Baking               Cake Decorating               Tutorials              

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Sugar Cookies




First off, I want to thank all of my blogger buddies for the overwhelming and genuine support that I received on my surgery update post. It means a lot to me and I am sending virtual hugs to every one of you. Recovery is going slow as expected, but I am progressing a little each day. I'll post another health update after my follow up towards the end of the month. Now on to the star of this post, cookies!

Sugar cookies are a staple at any Christmas party and besides chocolate chip it is often the first cookie you get to taste in your childhood. The simplicity of them is what makes them one of my favorite cookies. Sometimes the less complicated something is, the better it will be. There are many varieties of sugar cookies out there, but this one has a hint of vanilla in it and is soft on the inside.

I added some extra Christmas flair to these cookies by decorating them with Christmas themed sprinkles that  I saw in my local TJ Maxx. There are just so many great things in that store that are reasonably priced. :-) I thought the sprinkles were so cute and couldn't pass them up.





I participated in the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year and sent a dozen of these cookies each to three bloggers. I also received three dozen cookies from three bloggers. It was fun to participate and I  got to discover some new blogs along the way. If you want to be notified about next years cookie swap click here.


Christmas Sugar Cookies

Yield: 24 2 inch cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup  unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (You can reuse the parchment paper for all batches.)

For the Christmas sugar cookies:

1. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat unsalted butter on low speed until smooth. Add vegetable oil.
2. Add granulated sugar, powdered sugar. egg, and pure vanilla extract to  butter mixture mixing on low speed after each addition.
3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt beating on low speed until combined.
4. Wrap dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 20 minutes if pressed for time.
5. With a 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon cookie scoop place cookie dough 2 inches a part on cookie sheet. 
6. Bake for 10 minutes
7. Let cookie cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheet  and place on cooling rack until cooled completely.






The three blogs that I was matched with for the cookie swap and sent cookies to are Baking A Moment, Nourished Simply, and Honey Plate. Check out their blogs to see what cookies they made for the cookie swap.

The three blogs that sent me cookies are The Red Head Baker, A Scrumptious Life, and On Sugar Mountain. Hop on over to their blogs to see what cookies I received. 

I hope you are all having a great week. 10 days until Christmas! Have you attended any cookie swaps this Christmas season?  

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #savorthebaking!

Notes:
Let cookie sheet cool completely in between batches of cookies. 

Recipe from Joy The Baker

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Sunday, December 7, 2014

List Love Sunday + Surgery Update





Right now I am recovering from surgery this past Friday (iPhone picture below) and it's almost 5 AM on Saturday. I am in a lot of pain and can barely move from the surgery. Fibroids were found on my uterus and scar tissue were found on several organs, including my uterus. I have to wait until my follow up appointment on December 29 to see if the scar tissue is linked to endometriosis and to hear what else my Doctors have to say. I originally thought recovery time would be 2 weeks, but it is actually 3 weeks. Thanks for all of the well wishes and concern. It means a lot to me.

With that being said, I have made the decision to take next week off from blogging, since I didn't get to schedule any posts. I will still be connected to the blogging world by continuing to comment on my favorite blogs during that time. The blogging community has shown me so much support these last few months and I am so grateful.

My next post will be on December 15 and I may only be posting 1 to 2 food posts a week until after December 29.  This week there seemed to be not enough hours in the day for me with trying to prepare things before surgery. I hope you all had a great week. Here are my favorite links and things of the week.

  • This bakers gift guide by Sweetapolita has a lot of fun things for the baker in your life.



  • I discovered this photography website named YouPic.






Before surgery ~ Look how tiny I am compared to the bed....lol.


I hope you all are having a great Sunday. What were your favorite links and things of the week?


Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mango Smoothie




Right now I am probably knocked out and in surgery (yikes!), but I still wanted to get something up to round off the blogging week. This mango smoothie is just plain delicious. It's simple to make and you can add in your favorite fruits to make it even more special. The combinations are limitless with this one.




The mango alone makes this smoothie thicker than most so be sure to really dice the mango up. Dicing it in cubes might make it a little easier on your blender and decrease the blending time.

Mango Smoothie

Yield: 2 8 oz cups

Ingredients:

1/2 mango (diced into bite sized pieces)
1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how sweet  you want the smoothie)
1 cup Simply orange with mango
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup ice


Instructions:

For the mango smoothie


1. Place ingredients in a blender.
2. Start the blender on low speed and progress to high speed.
3. Blend all ingredients until combined and smooth.







I hope that you all have a great weekend. What are your weekend plans as the Christmas season kicks off?


If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #savorthebaking!

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Squares



Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. They are sweet with a little tang to them. My favorite cake that my Mom makes is a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting. These strawberry shortcake squares are perfect for those days when you want a light snack. The shortcake is light and is filled with  strawberry chunks. A dollop of whipped topping on the the top with a strawberry slice seals the deal.




