"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Archive for December, 2010

My Sugar Cookie Adventure: From Monstrosity to Perfection

I learned something really important from my mom the other day.  There is no way to make sugar cookies “healthy.”  Duh, right?  Ok, let me clarify.  I knew that you can’t make them healthy.  I wanted to use less butter for both lactose intolerance sake and for healthiness sake.  So, I used this recipe (be sure to look at how cute their cookies are!) and substituted 1/2 the butter for apple sauce and half the flour for whole wheat flour.   And then I got this monstrosity:

Are those not the ugliest, most deformed sugar cookies you have ever seen?!  You can click on the photo to get a clearer view, giant air bubbles and all, if you dare.  Apparently, you can’t use applesauce in sugar cookies because it bakes them into a strange bread-like texture.  In addition to that, it creates a sticky mess that makes it almost impossible to roll out or cut. Trust me on this, you don’t EVER want to put applesauce in your sugar cookies!  I spent a ridiculous amount of time on these, only to get the above sad result. 

I asked mom for her recipe and tried again.  (Side note- I bet the recipe above works just fine too . . . if you follow the directions.)

Viola!  I don’t mean to brag, but these cookies came out perfect.  Here is her recipe if you would like to try it yourself:

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies (with mom’s revisions)

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon flavoring. I have used strawberry, orange peppermint, vanilla anything works.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (in date, newer the better)

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and flavoring thoroughly.

Add flour and baking powder slowly. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400. Roll dough to 1/4 ( it calls for 1/8 but I roll mine thicker) on lightly floured board. Cut out cookies, place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes It says until they are a light golden color, sometimes they are over baked then. Just try one to see. That’s it!

This time I followed the directions exactly except that I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening (soy free).  Our oven cooks at the speed of light so I only left them in there for 5-6 minutes.  And then I made homemade soy free vanilla frosting.  I’d give you a link to the recipe, but I didn’t follow it.  Basically I just put in a chunk of shortening and then started adding vanilla extract, salt, warm water, and powdered sugar until the taste and consistency was to my liking. After frosting the cookies, I dusted them with some sprinkles, of course. And here is the final product, just like mom used to make them: 

We enjoyed these cookies Christmas evening with some hot cocoa after a brisk, but lovely stroll down Christmas Card Lane. And boy were they yummy.  Hope you all had a merry and blessed Christmas too! :)

 


Candy Cane Candle Holder

A few weeks ago I found this Candy Cane Vase tutorial.  I thought it was such a cute idea but our cats will eat anything that resembles a plant or flower.  And yes, I do mean anything. That means real, plastic, and cloth plants too.  So, I didn’t see the point in making it since we could never use it.  A few nights ago I was cleaning up after dinner and was about to throw an olive can into the recycling when I realized that it was the perfect size for the miniature candy canes and decided to make a candle holder!

Isn’t this cute?  I had originally planned to use tealights or votives but James pointed out that the jar candle would look nice.  We just happened to have two jar candles and two olive cans so all I needed to purchase were the candy canes.  I hot glued the candy canes to the cans and then James sprayed them with sealant so they wouldn’t get sticky.  They were quick and easy to make and the best part is that I only spent a little over $1 each on them!

This post was linked to Tip Me Tuesday.


Christmas Traditions

At small group a couple of weeks ago we talked about our family’s Christmas traditions and I thought that I would share them here too. My two most favorite traditions were started by each of my grandmothers. 

As soon as Kevin and I were old enough, Grandma Jones would pick out an age appropriate craft for each of us.  Kev spent Sat afternoons with her and I would spend Sun afternoons with her.  We would make the craft for each member in our family.  It gave us some great quality time with grandma and it allowed us, as children, to give gifts that we made (mostly) on our own.  I remember feeling so grown up when I put the gifts we made under the tree.  Now, I cherish the memories and the time that we spent together making them.

Every year since we were born, Grandma Brown has given each of us grandkids a Christmas ornament.  She started that tradition so that when we grew up and moved out on our own we would already have ornaments for our tree.  Now every year when I decorate the tree, each ornament has a memory or year tied to it that I remember as we decorate.  It’s so special to me and I hope that if James and I have children someday, that our parents will do the same!

Here are the ornaments grandma gave us this year:

James says: "I guess I'm the one with the goatee?" :)

 

What are some of your Christmas traditions?


Jelly Bellys and Flip-Flops

What do you get a girl who loves Jelly Bellys and flip-flops?

Flip-flops from the Jelly Belly factory!

Thanks mom!


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