Tag Archives: sugar

Decepti-cookies! I mean…my sugar cookie adventure.

The other day I was in the mood for some sugar cookies which usually equates a long, drawn out ordeal because you have to roll & “powder” everything with flour & bake but wait you’re still not done because now you have to decorate them because we all know icing-less sugar cookies taste like ass. We’re in a period of transition right now, which in turn means most of our useful possessions are packed away & buried, impossible to find on a whim. Therefore my undertaking of sugar cookie baking was made even more difficult because I had no rolling pin. Or, for that matter, a recipe to go by (yes, my trusty recipe files are also packed away); never fear-there’s always the internet. I looked up an easy recipe that had lots of positive reviews, cute lil gold stars, delicious looking photos & didn’t require a lot of ingredients (which is always a clincher for me). My original intent was to pop out some sugar cookies (hereafter known as SC in this post because I’m tired of typing it out), decorate them & post the recipe links & photos, as usual when I make something scrumptious.

Except these cookies didn’t turn out scrumptious. And it’s not my fault (I don’t guess…)! Middle kid & I followed the directions to a T, even storing the dough in the freezer overnight (as the recipe recommended) despite the fact I was in the mood to make them right then. Anyway, the next day, we rolled them out (using a sealed bottle from the pantry…yep, that’s how thrifty we can be; it actually worked quite well) & cut circles (using a Mason jar ring but-you guessed it!-all of my cookie cutters are packed away; the jar ring actually worked quite well too though the cookies were a tad large; it’s awesome being southern & having handy crap like Mason jar lids lying around) in the dough-which we taste tested & it was good!-then baked them. Now, usually I’m a terrible cookie baker…even when I use a timer. It’s almost as if it’s just not in my genetic makeup to produce yummy cookies (which is why every holiday I do the cooking & my sister does the baking-there is a difference, people, between “cooking” & “baking”) so I was completely anal about these, checking on them & pulling them out when they looked their best & were turning a light brown; as the recipe advised, might I add. Cookies cooled, Oldest kid & I mixed up a glaze (using a recipe from the same site) that tasted like doughnut glaze-aka good-then proceeded to decorate these masterpiece SC!

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Meet my rolling pin stand-in, the bottle with brown liquid inside.

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Usung a top layer of plastic wrap helped cut down on the mess.
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Beautiful Mason jar circles & something I'm calling "sugar drops". (Aka: dough rolled into a ball, rolled in sugar.)
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Sugar drop close-up. These lil babies are pretty tasty!

I gotta admit, I was so frigging excited! I mean, my failure as a cookie baker is to the extent that C makes way way better cookies than I ever could. These suckers looked good! The dough had been good, the icing was good, they weren’t burnt. Win, win, win. We finally got to take that victorious “I’ve spent way too much time on this so let’s try one already dammit” bite and…

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These got browned a tad more than I meant to; I wasn't thinking about them being smaller. :/ BUT-the circle cookies were lighter than these, so surely they couldn't be overcooked?!

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You can see the level of brown-ness on the circle cookie & it (deceptively) looks perfecto.

It was like trying to bite pavement.
This cookie wasn’t gonna give; it would not break.
You could chuck one of ’em at somebody’s head & they’d at least suffer a concussion from it.
My disappointment was overwhelming. All that time, work, hope…I know, I know: it’s just cookies. But it still sucks. So I’ve decided not to share the links; not because I’m being petty & spiteful (“Waahh my cookies are harder than steel so I won’t share your site”), it’s because I’m not going to offer out a recipe that I can’t stand behind. Now, it’s entirely possible that *I* did something to cause this cookie travesty…too much dough kneading? too much flour? Which is why more testing is required; the recipe was easy & doesn’t take everything under the sun, so I’d like to add it to my files; if I can eliminate the problem.

I will however include the glaze icing recipe so that your time here today won’t be a total waste; plus it’s good, extremely easy & versatile.

Glaze Icing
1 c. Powdered sugar
4 tsp. Milk
Mix in small bowl with a fork until sugar is completely dissolved. If you want it thinner add more milk, if you want it thicker add more sugar. Any additions are recommended to be made 1 teaspoonful at a time, to prevent a mad scientist type of situation. My helper & I put some in bags, added some color, mixed it up well then cut the corner of the bag off (just a tiny piece!) to decorate. This icing does not make a lot by the original recipe so feel free to double if you’ve got a lot to ice. One last thing: wait for the icing to dry/set up before you stack & pack your cookies. It doesn’t take long; if you’re anything like me, leaving the cookies exposed to people walking through the kitchen (ie: stirring up dirt & hair, stealing cookies-boy they’ll get a surprise with these!) will drive you batshit but it’s gotta be done, otherwise you’ll have a gooey glued together cookie mound.

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Icing/glaze close-up, still wet.

