Royal Iced Cookies

Back to School

We just finished the first week of school and everything seems to be going well.  The kids walked to school without complaining.  They also like their new teachers.  Dare I say they’re even excited about them?  And most importantly I made responsible lunches all week long.  (This surely will not last long.)  These are the great successes in my week.

To celebrate this time of year, I thought the traditional apple seemed appropriate.  They’re a pretty simple design with minimal colors.  Something fun to do when you’re running around trying to work in a new schedule.  The twist?  The little mischievous hint with a couple bites missing might be more the feels around what this year will probably bring.

Good luck you this school year.

apples

Oven Lovin'

Breakfast Pizza

I’m probably one of the luckiest people in the world.  A dear friend also happens to be my hairdresser.  Not only do I get the benefit of enjoying fabulous cocktails and great conversation when I get my hair done, she pretty much rocks hair color and does a slammin’ cut.

In the chair we gab about everything from kids, to books, and most certainly recipes.  The last time she gave me the great tip about a breakfast pizza that her young boys have been gobbling up in the morning.  I couldn’t wait to add some of my touches and give it a try.

First you start with a store bought pizza crust.  You can make homemade but why make this difficult.  We’re working moms, remember?  Roll out the dough to a pretty thin crust.  Brush the dough with melted butter, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of sugar, and shake over some cinnamon.  Bake the crust to directions.  Let it cool for a few minutes when it comes out.

While you’re waiting, throw four ounces of room temperature cream cheese into your mixer.  Mix that around for a minute before adding a cup of powdered sugar.  Now I do this by sight and taste because we all like different sweetness.  I wanted the frosting to be easy to pipe so thin it out with heavy whipping cream.  I keep adding and beating until it was a pretty soft frosting.  Soft enough to put in a piping bag, cut off the end with a scissor snip, and pipe this out.

crust

Take any berries you have in your fridge for the toppings.  I sliced my strawberries to give it a faux pepperoni look.  Don’t overly fuss about looks.  It gets pretty mangled when you cut it anyways.  The kids will never notice.

berries

Now why let any frosting go to waste?  Pipe more on. The more the merrier!  To give a little crunch I added some coconut chips from Trader Joes.  (This was the secret touch supplied by my friend.)  It did give it that little sweet crunch.

Breakfast Pizza

And voila!  You have a great breakfast treat no one can resist.  I tested this on my children who loved it, even though they picked off the blueberries.  I brought a white and a wheat crust version to my work.  There was a general rave consensus.

Go ahead.  Have a slice for breakfast.

slice

Cakes, Tia's Treat of the Week

Too Much of a Good Thing?

There’s no denying Pinterest’s awesome power.  Tia picked up many recipes on there to supply her Treat of the Week challenge last year.  There’s no denying there have been lots of hits and some misses in searching through the oodles of images.

One trend I see the most in Pinterest, and the one I find the most horrifying, is stuffing one food into another.  For some reason all these culinary concoctions meet on the fertile grounds of the pinning landscape.  This creation Tia chose to make is one of those beasts.  The biggest I’ve ever seen at that.  This dessert is the essence of gluttony.  I give you what I affectionately call The Monster Cake.

monster cake

What is it you ask?  Let me give it to you in layers from the bottom to top.  Triple chocolate brownie, marshmallow, cookie dough, cheesecake, graham crackers, cheesecake, cookie dough, marshmallow, triple chocolate brownie, and ganache frosting.  I sugar-overdosed just reading it.

There’s no denying it was a hit with her team.  It took two people to carry the cake weighing over twenty pounds.  (Not really.  Tia is unbelievably strong–that part is true.)  Each person chewed on the thing for a whole day and probably still had enough to feed their family.

Tia swore she wouldn’t make it again on the fact it was very labor intensive and expensive.  I won’t do it out of pure spite.  It begs the question is there a point where there is too much of a good thing in a baked good?

Royal Iced Cookies

Swimming with Seahorses

The sun has made enough of an appearance for us to consider it might be warm enough to go swimming.  We are very lucky because our friends have a lovely pool.  This holiday weekend they have even been gracious enough to invite us over for cocktails and swimming.  Adults do the cocktails.  Kids do the swimming.

To celebrate the joy in having a three-day weekend, here are some seahorse cookies.

seahorses

These were created after the tutorial from my cookie idol Sugarbelle.  Seriously, if you are around a computer and me, I’m pulling up her website to gush.  My daughter selected the styles and had a terrific time eating her creations.

