on the sprinkles you are going to use and then stick the cake pop into styrofoam to dry. Store covered at room temp or in the refrigerator . Enjoy!

Crazy Color Cake 

I really don’t know what to call this cake. I wanted to make a fun cake out of new food coloring we got a few days ago. This is what I came up with! It’s really just a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. No crazy ingredients or flavors. Just crazy colors. The recipe is for a single tier cake so it’s perfect if you aren’t feeding a lot of people. But if you are, just double it and you can make a 2 tier cake! It came out super moist and delicious. I also changed the frosting recipe a bit from what I usually do. It turned out pretty good! So, let’s go bake a cake!

What you will need:

8 inch round cake pan, greased

For the cake:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Food coloring of your choice

For the frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
2 1/2 +/- cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring of your choice

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl with an electric hand mixer (or you can just use a spoon), beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk until a nice batter is formed.

Divide the batter equally into bowls depending on how many colors you are using. I used 3:

Then add your food coloring to each bowl and stir until the desired colors are reached.

Next, by heaping spoonfuls, drop the batter into your prepared cake pan, alternating colors. Smooth the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting. In a bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and the vanilla and beat well. Add another cup of sugar and beat well. Slowly add in more powdered sugar until you get a nice, smooth frosting. Beat in food coloring.

Frost and decorate your cake! have fun and enjoy!