Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red, White and Blue Thumbprints!

Well, it is Day 14 of our "15 Days of Red, White and Blue" series, and today we are posting one of my favorite cookies, thumbprints! I have been in love with this cookie since I was a little girl. There is something about the sweet, buttery flavor of this cookie! When I was growing up, there was a bakery not too far from my house. My brothers and sisters and my mom and I would walk down the hill to the bakery, and always, the woman behind the counter would give us a complimentary cookie! What fun! I would always have a difficult time deciding between the icing of my favorite cookie, a type of buttery thumbprint. Did I want yellow, green, or pink icing? It's was always a big decision. I really don't know why, because they all tasted the same! But it was a decision I took very seriously, and the bakery lady was always so sweet and patient. Now, I haven't been in that bakery in quite a few years, but I have been salivating over the memory of the cookies, and I am on a quest to find a recipe for them. This recipe for Red, White and Blue thumbprints is not exactly like my cherished bakery cookies, but these are close, and oh soooooo delicious!
Red, White and Blue Thumbprints
(from Ladies Home Journal 12/10)
Makes 5 1/2 dozen
2 2/3 cups all purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Antonia74 Icing
3/4 cup Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds of Confectioners Sugar
Americolor Holiday Red
Americolor Royal Blue

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream your butter and sugar together on medium high
until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
On low speed, add in flour mixture.
Once mixed together, wrap your dough in plastic wrap
and chill it until firm. It should take 
about 1 1/2 hours.
Roll 1" balls of dough and place them about 1"
apart on your baking sheet.
Using your finger, make an indentation in the center of each one.
Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through, but not golden.
Remove the cookies from your oven.
Re-indent each cookie if it needs it.
Then allow to cool.

Icing Instructions
In your mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and
the meringue powder. Mix by hand with a whisk until frothy,
about 30 seconds.
Add the cream of tartar and mix again for 30 seconds.
Pour all of the confectioners sugar into the bowl at once.
Using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed,
mix slowly for a full 10 minutes.
When done, transfer a little icing to 3 different bowls.
I like to use plastic bowls with lids.
The icing gets crusty and dry if it is uncovered for even a few minutes.
Color the icing in one bowl with the red coloring.
Also add water to get the correct consistency
You basically want 10 second icing here.
That means that you can take a spoon through the middle of the
icing and it will take 10 seconds for it to go back together again.
Do the same exact thing with your second bowl,
only use the blue coloring.
For the third bowl, just make the correct consistency.
No color is needed, of course.
I used a Wilton Tip #5 to fill in the indentations in the cookie.
Once the indentation is filled in, shake the cookie
side to side, just slightly to smooth the icing out.
Fill in the white the same way,
and the red also. Let dry.
Enjoy your cookies!

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow for Day 15
of "15 Days of Red, White and Blue"
 and
Have a Happy 4th!
 



Red, White and Blue Party Centerpieces!

I don't think I have ever posted a craft on this blog. After all, we are all about cooking. It kinda says that in the title; The Freshman Cook. But today I wanted to post a tutorial on this centerpiece.  About 20 years ago, my mother in law turned 75, and my husband and I threw her a huge party. There were about 150 guests, and she had a wonderful time. For the tables, which were banquet tables, I made these centerpieces. They were a little different because the candles each had hurricane glasses around them and they were all done in metallic colors of blue, green and purple. After the party, anyone who wanted one took them home. The thing is, they were truly festive! So, I made some for the 4th of July because it deserves to be festive!
  Red, White and Blue Centerpieces
Red, White and Blue Curling Ribbon
E6000 Glue
Dollar Store Clear Candlestick
Dollar Store Candle Plate
Straight Pins with balls at the end
Styrofoam (cut into 1" squares)
I made 5 of these centerpieces for the 4th of July,
so I needed a lot of ribbon. To speed up the cutting, I 
wound the ribbon around a piece of cardboard about 30 times.
Then I cut the ribbon at the end of the cardboard on one end,
and then cut it at the other end.  I put the ribbon in
a bag with a bottom that stands up. I accessed my
ribbon from the bag easily.
To begin, glue the candlestick on to the bottom of 
the candle plate. Let dry.
Glue the pieces of styrofoam onto the top of the
candle plate, like the picture.
I curled the ribbon and attached it before curling anymore.
There is no wrong way to curl it. Some of mine was loose,
and some very tight.
Attach the curled ribbon by placing the pin in the center
of your curled ribbon, and then sticking the pin into the
styrofoam. I used the pins with the balls in the top
 because the ones without the balls rip through the ribbon
and don't hold it well. Attach ribbon in the front, 
the sides and the top. Don't attach the ribbon to the inside
of the styrofoam square. You need to leave room for 
the candle. 
Keep attaching ribbon to fill in each of the squares. 
There is no point of perfection with this project.
At the end, I went back and added ribbon where
I thought it might be a little low in puffiness.
Also, don't worry about the pins showing. They will 
get covered up by the ribbon.
See how the blue ribbon is long and the red ribbon is short.
It should look that way.
Continue until your foam is full of ribbon!
Add your candle.

There are lots of ways to make this centerpiece.
You could make it less full than I did.
You could also attach a 4th of July sign to it,
or maybe some flags.
The best thing about this design is that you can change it
to match any party decor.

Thanks for joining me on Day 13 of
"15 Days of Red, White and Blue"!

Have fun and Happy 4th!

