Friday, December 31, 2010

2010- A Big Year!

2010, Wow. This was a year of big choices and risks for Colin and I. I am so excited to see what 2011 will bring our way but since we have one more day left in 2010, how about a quick recap?
On February 28, I married this handsome guy.

I made and decorated my first cake and thought "Hey, I kinda like doing this".

We moved across the country to Chicago and had to deal with snow for the first time! Still adjusting to that! That guy in the picture with me happens to be Colin's brother. They look just alike. It is scary.

And of course, I started this neglected blog. 

New Years Resolutions?
Blog More
Bake More
Whine less? Doubtful :)

What are your resolutions?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

This post should be entitled "Forget Perfection Part 2". It could also be titled "Last Christmas Post Until Next Year". As you can see though, neither of those made the cut.

A little news before we get started, my blog will be getting a face lift. I am so excited about it I could scream!I contacted Jumping Jax Designs and I am confident that they are going to produce something that is exactly what I want. This will be my first custom design for my blog. Exciting stuff. Unfortunately, she is really busy right now so my request is on a wait list until February 4th. I am not sure I can contain my excitement until then but I will try! One of my new years resolutions is to get serious about blogging and this will definitely give me motivation.

Anyway, on to what you came here for!

My absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe comes from My Mom. I don't know where she got it from, so don't kill me if your Mom has the same one. :)

These are the cookies that my sister's made during our Christmas baking sessions. Yes, royal icing produces a more professional, perfect kind of result but kids don't really care about perfection so we used a glaze. Plus, paintbrushes are easier for them to use then pastry bags. The glaze is super simple to make, just add milk to powdered sugar and tah dah, you have a glaze that you can color using gel food colors.

Sugar Cookies: 
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

3 1/2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt

Cream the first four ingredients together. Mix the last three ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour a little at a time into creamed mixture. This will make a stiff dough.Use immediately in a cookie press or refrigerate for at least 3 hours to roll dough and use cookie cutters. Bake at 350 Degrees until firm and the edges are golden brown.
Picture of the glaze.

Here are some cupcakes we made as well. They did these all on their own with no help from me. They even designed them alone.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Forget Perfection, Let's Have Some Fun

Who are these sweet faces, you ask? They are lovable little monsters (Not Lady Gaga fans) exploding with creativity. They are my sisters and they love to bake and decorate. On second thought, anything they can make a mess with is right up their alley. From left, AB (age 10), MC (age 7), LB (age 2), and EG (age 6). Notice the flour on MC's Ole Miss t shirt! We're pretty real.

Our Christmas is a little late this year since I had to work (sixteen hours) on Christmas Day. That obviously delays plans a little bit. My brother and I flew home from Chicago yesterday so that was our Christmas Eve. My sisters and I got straight to baking... Well, after I took a four hour nap.. What can I say? I didn't sleep at all before our 6am flight. Before I got there, they took care of a little of the dirty work by baking the cupcakes in their silicone cupcake liners.

Finished product!
They are decorated with buttercream icing and candies.

I also have to brag a little bit about their skills outside of baking.

They each made one of these foam gingerbread houses that are totally adorable. This is what EG is working on in the top picture of her. It took them hours but I think they look awesome!

Merry (late) Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookies Santa Will Die For!

      I've got to be honest with you, I have been a total Grinch this year. The only reason I have been looking forward to Christmas is because I want it to be done and over with! This is SO not like me. I love this time of year normally but the combination of being so far away from my family and being extremely overworked this year has taken its toll on my Christmas spirit. I have even stayed away from reading some of my favorite blogs just because the festive creations they are coming up with would remind me of what I should be doing- Baking and blogging.
     Tonight, however, I couldn't resist reading a few blogs in my downtime. It only took one to knock me back into my baking mood. Bakergirl is amazing and has such a great blog. Her blog, in a sense, gave me that kick that I needed. I had been craving Snickerdoodle cookies for awhile now and her recipe looked easy enough and better yet, I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen! I am so glad I tried these cookies. I loved them, my brother loved them, and Colin even loved them. If Colin loves something, I know it must be good because he is SUCH a picky eater and it drives me crazy is one of his most lovable traits. :)

Snickerdoodle Cookies:
Ever so slightly changed from Bakergirl's recipe.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling cookies in 

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Beat together butter, oil, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture into the butter mixture.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on baking sheet. Use your hand or a flat-bottomed glass dipped in the cinnamon sugar mixture to flatten the cookies out slightly.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Cool and then serve. 

Also, I have to show you the Christmas tree ornament that Colin's parents gave us. 
Sweet tea! Oh sweet tea, how I miss you! See the little ice cubes at the bottom and the lemon up at the top? Love it!

Despite me being a Grinch, I truly hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!


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