Painted Sugar Cookies

 I was in a creative mood today and we have a family Easter dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s tomorrow so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at sugar cookies. Here is a sugar cookie and royal icing recipe that I love… the cookies are yummy and hold their shape while baking {not too hard & not too soft – just perfect with a sweet hint of almond and vanilla} + the royal icing recipe is easy and top-notch!
painted sugar cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Makes about 2 dozenIngredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt

-Preheat oven to 350F
-Cream butter and sugar together with an electric stand mixer until smooth. Mix for 1 minute.
-Add egg. Mix until combined.
-Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again. 1 min.
-Mix in vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
-Slowly add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to clump around the paddle.
-Roll dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and set on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
-Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes.
-Bake in the oven on a silpat mat for 10 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies are light brown.
-Place cookies on a cooling rack.
-Decorate cookies with royal icing when they reach room temperature.


Believe it or not this was my first time working with royal icing. I was tad intimidated so I watched a few videos on youtube before attempting it. This video was my favorite {he made it so easy}. I used 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp. vanilla as listed in his recipe. It turned out fabulous. Really easy. Just add water when you need a “shampoo” consistency for flooding your cookies.

Royal Icing Recipe:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

-In a stand mixer combine sifted powdered sugar, cream of tarter, egg whites and both extracts.
-Beat on low until the sugar has liquified and then beat on high for 1 minute. The icing will be thick like toothpaste.
-Add a tablespoon of water and beat for 3 more minutes.
-Mix in food coloring if desired {I just used the white icing}.
-Pour icing into a piping bag and decorate sugar cookies.
-Let icing dry and harden before painting {if you want to use my method}
For Painting
I used Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors {I got mine at Ralph’s} and dabbed a few blobs of each color onto a ceramic plate. I used a watercolor paint brush to paint and mix the colors and a gourmet food writer for fine black details. Easy peasy. Be sure to have a small cup of water for washing your brush out in between colors and a paper towel for blotting the brush.Have Fun!

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies {the Best Cookies You’ll Ever Eat}

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
These are the best cookies you’ll ever eat, hands down! This is the cookie recipe that I will keep forever….my future children’s, children’s, children will be baking these! They are decadent, rich and chewy. I love the combination of sweet creamy chocolate with a hint of sea salt. Gawwww they are my absolute favorite! Beware of their addictive powers.

2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. of sea salt {extra for sprinkling — I like to use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes}
2 sticks {1 cup} unsalted butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 cup milk chocolate chipsDirections: 

Preheat the oven to 350F.
-Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
-Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown. This may take a few minutes. Remove from the heat as soon as you see the butter turn to a clear brown color {as pictured below}. Pour butter into a large bowl and add both brown and white sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla and sour cream until thoroughly combined.
-Slowly mix dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture
-Mix in chocolate chips
-Cool cookie dough for 20 minutes in the freezer {or 1 hour in the fridge}
-Roll cold dough into 2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat mat.
-Sprinkle with sea salt
-Bake for 9 minutes at 350F or until the edge of the cookies turn golden brown and the center is still soft. The center may look a little underdone, but fear not…this is exactly how you want them.
-Let the cookies cool on a wire wrack until the centers have settled.Yields about 2 dozen cookies.

Chewy Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Best Cookie Recipe Just Got Better!

chewy toffee cookies

I’m sure everyone has heard of the famous Nestlé Toll House cookies. They have the best all-American cookie recipe EVER. Until now…same recipe, but with a twist — Skor bars and milk chocolate chips! Other cookies pale in comparison to these babies!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 Skor bars
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Chop up 3 Skor bars into small chunks and stir into the cookie dough along with the milk chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or waxed paper.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*Tip: make sure that each cookie dough ball is 1 tablespoon or smaller. These cookies need a bit of room when they bake!

Picture: Food Service

Homemade Gingerbread Cookies

I made these gingerbread cookies last week with my nanny kids. I love this recipe, it comes out perfectly every time.
Recipe comes from Annie’s Eats.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired.