2.17.2014

Secret Recipe Club: Frosted Sugar Cookies

.  It's been months since I last participated in SRC.  Must I mention that it's only because my forgetful self forgot to fill out the participation form?  Oops...

But we're back at for February, my very first SRC of 2014.  And what better way to start off a brand new year than with a holiday celebration?  And the most lovey-dovey, gooshy-wooshy holiday, to boot!

Valentine's Day.


I love it.

This month's SRC assignment was the Authentic Suburban Gourmet, which I must start out by saying that Lisa [the blogger] is on another level.  Like, she ain't joking about the 'gourmet' piece in her blog name.  She is quite legit.

From appetizers [like Wild Mushroom Crostinis, Chutney and Cheese Stuffed Dates, or Double Pesto Grilled Cheese Bites],  to entrees [think Coconut Crusted Tilapia, Beef Wellington, or the Mezzetta Italian-etta Sandwich], and even desserts [such as Chocolate Buttermilk Donuts with Salted Caramel Sauce or Sticky Toffee Pudding], Lisa brings her A-game.  Each and every time.


However, fortunate for me, I went into this assignment with clear direction.  And all I was seeing were hearts.

Valentine's hearts, that is.  Because even though our SRC reveal day is occurring post Valentine's Day, it didn't mean I wouldn't be bringing in treats for my co-workers on this red and pink strewn holiday.  So I was immediately on the hunt for something Valentines-ey.

And I found it immediately.

A tender, buttery, subtly sweet sugar cookie topped with a lathering of ultra sweet frosting?  Yes, please.  And my co-workers were all about it, too.  Hence, I came home with a crumb-free plate.  A.k.a. no cookies for me...


Lisa's Conversation Heart Cookies were exactly what I needed to celebrate Valentine's Day the right way.  The cookies themselves were a piece of cake [not literally] to make and the one-bowl frosting was almost just as quick to whip together.  So needless to say, the pairing of this almost shortbread flavor-like cookie with a creamy, classic, sugary-sweet frosting was quite divine.

But although I did my best to brighten my co-workers Valentine's Day, a very special someone also did his part to make my day very memorable.

I think I mentioned that Robbie is in Omaha all of February for work.  Therefore, he was no where to be found on Valentine's Day.  And because of that, I got this at work....


Yes.  Three dozen roses.  And about 20 minutes later, a 3-foot Vermont Teddy Bear arrived at my desk.

You can bet my face was a complete cherry at the arrival of all of these gifts and co-workers ooh-ed and aww-ed the entire rest of the day, it was most definitely a holiday I'll never forget.  Not to mention that the bear I got is now my new favorite cuddle buddy.

So even though the holiday of love has passed, I hope everyone had the chance to spend it with their loved ones.  Or at least send them a text, note, or even a teddy bear, to let them know you're thinking about them.

Love you all!  .


My Notes:
  • I didn't have any meringue powder on hand, so I opted to use a frosting recipe I've used before.  It's very sweet and tops these subtly favored cookies perfectly!



Adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet and Taste of Home

Ingredients:
Sugar Cookies:
1 c. butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract

Frosting:
6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 4 tbsp. milk
Food coloring, sprinkles, etc. [for decorating]

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy [about 3 minutes].  Add egg and salt and mix together until incorporated.  Add vanilla and almond extract and combine.  Slowly add flour, one cup at a time, until incorporated.  
  2. Take dough out of the bowl and onto a cutting board.  Knead together any extra bits.  Divide dough into two balls and flatten into a 1-inch disk.  Wrap individually and chill for 30 minutes.  
  3. Heat oven to 375ºF.  Sprinkle clean work surface with flour.  Unwrap one of the discs and use a rolling pin to roll out until ¼-inch thick.  Use a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until bottom edges are slightly golden brown.  Remove to cool onto a wire rack.  Repeat with scraps and remaining dough disc.
  4. For frosting, combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk, in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.  Add food coloring [if using] to desired shade.  Frost and decorate cookies as desired.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies


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2.12.2014

Oatmeal Creme Pies for My Love

.  Cheesy post alert.

Okay, just kidding.


But you must know that Valentine's Day is this Friday!  Can you ba-lieve it?  And if you didn't know, you're welcome for reminding you.  At least you still have a couple of more days to get a present for that special someone...

But read this post first.

Unfortunately, my future hubby and I won't be together for Valentine's Day because as of this last Sunday, he will be in Omaha for the rest of the month for work.  Stupid busy season 😑


But before he was off to the Nebraskan 'Good Life', I had to make something to hold him over for the month.  Which means...a lot of something.  Portable.

