Iced Mocha Latte’s

I have been a bad girl. I told you all that I would not abandon this blog after I had opened Sweet Addictions, and here it is, six months since my last post. Forgive me! It wasn’t my intention for it to be so long. This year has just FLOWN by! Anyone else think so? It’s been so busy busy BUSY!

To make up for my procrastination, I am posting somthing that is so delicious, and so easy, and so CHEAP, you’ll have no problem forgiving me for being so late. I just know it 😉

What we have here is a Homemade Iced Mocha Latte !!  It is soooooooo yummy, any coffee lover will LURVE this! And get this, it breaks down to about $0.51  a cup! sure beats the $4.50 some “other” places charge!  To me it tastes like Starbuck’s mocha frappachinos that you buy in the glass bottle.

Also, you won’t believe how EASY they are! No special machines needed! and it takes no time at all.

Let’s get started!!

Whats needed:

1/2 cup instant coffee granules

1/2 cup boiling water

4 cups chocolate milk

2 cups cold water

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

Ice

optional:

whipped cream

chocolate or caramel syrup

start by boilng 1/2 cup of water (microwave works best, cook for 1-2 min depending on your microwave). Mix in 1/2 cup of instant coffee granules until completely dissolved. Pour coffee into a large pitcher. Now pour in 4 cups of chocolate milk. I used the premade chocolate milk they sell at the grocery store. (You know, the brown jug of milk) (one half gallon will make two batches) but “homemade” chocolate milk should work fine too. Now pour in the coffee mixture, 2 cups of cold water, and one can of sweet condensed milk. Mix it all up and serve over ice! THATS IT!! Can ya believe it?!? One batch makes around 6 glasses or so, maybe more or less depending on the cups 😉 

For an extra treat, add some whipped cream, and drizzle on your favorite syrup. We like caramel and chocolate.

And of course refrigerate any leftovers.

I don’t think we’ll ever spend money on that expensive stuff again with this recipe! Who wouldn’t benifit from saving a few bucks in the coffee fund these days??

ENJOY!

Cookie Cups

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Tell me something. If someone offered you one of these. Would you turn it down? I sure wouldn’t! Hold on tight because your about to have an AHA! moment.  Guess what these are?? Cookie Cups! That’s it! plain and simple! Just the way I like it! Seriously, your not going to believe how simple! Check it out.

 

First your going to want to whip up a batch of your favorite cookie dough. I used  a nice traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made sure to use Milk Chocolate chips instead of semi sweet because we are going to ice these later and I didn’t want them overly sweet, but you might and that’s ok too!

 

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Now grease you a MINI Cupcake Pan. (oops I originally typed a “mini cupcake MAN”  , if you can find you one of those, go ahead and grease him up real good too 😉  I always use Baker’s joy spray to grease my pans

 

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now take a spoon full of cookie dough and drop it in the pan. spread it out so that the dough covers the bottom and the sides of each opening, leaving an open well in the middle.

 

 

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Repeat the process until the entire pan is full. I only filled each opening about half way up the sides to allow for rising

 

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Bake at 350 degree’s for about 10 min. or until the tops are brown

 

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let them sit for a min before popping them out of the pan. While they cool, the middles will fall,. This is good! we want this. If some don’t fall, you can always give them a little poke.

 

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When they are cool, pipe on some icing, and wallah! there you have it, iced cookie cups! ( I used my Chocolate buttercream icing on these)  I told you it was that easy!  You can come up will all kinds of delicious combinations! Next time I make these I’m going to try it with Cream cheese frosting. YUM!

 

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Make these today!!

 

 

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Oatmeal Cream Pies

 

 

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Today I made these homemade oatmeal cream pies. Let me tell you, they taste even better than they look! My kids are in sheer heaven. Who can resists these soft sweet cookies filled with gooey goodness?? Not me! I have been dying to try this recipe and it did not disappoint! Wanna learn how to make these yummy treats? Well follow me!!….. 

