Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

 
I am always on the hunt for a good recipe.  

This time I was looking for a sugar cookie to make for my hubby's office for Valentines Day.  I have recipes, but I was hoping to find a recipe that was a little different from the ones I already had.  

I started with my usual cookbooks... nothing there.  

Next I searched in my food apps... nothing I hadn't already seen.  

Last I went to the Internet... some of the same ole same ole, but then I found Annie's Eats.  


First requirement: Annie's photographs of her sugar cookies made my mouth water. 

Second requirement:  Was I able to find 90% of the ingredients already in my cabinets? I usually won't touch a recipe if the recipe requires more than the baking norm.  Winning!


 
Cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)


- Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.  

- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  

- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together until blended well.  

- In another bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy.  

- Beat your eggs in the butter/sugar, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  Blend in the vanilla.  

- With your mixer on low, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time until all the ingredients are evenly mixed and incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  Although I found 30 minutes worked well too.


Annie's recipes calls for to scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball.  Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart.  

I tried three different ways to see which would result in the nicest looking cookie.  

A.)  I placed the dough onto parchment paper, making a basic log, and then rolled the dough into a "snake" and twisted the ends of the parchment paper into opposite directions, to compact the cookie dough, and then placed it in the fridge to chill.  After 30 minutes I cut them into 1/4" slices.  (Example: White cookie in the picture)

The parchment cookie made a compact "coin-like" shaped cookie.

B.)  I chilled the dough, covered in plastic, for 30 minutes then took the dough out rolled it into a 1" ball and took a bottom-floured glass and pressed down on the ball to form a more circular cookie.  (Example: Pink cookie in the picture)

The ball/flattened cookie cracked a bit on the sides, but you could press your finger over the cracks to fix this, but a they turned out to me of a store-purchased cookie.

C.)  I rolled the dough into a 1" ball and then placed them onto the cookie sheet without pressing them down.

The ball effect turned out just like it went in.. a ball and not very well cooked, as I would have liked it.

In the end I liked the way B cookie turned out.


- Bake the cookies about 10-12 minutes or just until set.  Do not over bake the cookies letting them turn brown!  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

- In a small sauce pan melt the butter.

- In a medium bowl add the confectioners sugar.  

- Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth.  You might need to add more milk, but do so by a teaspoon at a time.  

- I frosted half my cookies with the white frosting then added 6 drops of red food coloring to create the sweet pink color and then frosted my remaining cookies and added Valentine heart sprinkles to the cookies.  Store in an airtight container.



** All photographs have an embedded watermark

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Resolutions - Week 4

 Week four of my New Years Resolution.

What girl doesn't like a make-up and when you add a great deal in with it you have my attention.  If you haven't visited an Ulta store you need to look for one in your area.  I love Ulta.  It's definitely a one-stop-shop for girls who are looking for make-up, hair care, perfumes and lots more.

If you visit an Ulta store be sure to sign-up for the FREE Ulta customer card.  Ulta rewards you for every dollar you spend in their store on products and seervices.  The Ulta card redeems your rewards every three months and depending on the amount you have spent in the last three months you are assigned to a certain dollar level.  Each level rewards you with a free item, based on that level.  If your not interested in the item on your rewards level Ulta will allow you to use up your rewards in the lower levels giving you a chance to redeem your rewards for even more free items.

Last quarter I traded in my rewards for the lower levels and I walked out with three free nail polishes.  Love it!
 

Because I have an Ulta customer card I also receive their discount mailers.  This last week I decided I needed to replace some of my make-up brushes.  Ulta currently has a buy two get two free sale going on and I took advantage of this deal.  I purchased two eye shadows and two brushes and I got two eye shadows and two brushed free.  I also used my current mailers $3.50 off coupon.  With the buy two/get two deal and my $3.50 coupon my total bill came to $19.

The moral here is...

Club cards!


I am not being paid for this endorsement

Monday, January 16, 2012

Resolutions - Week 3

Week three of my New Years Resolution.

I love a tasty deal as much as the next guy and I am really excited about this one!  I love Jamba Juice, but depending on what you get you may drinking a lot of your daily caloric intake on just one of these bad boys.  Jamba Juice has introduced their new line of smoothies: Fit n' Fruitful and if you care about a about probiotic diet their Probiotic Fruit & Yogurt blend may be more to your liking.
 

