Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas Sugar Cookies

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES (CUT OUT COOKIES)

Christmas sugar cookies (also known as cut out cookies) are a family tradition. This simple recipe for the perfect dough stays put (doesn't spread) and tastes amazing! A sweet cookie that is slightly crispy on the edges and soft and chewy throughout with the fabulous flavors of vanilla and almond. Add the Icing Recipe Best Tasting Sugar Cookie Icing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing
  • Pearl Sugar Balls (dragees)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar, on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond.  Beat until combined. Add the salt and 3 cups of flour; beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky (meaning when you touch it and pull your fingers away the dough sticks to you), add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
  4. Remove half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet.
  5. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar at this point.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Decorate the cookies with Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing if desired. Be sure to let the icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)

Best Tasting Sugar Cookie Icing

COOKIE ICING

Best Tasting Sugar Cookie Icing - 4 ingredients and 5 minutes! People have been begging for this frosting recipe for years. Now you have it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe Christmas sugar cookies (cut out cookies)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • gel food coloring (in desired colors)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer) combine sugar and ¼ cup milk.  Mix until smooth.  Add milk as need to create a smooth mixture, one tablespoon at a time.  Add corn syrup and almond extract.
  2. To decorate cookies, your outline icing should be the consistency of toothpaste, your flood icing should be the consistency of corn syrup.
  3. Add food coloring one drop at a time until desired color is reached.  Pour into bottles, decorator bags or a cup.  Keep unused icing sealed until ready to use.

DONNA'S NOTES

  1. The icing will dry hard. It can take up to overnight before I would recommend stacking them. I store mine on cookie sheets tented with foil to keep the cookie bottoms from drying out while they are drying.
  2. You absolutely can substitute vanilla extract (or any other extract). Keep in mind, it will give your icing a slightly off white hue but if you are coloring it anyway it won't matter.
  3. This icing will keep for several weeks on the countertop, in a sealed container. I actually keep mine much longer than that.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

2 (29 ounces each) canned sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter softened
2 tablespoons of white sugar
Pinch of salt
2 and 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 large eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Topping

3/4 cup pecan chips
2/3 cup of brown sugar lightly packed
1/4 cup of white flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of melted butter

Serves 10  Cook 3 hours in 6 quart slow cooker.
Spray slow cooker with a nonstick spray.  Drain the sweet potatoes, add butter. white sugar, salt, brown sugar, and orange juice in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add vanilla, and milk and pour into the slow cooker.  Beat all until smooth.  Smooth top with a spatula.  In a small bowl, stir together all topping ingredients and spread evenly on top of sweet potatoes.  Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours depending on how hot your slow cooker cooks.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Caramel Apple Mimosas

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. 
caramel
2 tbsp. 
cinnamon sugar
1 c. 
apple cider
8 oz. 
caramel vodka
750-ml bottle bubbly
Apple slices, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
  1. Pour caramel into a small dish. Pour cinnamon sugar into another small dish. Dip champagne flutes into caramel to rim glass, then dip in cinnamon sugar until coated.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup apple cider and 2 ounces caramel vodka into each flute and top with bubbly.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice before serving.

Harvest Mimosas

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. 
sugar
1 tsp. 
cinnamon
(32-oz) container cranberry juice
1/2 gal. 
apple cider
bottle prosecco
apple, 1/2 diced and 1/2 sliced into half moons, for garnish
package whole cranberries

DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate. Dip the rim of each glass in water, then dip into the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture, coating the edge of each glass.
  2. Fill each Champagne flute 1/4 of the way up with cranberry juice. Fill halfway up with apple cider. Top with Prosecco and a few cranberries and diced apple pieces.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice.

Cranberry Mimosas

INGREDIENTS
lime, halved
2 tbsp. 
sugar
1 c. 
sweetened cranberry juice
bottle champagne
12 
fresh cranberries
small sprigs fresh rosemary

DIRECTIONS
  1. Rime champagne flutes with lime and dip in sugar. Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into each glass and top with champagne.
  2. Use a toothpick to poke a hole through cranberries. Thread rosemary skewer through cranberries and garnish mimosas


Best Peanut Butter Kisses Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 c. 
all-purpose flour
1 tsp. 
baking soda
1/2 tsp. 
kosher salt
1/2 c. 
butter, softened 
1/2 c. 
smooth peanut butter
1/2 c. 
packed brown sugar
1/4 c. 
granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
egg
2 tbsp. 
milk
1 tsp. 
pure vanilla extract
Hershey Kisses
Parchment paper needed

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. 
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light in color and fluffy. Beat in egg, then add milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring on low, until just combined. 
  3. Roll a tablespoonful of cookie dough into a ball, then roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies at least 2” apart. 
  4. Bake until cookies have poofed and no longer look raw, about 8 to 10 minutes. (They won’t brown!)
  5. Immediately top with Hershey Kisses before serving.