We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Just for Easter 01

     I am going to start posting some of the treats I made for Easter. Yes, I fully realize that this now past Sunday was Easter Sunday. How-ever, even though most people usually only bake sugar cookies for Easter, Valentines (which we've also already had this year) and Christmas (which they'll probably start showing commercials for again here soon 8-/), these cookies can be made for ever so many other occasions / events!  Change your cookie cutter, and sometimes even your food coloring, and wa-la! You'll have a whole new type of cookie ;-)

    Today I am posting the Pink Bunny Cookies I made for Easter. [Yes, the bunnies and the duckies are made from two totally different recipes.]
    One year Kate and I made these late spring / early summer. We had used a foot shape cookie cutter, and after cutting the dough out and putting them on the pan, but before baking them, we had used small paint brushes and painted the toe nails with red food coloring. The guys found them kinda strange. ALL of the girls found them delightful!!  (No idea if I have pictures of them someplace or not.)
    I've seen them cut with 'onesie' cookie cutters for a baby shower.
   At one wedding Brian catered, they had heart shaped ones with the bride and grooms names written on them in icing, attached to both a recipe for the cookies and a heart shaped cookie cutter, via a ribbon strung through a small hole near the point of the cookies. These were in baggies given to the guests as favors.
    So-o-o, I am going to go ahead and post the goodies I made for Easter this year, with the hopes that you will get creative and use them for some other occasion / event. Please be sure and let me know what you do! :->

     We (our neighbor Amanda (Chris and Amy's 13 year old daughter) ) and I started making the dough and I didn't remember to start taking pictures until part way in to the process. Sorry. But hey, at least it did come to mind part way through ;->.

    According to the recipe, the first step is to combine the sugar, margarine, shortening, vanilla and eggs. Then beat till creamy. I, of course, do it a bit differently. After measuring the sugar into the bowl, I place butter (not margarine) on top of it and microwave it till the butter is melted. After thourally blending the two together, I add the shortening (I used Crisco (TM) ) and vanilla, blend all of it together good, then mix in the eggs.  You are welcome to do it which ever way you prefer.

   The recipe then says to add flour, baking powder and salt; mixing well. Add candy sprinkles. Right after that is when I thought of the camera.
    You then need to again mix everything thourally. I found that when your doing multiple recipe batches like I was, the best (aka: easiest ;->) way to blend it all together is by hand. Blend it till it's smooth looking, like this:

  Cover dough and refrigerate for one (1) hour.
  Bonus Info. here --> Recently, while Brian and I were watching an episode of the TV show 'Iron Chef America', I learned the scientific reasoning's behind why you need to chill certain types of dough, before you roll and cut them. Or perhaps I should phrase that, I learned what happens to the dough while it is being refrigerated that makes it roll-able and cut-able.
    The episode was, "Symon vs. Mendelsohn". The original air date was back on 3/7/2010, but had been aired again on Sat., April 2nd, 2011.

    One of the contestants was vacuum sealing pasta dough. The announcer (Alton Brown) said, "Now here's the interesting thing about that. When you are making a pasta dough, you typically need to refrigerate it for at least an hour or so so that the flour granules can hydrate. Soak up the moisture and become pliable. Uh. Before you can actually roll it out. By sealing it up in vacuum bag. Uh. You can compress it and that will actually speed the hydration process."
     So then, while your cookie dough is in the refrigerator, the flour granules are hydrating.

    After removing your dough from the fridge, scoop out a blob of it and dump it onto a floured covered rolling surface.

     Using a flour coated rolling pin (use your hand to rub flour onto your rolling pin), roll the dough out to about an eighth  inch (1/8 inch) thickness.

    Cut your cookies out as close together as you possibly can on your dough. The more times you scoop left over dough up and re-roll it, the more likely it is to bake up as non-moist cookies. (Bonus tip --> ) A good rule of thumb on this is, the first time, roll the dough out and cut out your shapes as close to one another as possible. Scoop unused dough up, lightly knead it together, roll it back out and cut shapes out again. This time (the third time), add more fresh dough to the leftover dough before you knead and re-roll it.

                 (dough before baking)
   IF you plan on making your cookies into sandwich cookies, then fill half of every (sprayed) cookie sheet with cookies cut out from one side of the cookie cutter, turn the cutter over, and cut out enough to fill the other half of your pan. That way you can put the flat side on the inside of the cookie and have the nice sides facing out. (<-- Bonus tip there)
                         (baked cookies)
    I was not up to frosting the cookies right then, nor was I able to get through the basement to where my deep Tupperware (TM) containers are stored (I'm trying hard to follow at least some of my specialists instructions o;->). So I got out a huge sized bread bag and stored them in it.

