Tag Archives: icing

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse Style Frosted Cookies

DAY 3: Lofthouse Style Frosted Christmas Cookies

Lofthouse Cookies: those pillowy-soft cookies in the grocery store with a frosting that hardens just enough to be able to stack them. The homemade version are even better. And much easier to make than rolled and frosted sugar cookies.

To frost them, simply hold them in your hand and dip them upside down into a bowl of icing. Shake on some candied sprinkles, let them set for an hour and you are ready to go. You can use different flavored extracts (vanilla, almond, orange, peppermint, etc) for different flavored frostings.

RECIPE:

Lofthouse Style Frosted Christmas Cookies

Lofthouse Style Frosted Cookies

Cookies:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix into butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Refrigerate dough for one hour.

With hands, roll dough into 1” balls (for small cookies, slightly larger for larger cookies). Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 7-9 minutes for small cookies.

Glaze Frosting:
6 Tbs butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla (or ½ tsp almond, ½ tsp orange or ¼ tsp peppermint) extract
1 lb (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
3-4 drops gel food coloring
Candy Sprinkles

Place butter and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 60-90 seconds, until butter melts. Stir in extract (if you want to use white icing, use a clear vanilla or other flavored extract). Use a whisk to mix in powdered sugar. Mix in food coloring.

Dip tops of cooled cookies in warm glaze and place on a sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle immediately with candy sprinkles (the glaze starts to set fast: dip one cookie, then add sprinkles, then dip another cookie, etc). If glaze gets too thick, heat in microwave for 15-20 seconds. Allow glaze to set on cookies for about 1 hour before storing cookies.

To freeze: Freeze cookies in single layer and then place in container and store in freezer. Thaw cookies in a single layer.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Peeps Cupcakes (with a Surprise)

Peeps Cupcakes 1

It has been a busy weekend for us around here, with a sleepover birthday party, a trip to the mall for an ear-piercing, church youth temple trip, oldest daughter returning from college, middle daughter returning from a school orchestra trip, a playdate for a little boy feeling left out of all the fun, regular Sunday church activities (plus an evening Easter devotional), followed by a child’s gall bladder removal on Monday.

Peeps Cupcakes 4

If anything can help you through the wonderful chaos that is raising kids, it is these Peeps cupcakes. We served them at Little J’s 10th birthday party, but they would also make a fun Easter dessert.

Peeps Cupcakes 5

The kids were excited to find a surprise inside of the cupcakes when they bit into them!

Peeps Cupcakes 2

I scooped out the center of the cupcakes and Little J filled them with candy Easter eggs and m&ms. I piped a swirl of the rainbow frosting onto each cupcake and then we topped each one with a Peep. We used the Vanilla, Strawberry, and Orange Crème flavors. These Peeps are separated in their package so that you don’t have white patches (with no sugar covering) where you have to break the Peeps apart from a normal package.

Peeps Cupcakes 3

To make the rainbow swirled frosting: Attach a large tip (I used a Wilton 1M) to a pastry bag. Using a clean paintbrush, paint stripes of gel food coloring along the inside of the pastry bag (the stripes do not have to touch). Carefully spoon white frosting into the bag. Squeeze out and discard a little of the frosting, until you begin to see color on the edge of the frosting. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes: start on the outside of the cupcake, holding the bag straight up and down and proceed in a swirl, slightly overlapping layers, to the center of the cupcake.

Happy Birthday Little J! Here she is sporting her newly pierced ears:

2014-04-10 17.54.33

This week will be a much needed recovery week for all of us. A perfect time to reflect on the gift of the Atonement that we celebrate this week. Here is an Easter video on the Savior’s gift to each of us and who we can become Because of Him:

Because of Him

RECIPE:

Cooked Vanilla Frosting

Peeps Cupcakes 5

1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Gel food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk with a whisk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and let it cool completely to room temperature.  Stir in vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy and completely uniform throughout.

FOR SWIRLED FROSTING: Attach a large tip (I used a Wilton 1M) to a pastry bag. Using a clean paintbrush, paint stripes of gel food coloring along the inside of the pastry bag (the stripes do not have to touch). Carefully spoon white frosting into the bag. Squeeze out and discard a little of the frosting, until you begin to see color on the edge of the frosting. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.

For a peaked swirl pattern: start on the outside of the cupcake, holding the bag straight up and proceed in a swirl, slightly overlapping layers, to the center of the cupcake. For a rose pattern: start in the center of the cupcake, holding the piping bag straight up and proceed in a swirl to the outside of the cupcakes (do not overlap layers).

Yield: frosting for about 24 cupcakes

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts, Kids' Cakes

Partying with Penguins

Penguin Cake 3

Today is my baby girl’s 9th birthday. We worked together to create this fun Penguin Cake. She has a delicious cotton candy belly.

Here is the penguin without the cotton candy:

Penguin Cake 1

We love having Little J in our family. She is just as sweet as her penguin friend.

Penguin Cake 4

Happy Birthday Little J

We love you always!

 

Inspiration for cake from an Australian Women’s World Cookbook magazine from 1998. Cake frosted with this Buttercream Frosting (with the addition of orange extract).