So cookie sandwiches it was!

Robbie loves anything and everything vanilla or cream.  Or both!  And he can vouch, I did good on this one.  Or rather Bake or Break [BoB] did.


These Oatmeal Creme Pies are meant to resemble the cookie sandwiches from back in the day.  But I'll be quite honest, I'm not sure I'm old enough to remember these?  Or my parents were just plain cruel and hid them from me.  You decide.

Regardless, we hit the jackpot with this recipe.  But I am not one bit surprised since the recipe is from BoB, one of my all time favorite blogs.  Think Hummingbird Cupcakes, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake, or Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Each one a guaranteed pleaser.  Cross my fingers.

And this treat followed suit.  All the way from the chewy, chewy, cinnamon-ey oatmeal cookies to the über sweet creamy vanilla filling.  You just can't. go. wrong.


And I'm extremely proud to say that the container filled with these wondrous creme pies made it safely across the Midwest to the Hilton where Robbie will spend the next few weeks.  He better think of me every time he dips his paws in that container...

So although these cookies aren't sprinkled with pink confetti or packed with red filling, I made this treat with my [forever] Valentine in mind.  So I hope he's happy with my V-day contribution 💘


I wish everyone a lovey-dovey Valentine's Day, and hoping you spend it with the ones who mean most to you.  Plus it's on a Friday, so you have no excuse to not make some plans!

Love you all!  .


My Notes:
  • The original recipe only yielded 18 cookie sandwiches, but I managed to squeeze out two dozen.  The serving size will depend on generous you are with your scooping!
  • I honestly didn't think half of my cookie sandwiches would receive frosting but that stuff went a long way!  You don't need much in each sandwich because it's definitely sweet.



From Bake or Break

Ingredients:
Oatmeal Cookies:
1-1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 c. quick-cooking oats

Vanilla Cream Filling:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.  Grease baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. For the cookies, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy [about 3 minutes].  Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.  
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oats.  Gradually pour in flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets [about 2-inches apart].  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and centers are basically set.  Cool on pan for a couple of minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. While cookies are cooling, for filling, combine butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and beat together until smooth.  Spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on half of cookies and top with remaining half of cookies to create sandwiches.
Yield: 2 dozen cookie sandwiches


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2.08.2014

A Musselman's GIVEAWAY and Peanut Butter Apple Bites

.  This post is rather over due.  Don't tell Musselman's but I was supposed to have this up last week.  But like most everything these days, the time completely passed by.  Right on past the due date.  But let me 'splain.


As you know, because I've not spared one moment to tell you, wedding consumes every waking thought of mine.  Can you imagine how hard it is to work during the day?!  

But just this last weekend I was in Arizona with my two long time besties from Minnesota and future mother-in-law for what is sure to be one of the most emotionally charged weekends I've been through.  So many weeks leading up to this monumental weekend in the wedding planning process, I've been trying to put all of my thoughts together as well as keep up with the many wedding 'tasks' one must.  So I'll just be honest, it was a miracle I even got that pop-tart post out.  But more on the wedding weekend later.  I'll need a post [and a half] to get through everything ☺️

Plus...it's finally time to get into another giveaway here on LSM.  And yes, it's with Musselman's!

  
And the giveaway is all about...game day goodies!

The package I received included a large jar of Musselman's Apple Butter, a few easy game day recipes, and ...drum roll please....

A Wilton Armetale Grillware Pizza Tray!


This piece of cookware is quite honestly, unbelievable.  The tray can be used for prep, on the grill, on the stovetop, or in the oven, then straight to the table!  A duo of grillware and serve ware, what more could you ask for?!

But not only will you receive this multi-purpose pizza tray,  but also Musselman's delicious apple butter and recipes perfect for the big games!  Think March Madness, people...


Out of my package, I decided I just had to try the easy peasy recipe of Peanut Butter Apple Bites.  Who doesn't love little bite-sized snacks to pop in your mouth throughout the game?  You have to keep that stamina up if you're going to properly cheer, so peanut butter and apple are the almighty couple.

These little bites are basically the inside of a truffle.  Creamy and soft.  Without the fuss of all that dipping!  Don't get me wrong, who doesn't love a chocolatey outside, but the centers are where the magic happens.  So here you are.


And what is that you need to do to get this free package?!  Simple.

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite game day treat is.  No matter what it may be.  I told you it was simple!


This giveaway will be open until Friday, February 28, so you only have a few weeks to join.  Get commenting!  .

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