Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not Your Average Cookie "Cake"

Cookies.  Cakes.  Icing.  Combine the three and what do you have? An amazingly delicious faux cookie cake that you are guaranteed to drool over.  This is a simple way to dress up regular sugar cookies that is bound to thrill your guests or your sweet tooth!

All you need is sugar cookie dough (recipe follows), buttercream icing (recipe follows), sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, food coloring, and circular cookie cutters of different sizes.  Roll the cookie dough out to 1/4 of an inch and use the different cookie cutters to cut out equal amounts of cookies.  Bake and cool the cookies while you make the icing.

Ice the cookies and stack them on top of one another from largest to smallest.  Before the icing dries, coat with decorative sugar or sprinkles.  Flatten a mini-marshmallow and make 5 small cuts around the edge to make it look like a flower.  Using a toothpick, color the petals with food coloring and place it on the top tier of the cookie cake.  Voila!  Your cookie "cake" is elegantly complete!

~Sugar cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

~Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Dog's Gotta Eat Too!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love animals.  More than that, I love dogs.  It is because of this love that I cook for people AND dogs.  After all, a dog's gotta eat too!

My dog, Kip, has always had 2 obsessions: ensuring the security of our yard (from deer, neighbors, mail men, and even the ever so daunting butterflies) and peanut butter.  I often entertain myself by giving him a nearly empty jar of peanut butter and watch him try and get every last morsel out.  Occasionally, I give him a break and just make him peanut butter dog cookies.  It's easier for him, but not nearly as fun for me... oh well, the sacrifices of love.

Kip, the Australian Shepherd

~Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 hot water
Extra flour for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350° F
Mix dry ingredients together.
Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Knead the dough well.
Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters
Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes.
Store in a sealed air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.