I Heart Chocolate Chip Cookies


I love using cookie cutters so much so that I pretty much only make rolled sugar cookies. However, one of my childhood favourites is classic chocolate chip cookies and I was feeling a little deprived and sick of frosted sugar cookies (I’m sure this will pass). So, you wouldn’t believe how excited I was when I came across Callye (aka SweetSugarBelle)’s blog post for rolled and cookie cutter friendly chocolate chip cookies. It’s was best of both worlds – fulfilling my chocolate chip need and using my growing stack of cookie cutters!

I’ll admit though, I was a little bit nervous. I mean, these cookies are known as drop cookies, meaning they spread and form their own shape when baked. Would the dough listen to my predetermined cookie cutter or would they get it their little minds to create their own shape? Also since there are chocolate chips wouldn’t it be, oh I dunno, difficult to cut with a cookie cutter? I slowly accepted these fears as a challenge and decided to push through.

I blamed my chocolate chip cookie craving.

One thing I noticed that there is no baking soda in the recipe, so there would be minimal dough rising/forming. Still, I was a little skeptical that my cookies would be able to keep their shapes. Just because someone else was successful at it doesn’t mean that I would be just as successful. The universe is mysterious and cruel that way.

Callye makes a note that is to use a good cutter and boy she wasn’t kidding! Those chocolate chips are rough to cut through. I didn’t have any mini chocolate chips on hand since I just bought a huge bag of semi-sweet regulars from Costco, so something tells me that having minis makes the cutting process easier.

What she didn’t mention was how good the cookie dough is on its own. I guess that goes without saying though, as this pile of scraps used to be bigger.

So here are the cookies before they went into the oven. You can bet I was crossing my fingers that they would keep their heart shapes.

And they did! These chocolate chip cookies were moist and delicious and I highly recommend the recipe. I even substituted the butter for margarine (a frequent habit of mine) and accidentally added a full egg instead of just the required yolk (not a frequent habit – I was making supper at the same time and taking photos) and they tasted just as great with a cold glass of milk.

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day.

Blank Canvas Cookies

My favourite way to start the cookie decorating process is by starting with a white icing background, or a blank canvas if you will. This gives me a chance to practice my piping skills by outlining and filling the cookies and organize my gel colours for what I want to use.

Plus a white background makes your other decorations pop nicely, whether its more icing, sprinkles or drawing with edible writing markers. I bought these bad boys at Michaels with a 40% off coupon (they always get me). I’m not sure if you can buy Americolor in Canada which is the edible marker brand that everyone raves about, but these work just fine.

Mmmm, nothing beats a platter of Valentine’s Day cookies!

Glee Cookies!

To say that I’m excited for tonight’s Superbowl episode of Glee is a complete understatement. If you asked Trevor, he’d say that I’ve talked about nothing else these past few days. To be fair though, it’s been 2 months since the newest episode, so I’m going through major withdrawal.

The cookie recipe I used is from Cookie Craft. My mixer is still broken, so I used a wooden spoon. And then my hands. I’m domestic and crazy that way.

I didn’t have a star cutter, so created the shape with a knife and the little paper cut-out beside the square cutter in the top of the picture. I just had to make gold stars because they remind me of Rachel Berry.

The square, heart and flower cutters are from Bulk Barn. Have I ever mentioned that I love Bulk Barn? It’s right up there with my love of Glee. And cookie decorating. But I think Glee might be higher. Nothing makes me happier than a new Glee episode.

Except maybe a new cookie cutter.

They make cookies look so pretty.

For Christmas, I found these bad boys in my stocking. My family knows what I love and you can bet I’ll be wearing these in anticipation tonight. Not for the football game though, that would be crazy!

Okay, enough football, back to Glee. Does everyone remember the episode when Rachel makes her famous “I’m sorry” cookies for Mr. Shue? That was all I could think of when I was piping and decorating these cookies. I knew I should have made more stars!

