Betcha can't eat just one! I know, I'm obnoxious, but it's true. These highly addictive cookies just scream "Holidays". The dough needs to be chilled in the fridge before it can be rolled out so try to make it the day before to avoid rolling problems. There are ten million different decorating ideas so go buy some sprinkles and candies and go wild. Sugar cookies are not complete without some Royal Icing, which looks amazing and tastes great too!
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl using a hand or stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until creamy about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Chill the dough thoroughly (I try to make it the day before) before you roll it out.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board. Cut the dough with floured cookie cutters. Use a lifter to gently place the cookie cutouts on the pan, as they tend to warp if you use your hands.
If using sprinkles, candied cherries, or candies add them now.
Bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
Royal icing is so amazing. Beat the crap out of it for 7 minutes and you have this incredibly workable and versatile icing. I use Royal Icing to ice all my holiday cookies at work. When icing cookies with Royal Icing it is important to outline the cookie in some stiff icing first and then flood it with thinned out icing. When thinning your icing be sure to only add a very small amount of water at a time as a little goes a long way. Keep your icing covered at all times as it dried out very quickly and a crust will form, making piping difficult. When outlining your cookie it's up to you what tip you want to use, I generally use bigger tip openings for larger cookies and small tips such as #3 for small cookies. I use meringue powder in my Icing as I don't like using egg whites. You can find meringue powder at the Bulk Barn.
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup meringue powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup warm water
Use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this recipe. In a bowl combine the icing sugar, and cream of tartar. Gently mix to combine. Dissolve the meringue powder in the warm water and add to the icing sugar mixture. Beat on high for 7 minutes. Remove 1/3 of the icing to use for outlining and fine detail decorating. Add a small amount of warm water to the remaining icing until it has been thinned out enough to flood.
Tint your icing with gel food coloring (using liquid food color will thin the icing out too much) and using a pastry bag, outline your cookies. Once the icing outline has hardened a little, flood the cookie with the thinned icing in a pastry bag fitted with a larger tip.
Let the icing harden up a bit before you put the finishing touches on the cookies.
The sun has not been out in weeks, it's so depressing, so when I saw that Jack Penate had a new concert up on the Interface I was really happy. It helps that he's really good looking too! He has a ton of music up on his myspace and check out his website as well.
Check out nine of his songs below and be sure to check out his video for "Tonight's Today".
I am obsessed with Naan bread. I met a lot of amazing people from India when I was in Australia and they introduced me to Naan bread and since then I have to have it whenever I'm eating Indian food. I've always wanted to make Naan at home but figured I never could because I don't have the traditional Tandoori oven, so when this recipe turned out I was really surprised and really happy. When I saw the Naan puffing up in the oven I almost freaked, now I can have Naan whenever I want! This recipe is based on a few I found floating around on the internet. You will probably have to bake these in 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of your baking stone and be sure to use a generous amount of flour when rolling the Naan as the dough is quite sticky.
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp honey or sugar
1 tsp dry active yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp plain yogurt (full fat)
2 tbsp oil or melted butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 clove garlic chopped
In a small bowl combine the water, honey and yeast. Let stand for about five minutes until foamy. In a stand mixer or by hand combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil and yogurt and combine until a coarse crumb forms. Add the yeast mixture and mix for approimately five minutes. The dough will be quite sticky. Cover the bowl and leave for approximately three hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking stone in the oven to heat up for at least ten minutes (if you don't have a baking stone use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper)
Using floured hands divide the Naan dough into 5 or 6 equal sized pieces and using a rolling pin and floured board roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place the Naan on the heated stone and bake for 3-4 minutes, remove the stone and brush the top of the Naan with the melted chive-garlic butter. Flip the Naan over and brush with the butter. Bake for another 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
Well there are 34 days until Christmas, I know this because I overheard the man at Home Outfitter say so in a slightly panicked voice. I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet and am myself starting to panic slightly, mainly because I hate crowds and wish I could just get organized now and avoid the Christmas rush later. One thing I am not panicked about is my Christmas baking, which has gotten into full swing at work. These gingersnaps are a top seller both at Christmas and during the rest of the year. There are about ten million different sprinkles and other decorating options, which is really great for Christmas time baking because you can make one recipe look like you've been baking all day! The photo on top is a gingersnap decorated with Royal Icing. I will get that recipe ready along with a sugar cookie recipe and post it later this week.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup fancy molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups white sugar to roll dough in
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking trays with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer, a hand mixer or a large bowl and spatula, combine the butter and white sugar. Mix until incorporated and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix to combine. Add the molasses and mix in well.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed.
Chill the dough for at least one hour.
Place your sugar in a large bowl and using your hands roll the dough into tbsp sized balls. Toss in the white sugar and place on the baking trays. (If you wish toss the gingersnaps in colored sugar, or sprinkles at this point. You may also roll the dough in the white sugar and then place patterned sprinkles such as snowflakes or holly on top. You may also at this point place a candied cherry or gumdrop in the center of the cookie).
If rolling the dough and using cutouts, lightly flour your board and a piece of dough. Roll the dough out to 1/4 of an inch. (If you are using the dough for cutout cookies be aware that the dough expands significantly and will not hold the form perfectly).
I truly love and appreciate the music coming out of Imogen Heap. I am especially addicted to "First Train Home" at the moment. Take a closer look on her myspace, website and view a video for "Hide and Seek" below.
Magazines and newspapers are changing these days, being forced to adapt the way they do things or shut down. Lonny Magazinehas definitely recognized the changing times, introducing an online design magazine that is just as polished as a print magazine. The magazine is a grass roots publication started by Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline. Lonny, is free and is so chock full of design inspirations it's going to take me a week just to get through everything!
Surely you've all tried biscotti from your local coffee shop, you know those thin, crumbly, flavorless sticks twigs. This recipe is not like that - at all. These cookies are really easy to make and have a really good taste to them. I especially like the little bursts of the poppyseeds and the fresh lemon zest. I got this recipe from the newest Better Homes and Gardens "Holiday Cookies" magazine.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Biscotti
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg white
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter on high for half a
minute.Add the sugar, baking soda,
baking powder and salt.Mix to combine,
scraping down the sides of the bowl.Add
the egg, egg white, lemon juice, lemon zest and the vanilla.Add the flour and poppy seeds and mix
in.You may need to use you hands to get
the last bit of flour incorporated into the dough.
Half the dough and shape each piece into a 7 x 2 inch log. Place the logs on a pan lined with parchment and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the logs cool for 10 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut on a
diagonal into ½ inch slices.Place the
slices cut side down back on your baking pans and place back in the oven to
cook for a further 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
Let cool and drizzle with white or dark chocolate if desired.