Thursday, June 14, 2012

Easy Sugar Cookies



These simple, quick sugar cookies are perfect for any occasion. Dress them up with frosting and sprinkles, or leave them plain for a quick dose of deliciousness. They're soft, flavorful, and very quick to cook up, so try them out!


Easy Sugar Cookies

Makes: 30 cookies
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup softened butter (It is very important to have the butter completely softened before starting in order to have soft cookies in the end. You can speed up the softening process by putting the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it's soft.)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!
Stacey


Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

American Sandwich Bread




The sweet smell of baking bread is one of the best fragrances I know of. Experience the great-smelling and great-tasting wonder of baking your own homemade bread with this amazing recipe. It happens to be by far the best bread I've ever tasted!


American Sandwich Bread

Makes: one 9-inch loaf
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes plus cooling time

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup water
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) melted butter
3 tbsp. honey
3 3/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for the counter
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tsp. salt

Directions:

1. Heat the milk and water in a small saucepan until the temperature reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat. Pour the melted butter and honey into the saucepan and stir well. Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt together in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

2. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  If, after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tsp. at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.

3. Rub a teaspoonful of flour around in your hands in order to avoid the dough sticking to your hands. Trust me, that really helps! Place the dough onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gentry press it into a 9-inch square. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam-side down into a 9-inch loaf pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until it has nearly doubled in size and springs back slowly when indented with a finger, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Brush the loaf with the remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Set the loaf on the oven rack and fill another empty loaf pan with the boiling water. Place this loaf pan next to the first. Bake until golden, 40 minutes. Flip the bread out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing, about 2 hours.

Enjoy!
Stacey


Recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins



If you've ever tasted one of Mimi's Cafe's buttermilk spice muffins, you know how delicious they are. Now you can make these bold, spiced muffins whenever you want. You'll be able to enjoy them fresh out of the oven with the satisfaction of knowing you've made them yourself. Best part? You'll be saving money, too!


Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

Muffin Batter-
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. buttermilk

Nut Topping (optional)-
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with a stand mixer. I recommend the KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan Series, which I just got and absolutely love! I'll be posting a review on it very soon.

2. When they are thoroughly mixed, add eggs and beat one more minute.

3. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, together with the baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

4. Add the flour and the buttermilk to the first mixture, and mix at low speed until smooth.

5. Make the nut topping: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

6. Grease muffin tin with butter or margarine. You can also use paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Add a full, rounded tablespoon of nut topping on top of each muffin cup of batter. Bake immediately or the topping will sink to the bottom.

Enjoy!
Stacey


Recipe courtesy of Mimi's Cafe.