Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sparkling Blue Ribbon Sugar Cookies


Everyone should have a "go to" SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE and
this is mine! It's buttery, delicious and easy! There's no chilling the
dough, so you can have your cookie jar filled in no time for after
school snacks!

Classic sugar cookies are a go to recipe all year long! 
Because you can decorate using your favorite colors,
they're perfect for school colors, bake sales and holidays!
Use pastel colors for Easter, orange for Halloween, red 
and green for Christmas! They're so versatile! 

Just scoop out as many balls of dough as you can - I got 24 -
then using your hands, roll into a smooth ball then roll in
colored sprinkles.

I couldn't do without my set of cookie scoops!! I bought
them several years ago from Pampered Chef. They are
an excellent way to make your drop cookies look
 professional for that Bake Sale or pretty gift for a
friend!

After rolling in colored sprinkles, flatten slightly with
the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, let cool on baking sheet for a
minute or two, then cool completely on a rack. 
Aren't they pretty?!

I had several jars of sprinkles that I bought from 
a store called Homegoods that I put to good use!!
Love the colors!

Land O'Lakes described this cookie as crisp,
but mine turned out a firm but soft cookie. I 
guess if you prefer a more crisp cookie, you
could just bake it longer.


SPARKLING BLUE RIBBON SUGAR COOKIES
Adapted from Land O"Lakes

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
colored sugars

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine butter, powdered sugar and 1/2
cup sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping
bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue
beating until well mixed. Add flour, cream of tartar and
baking soda; beat at low speed until dough forms a ball.

Using a cookie scoop, (mine is 1 1/4" across) place 
scoops of dough 2" apart onto a parchment lined 
baking sheet.  Then go back and shape scoops into
smooth balls and roll in colored sugar. Replace on
baking sheet and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches with
the bottom of a glass.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly
browned. Let stand 1 minute on baking sheet
then remove to cooling rack. Makes 24 nice sized
cookies.


Thanks so much for stopping by!!
Happy Baking!!




Thursday, August 4, 2016

Melting Moments Sandwiches with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream


I have just discovered MELTING MOMENTS cookies
and adore them!! These little lovelies are similar to shortbread
and just melt in your mouth!! It's the perfect sweet for 
any tea party because they are so pretty and easy to make! 

The cookies contain a large amount of cornstarch which 
gives them that melt in the mouth texture!! The dough is
so easy to prepare and roll out! No problems sticking!

The fresh raspberry buttercream is a snap to make!
Don't let the extra step of cooking the raspberries
hinder you! The tartness of the buttercream is so
good with the cookies, and so worth it!!

I used my Wilton 2D tip to pipe the buttercream. Love the
design!!

This is a great tip when you're preparing for a tea party
and discover that you need some additional cake stands!
You could also display mints, peanuts, or sugar cubes
in this way!

After assembling the cookies, sprinkle with additional
powdered sugar! So pretty!!



MELTING MOMENTS with
Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

For the Cookies:

8 ounces (250g) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used clear)
1/2 cup (80g) icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups (225g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (75g) cornstarch (cornflour)

For the Buttercream:
5 ounces raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (divided)

Preheat oven to 325F (160C).
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Into a bowl, sift together the all purpose flour
and the cornstarch/cornflour. 

Beat butter, extract and confectioners' sugar
with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
On lowest speed, add flour mixture in two
batches.

Divide dough in half. Roll out one at a time onto a 
lightly floured surface to 1/2". Using a small round 
cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Re-roll, 
then cut out more. Place rounds on lined baking sheet 
about 1" apart and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool 
on pan for minutes then transfer to a rack to cool.

Make the buttercream:
Place the raspberries into a small sauce pan
and cook over medium heat, stirring with a
spoon, until they break down into a sauce.
Pour the sauce through a strainer, pressing 
down with the back of spoon to get all of
the juice out. Set aside and let cool.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter
then add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar.
Next add the raspberry and lemon juices. 
Add another 1 1/2 cups confectioners'
sugar and mix until smooth. If you need a bit
more liquid, add some more lemon juice. The
tartness of this buttercream is delicious with
the cookies!

To finish: Pipe half the cookies with raspberry
buttercream, top with other halves, and sprinkle
with a bit of confectioners' sugar.

I hope you try this wonderful recipe! It's the perfect cookie
for any girly party!!

Today I'm joining a lovely blog party-




Friday, July 29, 2016

Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches from TeaTime Magazine




If you are looking for a fabulous summer tea sandwich, 
look no further! Today I'm sharing with you TeaTime 
They are just as pretty as they are delicious!!

My family loved these sandwiches! It's just the perfect blend
of ingredients!! So good and perfect for Summer entertaining!!
The recipe is very simple and uses a rotisserie chicken, so
you don't have to worry about cooking!!
Just chop some rotisserie chicken (I just used the white meat)
strawberries, toasted pecans, mandarin oranges, celery and 
green onion. Then make a yummy Poppy Seed Dressing 
using Mayo, champagne or rice vinegar, poppy seeds, and 
a bit of sugar, salt & pepper. 