We are partying at the following fun spots:
Tasty Tuesday 










Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red, White and Blue Malted Waffles

Today is Day 12 of our "15 Days of  Red, White and Blue" series, and it is also Club Baked day! This worked out really well because the Club Baked recipe for Malted Waffles worked out perfectly when retrofitted for the 4th of July! Here's to a festive and delicious breakfast!
Malted Waffles
2 cups Flour
1 cup Malt Powder
2 tablespoon firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups Buttermilk
6 tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Syrup, Butter, Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl whisk together flour, malt powder, sugar,
baking soda, baking powder and salt.
 In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs slightly, .....
add the buttermilk and butter and mix again.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, 
and pour the buttermilk  mixture into it.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
gently, just until combined. There will be lumps.
Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron instructions.
Serve immediately with maple syrup, butter and chocolate chips.
or
Whipped Cream, a plump, beautiful strawberry,
some fresh blueberries, and some sprinkles.
Anyway you top it, it's going to be good!

Do you know about Club Baked ?
It's a wonderfully fun club! Twice a month we bake
a recipe from the book, Baked Explorations, written by
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. 
Club Baked is fun, no pressure, and we
baked delicious food. Come join us!

Want to see the Malted Waffles all the other club baked
members made? Go here!

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today for our
"15 Days of Red, White and Blue"!!


Red, White and Blue Rice Krispie Cake Batter Pops

It is Day 11 of our "15 Days of Red, White and Blue" series, and today we made Cake Batter Rice Krispies, and then rolled them into balls, and stuck them on a stick! Simple? Yes! Time consuming? Slightly! But delicious, and oh, so cute!
Rice Krispie Cake Batter Pops
(adapted from How Sweet Eats via Gimme Some Oven)
3 tablespoon Butter
1 10 oz. bag mini Marshmallows
1/4 cup Yellow Cake Mix
6 cups crispy Rice Cereal
1 (1.75 oz) container of Sprinkles
Red, White, and Blue Candy Melts
Sticks for Pops
Melt the butter over low heat in a large pan.
Add marshmallows.
Stir until they begin to melt.
Add in dry cake mix 1 spoonful at a time until combined.
Stir in cereal until it is completely covered with marshmallow.
Add sprinkles and mix in.
Start rolling the rice krispies into balls.
You can make them any size you want, but they look the best
when they are all a consistent size.
I wear gloves to do this, and I spray the gloves with
cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Melt  some white candy melts in a double boiler.
Dip the bottom of the sticks into the candy melts,
and then insert them into the rice krispie balls.
Let them setup.
Dip each ball into the white candy melt.
Melt some of the red candy melt.
Using a fork, dip it in the candy melt, and then swing it
side to side in the pan, over the rice krispie balls.
Let dry.
Melt blue candy melt.
Using a fork, use the same motion with the blue melt as you
did with the red melts, putting the blue over the red in spots.
Let dry.
Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today.

Stop by tomorrow to see what we are making
for Day 12~a 4th of July breakfast treat!

  We are partying at the following fun spots:
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Freedom Nachos!

Today is Day 10 of our 15 Days of Red, White and Blue and we are celebrating day 10, Friday, summer, and anything else you want to "woo~hoo" about with one of my favorite things to munch on~Nachos! I even went a little upscale with this dish, adding some additional ingredients I think you will be happy to see and taste!

Freedom Nachos
Red, White, and Blue Nacho Chips
Muenster Cheese
          Salsa(recipe)
         Cowboy Beans(recipe)
Avocado
Sour Cream
Filet Mignon Chunks
Sauteed Red and Green Peppers with Onions

Make your beans first. They take a while to make.
You will want to start the day before you need them.
But they are so worth it. Delicious!
Just follow the link to the recipe above.
The same goes for the salsa. 
I didn't take any pictures of it, but you might want to
make it the day before also.
I bought a nice piece of filet. Because it was so big,
the remainder can be used for another meal, making it a much 
better price! I sliced some very thin pieces of beef,
and then chopped them to small chunks.
Cook the beef in a small frying pan.
Saute your peppers and onions at the same time.
Now lets put everything together!
Cover the nachos with the muenster cheese and microwave to melt it.
Place beans, beef, avocado, sauteed veggies and sour cream
in separate bowls for easy access for everyone.
Set out spoons and forks for easy serving, and dig in!
Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for joining me today.

I hope you stop by tomorrow for Day 11 of
15 Days of Red, White and Blue!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Red, White and Blue Star Cookies!

For this weeks Cookie Journey Thursday, we are making star cookies! Red, White and Blue ones! These cookies are simple, don't take all that much time, and oh, so pretty.They will make any table look festive and happy!
Red, White and Blue Star Cookies
I used the No Fail Sugar Cookies recipe, and 
Antonia74 for the icing. You can find both
of the recipes here.
Americolor Holiday Red
Americolor Royal Blue
I made 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large star cookie
for each person attending the party I made these for.
Some will eat more, some less!
Outline your blue cookies.....
and fill in.
Do the same....
for the red cookies....
and once more....
for the white ones.
Let them dry completely.
I let these dry overnight.
Pipe small dots on the star. Use contrasting colors so that
you get the Red, White and Blue effect throughout your
cookies. Pipe the dots in the same place on each cookie.
Use blue dots on the white cookie at each angle.
Then place the red dots on the white cookie in 
between the blue dots.
Do the same dot design on the blue cookies, using
red and white icing.
Do the design one more time on the red cookies,
using blue and white icing.
Happy 4th of July!

Stay tuned for Day 10
of
15 Days of Red White and Blue!

Thanks for stopping by!

We are stopping by the following parties:
Crazy Sweet Tuesday