Thirsty Thursday | Extra Boozy Bellinis

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When I was pregnant, I fantasized about having a fizzy Bellini around Christmas. Since my original due date was December 22nd, I was really hoping for a Christmas Bellini, it was all I wanted! Things have a funny way of working out, don’t they? Turns out I could have started drinking Bellini’s in mid-November, but of course, I didn’t get around to making one until Christmas anyways.

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Recipe
Extra Boozy Bellini’s
By Baked Northwest
Makes 6-8 Drinks

Ingredients

  • One (1 lb.) bag of frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup triple sec or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 2 tbsp. peach jam or preserves
  • juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)
  • Champagne, Prosecco, or any other Sparkling Wine for serving

Directions

Add the peaches, triple sec, vodka, peach jam, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. You can add extra booze (or water) to the mixture if it’s too thick, the mixture should be a smooth, but slightly thick consistency. The goal is to have a nice boozy smoothie!

Add the mixture to a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. When ready, pour mixture into champagne flutes to fill about halfway. Top with Prosecco to serve.

Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

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I can’t believe we are here! The last installment of 2015’s “Sugar Cookie of the Month.” I kind of went the easy way out here since I just had a baby and all (I’ll probably be using this excuse for awhile) but these cookies are still festive and delicious!

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Once again we are using the chocolate sugar cookie base I used for my Halloween cookies and for May’s cream cheese frosted cookies. Then we are adding some crushed candy canes and calling it good! Continue reading

Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies with ALL of the fillings!

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Slice and Bake

After a few disastrous cookie decorating experiences, I vowed that my last sugar cookies of 2015 would be really low maintenance – aka no piping or pastry art required. Then I thought, do you even have to roll out the dough with this cookie recipe? What if we added fun ingredients to the dough instead of making frosting?

Slice and Bake

Enter my fall-themed slice and bake sugar cookies – white chocolate, dried cranberries, candied ginger, and a touch of orange zest. I was SO happy with the end result. It turns out this classic sugar cookie recipe works great as a “slice and bake” cookie palette as well. For someone like me who will leave sugar cookie dough in the freezer for months just to avoid the task of rolling out the dough then decorating the cookies, this may be a much better way to go in the future. With this new take on sugar cookies, all you have to do is be patient waiting for the dough to chill, then you slice and bake and you are DONE!

Slice and Bake

I wanted these cookies to feel somewhat festive, and I thought adding white chocolate, dried cranberries, candied ginger and orange zest was a good way to go. They are reminiscent of the “cranberry bliss” flavor that is popular this time of year. In the future, I’ll definitely be trying different flavors!

Slice and Bake

Recipe
Cranberry Orange Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies
By Baked Northwest
Makes about 4 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp nutmeg
4 cups flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1 tbsp. grated orange zest

Directions

In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add sour cream, mix thoroughly.

Sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture in
two parts and mix thoroughly. Fold in the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, candied ginger and orange zest.

Divide the dough into two round logs and wrap each in wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Remove and unwrap the dough, and with a sharp knife, slice cookies about 1/2 inch thick. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the cookies at 400 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes. You never want them to get too browned around the edges, or they’ll be super crunchy. We like ours on the softer side.

Halloween Brownie Sugar Cookies

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Halloween Brownie Sugar Cookies

At this point in the game, I’m convinced sugar cookie decorating will never be my forte. Back in January, when I first dreamed up the idea of one sugar cookie per month during 2015, I had the fantasy that with practice, I would become an expert cookie decorator. We are ten months in, and all I can manage is little orange dots on these Halloween cookies. They are still pretty cute, but you should see the test cookies…the final ones only amounted to little frosting dots for a reason. I think I’ve finally learned that I may never grow to love cookie decorating. It always feels like so much pressure and I get so frustrated when the picture I have in my head does not translate from the frosting tip. Ultimately, I just want the cookies to taste good. So, round cookies with buttercream frosting may be my go-to from this day forward. And I’m okay with that. Continue reading

