Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Cupcakes, Brownies, and Sugar Cookies

My blog and I have missed the schedule (albeit, a loose one) that TWD provided. It's busy around here (Baby Strawberry is potty training!) and while I haven't posted much my kitchen has been bustling! I had a baby shower for my girlfriend who is having her first girl (after three boys!) any day now. Pink was a priority and a valentine's theme made it easy (considering all of my serving dishes are red!) These treats are all pretty simple and have a big wow factor with the amazing flavors and little details. I've posted the red velvet cupcakes and mint brownies before- though I've never made the mint brownies pink, that was a new one!  

Red Velvet Cupcakes (they're from a mix, but I promise no one will know)

The cookies (L's in honor of the baby) are Natalie's signature recipe. I'm no decorator but I've improved with her tips. Natalie uses a Wilton Squeeze bottle to pipe the outsides of the cookies (like drawing, nothing to stressful) and then uses another with thinned icing to 'flood' or fill the middle. In-a-hurry-not-so-steady-hands-Anne doesn't do them justice but they were yummy and cute (especially with the edible glitter, I love that stuff!) The best part about the cookies is you can bake off extras and freeze them to decorate and serve another time, all the end product without the stress. Natalie's recipe is pretty full proof- if I can do it- and you don't have fuss much with the dough. She doesn't chill hers, though I do normally, and they come out great every time. Sugar cookies take a lot more practice than cupcakes but the practice is enjoyable and delicious, worth the effort I think!

Note- I used Martha Stewart Alphabet Cookies Cutters I found at Macy's (similar to these here) that have been surprisingly practical- even adult are vain about their names! Smaller, thinner shapes will take less cooking time- watch them carefully!)


Natalie’s Sugar Cookies
from Anne Strawberry
1 cup butter or Crisco (Natalie uses the butter flavored kind, I usually use about 2/3 butter and 1/3 regular shortening)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5-6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
 
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and beat. Add dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Reserve some flour for the counter and dump the almost mixed dough out and shape it as you would pie dough. Divide into two disks, chill for 15 minutes, then roll to ½ inch thickness and cut as desired. Bake at 400 for 8-12 minutes (depending on size of cookies).

Natalie’s Signature Almond Frosting
*note- Natalie uses almond extract and her frosting is so good but I usually sub in vanilla since my tall man is not so adventurous!)
⅓ cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Blend butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and milk- beat until smooth. Flavor and color as desired. Use plastic condiment bottles to pipe icing onto cookies (thin with milk or warm in microwave to flood centers).

9 comments:

Jessica said...

You have outdone yourself! Everything looks so lovely and delicious - you have a very lucky friend.

Potty training? I think I need to get my little guy with the program!

Chelsea said...

Those are so sweet! I wish I had the patience to decorate cookies this way.

Choc Chip Uru said...

Mmmm, your valentines collection looks delicious - those sugar cookies are over the top cute :D

Ashley Harris said...

So excited to have Natalie's recipe! It is SO good!! Thanks for sharing and your treats at the shower were amazing!

Queen B. said...

Anne Strawberry!!
How I have misses reading and blogging!
Much to catch up on!!
This looks amazing!

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

omg! yummmy and so cute!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

your friend is very lucky to have you! what wonderful treats you produced - really pretty
Mary x

Holly said...

Looks so yummy Anne!

Leslie said...

How adorable! Your friend must be sooo excited about having a little girl. I think you did a stellar job with the decorating!