Just a Girl Trying to Find Her Place in This World

Oh I'm just a girl on a mission…

Tag Archives: Cookies

“Pour Some Sugar on [Your Painter’s Pallet]…”

So, as promised, let’s rewind about two weeks now…

Once upon a time, in a cozy little downtown Hamilton art gallery called “Sketch” (let’s laugh at the irony fellow Hamiltonians), a select few McMaster University 3rd and 4th year students presented the art show, “Asterix.” Now, I just happen to be a lucky enough person to have two friends in this particular art show, one of which is one of my best friends. (The same best friend who made me the beautiful Taylor Swift picture you can find here) Now, being the person that I am, who’s currently hooked on an extreme baking spree, I decided that my baking adventure for the week would be cookies for the art show. Now, I’m not a huge fan of making cookies, they seem like simple, time consuming work and  just aren’t as gratifying to me when they’re done as a good cupcake is.

But that’s just me.

So to make my cupcake adventure more appealing to myself, I decided I’m gonna try some grand design that will look pretty and make me feel better…

SPAINTERS PALLET COOKIES

Of course, I made this decision, NOT thinking that I’d then be taking said “masterpieces” to an art show, full of art students, who take art critique as a class…. That didn’t set in until AFTER I finished the cookies.

Now, the sugar cookie recipe itself is quite simple really;

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (IF you want, you can seperate the eggs and save the egg whites for the icing, but you don’t have to)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350

2.  Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl

3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth.

4. In a seperate bowl, combing flour and baking powder and blend together. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well. Form dough into a ball and place in fridge to chill slightly.

5. Sprinkle your working surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick, as well as the rolling pin. When dough has a slight chill to it, roll it out to about 1/8 inch. Use a circle cookie cutter (or just a glass) to cut circles out of dough.

6. Next, get two small circles (you could use a thimble, or a lid off a small container (I personally used the lid off the new bottle of nail polish remover I bought – after washing it thouroughly of course!) any small circle will work, I also used two at once as I found it easier, but that isn’t necessary) Use the thimble to cut out a 2/3 circle from the side of your cookie, DON’T life the thimble to remove the dough, drag it sideways, this helps shape the cookie.

7. Use the thimble again to cut out a circle beside the newly shaped indent.

8. Bake in oven (on a lined cookie sheet) for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely as sugar cookies burn easily. Remove from oven and allow them to cook completely.

Icing/Decorations:

2 eggs
2 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Food colouring of choice
Pretzel sticks

1. Seprate the egg whites from the yolk (you don’t need the yolk)

2. Mix in 1 cup of icing sugar per egg, if the icing is not at a consistency you want, feel free to add a bit more icing sugar to thicken it)

3. Bland the vanilla into the mixture.

4. With your white icing, cover each cookie (It will seem thin, don’t worry) WORK FAST before the icing starts to harden, and place a pretzel stick across the ‘finger hole’ of each cookie to represent the ‘paint brush’.

5. Divide your remaining icing (you made need to make a second batch depending on how many cookies you have) into 3-4 parts. Add food colouring to each part until you get the colour you want (in this case, dark colours work well)

6. Put your coloured icing into piping bags (or ziploc baggies – put about 3 or 4 layers of scotch tape on one corner and snip a small hole off the corner) and drop one drop of each colour on each of your cookies. Get creative, remember, it’s a painters palet, they don’t all look exactly the same, and painters aren’t too specific about where they put the paint.

I left the cookies out overnight (because I always bake at like 8 or 9 at night) on cookie trays and plates to make sure the icing hardened completely before stacking them. Then just store them in an airtight container until ready to use them.

Turns out, all my panic over the artists criticizing my work (because let’s face it, I know nothing about art) actually was just simple worry… people loved them! And I really did enjoy making them.

Just for any interested, here’s a few pictures from the art show as well:

Some of the best people you will ever meet...

Shona makes pretty art...

More pretty art, with Shona

Emily makes pretty art too...

Shona's art...

More art

 

“[The Internet] is back ALRIGHT!”

Ok

I know I have this tendency to disapear for chuncks of time, and I truly do appologize for that, it hasn’t been super long this time, so we’re good still right? This time it legitimately was not my fault. My internet was not working for some odd reason (lots of phone calls and service calls later) and its back up, then this past week I’ve been insanely busy with finishing up on school assignments (some of which are late because I refused to stay extra long at school when my internet was out). So, now that I finally have a bit of downtime today (I get to watch my TV shows tonight too that I’m behind on) I figured I better get these posts up and running again!

On a very positive and uplifting note however, I now have almost two full weeks of daily posts planned out for y’all! Yay! I have some fitness things to discuss, some monthly goals to go over, some to create…And the baking!

OH the baking! My oh my! I’ve made THREE things this week already, cookies and strawberry cheesecake bites, I plan on baking again Friday, I have a tea party to go to on Tuesday I’ll need to bake for, and then the following weekend is my work Christmas party (haha I know… don’t ask) and I plan on baking TWO things for that… so… yea. Prepare yourselves!

