Soft & Delicious Sugar Cookies

In Dessert, Party on December 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Tis the season for baking! My family always had a huge cookie making day every year at Christmastime, and by the end of the day every bit of counter and table space was covered with these cookies– a beautiful sight. 🙂 Of  course you can make sugar cookies any time of year, but to me these will always taste like Christmas. I’ve tried lots of different sugar cookies, but I always keep coming back to this recipe– it’s definitely my favorite, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too.


Sugar Cookies   (yield: about 18 medium sized cookies)

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

  1. Turn oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together well.
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and almond extract.
  4. Beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out the dough to about 1/3 inch thick (or 1/4 inch thick for cookies that aren’t quite as soft).
  6. Cut out your cookies and place on a cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake the cookies 8 minutes (10 for large cookies). The cookies should look done, but only golden on the bottom, not the tops.DSCN3805
  8. Allow to cool and then frost with Vanilla Butter Frosting.

Vanilla Butter Frosting

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbl. milk

  1. Carefully beat the butter and sugar together until the butter is evenly dispersed.
  2. Beat in the vanilla and milk. Go frost some cookies. 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

In Dessert, Party on December 2, 2012 at 1:33 am

This recipe is slightly adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. These cookies are delicate, crisp, tangy, fresh, sugary… basically just delightful! If you’re like me and like to eat the dough, be warned it’s extra lemony (and tasty!). The taste does mellow out a bit when the dough is baked, but it’s still plenty lemony. This may be a new Christmas favorite. 🙂


Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies (yield: about 40 cookies)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup butter (not margarine) (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbl. poppy seeds

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter)

extra sugar for coating the dough

  1. Reduce the lemon juice until it’s about 2 Tbl. (to reduce it, just let it simmer on the stove for a while). Remove from heat and add one stick of butter. Set aside for now.
  2. Cream the remaining stick of butter (at room temperature) and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and poppy seeds.
  4. Once the butter in the hot lemon juice has melted at least halfway, beat it in to the batter really well.
  5. Beat in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut, and roll in sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes, or just until edges start to golden.
  9. Remove to cooling rack (if you leave them on the pans for more than a couple of minutes, then they tend to crumble) and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

In Bread, Dessert, Party on October 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I didn’t try pumpkin bread for the longest time, because I’ve never liked pumpkin pie and I thought that meant that I didn’t like anything pumpkin. Well, I finally tried some pumpkin bread and I was just blown away by how much I liked it! (It turns out that I like everything pumpkin– except for pie– after all.) I’ve tried several different pumpkin breads and this recipe is by far the best I’ve ever tried (including one from a certain popular bread company…).  🙂


Pumpkin Bread  (yield: 2 loafs)

2/3 cup shortening

2 2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin

2/3 cup water

3 1/3 cup AP flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 cups chocolate chips, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease 2 bread pans.
  2. Beat shortening and sugar until well blended (it will look a bit fluffy).
  3. Blend in the eggs, pumpkin, and water.
  4. Blend in the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Divide the batter into the 2 bread pans. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until you can stick a  toothpick in the center and it comes [mostly] out clean. Enjoy!