 

 

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The cast and crew

you’ll need Flour, Sugar, Salt, Molasses, DARK brown Sugar, powdered sugar, Shortening, eggs, Vanilla, butter, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, & rolled oats

I tweeked the original recipe just a bit for a sweeter filling that was less salty than the original, but not too sweet, the cookie holds most of the sweetness itself!

 

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In a bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp baking soda, & 1/8 tsp cinnamon, mix it all up

 

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In a seperate mixing bowl, cream together  1 cup of softened butter (2 sticks) , 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, & 1/2 cup granulated sugar

 

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Add in 2 eggs, one at a time, beating after each.

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Mix in 1 Tbsp Molasses and 1 tsp Vanilla

 

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cream well

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Now slowly add in flour mixture a little at a time until just blended.

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Now hand mix in 1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats (NOT quick oats! they are too mushy)

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Spoon tablespoon sized dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Two important things to remember here. Don’t go bigger than a Tablespoon size or so, these cookies will SPREAD, so don’t use too much at once. Also, using parchment paper on your pan will allow the cookies to pop right off while still holding their shape, very important to be able to make these into pies

 

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 Space them out well to give them lots of room to spread, you don’t want to cram these together

 

Bake cookies at 350 for 8 – 10 min. Watch them carefully. You want just the edges to start to brown, the middle will still look wet/uncooked, and thats OKAY! it allows the cookie to fall flat and get that oatmeal pie look. It will be fully cooked don’t worry.

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let cookies cool completely

 

Now let’s make the filling!

 

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Place 1/4 tsp of salt in a small cup. Add in 3 tsp of very hot water and stir allowing salt to dissolve. Set aside to cool.

 

in a mixing bowl add in one 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream fluff

 

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Now add 1/2 cup of shortening. STAY WITH ME! I know I know, eww ick, ack, but your going to have to TRUST ME on this! No, unfortunately you can not substitute with butter, it just won’t work. Dump in the shortening real quick and do what I did, just pretend it is now marshmallow fluff and don’t give it another thought! lets move on, quick…….

 

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add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 tsp of Vanilla

 

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Mix on high 3-4 min until fluffy.

 

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Now pour in salted water and mix well again

 

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Ta-da, we have marshmallowy cream for our pies

 

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Now take one cooled cookie and slather on the good stuff

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Top with another cookie and EAT!

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Whew! and we’re done!

 Store in a closed container to keep cookies soft.

 

My review of this recipe:

 

The cookies are sweet and soft, just the way a cream pie should be. The filling is oogy gooey and (WARNING) messy! I was planning on sending these to the Hub’s office, but the tops kept wanting to slide off, and  the filling kept slowly oozing out the centers. It was like it was continuously trying to expand. No big deal really, just not the greatest for presentation wise. So unfortunately for us (HA!) they had to stay home to be eaten by the family 😉  After sitting in a sealed container for several hours I think the filling has finally set enough to where its not moving around anymore, but they are still ooey gooey!

The kids all say these are better than the store bought ones hands down.

I give it an A for taste and a B- for presentation. Trust me, no one’s gonna care how they look once they sink their teeth into them! 🙂
Oh and I got 18 oatmeal pies out of this recipe
ENJOY!

 

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Oatmeal Cream Pies

Based on a recipe from Recipe Zaar.  Adapted for taste

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • Cream Filling
  • 3 tsp very hot water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Process

1. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. In large mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugars. Add in eggs, beating after each. Finally beat in molasses and vanilla.

3. Add to the flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat until just blended; mix in the oats with a wooden spoon.

4. Drop dough by tablespoons on parchment lined sheets, with plenty of space in between.  Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 8 – 10 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. They will look moist; don’t overcook ( Let sit on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. In small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water. Set aside and allow this to cool.

6. Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl; mix on high until fluffy , about 3-4 minutes

7. Add the cooled salt water and mix well

8. Spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen

    Store in a closed container to keep cookies soft. 
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Brownies & Blogging

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. I got pretty sick for a few weeks and was not able to eat solid foods, so cooking was the last thing on my mind!  I’m am doing better now, although it might have left me lactose intolerant (NOoOO!!)  But we’re waiting a few more days to test it again.

ANYWAY, I have some exciting news for the blog. Last week I was adopted! lol. I am participating in somthing called Adopt A Blogger, where a veteran food blogger adopts a newbie blogger and mentors them to help them improve their Blog. I’m so excited! My Mentor is Jo from “The Adventures of Kitchen Girl” If you’ve got a minute, pop over to her site. It’s very inspiring! I can’t wait to learn lots from her!

And now for the food! Did someone say brownies??

 Wilton has a new line that is focused around brownies. I bought Wilton’s brownie book, along with a few molds and cutters to play around with. Lately, the folks at the Hub’s office have been whining that I hadn’t sent them any goodies in awhile. So I figured this was a good opportunity to try my hand at some brownies. Now I confess, I went with boxed brownies this go round, BUT I did whip up some different frosting’s from scratch 😉 Next go round I will give it a try doing everything from scratch.

 

Fudge Brownies

 

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So I started with a box of basic brownies (actually I made two boxes)  and put them in this mini loaf pan.

 

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After baking, I popped them out and allowed them to cool completely

 

 

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Then I iced them with a nice fudge icing. I LOVE icing on my brownies. Let me tell you this icing is Divine.  It was light chocolaty and not too sweet!  which is very important for a brownie. But this one was perfect. It sets ok, but I’m still on the lookout for a nice thick fudgy icing. One that I would be more comfortable decorating.  But as for taste, this one is awesome.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Baker’s Chocolate Frosting (recipe by Bakers’ Chocolate)

4 Squares of Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate

1 lb (or 4 cups) of confectioners sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter or margerine (softened)

2 tsp Vanilla

1/3 cup of millk

 

Microwave chocolate for 1 1/2 min, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. In a mixing bowl, Mix Chocolate, sugar, butter, and Vanilla. Gradually add milk while beating on low speed until well blended. If desired, thin icing with more milk one tsp at a time until desired consistancy.

 

 

Mint Grasshopper Brownies

 

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I also ran across a box of mint brownies in the store and new insantly what I wanted to do with them. I saw these in the Wilton brownie book, so I combined the two ideas

I started with the box of  mint brownies, and made them in Wiltons mini square molds. The jury is still out on that mold, as they were difficult to remove them. The best way I have found is to freeze the brownies and then pop them out, but thats VERY time consuming if you only have one pan. Next time I make these I will just bake a pan and cut out the squares myself.

when they were cool I whipped up a batch of mint icing and spread on top.

That recipe is here:

Mint Filling (recipe by Wilton)

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/4 tsp mint extract

green icing color

 

Beat butter, sugar, and milk with mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in mint flavoring and icing color. Spread over cooled brownies and chill until set

 

Super easy!

 

Then I drizzled them with chocolate (this chocolate happened to come with the box of brownies, but you could make your own)

For some of them I just stopped there

 

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For the others I topped them with Chopped up Andes Candies to take that mint flavor to the extreme. You can find pre-chopped Andes in the store ( I got these at walmart) but for a greener look I suggest cutting some up yourself, as the pre-chopped ones look kind of dingy. I would prefer a greener prettier color, but it got the job done.

 

My oldest is a die hard mint fan and I think he almost passed out once or twice while eating some of these. Hmmmm these might make me some good bribes if I use them right 😉

All in all very easy recipes, and at them end of the day, you get to eat BROWNIES!

Spring Nests and A Giveaway!

 

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Here’s a fun and easy recipes that the kids can help with! These are cute little Birds nests, great for spring or Easter! Oh and keep reading, the first giveaway is today!  But more on that later, lets get creating!

 

 

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The Cast & Crew:

Marshmallow cream, creamy peanut butter, Chow Mein Noodles, Butter, Plain M&Ms, and Peanut M&Ms

 

 

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Start with 1 cup of plain m&ms.  Admire how pretty they are.  Think about snagging one or two. Be thankful that there are more than one cup in a bag of M&Ms and help yourself to the bag.

 

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Now with the 1 cup that you saved Chop each candy in half. If you’ve got yourself a nice sharp butcher knife its actually pretty easy to do.

 

 

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This is what they will look like when when they are all chopped up. Its a good thing I don’t bleed chocolate. Set m&ms aside for now.

