The Perfect Sugar Cookies {+A Very Merry Christmas}

Merry Christmas friends!  I hope that everyone spent the day with loved ones.   My mom and dad are in town for the week visiting from Jersey.   Unfortunately, they both have terrible colds <insert emoji wearing facemask>.  We are making the best of it and they are getting plenty of r&r.

Check out this great shirt my mom stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago at TJ Max.  I have been sporting it all day.   I wonder if I can wear this all year long.  Hmmm…

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This year for Christmas we each bought one gift per person and it was perfect!  My parents got me a gift card for Stitch Fix, eeeee!! Have any of you ever used Stitch Fix?  I am so freaking excited.  My first delivery is to arrive on January 5th and I cannot wait.  I also got a new laptop from Husband and it is perfection.  Love love love.   My old laptop was dying and this could not have come at a better time since I will start studying for my pediatric dental board exam soon, whomp whomp. I am truly thankful for this holiday season.

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I have a fantastic sugar cookie recipe to share with you.  Last weekend my friend Kait and I made these and they turned out fantastic.  I like this recipe for several reasons:
1. The dough does not require a long chill time.
2. They don’t expand and flatten in the oven.
3.  They hold their shape.
4.  The recipe is simple.

This will absolutely be my new go to sugar cookie recipe! Enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: 

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

2.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

3. Chill dough for about 20-30 minutes.

4. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.   Use flour on table and rolling pin to help eliminate stickiness of dough.

5. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet.

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6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

7. Decorate as desired!  We decorated ours with a simple buttercream frosting and sprinkles.   They even tasted great without icing.

8. Store in an airtight container. One batch makes about 30-40cookies.

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Apple Fritter Cake {+ Friendsgiving}

Another friendsgiving has come and gone.  During the five years we lived in Columbus we hosted a Friendsgiving at our house annually and it was one of my favorite gatherings to host.  By the end of the night I remember always feeling that my heart was full with happiness and my belly was full with delicious food.  This year the feeling was no different.  Tonight we were fortunate enough to attend Friendsgiving at our friend Kait’s house (Thanks Kait!).  I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few hours sine we ate and it still kind of hurts to breathe #worthit.  It was potluck style and we had some fantastic dishes.  I brought green beans with garlic roasted almonds and an Oreo cheesecake for dessert.  Stay tuned for those recipes!

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In honor of Thanksgiving being just a few days away, I am sharing a great recipe for Apple Fritter Cake. This sweet cake with a cup of hot coffee will make the perfect Thanksgiving day breakfast treat, trust me on this one.  Not to mention the old-fashioned creme glaze that is so good you’ll be spooning it out of the bowl and in to your mouth.   Make this for your family and friends, it will be a huge hit!

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Ingredients for the cake: 

  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or reg milk)
  • 2 apples peeled and chopped, mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the old-fashioned crème glaze: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons milk (adjust depending on desired thickness)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an 8×8  pan and spray with non-stick spray (or use a 9×5-inch loaf pan).

2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.

5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.

6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

7. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

8 Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.

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11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.

12. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.

13. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

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Here are some other great Thanksgiving desserts for you to check out:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Brace yourselves for a dramatic moment.  

I have some sad news to report, something near and dear to my heart is no longer with me…

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This was one of those moments where everything was happening in slow mo and I couldn’t seem to move quick enough to save my precious cupcake carrier.    Ugh, seriously I’m still upset about this. My cupcake carrier has been through so much with me, it’s been used and abused that’s fo sho.  I sent Husband a text immediately after the event and this was his response, verbatim:  “We will go buy you an even better set right now.  I promise.  We will leave as soon as you get home.  I know how much you loved that thing.”  Umm, talk about true love, right?

We ventured off to Bed Bath and Beyond right when I got home.  To say I was dissapointed with the selection s an understatement!  I really just wanted the same carrier I have now, but no. Does anyone other have this cupcake carrier?

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I don’t know, I hesitated with this one. I was messing with it at the store and every time I took the lid off, the entire tray came with the lid.  This could be problematic.  I’m thinking that may be once the tray is filled with cupcakes the weight will prevent it from being lifted?  Maybe.  I mean, do I really want to take that chance though?  I think not. The hunt continues, for now.  Let me know if you have one that you recommend.

So in loving memory of my beloved cupcake carrier, I’m sharing this fantastic recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes #basic. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  Everyone is out of control with this hashtag basic business. Anyways, I converted non-pumpkin lovers with these, so trust me they are worth it.   I paired the cupcake with a cinnamon buttercream frosting, perfection!

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Cupcake Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice*

*Note:  The use of 1 cup of milk + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice was in substitution for buttermilk.  For every one cup of buttermilk, substitute for one cup of milk plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mix together and allow to sit for 5 minutes before mixing with other ingredients.  This little trick has worked for me like a charm! 

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of butter flavored shortening
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of water*

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin.

3. Combine flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg.

4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with milk+lemon (or buttermilk) and beating well after each addition.

