Friday, December 31, 2010

On Wisconsin

My favorite cookie recipe is my grandmothers sugar cookie recipe. Mind you my grandmother lived on a farm in Wisconsin her whole life so there is no shortage of butter or other fattening things in these cookies, my guess is that's exactly what makes them so good. As our Wisconsin Badgers are getting ready for the Rose Bowl so are we, just in a very different way. We are making cookies and potato salad and macaroni salad and buying lots of brats and beer, we are tailgating Wisconsin style even if we are in California. And in honor of our beloved Badgers we made our cookies football shaped for the occasion, probably should have made them red and white but hey they are made with an age old Wisconsin recipe so I think we are good.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yet another new cookbook

Yesterday while browsing the shelves of our favorite local bookstore Once Upon a Time, if you are ever in the Los Angeles area I recommend a visit, I found this great cookbook of recipes for gifts. The book is Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving by Sur La Table. I was very excited by the recipes for 7-month vanilla extract and limoncello. Limoncello is something neighbors of ours have mentioned having loving and well I have a lemon tree so I am very excited by the prospect of this as a gift to our neighbors. The 7-month vanilla extract is exciting to me because I really love to bake and I think a good quality vanilla is a wonderful thing for even the occasional or novice baker. There are several other recipes in the book that I will likely try as well. What a great idea, a book centered around making consumable gifts for others.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tron identity disc cookies

I was wanting to make Tron identity disc cookies, from the original Tron movie. I initially thought I would make sugar cookies and then just frost them to take on the appearance of the identity discs, then I found this recipe for "hypnosis cookies" and thought this would be a fun way to make my identity disc cookies.

I added a fair bit of electric blue food coloring to get the colors for the cookies and the colors came out a bit on the green side, but honestly I think they look really appropriate for the age of the original Tron movie. The one thing I would probably try differently if I were to repeat this is to add some mint flavoring to the vanilla cookie dough. Overall though I am fairly happy with the results but I might try a different recipe next time as these are a bit on the doughy side even after they are cooked. Still very good for a first attempt I think.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting

These muffins were made from a box mix, I can't resist trying the latest box mixes from Trader Joe's. I then whipped up some vegan cream cheese frosting and topped them with some orange colored sugar sprinkles. I honestly just decided to whip these up this morning just in case anyone drops by or brings us something, I figured it was good to have some fresh baked goods on hand just in case.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with peppermint candy

I passed these out to my neighbors for the holidays this year, lucky them. These were pretty easy to make and were rather festive once they were sprinkled with some crushed peppermint candy, I used starlight mints that we crushed up a bit. The cream cheese frosting was a nice contrast to the chocolate cupcake and candy topping, it kept the cupcakes from being overly sweet which was a concern of mine. The peppermint candy provided a nice refreshing kick to the cupcakes as well as really dressing them up and making them festive.

I confess that I used a box mix for the cupcakes today, the chocolate cake mix from Trader Joe's. I had never tried this particular mix before and was wondering if it was any good as their vanilla cake mix is excellent, this one makes a pretty good cupcake.