In Review | September 2015

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Fall

September always feels like the start of the new year to me. Fall always seems like such a fresh and new beginning after a busy and hot summer. Here in the Northwest, September usually has a way of easing you into the season, with the weather still being warm but the colors changing enough to distinguish it isn’t summer anymore. Plus your dog still swims in the river… Continue reading

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Maple Frosting

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

While my cookie decorating skills aren’t really getting any better with the sugar cookie of the month, I at least got to try out a fun experiment in altering the recipe: swapping out the sour cream for canned pumpkin. I’m happy to say…success!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Maple Frosting

These cookies have a very subtle hint of pumpkin and fall flavors along with maple icing. You can save these for Halloween, or skip the pumpkin shape and decorations altogether. As you know by now, I’d rather have a tasty cookie than a pretty one.

Recipe
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
By Baked Northwest
Makes about 32 pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies (you will only use half of the cookie dough)

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can sub cinnamon)

For the Maple Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (nonfat is fine)
  • orange food coloring, or a mix of red + yellow food coloring (optional)
  • Black tube frosting (we used store bought, and this is totally optional. If your decorating skills are like mine you may want to skip this).

Directions

For the Cookies:

In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add pumpkin, mix thoroughly.

Sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Add to butter mixture in two parts and mix thoroughly.

Divide the dough into two parts and wrap each in wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. For the amount of frosting we are making, you will only use half of the dough. You can freeze the 2nd batch of dough for another use, or just double the frosting recipe!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a clean, floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Roll the dough so it’s about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes of the dough. For these cookies, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter. Use a cookie spatula (better known as a pancake flipper) to move your cookies from the floured surface to a well greased baking sheet. Ungreased silicone baking sheet liners work great here too.

Bake the cookies at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You never want them to get too browned around the edges, or they’ll be super crunchy. We like ours on the softer side. Baking time depends on what shapes you cut your cookies into – we have adjusted baking times from 8-12 minutes depending on the size of our cookies. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

Combine butter, salt, maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add milk and remaining sugar, alternately. Mix until smooth & creamy. Add the food coloring to make the frosting orange, if using.

Frost the cooled cookies. If desired, decorate the pumpkins with fun jack-o-lantern designs. We used store bought black frosting for this, and it’s totally optional. Cookies keep well in the fridge for a up to a week, a few days at room temperature. Enjoy!

NOTE: I made a full recipe of the dough and only used half. This cookie dough freezes really well and can be saved for another use, or you can double the frosting recipe and go crazy and bake all of the cookies!

Zucchini Pound Cake

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Zucchini Cake

In terms of recipes, we have a lot of options these days. I think it’s safe to say we probably have too many recipes available to us…it can be very daunting. Regardless of reviews, you really never know how something is going to turn out until you make it and taste it for yourself.

Zucchini Cake

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

As if Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread wasn’t enough…I had to go ahead and make some extra chocolately zucchini muffins. These muffins can also be made as chocolate zucchini bread, but I have a special place in my heart for chocolate muffins. We all know a certain wholesale store sells some of the biggest and best chocolate muffins ever…but it’s hard not to feel guilty when indulging in a giant 1 pound muffin that’s 90% butter. Continue reading

In Review | August 2015

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Black Butte

We kicked off August with a wedding at Black Butte Ranch in Oregon – SO GORGEOUS. I can see why families have come here for years and how it can hold a special place in ones heart, it’s just a beautiful, serene place where anyone can relax. Maybe my former non-pregnant self wouldn’t be so enthralled with all of the kids running around, it’s definitely a family-friendly resort…not very “spring break” if you know what I mean.

Black Butte

We had some seriously hot weather while we were there, mother nature could have taken it down 20 degrees or so…but luckily, there were several pools to lay by and do absolutely nothing…Plus stunning views everywhere you turned.

Black Butte

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