sprinkled sugar cookie christmas trees.

this is really just a sneaky cute way to save space on the overflowing holiday cookie tray. 

these cookies use the recipe for daisy's sprinkle sugar cookies, which are equally simple, delicious, and so fun. 

heyyyyyy! if you're reading this, it means that i've released my new blog location out into the wild!  all the content that was on my old blogger site now lives here.   it has been a big task to move 4 1/2 years of photos and content to a new platform. at times i wanted to explode/run away/throw my computer through a wall, but it has come together with the help of some awesome folks who helped keep my frustrations with technology at bay. 

thanks for the fun logo and extra tech support, james! and so many thank-yous to sara who really helped me make sense of all the back-end technical issues and got me to the point where i could continue working on this without screaming (i'm making myself sound quite violent/angry...but technological difficulties really bog me down sometimes). i'm not sure how a few things behind-the-scenes will function as i continue to post new content here, buuut hopefully i will be able to figure it out by my lonesome! 

so this is my new blog! i'm most stoked on the search function (my old search bar on blogger didn't work worth diddly-squat), CATEGORIES (!!!), archives, and an overall cleaner look and feel.  

moving right along...  christmas cookie time!

making sugar cookies is always fun around christmas time.  especially when oodles of colorful sprinkles are involved.  you could also frost them all up, but i didn't want them to stick together.

whip up your cookie dough and let it chill for a bit.  then comes the fun part.

i had grand visions of a specific color of green sprinkles, but of course target duped me into buying a giant 4-pack of sprinkles just so i could get this jar of multi-colored christmassy ones.

go about making sugar cookies as usual, but gently squish a layer of sprinkles into the dough before pressing in the cookie cutter.  all the remaining dough that was littered with various sprinkles by the time i had all the star shapes cut out was just rolled into balls to make some bonus chubby cookies.

i only had the largest size of star cookie cutter.  i resorted to cutting free-hand stars for the littler star shapes.  

bake these cuties for around 8 minutes.  let them cool on a wire rack.  then you can stack em up into these adorable little trees!

these make me happy just looking at them.

Sprinkled Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees

Makes 12-18 cookies (2-4 sugar cookie Christmas trees)

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup colored sprinkles
  • star-shaped cookie cutters of varying size

Instructions-

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add almond extract and egg and mix until smooth.  Slowly add flour,  baking soda and baking powder, mixing well until a dough forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for an hour, or freeze for only 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  After dough has been chilled, roll it out on a well-floured surface until the dough is less than 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle a handful of colored sprinkles onto one area of the dough and pat the area gently with a flat spatula until the sprinkles are stuck in the dough (as depicted in the photos above). Press the star-shaped cookie cutter into the sprinkled area until it cuts all the way through the dough.  With a metal spatula, carefully and gently move the star shape onto the prepared (lightly greased) cookie sheet.  Repeat this process using different sizes of the star-shaped cookie cutters.  Roll the remaining dough into balls if you don't need to make shapes out of the entire batch of dough.

I didn't have smaller cookie cutters, so I just free-handed smaller star shapes into the dough. They're kind of goofy, but it will do the trick (and give your sugar cookie Christmas trees some character).  

Place all the star cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the center is still slightly soft.

Immediately remove cookies from the baking sheet, and let cool on a wire rack.

Starting with the largest size of star at the base, build a stack of star cookies about 5-8 cookies tall, using smaller star cookies as you go, and rotating the points of the star with each layer. Place a sprinkle, mini marshmallow, or any little edible decor that could work as a tree topper on your fun little cookie tree. 

enjoy all the cuteness while saving space on your holiday cookie trays at the same time! 



qp

birthday pancakes!

growing up, one of my best friend's parents always made us this wild breakfast the morning of her birthday.  we would spend the night at their house the night before, and come morning we were sure to find this colorful display of sugary goodness waiting for us at the table.  it was pretty much the best thing that could happen to a kid and we looked forward to it every single year.

flash forward to one week ago, and that long-time friend of mine gave birth to her first baby the night before her own birthday.  he is such a precious peach; she might even love him more than these delicious pancakes ;)

on her actual birthday, april 4th, we went back to the hospital to visit.  her sweet parents brought a huge cake there to celebrate her big day.  it was the exact same group of people eating cake in her hospital room that shared this pancake breakfast together at their house every year of her life.  in a way, it made me feel really grown up and old to be celebrating her birthday in the hospital next to her newborn baby, but at the same time i think i was just as excited about making these pancakes today as i was when i was 8! :)  i just thought it was a really special moment to be there with alex, her parents, and my best friend katie, just as we had done so many times before.  

i couldn't stop thinking about these chocolate pancakes after that.   so to celebrate alex & baby finn's birthdays, here is an ode to the most magical birthday breakfast, inspired by alex's awesome parents who always, always, always found the simplest ways to excite us kids out of our little minds.

did you see the movie, 'the little princess' circa 1995?  well for me, coming to the table to see stacks of chocolate pancakes and every color sprinkles and fruit and bacon and sausage and whipped cream and all these fun toppings pretty much made me feel just like

the scene where the girls have a mysterious feast waiting for them in their bedroom

when they wake up and the food is steaming hot and the sheer orange curtains are letting the most gorgeous morning light in on all these amazing flowers and they have new robes and surprise slippers and there's this mystical foggy glow and there are chimes and sitar music coming from nowhere and its like in slow motion kind of and there is also a cute monkey and its truly magical.  yep so take that actual beautiful visual and picture me and my two friends and her little brother at a table shoving chocolate chips and reddi-whip and sausage links in our mouths until we couldn't move.  it was way less glamorous, but that's honestly how cool i thought this breakfast was.

an elementary school kid's dream.

ice cream toppings for breakfast?!? sign us up!

and we'd each probably only be able to eat one pancake with all the toppings before we were totally gut-bombed.  bless those parents for going above and beyond and then probably throwing away ten pounds of food.

then we'd probably go watch a disney movie or run around in a field or put our sleeping bags on our heads and walk around the house.  those were the simpler times.

happy birthday to alex, and welcome to earth, baby finneon! :)

Chocolate Pancakes

Makes 10-12 medium sized pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 TB. sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 TB milk
  • 1 egg white, 1 egg yolk (separated)

Toppings!

  • sliced banana
  • sliced strawberries
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate chips
  • whipped cream
  • maple syrup
  • chocolate syrup
  • cherries
  • Whatever you want!
  • Choose your own adventure! 
  • Go nuts! Its ya birfday.

Instructions-

In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  Add the milk.  Crack the egg and carefully separate the egg white from the yolk, placing the egg white in a small bowl, and the yolk into the bowl with the dry ingredients and milk.

Heat a large pan to medium heat and brush with a light layer of butter or cooking spray.

Beat the egg white until fluffy and almost firm.  Set aside.  Mix the dry ingredients, milk, and yolk until there are no lumps.  Add the whipped egg white on top and fold in gently with a large spoon to maintain fluffiness.

Once the pan is hot enough, drop about a 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan with the large spoon.  You can do 2-4 pancakes at once, as long as they don't touch each other and blend together.  When bubbles begin to pop, carefully flip the pancake over and let cook for about one more minute.

Remove from heat and serve immediately with all your delectable toppings!!! Yummerz!

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