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Vintage Snowman Cookies for Desserts for the Deserving

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Blog, Cookies | 6 comments

Vintage Snowman Cookies for Desserts for the Deserving

Vintage Snowman Cookies for Desserts for the Deserving

A simple act of kindness can brighten anyone’s day. That is what I am hoping for these simple snowman cookies for my recipient of the Desserts for the Deserving initiative. Desserts for the Deserving was established in 2011, by Amanda Rettke from I am Baker. It was created with the sole purpose of bringing people joy. It is a non-profit movement where bloggers, bakers, crafters, and all forms of creative people offer up time and resources to bring strangers joy.  I am hoping that my snowman cookies will bring a smile to my recipient’s face.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

Normally, our gifts go out during the summer time. I was so excited this year to find out that it was going to be during Christmas. What a fun time to send an unexpected gift? I love that a simple random act of kindness can brighten anyone’s day. The other day, a stranger was in the drive thru line at Starbucks. The car in front of them had paid for their drink. The only distinguishing mark on the car was an Ironwood CrossFit sticker. The woman went on Facebook and sent a message to the owner about how hectic her life has been lately and what a wonderful pick me up the cup of coffee was for her that day. A simple cup of coffee or latte. Probably about $4.00, brightened someone’s day. It’s just that simple.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

As the weather turns chilly, our attitudes do not have to. When you are waiting in long lines, try to remember the workers at the stores are doing the best that they can. A kind word, a gracious response even if they are short with you can extend grace to another.  It starts with you and me. The other day a friend on Facebook has asked, “do manners still exist?” Even if it seems that manners are disappearing from our society. We can have them. We can teach them to our kids and we can model for our kids through our actions.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

One of the neat things about being involved with Desserts for the Deserving is to read the nominations. Friends, family, co-workers and neighbors nominate their friends. My nominee is known for her kindness and care for others. She has been experiencing difficult times and loss, yet in the midst of it all is a testimony of generosity.  While my gift of cheery little snowman cookies is small, I hope it brightens her day. Just like she has done for so many around her.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

So take a moment today or this week, to slow down. Enjoy the simple things of life. Buy someone a cup of coffee. Let someone go in front of you in line. Give a kind word to an overworked and probably very tired retail worker.  You never know, what a simple act of grace can do for someone else.

 

 

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Blog, Cookies, tutorial, Tutorials | 3 comments

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

The holidays are here and life gets a little crazy around this time of the year. I thought this would be the perfect time to put together an easy ornament sugar cookie tutorial. Many mom’s are burning the candle at both ends creating gifts from Pinterest, baking holiday treats for neighbors, and running to the store endlessly for that one item you forgot to pick up yet again. I love teaching mom’s in our sugar cookie decorating classes that decorating cookies does not have to be overwhelming. I encourage them to break up the process into different parts. I created these simply decorated ornament sugar cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and decided it would be an easy tutorial for anyone to be able to create.  If you are looking for a good chocolate sugar cookie recipe you should pop over to the prior blog post.

chocolate cookie recipe

Baked sugar cookies and sugar cookie dough freezes very well. If you know you want to make cookies, make your dough ahead of time and store your sheets in the freezer or refrigerator. We have a great tutorial that will take the headache out of rolling dough. Then all you have to do is pop out a sheet of dough or two and cut out your cookie shapes. {Cookie Dough Rolling Tutorial} Once your shapes are baked you can place them in freezer bags and lay them flat in your freezer. Here is an example of what you could do if you knew you wanted to make cookies with your family over a weekend.

  1. On Monday make your dough and roll it out in sheets wrapped in plastic wrap. Then place in the refrigerator to chill. {see tutorial above}
  2. On Tuesday or Wednesday cut out all our cookie shapes for the week and bake them. Then place the cookies in freezer bags and place them flat in the freezer. You can re-roll any excess dough scraps and re-wrap them.
  3. When you are ready to decorate, let’s say on Friday or Saturday, just pull out the freezer bags of the shapes you want to make and let them come to room temperature on a cookie sheet
  4. While the cookies are coming to room temperature, make your royal icing and you are ready to decorate.

When you break the decorating process out in two different stages, it does not seem so overwhelming.  I was just talking to one of my cookie decorating students the other day and this is how she decorates cookies for her family now.

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial Steps:

Step 1:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

Step 2:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

  • Mix a bowl of thick royal icing for the ornament sugar cookies.
  • I used a small drop of Americolor gels electric blue.
  • The picture above shows how the icing does not move from the spoon.
  • You want this type of consistency so that the icing does not move underneath your stencil.
  • leave icing in the bowl and cover

Step 3:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

  •  Center the stencil on the ornament sugar cookie.
  • I like these Martha Stewart stencils for when I am using icing because they lay completely flat on the cookie and they slightly cling to the cookie.

