Tuesday, May 29, 2012

postheadericon Memorial Day 2012

Mem Day 2 by Sugar Beez
Mem Day 2, a photo by Sugar Beez on Flickr.

I wanted to do cookies as a way to say Thank You to those who have served our Country in the Armed Forces. I found an Armed Forces Service Medal and used that as the inspiration for this set.

I really had fun making these!

Friday, May 18, 2012

postheadericon What do you see?

These cookies were being decorated as logos for a car dealership, but the order was cancelled.  There are 24 mini white ovals.


2012-05-18_10-51-32_979 by Sugar Beez
2012-05-18_10-51-32_979, a photo by Sugar Beez on Flickr.
Here is your opportunity to get creative!  Post your comment with a suggestion for these cookies. The best idea picked by Sugar Beez's staff will win the cookies!

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

postheadericon Why is cookie dough like a man?

Why is cookie dough like a man?  It's gonna make a mess you're gonna have to clean up...because it certainly isn't going to clean up after itself!  Baaahhhhaaaa!  Oh so true..

It took me a lot of trial and error (and really bad cookies) before I learned how to make cookie dough well. I think this process is worth sharing.   Now I'm not saying I'm any kind of expert, there are probably as many ways to make roll out cookie dough as there are recipes on the web.  This is just the way I do, but I would love to see/hear from others on how they do theirs.  I will post my recipe down at the bottom.

Step 1 - Butter

  • 1 pound at room temperature


If I forget to take it out of the fridge and I don't have time to wait for it to come to room temperature I soften it in the microwave.  Remove it from its wrapper, place it on a microwave safe dish, and heat it for 10 seconds.  Then turn it on it's side, (I always rotate it in towards the center of the microwave so I don't keep microwaving the same sides over and over.) and microwave it again for 10 seconds, rotating each time.  I usually use 1-pound blocks of butter so if you are using a quarter stick microwave for 5 seconds instead of 10.

Once the butter is nice and soft, dump it into the mixer bowl. 


I usually beat it a little so that it is ready for the sugar.

This is what light and fluffy should look like.
















Step 2 - Sugar 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Here is a trick I learned years ago, and I wish I could remember who to give the credit to, but alas my memory has failed me...sigh.  I take a kitchen towel and wrap it over the mixer and bowl like so....


This will keep the sugar (or flour) from "poofing" all over the counter, the coffee maker, the mixer, the baker...

Step 3 - Flavor / Eggs

  • 4 tsp any flavor
  • 2 eggs at room temperature. 


Add the flavor and eggs.  And if you forgot to take the eggs out of the fridge too, no worries I have a link below with great instructions on how to bring them to room temperature quickly.  These are the remainder of the "wet" ingredients...mix them until they are totally incorporated.

Not like this
The mixture should not look like scrambled eggs.
















But like this


Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients so that you don't end up with butter at the bottom of the bowl that didn't get integrated into the dough.

Step 4 - Dry Ingredients

  • 5-1/2 cups flour.
  • 2 tsp baking soda.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Add all the dry ingredients at one time.  Don't forget to use your kitchen towel to cover the mixer and bowl so you won't have flour everywhere!  Take a peek under the towel to see when it is safe to remove it and check the dough.  The finished dough should look like this. 




Then scrape the dough into a bowl, or some folks flatten it into disks, do what ever works for you, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  If I'm going to roll dough right away I let it rest on the counter covered.  If I'm not going to roll cookies until the next day I let it rest in the fridge. 





Step 5 - Baking Instructions

First off, I highly recommend an oven thermometer, because let me tell you from experience, that oven dial LIES!  It says it's at 350, but it never really is, sometimes it's closer to 375...so invest in one of the inexpensive oven thermometers that hangs off the rack...one of the best baking investments I have bought!

I bake my cookies at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  Meaning I set the timer for 12 minutes and check on them every minute after that point until they are lightly golden.


I hope you found this post helpful, I sure wish someone would have done something like this when I was first starting out.


Recipe

1 pound butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp flavor
5-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

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