So many of my homeschooling moms amaze me with all of their talents, one of them being my friend JenB. She has been professionally decorating cookies for a while and I CAN SAY WOWWIE! I love looking at her work. They are mini-pieces of art on a glorious little morsel of cookie. Some of them are almost too beautiful to eat.
I had been researching and researching (not wanting to disturb JenB and her work) on getting the perfect recipe for Cookie Royal Icing. Here is the one that we finally came up with for us to work with. And YES! It worked GREAT!
We did dye ours with some natural dyes because of El’s allergies… (and why would I want to put those yucky artificial dyes in my body anyway?) We used the Natural Dyes here: https://amzn.to/2KnFpSZ And although they worked, we only added enough to make a “pastel” colored Turkey. 🙂
Our next dilemma was the fact that my turkey cookie cutter was M.I.A. What to do, What to do? I have a large daisy cookie cutter and We made it into a turkey.
When using your royal icing, outline and then fill. We started with an icing bag and that made a mess. Once we switched to an icing bottle, the designed flowed much better. (ignore the crazy, weird lumps in the start of the icing – it was from the bag – and user error)
*tip – one color at a time and let dry in between
- 6 ounces, fluid Warm Water
- 5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
- 2-¼ pounds (or 1 Kilogram) Icing Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cream Of Tartar
In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
Have fun decorating!
(*Recipe courtesy of Antonia74 at www.cakecentral.com)
I already had my favorite buttery sugar cookie recipe. It is one that we have been using for years.
- 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 sticks of butter room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Mix together the flour(minus 1 cup), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix until thoroughly combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir together until you have a thick mixture.
Add the last cup of flour slowly until you get the right consistency, about that of peanut butter. If you add it all at once, yours might be too dry. If it does get too dry, I have found that you can add 1T of milk.
Wrap the mixture with clear plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
Roll out half of the dough.
One of my all-time favorite cookies is the Circus cookies. This is a recipe that we have been using for years. LOVE that the kids can help out (and since the littles are getting older, they can even do this one themselves) and make these as well.
I picked up the mini Noah’s Ark cookie cutter set (Here is the link on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CHh9cH) that is the perfect size for these little cookies.
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp half and half, or 6 Tbsp heavy cream, or 7 Tbsp of milk plus more as needed
In a mixing bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until well combined.
Mix in egg, vanilla extract. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Divide mixture into 2 equal portions.
Wrap with plastic wrap and chill 1 1/2 hours, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350.
Dust a clean work surface with flour then roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into mini animal shapes, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 3/4-inch between cookies. Bake in preheated oven about 7 – 11 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool several minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
- For the icing: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough half and half or cream to reach a medium consistency (not runny, not thick). Spread over cookies and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles after frosting each one. We dunk cookies into bowl and remove with fork, and let rest on a cookie drying rack until glaze has set.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime and spending it outside with my family and friends. I love the sound of the cicadas in the trees of Arizona. I love eating freshly picked watermelons from the garden and swimming in the pool with the kiddlings…
But my favorite time of the year is the fall when we start to can (applesauce is my favorite) and bake. Hoodies and apple pies!! Fires in the fire place. I love baking bread and biscuits. I love the smell of cookies coming out of the oven. (My waistline, however, doesn’t love that part! 😉 )
I love the approaching winter season when we celebrate the birth of our savior.
Every day in the fall, I try something new in my kitchen. I attempt new cookies or bread. I love making dinner in the crockpot. I love creating new soups for my family.
This morning in my area, we woke up to the first day of frost on our windshields. It was 34 degrees out when I got up at 3:30 for my classes to start. And our high today isn’t supposed to get over 55 degrees. It is a crockpot kind of day!
On the list for the week –
- Chicken and Dumplings, Biscuits, Crockpot beef stroganoff, homemade noodles, and animal circus cookies.
- We have beautiful purple cabbage coming out of the freeze dryer this morning and apple slices going in.
- We plan on having a road trip if it doesn’t rain at the end of the week
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies
Peanut butter, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
PREHEAT oven to 375°F.
COMBINE together butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat until combined. Next, beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour, oats and chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees
*This recipe doubles fantastically – We add 1 bag of chocolate chips to a doubled batch.
Every year, we have little Christmas traditions that we, as a family, have during the season. One of them like many other families is making Christmas cookies. With so many kids in the family, cookies don’t last too long. We love making rosette cookies. We have several rosette irons, 2 of which are antiques that we picked up from yard sales. And since my Larry is a cookie moster, these are a hit at our house.
Here is the recipe that we use… Yes you can substitute goat’s milk and white rice flour.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- vegetable oil for frying
- sifted confectioners’ sugar
- Combine eggs, sugar and salt; beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. I do this with a whisk.
- Heat a rosette iron in deep, hot oil (375 degrees) for 2 minutes.
- Drain excess oil from iron. Dip in batter to 1/4 inch from the top of the iron, then dip iron immediately into hot oil (375 degrees).
- Fry rosette until golden, about 30 seconds. Lift out; tip upside down to drain.
- Reheat iron 1 minutein oil; make next rosette.
- Sprinkle rosettes with powdered sugar.
Essential Oil Tuesday – Lavender Shortbread Cookies
I only use oils from Young Living because I know that they are 100% pure and a grade above all other oils that I have tried and tested. It is the only one that I will trust with my family.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room-temperature
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour (We substituted a gluten-free flour blend for ours) – plus extra for rolling.
- Lavender Essential Oil (about 3 drops) – optional
- In your blender or food processor, pulse blend together the sugar and the dried lavender flowers until flowers are smaller and the mixture is more fine.
- In a mixer, combine the flour and the sugar mixture.
- Add butter and 3 drops of PURE essential oil. (You may add a few drops of red and blue food colors if you want to make them purple… we don’t use dyes so this wasn’t an option for us.)
- Mix until well blended.
- Roll dough out to about .25 in thick and cut with a cookie cutter.
- Place on cookie sheet and bake.
- Remove to cooling rack.
Bake at 325 for 15 minutes – Makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on the size of your cutter
It has always been fascinating to me to see the child’s eye when they experience something for the first time. My children have always been in the kitchen with me and I know that I take that for granted. We have children come in and out of our house though foster care who get to experience life and family for the first time in our home. It still always shocks me when I hear that they have never made cookies from scratch or know what a Christmas tree is.We as a family have decided to give them exactly this, even if for only a day or a week or a month.
Making cookies has been a HUGE treat in our house, especially lately. And I was able to share this today… We decided to make a very special cookie – Peanut butter blossoms – These are SO YUMMY and use one of my favorite candies – Hershey Kisses. 🙂 (and I think that the kids ate more chocolate as they were peeling the wrappers than what ended up on the cookies!!)
Peanut Butter Blossoms
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened ( I only use butter in my house for cookies… tastes SO MUCH BETTER)
- 2 eggs (These are fresh from our chickens and ducks)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (I only use whole wheat fresh ground, but any bleached white will work as well)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Additional granulated sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
- About 6 dozen Hershey’s® Kisses® Brand milk chocolates
- Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.