 

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Now Scoop out a 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream. Try not to get it on you, boy is this stuff sticky. (isn’t my spatula purty?? I LOVE cooking with color!)

 

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Dump all of  the cream into a mixing bowl

 

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Now find a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Isn’t this one pretty? do you like it? Well read on. (do you see where this is going?)

 

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Scoop  out 1/4 cup of Creamy peanut butter

 

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and toss it into your mixing bowl as well.

 

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And there it is, becomeing friends with the marshmallow cream. Hello cream, we’re going to be great friends!

 

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Now melt 1 3/4 TBS of butter. Ya ya i know, it would have been easier if the recipe just called for two, but guess what! We get to MELT the butter instead of just softening it! which means when we put it in the microwave its OK when you forget about it and it melts completely! Umm wait, please tell me I’m not the only one that does that?? Alas the butter you are currently looking at was my second try (I really did forget the first one and it was boiling before I remembered it.) Sigh. its ok though, I ended up finding a use for it anyway, you’ll see later on.

 

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Pour your melted butter into your mixing bowl

 

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beat well until everything is mixed completely

 

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like this.  well except for that sneaky peanut butter on the side who didn’t feel like making friends today.  He will be punished later.

 

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Now get out your 2 1/2 cups of chow mein noodles. Good news! that actually equaled one can perfectly! Thank you Recipe Gods! (or whomever)

 

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Pour chow mien noodles into your cream mixture

 

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Now pour in your m&ms. hey no snagging, you still have the bag. Umm you still have the bag right? You didn’t eat them all already did you? DID YOU?? See my bag is right…..wait……… lets move on…

 

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Now we are going to HAND mix everything together carefully. Some will break and thats ok. I forgive you. Its will be a little tricky at first to get it all mixed but it will get there.

 

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You may stop when everything is evenly coated. You have my permission

 

Now grease up a pan with butter. I have no idea where this picture went. I think my camera ate it because I didn’t share the m&ms. Remember that first batch of butter that I “oopsed!” Well it had cooled off by now so I used some of that! Handy right? Yea I ment to do that! ha ha!

moving on…

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Using a tablespoon scoop out some of the mixture and plop it on the buttered pan. You can also use wax paper instead of butter if you wish

 

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NOW comes the messy Uhh I mean FUN! yea fun part!  Useing buttered hands (the other thing i was able to use my extra butter for!) Anyway, useing buttered (& CLEAN) hands, shape the drops of mixture into roung “nests” and put a dent in the middle of each one

 

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So you have a pan that might look like this, well the nests anyway, maybe not so much the pan, yes its an old pan, but hey be nice, its been very good to me! They didn’t mean to  point and laugh at you pan, really they didn’t.

 

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Now here is where you “lay” your eggs into your nests (snicker) ok maybe it was lame.  Take three of your peanut m&Ms and place them in the dents of each nest. you’ll need to work pretty quickly, as once the mixture starts to dry the M&Ms won’t stick well

 

 

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Now you let them set to harden. Really you need to stick them into the fridge for a little while for that to happen. Personally I would store them in covered containers in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten. After they’ve been out awhile they soften and start to fall apart again.

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And there you have it! cute little spring nests!

Well I hope yours ended up being cuter than mine anyway, lol.

 

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In review, I think next time I might try things a bit differently. Though my kids adored them, I’m not much for all the chow mien, I would like to try it with broken up pretzel sticks next time, and maybe a little less marshmallow cream so that it would be a little more “brown” nests. However I am not sure it would even work with less, as it may not be enough cream to hold it all together. I’ll be sure to update this post if I ever do find out! Or feel free to let me know if you try it! 🙂

 

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Ok ok now for the good part. Since you made it THIS far. See these cute measuring cups in their pretty jeweled colors and big bold measurements? I just love cooking with color! and Welllllll I happen to have a brand new set to give to one lucky reader!  So here’s the deal. This site gets a lot of readers, but you wouldn’t know it by the comments section. You can practically hear the crickets chirping in there! So lets liven things up. If you’d like a chance to win these fun pretty cups, just leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite m&m color is. See, easy , fun, and ya might win something! Be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner! The winner will be drawn with a randomizer and I will post the lucky winner on this site, and mail them to ya strait away! I know its a small prize, but it’s something fun to get us going since this is a pretty new site. I plan to have more giveaways in the future, and hopefully they will be bigger and better!  

