Friday, May 31, 2013

School's Out Cookie Bouquet

This is just a quick update to show you the bouquet we gave to the boy's teacher.

It was a little overstuffed.  And we put sand and seashells in the bottom for ballast.

And to show just how overstuffed the poor little box was...

Anyhoo, she seemed to like them.  And school is officially OUT for the summer!  WooHoo!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Summertime Cookies!

This weekend I made chocolate chocolate chip caramel cookies and petit fours.  And I took zero pictures!  WooHoo!

So here for your viewing pleasure are cookies I made a couple years ago.

I shamelessly copied these from a pair of the girl's jammies.  Hand cut using a template and iced in glaze.

Some flip-flops...because that seems to be my signature cookie...

...and some surfboards...

I really, really love the little ice cream pops.  I keep telling myself I'm going to have a cutter made because I want to make them again, but I hate hand-cutting cookies.

Well, that's all for today.


Friday, May 17, 2013

School's Out Cookies!

School is almost over, so I made some cookies for the boy's teacher to thank her for putting up with him for a whole year.  He's a sweet boy, but sometimes he's too smart for his own good. And does he ever like to argue. Back when he was three, Hubby and I used to joke that we were going to locate a toddler debate team and sign him up. But we were only half joking.

The boy has a special gift. He can almost instantaneously view an argument from all sides, find the weak point, and then mercilessly attack that weak point until whomever is arguing with him curls up into a ball and begs for mercy. He wants to be an entomologist when he grows up, but I think he would make a smashing trial attorney. We've got time to work it out, though.  He just turned 9, so it's really not a decision he has to make right away.

Back to the cookies! Before we give these to the teacher, I will glue sticks to them and put them in a bouquet.  For now, they're being bagged up and thrown into the freezer since we still have two weeks to go before the last day of school. Time is short, so I do things when I can.

Again, excuse the photo quality.  I was in a big hurry. And somehow, the teacher is getting 13 cookies instead of the 12 I planned to give her. Wow, my math skills are terrible!

Moving on, I liked how the bathing suit came out. I was worried, because it started life as a onesie.

Some of my favorites...

I don't know what this says about my psychological make-up, but I LOVE making flip-flop cookies.  And surfboards, too,but mostly flip-flops. And I am compelled to make them in pairs, which I then refuse to break up. You will note that the teacher is getting one of each shape/color...except the flip flops. She's getting a pair of those.


Slightly embarrassed that I forgot to flip one of these over...


And the reason I was in a hurry was because I was trying to get out the door to Tuesday morning Bible study, and I was taking the leftovers with me.  Because I can never make just a few cookies at a time.

Half patriotic, half Hawaiian vacation!  They were a hit.

Well, that's all for now.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memorial Day Cookies

This will just be a quick post to show the cookies I did for Memorial Day.  Just a little early this time. I was taking pictures while running out the door, so please excuse the photo quality.

This was the best of the collection.  Please don't judge me too harshly.

And some favorites:

Some wet-on-wet flowers courtesy of a how-to video by Nadia of My Little Bakery...with some of my favorite tie-dye flip flops.

And Uncle Sam hats.  Courtesy of a tombstone cookie cutter!

Anyway, I think I'll be linking up the flip flops and flowers to LilaLoa's challenge this month.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Applesauce Loaf Cake

A couple months ago, my brother-in-law accidentally bought a bag of white whole wheat flour.  He had no idea what to do with it, so he gave it to me.  I didn't really know what to do with it either. I mean, I use whole wheat flour and I use white flour.  I was unsure about how to use this weird hybrid of the two.

I experimented with it a little, but it wasn't really interchangeable with white flour (too dense) and I just prefer whole wheat flour in the right application.  So the poor hybrid flour just sat there, unused.  But then I started to get annoyed that it was in my flour container, forcing me to scoop white flour out of the bag.  So I decided to use it whether I wanted to or not.

Then I remembered this recipe that I bookmarked a while back.  Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf Cake by Eat, Live, Run.  Mmmm...applesauce cake.  Anyway, I decided that this would be the perfect way to wipe out the hybrid flour.  Anything that was left was just going to be mixed with a new bag of white flour and I'd deal with the consequences later. I made a double batch to use more flour.

The recipe calls for frosting, but I didn't want to use frosting, so I didn't.  It is not a really sweet cake, I guess if you're into that sort of thing you could throw in an extra half cup of sugar, or use sweetened applesauce.

The only complaint I had about this recipe is that it was too salty. Of course, it could just be me because I don't like the taste of salt.  I use it in all of my recipes because food tastes yucky without it, but I tend to use less than most people because I don't want to taste it.  Basically, if I consider something inedible due to salt content, my husband thinks it's perfect.  So what I'm really trying to say is, I could taste salt in the cake.  It wasn't overpowering, but I will cut the salt back to 1/2 a teaspoon in future.

Oh, and they didn't rise in the center.  But that could have been my fault for using my KitchenAid too aggressively.  I do that sometimes. 

Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf Cake

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

-Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg and keep beating until well combined.

-In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add dry ingredients, along with applesauce, to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.

-Spread batter in the greased loaf pan, smooth surface with a rubber spatula, and bake for about 1 hour, until cooked through and golden brown.

That's all for today.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cowboy Cookies

The young 'uns and I were at home looking for something to do the other day, so we decided (what else?) to make cookies.  There was some debate over what kind.  The girl wanted chocolate chip.  The boy wanted sugar cookies.  I thought we might try something different.

One quick Google search later and voila: Cowboy Cookies.

We found the recipe here.  It was easy and we had all of the stuff. The boy said they were the best cookies he'd ever eaten.  Better than brownies.  He was enraptured.

Here's the recipe.  We didn't change a thing.

Cowboy Cookies
David Sutherland via Food Network

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

-Preheat oven to 350.  Cream shortening sugars together in a bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well-blended.  Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the oats, pecans, chocolate chips and coconut and stir until incorporated.

-Spoon onto a greased (or parchment-lined) cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

OK, I guess I made one change.  I used my big cookie scoop instead of the small one, so they took closer to 15 minutes to bake.  But it was worth it.

That's all for today.