Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Cookies

For Mother's Day a few weeks ago, I got together with my sister, and my brother and his family at my parent's house for a little after church brunch/lunch. We kept things simple, yet delicious. Lara and I provided the savory element (an asparagus ricotta stratta, so good) along with some fresh fruit, while my brother and sister-in-law brought along a sweet option and some tasty drinks. My parent's provided the space. Altogether it was delicious and low key. Really how I like it.

Now, brunch doesn't typically include dessert, at least not in my opinion, but I was itching for an excuse to do some baking so I made a batch of these lemon poppyseed cookies and brought them along anyway. I had stubbled across this recipe a few weeks back and it look so fresh and spring-y that I was dying to try it out. I'm so glad I did. It was just what I was hoping for. A thick and crackly sugar cookie with a little zing from the citrus, and crunch from the poppyseeds. Rolling each cookie in sugar before baking created a delicate crust that was perfect next to the softness of the cookie. The edges were just slightly crisp all the way around. The perfect end to our relaxing spring brunch. 

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I followed the recipe as written except for one small change; I increased the salt from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon because I really hate when baked goods don't have enough salt and I didn't think that 1/4 teaspoon sounded like enough for this whole batch. I thought the 1/2 teaspoon was perfect. 1/4 tsp would not have been enough in my opinion. I love the combination of sweet and salty. If you're not as big of a fan of salt as I am then go ahead and use the original amount, the 1/4 teaspoon. 

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Sweet and savory, we had it all. A little something for everyone, or a little big of everything for everyone!

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My nephew, aka bacon boy! He was thrilled with the bacon as you can tell.  

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Mom had a great day spending time with the family, espeically the grandkids!! :) 

Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Cookies
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt**
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and zests on medium speed until well combined. Add in the oil, egg, and lemon juice. Continue mixing until pale and evenly combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides every so often. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. 

Using a cookie scoop (I used a 1.5 tablespoon scoop), scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Carefully roll or lightly sprinkle the cookies with sugar. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Don't overbake. Let cool on the pan for a few minute before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

** I like a little extra salt in my baked goods so I increased the salt in this recipe from 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt to 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. If you are not as big of a fan of the sweet and salty combination, you may go back to the 1/4 teaspoon. Either way will be delicious. 

Yields: 26 cookies

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a blessed day yesterday. It was s a beautiful white Christmas here in Michigan, we couldn't have asked for better. It truly felt like the story book Christmas. While I unfortunately had to work all day at the hospital yesterday, I am thankful that I am working at the hospital, and not admitted to the hospital myself. With Christmas music playing in the workroom, and the snow falling gently outside, it really wasn't too bad! I made the rest of the team breakfast for Christmas morning. Broccoli cheddar quiche, and coffee break muffins. Lara brought in a baked oatmeal and we all enjoyed a festive and delicious breakfast before getting to work!

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Thankfully, I was able to do a lot of baking and cooking for the holidays this year. First, Lara and I made Christmas cookies to give away to friends and co-workers. We decided on a trio of delicate snowflake Linzer cookies, thick and fruity stollen bars, and our yearly extra chewy molasses cookies (<-- these things are amazing! They may not look super exciting, but they are the best molasses cookies I have ever had!). We bagged those up a few weeks ago to get into the holiday spirit.

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Next, the annual decorated sugar cookies. We decided on cute little owls, snowy Christmas trees, and simple holiday words. They turned out super cute! Lara did most of the actual decorating as usual, and of course did a wonderful job! These were snacked on all weekend long by family, friends and coworkers. 

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We celebrated Christmas with the whole extended family in Holland on the water this year on the 23rd. It was a great turn out. Most of the family could make it from all areas of the country! We had a wonderful time eating and talking and just enjoying the day all together. 

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Grandpa and grandma got into the Christmas spirit! Looking good!

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And finally - Christmas day, at the hospital. Merry Christmas from the whole family medicine team!

If I had to work the holiday, at least it was with this great group of people!

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Crackly Sugar Cookies

The simple sugar cookie: so simple, so basic, and so delicious.  Whether thin and crispy, thick, and chewy, or soft and tender, all are delicious in their own way. While I do love pretty much every sugar cookie there is, I am partial to the thick and chewy sort, but for whatever reason I have found it difficult to find the perfect recipe for this style sugar cookie. Every recipe I try seems to turn out more of a thin crispy cookie, still buttery and delicious, but missing that substantial chew that I am looking for. 

Thankfully, I recently stumbled across this recipe which has produced the best cookie yet! They are pretty thick (maybe not yet quite as thick as I'd like, but I can work on fixing that) and nice and chewy. With a nice crackly top that is covered in sugar they are a winner. I made them pretty big to ensure a nice soft and chewy center and a slightly crisp edge which was wonderful, but I'm sure a little smaller cookie would be just as delicious. With a base of butter, sugar and flour there is no way they couldn't be!

I baked up one batch of these cookies pretty quickly after I had made the dough because I needed them right away and they turned out very nice. The rest of the dough I put in the fridge to chill a little while and then baked them. This definitely helped the cookies stay a little thicker and even chewier, so if you have the time I would recommend chilling the dough before baking. But either way, if you're looking for a thick, chewy and delicious sugar cookie, look no further, this is it!

Crackly Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Chow.com
Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (sanding or granulated) for rolling cookies

Directions
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl sides and bottom. Add yolks and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, corn starch and cream of tartar. Mix on low speed until dough comes together. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoons and roll between your hands until smooth.

