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:

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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Buffalo Chicken Salad

Dental school continues to take over my life… the good news is, I graduate in approximately 287 days, 14 hours and 15 minutes. But, I mean, who’s counting?  Last week I took part 2 of my national board exam.  2500 dollars and 3 days of testing later, lets just say it sucked.  The light at the end of the tunnel is dim, but it’s there.

In between the craziness of  school I’ve managed to squeeze in some great times with friends and family. Summertime is my favorite time of year. It’s the season of weddings, cookouts, festivals, pool days and all things warm and fuzzy…  I am sad to realize that it is already over half way over.  Where has the time gone?

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So speaking of summer, I think this is an awesome light summer recipe.  I am so excited to share this recipe because it is so simple and so delicious.  I love that this recipe used greek yogurt as an alternative to mayo, which is in traditional chicken salads.  I’m also pretty much obsessed with anything with Franks Red Hot in it, I think it temporarily satisfies my craving for chicken wings.  And by temporarily I mean for like 5 minutes.  I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup  crumbled blue cheese ( I hate blue cheese… so I skipped this and a splash or ranch dressing instead!)

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper.

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2. Stir in chicken, celery, cilantro, and blue cheese.

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3. Refrigerate until serving.  I served mine in pita pockets.  Delicious.

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Recipe has been modified from: The Novice Chef 

Other recipes I’ve made with Franks Red Hot:

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Erin, this post is for you! 🙂

For those of you who are sick of the pumpkin craze, my apologies. Yesterday we had friends over for Friendsgiving and it was wonderful.  We had so much food and great friends to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with.   I made this double layer pumpkin cheesecake and it turned out awesome.   So many people are afraid of making cheesecake, but have no fear! I promise this is completely doable, even for you non-bakers!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

 


I hope everyone have has a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Our thoughts and prayers are still with those who lost everything in hurricane Sandy and are spending Thanksgiving in shelters.

Mini Nutella Cups

A friend and I made these (Hi Nour!) and they turned out delicious! Love, love, love this recipe.  I have been on quite the chocolate kick lately and these certainly hit the spot! They are the perfect size to satisfy a sweet tooth.  I can’t wait to make these again!

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Jar of Nutella (12 tablespoons per batch)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin tin (unless it is nonstick like mine).

2. Cream butter and both sugar in bowl until light, smooth and fluffy! Beat in eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until all the flour is mixed in!

3. Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick. (If dough is too runny, place in fridge for 10 minutes until it is a moldable consistency).  Place in mini muffin tins and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

4. When done, remove from oven and let sit for about 1 minute. Then make wells for the nutella with a shot glass, a similar object or a spoon. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

Get creative with toppings! We topped some of ours with m&m’s and pieces of snickers! Yumm!  This recipe made about 3 dozen – so be ready to chow down!

Original source: Daisy Chubb’s

Here are a couple other recipes I have made using Nutella:

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!!!