T-Rex Cookies.

I adore T-Rex – for reasons that make for too long of a story to tell here. But for Solstice this year, one of my sons bought me a T-Rex cookie cutter. I waited, patiently, for the holidays to be over so we would have room for snacks – and today I made a trial batch of cut-out, flood-iced cookies.

SO CUTE.

SO CUTE.

I’ll be honest – this is the one that turned out the best. It was a learning process to get the eye placed properly and the outline and flooding done reasonably. But I am ridiculously pleased with how they turned out – and sad that I didn’t make more of them (this recipe made 9 cookies).

Here’s the cookie recipe that I used:

1 Dozen Cut-Out Cookies

Ingredients
3/4 cup flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (I used vanilla again)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer,  cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides frequently.
  3. Once everything is light and fluffy, add the egg yolk and extracts. Mix well.
  4. Sprinkle half the flour mixture into the bowl and continue to mix on a low speed until combined. Add the remainder of the flour mixture.
  5. Mix until no visible flour remains (don’t over-mix!)
  6. Dump the dough onto a floured surface. Squish the dough into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin,  roll out the dough until it’s large enough to make approximately 8 medium-sized cut-outs.
  7. Place the shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Gather the dough scraps,  re-roll, and cut out the rest of the shapes. Put them on the cookie sheet too!
  9. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and start heating your oven to 350F.
  10. When the oven reaches temperature, remove the cookies from the freezer and put them into the oven.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just start to turn brown.
  12. Let the cookies rest on the pan for a few minutes and then move them a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Don’t frost the cookies until they’re fully cooled.

I used this method for doing the outline and flooding. It worked well, but I had to add quite a bit more powdered sugar to my recipe (possibly because I make my own sugar in the blender so it doesn’t contain corn starch?)

For my own records, this is what the recipe looked like for me in the end:

Icing for Border & Flooding

For the border icing:

1.5 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons milk or water
Food coloring, optional

For the flood icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk or water
Food coloring, optional

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients together for the border icing. It should be quite thick. Spoon it into a squeeze bottle and then make the outlines. Allow the icing to dry to the touch (about 10 minutes, at most).
  2. Mix the flood icing. it should be thick but not too much. Spoon it into a squeeze bottle and then use it like a magic marker to colour inside the border icing. FUN. Allow to dry overnight.
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Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Cooooookie.

Cooooookie.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes a thick, chewy, 10″ cookie.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups coffee/chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla, mixing and scraping down the sides of the mixer.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt – mix to combine.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until everything is neat and tidy together.
  5. Firmly press the dough into a 10″ cast iron skillet.
  6. Bake for  about 20 minutes (until golden and  set)
  7. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Notes:
I used coffee-flavoured chocolate chips – the local grocery store had them available just before Christmas, so I figured I’d try them. You can use whatever kind of chocolatey-chip-like thing you like best. Adapted from this recipe.

Lemon Fudge.

You would think that I’d have taken a photo of this fudge, but I didn’t.

So, close your eyes and picture a small square of yellow fudge.

Honestly, this doesn’t look fancy AT ALL, but it’s pretty tasty.

“Keep Stirring For The Love of..” Lemon Fudge.

Makes an 8×8 tray. Cut ’em small!

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups white sugar
¾ cup evaporated milk
9 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ tablespoons lemon extract
zest of one lemon (zested!)
yellow food colouring (I used gel colouring)

Directions:

  1. Spray an 8×8 square pan. Set it aside.
  2. In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the sugar with the evaporated milk. Stir it until it boils, turn the heat down a notch or two (keep it bubbling, just not as hot) and stir and stir and stir.
  3. Keep stirring for 6 minutes. Curse this entire process.
  4. After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and all the other ingredients – while stirring. I used my hand mixer for this part because I was really, really tired of stirring.
  5. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, and the colour is right, pour it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top if you’re fancy like that.
  6. Set aside until the pan is cooled – then put the pan into the freezer for at least 20 minutes. This will make the fudge much easier to slice and remove from the pan.
  7. Slice the fudge small – this stuff is wildly creamy and sweet!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

These are so easy to make. At least, they’re easy if you own more than one mini muffin pan – which I thought I did, until I started baking. My husband ran out to get more.

Around here, the mini peanut butter cups come in a resealable bag. I don’t understand why. Who’s going to seal that back up and walk away? Not me.

I could not, for the life of me, get the chocolate to ‘drizzle’, so my husband used a knife and flung the chocolate on top. Worked perfectly.  The cookies that I ‘drizzled’ just had blobs of chocolate on top – still tasty, not so pretty.

Drizzling chocolate is not as easy as you'd think.

Drizzling chocolate is not as easy as you’d think.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Makes about 36-ish.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
|1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar + extra for rolling
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
36 peanut butter cup minis (one bag)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set ’em aside.
  3. Cream together butter and peanut butter, then add 1 cup of sugar. Beat until it’s delightfully fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and the vanilla.  Mix a bit more.
  5. Add in flour mixture and.. yep, mix it up a bit more.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, then roll them in sugar. Put ’em in mini muffin pans and gently press a mini peanut butter cup into the centre of each ball.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  8. When fully cooled, drizzle with melted chocolate chips. (Microwave them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring to melt!)

Sugar Cookies and Frosting.

‘Tis the season to make cookies, right? So I searched all over the place to find a sugar cookie that wasn’t too crisp, wasn’t too soft, and wasn’t too difficult to make. I’m okay with making dough and putting it in the fridge for a bit – I’m not okay with anything that requires me to scald milk or anything along those lines.

And so, I present some soft, sweet, really tasty sugar cookies. The recipe is below – and I’m including the recipe for the frosting that I used because it, too, turned out to be quite lovely!

Unfrosted stars!

Unfrosted stars!

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

5 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sour cream, room temperature
    1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for a bit.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the sour cream and butter at a low speed. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sloooooooowly add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, and mix until everything is combined. The dough will be sticky to touch.  Your mixer will probably protest a little. Scrape down the sides and make sure everything is combined!
  4. Divide dough into two chunks. Wrap each chunk in some plastic wrap and flatten them. Put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours – or up to 3 days.
  5. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Flour the crap out of your counter or work surface – this dough is sticky! Cover your rolling pin in flour, too.
  7. Set one of the chilled dough chunks on top of the floured surface and liberally coat the top with even more flour. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick.
  8. Cut out dough shapes using a cookie cutter. If needed, put flour on that, too.  Put the cut-outs onto your baking sheets.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Here’s the trick – bake them until there’s just the tiniest hint of brown on the bottom. This will keep them soft.
  11. Move the cookies to a rack to cool, then frost them!

 

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

Sugar Cookie Frosting

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:
1  package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Beat cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute, or until creamy and soft. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat for another minute or two, to make sure everything is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Crank the mixer speed up to high and beat for 2 more minutes. Taste. Try not to eat all of it with a spoon. Add more powdered sugar if needed (for taste).