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Sugar Cookies {Made with Love}

Have you guys been celebrating wedding season?  In my neck of the woods, wedding season is in full swing - in the best way.  In a love way.  Yesterday I saw a wonderful, beautiful couple get hitched, last weekend I got to bake for a perfect bridal shower from afar, and next weekend I get to stand up as a bridesmaid to see two of my favorite people tie the knot. 

I was so honored when the bride’s sister and mom asked me to a part of V’s bridal shower even though I couldn’t make it to the party.  They accompanied these treats with the adorable cookie cutters that made the perfect L-O-V-E shapes as favors for all the ladies. I got to learn that sugar cookies are the perfect combo of light and still crispy cookies. They brown nicely on the edge but you don’t have to frost them if you don’t want to because they keep a great color and you can add festive sprinkles {in the bride’s fav color, red!}. Having a great sugar cookie recipe under your belt is now a must-have.

To V&G - only one week to go!  I cannot wait for your big day! Love, love, love you. 

Sugar Cookies
Slightly adapted from Alton Brown
Recipe yields apx. 60 cookies

Ingredients
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
1 egg
1 tbs. milk
1 cup sprinkles of your choosing
Powdered sugar to roll the cookies out

Tools
Medium bowl
Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
Sifter
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Cookie sheets, with Silpat or parchment paper

Directions
*Note, dough will need to be refrigerated for two hours after being made, before baking, so plan accordingly.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In bowl of the stand mixer cream butter and until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and milk. Add all of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, about 1/3 of the mixture at a time until combined. Try to not over mix, stopping when no patches of flour remain, scraping the bowl down as necessary. {Mixture will pull away from the bowl easily when done}. 

Add sprinkles all at once.

Once sprinkles are incorporated, gather the dough, split it in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours.

After two hours, preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle powdered sugar on counter top (or rolling surface) and place one of the halves on the counter, unwrapped. Sprinkle the top of the half with powdered sugar and also rub the rolling pin with powdered sugar.  Roll the dough out until about 1/4 inch thick {note, I rolled my dough a bit thinner for smaller cookies with more defined shapes, however the cookies didn’t spread much in the oven}.

You’ll need to move the dough regularly, and potentially frequently sprinkle with more powdered sugar so that the dough doesn’t stick. Cut dough into desired shape and place 1.5 inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Put cookie sheet with dough in freezer for about 5 minutes to ensure dough is cold. 

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until just lightly browned, rotating the sheet half way through. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet, then transferring to cooling rack. Repeat until all dough has been baked. 

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

imageSo is “Kitchen Sink Cookies” a bad thing to name cookies? I was going for an “everything but the…” kind of feel and it just feels right.  It feels right because these cookies have everything you’ve ever wanted {and no kitchen sink}: rainbow sprinkles, pretzels, aaaand chocolate chips. You know how I feel about sprinkles - the sparkle of baking and best of all, they’re the cornerstone of these cookies.  I saw these cookies and was inspired to take my favorite cookie recipe and turn it into a vehicle for amazing toppings in my pantry. So, definitely make these cookies and definitely add all your favorite ingredients {which, I’m sure, includes sprinkles}. I want to know, what ingredients are you adding?

Also, on an unrelated note, Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there - especially, Happy Mother’s Day to my mommy, my favorite!

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from my Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Inspired by How Sweet Eats
Recipe yields apx. 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 ½ sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup sprinkles {I used rainbow jimmies but you can use any kind!}
1/3 cup smashed pretzel bits
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Tools:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Medium bowl
Cookie sheet(s) 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in stand mixer until light in color and fluffy. Add eggs to mixture, one at a time until completely combined.  Add in vanilla.

In the medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture into butter mixture all at once and mix until all the flour is incorporated.

Add pretzels, sprinkles, and chocolate chips into batter. Mix vigorously until combined. You can/should mix by hand, as needed.  You {obviously} want pretzels, chocolate and sprinkles in every bite!
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Scoop tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls onto baking sheet, about one to one and a half inches apart. Place in oven and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating half-way through. Let cool completely and enjoy!
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A Special Tuesday Addition: Election “Poles”

In Election Day spirit, I made these adorable chocolate covered pretzels with (everybody’s favorite) patriotic sprinkles!  These are special for a small election party for later today and I think they’ll add the perfect amount of festivity to dinner.  With these as my inspiration, I melted about 6 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate in a double broiler, dipped small pretzel sticks in the chocolate and then immediately rolled them into a bowl of sprinkles, one at a time.  Let each pretzel stick (or “pole”) lay on a baking sheet, lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Because the pretzels are petite, I placed them in red, white and blue espresso cups - the perfect addition.  Enjoy voting today! 

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Funfetti Cupcakes with Grapefruit Frosting

There really isn’t anything better than funfetti - the sprinkles, the delightful cake, the great texture of the sprinkles - you can’t do any better.  This fabulous recipe from How Sweet It Is really takes vanilla cupcakes to the next level - funfetti level.  I’ve adapted it some but the original recipe is just as wonderful.  After making the funfetti - I thought what better way to offset the sweetness of the cupcakes than citrus!  This pink grapefruit frosting tasted amazing, although, to be honest, it was not the most beautiful frosting ever.  If you’re going for taste, I would make this frosting, all. the. time.  I hope you find a super FUN event for these FUNfetti cakes!

Funfetti Cupcakes
Slightly Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 to 1 whole vanilla bean
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sprinkles {I used nonpareils} 
*Recipe makes 12 cupcakes 

Tools:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Medium mixing bowl
Cupcake tins
1 cupcake tray
Rubber spatula

Directions:
Preheat oven to  350˚ F. Mix butter and sugar together in stand mixer until light in color and fluffy in texture.  Add in eggs and contents of vanilla bean.  To get the contents of the vanilla bean, slice down the middle and scrape out with a spoon.

