Chia seed cranberry walnut bars

So after eating a lot of sugary goodness last week, I decided that I needed to eat something healthy. Healthy but still delicious. I had seen a recipe for chia seed bars on runeatpdx, which is one of the blogs that I follow. I am not a runner but I do enjoy the recipes for healthy food. When I first saw the picture I immediately thought the chia bars looked good.

But chia seeds? What are chia seeds? The only chia seeds I could think of were the cha cha chia plant I had growing up and how I never got it to grow. I was skeptical so I did a little more research. First off they don’t taste like anything so if you add them to a recipe it wont change the flavor. Chia seeds get jelly when added to a liquid so they can be used as a substitute for egg in some recipes. And most important of all they are very good for you providing omega 3 fatty acids than a serving of salmon, and more calcium than a serving of milk. Which for me, a woman who doesn’t eat fish and is lactose intolerant is music to my ears.

So anyway, back to the chia bars. This bars are very easy to make and are a good healthy snack. I think they could be very versatile. So I definitely think these are going to be my go to work snack.

Where to buy chia seeds:

You should be able to buy them at any grocery store in the health/natural section. I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand at Fred Meyer. It was only 9 dollars.

different combination ideas

  • use orange juice instead of lemon juice and use cranberries and walnuts
  • raspberries and pecans
  • all nuts no dried fruit
  • dried mango pieces and macadamia nuts
  • fresh pears and walnuts
  • basically any dried fruit and nut combo you can imagine

Chia Seed Cranberry Walnut bars

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx 1.5 lemons)
  • 1.5 cups regular oats, ground into a flour in food processor
  • 1/2 cup regular oats (not ground)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut + additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey*
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper*.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the chia seeds and lemon juice. Set aside to gel up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Take your 1.5 cup of oats and process them in food processor until a flour forms.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour (regular oats processed into a flour), baking powder, 1/2 cup regular oats, kosher salt, lemon zest, dried cranberries, pistachios, and shredded coconut.

4. In another small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, applesauce, and agave nectar. Mix in the gelled up chia seed mixture until combined.

5. Add wet to dry and stir well until blended. It will take a while to mix it thoroughly. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out smoothly with a spatula. Sprinkle additional coconut on top before baking.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350F until golden around the outer edge. It will very lightly spring up when pressed.

7. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Cut into 16 squares. Approx 200 calories per square.

Here is the original recipe without the changes I made to it.

Notes:

I used honey in the recipe, but you can switch it out for agave nectar.

I, for some reason don’t have a 8in pan so I just used a 8x 10 casserole pan, and they still turned out great.

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How to Make a Xbox Controller cake xbox cake part 3

1. I made marshmallow fondant. And dyed it the colors I needed it to be. I also bought decorators gel for the clear buttons in the top right hand corner and it dyed it the colors I needed. Don’t forget to test the colors out on the color of fondant you are using. Because they will be lighter in color once they are on the white fondant.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

*note: this recipe makes WAY more than you really need to make this cake. But can be good to have extra to practice colors with.

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows

4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, divided

Directions

  1. Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  2. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.
  3. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface lightly greased with crisco and dusted with confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes*.
  4. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Try to work quickly if you work too slowly your fondant will get what I like to call “elephant butt” which means it will get crackly and wrinkly and you wont be able to get it back.

Note: It may take longer than 5-1o minutes, so if after 10 minutes your dough is still tacky, keep adding confectioners’ sugar and kneading.

2. I baked the cake in a 6 in round pan. Using the red velvet cake recipe from the previous post. Ps I apologize about the photos, these were just supposed to be for reference if I made it again.

3. I made a sketch of the controller, and used it as a stencil to cut out the cake.

4.  Then I cut it in half and filled the cake. You don’t necessarily have to fill it if you don’t want to, but if you don’t fill it then you should make the cake taller.

5. I froze the cake so that it would be easier to carve out the details

6. I started carving the cake. If you have access to a controller, I would recommend using it as a guide rather than using pictures . The final cake will be more accurate. If you want to just use pictures and you can’t find the correct angles or sides, just comment this post and I will post all of the pictures I took.