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We used a knife to cut some shapes pre-baking.
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Oldest child did blue, I did green.
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Random.
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I really like Mr. Mad Face; he happened by accident.

So, not a total loss. Didn’t get a keeper SC recipe (yet) but acquired a new icing one. These cookies totally need to be renamed though…like “Decepti-cookies”…or something. My cleverness has fled the building.

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Classic Southern Lemonade (Is there any other kind worth drinking?!)

Every summer for the past couple years my husband & I have turned into lemonade fanatics.  I guess we just got to craving it one year & found an awesome recipe & became obsessed with drinking it.  It was (/is) such a nice, refreshing change from soda during hot weather.

When I went to retrieve my super amazing recipe today *gasp* it was gone!  Considering how unorganized I am this is really no surprise.  And you’d think I’d have a mental back up handy but I’ve been blessed with the worst memory ever.  Luckily God (or maybe El Diablo) provided us with the internet & I’ve found a recipe that calls for the same ingredients but is prepared slightly different & offers a couple handy tips that I never knew (like rolling the lemons to loosen the juices…perfect sense, right??).  I’ve posted their recipe below & to avoid looking like a total internet recipe thief you can find the original site HERE.

Old Fashioned Classic Lemonade
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 10 minutesTotal Time: 20 minutes

I like to chill this in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.

INGREDIENTS:
6 lemons – 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups water
1 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Pressing down with your hand, roll the lemons back and forth on a hard surface to release their juices. Cut lemons in two and squeeze out juice reserving the lemon rinds and place the rinds in a large bowl. You can strain the juice if you like to remove the pulp, or leave the pulp if you prefer.

Boil 4 cups of water.

Place the sugar in a bowl and cover with 1 cup water and stir to dissolve.

Cover the lemon rinds with the other 3 cups of boiling water and let this sit for about an hour and you will have lemon infused water, discard the rinds.

In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, the dissolved sugar water, the 3 cups of lemon infused water and the remaining 2 cups of water.

Garnish with mint and lemon slices if you like.

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Their picture, used without permission but hopefully they won't mind since I'm promoting their recipe. 🙂

If you make it let me know what you think! As for me, I’m going lemon shopping tomorrow.

Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice…easy peasey!

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In preparation of the final season premiere of (one of the BEST shows ever) Breaking Bad, the Husband & I have been having mini-marathons every night, re-watching all the previous seasons to refresh our memory for the “grand finale”. In one episode from season 2, Walt (aka Walter White, main character, best meth cook ever) is trying to suck up to his (annoying, most-disgusting-eater-ever, bitchy, selfish, ugly, self-centered, hateful) wife Skylar by making homemade breakfasts. He happens to make fresh grapefruit juice one time & I couldn’t help thinking “I’ve never tried grapefruit juice as a drink before…it’s pretty delicious when you’re eating a grapefruit, the tiny bit of sugary-tarty juice you get…I wonder what it would be like to have a whole, cold glass of that.”

I referenced everyone’s “go to” source of information, Google, in search of a recipe. Shockingly I couldn’t find one for plain, simple, yummy grapefruit juice. There were plenty for grapefruit juice smoothies & limeade+grapefruit juice & orange juice+grapefruit juice & all sorts of other concoctions. I know what you’re thinking…how hard is it to make juice? Squeeze the fruit, bada bing-bada boom. Except…when we first wanted to make homemade lemonade we tried it without a recipe. Turned out not so refreshing. Then (after a couple more misses) we found a recipe for THE best lemonade I’ve ever had. I wanted my grapefruit juice to be right so this time I tried to go by a recipe…to no avail. “Guess I’ll have to invent my own.” was my exact thought.

So yesterday at the grocery store I picked up 4 big ol’ grapefruits. This morning I had to take my Husband to work super early (we’re talking 6am early) & for some reason when I get up that early I usually get an energy burst. I came home, broke out the hand juicer, and got down to business. I have to say…I’m pretty proud of myself! For the first time ever making it, my grapefruit juice turned out JUST like I imagined in my mind. Finally, after the most drawn out recipe-creation-explanation-EVER….here is my very own grapefruit juice recipe.

Homemade Grapefruit Juice

4 large grapefruits (= 2 2/3 c. juice)
1/2 c. water
1/4–1/3 c. sugar, depending on your fondness for sweetness

Cut your grapefruits in half; it doesn’t matter if you cut them the “right way” or not, they juice the same. Use your juicer (electric or hand) to squeeze every last drop of tart juice out of them. Add your water & sugar (and if desired a little pulp–like I did–but be sure to remove any seeds first) & stir until mixed well. You may have to slightly adjust the amount of water and/or sugar to your liking…following this recipe made juice that was exactly what I wanted. Note: this recipe doesn’t make very much so if you’re wanting a lot of juice you probably want to double (maybe even triple) it. The final yield for these measurements is 3 1/4 cups.