So I’m going to TRY and go in order of how things happened, how my posts would have turned out had I been able to get on the internet from home, or enough time to focus on my blog instead of the copius amounts of homework… But alas, it catches up. I will do my best. And I promise it will be epic though. Especially the baking.

Gotta love the baking.

I promise I will post again tonight, my first recipe for the week, but unfortunately, I do not have the recipe on me at the moment as I’m in class and supposed to be paying attention to my professor.

I love y’all for hanging around while I went on a temporary hiatus, and I promise it won’t happen again (at least not until finals come around in April :P)

Hearts all around! ❤

 

“We Will Still Be, Friends Forever…”

Ooh do I have a treat for you today!

So while I’m still refining my list of new year resolutions, and sulking about going back to school in less then two days, I decided to try my hand at a new recipe. I was reading Cosmopolitan the other day and came across a recipe for ‘Superlight Chocolate Chip Cookies” and saved the recipe for later. Not only are they low calorie (which is great for my new health kick that I’m going on) but they’re also flour/gluton free. As some of you may remember from my post on the flourless chocolate torte I made, one of my best friends of almost 15 years just discovered this summer that she was allergic to white flour, so when I find these gluton free recipes, I get a little extra excited now. It’s because I’m such a great amazing friend!

Before I give you the recipe, I have to tell you. These things are amazing. They’re so light and fluffy, and they actually taste really good! I won’t lie, I was iffy at first about the recipe, but I really enjoyed them. The recipe is really easy to follow as well… one of the easiest ones I’ve made so far on my baking discovery journey. Enjoy!

Superlight Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

4 Large Egg Whites
¼ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (I used regular sized ones)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks begin to form.

3. Pour in sugar ¼ cup at a time until incorporated.

4. Add vanilla and beat until glossy, stiff peaks form – be careful not to overbeat.

5. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

6. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 minutes (This is where I found the problem. I have little to no patience… So after about 25 minutes, they were golden brown, so I took them out. Tasted them. They tasted great. The second tray I let cook longer… didn’t like it as much. Still good, not great.)

After 25 minutes

After 40 minutes

7. Let cool before storing – you can store them for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

I know, I have no patience, but honestly, they tasted better after 25 minutes… But if you prefer to cook them the whole 40 minutes, they taste good that way too. I’m just a rebel like that.

“Hey Baby, I Think I Wanna ‘Merry’ You…”

Yes, I spelt ‘merry’ that way for a reason… don’t worry.

I watched my nightly Christmas movie last night, this time it was called “Will You Merry Me”…hence the title. It was a wonderful Christmas love story comedy about two people who meet when they try to buy the same appartment in New York…. six months later they’re engaged and meeting each others families… the girls parents are Jewish and had planned on spending their holiday in Aspen, instead of the small town where the boys family (who have the last name ‘Cringle’) live. Both mothers are about as opposite as they can get, and it’s an incredibly funny story.

I also did some crafts last night… I made an ice wreath, an idea I found on this blog… I love how it turned out, but I only really had blueberries to put in it. I’m going to try making another one this week with some more Christmas colours in it. But for now, this was simple and fun. I hung it off the flower hook outside.

I think it turned out nicely, and it was still out there today. I definitely want to try making some Christmas coloured ones. Maybe I could use some juice or some food colouring to make a multi coloured one. I’ll have to give it a try.

I did a little bit of baking today as well, a recipe for shortbread cookies I got from my cousin’s wife. They are so good, and quite literally melt in your mouth. It’s what I love about them. Rest assured I don’t use that phrase lightly either. When I was younger and we were staying in a hotel after my dad’s transplant, I remember my mom telling me that the bacon was so good, “it melts in your mouth”. Being 8 years old, I sat there for 10 minutes before my mom finally asked why I wasn’t eating. My response? “I’m waiting for the bacon to melt!” So when I say something melts in your mouth, I mean it! And these cookies, they melt in your mouth. It’s such an easy recipe too…

Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread Cookies

1 cup of unsalted butter, whipped.
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (I prefer to add a bit more for flavour)
1 1/2 cups of flour

1. Whip the butter so it’s nice and soft and add the vanilla.

2. Mix in the flour, then scoop tea spoon sized portions onto a baking sheet.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 12-17 minutes.

4. Remove carefully from the baking sheet (they break easily)

This recipe’s great for the holidays, who doesn’t like shortbread? I get approximately 18 cookies out of it, but I might do a scoop a little bigger than a teaspoon. Enjoy!

Anywho, I have one more essay to finish, and then an exam tomorrow, and I hope to put my Christmas tree up when I get home (I’ve never waited this long before to do that!) Wish me luck on my exam though, I’m definitely going to need it!

Happy Thursday y’all!

