Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’

Baking, Lately

March 29, 2014

If you know me at all you probably have an idea about how much I love to bake, if you don’t know me then this post should make it obvious, ha! Here’s a look at some things I’ve baked and managed to document over the past few months.

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I’m quickly gaining a reputation for these sugar cookies and to be honest they really are the most delicious sugar cookies you’ll ever gobble down. The secret is in the recipe (found here), it uses powdered sugar instead of regular granulated sugar which gives the dough a soft, pillow-y texture and helps the cookie to hold its shape during baking.

I boxed up some of these Christmas cookies to send to our grandparents up in Massachusetts. Naturally, I made a couple lobster cookies to top off their care packages. Aren’t they cute?!

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Cupcakes for our Superbowl watching party…I clearly just have way too much fun with this, it’s an addiction that I don’t care to break :)

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A recipe for a delicious, moist, rich, full-flavored chocolate cake is something that I’ve always searched for and I finally found it. This is literally THE. BEST. CHOCOLATE. CAKE. EVER. The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen and when paired with some homemade raspberry filling, it’s just divine.baking04

When I make this cake I always have a little leftover batter because the recipe is for two 9″ pans and I use 8″ pans. No big deal, I use the extra to make half a dozen little cupcakes. I made this cake for our New Years Even party and it was a huge hit.baking05

These earth sugar cookies were for a “welcome to the world” themed baby shower for a friend. It’s fun to experiment with new decorating techniques, I think this was the first time I tried lining and flooding.

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And here are some more baby shower cookies from last weekend. I loved making the little onsies and the smiling sunshines.

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They just look so happy!

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I’ve also dabbled in some bread making lately. Even though we don’t eat bread much, I love to make it from scratch; there’s just something about working a ball of bread dough in your hands that’s therapeutic. This is a honey wheat loaf that was super simple to make, recipe is from Life In Grace.

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I love to volunteer to bake a cake when someone’s birthday falls on or near a small group event and last week we had our first outdoor cookout of the season so this hamburger cake seemed appropriate. Nobody believed me when I told them but this was seriously the easiest cake I’ve ever made. Instead of delicately icing the entire outside of the cake layers all I had to do was squirt some on with a couple piping bags. White for mayo, green for lettuce, yellow for mustard and red for ketchup…throw a few sesame seeds on top and voila it’s a burger!

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Nothing brings me more joy than seeing something I’ve made bring happiness to someone else; cookies and cakes are pretty good at doing that ;)

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Rohrs Baby Shower

August 19, 2013

This is waaay past due {little Elia is already 2 months old!} but here are a few pictures from a dear friend’s shower back in May that I helped organize.

Tricia’s sister, Audrey, did an amazing job organizing the whole event down to the very last detail; I helped out with the decorations and baked some cookies as well. There was a ton of delicious food, made by their mother and family, not to mention the yummy desserts. The party favors were those little yellow boxes which each held two macarons from La Boulange, a local French bakery.

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The small chalkboard wall was all drawn up for the shower as well! I hope to have a chalkboard or small wall like this in my home someday, it’s so much fun to doodle on and customize for whatever event or season is happening.

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Tricia with her mom, grandmother and sister…now that Elia is here they’ll have to be sure to take another picture with all four generations! This reminds me of the photo I have of two-month-old me, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother :)

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Every guest was asked to bring a book to build up baby’s library. There were book tags at the front door for everyone to fill out and stick on the inside cover of their book.

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And of course there was the opening of the gifts. Elia is definitely the best dressed little girl I’ve ever seen thanks to all the cute dresses she received.

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Baking, Lately

May 26, 2013

Thanks to our weekly small group meetings and two recent baby showers I’ve had the opportunity/excuse to bake…A LOT. It’s been so much fun! I love to find new recipes, try them out and share the goodies with all of my friends. This cake was for a friend’s birthday, it’s dark chocolate with chocolate buttercream frosting.

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These are sugar cookies that I made for my friend Elisha’s baby shower. I used a biscuit cutter instead of a cookie cutter and the icing is thinned out Royal icing that I simply dipped one side of each cookie in {super easy way to ice a bunch of cookies quickly}.

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These mini cakes were also for Elisha’s shower, they were given away to guests as party favors. I found the little paper loaf pans on clearance at Joann’s and filled them with classic yellow cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting. They were really fun to eat because when the paper wrapper was removed they looked just like twinkies!

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My latest batch of cookies were inspired by some that I saw in a restaurant’s dessert case, they are salted oatmeal white chocolate chip cookies and yes, they are as delicious as they sound. The recipe I used came from Smitten Kitchen {every recipe of hers that I’ve ever tried has been amazing}.

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Gosh, I sure do love baking :)

Christmas Cookies

January 3, 2013

If I’m ever feeling homesick during the holiday season there’s one activity that is sure to cheer me up, baking cookies. I have my mom to thank for that; we always baked TONS of cookies every December for sharing {and eating}. Even though I usually consider the process of refrigerating, rolling, cutting and decorating sugar cookies to be a bit excessive, I find it somewhat therapeutic when I have time to enjoy it.

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This year, for the first time, I tried my hand at working with royal icing and flooding. Mark and I had fun experimenting with the different decorating methods and various sprinkles. These simple little trees were my favorite; definitely worth the effort :)

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Friendsgiving

November 30, 2012

Since we spent a week in Texas at the beginning of November and plan to return for the Christmas holiday we spent Thanksgiving in California. Luckily some of our friends were in the same scenario so we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner together, just the Rands and the Krouts!

I was in charge of preparing the cornbread stuffing and dessert. I went a little overboard and made mini pumpkin pies, molasses spice cookies and an apple pie. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you which of the three were my favorite because they were all amazing.