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts, Kids' Cakes

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookie Bars

051711 010-1

DAY 7: Sugar Cookie Bars

Love sugar cookies, but hate all of the work rolling, cutting and decorating? These sugar cookie bars are the perfect substitute. The dough makes a thick, soft sugar-cookie-flavored bar cookie that you can top with your favorite icing and fun holiday sprinkles. These are topped by one of our favorites, a cooked vanilla frosting.

RECIPE:

Sugar Cookie Bars

051711 010-1

COOKIE BARS:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

FROSTING:
1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Optional: food coloring

Prepare bars:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla and almond extract, if using.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased, rimmed baking sheet (you can use either a 12×17” pan for thinner bars or a 10×15” pan for slightly thicker bars).

Bake: 10-15 minutes for a 12×17” pan or 15-20 minutes for a 10×15” pan, until light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Frost with desired frosting and add sprinkles, if using. Refrigerate the bars until firm… it will be easier to get nice, clean cuts.

Prepare frosting:
In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and let it cool completely to room temperature.  Stir in vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy and completely uniform throughout.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

Yield: about 32 bars

 

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl

Other Frosting Options:
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Buttercream

 

1 Comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Soccer Ball Cookies

041811 089-1

We are in the thick of soccer season around here. What could be more fun than soccer ball cookies to celebrate a hard-fought victory!

 041811 018-1

I used my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe for the cookies and Royal Icing to make the soccer ball faces. Start with thick royal icing in a pastry bag with a writing tip. Pipe a circle of white icing around the edge of the cookie.

041811 022-1

Using a thinned royal icing, flood the cookie with white icing. A plastic squeeze bottle is the easiest way to flood the cookie, then use a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges of the cookie. Let the icing dry for several hours, or until dry.

041811 037-1

I am very artistically challenged, and had a hard time freehanding a symmetrical pentagon. So I printed one off of the computer, then cut out the pentagon. Using a toothpick, I traced the pentagon in the center of the cookie.

041811 040-1

Using thick black royal icing, pipe lines to form the pentagon and then from each corner of the pentagon to the edge of the cookie.

041811 041-1

Draw a small triangle at the edge of each line. I am obviously no professional here (notice the lopsided geometric shapes), but nine-year-olds are pretty forgiving when they have a soccer ball cookie in hand!

041811 044-1Use thinned black royal icing to fill in the pentagon and triangles. Let dry completely.

For a more professional look (completely flat, without raised black lines), pipe the black lines on the naked cookie (and fill with black icing), then complete the edge of the circle with stiff white lines and flood each individual section with thinned white icing. I made them all completely white first because I was planning on doing some with baseball/softball lines and was hoping to save some time.

For mouth-dropping professional work-of-art cookies,
visit Bridget at Bake at 350. She is truly an artist!

RECIPE:

Royal Icing

041811 089-1

4 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)
gel paste food colorings

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

To use immediately: divide icing into bowls for different colors. Tint using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining, building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, first tint with food coloring and then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

YIELD: This recipe will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5” cookies in 2 colors

 

Recipe from Bake at 350

 

4 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Soccer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing

Bday cake 006-2

We had a slightly different cake planned for Little A’s birthday party, but with the unexpected hospital stay, we went with something much simpler: a rectangular cake make into a soccer field. The frosting is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It has a few steps, and does require a double boiler (or metal bowl over a pot of water) and a stand mixer. But the result is a wonderfully light, not too sweet frosting. You start with a cooked meringue (one whole cup of egg whites for a regular sized round cake; two cups for the cake we made). This is a fairly large cake (two layer 11×15” rectangle).

I had about a cup of egg whites left from making the Vanilla Custard for the Trifle, so I used that plus some reconstituted dried egg whites (Just Whites brand-available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores). Once the meringue has cooked, it is beaten until cool and glossy, then butter is beaten in to make a stable, spreadable frosting. I think this is my new favorite frosting. It was very easy to work with once it was beaten, and it is not too sweet. Now, almost a week later, the frosting is still soft (no crust) and delicious.

I love that this frosting gets most of it’s bulk from egg whites, and not sugar (that makes it almost healthy, right?). Just ignore the 4 sticks of butter when you answer that question.

Bday cake 004-2

I made a raspberry filling for the cake by beating 1/2 cup Raspberry Jam into about 3 or 4 cups of the meringue frosting. It held up great, and did not ooze out at all when the top layer was added. This would make a great all-around frosting as well, if you are looking for a pink cake. I would just use either a seedless raspberry jam, or a lightly sweetened raspberry puree if I was going to put it on the outside of the cake. The little bits of pulp and seeds were fine for a filling, but I would prefer a uniform color for an outside-of-the-cake frosting.

Bday cake 013-2

RECIPES:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing

Bday cake 006-2

1 cup egg whites (about 8 large egg whites, or use “Just Whites” egg white powder, reconstituted, or refrigerated egg whites)
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks), at room temperature**
2 tsp vanilla extract (or use small amounts of other flavored extracts)
Gel food coloring (for colored frosting)

In the top of a double boiler, stir together  egg whites, sugar and salt. Bring water in bottom of double boiler to a low simmer; cook until the temperature of the egg whites reaches 160°F and sugar is completely dissolved (rub mixture between fingertips-it should not feel gritty). Mixture will be foamy and not a uniform consistency.

Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip until meringue is completely cooled and glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. DO NOT ADD BUTTER UNTIL BOTH THE BOWL AND FROSTING ARE COMPLETELY COOL. Switch mixer attachment from the whisk to paddles. Add butter 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Mixture may appear curdled at times.  Continue beating until butter is fully incorporated and frosting is fluffy and smooth.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Add vanilla and beat smooth. Add gel food coloring and beat until color is uniform.

**BUTTER NOTE: butter should be room temperature soft, but not at the point of melting. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate well into the meringue, and you will have butter chunks. If the butter is over-soft, it will cause the frosting to curdle while beating-this is okay, it isn’t ruined: it will just take longer (more beating) for the frosting to become smooth.

Storage:  Store frosted cake at room temperature.  To store leftover icing: store in a covered container in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, bring to room temperature and beat until light and fluffy.

Yield: frosting for a two-layer round cake. For the cake above which is a double layer 11×15” rectangle, double the recipe.

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling

Bday cake 013-2

2 cups prepared Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing
1/4 cup raspberry jam or lightly sweetened raspberry puree

Beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread between cake layers.

To frost the entire cake with raspberry buttercream, use about 1 cup lightly sweetened raspberry puree or seedless jam (for a uniform pink color with no seeds or pulp pieces) with entire batch of icing above.

Makes enough filling for a 2-layer round cake.

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Kids' Cakes

A Butterfly in Buttercream

4911 104-1

Today is my Little J’s 7th birthday. It is amazing how quickly time flies. My once-upon-a-time-baby is all grown up and decorating her own cakes now! I am glad she is still interested in fun little girl things like butterflies. Last year we made Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Butterflies for her 6th birthday. This year it was one great big butterfly cake.4911 071-1

Little J was in charge of design and decorations. She chose the color patterns of the icing sections, the sprinkles and the M&M borders (I love Easter-colored candies!). She also put on all of the M&Ms and sprinkles and shaped the antennae. She is very meticulous! My job was heavy construction: cake cutting and icing spreading.

4911 098-1

She carefully separated a rainbow mix of sprinkles into separate colors.

4911 099-1

If you look closely, the sprinkles are shaped like tiny butterflies. Little J says they are the baby butterflies and the big cake is the Mommy Butterfly.

4911 100-1

Congratulations Little J on a cake well done!

4911 109-1

040911 021-1

Happy 7th Birthday Little J. We love you lots!

RECIPE:

Buttercream Icing

4911 109-1

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening (or additional butter)
1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
Additional milk to thin icing

Cream butter and shortening with a mixer. Beat in powdered sugar, 2 Tbs milk, vanilla and salt. This yields 3 CUPS STIFF icing (for piping borders and decorations).

For thinner icing (spreading on cake): Gradually beat in additional milk, 1 tsp at a time, until icing is desired consistency.

FOR CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM: Add 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled and additional 1 Tbs milk.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Kids' Cakes

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

DSC05191-1

DAY 12: The ultimate classic cookie, adaptable to any holiday or occasion. I love this dough because it bakes up just slightly puffy in the middle and (unless you overcook them!) the cookies stay soft for days and days. The dough and cookies both freeze well, which is good because this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. These are most fun to have little helpers decorate, although I love them most plain, warm out of the oven.

DSC05153-1

Sugar Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Beat sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add soda, salt and enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough to desired thickness (I like these fairly thick) and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long.  They should look white when done.

This makes a wonderful soft sugar cookie. Frost with your favorite butter cream frosting, cream cheese frosting or a glacé icing. Check out Our Best Bites’ tutorial on Glacé Icing. Here are two basic frosting recipes, one for a buttercream and one for glacé icing:

DSC05170-1

Buttercream Icing
1 cup butter
1 lb (4C) sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla or other flavored extract (almond is really good!)
Dash salt

Cream butter with a mixer. Beat in remaining ingredients. This yields 3C STIFF icing. Add additional milk for a thinner icing.

For Chocolate Buttercream: Add 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and 1 Tbs additional milk.

.

DSC05184-1

Glacé Icing (from Our Best Bites)
1lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup+ 2 Tbs  whole milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Gel food coloring

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and almond or vanilla extract. Add food coloring for desired colors.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off of a whisk in a thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, add more powdered sugar.

.DSC05179-1

.

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES RECAP:
DAY 1:
Swedish Peppar KaKar
DAY 2: Mint Oreo Cookies
DAY 3: Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies
DAY 4: Cherry Nut Mudslides
DAY 5: Snickerdoodles
DAY 6: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies
DAY 7: Peanut Butter Kisses
DAY 8: Peppermint and Vanilla Butter Cookies
DAY 9: Chocolate Rolo and Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies
DAY 10: Russian Tea Cakes
DAY 11: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

_

5 Comments

Filed under Cookies