Combine all of these beautiful ingredients and you're 
ready to make some tea sandwiches! 

Using your cookie cutters, make some pretty flower 
shaped sandwiches or just trim crusts and slice diagonally!



STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD
TEA SANDWICHES
adapted from here

1 loaf Pepperidge Farm thin white bread
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used the white meat
from a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained & chopped
1 recipe Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows)
Garnish:  sliced strawberries

Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise, such as Hellman's
1 tablespoon champagne or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, cover
& refrigerate until needed. Dressing can be made
a day in advance.

Instructions:

Using a small flower shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes
in the middle of half of the bread slices. Cover with damp
paper towels, or store in a resealable plastic bag to keep
from drying out.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, strawberries, pecans, 
celery, green onion, mandarin oranges, and Poppy Seed
Dressing, stirring to blend. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Place approximately 3 tablespoons chicken salad on a slice
of bread without a cutout. Top with a slice of bread with
a cutout. Using a 2 3/4" flower shaped cookie cutter, cut
out a shape from the middle of the sandwich. Repeat 
with remaining bread and chicken salad.

Using the small flower cookie cutter, cut shapes out 
of outside slices of strawberries. Place one shape on
top of each sandwich.

Sandwiches can be made earlier in the day, covered
with damp paper towels in an airtight container, and
refrigerated until serving time. Garnish sandwiches
just before serving.


Your guests are gonna love these tea sandwiches!!
Make sure you have the recipe to give out!!
Thanks so much for visiting!! xo!!



Monday, July 25, 2016

Baking Day: Double Coconut Biscotti


I have a delicious Biscotti recipe to share with you today!
It's crispy, it's crunchy, it's coconutty and perfect for 
dipping into a cup of hot tea or coffee!

Biscotti is so easy to make and there are so many options!
Once you find the recipe you love, you can just change out
the ingredients for different variations. Next time I make 
these coconut biscotti, I think I'll add some chopped
macadamia nuts! Yum!!

All you do is mix the dough, divide it into thirds, then 
pat it into logs on a floured work surface with floured
 hands. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for 15 minutes, 
then slice into 1/4"-1/2" slices. Bake again for 20 
minutes, turning them over halfway through.

Once the biscotti have cooled, dip each cookie into melted
Candy Melts, then into shredded coconut. I like to use
shredded unsweetened coconut because it's so finely 
shredded and I just like that look!

Melting the Candy Melts in the microwave is easy, but at
that point it's pretty thick.  To thin it out, all you have to do
is add a bit of shortening, which makes dipping so
much easier.

If you prefer to use white chocolatehere is a step-by-step 
tutorial so that you don't do what I did and scorch a beautiful 
bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave!!


DOUBLE COCONUT BISCOTTI

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (I used Baker's)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or coconut extract)
1 bag of white Candy Melts
1-2 tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut (I use this)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, 
whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and 
salt. Stir in coconut.

In a small bowl, (or mixer) beat the eggs and vanilla,
then add (or mix using lowest speed on mixer) the
 flour mixture. 

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface
until smooth. Divide dough into thirds and shape 
into logs about 3" wide by 7" long.

Place logs on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3" 
apart and bake for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a
wire rack to cool - about 15 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, thinly slice the logs
crosswise, about 1/4" thick. Lay the slices on
parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until crisp
and lightly golden, rotating baking pan and turning
biscotti over halfway through. 20 minutes total.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

Place the Candy Melts into a microwavable safe
bowl, along with a tablespoon (or more) shortening
 and melt according to package directions. Dip
top/bottom/side of biscotti into mixture, then dip
immediately into shredded coconut. Place on a
parchment lined baking sheet to harden, or into
the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Makes approximately 5 dozen.



If you love biscotti but have never made it before, you
should give it a try! It's really very easy and so great 
for gifting!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fruit Tarts with Homemade Pastry Cream


Don't you just love all the pretty summer fruits & berries?!
I know I do!! Today's recipe uses some of those luscious
fruits on mini tarts filled with homemade pastry cream!!

Fruit tarts are perfect for Fourth of July parties, especially
the mini tarts that you can just pick up and go! These
are very easy to put together, and using the ready made
tart shells makes them look so professional!!

Pastry Cream is so delicious and takes just a few minutes
to make. Since it does need to chill before use, I usually
make it the day before I need it.

The recipe calls for 6 egg yolks, which will leave you with
6 egg whites. Instead of tossing them, I always make 
Meringues with mine! They're easy to make and after 
piping them, just sprinkle them with some patriotic 
colored sprinkles!

