Archive for Cookies

One Tough Cookie

Like every good baker, every now and then I go into other bakeries and test out their goodies. I like to check out what’s new in the baking world, taste their different flavors and frostings. This helps me to get new ideas on different flavor profiles and decorating ideas. I like to do my research and see what Sweet B’s is up against.

Being a foodie, I love to talk about food with everyone. In one of my most recent conversations with a coworker, we were talking about a new bakery that is in our area. She was raving about their sugar cookies and how they were the best sugar cookies she has ever had. This sparked my interest. Right after work, I made a detour and stopped at the bakery and picked up a couple of their sugar cookies. These cookies waited patiently on the passenger seat, until I got home so I could give them my undivided attention.

This bakery had huge circle sugar cookies that were topped with colored royal icing, and they looked delicious. After pulling the cookies out of the bag, I noticed how crumbly they were; they completely fell apart. Both cookies were in pieces before I even got to try them. After a few bites, I realized they reminded me of something. They have a processed taste similar to the cookies that you buy in the tin at Christmastime, and I was not impressed.

Nothing about the cookies made my taste buds excited. I didn’t think they were special at all. Sugar cookies should have a light taste with a hint of vanilla. They shouldn’t be overly sweet, dry or crumbly. Even the frosting should not be so sweet that it takes away from the cookie. Well, this is my obviously biased but honest opinion. Of course I think that I make a much better sugar cookie. I think I’ll take a few of my sugar cookies to let my coworker try and get her opinion. What’s your idea of a a good sugar cookie?

A Cool 4th of July Treat

I hope everyone is having a great 4th of July!! We decided to relax in the backyard mow, weed eat, edge, prune the roses, and weed the garden today. Of course, here in the Houston heat, the temperature is1 ice cream sand 95 degrees, but it feels more like 105. So after our hard work outside, we were in need of a nap and a cool treat.

What’s better then homemade ice cream sandwiches! Like my Grandma, I like to keep a couple of extra cookies in the freezer, just in case. Plus if they are out of sight, they are out of mind, right? Out of the freezer came the chocolate chip cookies and the ice cream. After the ice cream had softened, I put a scoop on the cookies and gently placed the other cookies on top. A word to the wise: don’t try3 ice creams to decorate them yet or else…you will get a huge ice cream mess, I speak from experience. I let the sandwiches firm up in the freezer a bit. Then I decorated them with red and blue stars, blue sugar and some red hots. Back into the freezer they went, for about 45 minutes to set.

What an easy and festive treat! Ice cream sandwiches are the perfect treat to cool you down on the hottest of days.

Happy 4th of July!

 

3 ice cream

Nothing Else to Snickerdoo

Nothing makes the house smell better and more comforting then cinnamon. It is one of those scents that brings back many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It doesn’t matter if it is a cold snowy day, or a 100 degree afternoon; something about cinnamon gives me the warm fuzzies. My sinckerdoodles did just that for me last Sunday afternoon.

Snickerdoodle balls

In attempt to escape the scorching Houston heat, I decided to hunker down in the cool AC. T.V. was not exciting me at all, and I had just finished my book. So what’s a girl to do?? BAKE of course! But I wanted to make something simple and easy. I decided to dig into my stack of recipes and came across my snickerdoodle recipe. Before the baking had even started, I could already smell the cinnamon in these cookies.

snickerdoodles in the oven

With such an easy recipe, I quickly mixed the dough and let it chill out in the frig for a bit. Finally my dough was cool enough to roll into little balls and bathe them in cinnamon and sugar. Lucky little things! After they hit the oven, almost immediately the house with filled with the sweet aroma of cinnamon. Before you know it, my husband was in the kitchen peering in the oven, ready to test them out. The sinckerdoodles barely made it out of the oven before they were in our mouths, YUM! Oh snickerdoodles, it has been way too long!

stacked snickerdoodles

Anyone who requests these will surely not be disappointed.

snickerdoodles

Sugar Cookie Obsession

If you put a variety of cookies in front of me, which would I choose? Super easy… in a heartbeat, I would choose a frosted sugar cookie.

baby boy

50th

From a very young age, I’ve been fascinated with frosted sugar cookies. I remember my little sister and I helping mom cut out the cookies and decorate them with homemade frosting and colored sugars. Each of us would have a lid to some kind of cake pan or a plate to “help” control our sugar messes. We did this as a family for most holidays. My most vivid memories are of Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. (I tried to dig up some pictures of those days, but did not have any luck. Maybe my mom and sissy do….if so, let me know!)

eggs

firetrucksBaking and decorating interested me so much that during my senior year of high school, I got a job at Cookies Etc. in the mall. Thanks to to them, I learned how to decorate cookies using piping bags and different kinds of metal tips. It really opened up a whole new world for me. I could not get enough of cookie decorating.

N

This may sound geeky but for the Christmas of ’99, my family gave me decorating bags, tips, and a caddy to hold all of my decorating tools. I couldn’t have been happier!  After this I went on a cookie baking frenzy, making the cookie dough, cutting out fun shapes, frosting, and decorating sugar cookies for every holiday. I still use the same recipe that we first used with mom.

grad hats

Throughout the years, I have been working on my piping and decorating skills.  Baking is not a full time job for me (yet-fingers crossed), but I love learning, so the plan is to take some classes to learn different tecniques, when time allows.  Most recently, I took a Wilton decorating class to help me brush up on my decorating and to learn some new fun things.  At the beginning of this class I felt like the GT student, my patience was tested, but I loved it and am still practing my flowers.    carriages

Being able to be creative in the kitchen, is an amazing feeling. Whether it is choosing which cookie cutter to use (which I have a pretty nice collection of) or which tip to use, I’m always practicing and refining my skills. Not to toot my own horn, but…. I do have some pretty delicious and beautiful sugar cookies.

decorating

Me at work.

Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookies

Like any normal grocery store visit, I had to go down the baking aisle.chocolate chip turtle cookie Who knows what new item I might discover. While picking up some semi-sweet chocolate chips, I noticed a bag of caramel bits; the kind that has the caramel in little balls (it’s sweet and gooey like the regular caramel). It reminded me that I had the exact same bag stashed away at home somewhere in my cluttered pantry.

As I was finishing my grocery shopping, I began brainstorming on how I could incorporate these golden little caramel balls. Then it occurred to me…chocolate and caramel is a favorite combo of mine, why not add it to my chocolate chip cookies and make a chocolate chip/caramel cookie. This couldn’t be a novel idea and I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before. To one-up the concept, I decided to add pecans to the mix to make a turtle sort of cookie.chocolate chip turtle picture My certified in-house taste tester quickly gobbled down 3 cookies and said that they were “off the hook.” I agree!

It’s a super easy recipe. I made a batch of my chocolate chip cookie dough (I think any homemade dough should suffice). Add a ½ cup of caramel bits. Use more or less depending on your taste buds. To make the turtle cookies, I added 1/3 cup of pecans. I would have added more but it was all the pecans I had left in the house. Mix it all together by hand, bake to desired chewiness or crispiness and enjoy!!!

chocolate chip turtle close up