Month: April 2014

Short Hiatus

I’m taking a short hiatus from my blog. Final exams begin on Monday (nooooo!) and I need a few weeks away from baking. See you all in May with tons of new treats!

And because I never like to post without a photo, I give you Gracie and Gus. Their enthusiastic stares were due to the piece of cheese I was holding.

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Tax Freedom Day Cookies

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Happy Tax Freedom Day! Tax Freedom Day is, according to Wikipedia, “is the first day of the year in which a nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden.”

Hurrah! In any case, we are “celebrating” in one of my tax classes today – so I made these cookies to share. Little dollar signs and piggy banks. [if you are curious, the dollar sign and pig cookie cutters were found on Amazon.com; I used dusty rose AmeriColor gel for the piggy banks and Leaf Green Wilton gel for the dollar signs]

Hope you’re all having a good Monday!

Easter Ideas 2014

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Here’s the Easter idea roundup for 2014!

1. Tuxedo Peeps
2. Easter Egg Cookies
3. Hot Cross Buns
4. Peep Cookies
5. Butterscotch Birds’ Nests
6. Coconut Easter Cupcakes
7. Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes
8. Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs
9. The Best Carrot Cake
10. Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies
11. Peep Cupcakes
12. Carrot Cake Cupcakes
13. Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies
14. Anniversary Peep Brownies
15. White Chocolate Jelly Bean Cupcakes
16. Easter Thumbprint Cookies
17. Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Cookies
18. Carrot Cookies
19. Ducky Cookies
20. Cadbury Mini Egg Bark

Cadbury Mini Egg Bark

DSC_8553x900You guys didn’t think that I’d let an Easter season go by without making something with Cadbury mini eggs, did you? The glorious Cadbury mini egg is my favorite seasonal candy of all time. I think they are perfect. Absolutely perfect. In past years, I’ve made Cadbury Mini Egg cookies, blondies, birds’ nests, thumbprint cookies, etc. I was scratching my head as to what I could make this year until I saw this recipe for Cadbury mini egg bark. It combines white chocolate, chocolate, and crushed mini eggs — what’s not to like?

Cadbury Mini Egg Bark
Recipe source: Tutti Dolci
Print Recipe

1 pound white chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces Cadbury Mini Eggs, chopped

1. Line an 11 x 17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
2. Place white chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. Pour melted chocolate into prepared pan and spread with an offset spatula into an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from refrigerator and leave at room temperature while melting remaining chocolate.
3. Place bittersweet and semisweet chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Pour melted dark chocolate over white chocolate layer; carefully spread with an offset spatula into an even layer.
4. Sprinkle with chopped Cadbury eggs. Chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 1 hour.
5. Carefully lift parchment paper and place bark on a cutting board; trim away any ragged edges, then use a sharp knife to cut into squares (I did a weird mix of shapes!).

Easter Egg Cookies

DSC_8678x900Here’s the last post of Easter sugar cookies! I wanted to do something simple, traditional, and full of nauseating pastels.  I’m not usually a fan of pastel colors, but let me tell you, after enduring one of the worst winters evahhhhhh I’m am totally embracing all things mint green, lavender, and bubble gum pink this spring! I stuck with pink, yellow, green, and purple for these cookies — because I think those are the most Easter-y.

If you are a new to decorating cookies with royal icing, here are some helpful tips and links:

  • I used my grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, which is listed below.  Another good cut-out cookie recipe can be found at Bridget’s wonderful Bake at 350.
  • I used a royal icing recipe from Annie’s Eats, which is listed below.
  • If you are new to decorating with royal icing, please visit this post by Annie’s Eats, which will teach you about outlining and flooding.  Bake at 350 is also a great resource for cookie decorating and ideas (I love Bridget’s book, too!).

Here are the specifics on how I made these cookies:

  • The egg-shaped cookie cutter is a Wilton comfort-grip cutter. I bought mind on Amazon, but I know that hobby stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby carry them.
  • I dyed the icing with Wilton’s gel colorings. To get the pastels, only use a little bit! Like, a little bit on a toothpick. A little will go a long way — especially with the pink.
  • I outlined the cookies with white icing and flooded them with the various colors.
  • After the flooded icing dried, I piped stripes or chevrons onto the cookies — or placed large sprinkles to serve as polka dots. The dots are a Wilton product that I found at Hobby Lobby.
  • I used the recipe below for the sugar cookies — and it will make quite a few cookies, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.  Or not.  Depends on how many cookies you want!
  • On a related note, it’s hard to tell you how many cookies you’ll get out of the batch of dough.  It depends on the size of the cookie cutter you use.  But it’s safe to say that you’ll get at least 2 or 3 dozen Easter egg cookies out of the recipe listed below.

Omi’s Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 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 cookie cutters. Bake at 350F until golden (in true fashion, my grandma didn’t give a specific baking time. I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes).


White Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
5 Tablespoons water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.