While I may not have made anything patriotic today, it doesn’t mean I’m not very appreciative for the service men and women who support our freedom.  To honor them we should enjoy every wonderful moment they have sacrificed for.

Enjoy the cookies, the sun, the swimming, and most of all, your freedom.

Royal Iced Cookies

What Time Is It?

Adventure Time!

finnandjake

Most of you probably have no idea who these characters are.  They are Finn the Human and Jake the Dog from the Cartoon Network hit series “Adventure Time.”  It’s a cute little show I commit to watching every week with my children.  It’s our thing.

These cookies were last-minute, off-the-cuff, I-have-some-leftover-icing-to-use creations.  I wanted to see if I could make them without really putting too much planning into it.  I think they came out okay.  My kids thought they were awesome.  And that’s all that matters, right?

Bars

Less Mess = More Fun

One summer tradition in our household is camping.  We load up the truck, head to the woods, and pop up the tent trailer to have uninterrupted family time.  The last thing we want is a weekend filled with stress.

With traditions, we bring our childhood memories to pass on to the next generation.  Who doesn’t remember as a child stabbing a marshmallow and holding it over the fire until it was engulfed into a towering inferno?  The only thing keeping us from shoving the fireball into our faces and burning off the top layer of our mouthes was the promise of squishing it between graham crackers and chocolate.

Now being the adult, I hate smores.  First, they’re dangerous.  I don’t know how our parents casually sat back while we shoved our hands into the fire.  I watch my kids circle the fire ring and I become an instant nerve ball.  Then even if they do get it to a golden brown, I’m having them blow to cool it off for a good five minutes before even thinking about eating it.  This is only met with a frustrated “Awww Mom.”  If we make it to the smore building, the whole thing is a gigantic sticky mess.  Did I mention I hate smores?

This dessert is a great compromise to the smore problem.  I got the idea from Pinterest and decided to make some alterations to the recipe*.  Now it ranks with the best problem solver for our outdoor desserts when we go camping.  It has the classic taste without the mess.  A mother’s delight.

smore bar

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • Your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (better if you substitute bittersweet chocolate for the semisweet)
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 3 Hershey bars

 Recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press into a large cookie sheet.  I lined mine with parchment, but I think you’ll be fine if you don’t.  The crust has enough butter to keep from sticking.  Put it in the fridge until your cookie dough is ready.

Make your favorite cookie dough recipe.  You probably could cheat here and use store bought to make it easier.  Add half of the marshmallows to the cookie dough mixture.  Scoop out dough and drop all over the crust sheet.  Press the dough down to evenly distribute it over the area.  If you like a thicker bar, double your cookie dough recipe.  The small pockets should fill in when baking.

After baking for five minutes, pull out and top with the remaining marshmallows and press the Hershey pieces all over.  Put back in the oven and cook for another 7-10 minutes until the marshmallows are a golden brown.  Let cool and then cut.  Enjoy camping without the marshmallow mess.

*If you want a definitive, structured, full-proof recipe, go to the original link above.

Royal Iced Cookies

Happy Mother’s Day

Hats off to all the moms out there.  I know I put my mom through many tests when growing up.  And she wishes them all back on me with my own daughter who already mimics some of my younger moves.  Every year I struggle to find something my mother doesn’t already have or can easily get herself.  We’ve come to that time in our lives where I’ve resorted back to homemade gifts.

While she gets to pick what type of cookie or cake I’ll make for her, I created this set with her in mind.  I wanted to try out a new stenciling technique I thought she would like to use for one of her parties.  Sorry there isn’t a step by step yet.  This was the trial run.  I love the effect so much I know I will be doing it again when I find better stencils.

Mom's Cookies

As for all you mothers, mothers-to-be, or mothers-in-spirit out there, these cookies are for you too.  It’s a tough job.  Please know the heart you have makes the world a better place for everyone.

Thanks Mom.

Cakes

A Splash of Red

Who doesn’t love red?  Either in a pair of fabulous shoes, a sexy lipstick, or a rockin’ hair color, red is a statement.  It’s no different in the baking world.

Red Velvet cake has taken the world by storm.  The brightly colored inside shares the feels of a chocolate cake with its small part of cocoa and dense richness.  The traditional outside, a cream cheese frosting, gives a little tang to the sweet.  The combination wows the same as your favorite red dress.

Red Velvet
Red Velvet ❤