Have a great Sunday everyone! And enjoy the new episode!

Making Royal Icing Without a Mixer

YES, it IS possible!

Today was a snow day in the GTA and due to the terrible road conditions, I didn’t have to go to work. This meant one thing that I’ve been putting off for the last week – attempting to make royal icing without my beloved mixer (RIP). I’d probably been putting it off due to fear of failing, but honestly it was much easier than I expected.

I pulled out my handy Pampered Chef whisk, setting myself in front of the television with a DVD of Gilmore Girls, rolled up my sleeves and went to town. To mimic the normal speedy action of a mixer, I whisked nonstop……for the required 10 minutes. Yes, I’m probably insane, but it worked and I really wanted to decorate cookies today.

The icing recipe I used is one I modified from Cookie Craft, which was one of the cookbooks I bought with an early birthday present Chapters giftcard (the other was The Pioneer Woman Cooks). I like using meringue instead of egg whites because I’m terrible at remembering that I have egg whites in the fridge that I have to use by a certain time.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 4 tsp meringue powder (I use Wilton's, had no problems so far)
  • 4 tbsp warm water (Cookie Craft says 3 tbsp, but I find it to be too thick)
 

Directions:

*This is what I use for piping the outlines of my cookies. I tend to add another 2 - 4 tsp of warm water to the remaining icing for the flooding.
(modified from Cookie Craft)

This was me for most of this morning, decorating cookies. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect snow day.

Cupcakes Heal Everything

Right after I came home from Christmas, I decided to take a Michael’s cake decorating class. I’d been meaning to do this for years and now I didn’t have to excuse of unexpected (film) work coming up, so what was holding me back?

So on a busy Saturday, I went and signed up for the basic class set to start on January 30th.

Cut to three weeks later, I had all my supplies neatly organized in my reusable Sobey’s bag (blueberry theme), my class syllabus and my receipt (this later made a big difference). I made sugar cookies on Friday (real butter!) and had the required six tucked away lovingly in a baggie, wrapped in paper towel and nested in a plastic container to later bring home decorated with the Wilton brand icing I purchased……or so I thought.

I arrived at the class 10 minutes early and waited as the Michael’s associates set up around myself and two other early birds. As we settled in our seats, and others joined us, I began to notice what everyone else had in their bulging bags. This didn’t immediately alarm me, but I saw that one lady had a gum paste kit with her. Then I saw another already had her icing bags set up and ready to go. These items were not listed on the required items list. Suddenly fear and panic set in. Did I come on the wrong date? Wrong time? Wrong class?

My fears were confirmed when I approached the teacher in front of everyone. Apparently when I registered for the class, the sales associate had accidentally put me in the intermediate cake decorating class, but still given me a basics syllabus and outline. These people already knew how to ice a cake and properly pipe roses with ease, where as I could barely fill an icing bag and keep my hands their normal colour.

Thankfully, a store manager took pity on my panic and saved me before the class really began, so I really only humiliated myself in front of half a dozen more talented people. I was led away from the room of the prying, nosy and probably judgmental eyes to the front of store registers, where I was properly registered for the next upcoming decorating basics class starting on February 18th and given a heartfelt apology for the mix-up.

Now working years in a retail setting myself, I knew it wasn’t the store managers fault, so I was polite and thankful and even making jokes about the mix-up. Inside I was steaming and red-faced and wanting the whole thing to be over and to be speeding down the road in my car, driving far, far away from this whole ordeal.

So I went back home, slightly demoralized from the whole experience and even a little sad, especially because I’d been looking so forward to taking this class. I tried not to make a big deal about it, considering that I’m still taking the class (19 days later than expected).

How did I fix this funk that I was in? I took to the facebook to mildly vent and my friends had the best idea: CUPCAKES.

Mini vanilla cupcakes with pink/white swirled icing with a few drops of almond flavouring. Delicious.