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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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:

{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!

Brownie Cupcakes

Happy 4th of July! What’s everyone up to today?  We  are going out to celebrate a friends birthday (Happy Birthday Andrew!!)  at a new Brazilian Steakhouse, here in Columbus.  I’m pretty excited to check this restaurant out, I’ve never been to a Brazilian Steakhouse before.  From what I hear, I need to be ready to chow down.

In other news, I passed boards part I! Oh my goodness, what a relief. Thank you to everyone who supported and believed in me 🙂  It was a rough road! I think little Leo was my lucky charm. Check out Leo and Diesel napping together, so cute right?

I made these cupcakes for Andrews birthday and he told me to dye the icing blue, so I went full force patriotic! Two birds, with one stone.  This is a great recipe, they turned out so delicious.  I topped the cupcakes with a buttercream frosting and add a chocolate/caramel drizzle to half of them, just to switch it up a little.

Enjoy!

Ingredients for Brownie Cupcakes: 

  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions for Brownie Cupcakes: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In pot, melt butter and two types of chocolate tougher.  Stir until smooth and lump free! Remove from heat and whisk both types of sugars in to chocolate mixture.  Add eggs one at a time.  Blend in vanilla, flour, and salt.

3.  Line 10 muffin pans and divide batter in to muffin tins.  Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Ingredients for Buttercream Icing:

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon clear butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons water (or milk)
  • 1 tablespoon merengue powder (optional)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

Instructions for Buttercream Icing: 

1. With an electric mixer, soften shortening.  Add vanilla, butter flavoring, water (or milk), and merengue powder.  Mix well.
2. Start adding powdered sugar, one cup at a time until well blended.  I like my buttercream frosting to be really sweet, so taste as you go and add more or less depending on your sweet tooth
3. Once cupcakes are completely cool, its time for the best part – decorating! Decorate as you wish 🙂 I added blue dye to the icing and used a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes.
 Happy Fourth of July!!! 

Football Whoopie Pies

Congrats to all you Giants fans out there for your victory on Sunday evening! We had a small Super Bowl get together and it was great!  Husband believes that Super Bowl Sunday is even better than Christmas Day…I happen to disagree (Christmas is the bestest!!).  Every year he invites his buddies over and they buckle down with chili, beer, and lots of junk food! This year, was no different.

Those who know me, know that I love (understatement) baking.  My friend Jess and I had so much fun making these and they turned out adorable!

These chocolate whoopie pies turned out so fluffy and were stuffed with the most amazing butter cream icing! It’s my go to icing recipe. I’ve even converted many non-icing lovers with this recipe 🙂

While I made these football shaped – they will be just as fantastic in any other shape!

Enjoy!

Whoopie Ingredients: 

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (any kind you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon clear butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons water (or milk)
  • 1 tablespoon merengue powder (optional)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.
  •  *  Get white shortening, not yellow! So you the icing will be white, rather than a tint of yellow

Instructions: 

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Start off by whisking together the eggs, vegetable oil, and water.

3.  Then add the cake mix and stir well, until it is smooth and lump free.

 

4.  Place spoonfuls of batter on baking sheet, be sure to keep each spoonful spaced apart as they will spread out.  Use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to shape the batter in to a football shape.

5.  Place in oven for 8-10 minutes. Take out of oven and allow to cool completely.

6. While you are waiting you can start making the buttercream icing.

7. With an electric mixer, soften shortening.  Add vanilla, butter flavoring, water (or milk), and merengue powder.  Mix well.
8. Start adding powdered sugar, one cup at a time until well blended.  I like my buttercream frosting to be really sweet, so taste as you go and add more or less depending on your sweet tooth
9.  Once icing is made and whoopie’s are cooled, it’s time to assemble the whoopie pies! Place some icing on the underside of a football shaped cake.  Place another cake on time and press down a little.
10.  Decorate with laces using white decorating gel or by piping out remaining buttercream icing.
11. Time to enjoy 🙂