Category Archives: Cookies

Aunt Jamie’s Cookies from the Home of P. Allen Smith

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Recently my friend Charlene was traveling through Arkansas with girlfriends. I didn’t realize this, but the home of P. Allen Smith is located just 30 minutes outside of Little Rock.  The Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm sits on top of a ridge overlooking the Arkansas River AllenSummer2015_YoutubeValley.    Paul Allen Smith is a television host, designer, gardening and lifestyle expert. He is the host of two public television programs. Charlene and friends visited the home to have lunch in the tea room and tour the house.  While they were there P. Allen Smith came into the tea room spending time talking with guests!  It must have been a thrill for my friend Charlene because she is an avid gardener and accomplished cook!

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Sugar Cookie Flowers and Cyberspace Gremlins

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Yesterday I wrote about these lovely sugar cookie flowers.  For those of you who have signed up to receive notice of a new blog post via email you may or may not have seen a picture of the cookies.

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But for some reason Feedburner sent out this picture of a momma and her baby! I took the picture a few weeks ago just down the road from where I live.  But since it doesn’t have much to do with sugar cookies I’m not sure how it ended up in some of your emails.

Will you do me a favor (and yourself too?)

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Sugar Cookies In A Fun Bouquet

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy sous chef dish-washing mom and I belong to a garden club. By the very nature of “garden” club one might think we are gardeners.  That would be wrong.  We like plants, we have both toyed with growing a flowering plant or two, but gardeners we are not.

little garden
We do have this little garden close by the house but the “real” gardening (and weeding) is done by the love of my life, our Chief Gardener!

Weeding The CornOnce a year it is “our turn” for mom and I to host the garden club members for a brunch/lunch meeting.  Typically members will decorate the center of each table with a floral arrangement.  Mom and I were talking about what we should do for our floral arrangements  and we got to thinking about doing what we know best — something from the kitchen!

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We decided on making sugar cookies in the shape of flowers (great idea) and then making them into a table arrangement (another great idea!)

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Our first practice round looked like these.  Cute, very tasty but not much like flowers.  That was when we knew we needed to call in reinforcements!

sugar cookie dowel
We wanted our flowers to be free-form and so we made the dough into a ball, squished it with the bottom of a glass and then carefully inserted baking dowels gently into the middle of the dough.

Abbey upclose decoarting
When our very-talented and darling neighbor Abby arrived, we had 80-some cookies frosted with a glossy colorful frosting, ready to be transformed into flowers. SONY DSC

Abby is a culinary arts major and decorating cookies is child’s play for her.  I suggested I could “help” since we had so many cookies to decorate.  After one attempt we both agreed that I would be the cookie foreman, keeping the frosting made, mom would do the dishes and Abby – well, she would create!

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I am including three recipes with this post.  My Gram’s sugar cookie recipe which you can see HERE as Christmas cookies.  Then there is the colorful glossy icing that dries hard and shiny and is perfect for frosting the cookies.

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Buttercream Decorator Frosting

And finally, the butter cream frosting Abby made to use as decorator icing.  All-in-all I wouldn’t do anything different.

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My neighbor Kathy can’t eat chocolate and so whenever we bake something that is “non-chocolate”  she gets some!  I am told she shared these with her granddaughter.

Happy Baking!
Blessings, Catherine

Sugar Cookies
 
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After making this sugar cookie recipe you won't want to use any other one. Crispy on the outside and moist and yummy on the inside. Just perfect every time.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter or Margarine,* softened
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Cups and 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Sugar, frosting, or sprinkles as desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream sugars and butter; add oil and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
  4. Mix flour, salt, soda, cream of tartar. Stir into the wet ingredients.
  5. Use medium cookie scoop, roll dough into balls. Using the bottom of a glass, press into sugar and then press cookie ball down on cookie sheet to flatten slightly. If you are making into flowers then gently insert a cookie stick into the middle of the dough, making sure it does not poke through the dough.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will be light colored but done at 10 minutes. If you want them crisp and brown add another minute or two. They will spread slightly when baking so be sure and allow plenty of space around the dough.
  7. Frost and decorate as desired.
Notes
* I use butter, not margarine, but the original recipe says either one works.

To place cookie flowers into floral arrangement, add floral oasis into a flower pot, making it as tight as possible. Gently stick each cookie into the oasis forming a bouquet. Cover top with decorator grass.

Glossy Sugar Cookie Frosting
 
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This frosting will "dry" hard and is a perfect frosting to use alone or in conjunction with decorator frosting on sugar cookies
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Frosts 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 Teaspoons Milk (or more for desired consistency)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract * Optional
  • Food Coloring as desired
Instructions
  1. Mix all together with small wire whip. Add milk for desired consistency.
  2. Add food coloring as desired.
  3. Frost cookies using small amount of frosting as this will spread slightly as you use it. Try not to put so much on the cookie that it runs off the sides.
  4. Enjoy!
Notes
After this frosting is dry, decorator frosting can be piped over this for a "stand up" look.

Buttercream Decorator Frosting
 
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Exceptional frosting and very easy to make. Use alone to frost cookies or cake, or place in piping bag to create a lovely decoration.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Softened Butter (2 sticks)
  • 32 Ounces Powdered Sugar (Approximately 8 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • Milk to desired consistency.
Instructions
  1. In a mixer combine butter, sugar and vanilla mixing slowly.
  2. Turn mixer to medium and begin to whip the frosting add milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
  3. Continue beating until the frosting is very light and fluffy. Keep adding milk 1 teaspoon at a time until frosting is desired consistency.
  4. Use as base frosting for cookies or cake or as piping for decorating.

 

Walnut Coconut Chews

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When our granddaughter Abbey arrived for a visit last fall one of the first things she asked of her Grandpa Lee is, “Do you have any black walnuts?” Earlier this summer Abbey had been the recipient of fresh black walnuts from Grandpa Lee’s walnut trees. She told us that she used them in a recipe for Coconut Walnut Chews given to her from her best friend’s grandmother.

Abbey Coconut Chews Recipe Card
She wanted to make them for us but declared, “they are the very best with black walnuts instead of English walnuts.”  Grandpa went to the freezer and dug around awhile reappearing with a pint jar packed with black walnut pieces.

Cocnut chews single platedAbbey is right, these walnut coconut treats are outstanding when made with black walnuts.  However, if your pantry doesn’t include any of these pricey little nuts, English walnuts run a very close second when mixed up to make these oooey, gooey, chewy bars.

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The top of the bars bake up into a thin crispy layer while the middle stays chewy sitting on a buttery crust.  I’ve made this recipe several times.  With black walnuts, with English walnuts, doubled in a 9″ x 13″ pan and single recipe in an 8″x8″ pan, and even in a round pan!  Every time they receive rave reviews.  This is a keeper!  Thank you Abbey!
Abbey Coconut ChewsHere’s wishing you a Happy May Day and a lovely spring weekend ahead!

Happy Baking!
~Catherine

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

 

for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”

Walnut Coconut Chews
 
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Chewy, ooey, gooey goodness with a crispy top and a buttery crust! Just say "yum!"
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 bars
Ingredients
Bottom Crust
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Filling
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, black walnuts, English walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together bottom crust ingredients. Press into bottom of a greased 8"x8" baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  4. Combine sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, and vanilla mixing well.
  5. Add coconut and chopped nuts. Spread over baked crust, return to oven and bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  6. Cool. Cut into bars. Enjoy!
Notes
Black walnuts are delicious in this recipe. English walnuts or pecans okay too!

Recipe adapted from my granddaughter's best friends Grandma!

 

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