Step 4:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

  • Take a small amount of icing with your paint brush and simply paint a thin layer of icing over the area
  • Use your brush to wipe off any excess icing

Step 5:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

  • Wait about 20 seconds for the icing to set a little, then lift the stencil from one edge and quickly remove
  • When removing the stencil, think of it like removing a band-aid. Swift and quick.

Step 6:

Ornament Sugar Cookie Tutorial

  • There are so many great gift ideas for these ornament sugar cookies.
  • Place them in mason jars and wrap them with a pretty bow and tags.
  • Place them in individual cellophane bags and give them as teacher gifts.
  • Place them on a platter for a holiday party.

Cookie decorating does not have to be difficult. There are many simple techniques that you can use to make beautiful cookies. I hope you enjoy this simple tutorial so that you can make some beautifully decorated ornament sugar cookies. Happy Baking.

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Blog, Cookies, Recipes | 4 comments

Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe

Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

You better believe it. It’s finally here the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I have been looking forward to this since early this summer.  The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is one of my favorite events all year. Not only do I get to share with you this new yummy dark chocolate sugar cookie recipe, but I also get to  try other amazing bloggers cookies. The best part is that as a group we raised over $13,000 dollars for Cookies for Kids Cancer. Now that is what I call a win-win situation.  Originally I was going to do a drop cookie until I saw one of my recipient’s names. I then knew I needed to do decorated cookies. Rachel, from My Disorganized Life, has always wanted to try my cookies. I now had the perfect opportunity to make her some.  Now all I had to do was come up with a new chocolate sugar cookie recipe. I know that a lot of sugar cookies are made with powdered sugar, but could I actually live on the edge with powdered sugar? I decided to forge into the unknown, and give this a shot for my chocolate sugar cookie recipe.  I have to say I believe in the powdered magic.

chocolate cookie recipe

 

Not only did the food blogging community join in the baking fun, but some great brands supported our efforts along the way. Thank you so much,  OXO, Gold Medal Flour, Dixie Crystals and Grandma’s Molasses.  Take a shout out and say “THANK YOU” for partnering with us and supporting a great cause, Cookies for Kid’s Cancer.

Dark Chocolate Sugar cookies 3 PM

Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe {Printable Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached cake flour {I love King Arthur’s}
  • 2 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ¾ cups dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 cups unsalted butter {4 sticks}
  • 1 Starbucks Christmas blend Via
  • 2 ¾ cups confection sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 eggs {room temp}
  • 1 tbsp.  vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Measure out flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt all together in a bowl. Use a whisk to combine all the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a bowl with a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar and Christmas blend Via. Start the mixer on low, when it begins to come together beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes)
  3. Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla bean paste.
  5. Turn the mixer to low-speed. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixture. Add half of the milk. After the first half has been combined add in the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or roll out into sheets to chill. See blog tutorial for rolling out sheets ahead of time. http://thebakedequation.com/rolling-cookie-dough/
  7. Roll out dough  about ¼ inch thick on a lightly dusted surface. Cut the dough into desired shapes.
  8. Chill the cutout shapes in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. All cookies to completely cool before decorating. When the cookies first come out of the oven they are really soft. They will become firm when they are cooled.
  11. Either leave them plain or decorate with your favorite royal icing recipe. We added a few drops of peppermint extract to our royal icing for these cookies.  If you need a great royal icing recipe check out these following links:  Sweetopia Royal Icing, Sugarbelle’s Royal Icing or Alton Brown’s Royal icing.

Dark Chocolate Sugar cookies PM

One of my favorite parts of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is meeting new bloggers.  This year I was paired with three new bloggers.  Let me tell you there blogs are awesome. I have had so much fun looking through their different social media sites.

I got to send cookies to:

I received yummy cookies from some talented ladies.

  • Becky from So Very Blessed made the most amazing cranberry orange cookies. I wanted to go out to the garage and keep these little treasures all to myself. You will definitely want to pop over to the blog to grab this recipe.
  • Emily from Sweet Bella Roos made us yummy peanut butter M&M cookies. My son decided to kidnap this cookie box. It reappeared with a few crumbs to share with the rest of the family. But he wanted to make sure that y’all know these are awesome cookies.
  • Jennifer from My Sweet Sanity made these amazing white chocolate passion fruit meltaways. My husband made off with this box to my chagrin. He LOVES all things white chocolate. He was nice enough to share a few. Can’t wait to add this recipe to my cookie repertoire.

I hope you give your dark chocolate sugar cookie recipe a try. If you do, you will have to pop back and tell us what you think. Enjoy.