so who’s in?? Contest will close at 9:00 PM CST on Saturday April 4th. So hurry!  🙂

St. Patty’s Day Sugar Cookies

 

Since today is St Patty’s day I decided to whip up a batch of shamrock sugar cookies last night to celebrate.

 

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So lets get started!

 

 

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Start with 1 1/2 cups of softened butter

 

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Beat in 3 cups of White Sugar

 

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Beat in 4 eggs

 

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Add 2 Tsp Vanilla extract ( I always use clear vanilla so as not to change the color)

 

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Beat well

 

 

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Fold in 5 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, & 1 teaspoon salt .

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I mixed this by hand because if you over beat it will be crumbly.

 

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I then let my mixer SLOWLY stir it for a few seconds to make sure everything was well mixed together

 

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And it will look like this. Now COVER and REFRIGERATE for at least one hour. Longer if you can. The longer you refrigerate the less it will fall apart and spread while baking.

 

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Pull out some dough and let ther rest refrigerate, you don’t want the dough to become warm. Roll out to between 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. I used parchment paper and POWDERED SUGAR instead of flour to prevent sticking.

 

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Cut into shaped and place on pan. I ALWAYS spray my pans with Baker’s Joy first, its God’s gift to baking.

 

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Bake at 350 for aprox. 7 min. the cookies in this picture were the first out of the fridge so they spread a bit as they prob weren’t cold enough. the other batches were refrigerated longer, so they held their shape a lot better

 

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AFTER COOLING I outlined the cookie with Royal Icing. Let dry for 5-10 min until hard

 

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I then flooded the cookies with green icing, and wallah! Shamrock sugar cookies!

 

 

Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

1 In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on sugared surface (sprinkle powdered sugar on parchment paper ) 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.
3 Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

* Store in air tight container if you want them to stay soft, otherwise they will be a crispy cookie *

Why clean when you can bake?: otherwise known as Procrastinating, chocolate cake

So I was supposed to clean my room today.  Before I started, I wanted to have a little fun. I decided I was gonna whip up a batch of icing and just practice making decorations. Then I remembered that I have to go into Dallas tomorrow, and was planning on stopping by the hub’s office and having lunch with him. Well, I can’t very well show up at the office without some kind of treat. Other than being the Hubs’ wife, I’m known as the lady who sends in all the goodies. So I didn’t want to show up empty handed and disappoint. I decided to pull out my mini heart pan and make some cute little heart cupcakes. While I was filling the pan with batter I realized that I was going to end up with a hundred cupcakes at this rate. So I then decided to throw most of the batter into a large heart cake pan. So I bake everything up and think about what I’m going to do with it all. I whipped up a batch of chocolate butter cream icing and slathered it all over the cakes. While thinking about what I wanted to do with them, I remember what got me started in the whole process to begin with. So I whipped up another batch of butter cream icing, pulled out my decorating supplies, and went to town. I ended up with a way more elaborate cake than I had planned, especially for no specific occasion, but I had fun, learned a lot, and the office gets a nice treat ! 🙂  Here are pics of what I made today……….

 

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One of the very best things to me about baking, is that I can share it with my daughter. We get to spend time together and I get to teach her things. What better mother daughter moments than cooking together? I gave her the piece of cake that I had shaved off, and she got to practice her decorating techniques on her own piece of cake. Which she of course got to eat when she was through. She did great!

 

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Ya like her crazy grin?? She’s missing three teeth in a row, and a fourth is loose. If they don’t start growing in quick she won’t be able to eat anything but soup! which is bad because she hates soup!

Now I must go and supervise my daughter cleaning her room, as she tends to get distracted if left to her own devices. Hmmmm wonder where she got that trait??? what was I supposed to do today?? oooooooh yea……… 🙂