    While this method did work at keeping the cookies fresh, there was more breakage then I was happy with, due to how the bag got moved, bumped, the innards shifted, etc..   Just thought you should know.
    A couple of days later I made the frosting. I didn't re-read the recipe and started my usual way by melting together cream cheese and butter. This recipe didn't call for butter. Oh well.
    They didn't want to blend together smoothly this time, so I got out the mixer, still without consulting the recipe.

    I had already thawed the frozen strawberries, and had some straining.

    Dumped in the strained strawberries and mixed well. (I saved the liquid to help make the pink lemonade for the shower/get-together).

    The color was barely pink. :-[  I didn't want to wait long enough to drain more strawberries, so I added food coloring. Yes, quite a bit. I wanted the frosting to be REALLY pink between those layers of cookies!
    Much better! :->

    However, it was rather gooey. I knew how to remedy that problem. (I'll show you in a minute).

    Frost one side of a pan of cookies.
    Take the next pan full and use them to top the frosted pan full.
    Do NOT press down very hard when attaching the top cookie, or your filling will come spurting out the side. (or at lest this gooey stuff tried to. I didn't remember it being this gooey before. Perhaps if I had read the recipe and followed it's instructions, it wouldn't have been. Aw well, at least I was able to remedy the situation.
    Into the fridge they went.
    (Bonus tip -->) Save (or have other save for you) the little plastic 'tables' that some pizza places use to keep the roof of the box, off the top of your delivered pizza. Place a bunch of these on the cookie sheets WITHOUT sticking them into the cookies.  You can then slowly and carefully slide additional trays in on top of one another and thus create more use-able space in your fridge. ;->

    Yes ;-p, the shelf above the cookies reads "Help Yourself Shelf". (Another bonus tip here)  We started this practice back when we were living with one of my (Cheryl's) brothers after our house fire. It worked so good, it continues on. Plan on using that bit of leftover roast in a casserole later this week? If it's not put on the "Help Yourself Shelf", it's left alone. Wish they would finish up/off certain leftovers?  Put it on the "Help Yourself Shelf".

    Refrigerate the cookies for a good twenty minutes.

    Once you remove them from the fridge, test one to see that it did set up. If so, stack them into your Tupperware (TM) containers till your ready to use them. If they are not set good, put them back in the fridge till they are.

   Now for the recipes -
   "Cream - Filled Confetti Cookies"
     The recipe is a Pillsbury (TM) one.

    1 cup Sugar
    1/2 cup Margarine, softened (I used Butter, 'softened' in the microwave)
    1/4 cup Shortening
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    2 Eggs
    2 1/2 cups Flour
    1 teaspoon Baking Powder
    3/4 teaspoon Salt
    1/3 cup Candy Sprinkles

     In a bowl, combine sugar, margarine, shortening, vanilla, and eggs. Beat till creamy. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mixing well. Stir in candy sprinkles. Cover dough and refrigerate for one (1) hour.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough a section at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
    Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes (till barely light golden brown).

   8 oz. Cream Cheese
   Thawed Strawberries and juice
   1 teaspoon Vanilla
   red Food Coloring
   Confectioners Sugar

    (According to the directions, you are suppose to ) Beat together cream cheese and strawberries. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix. Add confectioners sugar and red food coloring. If needed, add milk.
    Spread on one cookie and place another cookie on top forming "sandwich".

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
  I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to: 
~ "Recipe Swap Sunday('s)" are hosted by Cassity, at 'Remodelacholic' (http://www.remodelaholic.com)
~ "Melt in Your Mouth Monday('s)", hosted by Jane Doiron, at 'Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms .. and other delicious recipes!' (http://www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms.com)
"Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ (Monday's) "Your Recipe, My Kitchen",  hosted by Kristen, at 'Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker' (http://www.wiseanticsoflife.blogspot.com)
~ "Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Dr. Laura (Aridgides), at 'Dr. Laura's Adventures' (http://www.whoislaura.com/)
~ "Tuesday Night Supper Club", is hosted by Christy Larsen, at 'Fudge Ripple' (http://fudgeripple.blogspot.com/)
~ "Totally Tasty Tuesday's", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/)
~ "Delectable Tuesday('s)", hosted by Stephani, at 'Home Sweet Farm' (http://www.ourjourneytoasimplerlife.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies - Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)


  1. These look fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  2. came from Cheryl's Dad via email - "Shame on you-----You made me HUNGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!little smiley face.gif"

  3. YUM!! And you are so right...not just for Easter! There are bunnies running all over my yard as I type this!! This would be perfect for my Foodie Friday linky party - stop by this week and link up!


To those of you leaving us positive comments - THANK-YOU!!! We really do enjoy them!!!

A change has been made in how your comments are processed. They are now sent directly to the blog owners. If your comment made them smile, it will *eventually appear on the blog. [* depends on when we're on line next]