TUTORIAL: Duck Dynasty Cookies

Anyone who knows us knows how big of fans we are of Duck Dynasty on A & E. Especially my boys who think it is hilarious. So both of them requested Duck Dynasty as the theme for their birthday parties. Now while I didn’t get time to do all the fancy decor as in past years I did manage to make some pretty adorable cookies for birthday treats. So here’s how I did them.

I used a Frankenstein head cutout I got from a Wilton Halloween set a few years ago. I turned it upside down because to me it looked like a face with ears and a beard.  You can see my original plan sketch.

Duck Dynasty Cookie
Duck Dynasty Cookie

I used my Sugar Cookie recipe to bake the cookies. I started by doing the face part because it will need to be behind the beard.

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After I filled in the face and let it dry I started outlining the beard.

Duck Dynasty Cookie

Once it was outlined I filled it in.  Then I waited til it had dried a bit and scratched it vertically with a butter knife.  I wanted the beard to have some texture and this was the best way I could think of.  It worked out well I think.

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Because I was doing a representation of Phil Robertson and he wears a camo headband I next outlined the headband.  When I filled in the headband I used two colors of green and a tan.  I put spots of each of them within the outline and then swirled them with a toothpick to make them more camo-like.  I forgot to take a picture of that but you can see it in the final pictures.

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The final step was to add a face.  My boys thought that my orignal sketch looked like the eyes were closed so I decided on dots instead.  The nose was tricky and I didn’t get them to all be uniform but I am happy happy happy with how they turned out.

Duck Dynasty Cookie

You can see the noses were all a bit different but it works!

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Hopefully you will be inspired to create your own Duck Dynasty cookie.

RECIPE – Apple Crisp Cheesecake

I know it’s been forever again since I blogged and I promise to finish our Disney Cruise story but I had to share this recipe because I promised it last year to a great friend of mine and I never got to it!  So this one is for you Jen!

My basic cheesecake recipe can be found here.  The difference is going to be a different crust and adding some apples and cinnamon.

Crust:

1 stick butter melted

1 c. Oatmeal

1 c. Sugar

1 c. Flour

Filling:

Basic cheesecake batter recipe

2 c. Apples

1 tsp Cinnamon

Topping:

6 T melted butter

3/4 c. oatmeal

3/4 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pat crust mixture into a 9″ springform pan.  Bake crust for 15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.  It is important to bake this crust enough because otherwise it will taste raw after baking is complete.  While the crust is baking make the filling.  Once the crust has cooled a bit you will begin pouring filling over crust.  I layer the apples (which I slice with my peeler corer slicer from Pampered Chef) and filling alternately.  Then top the cheesecake with the topping mixture.  Bake for 35-60 minutes or until the middle doesn’t jiggle.  I realize this is going to be tough to figure out because of the topping but just do your best.  I usually bake this one a little longer than I think because you don’t want it to be mush in the middle and the apples in the filling cause it need a longer baking time.

I also generally use the broiler to brown the topping because I like it to look golden brown.  ENJOY!

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RECIPE: Chocolate Chip Cookies

We all have a recipe that brings us back to our childhood and this is mine!  For those of you who grew up in New Richland you will remember the Quiram’s Bakery chocolate chip cookies.  I think this recipe tastes just like them and I LOVE them!  So I’m sharing them with you so you can get a little taste of nostalgia!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c white sugar

1 c brown sugar

10 T sweet cream butter, softened

10 T shortening (Crisco brand makes a difference!)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 2/3 c flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 package mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place butter and shortening in the mixing bowl.

2.  Add both sugars and beat until smooth and creamy.

3. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Also add vanilla.

4.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt in small amounts and beat until incorporated.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are mixed in.

5.  Add chocolate chips and beat until they are all mixed in.

6.  Scoop dough onto pan leaving enough room for them to spread out.  I sometimes like to do small cookies so I just use my 1 T scoop.  If you want a larger cookie the 2 T scoops work well too.

7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges but not too dark.  I bake them until they are just barely looking done.  Then I leave them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute because they will set up and are then easy to scoop off the pan.  Place on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to stack.

Just a note…try not to eat all the dough raw.  I have an issue with this and end up eating several cookies worth of dough!  ENJOY!!

RECIPE: Cheesecake

As you know I have previously been a part of two dessert businesses.  There were over 60 flavors of cheesecake on my menu at one point in time.  The way that was possible is that I have a base recipe for cheesecake and then add lots of different ingredients to it.  So I’m going to share with you my base recipe and tell you how to add to it and make MANY flavors to impress your friends and family!

