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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Banana Muffins

I had only two ripe bananas (Not enough to make Banana Bread) so I looked for a Banana Muffin recipe. I found this one and make a few tweaks suggested by the reviewer. They are light, EASY to make and they were a perfect addition to our Easter morning.

  1. Mash bananas.
  2. Add sugar and slightly beaten egg.
  3. Add melted butter.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. That's it! 
Here are the tweaks! Don't miss these steps!! 

1. Substitute BROWN sugar for the regular sugar. (Dark or light-your preference)
2. Add Chocolate chips! I put in maybe 1/2 a cup. Use just enough that when you happen on one-it's a happy surprise but not too many that it feels more like a dessert than a breakfast muffin.

Enjoy! Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Last Fall, I bought a cookie press with the image of a Skeleton. I searched for a good Sugar Cookie recipe. It was tough to find one that wouldn't melt/spread as it baked-thus losing the image.

Skeleton Sugar cookies

I tried various recipes. To my disappointment, in order to get the image I had to sacrifice taste. While the skeleton image is cool- I still wanted a yummy cookie.  Later, for the Christmas season, I held two cookie baking parties and again we experimented with Sugar Cookie recipes.  This time the goal was not about the press but merely something the kids could decorate and be tasty. 

I was satisfied but still not in love with the cookies. (oh and let's not forget Frosting. I'm always looking for a good frosting recipe!)

Then, I went to brunch where I was lucky enough to sit across someone who worked in a bakery. (I could not WAIT to talk to her about baking! It's fascinating to me and I was excited to pick her brains!

But back to the sugar cookies. She said I should look for a Cream Cheese Cookie recipe. She said that's what they always use at her bakery. oooh I dashed home to look it up.
I found this recipe:


The website not only covered this delicious (and EASY) cookie recipe but it also contains the best Royal Icing recipe (ALSO easy) I have ever found.

Here are the cookie ingredients and directions:

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Blend butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and egg. Mix in remaining dry ingredients and blend into the creamed mixture. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out dough on floured surface until ¼ inches thick (a must!) Cut with desired cookie cutter shape and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool.

Here are the icing ingredients and directions.

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Milk to desired consistency

    1. Mix all your frosting ingredients and add some food coloring if desired. For these apple cookies, I used Wilton's Leaf Green and Red Icing colors. Frost cookies when cool. Add any desired decorations. I used some red sanding sugar on the red frosting.

    (I didn't use food coloring as directed from the original website-she was creating apples and I wanted fluffy white clouds and a white frosting under the sprinkles. You can certainly add any color you wish to match whatever shape you cut out!)

    I hope you will try these cookies. I have made them twice now and can not stop myself from eating them!!!  
    These cookies are from my daughter's 4th birthday. The theme was My Little Pony. The Cloud cookies were my favorite though she loved the ones with the sprinkles!  (something for everyone!)

    This recipe is easy, delicious AND holds it's shape. No melting or spreading as you bake. They are truly my favorite sugar cookie recipe. Do you have another Sugar cookie recipe? I'd love to share!! 
    Happy Baking!

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    BEST Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

    So if you have ever come over to our house for a meal or just to hang out-chances are I have made you Buttermilk Biscuits. I absolutely love to make them. My stepson, Calvin will knock down small children to get them. (Not Lily, but he did push the neighbor boy out of the way to get at the last biscuits! lol)

    Over the last year I have been tweaking my recipe and techniques. I'm kind of shocked I have never blogged about these before. Here is the recipe I use and all my tweaks to make the most BEST Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits. Your family will want them over and over!!

    I got the original recipe from my Williams-Sonoma Kids Baking Cook book.

    This little book has some of my very favorite recipes that I use over and over again.
    Here is the link to the recipe- Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) very cold unsalted
        butter, cut into chunks
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • Directions:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    Line a baking sheet with a Parchment paper. (This is my tweak-it gives the biscuits a "crispier" bottom which is my favorite part!)

    Mix together the dry ingredients.
    Cut in 6 tablespoons of COLD unsalted butter. 
    This can be done by hand, with a food processor or with a Pastry Cutter like I use.

    Keep cutting until the butter is down to small little pieces. (Don't overwork as you want the butter to not melt completely or be cut down to nothing. The chunks of cold butter is what makes the bisuits!!)

    Next, mix in a cup of Buttermilk. I usually end up using a cup and 1/8th. (Enough to wet all the dough but not to be soupy.)  Pour out dough on a floured surface. I use a Silpat mat as it's the easiest to clean when done.  Add some flour on top and on the rolling pin. Keep all surfaces well floured as it's rather sticky.
    Roll out the dough a bit.

    HERE is the magical tip!  If you use nothing else- DO this!! I saw this on an episode of Diners Drive Ins and Dives.  FOLD over the dough and roll again. I end up folding over the dough 3 to 4 times. Don't roll it out too thin. Just fold and roll, fold and roll. THIS IS WHAT CREATES THE FLAKY LAYERS!!  I never knew this! 

    Cut out biscuits. I keep my cuts about 1 1/2" to 2" thick. Place on parchment paper on the cookie sheet and brush with Buttermilk.

    Bake for 18 minutes.  (You may have to gauge your oven's best timing-for mine I know to bake them for exactly 18 minutes.)

    Serve with some softened butter and Apple Butter! (Or your favorite jelly)
    Make some extras and save them for dinner. 
    These are delicious with a little mustard, a slice of turkey and cheese. Or save them for breakfast and top with a fried egg and a slice of bacon. You cannot go wrong!!  I have even made Honey butter by putting 2 tablespoons of butter, honey and sugar in a Ziploc bag and mixing. Then, cut off a corner and use like a piping bag! (or you can pipe it out into a small sauce cup) 

    I'm telling you these are BRILLIANT and if you have ever been to my house and had some-come again! We are rocking the Buttermilk Biscuits!!!