Monday, July 9, 2012

Cookie Jar

I've always considered myself to be a pretty good baker. But lately I've decided I want everyone else to know that too. Like "oh yeah...Stephanie makes such good desserts!". I want to perfect the recipes I always make, and branch out and try new ones too.

If I'm at all known for any kind of treat, it would definitely be these sugar cookies. They're my aunt's recipe, and I can't tell you how many times I've given it out.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening (7/8 c. veg. oil)
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5-6 (ish) cups flour (just keep adding until it's easy to roll out)
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

Mix shortening, eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 min. Add sour cream, flour, soda, and salt. Blend together. Roll out on floured board 1/4" thick. Cut into shapes. Bake at 425 for 5-6 minutes.

 I think Mom gets the credit for raising us making themed cookies throughout the year, and it's a tradition I've continued. This was my first big Christmas baking year and I'm still not yet ready to make any more of these bad boys! I've started getting more into the decorating aspect and have really had fun experimenting with the icing.

Everyone asks how the frosting is so smooth. It's really not's all about the icing! Royal icing will spread out smooth and hardens once it dries. I never use anything else!

Royal Icing
Confectioners Sugar
Egg whites
2 drops lemon juice

Honestly that's as much of a recipe for the icing as I have. I start with 1 or 2 egg whites and just add powdered sugar until it makes a consistency like icing! And it turns out perfect every time.

Since BF and I spent Valentine's Day apart, I wanted to send him a box of goodies. The most delicious treats I included were these Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies. I found the recipe on pinterest (of course) and it originally came from The Novice Chef. These were TO.DIE.FOR. It's a good thing I was sending them to him...or else I would've eaten the entire pan myself. In one sitting most likely. These are definitely added into my list of favorites.

And then came St. Patrick's Day. I think I just go on baking binges during winter months (and holidays in general). I don't have much cupcake experience and don't even know if I ever had made them from scratch! But these just sounded (and looked) so amazing when I saw them on pinterest I just had to try them. I mean, how can you resist something like Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes? I had fun actually baking with booze! Maybe a little too much, because they turned out pretty strong by the end. The recipe on Brown Eyed Baker seemed easy enough, but they were a time consuming experience. But I can say I've made cupcakes that use Guinness, Jameson, AND Baileys! Not everyone can say that.