baking, blogging, Books, recipe blog, recipes, social media, Uncategorized, valentine's day

Happy Heart Day!

 

  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup  unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be relatively soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 Tablespoon more flour.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Lightly dust one of the rolled-out dough with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. If it’s sticking to the bottom, run your hand under it to help remove it– see me do this in the video above. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough.
  7. Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  8. Decorate the cooled cookies with royal icing. No need to cover the decorated cookies as you wait for the icing to set. You can keep them out for the icing to dry.
  9. Once the icing has set, these cookies are great for gifting or for sending. Plain or decorated cookies stay soft for about 5 days when covered tightly at room temperature. For longer storage, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

ENJOY!

You can get this and more recipes in my best selling book, “Love at First Bite!”

baking, blogging, cookies, DIY, hacks, recipe blog, recipes, Uncategorized, valentine's day

Heart Cookie Hack

Heart pizza

This above is the easiest thing to make! Why?  Because you can do it 2 different ways!

 

  1.  You can make shortbread or sugar cookies from scratch and then cut them into triangle shapes, which means you need to bake it in a circle cookie cake pan.
  2. Or ….  You can buy shortbread cookies that are already in a triangle shape and then just decorate them.

Either way you go…. these are a showstopper plus you can make cookies in letters and spell out how you feel!!

Happy Heart Day! 💗

baking, blogging, Books, Christmas, Freebies, recipe blog, recipes, Uncategorized

A Sneak Peek At Love At First Bite

Love at First cover revised 3-12-19

Chapter 12

December: a month of holiday fun!

December is my FAVORITE month for baking! Holiday fun is what the kitchen was created for! Here are some recipe hacks, as well as straight recipes that I make each Christmas.

TRADITIONAL BUTTER COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

2 sticks of butter, softened

½ tsp Pure vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

1 cup of sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, salt and mix well. Add the flour and mix just until blended; do not over beat. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press lightly with a glass to flatten slightly. Bake at 350° until just golden, 12-15 minutes.

COOKIE WREATH

INGREDIENTS:

1roll (18 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar or peanut butter cookies

Green decorator sugar crystals

Assorted small candies or candy-coated chocolate pieces

Red fruit leather or red licorice strings

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Remove half of dough from wrapper; refrigerate remaining dough until needed. Cut dough into 18 slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Arrange slices, slightly overlapping in circle with 12-inch outer diameter on foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar crystals. Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on foil. Repeat with remaining half of dough.

When completely cooled, carefully remove foil. Decorate with candies and/or icing as desired.

GINGERBREAD MEN DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons molasses

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt

1tablespoon ground ginger

1tablespoon cinnamon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1cup packed brown sugar

1egg

1 package of milk chocolate melting wafers

decorations for cookies if desired.

DIRECTIONS

In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In small bowl, place granulated sugar. Roll out dough to about 1 inch thick and cut out a gingerbread man then sprinkle the sugar on it. On cookie sheets, place each cookie 2 inches apart.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set and soft in center. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Melt the chocolate wafers and dip the feet in the chocolate and lay on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes and then decorate gingerbread men.

Store tightly covered up to 2 weeks.

For more exciting recipes, you can buy the book here:Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

 

baking, blogging, Christmas, crafts, DIY, recipe blog, snacks, Uncategorized

Some Holiday Hacks and Quickies

It’s that time of year: Baking For Christmas!

Here are a few hacks to help you get through the season:

1) Using store-bought cookie dough to make Christmas cookies isn’t cheating if you add a personal touch. Take pre-made sugar cookie dough and let it soften. Then, sprinkle in any flavor you’re craving: cinnamon, orange zest, almond extract, vanilla extract, nuts, pure peppermint extract, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips. Your guests will never know the difference.

2) No rolling pin available? Wine and liquor bottles make great substitutes for rolling pins. Just wipe them down, dry them completely, and cover them in flour like you would a normal rolling pin. You can also wrap the bottle in parchment paper to be extra sanitary.

3) When it comes to making cutout gingerbread or sugar cookies, the dough often sticks to the cutter and deforms what you’re trying to create. Talk about a cooking disaster. Flouring your cookie cutters before each use lets the dough slice easily and keep its shape once it’s placed on the cookie sheet.

 

cookie desgin

4) Add gingham print to cookies using Wilton’s Color Mist and a DIY card stock stencil.

infant

5) Have a batch of cookies to decorate, but don’t have enough decorating tools? Use an infant syringe (like one that comes with liquid medication) to add fine details to your confections. For best results, use a thinner icing.

 

baking, blogging, chocolate, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Treats

valentines day cakes

Pictured above: Raspberry-filled golden butter heart cakes. ( Not iced…yet)

Golden Butter Cake:

 

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Baking Spray

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Pour into your heart pans which have been sprayed with baking spray.  Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 21 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack over waxed paper and hit the hearts with a spoon to loosen the cakes to fall out.

Raspberry Filling:

Combine raspberries, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour mixture back into the saucepan.  Mix remaining water and cornstarch together in a bowl until dissolved; add to raspberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling in refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.

OR… here’s a HACK: Get a can of raspberry pit filling in your grocery store. ( It’s easier and no one will know!)

I then used a small heart cookie cutter to cut a hole into each cake and fill it with the fruit filling. Then I placed the heart I cut out back inside.

Go to my Facebook page tomorrow and see the finished cake!

 

valentines day cookies

Another treat that you can make that is much easier than the cakes, are sugar cookie hearts.  It’s your simple sugar cookie recipe and then frosting is a cinch!  Frosting hack: Get a tub of vanilla or white icing and melt it in the microwave. You don’t want it to be soupy. Melt it at 21 seconds, check and then add 5 seconds until you get a good consistency.  Then I scoop it into a pastry bag and design the cookies. I have heart sprinkles and place those on the cookies.  Oh, how did I get pink cookies? Simply, separate the dough and with half the dough I add some pink or red food coloring and mix.

Check my Facebook page tomorrow for how I created the DIY bags to put these lovely cookies in.

 

baking, chocolate, Christmas, cookies, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

The Making of Christmas Part 2

The first thing I made was the Santa Snack Mix.  If you follow me on Facebook, Clever Cakes then you saw the special syrup I made to pour on top of it before I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

cookies christmas

I made over 300 cookies this year, and sometimes it’s impossible to get pictures of every one of them! But here’s a sample of the types of cookies I made.  I give them out as gifts but I also need them for my family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Don’t worry, all these recipes will be in my recipe book which will be released late January 2019!

christmas cake

Then I made the Christmas Tree Cake. Thank goodness for pans that are already in the shape! It cuts the process in half!  I made a Golden Butter Cake and then I topped it with vanilla icing that was made green.  Of course, no cake would be complete without little decorations!

nephew

This year my nephew who is almost 3, got his first baking set and we learned how to bake cookies. Those are the ones he baked with his Auntie’s help!

tree

I wish you all a Very Merry and Bright Christmas!!!

 

 

baking, chocolate, cookies, DIY, online shopping, recipes, Uncategorized

Happy Halloween!

 

Halloween is here and we are all so excited! I love having the kids come over the house and also giving out tricks and treats to the kids in the neighborhood!

Here are some of the things I made for today:  Golden Butter Cake with Orange Vanilla Icing and Ghost Peeps.  A Halloween House ( chocolate cookie). Pumpkin Cookies with Apple Cider Icing and introducing…… ( play the horn here)

Sassy With Love Gourmet Chocolates which will be sold online soon- just in time for Christmas!

Enjoy your day!

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