Basic Sugar Cookies

I don’t know how Santa Claus did it. Somehow, in the midst of delivering all those presents, he’s managed to get the rep of needing a plate of cookies when he arrives at your house. Whether it started with parents and their sweet tooths or an older tradition, the idea of leaving cookies and milk out for good ol’ Kris Kringle has stuck. I’m not mad about it. That’s actually one of the traditions I love. However, you may be wondering why I’m talking about Santa in April. Well, with Easter upon us it has me thinking…. what about the Easter Bunny?

He’s big. He’s fluffy. He gives out Easter baskets. Wouldn’t he like some cookies too?

Better believe it.

So, Easter Bunny, this post is for you.

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This basic sugar cookie recipe is great for any occasion. The dough calls for less than 10 ingredients and can be made up to 3 days in advance. Just remember, it does need to chill for at least 1 hour!

I love these cookies because they aren’t overly sweet but still provide satisfaction to a sugar craving; I could eat them in the morning with coffee or after dinner for dessert, but then again, that’s how I like to enjoy most sweets.

The royal icing is also relatively simple and only requires 3 ingredients. When making the icing, you will want to prepare piping frosting as well as flooding frosting; the main difference between the two is their thickness. The piping frosting should be used first to line the edges of the cookie and is what will prevent the flooding icing from running off the sides; the piping frosting is also used to add designs to the cookies. The flooding icing, as the name suggests, is more fluid and can be used to add the base color to the sugar cookie. If you’re confused and want to dive more into icing, Sweet Sugarbelle does a great job detailing the process.

Now that you know the basics, let your creativity abound. Happy frosting, friends!

Recipe links:
Sugar Cookie Dough (Thanks Real Simple!)
Royal Icing (I used the egg white version, thanks Joy of Baking!)

Buttered Popcorn & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hiding my love of popcorn has never really been an option. First there’s the audible click, click, click of kernels as they fall from the jar and then bounce around atop the pot on the stove. Then of course there’s the freshly popped buttery smell that permeates the apartment. My roommate can attest that popcorn is often my go-to snack (like every night often). So when I found this recipe, my mind was slightly blown.popcorn

Are you ready for this? My popcorn loving self and I weren’t, so I want to give you fair warning. Okay, here it goes. As the name suggests, these cookies have buttered popcorn swirled into the batter and are topped with sea salt. Oh and don’t forget there are also dark chocolate pieces swimming in every bite. I’ve made dessert popcorn in the past (aka a bowl of popcorn with chocolate chip pieces mixed in…. hello melty, salty, chocolatey goodness!) BUT I never thought to take this idea to the next level and create a cookie. Joy and Deb, hats off to you. Thank you for helping me step up my popcorn game.

You may be wondering what in the world does popcorn in a cookie taste like. Well, friends, let me tell you. It tastes a little bit like heaven. The popcorn gives the cookies a slight chew factor, in the best possible way, which is balanced by the ooey gooey center and crisp edges. I went ahead and made these bad boys with stovetop popcorn, but you can also use microwave popcorn, which the recipe actually recommends. Okay, I think that’s enough talking for now. Grab a glass of milk and your favorite movie and get ready to treat yo’ self.

Linzer Cookies

When I first made these cookies, it was right around Valentine’s Day, and I happened to be snowed in at my apartment. Snowpocalypse 2014 had hit Portland. While others were out cross country skiing and sledding through the neighborhoods, I was excited for an opportunity to do nothing but bake. There was something about the crisp white layers hanging from the trees and covering the streets that put me back in the Christmas spirit. These Linzer cookies were the perfect baking project and happened to satisfy both holiday spirits (Cupid and Santa would be proud).

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The heart shape and jam filled centers made them fitting for Valentine’s Day and the dusting of powdered sugar echoed the snow falling outside my window. Not to mention the overall comfort and deliciousness that shortbread cookies always seem to provide. Yup. These were the right choice.

As you’re reading, it’s probably neither Christmas or Valentine’s and you may be wondering why I’m still posting this. Don’t let the season stop you from making these heavenly hearts. The shortbread and jam combination balance one another without being overly rich, while the dusting of powdered sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness. Plus there’s jam in the middle which makes this a perfectly acceptable breakfast item, right? Move over toast. These Linzer cookies are coming through! But seriously, pair them with your coffee or tea for some extra pep in your morning step. Also, why not spread love all year long? Cheers to happy hearts.

For the full recipe and step by step instructions, head on over to Jaclyn’s Cooking Classy blog. Thanks Jaclyn!

Double Chocolate Almond Florentines

So. HOT. Can. barely. think.

It’s almost 90 degrees, AND I’m inside.

My face is pressed as close to my fan as it can possibly go, too fatigued to even shout words into the blowing air stream and transform my voice as I once did when I was a child. Okay, thinking cap on. I need to bring snacks to book club later in the evening. What can I make that does NOT require me turning on my oven.

IMG_1225Open, shut, open, shut. I flip through the cupboards and pull out a hodgepodge of ingredients. Slivered almonds, chocolate chips, powdered sugar. Think. Think. Think. Knowing that these three items would complement one another (I mean, chocolate goes with everything), I began searching the web to see if I could get some no-bake recipe inspiration. I came across this lifesaving recipe. Seriously, these treats are so delicious, so easy to whip up, and most importantly do not require turning on your oven. Seasons and Suppers…. thank you! thank you! thank you!

If you’re in a heat wave like I was or are just looking for an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, head on over to Seasons & Suppers for the recipe on how to make these Double Chocolate Almond Florentines.