Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Happy Holidays ya'll!  The time is upon us when our kitchens are covered in flour and cookie jars are overflowing with craveable sweet treats.  So, why not begin the barrage of holiday recipes with the original holiday cookie...the sugar cookie.

I cannot remember a Christmas that didn't involve my family rolling out cookie dough, cutting Christmas tree and Santa cookies, and smothering them with as much buttercream icing as possible.  And, topping them off with sugar, sugar and, oh yeah, more sugar!  But hey, it's the holidays, so let's get jolly.

I found this recipe on one of my go-to blogs, Our Best Bites.  This was the first year I didn't make my family's sugar cookie recipe that is on the back of a 1988 M&M calendar, I thought it was time to make a change in my life.

There is nothing out of the ordinary going on with this recipe, just flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.  The recipe originally calls for almond extract, but I must admit, I am not a huge fan of the stuff.  Despite the ordinary ingredients, these cookies will produce extraordinary results!  I love 'em, and I am not afraid to admit it. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know you are probably on a Christmas cookie surplus this time of year but despite the huge jump in cookie recipes floating around the interweb, I've decided to make yet another one.  Not to mention every blog post thus far has been a cookie recipe, there will be more variety to come I promise!

So let's get started, this isn't just your ordinary chocolate chip cookie, this is a Cake Batter Cookie recipe with an overdose of sprinkles.  The recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Sallys Baking Addiction.  All of her cookie recipes are insanely delish and uber creative with the different flavor combinations and toppings she is able to put into a tablespoon of cookie dough.

What is so special about this recipe?  Cake batter mix.  When I read this in the ingredient list I was a little uneasy.  But hey, I just tried my very first pudding mix cookie, so the logical next step is cake mix.   The result...fabulousness.

It truly does taste like cake batter, but in cookie form, how is that possible?  Not only are these cookies easy on the pallet, they are soft and chewy beyond belief.  The addition of cake mix makes these a cinch to make, plus, since you use cake mix as your base ingredient you can add whatever mix-ins your little heart desires, chocolate cake mix, red velvet, etc. the flavor possibilities are endless!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

White Chocolate Oreo Cookies

This is a fresh baked recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, White Chocolate Oreo Cookies, enough said.  The description and pictures of these little sweetums look amazing, I just had to bake them right away.

The first time I tried cookies with Oreo's inside I thought it was genius, a cookie within a cookie (Inception, cookie-style)!  But, I found them to be on the dry side.  However, these little babies have pudding mix inside them, I have yet to try a pudding cookie but the concept intrigued me enough to try.   This recipe was the best way to lose my pudding cookie virginity and I am now a believer, so here we go!

The reaction: holy momma these are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  The addition of white chocolate pudding pushes the flavor over the top, there is so much jam packed into these little cookies, but not overwhelming.  It's hard to describe but they are almost light (is it possible to say a cookie is "light"??).  The cookie is more puffy and airy in the middle due to the addition of white chocolate pudding mix.  This is quite refreshing, especially during the holiday season where every cookie seems to weigh 5 pounds!  Also, the pudding keeps them moist and fresh long after they are hot-out-of-the-oven.

So I'll stop talking, and let's get to baking!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

Hello all!  Christmas time is gearing up, you know what that means, baking season!  Truly one of my fondest memories of the holiday season is being together with my family, decorating and baking cookies.  Now, let's get down to business, which recipe to bake.

Growing up, we always used the same sugar cookie recipe.  While they tasted fine loaded with sugary icing, on their own they were just...bland.  They had a very strong almond extract flavor which I'm never too fond of.  So I'm on the search to find THE BEST sugar cookie recipe to share with you all.  Here are some recipes I found on Pinterest, Twitter and the like I'm eager to try out.

So let's begin, this recipe via Our Best Bites got a ton of buzz on Pinterest and this will most definitely be on my must bake list.  It looks to be a relatively standard recipe and they are roll-outs.  Roll-out sugar cookies may be my favorite, especially since my family has an overwhelming abundance of Christmas cookie cutters.

Next up, cake mix sugar cookies...GASP.  I know, pre-boxed sugar cookies are taboo, especially during the holidays but confession, I love them.  They have the perfect chewy texture I was never able to replicate.  Also, they do not have that overwhelming almond extract taste.  These Super Simple Sugar Cookies via Skip to My Lou look to be a good stepping stone between slice-and-bake and homemade.  They look delicious so they are a must-try on my list.

Finally, these replica Lofthouse Sugar cookies via Annie's Eats.  I have been on an Annie's Eats kick lately, if you look at my Pinterest page I have been on a rampage pinning all of her recipes.  PS.  I didn't name my blog to copy her, purely incidental (Bee's Kitchen was already taken)!  These Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies look like the ones that come pre-packaged in the store, with an inch of icing that makes them bearable to eat.  But these look divine, plus they are no-roll which is great for my tiny studio kitchen where I don't have a giant counter for rolling out dough, huge bonus!

So the search begins for the best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe.  I'll update my progress with each recipe and in the end, come away with my favorite.  Along the way, let me know if you have an all-time favorite go-to.  Who knows, my favorite may be the recipe my family has used for years.  Wish me luck :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Yay!  My first post!  After finally finding the perfect template, logo, layout, colors, widgets, and every other little detail I am ready to post my first recipe :)

Why not start with a cookie recipe from my fave food blogger, The Pioneer Woman via two peas & their pod.  Seriously, I love this gal, anytime I make one of her recipes I get nonstop oooo's and ahhh's from my family, friends and boyfriend.  I don't mean to brag, but when I made her Potatoes Au Gratin, it was the only Thanksgiving dish with no leftovers (okay I'll stop bragging).

Let me follow this intro by saying I was never a fan of snickerdoodles.  I'd much rather have a chocolate chip cookie any day, but I decided to whip these up since they're my boyfriend's favorite.  I particularly chose this recipe because it has brown butter in it.   I have recently hopped on the brown butter train and I'm obsessed.  It makes any recipe truly 1,000 times better because it adds a nutty, full flavor that truly can't be matched.  Not to mention it makes your kitchen smell so amazingly delicious.

Now the first time I tried to brown butter, I burnt it.  I found these directions that have served me great!  Browned butter is something you can't multi-task with.  If you turn your head or stop swirling for a second, I swear it will burn on you (at least that's what happens to me!)  Just because it seems like a little much, don't let it stop you from trying it!  I promise, you will be just as obsessed with it as me.

Now let's get back to the Snickerdoodles,  mmm, they are so fantastically amazing.  Like I said, I was never a fan but these certainly changed me, in a good way.  Not only did my apartment smell delish, but I was making them during the first snow of Wisconsin, so that just made the whole baking process that much sweeter.