7. I crumb coated the cake with cream cheese frosting.

here are the different views of the cake

side

top

front view

8. I double checked to make sure the cake was sculpted the way I wanted it. Then I refrigerated the cake while I rolled out the fondant. I shaped pieces of fondant to go under the fondant cover.

9. I covered the cake in fondant. And cut away the extra at the bottom.

10. I shaped the xbox logo and dusted it with silver luster dust. If you want you can mix luster dust with vodka and paint it on. I chose not to do that because it wasn’t opaque enough.

11. I shaped the area in the top center where the xbox logo goes. I shaped all of the buttons, knobs, and lettering to go under the gel. I wish I had a picture the knobs but I don’t. I shaped the knobs on toothpicks so it would be easy to put them on the cake later.

12. I did all of the final details right before the party. Including putting the knobs on, putting the gel (for the buttons) on the cake, putting the buttons on the top of the controller, and lettering.

13. You’re Done! yay, now you can relax and bask in the praise you are about to get for all of your hard work.

Berry Custard Pie, conquer your fear of making pie

I had Berry Custard Pie for the first time a long time ago, maybe 10 years ago. I was visiting my cousin Joni (she is actually my moms cousin, but that is a long story) and after a long afternoon of picking, well mostly eating blackberries in their yard, we headed inside for dinner. While dinner was cooking she was busy making this pie. It was the best pie I had ever had, and it probably still is. It’s also probably the easiest pie in the world to make. It’s also AMAZING for breakfast, ever so slightly warmed in the microwave.

Over Christmas break, my brothers girlfriend Katie asked me to make this pie for her birthday. I didn’t have the recipe so I called up Joni to ask her. As well as giving me the recipe she told me the story of how she started making it. It was a couple of months ago so I apologize if it isn’t exact how she told it.

She told me how she had never made a pie until her friend/neighbor urged her to try it, because for years her mother told her she couldn’t make a pie, it would be to hard for her. Joni’s friend made the pie dough and helped her roll it out. I don’t remember if she suggested this recipe or if it was a basic fruit pie recipe. But anyway Joni finally got over her fear of pie! And if you are afraid to make pie then this is the pie recipe to help you conquer that fear.

I prefer to make this pie when raspberries and blackberries are fresh and local, but I make it year around with drained frozen berries. I have also made it with peaches and it will probably be amazing with what ever you have on hand. Oh and one fun fact is that all “custard” really means is that it is thickened with egg.

Berry Custard Pie

Filling

Whisk together

1 large egg
3/4 cup of sugar
6 T. melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

Arrange fruit over the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg mixture over the fruit. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then reduce the oven temp to 300 degrees and bake until the custard is brown and crusty on top and appears firmly set in the center when the pan is shaken, about an hour.  Let cool on a rack.

This recipe is in the Joy of Cooking as Open Faced Peach Custard Pie.  I have made it with pears, plums, (it will get you rave reviews) raspberries, blackberries, and mixed berries.

I recommend if you are using frozen fruit to drain it well. And use more fruit than you would think, because the egg mixture is meant to pour over the fruit, meaning there should be more fruit than egg mixture.

This is the recipe for pie crust that Joni uses. Being formerly pie challenged, her friend Donna, gave her this recipe that she got from a friend in France. It is awesome for quiches, too. Joni likes the simplicity of the ingredients, and because it is easy to remember, so it is easy to share. A word of mouth treasure.

Tip: Grating the butter for a pie crust is a fast way to make a mealy pie dough. Which is the best choice for pies with wet fillings like fruit pies. If you want a flaky pie crust, it is best to have big pieces of butter.

Carlotta’s French Pie Crust

Ingredients

1 cup of flour

1 stick cold or frozen (4oz) butter

1large egg

Directions

Grate cold or frozen butter into the flour. Mix with fork, I use my hands to mix the butter and flour, You can mix it any way you like. Mix the egg into the bowl and stir it up knead it a little, form a ball and cover with a plate or wax paper refrigerate for 10 minutes or so and then roll out. 🙂 Easy as pie

Here is the pie dough recipe I use for all of my pies because it is so simple and goes with every kind of pie.

