Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shortcut Tuesday - Slice and Bake Cookies (a day late)

Hi everyone,

Sorry I'm late for Shortcut Tuesday!  This shortcut is for making slice and bake cookies, so it's a time shortcut, in a way.

When I make up a batch of cookie dough, I don't always want to bake it all.  With this method, you can just slice off a few and bake them up!

All you have to do is place your dough on a sheet of cling wrap, like so:

Smooth is out a bit, and roll the cling wrap around it, then roll the dough back and forth to make it a log:

I did mine in two logs so they would fit into my refrigerator easily.

Just refrigerate the dough for three hours, and when you want to bake some, slice the dough and bake!  It might be helpful to write the oven temp and time on the cling wrap with a sharpie.

These should be good for about a week, but I doubt they'll last that long in your fridge..there's nothing like popping a few in the oven when you come in from a blustery cold day!

- Sugar Baby

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shortcut Tuesday - Monkey Bread!

Hi everyone!  It's Shortcut Tuesday, and today's recipe is for Monkey Bread, that delicious mound of biscuit dough covered in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  This is not my recipe, just sharing the love!

This shortcut for this recipe is using refrigerated biscuit dough instead of making dough from scratch.  The recipe is:

Bundt pan - mine is ten inches across
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cans (7.5 oz each) refrigerated biscuit dough (not the large size aka Grands)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 brown sugar, packed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a Bundt pan with spray.  Make sure you spray the center part so you can unpan it easily.

In a plastic container, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Many recipes say to put them in a bag, but I find a plastic container is easier.

Open the biscuit cans and cut each biscuit into quarters:

Throw a few of them in the cinnamon sugar container, put the lid on and shake - this is a great job for kids who want to help!

Put the sugar-cinnamon biscuit pieces into the Bundt pan.

Continue until all four cans of dough are cut, tossed and put in the pan:

Put the brown sugar in a bowl, and pour the melted butter over it.  Stir until there are no lumps.

Pour this delicious concoction over the biscuits, as evenly as you can.  Don't worry if you don't cover every single piece of dough:

Bake for 40 minutes or until it's nice and golden on top.  I pulled this one out 6 minutes early, so keep an eye on it for the last ten minutes.

Cool for a little while, turn upside down, and cool some more.  Speaking from experience, that sugar mix is super hot and can burn.  When warm, but not hot, pull off a piece and enjoy!

Thanks for coming to Shortcut Tuesday,
- Sugar Baby

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes, Part Three

These cupcakes use the same pot of gold that I made for the last ones - a Junior Mint dabbed with frosting and dipped in yellow sugar.  I tinted the frosting green, and made the rainbow out of little M&M minis! Just put the minis upside down, so you can't see the trademark "m."

So cute!
- Sugar Baby

Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes, Part Two

I hope you enjoyed the cupcakes from yesterday!  The ones below are a lot easier to make - the rainbow is an Airhead Xtremes sour candy, and the "pot of gold" is just a Junior Mint dabbed with frosting and dunked in yellow sprinkles.

I'll have one more cupcake idea tomorrow!
- Sugar Baby

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day Cupcakes, Part One

Shamrock Cupcakes!

I made these cute cupcakes with a dogwood cutter from Wilton, part of a set you can find here.

Just prepare and color the fondant like this, cut out using the dogwood cutter, and place on top of your favorite cupcake!  If you don't have the dogwood cutter, you could improvise with a heart cutter, and place the pointy ends of the hearts in the center.

I'll have another fun St. Patty's cupcake tomorrow.
- Sugar Baby

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chocolate Croissants

I'm starting something called Shortcut Tuesdays, where I will post recipes that requires very little time.  We all have busy lives, and there's nothing wrong with taking shortcuts!

This post is all about chocolate croissants, the easy way!  I LOVE chocolate croissants, and would have them for breakfast every morning, if I could.  Unfortunately, making them is a long, involved process - so when you're craving that chocolatey goodness, but you're short on time, just make these:

These are made from crescent rolls that can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.  All I did was add some chocolate chips near the wider end of the dough and roll them up.  The outer ends should be folded up on top, and then pushed down to seal.  Bake for the time listed on the package, and enjoy!

These would be great filled with nutella, your favorite jam, or even something savory like ham and cheese.

Admittedly, these are not exactly the same as real croissants, but they'll do in a pinch,
- Sugar Baby

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

I was flipping through some cookbooks, feeling uninspired, and decided that I wanted to make a peanut butter thumbprint cookie with a raspberry jam filling.  It took some trial and error to get the perfect result, because I wanted a soft, chewy cookie that would keep its shape after I made the thumbprint in it.

I made two batches that weren't quite right, and finally settled on this recipe:

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs (I used large eggs)
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.  [I don't sift or whisk, but feel free to)

In a stand or electric mixer set at medium speed, cream together the butter and two types of sugar. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the peanut butter and vanilla.  Mix until well blended.

Add the flour/baking soda/salt mixture bit by bit until combined.  Please be careful not to overwork the flour or you will end up with cookies that are tough.

At this point, you can add a small amount of water if you think the dough is too dry.

I used a 1.5 inch scoop to ensure the same size cookies, then rolled the dough between my hands to form a ball.  [You could just eyeball the size, if you wanted to.]

Put the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown.  [If you prefer a crunchy cookie, you can bake them a little longer.]

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and immediately press the round end of a wooden spoon into the center of each ball.  The cookie will crack around the edges - this is normal.

Let the cookies cool for several minutes, then spoon the jam into the indentation.  I found that seedless raspberry jam was really easy to work with, but you can use the jam or jelly of your choice.

Let them cool the rest of the way, and enjoy!
- Sugar Baby

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Favorite blogs

Hi everyone!

I've been super busy, and haven't had time to post, but I'm working on a piping tips and tricks post, which I will put up soon.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share which blogs I love to read:


Louise is a decorating genius, and her treats are beyond gorgeous!  She has some guest bloggers who are equally talented, and it makes for a wonderful blog.

Coco Cakes

Lyndsay makes stunning cakes and treats, and has some serious piping skills.  She adds fun and festive flags and signs to her creations, and her blog is a treat to visit.

My Baking Addiction

Jamie's blog has so many features that you could spend all day just exploring.  She has amazing recipes, both for desserts and for entrees, and adds some really cool craft ideas as well.

Bake at 350

I've talked about Bridget in my last post, because she has an amazing book out called "Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations & Everyday."  She makes the most beautiful cookies you've ever seen, and shares step by step details so you can make them as well!


Angie is the creator of the amazing cake pops!  She does more than just cake pops, however...she makes lovely cookies, cakes, brownies, etc.  She also does some great things with fondant!

Cake Wrecks

Jen and her husband John are the creators of this awesome site that showcases "when professional cakes go horribly hilariously wrong."  Always good for a laugh, they also showcase beautifully done cakes on Sundays.

I read many more, but these are my all-time favorites!   I'd love to hear from you on your favorites, as well - leave me a note in the comment section.

- Sugar Baby