Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yet another sugar cookie recipe

This is thanks to {All Things Thrifty}


Ingredients:


3 sticks of salted butter softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups of all purpose flour

Tip #1: Don't use margarine. Use the good 'ol fattening BUTTER. I like to use salted butter.
Tip #2: Don't use the microwave to soften the butter. Let it sit out on the counter at room temperature until it is softened. If you use the microwave, you may melt it too much, which will impact the texture of your dough and make it too sticky.

Directions:

*Cream the softened butter and sugar together until it is nice, smooth, and fluffy.

*Next, add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture. I use a hand mixer on low for this.

*Add the vanilla. 

*Gradually add the flour and baking powder. I use my hand mixer for this also. Make sure that all the flour is mixed into the dough.

*Chill dough for 1-2 hours to stiffen up the dough. (very important step)

*When your dough has been chilled for the alloted time, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

*On a clean counter top, generously sprinkle powdered sugar (yep...not flour) onto the counter and begin rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Make sure to add some powdered sugar to your rolling pin and to the top of the dough to prevent it from sticking. (Keep adding a little powdered sugar as needed throughout this process).

Tip #3: I roll out about a third of the dough at a time so that I can carefully gauge the thickness of the dough. I like mine to be on the thick side (about 1/2 inch thick).

*Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes and set them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure there is at least 1 inch or so in between each cookie.

*Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. As you can see in my pictures, my cookies were extra large (almost as big as the napkin) so I cooked them for 8 minutes.

Tip #4: Do NOT overcook. They may not look done, but they are. 


CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 stick softened butter (1/2 cup) Tips #1 and #2 apply
1 brick softened cream cheese (8 oz) Tip #2 applies
Mix butter and and cream cheese until soft, add 2 tsp vanilla, beat until light and fluffy.
Add 4-5 cups powder sugar, one cup at a time, (I use 4 1/2 cups). Beat until smooth. Add your favorite food coloring to tint it your desired color. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rosauers Shortbread Cookies



Rosauers Shortbread Cookies
{Courtesy of Melissa K @ A Time For Everything}

1 lb. butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cornstarch

Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat at medium speed until creamy. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to slow and add the flour and then the cornstarch. Mix until incorporated.

Divide the dough into 4 balls, flatten them into disks, and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 300. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. Keep lifting the dough, sprinkling with a little more flour if it sticks to the surface. Cut shapes of dough and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Place back in refrigerator to chill, about 15 minutes.

Place cookie sheet in middle of oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until only slightly colored.

Cool completely, glaze, and let the kids go crazy with the sprinkles.

{Notes: Yes, that's a pound of butter. Yes, only 300 degrees. No, I didn't forget to list the eggs.}

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies {supposedly from the granddaughter of the founder}

Lofthouse Cookies:
2 eggs
2 C. sugar
2 C. cream
2/3 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 C. shortening (Lard)
Vanilla to taste
Enough flour to form a soft ball (She told me that the key to making soft, fluffy cookies is to add a lot of flour. But she didn't tell me how much. )

I assume that you just mix all of the ingredients together because there are no special directions listed. Bake at 350º (again no specified time) and the cookies need to stay white.

Icing:
1 pkg. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 can condensed milk (for spreading)
1 tsp shortening
1 tsp butter 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

French Baguettes

Click image for image credit



INGREDIENTS:
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.
2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.http://allrecipes.com/Cook/1819125/

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Click Here For Image Credit




Put chicken into the crock pot, with


-chicken broth
-2 whole carrots
-a few stalks of celery
-a whole onion, chopped
-2 tbs parsley
-a bay leaf
-about 4 tablespoons minced garlic {or two to four whole cloves of garlic}
-salt and fresh ground pepper


Let it cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Then when it's done, strain the broth into a stock pot, shred the chicken into the stock pot, and discard everything else. Add salt and pepper as needed to make it taste better, you can also add more garlic if needed, parsley if needed {since it's been strained out} and any other spices you like, then, bring it to a boil, and add about 4 chopped carrots, 2 or 3 chopped celery stalks, and homemade egg noodles {recipe found below}. Voila! You have the best batch of homemade chicken noodle soup you'll ever eat! :)




Egg Noodles


6 eggs
3 cups flour
itty bitty pinch of salt
splash of milk {not always needed}


Mix the eggs into the flour and salt, by hand works best, but you can use the dough hook on your kitchen aid if you prefer. I don't muck it up for noodles... it's easiest to do it by hand.


If the dough is to dry with the eggs, flour and salt, add a little bit of milk to moisten it up a bit, and knead it, like you do to bread, until it's smooth and not sticky. If you're using it later, put it into a zip lock bag. If you're using it now {or in 10 minutes} let it rest on the floured surface it was just rolled out on.


Roll it out as thin as you possibly can {much easier said than done! It's stretchy!} and then once you have it maybe 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick, cut it into long noodles. They absorb moisture as they cook, so they will be a bit larger when they're finished. 


They only need to boil for a few minutes! About the time when you're ready to cut the noodles, add your carrots and celery to the boiling chicken broth. Then by the time you're done cutting the noodles into strips, you add them, just a few at a time, so they don't stick together, to the boiling chicken broth. It's important you have almost TWICE the amount of broth in your pan, because they will absorb a lot of the broth. Add any salt and pepper if needed, although usually at the end, all I need is pepper in my bowl, and that's because it's my favorite way to eat chicken noodle soup: lots and lots of fresh ground pepper.


We do chicken noodle soup with homemade French bread {or on fast/lazy days, store bought cook-at-home rolls or baguette}. :)