The best way I found to fill the tart shells is with a
piping bag. If you don't have one, you can always use
a sandwich bag. Just fill the bag with pastry cream, seal,
 then snip off a tiny bit at a corner and fill the shells. This 
goes so much quicker and with less mess!


I found some nice ripe cantaloupe and thought I'd like to 
use that in my fruit tarts as well. So I cut the melon in half, 
scooped out the seeds, cut slices about 3/4" deep then cut 
out shapes using my tiny flower shaped cookie cutter!
The color is so pretty!


I buy whatever fruit looks the best that day, wash and pat it
dry and arrange it by twos or threes depending on the size.
To give your tarts a professional look, brush fruit with 
some melted and strained apricot preserves or apple jelly.


FRUIT TARTS
WITH HOMEMADE PASTRY CREAM

2 boxes mini tart shells
berries/fruit of your choice
pastry cream
apricot preserves or apple jelly


PASTRY CREAM:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar DIVIDED
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the milk and HALF the sugar in a
saucepan over medium heat. Combine the egg
yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk
until light in color. Add the flour and salt, mix to
combine.

When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat.
Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture,
stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has
been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the 
saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or a
whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure
to reach all of the corners of the pan while stirring. 
Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about one
minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick.
Remove from heat and add the butter. Strain if you
wish for a smoother cream. Place into a bowl and
cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from
forming on the cream. Chill and use within a few days.
**Recipe can be halved.

Place shells on a baking sheet, fill with pastry cream,
arrange fruits on top, brush with jelly and chill until
needed. Makes 32 tarts.


These are a perfect treat for any Patriotic party!!
Happy Fourth to all my American followers!!



Monday, June 27, 2016

Tea Room Cherry Blue Chicken Salad

There used to be a Tea Room in Roswell, Georgia called Mittie's 
that was known for their Cherry Blue Chicken Salad. I only 
visited once, but have never forgotten this yummy take on
chicken salad! With the Fourth of July holiday approaching
I was thinking about a tea menu using the colors red, white
& blue and remembered this chicken salad!

This yummy chicken salad includes blue cheese dressing, 
dried cherries and walnuts. Even if this sounds a bit unusual
and you aren't crazy about Blue Cheese, you should give it a
 try! You might just find a new favorite chicken salad recipe!

I also wanted to share a favorite vintage tablecloth with you! I adore
this little tea cloth with it's cheery colors and cherries! It also came 
with 4 matching napkins! Since it had the colors I was looking for
and had a cherries theme, I thought it would be perfect for my tea!
Here's today's tea menu! The Toffee Crumble Scones are 
wonderful! The recipe can be found here! I'll share the
Fruit Tarts recipe on my next post! 

I seasoned the chicken tenderloins and using my grill pan, I grilled
them about 4 minutes each side. I always err on the side of caution
and would rather over cook a bit than undercook!

Next I cut the chicken into small pieces… mixed
all the ingredients together….
and scooped the chicken salad onto some pretty Red Bibb
lettuce. If you'd like a little more blue in your chicken salad,
just add some fresh blueberries!!

Served it with some yummy Strawberry Tea….

and used my vintage cherry napkins!


CHERRY BLUE CHICKEN SALAD
(my version)

1 pound chicken tenderloins
Montreal Chicken seasoning (or your own favorite)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (I used Ken's)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cherry jam
1 cup diced celery
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Montreal Chicken seasoning

Lightly coat grill pan with oil and preheat. Season
chicken tenderloins with Montreal Chicken seasoning 
and grill until it's cooked through, about 4 minutes per
side. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and chill.

In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing,
mayonnaise, celery, dried cherries, walnuts and
seasoning. Gently stir in the chicken. Chill to blend
flavors. 

TO PLATE: scoop some chicken salad into a large 
cookie scoop and press it in with your fingers in 
order to have it keep it's shape after releasing. 
Release chicken salad onto a pretty piece of Red 
Bibb Lettuce. I then took another scoop and 
placed it on top of the first scoop for a large enough 
portion. To finish I placed some sliced fresh cherries 
on top and sprinkled with additional chopped 
walnuts. I also placed 2 fresh cherries on the side.
Makes approximately 9 servings.


CHERRY BLUE CHICKEN SALAD
Mittie's Version

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
Spike seasoning blend or salt & pepper
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (owner
recommends Marzetti's Organic or
Newman's Own)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon celery salt or 
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

Lightly coat the grill grate with cooking spray and
preheat grill. Season the chicken breast with Spike
seasoning blend (or salt & pepper) and grill until it's
cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Cut
the chicken into bite-size pieces and chill.

In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing,
mayonnaise, blue cheese crumbles, celery, dried cherries,
walnuts and seasonings. Gently stir in the chicken.
Chill to blend flavors.


Hope you enjoy the recipe and will stop back by for some
pretty fruit tarts on my next post!! 

Thanks for visiting!!
Today I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Time Blog Party! Pop
over for some great ideas!