Roll dough in sanding or granulated sugar to coat and place on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies until they are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, about 16- 18 minutes. Immediately transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yields: 9 very large (100 gram) cookies, approximately 455 calories each or 18 more average sized cookies, approximately 230 calories each

Christmas Cookies 2014

Merry Christmas! Once again this year Lara and I had way too much fun in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies and lots of other goodies to share with friends and family members. It has been a blast, and I am sad that it is now over for another year. But that's okay, I can always look back on my photos and remember the good times. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, however you celebrate, and a blessed New Year!

The traditional rolled sugar cookies made their yearly appearance, decorated solely by Lara, I can't claim to have had anything to do with those. Gingerbread men are my favorite so they also joined the fun. I also made some mini almond pound cakes for another option this year using a pan my sister-in-law gave me a little while back. I am pleased with how it all turned out.

I brought a tray of cookies to my families Christmas party, and then made bags of cookies for friends, as well as boxes to hand out to the neighbors. Both Lara and I had so much fun with the whole process as we do every year. Now off to celebrate Christmas!

Frosted Brownie Roll Out Cookies

Need a chocolate fix? These simple yet delicious brownie roll out cookies are super easy to whip together when you need a basic chocolate cookie. They are easy and use ingredients that you are sure to have on hand. I've made them with both natural and Dutched cocoa and both turn out great. If you use the Dutched cocoa the cookies take on more of a oreo-ish look with that deep, almost black appearance, but they are definitely not Oreo texture. 

These cookies are soft and tender, a brownie in cookie form, perfect for any number of uses. They are good just plain, straight out of the oven, or frosted with your favorite frosting. This time I used a bright yellow and summery buttercream, but peanut butter frosting, or a chocolate ganache frosting would also be fantastic. Keep the cookies open faced, or spread the frosting between two cookies for a fun dessert sandwich. I have also scooped ice cream between two cookies for a super delicious ice cream sandwich. The cookies stay nice and soft, even in the freezer, making the perfect ice cream sandwich, easy to bite into and devour. A great recipe to have in your recipe box for any occasion! 

Other than the hour or so chilling time required for these cookies, they come tother very quickly. Mix, chill, cut and bake. Give these cookies a try the next time you want a cookie, but feel like doing something other than the good old standby - chocolate chip cookies. It's a refreshing change of pace. 

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

Recipe from

Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (225 grams) butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (approximately 60 grams — weights can vary a bit depending on brand)

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Christmas Cookies 2012

Tis the season for decorating Christmas cookies! I'll admit, I had very little to do with these cookies. My sister Lara has become the cookie decorator. I am just around for moral support, suggestions, and a little help here and there, otherwise it is all her. Every year she gets a little better, and a little fancier with the cookies. This year she got some ideas out of a magazine I got in the mail, and then adapted them to work for her. I think she did a fantastic job, they turned out so beautifully! Our kitchen was taken over by cookie decorating for a few days, but that's okay, I think it was worth it.

Lara used the same recipes that we have both been using for the last couple of years, both for the cookies and for the royal icing. We love them both, and haven't had any problems with either. You can find the recipes

here

.

The whole platter full

 Poinsettias!

Good job Lara, they look great! Check out this post for the recipes!

Whimsical Sugar Cookies

A few weeks ago my church hosted its annual Vacation Bible School. While I didn't get as involved this year as I have in years past, both Lara and I signed up to bring cookies one night for the kiddos attending. Any excuse to bake something fun and different without having to eat the whole batch is great! We came up with the idea to make decorated sugar cookies. I always want to make them throughout the year but I only ever end up making them at Christmas. This was the perfect reason to make them in the summer.

We used the cookie and frosting recipe that we used last Christmas and I really loved. We were going for a cookie similar to what you get in a cookie bouquet and these fit the bill. The key is to roll the dough quite thick. That way you don't get a thin, crunchy cookie, but a cookie with some substance to it which I prefer. This past Christmas was the first time I used royal icing and I had a lot of fun with it. I want to do more in the future because you can do some really fun things with it. The flowers on these cookies were pretty simple but I still think they turned out rather cute!

Unfortunately, the day we were supposed to bring these cookies to church we got a phone call telling us that they had enough cookies left over from the first two days of VBS, and that we didn't have to bring any in :( So that means these cookies went straight into the freezer where they still sit. I have to figure out what to do with them before they get too old. Any ideas?

Bright pink flowers are fun and festive for summer

Just bake some sugar cookie rounds

Pipe the center in the middle
and let it dry overnight

Then pipe on the rest of the flower
and you have a cute, summery frosted sugar cookie
I think they turned out quite well, they remind 
me of Dr. Seuss



Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies
from bakeat350
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 2 sticks butter, cold 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract 
Directions
Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and freeze for 5 minutes. Bake chilled cookies for 10-12 minutes at 350. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Royal Icing
from sweetopia
Ingredients
  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) warm water 
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 1 kilogram (2.25 pounds) powdered sugar 
*** Note: if your meringue powder has no vanilla flavor in it, you may add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to this recipe

Directions
Pour the warm water and meringue powder into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened, about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.

Pour in all of the powdered sugar at once. Using the paddle attachment, mix slowly, on the LOWEST speed, for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Tint with food colorings and thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

Decorate!

***Note: For tips on using royal icing and ideas for decorating, visit sweetopia.net. This site has lots of tips and tricks for decorating cookies along with other fun things. It really helped me out the first time I used royal icing.