{Favorite Sugar Cookies}

This is my all time favorite cookie! I love making these for one of my favorite holidays…Valentines!! I like to make the cut outs on the thicker side, and make sure not to overbake!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

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In a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed

Add the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well, another 1-2 minutes.

Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined (don’t overmix).

Spread the dough into a thick rectangle on a sheet of plastic wrap; cover. Refrigerate and chill the dough for two hours (or up to 12 hours).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter to about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough is too firm straight out of the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling

Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-11 minutes until set but not browned on the edges or bottom

Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.

*Frosting*
1 cube butter, softened
1/2 bag of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
Beat the butter in with a hand held mixer or in a bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract and the milk. Beat together until desired consistency. keep adding more milk if needed.
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{Sugar Cookie Bars} Another Version

Sometimes sugar cookies are a pain to make, you have to roll them out cut them and flour gets all over. These are easy and just as fabulous. I added the almond and coconut extracts to the frosting because it is oh so good!!

Cookies: 

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
Pinch of salt
Several drops of food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9X13 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
Add egg and combine well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mis until completely blended.
Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with your hands. 
Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the edges become lightly golden
Set aside to cool completely
For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar and half and half until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla, almond and coconut extracts and combine well. Add desired food coloring. Frost the cookie bars evenly and cut into squares.

Adapted from: High Heels and Grills

{Coconut Cream Cake}

I was introduced by one of my friends (thanks Chalece) to the best cake recipe I have ever had Seriously…It has so much rich flavor and is so moist. I made it for my Mother in Law while she was here to celebrate her birthday and we were all in Heaven. I think I will make this for all of our future birthdays 🙂

For the Cake:

Wet Ingredients:

1 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. white sugar
1 c. cream of coconut (I found it in the Mexican food section at the grocery store)
4 large eggs

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. coconut extract

Separate eggs, set whites aside. Beat wet ingredients together including egg yolks until fluffy. Sit dry ingredients together and stir well. Add dry ingredients to wet using mixer on low speed alternating with buttermilk/extract mixture. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter. Bake at 275-degrees in two 9-inch pans (lightly sprayed with baking spray) for about 90 minutes. After about 60 minutes, do the “toothpick test”, repeating every 5-10 min or so until the toothpick comes out clean. After cake is out of the oven and transferred to parchment paper or a cooling rack, poke each cake with a few holes (making sure not to poke all the way through) and drizzle remaining coconut cream over (about 1/2 c. total). This just keeps the cake extra moist. After the cake cools, transfer to the freezer and freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Frost immediately (see frosting recipe below) after removing from the freezer. Allow to thaw for about an hour before serving. If you want to do a layered cake, put a layer of frosting in-between the two cakes and then continue to frost the remainder of the cake. Sprinkle with lightly toasted, shredded coconut (see below).

COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 bag powdered sugar
milk (as needed) 

Beat butter, cream cheese, and coconut extract together, adding powdered sugar little by little until reaching desired consistency. If it seems to get too stiff, add about 1 tsp of milk at a time until you get the consistency you want. (add milk to thin it out, add powdered sugar to thicken it up).


Toasted Coconut:

Place contents of about 1/2 bag of sweetened, shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. Spread it out so it makes just a single layer. Bake for appx. 8-10 minutes in a 325-degree oven. Some pieces will still be white and soft, some browned slightly with a little crunch.


Adapted from: Favorite Family Recipes

{German Chocolate Cake}

My husband just had a birthday! This is the cake that he loves and requests every year. It was super easy and delicious. I normally just use a box mix, which I still used but this time the recipe switched things up a bit with the buttermilk and vanilla, which made for a very moist and yummy cake 🙂

1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on low speed for one minute until combined. Beat at medium speed for two minutes more. Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake 38 – 42 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Can also be baked in two 9 inch round pans for 25 minutes. Cook on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from pans. I like to line my round cake pans with parchment paper before adding batter for easy removal from the pan

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 (7 oz. package) sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine egg yolks, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. 12 to 15 minutes. Add coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread. 

{Buttercream Frosting}

This has been my go to frosting to just have around, it’s really easy and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. If you keep this covered in an air tight container it should last you for a few weeks in the refrigerator. This is great for cakes, cupcakes, brownies or to put in between graham crackers 🙂

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbs milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

*Recipe Source: Allrecipes

{Lemon Cupcakes}

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Fill the muffin cups with batter. Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tbs milk
1-2 Tbs fresh lemon Juice

Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until thick and smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients until you get the consistency that you want. You may need to add a little more milk or a little more sugar. I like my frosting more on the thick side. Just keep tasting it, until you get what you want. 🙂

{Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting}

This used to be one of my favorite cakes growing up, I remember my dad always making it. I haven’t had it forever and it totally hit the spot. I am not a huge fan of the walnuts in mine so I left them out this time.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake dish.
In a large bowl beat together the eggs, oil, sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in carrots and fold in walnuts. Pour in prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter
8oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all together until smooth, Spread over top of cake once it is completely cooled.

{Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting}

These are my new favorite cupcakes! They are so so good. But be careful not to over bake because they tend to dry out a little. The vanilla flavored cake goes so perfectly with the frosting. This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and then the milk. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 15-18 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.



Buttercream Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

Assorted food colors (if desired)

In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the frosting with desired food color.

{Sugar Cookies} Happy Easter!

My Sister in Law made these awesome sugar cookies while we were in Utah during Christmas. They remind me of a homemade version of Lofthouse cookies. They fluff up pretty big, but I love that they keep their shape after they are baked, because they are much easier to frost that way. My 3 year old and I made these a couple days ago, but I cut the recipe in half. Here is the full recipe. Happy Easter everyone!!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cup white sugar
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups of all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together and until creamy. Add in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl sift together the baking soda, cream of tartar and flour, slowly add the flour mixture to the cream mixture. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out into desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let them cool on a rack completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 stick of butter, softened
1 Tbs karo syrup
2 -2 1/2cups powdered sugar
6-7 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

*Adjust the milk or powdered sugar a little to reach desired consistency. I like mine on the thick side.

Mix the butter until fluffy, add the powdered sugar and all the other ingredients until all combined.