“Red Solo Cup, I Fill You Up… Let’s Have a Party”

So first off, let’s start with yesterday’s Christmas movie of the day – Santa Baby. Such a good movie! I’ve always loved it, but it was so hard to get a copy of it. Good movie though. It’s about Santa’s businesswoman daughter who decides to take over the North Pole after her dad gets sick…. and, well, chaos assumes. Quite the funny movie. I also watched the ACA’s last night (American Country Awards), and Toby Keith (love the guy) won Artist of the Decade, and performed his new song, Red Solo Cup. Which coincidentally, Glee is doing a cover of tonight too. It’s awesome.

Today, I’ve been doing a ton of Christmas baking with my mom and grandma. We made sugar cookies and shortbread cookies, and I got to use a cookie gun for the first time ever. Quite the little bug it is… but I got the hang of it eventually. We’re just waiting for some of the shortbread cookies to cool so we can dip the end in chocolate.

Sugar Cookies

First time using the cookie gun....

Shortbread!

Do You Know the Muffin Man…?

Woo-hoo! Day two!

So today I’m dedicating my blog to two of my best friends, Gaggy, and Chelsea. Chelsea keeps telling me to start a baking blog whenever I bring in my experimental baking to school for everyone to try (since I’m too chicken to sample my own food apparently). Anywho, I don’t know why, but the past, let’s say three weeks, I’ve been in a real housewife/baking mood. I really don’t know why. I just sort of get bored of doing whatever it is I’m doing and decide, let’s bake something! Now, I’ve never been a baker. I left all that stuff to my mom and Baba. I mean sure, I’ve made the occasional batch of sugar cookies or peanut butter cookies… but I don’t consider those to be anything major. But then one day while stocking the shelves at work (I work at a grocery store for those who don’t know) I saw a recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips that were on sale, and thought ‘hey why not’. Usually my mom and I just buy those premade cookie dough’s that you literally just open and transfer from the package, to a cookie sheet, to the oven, but I’ve always wondered how hard it would actually be to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. So, what better time to try than when they’re on sale. I bought the chocolate and then when my mom went to bed that night, whipped up a batch of cookies…. which I quickly got bored of waiting for since I only had one cookie sheet that held like, eight cookies at a time. So I started rummaging through the cupboard and found mini cupcake papers… and behold! The “mookie” (as my friends mom later termed it) was born! Mini Muffin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Cookies and Mookies

Anywho, that was fun, so when I later found a recipe online by chance for rainbow brownies, well I just had to try it. But I’ll save that recipe for another day when I have nothing else to talk about. Last night I actually tried a recipe my mom saw on TV for Flourless Chocolate Torte, which I find is an extremely fun word to say. Torte. T-orte! Torte! Besides the joys of the word ‘Torte’, my friend Gaggy also found out recently that she’s allergic to white flour, and since I miss her terribly, the recipe made me think of her, and therefore I needed to try it. It went splendidly. The recipe was quite easy actually, a few more dishes to wash then I would have liked, since everything gets mixed separately, but still relatively simple.

So without further ado, the recipe:

Flourless Chocolate Torte (The Fancy Appearance)

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used ten baking squares of semi-sweet chocolate. I could not find ‘bittersweet’ chocolate anywhere – semi sweet seemed the closest bet,)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 egg whites
5 egg yolks
2 Tbsp + 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1)  Preheat the oven to 300 °F.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment, then grease and dust the entire pan with sugar, tapping out any excess. (I didn’t have a springform pan – in fact being new to this whole baking thing, I don’t even know what a springform pan is – so I used a regular glass cake pan, it worked fine.)

2)  Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring constantly.   Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly. (Again, that seemed like more dishes than was necessary, so I put my chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl in the microwave for 40 seconds, stirred it, and then heated it in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was melted)

3)  In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with 2 Tbsp sugar until the whites hold a soft peak (when the whites curl when the beaters are lifted).  Set aside. (I attempted to do this with a whisk. It did not work. Use an electric mixer)

4)  In another bowl, whip the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla until doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.  (I used a whisk for this. It seemed to work. I may use an electric mixer next time however, just to see if it turns out differently)

5) Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the whipped yolks, and then fold the whites into the mixture in 2 additions.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

6)  Bake the torte for 35 minutes.(Or until you can stick a toothpick or knife into the center and have it come out clean. It will look a bit like brownies when it’s done)  As soon as you remove the cake from the oven it will begin to fall, but it is supposed to.  Cool the cake to room temperature then chill for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. (I left mine in the fridge overnight)

My Flourless Chocolarte Torte

Today, I took the torte to school with me, as well as a container of raspberry pie filling, and let my friends dig in. They all said they liked it… It is very rich though just on it’s own, so I do recommend the raspberries to tone down the chocolate overload a bit (though I’m sure any other berry filling would work) Overall though, it turned out fantastic, now to decide what to make for everyone next week…. I’m starting to get a knack for this baking thing…