Sugar Cookie Heaven

Sugar Cookie Heaven

Sugar Cookie Heaven

If you take a peek at the post previous to this one, you will see that I baked 200 mini cupcakes and, as a result, had a lot of frosting leftover from those cupcakes so what’s a girl to do?  Make sugar cookies of course!

The cookies are Bakery Style Sugar Cookies from this recipe.

The frosting is Basic Buttercream icing found here.

For the top Coconut Cookie, I added 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting and then topped it with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

Going clockwise, the next cookie is a Mint Chocolate Chip and for this one I added 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the frosting and a generous squirt of green gel food coloring and then topped it with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.

Next in the circle is a Cinnamon and Sugar Cookie, it has the basic buttercream icing and then a sprinkle of Alison’s Pantry Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast Sugar found here.

Then we have a Lemon Cookie and for this one I simply added one teaspoon of lemon extract to the frosting as well as a generous squirt of yellow gel food coloring.

The last cookie, and my personal favorite, is a Salted Caramel, which has salted caramel flavoring from the Wilton Treatology Flavor System added to the frosting, topped with a drizzle of caramel ice cream topping and a sprinkle of sea salt.

See? Heaven.

 

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Tiny Treats for Sodaprom!

Tiny Treats for Sodaprom!

Tiny Treats for Sodaprom!

My daughter Courtney is a regional manager for a company called Sodalicious and they had their annual Sodaprom this weekend.  She asked me if I would make 200 mini cupcakes and 200 brownie cups for the prom so I of course said yes!

Brownie Cups with Berries and Cream

Brownie Cups with Berries and Cream

You can find the recipe for these, which are formally called Tuxedo Brownie Cups, here.  They are pretty easy to make and they are always a hit, one of my most popular and requested treats.

Chocolate Mint Mini Cupcakes

Chocolate Mint Mini Cupcakes

The cupcakes are straight from a box mix, the mint frosting is from my favorite buttercream icing to which I added 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and a generous squirt of green gel food coloring to get it a soft mint color and then topped with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.

Vanilla Coconut Mini Cupcakes

Vanilla Coconut Mini Cupcakes

These guys started with a white cake mix to which I added 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract, frosted with my fav buttercream icing with a teaspoon of coconut extract added in and then topped with toasted coconut.

Yellow Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes

Yellow Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes

And finally these babies who started with a yellow cake mix, frosted again with my fav buttercream icing with some salted caramel flavoring added in from the Wilton Treatology Flavor System and then topped with a mini pretzel.

There weren’t any left over so I’m going to say it was a success!!

Mini Samoa Pies

Mini Samoa Pies

Mini Samoa Pies

My friend Niki is having a baby girl so we partied it up this weekend at a baby shower in her honor.  When I saw this recipe, I knew it was perfect for the shower.  They were delicious!

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as per package instructions

1/3 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup chocolate candy melts

15 caramel squares, unwrapped

1 tablespoon water

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray well of mini muffin pan with cooking spray for baking.

2  Unroll pie crust and cut 2 1/2″ circles with cookie cutter.  Press gently into wells of pan.  You should get about 18 with rerolling the crust.

3  Place about 6 chocolate chips into each crust.  Place pans in fridge until ready to use.

4  Melt caramel squares and water in microwave safe bowl on high for 30 seconds then stir.  Heat in additional 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Stir in coconut.

5  Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of caramel mixture into each well on top of chocolate chips.  Spray hands with cooking spray and press mixture down evenly, work quickly as the caramel hardens fast.

6  Bake 10 – 14 minutes, until crust starts to get golden.  Cool completely in pan then remove to cooling racks.

7  Melt candy melts in microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Place in a sandwich bag and snip off corner.  Pipe stripes over pies.

Here’s a closer look

Mini Samoa Pies

Mini Samoa Pies

recipe from Crazy For Crust

Ding Dong Cake

Ding Dong Cake

Ding Dong Cake

With it’s chocolate ganache topping and it’s creamy filling, this cake is killer!  (In a good way!)

cake

1 fudge chocolate cake mix

1 small (3.9 oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

filling

5 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

ganache

2 – 4 cups chocolate chips or chocolate candy melts, depending on how thick you want your ganache

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

For cake:

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray for baking.