 Pie Crust

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, lard, or vegetable shortening, diced (or a combination of butter and shortening equal to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup ice water, or as needed

Stir together the flour and salt with a fork to blend. Cut the fat into the flour using a food processor, pastry blender, or 2 knives. (For pies with liquid fillings like custard or cooked fruit fillings that are thickened with cornstarch or tapioca, the bits of fat should be evenly small, and the mixture should resemble a coarse meal. This will result in a mealy pie crust, which is less likely to become soggy as the pie bakes. For pies to be filled with fruit or another nonliquid filling, leave some bits of fat in larger pieces, about the size of a small pea, for a crisp and flaky texture in the baked crust.)

Drizzle a few tablespoons of the ice water over the surface of the flour mixture and quickly rub the water into the flour. Continue to add the water, a tablespoon or so at a time, just until it holds together when you press a handful of it into a ball. The dough should be evenly moist, not wet, and shaggy or rough in appearance.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gather and press the dough into a ball, wrap well, and let chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Unwrap the dough, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and scatter a little flour over the top. Alternatively, place the dough between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust of a pie into an even round about 13 inches in diameter (for a 9-inch pie pan). It should be about 1/8 inch thick.

Fold the dough in half or roll it loosely around the rolling pin, and gently lift and position it over the pan. Unfold or unroll and ease the dough into the pan without stretching, making sure that the pan sides and the rim are evenly covered. Press the dough gently against the sides and bottom. Trim the overhang to 1 inch. Tuck the dough overhang under itself and flute the edges. Fill and bake the pie according to recipe directions.

Roasting Bananas

Have you ever wanted to make banana bread, but your bananas weren’t ripe enough? I have and it sucks. Well now you don’t have to wait!

I was at work yesterday (I work in a cupcake shop) and we had to make banana cake batter, but our bananas weren’t ripe enough. We were stuck until our intern told us that we could just roast the bananas in the oven. At first we were unsure but we decided to try it anyway. Low and behold it worked! Oddly enough they smelled faintly like cured meat. But don’t worry once the bananas cooled down they smelled like bananas again.

Roasting Bananas

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put bananas still in their peel, in the oven and bake for 5 min
  3. Flip and rotate and bake until peels are black approx 5-7 more minutes
  4. Allow bananas to cool completely before peeling

Here is a great simple recipe for banana bread. Alas this isn’t my work’s recipe, it is top secret and heavily guarded.

Sorry I don’t have picture for you. I am still full from all that coconut cake so I haven’t made anything new yet. This recipe is from a cookbook given to me by my friend Deborah. Thanks!

Banana Bread

by Penny Dimino

Ingredients

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 5)
4 eggs, well beaten
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour

Directions

In a large mixer bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add bananas and eggs. Combine baking soda and flour. Add the banana mixture; stirring just enough to moisten the flour. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Run knife around edge and turn out immediately. Cool on wire rack.

Makes two loaves.

Coconut Southern Comfort Layer Cake

From the very first time of seeing this cake in the February edition of bon appetit magazine I have wanted to make it. It just looked beautiful! Plus I love coconut almost as much as I love chocolate, and this cake is all coconut. I had been holding off making it for a while because it has some fairly unusual ingredients in it (meaning they weren’t ingredients that I could go to the baking aisle and pick up). And it meant taking a trip to the liquor store to find Southern Comfort. But don’t let that detour you from making this cake, it was worth ever bit of effort! I am adding this cake to my repertoire.

I took it to work because it is too much cake for my roommate and I. If you just started reading this blog, I work in a cupcake shop. It is really easy to get my co-workers to try a bite but they rarely eat more than that. When you are surrounded by cake all day, the last thing you really want to eat is more cake. So I was really surprised when they started taking slices, and then asking to take slices home! I’d say that means it is pretty good.

Coconut Southern Comfort Layer Cake

9 in cake or an 8 inch if you don’t have 9 inch pans (I made it in 8 inch pans and  it turned out great)
Makes 16-20 servings

Cake Ingredients

nonstick vegetable oil spray (or butter) to coat pans

2 3/4 cups cake flour plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (not flaked coconut)
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
5 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to melt (i recommend using refined oil because it can be heated to 360 degrees)
1 cup buttermilk

Frosting and Assembly

4 cups unsweetened coconut chips
2 8oz packages cream cheese, room temp
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup Southern Comfort1/2 tsp salt
5 cups sifted powdered sugar

So if you decide to make this cake note: that you may be able to find these ingredients at your local grocery store but you are better off going to a store like Whole Foods (which is a natural food store). I was able to find coconut oil and unsweetened shredded coconut at my local Fred Meyer. But I had to go Whole Foods to find unsweetened coconut chips.