This week Jamba Juice is offering you a coupon to be able to taste these new lines.  For just $1 you can try the new Probiotic Fruit & Yogurt blend or for $2 you can try the new Fit n' Fruitful Smoothie.  Along with these two coupons is a $2 coupon for a Coldbuster Smoothie.

Which ever smoothie you decide to try I think Jamba Juice has a great deal going on and I wouldn't wait too long, since this coupon is only good for January 16th through January 19th.


Click for the Coupon:



I am not being paid for this endorsement

Resolutions-Schmesolutions

New Years resolutions... 

I don't normally like to make resolutions, because I tend to quit them two months after I've made them.  I guess it's the nature of the beast.  However, last year I made a personal resolution to find a home church and begin attending every weekend. 

I guess I need to digress a bit.  We moved to Washington State, from California, a few years ago and I never found a replacement church for us.  But, I made a resolution to go back to church and find a weekly home for us to worship in.  I am happy to say we are members in a church now and have been going steady every Saturday night (yes, our church has a Saturday night service) since January of last year.

Here it is again, a new year, a new resolution.  

I am taking on my finances.  I haven't always watched my money as well as I could have, but neither have I wasted money either.  I decided this year I was going to go the extra mile.  I am going to clip coupons, watch for weekly deals and put money back into my family's pocket.  Now don't expect to see me on TLC's Extreme Couponing.  I don't need a second job clipping coupons for hours at a time nor do I have the energy and to patience to do what the those fine ladies of that show do.  But, I can challenge myself to make changes.

So, here I am two weeks into my new resolution and I have a few figures to give you.



Week One:
Target-
Our local Target revamped the inside of their store to include a grocery section.  I normally wouldn't think about going to Target to grocery shop, but I am I have found Target a great way of picking up the NON-Costco supplies.  If your a Costco shopper you'll get this statement.  Sure I love cantaloupe like the next guy, but I don't need seven of them, nor can I eat seven of them before they spoil, nor do I have the space to store seven cantaloupes.

You get the picture.  Back to Target.

Did you know you could view Targets weekly ad online as well as clip and print coupons from their site?  I love this.  Target usually has coupons available on the same items in their weekly specials.  They have also been promoting weekly gift card specials.  If you buy a specific amount of a certain product Target has you will give you a five dollar gift card for you to use on your next visit.  If someone handed you a FREE five dollar bill, wouldn't you take it?  In just the last two weeks I have received two five dollar gift cards.
I did some shopping this week and my total purchase came to $101 and with my printed coupons, mail-flyer coupons, sale items and my FREE five dollar gift card I reduced my bill by $16 dollars.  No, I will probably never have a segment on Extreme Couponing, but I do have $16 back in my pocket.  Resolution for week one accomplished.

That brings us to...


Week Two:
Regal Movie Theaters-
Do you have a Regal Crown Club card?  If you don't, you should. The Crown Card is FREE to you and for every dollar you spend purchasing your movie tickets or buying any goodies at the concession stand you will earn points.  To date we have earned earned several FREE bags of popcorn, FREE sodas, FREE movie tickets and just this last week Regal offered a coupon, on their Facebook page, for a $2 Zap Pack.  What's a Zap Pack?  Yeah, you got me on that one too.  
Zap Pack:
A small popcorn, small soda and a small candy all in a convenient carrying caddy. 
What did I have to do to get this?  I had to "Like" Regals Facebook page and when I did Regal sent the Zap Pack coupon right to my cell phone, which I had to show at the concession stand.  They scanned the bar code right off my phone and for just $2 I got my Zap Pack.  The Zap Pack was just the perfect size to have a munch fest at the movie theater.  My husband and I usually spend $15-$20 for something like this to share, but not this weekend.

Most theaters are sporting some kind of rewards program you just have to ask them about theirs.


I am two weeks strong in my New Years Resolution.  I just hope I can keep this one going strong.


Happy New Year!



I am not being paid for this endorsement

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yee-Haa!


Is there a cowgirl in the house?

There is in this fun treasury that has featured our 
"Wanna Be A Cowgirl" ruffle skirt.

Our skirt is available to purchase at 




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nothing But A Bib


Ain't nothin' but a bib thing, baby!

It sure is and we are happy to be apart of a super treasury on Etsy.

You can purhcase our Pretty in Plaid reversible bib at our store.


Sunday, January 1, 2012


Amy Rose Designs wishes you and your family 
the best of health and happiness in the new year!