These squares can be adaptable to your taste preference and would be ideal to bring to many different events. I believe I will bake these the next time I have to bring something to an event. A mixer isn't required and they don't take a lot of time to make.


Strawberry Shortcake Squares

Yield: 9 squares

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup yogurt
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup diced strawberries

Instructions:

For the strawberry shortcake squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with nonstick baking spray.

1. Melt butter in microwave and let cool.
2. In a medium sized bowl whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
3. Add granulated sugar to the melted butter and whisk until combined.
4. To the butter mixture add egg whites, egg yolk, yogurt, milk, and pure vanilla extract until combined.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
6. Gently fold 1/2 cup of strawberries into the batter.
7. Pour batter into 8 x8 pan and smooth top with the back of a spoon.
8. Take remaining 1/4 cup of strawberries and sprinkle evenly on top of the batter.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick is inserted in middle and comes out clean.
10. Let shortcake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Place squares on cooling rack until cooled completely.
11. Top squares with whipped topping and strawberry slice.






There are only four more weeks until 2015 creeps up on us. I have a feeling this month will go by fast. What is your favorite strawberry dessert?

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #savorthebaking!


Notes:

Toss diced strawberries in a little flour before placing in batter. This will help them not to sink.

2/3 cup can be made by combining 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons

Recipe adapted and inspired by Sally's Baking Addiction


Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Monday, December 1, 2014

M & M Brownies



I've always had a thing for milk chocolate M&M's.They are original and classic. Many varieties are in stores now, but the milk chocolate one's are still my favorite. What better way to enjoy M&M's than to pair them with a simple chocolate brownie. It doesn't get any better than that.

This M&M brownie is full of M&M's inside and out. The chocolate flavor of the brownie is not too overpowering, since the M&M's are the star of this show.






M&M Brownies

Yield: 16-20 brownies (depending on size of squares)

Ingredients:

3/4  cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk chocolate M&M's

Instructions:

For the M&M Brownies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 8 x 8 square pan with tin foil for easy clean up.


1. In a medium sized bowl whisk all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
2. In another medium sized bowl  whisk egg, vegetable oil and granulated sugar.
3. Add pure vanilla extract, water, and unsweetened Hershey's cocoa powder the wet ingredients.       Whisk until combined.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
5. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of M&M's.
6. Spread brownie batter evenly into 8 x 8 square pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of M&M's on top of brownie batter. Be careful that they don't sink.
8. Bake brownies for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick is inserted in center and comes out clean.
9. Let brownies cool in pan for 5 minutes.
10. Remove brownies from pan and place on cooling rack until cooled completely.




I hope you all have a great start to the week. What is your favorite way to pair candy with dessert?

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #savorthebaking!

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Sunday, November 30, 2014

List Love Sunday + Upcoming Surgery



Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is in full effect. Festive lights sparkle on houses and sales are popping up all over the place. I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and are taking some time out for you with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. 

I have an upcoming surgery on December 5 so I may  not be blogging too much the week after. Yes, it's one of those surgeries where at least two weeks of recovery time is needed. I must admit I am nervous about it. I'll try to schedule some blog posts for the time that I will have to be away. Here are my favorite links and things of the week.



  • I have been watching the Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network. It's a fun show to watch for the season and it includes baking. :-)



  • Holiday spatulas like these are so cute and bring a smile to my face. I collect one every year.




I hope that you are all having a great Sunday. What were some of your favorite links and things of the week?

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cookies n Cream Milkshake




Whether you are spending the day shopping or staying at home and relaxing this cookies n cream milkshake will be a great holiday treat. With just a few simple ingredients and a  blender  you will have a great tasting milkshake. You can even make it for Santa and leave it next to some fresh baked cookies...lol.  




The base of this milkshake is french vanilla ice cream. I wanted the flavor of the vanilla specks to shine through in this recipe. This milkshake is simple and straight to the point. No fancy tricks on this one.


Cookies n Cream Milkshake

Yield - 2 8 oz glasses

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 cups french vanilla ice cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 Oreo cookies
whipped topping

Instructions:

1. Place milk, french vanilla ice cream, and pure vanilla extract in blender. Set aside.
2. Scrape the filling out of 3 Oreo cookies and place only the cookies in the blender.
3. Start blender on low speed and progress to high speed until all ingredients are combined.
4. Pour milkshake into cup and cover with whipped topping.
5. Scrape filling out of remaining Oreo cookie. Crumble cookie over whipped topping.





I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. How are you spending the post Thanksgiving weekend?

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #savorthebaking!

Savor The Baking,
Chineka
 
UA-56305807-1