The one thing that is different and fabulous about this cheesecake is the crust.  It is a short bread cookie crust!  After much experimenting it was the best crust that would hold together and not crumble while eating it.  A graham cracker crust works well but is kind of messy!

Cheesecake – Base Recipe

Shortbread Crust:

1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted

1 c flour

1/3 c brown sugar

Cheesecake Batter:

3 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese

1 c sugar

1 c sour cream

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1. Add flour and brown sugar to melted butter.  Mix well.

2. Pat into the bottom of a cheesecake pan.  I use a pan with a removable bottom and it works great but a springform pan is a traditional cheesecake pan and that will work fine too!

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. I put a pan under it because butter sometimes drips and then makes my smoke alarm go off!

3.  While crust is baking add cream cheese and sugar to mixing bowl.  Mix for a few minutes until it is very creamy and smooth.

4.  Add sour cream and vanilla.  Mix well.

5.  Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated between additions.

6.  This is where you can add other ingredients.  First example I will give you is for lemon cheesecake.  Add the juice and zest of one lemon.  Mix well.

7.  Pour batter into pan on top of crust.  Bake in oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes.  I always check it after about 25 because depending on the ingredients you add you will need to adjust the baking time.  What you are looking for is that when you jiggle the pan you can only see a small circle of the batter still jiggling in the center.  It will continue to bake a small amount in the pan but not much.  What you do not want is to overbake it and then it will crack.

This is the lemon cheesecake after baking.  I also take a knife and run it round the side when it is still hot so it doesn’t stick as much.  Place it in the freezer until it is set.  I store it in the freezer until we want to eat it.  It will keep for quite a while depending on what you store it in but it will get freezer burned after a bit.

ENJOY!  I’ll be back to share with you some ideas of what other kids of cheesecake you can create with this base recipe!

RECIPE: Buttercream Frosting

Every good cake or cupcake deserves and equally delicious frosting.  This is one of my favorites (second only to cream cheese frosting).  It goes well with most every kind of cake and is easily changed by adding different flavors!  It is my go-to frosting when I do cakes.

Buttercream Frosting

1 c. butter, softened

6 c. powdered sugar

6-8 T milk

1-2 tsp almond flavoring

 1. Begin by creaming butter.

2. Next add some of the powdered sugar and milk.  I usually start with 2 c powdered sugar and 2 T milk.  I usually cover it with a kitchen towel so that I don’t get a powdered sugar facial!

3.  Once you get a good mixture going add the almond flavoring.  It is 1-2 tsp but I never measure I just dump it in.

4.  Keep adding ingredients and mixing until everything is in.  You want it to be creamy.  Be careful not to mix on too high of speed or you will end up with lots of air bubbles in the frosting and that will cause issues when you are trying to spread it.

That’s it!  Try not to eat too much of it before you frost your cupcakes!

RECIPE: Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes

Just in time for your Easter celebrations I’m gong to let you in on another one of my ‘secret’ recipes!  Everyone RAVES about these cupcakes and I must admit they are pretty fabulous!  And for those of you thinking how hard they are going to be but they really are easy.

Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes

1 c water

1/3 c oil

3 eggs

1 box white or yellow cake mix

1 box instant vanilla pudding

Raspberry pie filling

Cupcake Liners

1.  Crack eggs into mixing bowl.

2.  Add oil and water.

3. Dump in cake mix and pudding mix.

4.  Begin mixing.  About half way through I stop the mixer and scrape down the sides to ensure all the ingredients get mixed in fully.

5.  Mix for a couple minutes until the batter looks like this.  While the batter is mixing put your liners into the cupcake/muffin pan.

6.  I use this kind of ice cream scoop for my cupcakes.  It is about the perfect size (I don’t fill it all the way to the top but about 3/4 full) and easy to push the batter into the liners.

7.  Fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full.

8.  I put the raspberry filling out of a can in a chopper to make sure it’s not such large pieces.

9.  Put a small dollop of raspberry filling on the top of the cupcake batter.  I use about 1 tsp per cupcake.

10.  Take a knife and start swirling the filling around with the batter.

11.  Make sure you swirl it around really well.

12.  Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Sometimes with the filling in there it takes a bit longer.

 I’ll be back tomorrow with a fabulous frosting to top these off!