Cake Directions

Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Coat cake pans with nonstick spray or butter, and coat with flour. Whisk 2 3/4 cups flour and next three ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter at medium speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Gradually beat in oil. Beat in dry ingredients at low speed in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide among four 9in cake pans* (about 2 generous cups batter per pan); smooth tops with a spatula.

Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 22-27 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks; let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks, remove pans, and let cakes cool completely.

Frosting and Assembly

This step can be a do ahead : Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place coconut chips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast until some of the chips are golden brown (some will remain white), 5-7 minutes;* let cool completely. If doing ahead of time store in an airtight container at room temp.

Using and electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tbsp Southern Comfort and salt; beat to blend, about 1 minute longer. Add sifted powdered sugar; beat on low speed to blend. Increase to high; beat until fluffy, 5-6 minutes.

Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally.* Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a cake stand or plate. Lightly brush with about 1/2 tbsp of Southern Comfort. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over layer.** Repeat with remaining 7 layers, Southern Comfort, and frosting. Chill cake for 30 minutes.* Leave the remaining frosting at room temp.

Cover the sides of chilled cake with frosting. Cover cake loosely with foil and chill overnight- I didn’t do this, I was to inpatient to wait overnight; I just wanted to try the cake. I frosted my cake and then covered the sides right away with toasted coconut chips. I believe the reason the recipe says to, is because it gives the Southern Comfort time to soak into the cake. But I thought it tasted great without this step. – Keep chilled. Let cake stand at room temp for at least 30 minutes. Gently pat handfuls of toasted coconut chips over sides and top of cake and serve.*

Tips and Tricks

1. If you don’t have 4 cake pans, just fill the number that you have, and then fill and bake the rest later.

2. I prefer to turn the coconut chips half way during the toasting process. So that the chips are all a little golden brown

3. Cake decorators cut cakes on a turn-table because it is easier to get a smooth even cut. I don’t have a turn table, so I just clean up my lazy susan and use that. It does the exact same thing for less money.

4. When frosting or filling a cake it is usually best to keep a blob if icing a head of where you are trying to spread it. This helps prevent getting cake crumbs in the frosting.

5. Ooooppps! I bet this has all happened to us. You are frosting a cake and you get hole in your frosting, just like the pic below. This actually happens because of the way you are holding your knife or spatula. You are frosting with the spatula level to the cake.  Try frosting with the edges of it in a back and forth motion. Almost like you would if you were trying to scrape the frosting off. Just don’t press too hard or you will. If that doesn’t work, try frosting with the top inch of the spatula. This tip works especially well while frosting a very dense filling.

6. Chilling a cake after you fill it is a great idea to do with all cakes. It will make the cake more sturdy and less likely to slide around on you when are frosting the outside.

7. I recommend sifting the coconut to get out the tiny pieces before you press it into the cake.

He loved it! Red velvet xbox cake part 2

If you couldn’t tell by the title, my brother loved the cake. I presented him with it and he was blown away with how detailed it was. It is hard to see in the picture but I had even included all of the writing on the controller and the letters in the colored buttons. Oh and dont forget, I am going to post a tutorial on the cake next week.

It was great to see him so pleased with the cake. It was such a great feeling to have everyone else at the party like it though too, and for all of the wait staff to ask if they could take pictures. All in all it was a great party, lots of good company, and delicious food. Just in case anyone was wondering the party was held at Showa, if you happen to be in Seattle, definitely  stop by and try some pulled pork and the seaweed salad.

He is probably going to kill me for posting pictures but oh well

Right before I took this picture I told him he could actually wiggle the joy sticks. He didn’t believe me until he tried. I think that was pretty cool.

Here is a picture of him eating the cake. He said it tasted really good. Despite it being covered in fondant.