2  Combine all cake ingredients and mix on low – medium low for 3 minutes.

3  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

4  Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes then invert onto serving platter.

For filling:

1  Whisk together milk and flour in medium saucepan until there are no lumps.

2  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, to make a roux.

3  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Allow to cool.

4  While roux is cooling, cream butter and sugar together for 9 minutes.

5  Add cooled roux to butter mixture and beat again until well blended and sugar is dissolved.

6  Carefully cut cake in half, remove top and set aside.

7  Spoon filling over bottom of cake and spread evenly.  Replace top of cake carefully.

For ganache:

1  In a microwave safe dish, heat butter and cream until it just begins to boil, about 2 minutes.

2  Pour in chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

3  Drizzle ganache over cake.

4  Refrigerate cake for 1 – 2 hours before serving.

recipe from Chef in Training

Mexican Beef and Pasta

Mexican Beef and Pasta

Mexican Beef and Pasta

This dinner hit all the buttons for my family, basically it’s taco pasta and it was yummy!! And easy to make!  My two favorite things.

3 cups pasta

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained or 1 cup frozen corn

1 cup chunky salsa

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

1  Cook pasta according to package directions and then drain.  While pasta is cooking, in large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is cooked through, drain grease.

2  Stir in pasta, tomatoes, beans, corn, salsa, chilies, and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 8 – 10 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, additional salsa, sour cream and/or chips as desired.

recipe from Taste of Home

Relief Society Birthday Party Cakes

Buttercream Striped Vanilla Birthday Cake with Fresh Flowers

Buttercream Striped Vanilla Birthday Cake with Fresh Flowers

My church has an organization for women called the Relief Society.  The purpose of RS, in a nutshell, is to strengthen individuals, families, and homes and work in unity to help those in need.  On March 17, the Relief Society celebrated it’s 176 birthday!  So last night our local RS celebrated with a birthday party and I made cake, lots of it!  Seven in fact, enough to feed around 100!

The cake pictured above is a vanilla cake from this recipe, with butter cream icing from this recipe and decorated with fresh flowers from Sam’s Club.  All of the cakes except the bundt cakes were made from this recipe, adapted for either chocolate or vanilla and all the cakes, again except the bundt cakes, were frosted with this frosting.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Looks like a giant flower, doesn’t it?   We decorated with flowers for the party so this cake seemed like a good choice.  You can find the recipe here.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

This cake is also from the Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe (link above) but I made a different glaze as I thought it would look better with the shape of this cake.

Easy Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup chocolate candy melts or chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 tablespoon hot water

1 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Microwave chocolate, butter and corn syrup at 20 second intervals until melted.  Stir until smooth.  Add hot water and stir.  Whisk in powdered sugar until desired thickness is achieved.  Let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle over cake.

glaze recipe adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

I also made four 9 x 13″ cakes, two chocolate and two vanilla from the above mentioned cake and frosting recipes.  It was a lot of cake but by the end of the night it was all gone!

 

Pasta Romano with Bacon and Broccoli

Pasta Romano with Bacon and Broccoli

Pasta Romano with Bacon and Broccoli

Looks delicious right?  It was!

2 tablespoons salt

1 pound pasta, I used ziti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 heads broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

2 plum tomatoes, sliced

2 oz (1 cup) shredded pecorino Romano cheese

1 oz (1/2 cup) shredded Parmesan cheese

handful of bacon (from Costco bag of bacon)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1  Bring water and salt to boil in large pot.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

2  Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet.  Cook pepper and garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add broccoli and tomatoes to skillet and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.

3  When pasta is finished, add 1 cup pasta water to skillet.  Drain pasta and add to skillet.  Add cheeses, bacon and butter to skillet and simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously until cheeses are melted and pasta water has thickened.

recipe adapted from Pampered Chef