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5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

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6.  While cupcakes are cooling, mix butter, shortening, vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and water in an electric mixer.   Add more water to make consistency thinner for easier decorating.

7.  Once completely cooled, frost cupcakes and enjoy.

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Check out some of my other favorite pumpkin recipes:

White Chip Chocolate Cookies

One of my all time favorite things to do is explore new cities.  I love wondering aimlessly and exploring all the nooks of a city.  Although I hate change, making the move from Columbus to Cincinnati has really given me the opportunity to explore an entirely new city in Ohio.  I am loving it; Cincinnati is yet to disappoint.

Kentucky is right across the river from Cincinnati, so one of the neat things to do is walk over the “Purple People Bridge” that crosses from Cincinnati to Newport, KY.   Husband and I explored Newport on the Levee this weekend and it was great! There were plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.   We ate at Tom + Chee, which by the way is known for the grilled cheese donuts (I know your mouth just watered, its ok…admit it), followed by aimless wondering.  It was wonderful.

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Tomorrow is my first day of orientation for my residency! Eeee! I’m bundle of excited nerves… which is probably why I baked multiple times this week.  Today I baked my all time favorite cupcake: Buckeye Cupcakes for the cookout all the residents are having tomorrow night.  My other new co-residents aren’t from Ohio, so I figure this will be a good way to explain the Buckeye craze here in Ohio.  Earlier this week I also made these fabulous cookies! I was in the mood to bake, so I used what I had in my pantry.   They turned out extra fluffy and moist.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups white chocolate morsels

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Set aside

3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

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5. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

6.. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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I suppose its time for bed,  early day tomorrow.  Night friends.

Apple Crisp Pie

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I’m sure many of you are up and about preparing for tomorrow’s feast. Not this girl!  This past weekend we hosted Friendsgiving at our house and it was wonderful.  We have so much to be thankful for and we wanted to celebrate with our friends.  I made a turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, apple crisp pie. pumpkin cheesecake, and peanut butter brownies.  Everyone else brought a dish to share, we had quite the feast!

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Husband and I are just hanging out here in Columbus for thanksgiving since he has to work on Friday.  So we will be keeping it fairly low key, which is fine by me! The past couple of months in school have been so busy as I have been traveling a lot, so I am thankful for the this quiet holiday.

I wanted to share this Apple Crisp Pie in case there are any last minute recipe hunters out there.  I LOVED this pie.  It really was simple to make and it turned out delicious, highly recommended.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Crust: 9″ pre-made deep dish crust OR homemade crust
Filling:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 7 medium apples or 9 small apples
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  1. Combine dry ingredients: brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  2. Thinly slice apples
  3. Mix apples with dry mixture and lemon juice
  4. Once crust is defrosted, poke holes on the bottom and sides of your unbaked crust
  5. Fill crust with your apple filling; set aside

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Crumb Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  1. Combine all ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture
  2. Use your hands and sprinkle over your pie until you get an even top
  3. Cover edge of crust with aluminum foil

Baking Instructions:

  1. Bake at 350 degrees in oven for 30 minutes
  2. Increase heat to 375 degrees then bake for 5 minutes
  3.  Uncover crust and bake for 10-14 minutes or until the crumbs turn golden brown
  4.  Let cool for at least an hour then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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{Goodbye Summer} Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with a Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Happy Autumn, everyone!

I love summer, so I felt it necessary to give summer a proper goodbye before welcoming fall with open arms.  A few weeks ago I made these fabulous cupcakes and brought them in to the clinic I was working at for the week.  They were a huge success. If i was asked to describe the taste of summer, this would be it.   The blueberry-lemon combination was the perfect mix of sweet and tart. I was hesitant at first to do a lemon buttercream frosting because I didn’t want the lemon to be too overpowering, but I think it was quite the opposite.  The icing really brought out the flavor of the cupcake without being overpowering.   I cannot wait to make these again!

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients for cupcake: 

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons  flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2  cup blueberries

Ingredients for icing: 

  • 1 cup crisco, butter flavor
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

4. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with flour. Mix until just incorporated, do not over-beat.

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5. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter.

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6. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups.
7. Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. For the frosting: Place butter  in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners sugar, vanilla,  lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if necessary until the frosting is of good piping consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

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Goodbye summer!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

My favorite muffin is a blueberry muffin, but adding cream cheese to the mix seems to have changed everything! These muffins turned out delic, so moist that they nearly melt in your mouth.

Hurry up and try this recipe before blueberries are taken over by all the boring winter fruit.

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I used skim)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint blueberries

 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Prepare muffin tins.
  2. Mix together cream cheese, 1/4 cup white sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 egg with an electric mixer. Set filling aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/3 cup white sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended. Beat remaining egg, and stir in milk and oil; pour into flour mixture, and stir until moistened. Fill muffin cups about 1/2 full. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling onto batter. Top with batter to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

 

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