 

Happy Birthday Reed! red velvet xbox cake part 1

Today is my older brother Reed’s 30th Birthday!

Shhh… don’t tell any one, but his amazing girlfriend Katie is planning a surprise party for him tonight. A few months ago she asked me to make an extra special birthday cake for him. My brother works on video games for a living, so she asked if I could make a xbox controller cake. I am not by any means a gamer (not that I have anything against it), I just never got into it.

I really wanted to make this cake special, I mean it is his 30th b-day, kind of a big deal right? So I decided to make the cake life sized, thankfully I had a friend who generously lent me their controller for a few days, so I could have a visual aid. Because it has to be as perfect as possible for the birthday of someone who uses one every day. If you don’t know what a xbox controller looks like here is a pic:

I made a red velvet cake because it’s his favorite, the recipe I used is also the best red velvet cake recipe I have ever had. I can’t wait for him to see it! I hope he likes it.

Here is the cake before all of the bells and whistles.

and here it is finished! Next week I will post the step by step process so you can make your own xbox cake.

Check back tomorrow for pics of his reaction!

And here is my favorite recipe for red velvet cake. Red velvet cake recipes vary a lot in flavor, some are too chocolaty (for those of you who don’t know, yes it actually is considered a chocolate cake), some taste too much like buttermilk, or are too dry.

This one is just right. You can taste the chocolate, but not so much that it is like eating a chocolate cake, there is just enough buttermilk to add another layer of flavor, and as long as it isn’t over baked it is nice and moist with a fine crumb. These are the qualities that I think make red velvet so popular. I will be posting more on the history of red velvet next week, so don’t be a stranger.

Red Velvet Cake

I got the recipe from pinchmysalt.com

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour*

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)

2 oz. red food coloring

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.  In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.  Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Make sure you have cake pans buttered, floured, and nearby.  In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda.  Yes, it will fizz!  Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine.  Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check early, cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cakes from the pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, then gently lift the pan.  Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. Frost with buttercream or cream cheese icing (recipe below).

Tips and tricks

*Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

pinch of salt

Directions

1. With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.

2. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.

3. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

How was your Valentine’s day? Mine was insane and full of cupcakes, cookies, and beautiful flower arrangements. Sounds ideal right? Well it actually started by going to work -I work at a cupcake shop- an hour early to prepare for the onslaught of cupcake craving customers. I spent most of my work day icing over 6 thousand cupcakes; I don’t actually know how many cupcakes I iced but I know it was a lot. I knew my Valentine’s day was going to be super busy so I prepared vanilla bean almond sugar cookies for all of my co-workers and friends a head of time.  I love this recipe because it is fairly simple to make and it freezes well. The cookies turned out super cute and were a big hit so here is the recipe.

Vanilla Bean Almond Sugar cookies

makes about 30 cookies depending on the size

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean seeded

Directions

  1. Cream together the sugar and cold butter. (Finally a recipe in which you are actually told to use cold butter!)
  2. Add the egg, extracts, and vanilla bean seeds*.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined.  Scrape the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. If the dough is crumbly, knead it together.
  5. Roll the dough out to a little under a 1/4 inch and cut out into shapes*. Put the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cool completely before icing.

Tips and tricks

  1. To remove the seeds from a vanilla bean take the tip of a knife slice down the length of the bean. Don’t cut the way through it, just enough to expose the beans. Take the back of the knife and scrape out the beans.
  2. It helps to roll out the dough on parchment paper. And then if you put the dough in the freezer before you cut out the shapes they will hold their form better and will be easier to pick up. Oh and if you dip your cookie cutters in flour, the dough wont be as likely to stick to the cookie cutter.

All of the ingredients, except for the egg… oops

Cream together the sugar and cold butter.

how to remove the seeds from a vanilla bean

Add the egg, extracts, and vanilla bean seeds*.

Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined.  Scrape the bowl.

Roll the dough out to a little under a 1/4 inch and cut out into shapes*. Put the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cool completely before icing.

Here they are iced. I just made a basic royal icing

Royal icing

1 egg white (should be pasteurized)

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

food coloring

Directions

1. Mix together all ingredients until completely combined

2. Add in powdered sugar to thicken, or water to thin out the royal icing