Monthly Archives: January 2012

Football Cookies

Are you a football fan?! These cookies are SO EASY to make and are sure to be a hit at your Super Bowl Party.

Start with some chocolate roll out cookie dough, I used the same dough as I did for these Valentine’s cookies. Simply cut out the footballs using a round cookie cutter. One circle can make two footballs. You can also make a lot of footballs by going around the outside of your dough with your cutter (I should have taken a picture of that too).

Once the cookies are baked (according to your recipe directions) and cooled. Decorate with royal icing or this fabulous cream cheese icing. I used a small round tip (#2). Also, you will see that I have a few little peaks on my detailing. I was in a hurry to finish these cookies, so I didn’t take as much time as I normally do. You can easily smooth out the peaks by slightly moistening you fingertip with a tiny, tiny bit of water and tapping down each peak.

Are you going to be watching the Super Bowl? What are your favorite game day snacks?

Lemon Cupcake Baked Donuts

With subtle lemon flavored cake and tart lemon icings, these delicious treats are quite deceptive. While they may look like donuts on the outside…they are truly cupcakes on the inside. I love the lemony flavor and they were a huge hit at my house.

I topped these delicious lemon donuts with both a lemon glaze and a lemon frosting. You can definitely choose to do just one or the other.

Lemon Cupcake Baked Donuts
adapted from Cookies and Cups
Makes 6 donuts

1 1/2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
3/8 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 425F. Spray donut pan with cooking spray.

Beat all the ingredients together on medium speed for 30 seconds. Pour batter into a ziploc bag. Cut a corner from the bag and pipe into the donut pan. Bake for 7-9 minutes until the tops are lightly brown and spring back when touched. Cool 5 minutes in pan before removing.

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
lemon juice

Combine powdered sugar, sour cream and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add enough lemon juice to make a glaze. Drizzle over donuts (You may be able to dip the donuts in the glaze. However, they might crumble if you are not careful). Allow glaze to slightly harden on donuts.

Lemon Frosting
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
lemon juice
*1/4-1/2 tsp lemon zest, optional (I didn’t have any, or I would have added it)
food coloring, if desired

Combine powdered sugar and butter. Beat in enough lemon juice to form frosting of desired consistency. Frost cooled donuts (with or without the glaze layer).

Since you will only be using part of a cake mix you will have some leftover for some other delicious treats:

Cake Batter Ice Cream – Sugar & Spice & All Things Iced
Cake Batter Truffles – Fearless Homemaker
Cake Batter Pancakes – How Sweet it is
Cake Batter Chocolate Bark – How Sweet it is
Cake Batter Crispy Treats – How Sweet it is

And if you are looking for a delicious baked lemon donut recipe that doesn’t use a cake mix and are not cupcakes disguised as donuts  you have to check out this Baked Lemon Donut from Barbara Bakes (she also uses Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour). I am dying to give it a try!

Heart Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Rich chocolate cookies with a delicious cream cheese glaze, these simple cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter). Basic hearts can easily be dressed up with different icing colors and just a couple of round #2 or #3 piping tips. To add more variety sprinkle with some sanding sugar (for a great tutorial check out this post by Sugarbelle).

Chocolate Butter Cookies
slightly adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

makes approximately 4 dozen

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and mix with cocoa powder to form a paste. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cocoa paste, butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high for 1 minute until combined and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla about 30 seconds until combined.

Reduce speed to low and slowly mix the flour in 3 batches. Continue to mix until the dough sticks together (about 10 seconds).

Divide dough into 3 pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough out between 2 pieces of wax paper or parchment paper. Then cut as desired. Bake 9-12 minutes.

Cream Cheese Glaze Frosting
America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
Food coloring, if desired

Whisk until combined. Add enough milk to make glaze desired consistency. Spread or pipe on cooled cookies.

I have been really bad at posting this month. I just spent a week and a half in Washington DC. While I had great intentions of posting some delicious treats while on vacation (I even had the photos ready to go), it just didn’t quite happen. Now that I am home, I am ready to get back into my regular routine….although, I feel like I still need another vacation (or maybe a maid service).

New England Clam Chowder

Warm and creamy this delicious chowder is perfect for a cold winter night. If you haven’t made homemade clam chowder, you need to give it a try (if you like clam chowder that is)! It is delicious! I have always been a huge fan of clam chowder. I don’t know why I was so intimidated about making it myself. I don’t know if I will ever go back to the canned variety!

This recipe is very easy and adaptable. I’ve only made it once, but like most soups, you can add in some different vegetables to change it up a bit. I just used what I had in my fridge that needed to be eaten.

New England Clam Chowder
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

4 cans (6.5 oz) minced or diced clams
4 slices of bacon (if using pre-cooked bacon*, you will need 1 tablespoon butter)
5 cups chopped, potato (6 medium)
1 large onion, diced
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crusted
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups milk (I used 4 cups 2% and 1 cup fat free)
4 tablespoons flour
carrots, optional
celery, optional

Peel and dice potatoes. Slice carrots and celery. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve 1 tablespoon drippings. I used pre-cooked bacon* (see tip below) so I omitted this step and just melted 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot. Peel and dice potatoes and onion. Slice carrots and celery.

Add clam juice from the cans (save the clams for later) to the melted grease or butter. You should have about 2 cups of juice. Stir in potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. If desired, mash potatoes slightly with a fork.

Mix together milk, cream, and flour. Add to the rest of the soup. Cook and stir until bubbly and slightly thickened. Chop clams finer if desired. Add clams to the chowder and return to boiling. Reduce heat and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

*Pre-cooking bacon: I like to buy bacon in bulk then cook it all. I freeze it and pull out a slice or two whenever needed. I love to cook it in the oven using the tutorial from Our Best Bites. It is SO EASY! I usually slightly under cook the bacon. After I drain it on paper towels and soak up most of the grease, I let the bacon cool before putting it all in a large freezer bag. When it is time to use, I pull out the slices and microwave them for a few seconds until they are crispy. It is so convenient and relatively mess free. Plus, there are no more wasted partial packages of bacon in my fridge. :)

Sorry about the long absence. Did you miss me?! It has been FOREVER since I last posted!! No worries, I haven’t dropped of the face of the earth. It has just been insanely crazy lately and I didn’t cook anything for a few weeks. In case you are curious why I was MIA….Christmas is an exceptionally busy time of year for my online business, plus a couple of our products were featured on The Today Show, read more about it here. Then we went to Disneyland for Christmas!! It was SO fun!! As soon as we came back from our vacation, we had family come and visit for a week. Now, I am finally all caught up on laundry and cleaning and I have lots of new ideas and goodies for this year!

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