After dinner we watched some football and played with their cat, Aesop. The next day we were all free from work so we got together again and went wine tasting in Livermore. Compared to Napa and Sonoma, Livermore is much closer to home, the tastings are inexpensive {sometimes free} and the atmosphere is much more casual and less snobby. We haven’t lived here long enough to become wine snobs so that whole scene isn’t very appealing to us, we just like to enjoy some wine and good conversation with friends while watching the sun set over the vines.

Pumpkin Cookies

October 29, 2010

No, these cookies don’t have any real pumpkin in them, they just look like cute little pumpkins. I wanted to make some sugar cookies to take to a friend who we’re staying with this weekend and I decided to get creative and make them a little fun and festive.

They were so easy to make; I just used my usual sugar cookie recipe, added a little yellow and red food coloring to the dough and shaped the dough into two logs which I stuck in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then I cut the cookies about a quarter of an inch thick, pressed down on one side a little with a wooden spoon to make them more of a pumpkin shape rather than a circle and laid them on a cookie sheet. Lastly, I took a small, round lid from one of my spice containers and made the two curved indentions then added a chocolate chip on top to serve as a stem.

Voila! Adorable {and super easy} Halloween pumpkin cookies!

Merry Christmas

December 28, 2009

Christmas; it’s not the giving, it’s not the getting, it’s the loving.

– A Garfield Christmas

Well, another successful Christmas has come and gone and I feel completely rejuvenated thanks to some great quality time spent with family. It’s amazing how time flies, this year seems to have slipped by faster than ever. So many wonderful events have taken place in 2009: college graduation, getting married, moving to Austin, starting a new job and one other exciting piece of news {which I’ll get to later}.

I’ve felt pretty detached from the blogging world lately, I wish I had the time to post every day but with all the craziness that the season brings I’ve lost track. So while Mark is in Houston this week {while I stay here and work, ugh} I’ve got plenty of time to catch up…

Disclaimer: this post is going to be all over the place

It’s finally gotten “cold” enough around here to merit drinking hot chocolate; and by cold I mean below 45 degrees. I was so happy that I was able to wear pajama pants on Christmas morning!

Mark and I decorated a little around our apartment, my favorite of which was our little tree. We were originally going to have a real tree but opted to fill a little artificial one with all of our ornaments. I think it turned out quite nicely. Let’s see…we’ve got a couple of A&M ornaments, a few crosses, the heart on the bottom right that I made at U Paint it in 2006, a kitty and my favorite, the Bambi ornament with Thumper and his girl bunny smooching, haha.

Every year around Christmas time I like to make sugar cookies, rarely do I put forth the effort of rolling and cutting and rolling again at any other time of the year but the holiday season always makes it worth my trouble. Problem is, I don’t yet have any cookie cutters…so the creative mind begins to think and out popped this idea: sugar cookies without the rolling!

I just rolled the dough into logs before refrigerating it, covered the logs with sprinkles, stuck ’em in the freezer for a few minutes, cut the logs into slices and baked away…simple!

I think these are the best sugar cookies I have ever made because 1: I always roll the dough too thin, these I cut nice and thick, 2: I actually took the time to sift my flour, and 3: they are so Christmasy and pretty and EASY!

Anyways, enough with the sweets, {speaking of sugar, have you had candy cane Kisses? soooo good} though we only got to spend one full day in Rogers for Christmas it was really great. Mark, my mom and I went to our church’s Christmas Eve barn service; we huddled together on hay bales singing carols and sharing communion as Pastor Terry gave a great message about how Jesus came into the world under completely ordinary circumstances to one completely ordinary couple…God works through us in our every day lives, all we have to do is let Him shine through. Which reminds me of something that I heard at church last Sunday:

If God really is the center of one’s being, JOY is inevitable.

Isn’t that so simply beautiful? If God is truly present in your life and you accept Him fully, you will radiate His love…definitely something to strive for right? {mental note}

Anywho…

Christmas Eve night we all watched A Garfield Christmas together…so many memories there, I’ve got the whole thing memorized {apple, peach, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry or banana cream?}

The next morning we had Green’s kolaches for breakfast and then Ben and I sorted out all the presents, something that we do every year, except we let Mark help us this time. Everyone received great gifts…my favorites were a tennis skirt from Mark and a subscription to Martha Stewart from my parents. I think the funniest gifts were either my dad and Papa’s tennis racket/bug zappers or the giant foam airplane I got for Mark…we all had fun throwing it around in the yard afterwards. Then we had a wonderful Christmas Day lunch complete with turkey, dressing and deviled eggs {YUM}. Afterwards ensued a lovely, full-bellied nap with my favorite kitty sleeping by my side.

We definitely have A LOT to be thankful for, that’s for sure! Speaking of being thankful, the greatest gift of all this year came to Mark looking something like this:

Yes, that is the beautifully crafted cover page of none other than an offer letter for an amazing opportunity to work for APPLE! Mark has been chasing this job for two years now and it has finally paid off; he’ll be selling Apple products to schools in Arizona and Las Vegas all while wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops in the Austin office {yes, that’s how they dress…he wore a polo to an interview and they considered him dressed up!}. We’re both completely ecstatic about this opportunity and to top it off, on his first day he will be flying out to Cupertino, CA for four days for a conference with other Apple nerds employees. I’m so proud of my hubby :)

{the rest of the offer packet was so graphically pleasing we’ll probably keep it forever, I want to frame it or something}

One last thing…

Please pray for my brother, he just left yesterday for a 10 day mission trip in Nicaragua. He’ll be backpacking through a foreign country with a spanish/english dictionary spreading the word of God…I wish him the best and a safe journey home; I know that this experience will give him a great opportunity to share his love of God with others who need hope.

OK, I’ve been working on this post for over two hours now, time to end it.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with love and peaceful time with family!