RECIPE: Overnight French Toast

This delicious baked french toast is what we had for breakfast this morning.  It is so yummy with it’s own syrup and it’s always a hit with the family!

Overnight French Toast

12-14 slices French bread – 1″ thick

8 eggs

2 c milk

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

Topping:

3/4 butter, softened

1 1/3 c brown sugar

3 T corn syrup

1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  First you’ll need to slice the bread.  The slices need to be 1″ thick.  I try to be consistent so they all cook evenly.

2.  Layer the bread in a greased pan.  I needed 13 slices to fill this pan but it depends on the size of your bread.

3.  Crack all the eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Mix well.

4.  Add milk to eggs and mix.

4.  Add cinnamon to the mixture.  It calls for 2 tsp but I’m not much for measuring when it comes to cinnamon so I just dumped it in.

5.  Then add the vanilla.  Again not much for measuring this either but you certainly can.

6.  When you mix it well it will look like this.

7.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan.  Try to make sure that you pour a little over each slice so it is evenly coated.  Then cover it with foil and place it in the fridge overnight.

8.  In the morning when you are ready to bake, take the pan out of the fridge and let set for 20-30 minutes.  This is according to the recipe but honestly I’ve never done it and it turns out just fine.  While you are waiting though you’ll need to make the topping.

9.  Place your softened butter (1 1/2 sticks) in a mixing bowl.

 10.  Add the corn syrup to the butter.

11.  Then add the brown sugar.

12.  Mix the ingredients well.  The mixture will be VERY thick.

13.  Spread the thick mixture on top of the slices of bread.  Coat it evenly as this is your ‘syrup’.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

14.  When it is done it will look yummy and bubbly.  Let it sit for a few minutes for all the yumminess to get thickened and for it too cool some.

15.  Dish up and SERVE!  Enjoy!

I love this recipe and so does everyone who’s tasted it.  It is quick, easy, and delicious!

COPY CAT RECIPE: Cinnamon Muffin Melts

I think the tastefully simple people probably hate me.  I am always trying to save money but still have delicious food.  I absolutely LOVE these muffins.  They are heavenly, so I’m going to share my version with you!

CINNAMON MUFFIN MELTS

1 1/2 c Flour

1/2 c Sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 c Milk

1 Egg

1/2 c Oil

COATING:

1 stick butter

2/3 c sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Sift together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

2.  Combine egg, oil, and milk.

3.  Add dry ingredients to milk mixture.  Stir just to moisten.

4.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  You don’t want liners on these because you will be rolling them in sugar and butter later.  Bake at 400 degrees (375 if you have a dark pan) for 13-15 minutes for full size muffins, 8-10 minutes formini muffins, until toothpick comes out clean.

 4.  Once the muffins are cooled melt the butter in a shallow dish.  Place sugar and cinnamon on a plate and mix.  Roll all sides of the muffin in the butter, let excess drip off.  Then roll in sugar mixture.  Enjoy!

HOW TO: Sugar Cookie Decorating

As promised in this post I am back with a how-to of decorating sugar cookies.  After you have baked the cookies and cooled them you are ready to frost!  Here is the recipe I use for my frosting:

ROYAL ICING

4 c. powdered sugar

3 T meringue powder

6 T warm water

 Place powdered sugar and meringue powder in the mixer and combine.  Add water a little at a time.  Sometimes I don’t add all the water because it gets too runny…you want a slightly thick consistency.

1.  Get a piping bag with a tip and fill with Royal Icing.  I use a #3 Wilton tip to outline the cookie as seen here.

2.  Once you have outlined all the cookies you need to thin the frosting.  Use water to do it.  I make it a thin consistency that so that it spreads out when it is piped on the cookie.  I make it thin enough so that it molds back into itself when poured off a spoon.  Then use the #3 tip again and fill it up but not completely because you then spread it with a knife to fill in the empty spots.

3.  They will look like this when it is all spread out.  Let them dry until they are dry to the touch.  It will take several hours.

4.  Once they are completely dry you can do the detailing on the cookies.  I used to use my Wilton tips to do the detailing until I discovered they make edible markers!  That is what I used on these cookies.  SO much easier than using frosting to detail.

There you have it…super easy!  Now get to decorating those Christmas cookies!

RECIPES: Sugar Cookies

As many of you know I previously had two baking businesses.  In doing so much baking for others I kind of lost the passion I had when I started out.  SO I have walked away from both of them and am … Continue reading