In the medium mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Add half of flour mixture into stand mixer followed by the buttermilk.  Add the remaining flour mixture.  Remove bowl from stand mixer and add sprinkles by hand. *Note: the quicker you mix in the sprinkles, the less the color will spread {i.e. the batter won’t be purple like mine :)}.
 

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into prepared cupcake tray with liners.  Bake in oven for apx. 20 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.
 

Grapefruit Frosting
Adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients:
2 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 whole grapefruit (juice of 3/4 of the grapefruit and zest of the full grapefruit)
4 cups powdered sugar
Red icing coloring (I used Wilton’s)
*Makes frosting for apx. 36 cupcakes 
 

Tools:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Piping bag fitted with frosting tips

Directions:
Cream cream cheese in mixture until completely smooth. Add grapefruit juice and zest. Add in food coloring.  Fill piping bag and pipe cupcakes. 
 

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Strawberry Whoopie Pies with Coconut Frosting

In addition to the light, fluffy, wonderful-to-eat aspect of whoopie pies, I love how easy they can be to make!  No matter how the whoopie pies look when they go in the oven, they are perfectly round (and delicious) when they come out.  I found this great recipe this week for strawberry whoopie pies that uses strawberry milk powder to not only provide the wonderful strawberry flavor, but the perfect pink color!  I also adapted the peanut butter buttercream frosting from here and made it coconut!  The perfect whoopie pie combination for spring, if I do say so myself. What whoopie pie flavors are you obsessed with?!  

Strawberry Whoopie Pies with Coconut Frosting
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes (a recipe I’ve seen so many times on Pinterest!)

Ingredients:
2¼ cups flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbs. white vegetable shortening
3/4 cup powdered strawberry milk mix
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs. milk
½ tsp. vanilla 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar  
Note: recipe makes enough for about a dozen whoopie pies, depending on size (not mini). 

Tools:
Two baking sheets
Medium bowl
Small mixing bowl
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Piping bag with any tip that has a wide opening 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚ F.  In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In the stand mixer, mix vegetable shortening (I used Crisco), strawberry milk powder and brown sugar.  The mixture will be crumbly in texture.

Then add the egg and egg white to the mixture.  After incorporating the eggs, mix in the heavy cream and vanilla until smooth.  

In the small mixing bowl, mix the milk, baking soda and vinegar.  The mixture becomes foam-like and bubbles.  Add to the strawberry mixture until full combined.

Pipe the mixture into small round circles, about 2 inches wide, onto the baking sheets.  Remember, even if there are swirls/kinks/bumps in the whoopie pie when it goes in the oven, chances are, they will come out perfectly {see below}  I was able to fit about 8 on a standard-size baking sheet but note they will expand greatly so make sure to leave enough space on the sheet in-between each pie.  Alternately, you can make dollar-sized whoopie pies, about the size of a dollar coin when piped. I tried both - I thought the mini whoopie pies were more fun!

Put in the oven, one baking sheet at a time for 7 to 10 minutes (mine took about 8, and the mini ones took about 5).  They will be very soft to the touch but not sticky when done.  You can test by inserting a toothpick in the middle of one of the pies and see if it comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.  

Full-sized pre-oven:
Post-oven perfection:

Coconut Frosting
Adapted from here

1 stick very softened butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar (I added extra to thicken the frosting)
Pinch of salt (apx. ¼ tsp. salt)
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. coconut extract
1 tbs. heavy cream
1 tbs. coconut milk
*Note: Recipe makes enough frosting for about a dozen whoopie pies, depending on size.

Tools:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Piping bag
Wilton 109 tip  

Directions:
Mix butter in stand mixer until very smooth.  Add in powdered sugar and salt.  Mix in vanilla, coconut extract, cream and coconut milk.  Combine all until smooth. 

To frost, you can start in the middle or begin on the outside and work your way in.  Both will look beautiful!  If frosting mini whoopie pies, you can simply hold the piping bag in the middle of the whoopie pie and squeeze until the pie is filled with frosting.  

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Sweet Sunday Mornings Sets Sail

I couldn’t be more excited to share that I am taking to the sea and headed on a cruise for a week!  A few friends and I are going to the Caribbean and while I get some sun, I’m also oh so excited to seriously indulge in the sweets on the boat.  I have every intention of eating soft serve ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner {with sprinkles} and I can really only imagine the other delectable desserts that will be on board!  I can’t wait to share the treats I find but in the mean time, here are a few desserts currently inspiring me.  

Fabulous frosting from According To Dina 

Amazing chocolate eclairs from Free Recipes

Rainbow macarons from Emma Kisstina

Rainbow cake from Martha Stewart

Purple Ombre Sprinkles Cake from Raspberri Cupcakes 

What is inspiring you this week?

P.S. I have a post set up for while I’m gone so make sure to check out what I baked this week!

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Sweet Sunday Mornings

Welcome to Sweet Sunday Mornings!  Here you will find my incredible love for baking and the recipes I make in my free time– on Sunday mornings!  You’ll find chocolate, peanut butter, almonds, citrus and a ridiculous amount of sugar on Sweet Sunday Mornings - some recipes you’ll find on other websites and from some of my favorite cookbooks and others I’ve adapted and created on my own.  All recipes will be appropriately cited and easy for you to access the original source {check out recipe guidelines here}.

This is where I’ll share my love for sweets & sugar and little bit about daily life ~ I hope you enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!