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Hey guys! Summer is almost over and I have blogged nothing. Nothing. I’m sorry for neglecting my little blog. The reasons why I basically peace’d out are numerous. Adjusting to work has been difficult (as I mentioned in my last post from July). The weather here is still warm, so I’ve been avoiding the use of my hot oven in my hot house. But autumn is coming (my favorite baking season) and I’m hoping to get back into the groove.

I’m sure you may be wondering, “wtf is up with the grape cookies?” Well, I had a birthday last week — and it got me thinking about my childhood (as birthdays tend to do). When I was about five years old, my mom took me to our local bakery and let me pick out any birthday cake I wanted for my party. I could have picked a princess cake or a Disney-themed cake or a cake with balloons piped onto it. But no. What did I pick? A cake with purple grapes piped onto the corners (I guess the bakery wanted to try something besides the traditional icing roses). It’s been a little joke in my family ever since — so much so that I’ve been gifted 4 different glass grape Christmas ornaments over the years.

So I decided to make these little cookies. And I really do hope I can make more time in my schedule to start baking and posting. Thank you for your patience :)

Grape Cookies
Print Recipe

For the sugar cookies:
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients gradually. Chill the batter overnight or for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and cut with a grape-shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 350F until golden, about 8-10 minutes.

Note: You can use any sugar cookie recipe you’d like. I used this because it’s my favorite. But use whatever you prefer. The recipe above will make quite a few cookies — at least 3 dozen.

For the icing:
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1 cup shortening
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk
Dark green, lime green, purple, and brown food coloring

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer.
2. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well.
3. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition.
4. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.
5. Divide into four parts. You’ll need far more purple and lime green icing than you will brown and dark green (for the stems/leaves), so portion accordingly. Dye the icing.
— Recipe from therepressedpastrychef.blogspot.com

Assembly:
Using a medium round tip, pipe purple and green “grapes” onto each bunch. Using a small round tip, pipe the stems and leaves onto each bunch of grapes.

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  • Dad Elmer - August 25, 2015 - 1:01 am

    Welcome back – I have missed my little corner bakery!ReplyCancel

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I’m alive!
And hey, did you know that they make patriotic candy corn? I didn’t either.
So I haven’t forgotten about my blog, nor have I lost my desire to bake.
I’ve just been really busy, guys. The entire month of May was me packing, moving, graduating, unpacking, and going to Home Depot about 8,297 times. The month of June has been trying to adjust to, you know, being a lawyer. It’s overwhelming, I won’t lie and I won’t sugarcoat it.
Another complication? My house can only be cooled with two window ACs, so honestly, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is turn on a hot oven.
But I WILL return – likely in July!
I hope you have all been well :)

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Hello lovely blog readers! I will be going on a month-long (or maybe a bit more) hiatus because I’m GRADUATING LAW SCHOOL! AND MOVING! AND STARTING A NEW JOB! OMG! This is all very overwhelming. Good overwhelming though. Because of all these MAJOR LIFE CHANGES, I’ll have little to no time for baking or blogging over the next six weeks or so.

Leaving Milwaukee will be so bittersweet. I’ve mostly hated law school, but I’ve mostly loved Milwaukee. My three years here have been filled with ups and downs, but also filled with plenty of fun, good food, and a lot of exploring. Milwaukee is a little rough around the edges and the traffic makes me want to punch a baby, but I will miss it dearly.

Here are some fun facts about MKE. Because who doesn’t love fun facts?!

– The name Milwaukee comes from the Native American word “Milliocki” meaning gathering place by the water.
– Milwaukee is the 22nd largest city in America.
– Milwaukee is home to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
– The typewriter was invented in Milwaukee in 1867 by Christopher Latham Sholes.
– The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Burke Brise Soleil wingspans spreads 217 feet at its widest point, wider then a Boeing 747.
– The flame-shaped light on top of the Milwaukee Gas Company building changes color to forecast the weather. Yellow is cold, Red is warm, and Blue means no change.
– Milwaukee sometimes referred to as “Cream City” because of the buildings that were built in cream colored brick. It’s unique yellow color disappointed pioneer brick makers. They were astonished when builders from across the country were willing to pay double its price. Although the brick is no longer made, it is still in high demand and often recycled.
– In the late 1800s Milwaukee become known as “Beertown.” Four famous Milwaukee brewers are Frederick Pabst, Frederick Miller, Joseph Schlitz and Valentine Blatz.

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  • Mary-Michael - April 30, 2015 - 9:09 am

    Congratulations!ReplyCancel

    • Annie - April 30, 2015 - 10:51 am

      Thank you, Mary-Michael! :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan B - April 30, 2015 - 9:49 am

    Congratulations! I’m formerly from the Milwaukee area, so I’ve enjoyed both your recipes and your comments about Milwaukee. Don’t forget the Milwaukee Domes at Mitchell Park, one of the most unique botanical gardens ever!ReplyCancel

    • Annie - April 30, 2015 - 10:51 am

      Thanks, Susan! Unfortunately I never made it to the Domes! :( I’ve heard they’re wonderful though.ReplyCancel

DSC_4083x900The end of April is here, final exams are in full swing, and law school is winding down for good. Throughout my three years of law school I’ve brought many of the treats I’ve made to school. Hungry and stressed out students are always a captive audience for sugary treats. My friends and fellow students would see the pink bakery boxes and swoop in like vultures, which was always kind of funny.

For the most part, I have not enjoyed law school. It’s been a steady hum of anxiety, stress, work, and very little fun… and very little sleep. But a small part of me is sad to see it (and my higher education experience) come to an end. So here’s to the approximately 3,280 cookies I’ve baked and to everyone who ate them!

Soft M&M Cookies
Recipe source: Picky Palate
Print Recipe

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 or 1-1/2 cups mini M&Ms (if you don’t have the minis, regular sized will work)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined.
3. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine.
4. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine.
5. Add chips and m and m’s stirring to combine.
6. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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DSC_4181x900This is a recipe that went over BIG at school. The chocolate lovers were happy. The peanut butter lovers were happy. And if you didn’t peanut butter or chocolate, you could just eat one half! And don’t be hesitant to try these — they’re easy!

Peanut Butter / Chocolate Cookies
Recipe source: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Print Recipe

Chocolate cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Peanut butter cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Make the chocolate dough:
1. Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredrients. The dough will be very thick.
4. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.

Make the peanut butter dough:
1. Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.
2. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed.
3. Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour, and salt. Do not overmix.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill both doughs for at least 2 hours.

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
3. Measure 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Smoosh the two balls together and roll them into 1 large ball.
4. Repeat for each cookie.
5. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. As the cookies cool, they will firm up. Cookies remain fresh (and soft) for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

Makes a couple dozen cookies.

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