Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Check out this yummy recipe I made for Sarah's cookie swap (check out her blog here). I found this one on Pinterest, and had to try it! Here's a picture of what it looked like on Pinterest, and what my version of it looked like. OK, mine aren't quite as pretty, but they tasted great! The recipe made 3 dozen cookies, but I needed 4 dozen for the cookie swap, and couldn't use half an egg yolk, so I had to make a double recipe. Luckily they were yummy (Jordan wasn't complaining!)

-2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-¾ cup powdered sugar
-1 large egg yolk
-2 large egg whites
-½ cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies or candy canes (about 3-ounces)
-Additional powdered sugar for rolling

Makes: 3 dozen

Sift together dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat until blended. Add egg whites and mix well (mixture will look grainy). Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in peppermint candies. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie with a fork, creating crisscross pattern. Bake until cookies are golden on bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

A note about crushing candy canes: 
At first I was trying to crush the candy canes in a measuring cup with a big spoon, then with the bottom of a cup, which worked OK, but then I remembered another method that I picked up somewhere along the way. Put the candy canes in a large ziploc bag and use a rolling pin and slowly roll over the candy canes. I'll admit that rolling was taking too long, so I took it out to the front step and just hit it a bunch of times with my rolling pin, which worked really well! I also used this trick on crushing peanuts because I was too cheap to buy the pre-crushed ones (I actually rolled those ones though). 

Side rant: Parchment paper
Go out and buy some parchment paper. Seriously. It only costs a few dollars, but it makes it so much easier to bake things. You line your pan with it, and then when it's time to take it off you just peel off the paper, you don't have to scrape it off or worry about your treats sticking to the sides or falling apart. I used the same two pieces on my cookie sheets, and it worked great! I am converted! Note that wax paper is not an appropriate alternative, my friend Sarah told me she learned that one the hard way!

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wall Sticker Update

I have been a busy bee making wall stickers for different people, and so I thought I'd share pictures of the different ones that I've made. If you're interested in ordering one, then e-mail me and we can work something out. Some of them are shown still with the transfer tape, so that would be removed once you put it on the wall. Enjoy!

Simply Sweet Font, 5.5", chocolate brown

Gratitude Font, 2", black

 Calligraphy Font, 2.5", brown

Paper Lace Font, 2", black

Paper Lace Font, 2", Black

Gratitude Font, 5.5", Black

Simply Sweet Font, 5.5", Pink

Opposites Attract Font, 5.5", Black

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars

This is the first recipe that I found on Pinterest that I decided to try (original source here). I won't ramble on too much, but if you like my blog, then you will LOVE Pinterest! It's an online pinboard tool with tons of awesome recipes, crafts, and amazing ideas. I saw this one and HAD to make it for my friend Josh's surprise party. It was a big hit! Cheesecake. Cookie dough. What could be better?

-1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-¾ cup flour
-2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
-1 ¼ cup cream cheese, room temperature
-¼ cup sugar
-1 large egg, room temperature
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ÂșC. Line an 8” baking pan with parchment paper or foil, allowing a little overhang, and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.

In a medium bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.